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NEW GEAR 19/24: Jackson Guitars and Bass, Fender MIJ Limited Series, Ampeg Cabinet and Rhodes Piano

Jackson has enhanced the Pro Plus edition with two Flying Rhoads and in addition offers a five-string signature model by bassists Adam Blackstone. Not only metal guitarists can benefit from Seymour Duncan active humbuckers calibrated according to the preferences of Corey Beaulieu from Trivium, and for Fender fans, the Japanese subsidiary has prepared two guitars and a bass from the special Hybrid II Sandblast collection. Korg is ready to distribute the Opsix MKII FM synth, Aguilar is releasing a collector's edition of the Tone Hammer pedal, Metallica's bassist has new string sets from Dunlop and Zultan has expanded its lineup with cymbals from the Heritage Orchestra series. We also recommend the Ampeg Venture VB-88 bass cabinet and a special collection of Rhodes pianos. Welcome to our regular review of new gear and interesting facts from the world of music.

Jacksons Pro Plus Rhoads RR24 and RR24 PS

A pair of modern Flying V guitars signed by former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads have been added to the Jackson Pro Plus series. Both neck-through instruments feature a reverse headstock with fast profile and an ebony fingerboard with variable radius carrying 24 jumbo stainless steel frets. Strings are anchored in a Floyd Rose 1000 tremolo and there are two Seymour Duncan TB-6 / SH-6N humbuckers. The Rhoads RR24 version in Mirror, Deep Black or Snow White has an okoume wood body, while the RR24 PS variant adds an exotic sapele top covered in Firemist transparent lacquer. A quality gig bag is included.

Japonské Fendery Hybrid II Sandblast

The limited edition MIJ includes Telecaster, Stratocaster and Jazz Bass, whose ash bodies in Sandblast finish are covered in a satin polyurethane lacquer giving full exposure to the wood's beautiful grain and texture. Other common features include Modern-C maple necks, rosewood fingerboards with medium jumbo frets, black three-ply pickguards and Hybrid II Custom Voiced single-coil pickups, while the Telecaster features a four-position switch with a new position for series connection of two single coils. The price, including the deluxe gig bag, is around 1150 dollars.

Série Fender MIJ Hybrid II Sandblast

Active pickups Seymour Duncan Corey Beaulieu Damocles

The guitarist of metal band Trivium has long been using Seymour Duncan Blackouts active humbuckers, the basis for the new six- and seven-string SD Corey Beaulieu Damocles sets with special voicing offering a larger portion of upper mids and balanced transparent expression. The high-output pickups, designed for players of more punchy genres, use ceramic and Alnico 5 magnets, can handle greater down tuning, and the "seven" versions are available with both classic and soap bar designs. Prices start at about 145 dollars each.

Five-string Jackson "Gladys" Pro Series Concert Bass

Accomplished bassist and seasoned producer Adam Blackstone (Alicia Keys, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Questlove, Jay-Z, Rihanna, etc.) has partnered with Jackson to build him a five-string "Gladys" model that combines traditional Jazz Bass concepts with modern elements. The poplar body in Concert Bass shape is complemented by a one-piece neck bearing a fingerboard made of the same material fitted with 21 jumbo frets, the sound is transmitted by a pair of Jackson BBE J-Style single coils connected to an active preamp with a three-band EQ, the strings are anchored in a HiMass bridge and the headstock is fitted with open-gear tuners. Price: approx. 1000 euros including gig bag.

Design edition Aguilar Tone Hammer LTD Subway Preamp DI

The respected Brooklyn-based bass gear manufacturer pays homage to its roots with the Tone Hammer "Subway" special edition preamp/DI box, which is reflected in the pedal's design adorned with a New York City subway graphic. Utilizing a patented AGS (Adaptive Gain Shaping) circuit with an associated footswitch, the model features an active three-band EQ with semi-parametric mids (180 Hz to 1 kHz), the gain control along with the AGS allows the Tone Hammer to switch from modern registers to vintage tube-style saturation, and the 18-volt operation gives the Tone Hammer plenty of projection. The video below demonstrates the standard version.

Aguilar Tone Hammer LTD Subway Preamp DI

Bass strings Dunlop Robert Trujillo RTN and RTS

Following the String Lab T series, Dunlop has begun offering other versions of strings designed to the specifications of Metallica's bassist. The new edition includes nickel-plated RTN45105 / RTN45130 sets for four- and five-string instruments, complemented by steel-wound RTS45105 / RTS45130 sets. Compared to Trujillo's previous T edition, these sets are non-tapered i.e. without the narrowed diameter of the string ends near the tuning posts. Both the RTN and RTS variants provide a balanced sound with clear articulate highs, ample punchy mids and solid, clear bass. Prices: RTN/RTS 45105 approx. 30 dollars, RTN/RTS 45130 approx. 354 dollars.

Cabinet Ampeg Venture VB-88

For bassists who prefer the detailed yet "fast" sound of cabinets with 8-inch speakers, Ampeg has prepared the new Venture VB-88 with 4 ohms impedance and 800 W RMS (1600 W PP). The stylish model, with its solid construction and durable Tolex carbon-fiber-patterned cover, is equipped with eight custom 8-inch-diameter neodymium Lavoce woofers and a variable high-frequency tweeter tied to an attenuator with a trio of modes (-6 dB, 0 dB, bypass). The 40x51x116 cm cabinet weighs 30.4 kg and has two Neutrik speakOn connected in parallel, which can also be used with a conventional jack. Venture VB-88 is supplied with castors.

Zultan cymbals from the Heritage Orchestra 2024 edition

Zultan has expanded its Heritage Orchestra cymbal line with a total of 10 models, handmade in Turkish workshops and specially designed for the orchestral sector. The base material is B20 bronze alloy with high amount of hammer strokes, providing a rich, multi-layered sound that proves its qualities at all dynamic levels. While Heavy models are characterised by an exceptionally clear and bright sound, regular strength cymbals produce a darker, full and warm tone that blends harmoniously with the sound of the orchestra. Newly available versions include Heritage Orchestra: 16", 17", 18", 20", Heritage Orchestra Heavy: 17", 19", 21" and Heritage Orchestra Suspended: 18", 20", 22", 24".

Zultan Heritage Orchestra 2024

"Environmental" limited Rhodes MK8 Earth Edition

There are only 50 copies of this special edition of the famous piano, this time with an unusual design using sustainable materials. The model, first presented on Earth Day, has wooden components built from FSC-certified American walnut, the lid is made from recycled ABS plastic, the moss green cover or external pedal matches the natural theme and the metal components received a rust effect coating. The Earth Edition configured with an effects section (VCA compressor, phaser, BBD chorus and delay) will cost around 13,000 euros, with shipments of ordered units scheduled to start in January next year.

Korg Opsix MKII synthesiser

In a few weeks, the new second-generation Korg Opsix with its full-spectrum concept should hit the shelves in European stores, boasting double the polyphony of the previous series with 64 voices. With an upgraded facelift, the digital synth now has features equivalent to the Opsix SE, and last but not least, it is also compatible with sounds and samples from both Opsix Original and Opsix Native software, including many high-quality sample libraries. The official price of the MKII version, with its efficient workflow and wide sound possibilities, should be around the 800 euros including the power supply.

Tagy Nový gear Fender Seymour Duncan Aguilar Dunlop ampeg korg Zultan Rhodes Jackson

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For Insounder, I am mainly responsible for the news section and articles covering the gear of well-known musicians. I have been playing guitar in various bands for years and I also teach this beautiful instrument.