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NEW GEAR 9/24: Squier LE 60s Limited Series, Gibson LP Studio Modern, Vox AC HW and Walrus Delay

Those who are ready are not caught off guard. Welcome to our next 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. Martin has launched upgraded acoustic guitars from X-series, Squier has come up with a limited edition Classic Vibe '60s, Korg is introducing the KingKorg Neo synth, Gibson has expanded its Les Paul Studio line with the Modern version, Fender is making its debut with the SEO effects controller, Vox is targeting guitar connoisseurs with the AC Hand-Wired, and bassists can look forward to the Ibanez BTB Light Multi-Scale line. We also recommend Walrus Meraki stereo delay, Horizon Devices compressor and Electro-Voice Everse 12 PA monitor.

Squier LE Classic Vibe '60slimited edition for 2024

Evoking the concept used on Fender instruments in the 1960s, the special "old school" series consists of the Squier Limited Edition Classic Vibe '60s Stratocaster HSSLE CV '60s Telecaster SH, LE CV '60s Custom Telecaster and LE CV Mid-'60s Jazz Bass. The guitars share a poplar body, maple neck with traditional C-profile, 9.5-inch radius Laurel or maple fingerboard, narrower high frets, bone nut, Fender Designed humbuckers and single coils with Alnico magnets, nickel-plated vintage hardware, and standard controls to match the model. Prices of the guitars are around 400 euros.

Fender Squier LE Classic Vibe '60s

Upgraded electroacoustic guitars of the Martin X-series 

The renowned brand has expanded its product catalogue with upgraded models from the X-Series, including a total of 12 guitars: the 0-X2E Cocobolo, 00-X2E Cocobolo, 000-X2E Brazilian, D-X1E Koa, D-X1E Mahogany, D-X2E Brazilian, D-X2E Mahogany, D-X2E Ziricote Burst, D-X2E Brazilian 12-String, GPC-X1E Black, GPC-X2E Cocobolo and GPC-X2E Ziricote. All versions of this budget-friendly collection received laminated HPL bodies and the X2 series also got a spruce top. Brazilian Rosewood, Cocobolo and Ziricote wood options are new to this edition. The necks are mostly made of Stratabound, Richlite composite with ebony properties has been used for the round-edged fingerboards, and the bridge and string spacing have been modified. The sound system is fitted with a Martin E1 pickup and electronics (volume, tone, phase rotation, tuner).

Series Gibson Les Paul Modern Studio

The first representatives of the new Les Paul Modern Studio series will soon be available on the European market. The models, based on the older Studio series with minor cosmetic changes, a lightweight mahogany body and a maple top, have now received some elements taken from the higher-end Les Paul Modern edition. The ebony fingerboard has a variable radius, access to higher positions is facilitated by the ergonomic joint MCH (Modern Contoured Heel), the hardware is in black nickel, and the push/pull switches on the 498T/490R humbuckers allow coils tapping, switching for control over phase or activating the Pure Bypass mode for maximum signal clarity.

Meraki: stereo dual delay from Walrus Audio

The Meraki pedal took two years to develop and is currently the only stereo analogue dual delay in the world. Using eight BBD MN3005 chips (similar to the EHX Deluxe Memory Man) as a base, the system produces a warm, rich tone with depth, character and time delay ranging from 80 to 1200 ms. The dual circuit features serial, ping-pong or parallel modes with independent delay, modulation and colour, synchronisation of both channels, mix, rhythm patterning, oscillation mode, dual inputs and outputs (called true stereo), a connector for an external exp. pedal, tap tempo switch and even DIN MIDI In/Out jacks. The edition will consist of 100 pieces, the price is around 600 dollars.

Pedal effect Horizon Devices Clarity Compressor

The company of Mishi Mansoor, guitarist of the band Periphery, has launched a compressor aptly named Clarity, which the manufacturer claims can be "a constant part of your pedalboard and the most transparent compressor you've ever played." The first batch is being produced in limited quantities and will probably sell out soon, so most customers will probably have to wait for the second, more numerous edition. The effect is fitted with potentiometers for volume, compression, mix and also a Clarity parameter that distinguishes it from conventional compressors. In addition to the status light, a series of ten diodes informs about the progress of compression. The official price is around 200 dollars.

Programmable Controller Fender Switchboard Effects Operator

The growing popularity of programmable effects controllers, capable of selecting various combinations of standard pedals via loops while switching channels or presets in classic and MIDI preamps, amps, multi-effects, etc., has driven Fender to enter this uncharted territory. But in developing the Switchboard Effects Operator, Fender left nothing to chance and teamed up with Ron Menelli, designer of the RJM Mastermind switchers, which resulted in the SEO version, evoking the Mastermind PBC/6X controller. The new processor-driven product has, of course, a full analogue signal path, USB and MIDI connectivity, 5 effect loops (relay – true bypass), exp. pedal and footswitch connectors, a bank with 500 presets, a tuner, switchable input and output buffers, 6 footswitches, a large encoder and a colour display.

Amps from the AC Hand-Wired series: the Vox boutique

Drawing on nearly 60 years of tradition, the Vox AC Hand-Wired 2024 Series provides guitarists with a sophisticated palette of tones that incorporate the best of vintage and modern amp designs from this traditional British brand. As the name of the edition suggests, the AC4HWR1, AC10HWR1, AC15HWR1, AC30HWR2, AC30HWR2X and AC30HWRH head, complete with a 2x12 cabinet with Celestion Alnico Blue drivers, are assembled by hand and soldered in a point-to-point method without the use of conventional circuit boards, which has a positive effect on dynamics and tone colour. In addition, the collection has undergone a revision of the power supply circuit, a modification of the output transformer and there is a new skeleton design, spring reverb and transparent effects loop.

Five and seven-string basses Ibanez BTB Light Multi-Scale

The BTB Multi-Scale series basses with dual scales have been joined by versions with the designation Light, which in this case means that the manufacturer has used shorter dimensions of the above-mentioned dual scales for the new products: for the five-string BTB605MLM and BTB705LM models, the lengths are 34-35 inches, and for the seven-string BTB7MS variant, 33.5-35 inches. The neck-through instruments have a carbon-reinforced neck glued from several layers of maple, walnut or panga panga, a body made of okoume and ash (except for BTB605MLM – only okoume), maple or bubinga top, two-octave fingerboard made of rosewood or flame maple, stainless steel frets and MR5S type bridge. It is fitted with two Ibanez T1 passive dual-coil pickups and the company's ICE electronics with active/passive modes, three-band EQ, volume, balance and mid-band selection (250/450/700 Hz).

Electro-Voice Everse 12: PA monitor with Bluetooth and battery power

More compact, lighter, louder, with wider frequency response and longer life. These are the main advantages of the Everse 12 active PA monitor, which according to Electro-Voice can become a practical and easy-to-use tool for DJs, musicians, conferencers and similar professions. The cabinet made of durable polypropylene is equipped with a 400 W amplifier, 12" woofer with ferrite magnet, 1" neodymium tweeter, Dynacord's QuickSmart DSP engine (6-band EQ, limiter, programmable presets, etc.), mixer, USB port and Bluetooth module communicating with the EV mobile app. With a maximum SPL of 126 dB, a range of 45 Hz – 20 kHz and a wide 100º x 60º coverage, the model can be powered by an 86.4 Wh rechargeable battery that can deliver enough power for more than 12 hours of operation at medium volume.

VA synthesiser Korg KingKORG Neo

KingKORG Neo is a virtual analogue synth that has its own league to play in. The compact, powerful model combines a classic analogue synth concept with fast and intuitive editing and offers an unmatched level of flexibility in its category. Featuring the XMT sound engine, 37 full-size keys with velocity and release-velocity sensitivity, a dynamic vocoder, an arpeggiator and a suite of user-friendly features, the KingKORG Neo is, as the manufacturer claims, "more than just a synthesizer; it's a comprehensive tool for artists who aspire to explore new realms of sound and push the boundaries of musical creativity." The synth has 24-voice polyphony, 3 oscillators, a filter + modulation unit, a section with a total of 13 effects (Pre FX, Mod FX, Rev/Delay, EQ) and rich connectivity including MIDI In/Out, USB-B or microphone input.

Tagy Fender Squier Gibson C.F. Martin Walrus Audio Horizon Devices Fender vox Ibanez Electro-Voice korg

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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.