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NEW GEAR 28/24: MIJ Strat Urushi, Annual Taylor, 3rd Power and Ibanez SRMS Basses

Fender's lavishly designed store in Tokyo celebrates its first anniversary, which the Japanese division decided to commemorate with the Urushi Stratocaster; Gibson has produced a replica of Charlie Starr's LP Junior, Taylor included a twelve-string 858e LTD electroacoustic in the 50th Anniversary edition, guitarists Martin Miller and Tom Quayle were behind the Laney BCC Loudpedal series of floor-standing amplifiers and Joe Satriani's name is associated with 3rd Power's Dragon amps. Ibanez SRMS models with Graph Tech mechanics are designed for bassists and German RME attracts professional rackmount adaptors. We also give a tip on the Rohema Fusion drumsticks, the Joyo controller used for shifting note files and the Korg Nautilus AT Gray design series. Welcome to our regular review of new gear and interesting facts from the world of music.

Fender Flagship Tokyo First Anniversary Urushi Stratocaster

Fender celebrated the first anniversary of its flagship four-storey store in Tokyo with the release of a special MIJ Stratocaster edition in a black finish with an unobtrusive grey pattern, achieved by using traditional Japanese lacquer applied using the Tsui-koku process, setting this unique model apart in design from all Strats produced to date. The instrument honours the concept of vintage Stratocasters from the 1960s, which is reflected in the choice of woods, tremolo, pickup type and electronics circuitry. Compared to its predecessor, the Urushi Strat received gold hardware and labels on the headstock or potentiometer caps. The official price is about 3200 dollars.

Fender Flagship Tokyo First Anniversary Urushi Stratocaster

Gibson Charlie Starr LP Junior limited edition

For guitarist Charlie Starr, the Les Paul Junior is an integral part of his gear, and the instrument's signature sound greatly influences the overall sound of the band Blackberry Smoke. Gibson is now launching a special series of replicas of Starr's 1950s original, available in Ebony and Dark Walnut, with each version being produced in 250 pieces. The mahogany body and neck, whose profile matches the original, have been given a thin coat of nitrocellulose lacquer, the rosewood fretboard carries 22 medium jumbo frets and Graph Tech walnut, and the hardware consists of Grover Rotomatic machines and a wraparound bridge with adjustable saddles. The P-90 "Overwound Dogear" bridge pickup is volume controlled and the tone pot is fitted with an Orange Drop capacitor.

Deluxe 12-string Taylor 50th Anniversary 858e LTD

As part of Taylor's half-century celebration, the renowned American manufacturer has added a twelve-string electroacoustic model to its anniversary collection, the 50th Ann 858e LTD, featuring a Grand Orchestra body with patented V-Class bracing, a front soundboard made of select spruce, a back plus sides made of solid Indian rosewood and a rosette decorated with green abalone. The mahogany neck carries an ebony fretboard, which is set with twenty medium-thick frets, Graph Tech Tusq walnut and position inlays in genuine mother-of-pearl. Expression System 2 electronics are installed, and the limited edition gets a Natural finish. The price of approx. 4,500 euros includes, of course, a high-quality Western Floral hard case and other accessories.

Laney BCC Loudpedal Ironheart and Lionheart floor amplifiers

British Laney, or rather its Black Country Customs division, has launched a pair of Loudpedal Ironheart and Lionheart floor amps, the former developed with guitarist Martin Miller, and the latter signed by fusion player Tom Quyale. Both 60W RMS versions get a two-channel preamp, separate boost section, reverb, a trio of footswitches and a wealth of connectivity including MIDI, USB-C or XLR outputs tied to the LA-IR circuit, which provides high-quality cabinet emulation thanks to 56-bit FIR filters. There are always two popular IR pulses of the musicians mentioned, and custom IR samples can be recorded via the LA-IR software. Price: approximately 500 dollars.

3rd Power Dragon boutique amps and boxes

The Dragon series, represented by 25, 45 or 100 Watt heads, 112 25/45 combos and DG 112/212/412 cabinets, was designed in collaboration with Joe Satriani, who will be using the line on the upcoming Best Of All Worlds Summer Tour 24 tribute to Eddie Van Halen. The sound of the single-channel amps is inspired by the 1967/1968 Marshall Plexi Super Lead 100, with which the classic Van Halen sound is inextricably linked. Hand-soldered in point-to-point style, the all-tube amps are fitted with top-of-the-line Heyboer transformers and offer a host of premium features such as selectable EQ (JTM/JMP), active presence with adjustable bandwidth, gain boost, Bump Switch (400 Hz), Mod Focus, Push parameter for bass boost and patented Hybrid Master. The edition is currently available for pre-order.

Ibanez SRMS720 and SRMS725 Multi-scale basses

The Ibanez SRMS720 / SRMS725 four- and five-string models from the Bass Workshop series represent a combination of meticulous craftsmanship and modern design. This is not only due to the excellent ergonomics, the dual Multi-scale length with fanned frets or the supremely flexible active electronics with Fishman Fluence humbuckers, but also to the hardware used. While the proven MR5S type was chosen for the bridge, the manufacturer went in a new direction when selecting tuning machines, replacing the traditional Gotoh mechanics with the new RATIO system from Graph Tech. The individual machines have gear ratios (E 36:1, A 30:1, D 20:1, G 18:1 and H 48:1 strings) for even and fast tuning, with precisely calibrated ratios eliminating the variations caused by the different thicknesses of individual strings.

Rohema 5A / 5B Fusion hickory drumsticks

Rohema, a German company specializing in the manufacture and development of accessories for drummers, percussionists and related players, has added a pair of 5A and 5B mallets from its Fusion Series to its catalogue. Both hickory wood variants share the classic diameter of the 5 A/B models, but are slightly longer, resulting in a faster response and higher rebound. In addition, the barrel-shaped, relatively solid tip offers a more open and fuller tone. For the first time, the manufacturer has also used a completely new gloss finish, combining wax and oil, which has a superior grip and thus increases the playing comfort. Pairs of Rohema 5A Fusion (410 x 14.3 mm) and 5B Fusion (410 x 15.2 mm) cost the same at around 11 euros.

Rohema 5A / 5B Fusion

Korg Nautilus AT Gray 61 and 88 design series

The Korg Nautilus AT workstations with semi-weighted or hammer-action keyboards and up to 200-voice polyphony have received a special edition with a new facelift. The "Gray" models are available in both 61- and 88-key versions with the same set of powerful features, but now in a stylish, attractive matte grey finish. However, it's not just the top panel that's been modified - the more compact 61 version has also been given a grey underside, giving the instrument a subtle, cohesive design, while the 88-key version is additionally framed by sleek black wooden sides. Both synths are due to be available in Europe in early autumn, with prices identical to the classic black versions.

Joyo JSP-01 Page Turner for scrolling sheet music pages

Any musician who uses sheet music or tablature in digital format knows the problem of scrolling through pages while playing. Due to stopping frequently to scroll through the music notation you may lose rhythm and ruin all your playing enjoyment. In response to this need, Joyo has launched the JSP-01, a wireless pedal for flipping through virtual pages. Built on Bluetooth technology, the controller allows wireless connectivity to a variety of devices and is compatible with Mac, PC, iOS and Android. With a range of up to 10 meters, the JSP-01 with five mods, a pair of footswitches and other controls can be used freely even on larger stages, with the necessary power supplied by a rechargeable lithium battery. Price: approx. 30 euros.

Professional audio converters RME M-1620 Pro and Pro D

Renowned German manufacturer RME expands its product range with two 16-channel A-D/D-A M-1620 Pro and Pro D converters. The rack-mounted systems are equipped with 16 analogue line inputs and outputs with DB25 connectors, digital ADAT and MADI interfaces, along with AoIP (Audio Over IP) distribution option, World Clock, USB port, 2x Network connection and also dual power supply (direct AC or DC adapter 12V/3A socket). The redesigned front panel offers LED level indicators, an encoder, a display and a pair of stereo headphone outputs. The converters allow manual anti-aliasing of filters for optimal impulse and frequency response, there is no shortage of SteadyClock FS functionality, wireless Wi-Fi connectivity, SysEx MIDI, etc. The M-1620 Pro version features Milan and AVB connectivity, while the M-1620 Pro D variant brings Dante technology.

Tagy Fender Gibson Laney Ibanez taylor RME korg Joyo 3rd Power Rohema

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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.