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LR Baggs Unveils the Align Series

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Nipomo, CA (January 11, 2018) — Created specifically for acoustic musicians, the Align Series integrates studio processing tools, a high-fidelity preamplifier with foundational tone-shaping EQ, our proprietary acoustic reverb, and the cleanest, all-discrete active DI we have ever engineered. This series delivers a vast range of tone shaping tools that’s uniquely tailored to enrich the sound of your acoustic instruments.

Align Series Acoustic Pedal Suite includes:

  • Session- Acoustic pedal featuring Saturation and Compression EQ for a studio-quality, mixed and mastered sound
  • Equalizer- Acoustic preamplifier with 6-Band EQ, set to the frequencies we found most impactful for live acoustic amplification, and anti-feedback Notch Filter
  • Reverb- Proprietary reverb tailored specifically for acoustic instruments
  • Active DI- All-discrete Active DI with pedalboard-friendly functionality

U.S. street price on the Session, Equalizer, and Reverb: $179. Active DI: $159.

Watch the company’s video demo:

For more information:
LR Baggs

Boss Unveils the Katana-Air Amp

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Anaheim, CA (January 10, 2018) — Boss (ACC North, Level 2, Exhibit 17820) introduces the Katana-Air, the world’s first totally wireless guitar amplifier. Compact and battery-powered, the Katana-Air features new low-latency wireless guitar technology developed by Boss and a custom wireless transmitter that plugs into any electric guitar. This gives players the freedom to jam and practice anywhere without fussing with guitar cables or AC connections. It’s also possible to play along with audio streamed via Bluetooth from an iOS or Android smartphone, and remotely edit tones and effects from the dedicated BOSS Tone Studio app.

Equipped with the same sound-shaping features found in the Katana Version 2 amplifiers, the Katana-Air delivers premium tones for all styles of music. Five channels provide a wide range of sounds, from sparkling clean to BOSS’s custom high-gain Brown sound. There’s also integrated access to over 50 BOSS effects, plus six memories for storing favorite amp and effects setups.

The Katana-Air is a true stereo amplifier with two custom-tuned speakers and up to 30 watts of total power, offering big, rich sound for both guitar amplification and full-range music reproduction. A convenient docking port in the amp charges the battery in the included wireless transmitter, providing up to 12 hours of continuous playing time per charge.

The Katana-Air is always ready to play. It operates in standby mode to conserve energy when idle, and instantly wakes when it senses motion. In addition, the transmitter automatically establishes the optimum wireless connection when docked, with no user operation required.

Watch the company’s video demo:

For more information:
Boss

Lollar Announces Release of dB Humbucker Pickup

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Tacoma, WA (January 9, 2018) — Featuring unparalleled clarity and dynamics and sporting double 1/8” steel blade pole pieces, the dB Humbucker is unlike any pickup Lollar has previously offered. It strikes the perfect tonal balance between a full frequency response that has a powerful low end; a slightly compressed midrange; and an articulate, harmonic top that cuts through without sounding harsh. The dB Humbucker responds to player input, offering natural, touch sensitive attack that ranges from soft, clear, and delicate when played lightly, to a full-frontal assault that delivers every note with transient articulation and purpose when played harder.

Clean, the dB’s notes blossom and sparkle and the sound is full and organic with ample low end and midrange frequencies. When distorted, the overtones shine, creating fuller, more three-dimensional, and balanced sound than what’s typically experienced from high output pickups. The tight, percussive lows and midrange naturally compress subtly under attack allowing note definition to come through before blooming back to offer a rich, complex balance between chords and notes, creating an almost orchestral attack and sustain.

According to Jason Lollar, “Most of our current pickup offerings are inspired by vintage guitar tones: not the case here. The dB has a totally different look and sound designed to appeal to the player looking for harder, heavier and more aggressive tones.”

While dB Humbuckers sound great with standard 500k ohm pots, Lollar suggests using 1 meg pots, which will help maximize fidelity and offer greater versatility. The dB’s d.c. resistance is 11.20K ohms for the neck version and 12.77K ohms for the bridge version. They have an MSRP/MAP price of $185 each and are available with either single conductor or four conductor lead wires.

For more information:
Lollar Pickups

Cool Gear Alert: Kiesel Zeus Headless

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IK Multimedia's MODO BASS

As many of you know, my current main guitar is a Kiesel Vader V7. I love that little thing! It’s very comfortable to play and sonically very flexible. Kiesel has now followed up the Vader design with the Zeus, a slightly Telecaster-esque outline which addresses my one complaint about the Vader: that sometimes the way I rest the guitar on my leg interferes with the tuners at the back. And it’s not just a Vader with a different outline: the Zeus is bolt-on whereas Vader is a neck-through guitar, so the sound will be a little different. It’s available in 6, 7 and 8-string standard and multiscale, or 4, 5 and 6-string bass. You can learn more about the Zeus here and in the video below.

New Podcast Episode: Roger Mayer

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IK Multimedia's MODO BASS

Roger Mayer is the Father of the Fuzz. Oracle of the Octavia. His early effects for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page changed the way we listen to and play guitar, and he’s still making great gear today. Join us for a chat about why analog is superior to digital, what it was like to work with Jimi Hendrix, and the emotion-heightening impact of a well-placed effect. 

Listen to it on iTunes here, in the embedded player below, or in the podcast catcher of your choice. Let me know if you need me to add it to any podcast services that you’re not finding it on yet! 

Be sure to visit Roger’s website at roger-mayer.co.uk.

If you’d like to help support I Heart Guitar, visit patreon.com/iheartguitar to support the podcast and gain access to subscriber-exclusive episodes, or donate to PayPal.Me/iheartguitar

Tube Amp Doctor Releases the TAD RT001-BPD

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Worms, Germany (January 8, 2018) — The newest addition to Tube Amp Doctor’s well known line of high quality premium tubes will be first introduced to the American market at NAMM 2018.

Perfectly symmetrical systems will guarantee for balanced signal amplification as well as balanced current draw of both triodes. This special selection and the fact that the TAD 12AX7A-C is one of the strongest tubes around, make the TAD RT001-BPD the perfect choice for the phase inverter/driver position in any tube-driven amplifier.

Benefits:

For guitar amps:

  • Tight deep bass, complex lively mids and silky top end
  • Improves overall definition
  • Great sustain
  • Harmonic overdrive and maximum dynamics

For hi-fi-audio:

  • Massive soundstage improvement
  • Pleasing harmonic overtones
  • Underlines the amp’s signature tone quality
  • Matching in pairs is highly recommended for hi-fi stereo amplifiers and mono block pairs

The TAD 12AX7A-C BALANCED PHASE DRIVER (RT001-BPD) can replace any 7025, 12AX7WA, 12AX7WB, 12AX7LPS, 12AX7EH, ECC83 or E83CC. Suggested retail price is $17.50 and it can be ordered directly from TAD or their US-distribution.

For more information:
Tube Amp Doctor

Synergy Amps Unveils the SYN-1 Single Module Tube Preamp

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Los Angeles, CA (January 5, 2018) — Synergy Amps, the innovative maker of modular amplifiers and swappable boutique preamp sections, has introduced the new SYN-1 Single Module Tube Preamp.

The SYN-1 is a roadworthy, professional housing that is compatible with any of Synergy’s interchangeable preamp modules. Want to change your sound? Simply slide in a different Synergy preamp module and you can access a whole new array of boutique amp tones.

The SYN-1 provides a powerful, flexible gateway to boutique tone in several different ways. Using the SYN-1 loaded with a Synergy module you can:

  • Go direct out (XLR or 1/4”) into a recording console, concert venue mixer or powered monitor.
  • Add two new “boutique” channels to your current amp via the series effects loop.
  • Run from the direct out of the Synergy into your current amp’s input if there is no effects loop (This method does not bypass your preamp, and only gives you the two channels of your Synergy module)

Going Direct: The SYN-1’s XLR output with cabinet simulation sends your 12AX7-driven tone directly to your recording interface, live mixing console, power amp input or powered monitor. This is true tube-driven tone, not a digital emulation. Do you have your own impulse response that you’d rather use? No problem. Simply bypass the cab sim on the back of the SYN-1. Synergy worked hand-in- hand with legendary amp designer Steven Fryette to outfit the SYN-1 with a front-mounted Sag control, offering the feel and response that only a great tube amp can give.

  • Intuitive and fast way to record great tube tone
  • Balanced XLR output or ¼” output offers cab simulation with bypass
  • Licensed Fryette Sag control lets you dial in the preamp’s feel and response
  • Onboard effects loop for use with your rack and floor-based effects

Turn Any Amp Into a Boutique Tone Machine: By hooking the SYN-1 to your amp’s series effects loop with a straightforward 3-cable method, you’re able to footswitch between the two channels on your Synergy preamp module and your amp’s built in channel(s). By clicking ‘bypass’ on the footswitch, you’ve now bypassed the amplifier’s preamp, giving complete tonal control to the SYN-1, and can switch between the two channels of the module. With the simple swap of a module you can turn any amp into a Diezel VH4, Friedman BE, Morgan AC40, or any other of the top-tier amps recreated in the Synergy line. Because each Synergy module boasts two footswitchable channels, and an effects loop, you can effortlessly call up new tones on the fly. Best of all, with the SYN-1’s onboard effects loop, you still have the ability to run your favorite rack and stompbox effects before or after the preamp section.

You might ask, “but my amp doesn’t have a series effects loop… can I still use the Syn1?” The answer is YES! You would simply use the ¼” direct out into the input of your amp. However, this method will only allow the use of the 2 channels on the Synergy module, and will not bypass the preamp of your existing amp… but it WILL give you two boutique amp channels!

  • Harness the tones of top-tier amp builders through any series effects loop equipped amplifier
  • Instantly replace any amp’s preamp section with an upgraded, tube-driven module of your choice, or switch between your amp’s preamp and the Syn1.
  • Offers convenient and consistent tube tone for players relying on rental gear
  • Add two additional channels to any series effects loop equipped amp
  • Channels are easily footswitchable
  • Select between your module’s channels and your amp’s internal tone on the fly

The SYN-1 carries a street price of $499. For more information, visit synergyamps.com.

For more information:
Synergy Amps

Levy’s Leathers Launches the Utopia Magnolia and Lawless Guitar Straps

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Winnipeg, MB (January 5, 2018) — Levy’s is pleased to introduce the Utopia Magnolia guitar strap MS317EM. The strap is 2 1/2” wide and adjustable from 41” to 55”. Also available in XL wich adds 12” to overall length.

Available in sand (SND) and purple (PRP).

Danica Levy: Inspired by the beautiful flower, the magnolia. I wanted to design a more gentle and feminine counterpart to the wild rose.  The pinks, purples and greens in the magnolia accomplish this.  I think this is our most feminine “pretty” strap in the 2018 collection.

Street Price: $71.99.

Levy’s is pleased to introduce the Lawless guitar strap model MS317LWS. The strap is 2 1/2” wide and adjustable from 41” to 55”. Also available in XL wich adds 12” to overall length.

Available in Black (BLK), brown (BRN), navy (NAV) and burgundy (BRG).

Danica Levy: Inspired by the art of the North American indigenous Navajo tribe. The patchwork design is simple but prominent. The earth tones of the strap are brought together in pleasing and harmonious combinations, allowing your eye to flow over the length of the strap easily and effortlessly.

For more information:
Levy’s Leathers

Phil X and LAA Custom Release the FJOD

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Torino, Italy (January 5, 2018) — The pedal was designed by Carlo Sorasio and the man himself, Phil X, over the course of three years.

The result offers plenty of gain to get a big crunch sound on any clean amp. It includes a custom two-EQ circuit to fine-tune the overall response and features a Shitty/Great Amps toggle.

The FJOD uses the LAA-Custom TrueCoil technology, a miniaturized output transformer and Class A driver to achieve the magical tone, feeling, and color of some of the best studios and iconic studio mic preamps.

First 100 FJOD units will be hand-signed by Phil and you have the chance to get a special number by request (very low serial numbers are gone).

We are building these pedals right now, ask for delivery time!

Features:

  • Input impedance: 2.4 MOhm
  • Output impedance: 10 kOhm max
  • Maximum gain: 10dB @ 1kHz
  • Maximum output: 28dB @ 9VDC; 37dB @ 12VDC
  • Drive, Bottom, Top, Volume controls easily accessible
  • Shitty/Great Amps selector
  • Class A buffered bypass
  • True Coil custom Output transformer
  • Power supply: 9-12V DC external AC-DC adaptor
  • Current Drain: 60mA Dimensions (mm): 105x93x55
  • Weight (gr): 150

Handcrafted in Europe by LAA Custom, the pedal is available for 239€ – $269 (RRP).

Watch the company’s video demo:

For more information:
LAA Custom

Guild Unveils 2018 Models

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Santa Monica, CA (January 4, 2018) — This winter, Guild is expanding upon its best-selling 200 Series with the D-240E FM. This new limited-edition model features the same full-bodied and powerful tone of the D-240E, but with exotic flamed mahogany back and sides and a solid spruce top for a premium look, meaty tone and dynamic response. The dreadnought shape provides guitarists with a classic acoustic sound and balanced voicing, and Guild’s historic archback design offers improved bass response and projection. The D-240E FM is a complete package as it features Guild’s AP-1 preamp system with soundhole mounted controls and a deluxe padded Guild gig bag.

  • D-240E Flamed Mahogany – $449.99 Street • $625 MSRP

Guild is proud to re-introduce the F-40, a legendary jumbo acoustic that made Guild a staple in so many singer-songwriters’ careers throughout the 60s and 70s. The F-40 gets its incredible clarity, balance and volume from a solid Sitka spruce top and solid African mahogany back and sides. The jumbo frame makes it perfect for players searching for outstanding projection and enhanced bass response. Finishing touches such as an East Indian rosewood bridge and fingerboard, premium 20:1 open-gear tuners, and a hand-cut bone nut and saddle all add to the F-40’s classic vibe. A satin varnish finish gives this guitar its familiar broken-in look and feel, while allowing the tone woods to “breathe” and reach their sonic potential.

Timeless appointments on the F-40 include a vintage style rosette, tortoiseshell pickguard, white ABS binding, and Guild’s peak logo inlaid on the headstock. Each F-40 ships with a Guild archtop wood case with a built-in Humicase® humidification system. Finish options include satin varnish in Natural, or Antique Burst with Cabernet back, sides and neck. A discreet, USA-made LR Baggs Element VTC pickup is also available.

  • F-40 Natural – $1,599.99 Street • $2,000 MSRP
  • F-40 Antique Burst – $1,699.99 Street • $2,125 MSRP
  • F-40E Natural – $1,799.99 Street • $2,250 MSRP
  • F-40E Antique Burst – Street $1,899.99 • $2,375 MSRP

Guild is excited to announce the re-release of its flagship USA-made jumbo acoustic, the F-55. Formerly known as the F-50R, the new F-55 is built in Southern California and features a tight-grained solid AAA Sitka spruce top, solid Indian rosewood back and sides, and scalloped Adirondack braces for powerful volume and exceptional warmth, separation and clarity. Its strong, focused bass response, combined with sweet, singing mids and crisp highs give it a distinctive Guild voice that truly sets this guitar apart from all others.

Elegant cosmetic appointments and finishing touches include Guild’s classic “V-block” and G-shield mother-of- pearl inlays, bound fingerboard and headstock, “railroad track” fretboard purfling, gold Gotoh hardware, a beautiful nitrocellulose lacquer finish in Natural or Antique Sunburst, and a sleek humidified case. Exceptional build quality and premium specifications make it a worthy heir to the historic Guild jumbo legacy.

Available with LR Baggs Electronics.

  • F-55 in Natural – $3,499.99 Street • $4,380 MSRP
  • F-55 in Antique Burst – $3,599.99 Street • $4,500 MSRP
  • F-55E in Natural – $3,799.99 Street • $4,750 MSRP
  • F-55E in Antique Burst – $3,899.99 Street • $4,870 MSRP

After over a year of development, the Guild Jetstar is back! Available in three exciting finishes (Black, White and Seafoam Green), the newly reintroduced Jetstar embodies the ultimate retro vibe with a unique body shape that’s been off the grid since the 1960s. In terms of style, this reissue remains faithful to the first iteration of the S-50 Jetstar with a solid mahogany body and set neck. Further period-correct details include six inline tuning machines and Guild’s rare pearloid pyramid logo on a scroll-shaped headstock. The Jetstar features a shallow C shape mahogany neck and pao ferro fingerboard with simple pearloid fret markers. Instead of its original shortened neck, this modified Jetstar has a 25 1/2” scale length for faster feel and improved response. Dual Guild LB-1 Little Bucker pickups bring a usable array of tones from sparkly clean single coil-esque spank to thick and warm humbucker sounds that fatten and sing when driven. Comes inside a Guild deluxe padded gig bag.

  • Jetstar Black – $599.99 Street • $840 MSRP
  • Jetstar Vintage White – $599.99 Street • $840 MSRP
  • Jetstar Seafoam Green – $599.99 Street • $840 MSRP

For more information:
Cordoba Music Group