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NEW GEAR 29/23:Japanese version of EVH guitars, Synclavier II evolution and AmpWorx preamps from TCE

Those who are ready are not caught off guard. Welcome to our next weekly roundup of new gear and trivia from the world of music, where we try to sum up everything essential that's currently hitting the market that we should know about. Sweden's Strandberg has built a new signature model for guitarist Plini, TC Electronic offers its first series of Ampworx pedal preamps, Phil Jones Bass brand has prepared a new combo amp with massive power output, and the legendary Synclavier returns to the scene with the successor to the Synclavier II synth: the Regen. We will also look at Mojotone neodymium speakers, Dunlop bass strings, Canopus snare and IK Multimedia plug-in.

EVH MIJ Signature Wolfgang – the first model from Japanese production

The brand linked with the name of Edward Van Halen used to manufacture its instruments in the USA and Mexico (Fender factories). Now the company has decided to expand its guitar production to Japan, where the Fujigen workshops are creating a new MIJ Wolfgang edition, whose price falls into an imaginary gap between the models from the two factories mentioned above. The instrument in Ivory or Stealth Black lacquers (the same as on the EVH USA version) features an identical lime body with a big leaf maple top and a bolt-on neck made of quartersawn maple. Prospective buyers who favour a humbucker sound and make use of the Floyd Rose tremolo with D-Tuna tuning system, killswitch and other modern features taken from the original US series should prepare around 2700 dollars.

New "headless" Strandberg Sälen NX 6 Tremolo Plini Edition

Australian prog-rock wizard Plini boasts another Strandberg instrument that, unlike his previous Boden series models, is based on a more "traditionally" styled version of the Sälen Jazz with a single-cut body. Featuring a neck with a special EndurNeck profile, 24 Jescar fanned steel frets and an EGS Pro Rev 7 tremolo, the headless guitar is available in an HS pickup configuration consisting of a Plini Edition bridge humbucker and Suhr Classic T neck single coil, or a variant fitted with a Suhr SSH+ / Suhr Classic T combination. If you're into futuristic design supported by an unusual neck profile and a dual scale (25" - 25.5"), you can get the new Strandberg Plini in Midnight Black Satin lacquer for around 3000 euros.

TC Electronic AmpWorx Vintage Series – pedals with the sound of classic amps

The Jims45, Combo Deluxe 65' and DC30 from the AmpWorx Vintage Series: three first-ever pedal preamps from the renowned Danish brand that offer a traditional sound in the style of Marshall JTM45 tube amps, Fender combo amps or Vox AC30 1965 Top Boost. Common features of the two-channel preamps based on AmpWorx modelling technology are Celestion's official speaker IR, selected according to pedal type, a USB Mini-B port, six potentiometers and two footswitches for channel switching plus boost or reverb activation (Deluxe 65'). Additional controls are located on the back of the chassis, along with the DI output.

Neodymium speaker Mojotone BV-60N British Neo

The name of this twelve-inch 60W guitar speaker is a pretty clear indication that it will appeal primarily to fans of British sound, characterised by "woody" musical mids and softer attack. Thanks to the installation of a lightweight neodymium magnet, its weight has been reduced to about 2.2 kg, which is half the weight of comparably powerful speakers with conventional ceramic magnets. The speaker, with a sensitivity of 98 dB and a frequency range of 78 Hz to 5 kHz, is inspired, according to the manufacturer, by the popular Mojotone BV-25m version resembling the well-known Celestion Greenback model. You can choose between an 8 or 16-ohm version.

Bass preamplifier Sushi Box FX Venus X with 12AX7 tubes

Sushi Box Effects have released the Venus X dual-channel pedal tube preamp, co-developed by renowned American bassist Tony Puleo, who required a warm, musical tone with responsive dynamics, regardless of the musical genre. "The clean channel is exactly what you expect, clean, and the boost channel can get you over the top when you want more grind on your tone," says the manufacturer. Both sections share a four-band EQ and in addition to the XLR DI connector and cabinet simulator, you can use two outputs optimised for plugging into a power amp, active monitor or conventional amplifier.

Phil Jones Bass Roadcase BG-800 (2023) – a combo amp that's not afraid of big stages

If you're a bassist looking for a flexible combo amp with a superior power output that can handle large stages in sports halls and festivals, your ideal companion might be a modified model of the popular combo equipped with twelve 5-inch PJB Neo Power speakers and a 600 W power amp, which increases to 950 W if an extension cabinet (8 Ohm) is connected. The amp has a front bass reflex and the top pair of speakers is beveled for better listening. It includes a five-band active EQ, input sensitivity, master, effects loop with mix, headphone output, balanced XLR DI Out, etc. The video below demonstrates an older version of the BG-800 from 2018.

Bass Strings Dunlop Trivium Hybrid Wound Nickel

The set of strings with the product designation TVMSB45130 (thickness 45, 65, 85, 105, 130) is designed for five-string instruments and developed in collaboration with Trivium bassist Paolo Gregoletto. The set aims at a more voluminous and aggressive tone, achieved by using alternating nickel and steel windings with an outer layer of nickel. The latter provides a piercing, massive sound in the low end, while the steel layers add the aggressive mids needed to push the instrument through the band mix. According to Gregoletto, the Trivium HWN is smooth and comfortable to play, and the manufacturer confidently adds that "from tone to touch, you won’t find a more exceptionally balanced set of bass strings."

Basové struny Dunlop Trivium Hybrid Wound Nickel

Desktop synth Regen – the successor of the legendary Synclavier II

Synclavier, one of the pioneers in digital synthesis, returns to the hardware market with the new Regen, following in the footsteps of the Synclavier II synth from 1980. The compact desktop design adds a subtractive synthesis unit to the original DSP engine and a whole range of new sounds and features, including modern MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) technology. Also, it can handle polyphonic aftertouch when used with a suitable controller. There are six USB ports, combined audio outputs, an SD card slot, MIDI In/Thru minijack jacks and, last but not least, a mounting surface for attaching the instrument to a stand.

Snare Canopus Jonathan Pinson JP-1470

The motivation for making this signature 14 x 7-inch drum was to create a model with a versatile yet timeless vintage sound that drummers could use on stage and in the studio. The hybrid shell made of seven layers of maple and poplar gives the snare an unusual capacity for extremely high and low-range tuning, aided by edges milled at a 45-degree angle. The result is a classic warm tone with a "woody" character and the ability to eliminate treble if desired via a CIM-20 baseball bat inner muffler. The instrument features 2.3 mm thick, triple-bent Power Hoops, brass lugs, a CSA20S strainer and a CPSL-14DR16 snare wire. The drum body has an oil finish.

Three virtual pedals from the AmpliTube Morley Collection

IK Multimedia's AmpliTube Morley plug-in collection features three effects whose hardware designs were first introduced by the California-based Morley brand in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively. Here you'll find the rich analogue sound of cascading delays typical of the vintage Morley EVO-1 "Oil Can Delay" model, the warm, fat fuzz tone of the expressive Power Wah Fuzz and a more modern take on filtering in the form of the optical Contour Wah with its wide frequency response and control options. All virtual pedals are Morley certified and usable as AU, VST 2, VST 3, AAX or standalone versions.

Tagy new gear Strandberg TC Electronic Mojotone Sushi Box Effects Phil Jones Bass Dunlop Synclavier Canopus IK Multimedia EHX

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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.