Skip to main content
Leon -

NEW GEAR 27/23: Taylor Gets into Electric Guitars, Fender Dabbles in Fashion and Ampeg Focuses on Design

Those who are ready are not caught off guard. Welcome to our first weekly roundup of new gear and trivia from the music world, where we try to sum up everything essential that's currently hitting the market that we should know about. Taylor's boss has delved into electric instrument development, and we recommend a limited Fender edition featuring an iconic fashion brand, a tweaked MXR Hybrid Fuzz CSP041 pedal, digital Mooer Hornet 15i Intelligent Amp, new retro short-scale bass Squier Paranorman Rescal HH and a special design series of a popular compact kit by Ampega. We also have a tip for a really cool vocal microphone, a multifunctional sequencer, strings and a signed snare by Tama.

Powers Electric – Taylor's boss starts an electric guitar company

Andy Powers, CEO of Taylor, one of the world leaders in acoustic guitars, has decided to devote his engineering talents to the development of electric instruments. The debut model of his new Powers Electric brand is the semi-hollow Powers Electric A-Type, which was designed with several ambitious goals in mind. According to Powers, it had to be an instrument that "doesn't sound or play like something you already know," the guitar had to have "no off-colour notes, dead frets or useless pickup positions," and it had to "feel amazing". The A-Type features an ash body and mahogany neck, the rosewood fingerboard was given an asymmetrical radius, and all components, except the strings and tuners, are made in the company's own workshops.

Limited Collector's Edition Fender x Saint Laurent

Fender has teamed up with the iconic French fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent. The result of the collaboration is a special edition including a Fender x SL Stratocaster with an ebony fingerboard and lipstick pickups, a Fender x SL '65 Deluxe Reverb electronic combo amp and a collector's edition of six picks. The amp and the guitar, which will be produced in just ten pieces, feature the Saint Laurent silver logo and the distinctive black colour scheme. In the case of Strat, which evokes the series Aerodyne in terms of design, this colour applies not only to the alder body and maple neck but also to the pickguard, complete hardware and pickup covers.

Fender x Saint Laurent Collection 2023

MXR Hybrid Fuzz – flexible "Fuzz Face" from Custom Shop

The new MXR Hybrid Fuzz CSP041 pedal should be one of the most versatile fuzz pedals on the market today, thanks to a pair of circuits inspired by the famous vintage Fuzz Face models. The first circuit, like the early FF series from 1966-1968, is based on germanium transistors, while the second section uses the silicon transistors that are the core of subsequent Fuzz Face editions. This gives the player both a warm, refined tone and a more aggressive distortion. In addition, the effect retains an important feature of its predecessors as it is responsive to the use of the guitar volume potentiometer.

Digital Mooer Hornet 15i Intelligent Amp

The name of this 15W compact guitar combo amp predicts that it will offer a wide range of functions, useful both for practising and recording. With 52 amplifier patterns created with MNRS technology and 49 classic and experimental effects, the Hornet 15i is able to cover a huge range of sounds that can be combined with any of the 40 patterns of the built-in drum machine, a dozen different metronomes and a synth looper with an 80-second capacity. A wireless footswitch is also available.

Squier Paranormal Rascal HH –  retro short scale bass

This four-string model rewrites the textbook of electric bass design thanks to a hybrid concept that combines elements of Fender's eccentric basses from the 1960s. Combining an offset body shape taken from the Fender Bass VI, a unique headstock shape from the Fender Coronado bass, a headstock borrowed from the Mustang Bass version and a pair of Fender-Designed Wide Range humbuckers with a three-position toggle switch, the Rascal HH results in a rather unconventional instrument with a subtle retro character, both sonically and visually. The 30-inch scale will especially suit players with subtle palms or shorter fingers. Colours: Sherwood Green, Metallic Black. Estimated price: approx. 450 euros.

Ampeg Limited Edition Blue Micro-VR Stack

This special design series of the popular compact stack, this time in a deep blue tolex, is designed for all bassists who love the timeless look of the classic Ampeg SVT and traditional "fridge" (cabinet), but prefer a more mobile setup compared to the original models from the late 1960s. The dramatically downsized and lightweight Micro-VR Stack set consists of a 200W single-channel MOSFET amplifier and a matching cabinet, built from 15mm thick plywood and using a pair of Eminence Custom 10" speakers. The video below shows last year's red version of this model.

Bass Strings Ernie Ball Flatwound Cobalt Regular a Power Slinky Short Scale

Flatwound strings for four-string short-scale basses deliver a smooth, refined tone with a softer attack, thanks to steel cores wound with proprietary cobalt alloy ribbon winding that, in addition to a round sound with pleasing upper mids, scores with a quiet response to finger movement on the strings. The Flatwound Cobalt Regular Slinky SS 2818 set includes strings in 45, 65, 85 and 105 gauges, while the Flatwound Cobalt Power Slinky SS 2817 set includes strings in 50, 70, 90 and 110 gauges. Both sets should be released during the summer.

Signature snare Tama JR1455 Lil’ John Roberts

A signature snare drum designed to the specifications of the accomplished jazz, R&B and pop player whose thirty-year career includes collaborations with Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifah, Michael Jackson, etc., is headed for European distribution. The 14 x 5.5-inch snare is made of a 1 mm thick steel plate sprayed with dark blue lacquer, which contrasts with the hardware (die-cast hoops, silicone-filled lugs, Linear-Drive Strainer) in black nickel. The limited edition of 150 pieces might appeal to drummers who prefer a brighter punchy tone with a quick sharp attack.

Multifunctional sequencer Hermod+ by Squarp Instruments

The Hermod+ is a dramatically redesigned and improved Hermod modular station (2017), offering not only multi-channel sequencing, polyphonic modular connections and effects, but also extensive options to control Eurorack with different sources. You can connect a keyboard controller, the 16 pads are laid out in a 4 x 4 matrix and there are eight CV/MIDI effects per track and dedicated Reset/Clock outputs. It offers the possibility to generate your own sequences, record modulations and many other features. Hermod+ can thus add a lot of new options to your system, including an intuitively designed interface with enhanced connectivity.

Rugged vocal microphone sE Electronics V2 SWITCH

Multi-purpose handheld dynamic microphone with slide on/off switch and solid all-metal construction. Its balanced sound character is ideal not only for vocals or speech but also for a wide range of instruments. Its super-cardioid capsule design provides significant off-axis attenuation, preventing unwanted sounds from the stage from entering the microphone signal. The V2 SWITCH also features an integrated shock mount and windscreen, delivering quality sound in almost any environment. For a friendly price of about 60 euros, the user also gets a mic stand clip, threaded adapter and carrying case.

Andy Powers z firmy Taylor
Tagy Frontman gear news Powers Electric Fender MXR Mooer Fender Squier ampeg Ernie Ball tama Squarp Instruments sE Electronics Yves Saint Laurent

If you have found an error or typo in the article, please let us know by e-mail

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.