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NEW GEAR 21/24: Furch Acoustics, Strymon Reverb, Valkenburg Bass and PreSonus Cards

The Furch brand has expanded its acoustic guitar offer with a trio of models from its new Dark Yellow collection, Gibson is looking back with a replica of the 1965 Firebird 12-string, Fender has announced production of a limited Thinline AP II edition, Seymour Duncan has an upgraded series of active humbuckers for lower tuned guitars, Strymon has worked on the popular Big Sky reverb and launched an MX version, Mane Custom Bass will begin offering another five-string model, and boutique Valkenburg is not falling behind with their signature bass for the nephew of the legendary Jaco Pastorius. We also give a tip on the latest versions of Sabian's Stratus series cymbals, the Genzler Kinetix hybrid bass amp and PreSonus Quantum sound cards. Welcome to our regular review of new gear and interesting facts from the music world.

Fenders Strat and Tele Thinline American Professional II

Fender has bolstered the American Professional II instrument collection with limited Thinline variants of the Telecaster and Stratocaster in four pastel transparent finishes of semi-hollow ash body with tortoiseshell pickguard. Both models get a maple neck fitted with the classic Deep-C profile, a maple (Tele) or rosewood (Strat) fretboard with rounded edges carries 22 frets and a bone nut, the body-neck joint is ergonomically shaped and the sound is carried by single coil V-Mod II pickups. The Telecaster also features a push-push switch in the tone potentiometer that activates the series mode of both pickups, while the same solution on the Stratocaster adds a neck pickup in the 1st and 2nd positions of the 5-position switch. With a price tag of about 1,950 dollars, the guitars come with a hard case.

Dark Yellow RR Series rosewood acoustics by Furch

Furch's high-end Dark Yellow RR Series acoustic guitars, first introduced at this year's NAMM in Anaheim, are headed for worldwide distribution. Available in Grand Auditorium, Dreadnought and Orchestra Model versions, both instruments feature a carefully selected AA-grade Indian rosewood body, including the sides, covered in a precision Full-Pore High-Gloss Finish, specially developed to improve the resonance properties of the wood. The mahogany neck with CNR bracing, ebony fretboard and subtle decorative elements combine with the elegant dark design to make the Dark Yellow RR a superbly tuned guitar with an attractive appearance and a rich sound spectrum throughout the harmonic range.

Gibson Custom 1965 Non-Reverse Firebird V 12-String Reissue

Gibson goes back more than half a century with an upgraded Custom 1965 Non-Reverse Firebird V Reissue 12-string featuring an authentic VOS Aqua Mist finish and Firebird pickups fitted with Alnico 5 magnets. The new product retains all the charm and features of the acclaimed 1965 collector's instrument, but at the request of many players, the width of the zero fret has been adjusted to 4.28cm, providing a more comfortable playing experience compared to the original with a narrower nut. The all-mahogany construction, rosewood fretboard, Traditional 1960s SlimTaper- C neck profile, Kluson machines and ABR-1 fretboard are all retained. The price including hard case: approx. 6,000 dollars.

Seymour Duncan alt.metal Blackouts: pickups for tuned guitars

"If you're interested in an aggressive sound, you need to check these out," says guitarist and popular youtuber Ryan 'Fluff' Bruce of Seymour Duncan's alt.metal Blackouts active humbuckers, which are specially modified for under-tune metal riffs. Consisting of a bridge version fitted with a ceramic magnet and a neck version using an Alnico V magnet, the set delivers powerful output, long sustain and complex harmonic expression with assertive mids, strong bass, smooth highs and percussive response with palm muting techniques. Models are available for both six- and seven-string instruments, with prices starting at about $130 per pickup.

Strymon Big Sky MX: dual-engine reverb

"Absolutely the best ambient effect we've ever created," says renowned brand Strymon of the new generation of Big Sky reverbs. Powered by an 800 MHz triple-core ARM processor, the MX version features dual engines, new algorithms capable of parallel, serial or split mode operation, and there is an IR pulse compatibility including 22 factory samples. In addition to footswitches for selecting presets and banks, there is an Infinite/Freeze switch, a highly visible OLED display, an output for an external expression pedal, a USB-C port and MIDI In/Out in the form of DIN connectors. With maximum realistic reverb, the Big Sky MX can become an ideal part of an effects chain for more complex stereo setups or studio work. Price: approx. 750 euros.

Mane Custom Bass KJ5 Standard

The Californian small producer has announced the start of pre-orders for the five-string KJ5 Standard model, which should be available to the first buyers during August. The new 35-inch version is based on the KJ5 Signature version, but unlike it, it offers a competitive price while maintaining uncompromising quality. For the body construction, the proven alder was used, the neck and fretboard bearing 24 frets are made of maple, the hardware consists of a Mane V19 fretboard and open-gear machines, a custom preamplifier is installed linked to a pair of the company's single coils, and Bartolini electronics can also be selected. Available finishes include See Through Gloss Sunburst, Tobacco Burst, Red Sunburst or Aqua Blue Burst. Price: approx. $900, approx. $1,150 for the "Bartolini" option.

Mane Custom Bass KJ5 Standard

Valkenburg David Pastorius Proto Bass

The boutique Valkenburg company teamed up with bassist David Pastorius, nephew of jazz virtuoso Jack Pastorius, to create the new signature Proto Bass, the first member of the Innovator Series, bringing a modern concept and patinated retro styling. Bolted to an alder body in a Hunter Grab Green relic finish covered in nitrocellulose lacquer is a flame maple neck carrying a rosewood fretboard with 21 Dunlop 6100 frets. Integrated is an EMG passive humbucker and a medium half-plane pickup from the same brand. Tuning is handled by Gotoh machines, and an unusual feature is the lockable Kahler vibrato.

Valkenburg David Pastorius Proto Bass

Genzler Kinetix 800 hybrid bass head

The American brand has expanded its range of basses with the Kinetix 800 hybrid amplifier, combining an all-tube preamplifier fitted with a trio of 12AX7 tubes operating at 300 V and an 800 W Class-D stage, which brings the weight of this compact model down to just 3.3 kg. The player has a five-band EQ, Lean/Fat/Thick voicing modes, a gain boost function as well as ample connectivity. "It is a simple-to-use, very musical amplifier, providing superior dynamic interaction and plenty of power," Genzler Amplification mentions about the new product. Price: about $1,300.

New Sabian Stratus Series Cymbals

The Canadian manufacturer has added two new effect cymbals to the modernly conceived Stratus series, as well as the first "Promo Set". The smallest model is the 10" Stratus Splash, which thanks to its small thickness provides a fast attack with explosive response, while the second new 12" Stratus Cirro Stax, consisting of a bottom cymbal and a wavy, flexible top cymbal, offers short, almost electronic-sounding sounds and less traditional registers. The aforementioned set, comprising a 14" hi-hat, 16" + 18" crash and 20" ride, is, like other Sabian Stratus series cymbals, made from B20 bronze and features flexible use and a warm tone.

PreSonus Quantum USB-C sound cards

The new generation of PreSonus Quantum edition sound interfaces, consisting of the Quantum ES 2 (2x2), ES 4 (4x4), HD 2 (20x24) and HD 8 (26x30) models, brings upgraded MAX-HD preamps, class-leading transducers, instrument front-end inputs co-developed by Fender, and all-around quality performance that home and professional studio owners will appreciate. Auto Gain (up to +75dB) and Loopback are integrated, while the more luxuriously equipped HD versions offer 2 re-amp outputs as well as 16-channel ADAT technology, with the flagship HD 8 featuring the ADAT Standalone Mod. Prices start at around $230 for the ES 2 and end at around $1000 for the HD 8.

Tagy Furch Gibson Fender Strymon Genzler Presonus Seymour Duncan sabian Mane Custom Bass Valkenburg

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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.