NEW GEAR 50/23: Sabian Stratus Edition, Ibanez Fretless and New S by Solar
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. Sabian has introduced a total of 9 cymbals from the Stratus series, Yamaha entices us with the Genos2 workstation and a pair of HS series compact studio monitors, Ola Englund has launched a new S by Solar brand dedicated to affordable instruments, Taylor has bet on flexibility with the Beacon clip-on tuner and the bassist of Death and of Testament has introduced a five-string fretless Ibanez. We can also recommend the modernized Source Audio delay, Epiphone's "Greeny" LP replica, the Fishman acoustic combo and the luxurious Jead Freer VOLTA bass amp.
Successively owned by guitarists Peter Green, Gary Moore and now Kirk Hammett, the Les Paul "Greeny" is one of the legends with a distinctive sound based in part on the push-pull switch that reverses the phase and the magnetic polarity of the neck pickup. After several reissues of this model, Gibson decided to make the LP-style "Greens" sound available to more people and commissioned Epiphone to work with the Custom Shop to design a more affordable alternative. This was given the original open-book head shape and used premium components including Gibson USA Greybucker pickups in their original wiring, Grover Rotomatic tuning machines, CTS potentiometers and Mallory capacitors.
Financially friendly models of the new S by Solar
On the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the successful Solar Guitars, its owner Ola Englund has announced the establishment of a subsidiary brand, S by Solar, which will be aimed primarily at young or aspiring players. The aforementioned strategy is naturally reflected in the friendly prices of the 17 models, ranging from 219 to 349 euros. The initial series, based on the classic Solar models in terms of design and shape, consists of six- and seven-string guitars from the Type AB, EB, SB, TB, VB series, complemented by Type AB basses. The instruments with metal design are manufactured in the Chinese subsidiary.
Nemesis SA 260A ADT: innovative delay from Source Audio
The award-winning, full-stereo pedal from 2016 that catapulted the brand into the ranks of leading boutique manufacturers is back in an upgraded version of the ADT, providing all the features of the original model plus a few updates, including the ability to use a pure analogue parallel signal path, a hundred factory presets (128 MIDI-linked positions in total) and, last but not least, a trio of sound modes whose engines have been moved from the software application directly into the pedal. These are made up of Drum Echo – a reverb based on the vintage Binsonic Echorec model, Oil Can – inspired by the 1950s Tel-Ray Electronics Sound Chamber tube and Resonant Analog – a warm delay based on BBD chip emulation. Thanks to the mobile app, the Nemesis ADT is also compatible with over a thousand Neuro user presets created for the original Nemesis Delay.
Fishman Loudbox Micro Acoustic Combo
Fishman has introduced the Loudbox Micro, a smaller, affordable combo from its popular acoustic line. With 40W (bi-amp), two channels and a balanced XLR DI line output, the amplifier is suitable for stage monitoring and a good choice for players who want to use the amp for home recording. The XLR branch for dynamic microphones has its gain, two-band EQ and digital reverb. The instrument channel, handling guitars with both passive and active electronics, adds a centre potentiometer, chorus and phase button. There's an overall master, headphone output and an Aux In mini-jack. Weighing just 4.1 kg, the combo is fitted with a 5.25" woofer and 0.8" tweeter. The Loudbox Micro will hit the market early next year at a price of around 300 euros.
Taylor Beacon multi-function clip-on tuner
The flexible tuner from the renowned acoustic guitar manufacturer combines a clip-on tuner with 5 modes (Chromatic, Guitar, Bass, Violin, Ukulele), a metronome with 12 patterns, a tempo of 30 – 208 bpm and two volumes, a timer, a stopwatch with a 100-minute capacity and a handy flashlight. The reference tone can be varied from 430 to 450 Hz, orientation is facilitated by a colourful, bright TFT LED display with Dot / Strobe modes and power is supplied by a rechargeable battery via a USB port. The price of the Beacon model is around EUR 54.
Five-string fretless Ibanez Steve Di Giorgio SDGB1-DMT
Built for a bassist who is not only a mainstay of the bands Death and Testament but can also be heard on many albums of various genres thanks to his wide stylistic range and excellent playing technique, the instrument features a graphite-reinforced through-neck glued from 9 layers of maple, bubinga and panga panga, to which are attached body wings combining ash and okoume, covered with a flame maple top. The bass, finished in Dark Moss Burst transparent lacquer, has a fretless ebonol composite fretboard, the company's MR5 cob with separate segments, Gotoh machines, a pair of Nordstrand Big Single passive pickups, and a switchable (active/passive) preamp equipped with a three-band Vari-mid III EQ with parametric mids.
Jad Freer VOLTA all-tube bass head
Italian small-volume manufacturer Jad Freer Audio prepares a hand-assembled VOLTA tube amp for the sound connoisseur bassist, featuring a single-channel preamp and purist controls in the form of gain and volume pots and switchable two-band baxandall-type EQs. The 200W (3x ECC83 / 4x KT88) amp has an eff. loop, three Speakon outputs and an XLR line jack with custom volume and Pre/Post/Amp mods. VOLTA produces both a clean open sound with fast articulation and transients and a slightly compressed tone with responsive dynamics. The amplifier, which comes in a 4U rack-mount or classic design, is expected to officially hit the market in the first third of next year.
Sabian Stratus Cymbal Edition
The Stratus collection from Canadian Sabian is, like the high-end AA, AAX, HH, HHX and Artisan series, made from B20 bronze alloy and, thanks to its wide, balanced frequency spectrum, fits perfectly into the sound of modern pop and rock music. This is achieved by combining a medium to low material thickness with a distinctive wrought pattern. The edition consists of 16-, 18- and 20-inch diameter crashes with a warm sound and explosive attack, two 14" and 15" hi-hats with sensitive response, flexible rides in 20" or 22" sizes and a pair of 18-inch effect versions of the China and Zero, with the former providing a punchy attack with faster reverb and the newly conceived Zero model featuring a strong expression that is typical of the O-Zone and Aero series.
Yamaha HS3 and HS4 studio nearfields
Yamaha's HS Series collection of active studio monitors now includes two compact two-way models, the HS3 and HS4, equipped with 3.5 and 4.5-inch diameter woofers and 0.75" and 1" tweeters, respectively. The boxes, in black or white, are sold as a pair, with the Class-D rear amplifier housed in the left monitor, the rear of which carries two XLR/TRS line inputs, RCA jacks, a mini-jack stereo input and voicing switches for the Room Control and High Trim functions. On the other hand, on the front, we find a quick-access volume control with a diode ring and a headphone jack. The bass response of the 2x 20W monitors is accentuated by tube bass reflexes, noise levels are reduced by Twisted Flair technology, and cabling plus non-slip pads are included.
Yamaha Genos2 Workstation
New to the Arranger Series workstation category, the Genos2 offers legendary corporate sounds along with state-of-the-art technology and, according to the manufacturer, delivers superior presentation quality as well as unparalleled real-time control with almost limitless possibilities when composing and arranging music. The band-in-a-box workstation with 384-voice polyphony features a 76-key FSX keyboard (velocity, aftertouch), AWM sampling unit and DX7-style FM engine. The built-in card is linked to a 16-track (MIDI) recording module, presets include 1990 sounds, 75 drum kits and 800 styles, the effects section contains a plethora of items including modulations, reverbs, vocoders and harmonizers, 15 GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or HDMI port.
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