Posts tagged ‘boost’

21/05/2019

Review: Bluetone Amps Fried Eye & Bugaboo distortion pedals

Finnish valve amp specialist Bluetone Custom Amplifiers has broken new ground by releasing a trio of handmade pedal effects, comprising a delay/reverb-unit, called Echoes, as well as two different preamp/distortion boxes, the Fried Eye and the Bugaboo.

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Bluetone’s Fried Eye Distortion (269 €) offers two high-quality effects in one box:

The boost circuit can be run separately from the pedal’s distortion side. It offers a considerable amount of boost (up to 12 dB), which is adjustable with the pedal’s Boost control.

But the Fried Eye Distortion’s main raison d’être is, of course, its comprehensive distortion section. The pedal’s distortion circuit is a solid-state version of the acclaimed Bluetone Fried Eye tube amplifier’s crunch channel. Its aim is to give you a wide range of Marshall-inspired crunch and distortion tones.

Bluetone’s Fried Eye Distortion pedal runs on nine to eighteen volts DC supplied by a PSU (not included) via a standard 2.1 mm plug (centre negative). A look under the hood reveals a large circuit board and clean and neat wiring.

Soundwise the Fried Eye pedal hits the bull’s-eye in my opinion, offering a wide range of Marshall-type tones from a light crunch to full blast. The effect’s three-band EQ works really well in tailoring the effects sound to your musical needs.

This short audio clip gives you an idea of the Fried Eye’s basic sound with the Gain control set to 12 o’clock. The first half showcases the distortion side on its own, with the boost kicking in for the second half. I used a Hamer USA Studio Custom with the bridge humbucker engaged. The clip was recorded direct off a Blackstar HT-1R’s speaker emulated output:

The Muse-inspired demo song shows you how the Fried Eye performs in a band mix. I used a Bluetone Shadows Jr. combo and a Shure SM57 to record all guitar tracks.

The demo features the following guitars:

• rhythm guitars – Hamer USA Studio Custom (left channel), Gibson Melody Maker SG (centre), Fender Stratocaster (right channel)

• reverse guitar – Gibson Melody Maker SG

• lead guitar – Hamer USA Studio Custom, Morley wah-wah

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The Bluetone Bugaboo Distortion pedal (249 €) is based on the company’s none-more-Metal Bugaboo valve amplifier’s crunch channel.

The Bugaboo is aimed more squarely at the Hard Rock- and Metal-crowd, offering much more gain and a lot more juicy compression than the Fried Eye pedal.

The wiring inside our review unit looks a bit less tidy, due to the long wires going from the circuit board to the pots and switches. I’d like to stress, though, that this specific pedal is a very early production model that has been superseded by a more compact version (but with completely identical specs and features) recently!

The Bugaboo-pedal, too, runs on nine to eighteen volts DC supplied by a PSU (not included) via a standard 2.1 mm plug (centre negative).

Bluetone’s Bugaboo does exactly what is says on the tin:

This pedal turns any amp into a fire breathing thing of beauty, offering plenty of gain. The three-band EQ has been bolstered by two very nifty mini-switches. Bite offers a presence boost that will help your guitar to cut through even the densest mix, while Tight helps you keep the bottom end from becoming too boomy.

This short audio clip gives you an idea of the Bugaboo’s basic sound with the Gain control set to 12 o’clock, Bite engaged and Tight turned off. I used a Hamer USA Studio Custom with the bridge humbucker engaged. The clip was recorded direct off a Blackstar HT-1R’s speaker emulated output:

The demo song shows you how the Bugaboo performs in a band mix. All guitar tracks were recorded direct off a Blackstar HT-1R’s speaker emulated output. The song contains the following guitar tracks:

• Rhythm guitars – Fender Stratocaster (left) & Gibson Melody Maker SG (right)

• Lead guitar – Hamer USA Studio Custom

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In my view, the clean, business-like look of the new Bluetone-pedals is a clear bonus, especially on stage. Sure, the Fried Eye and Bugaboo don’t sport any flashy paint jobs that scream ”Hey, man, I’m a weird boutique pedal”, but at least you can tell instantly what type of pedal you’re dealing with, and which knob (or switch) does what.

In terms of their sounds both units are winners, each offering a wide array of different shades of distortion, with the Fried Eye being a bit more ”Rock” and the Bugaboo a tad more ”Metal” in character. These are professional grade, handmade effect pedals at a fair price.Save

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27/02/2015

Review: Music Man John Petrucci Majesty

Music Man Majesty – teaser

Dream Theater’s guitar wizard John Petrucci has a long and very fruitful association with Music Man. Over the years, the company has released several signature models, both US-made and as part of their less-expensive Sterling brand.

Last year Ernie Ball/Music Man have released a new top-of-the-line John Petrucci signature instrument – the Music Man Majesty (Majesty was the original name of the Progressive Rock band that became Dream Theater).

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Music Man Majesty – case

The first thing that will strike you about the new package is the sensationally low weight:

When I went to pick up the Music Man Majesty for this review (from DLX Music Helsinki), I had to open the case and check, because I suspected the guitar was missing. No, it really was in there…

Music Man Majesty – full front – video

Music Man’s Majesty (current price in Finland approx. 3,900 €) is a modern top-drawer signature model, which conveys the artist’s clear vision of what his dream guitar should be like. This isn’t simply a souped-up classic model – Petrucci and Music Man started with a clean slate.

Music Man’s new signature model is a Neck-Through design with a two-octave mahogany neck, and a very smooth neck joint at the 23rd fret.

Music Man Majesty – beauty shot 2

The Majesty’s body, too, is highly sculpted – you could call it streamlined – and it fits the player’s body perfectly.

The body wings, made from basswood, are capped by a maple top. The area on the top, which forms a sort of shield or crest, may look like graphite weave at first glance. In reality, this is a translucent area of the maple top, and what you see is a laser-etched graphic design resembling the look of carbon composite.

The review guitar’s finish is called Arctic Dream, which is a matte finish changing from violet to a dark green hue, depending on how the light hits the body.

Music Man Majesty – tuners

Music Man’s classic four-and-two headstock sports a set of locking Schaller M6-tuners.

Music Man Majesty – headstock

Below the compensated – and self-lubricating nut – you can see the metallic Dream Theater-logo inlay.

Music Man Majesty – fretboard

The quality of the fretwork on the Majesty is outstanding. We can find 24 jumbo-sized, stainless-steel frets installed into the ebony fingerboard.

The shield inlays are in fact tiny mirrors.

Music Man Majesty – vibrato bridge

The floating vibrato bridge is Music Man’s own, cool design, which features steel saddles equipped with Fishman piezo elements for acoustic-style tones.

Music Man Majesty – pickups

The Majesty’s magnetic side comprises a pair of DiMarzio Illuminator humbuckers (John Petrucci’s signature pickups), installed straight into the body wood.

Music Man Majesty – piezo switch

Music Man’s Majesty comes with a very dedicated, special switching system; the technically-minded among you can take a look at the schematics:

Music Man Majesty – schematics

The three-way switch in the top horn lets the player select between piezo-only, magnetic-only, and piezo-plus-magnetic settings.

Music Man Majesty – controls

Beneath the strings you will find a second three-position toggle switch, that works as a pickup selector for the DiMarzios.

The control next to it is the volume control for the humbuckers. It also contains a push-push switch for engaging the Majesty’s active signal boost.

The second knob is a passive tone control, whose push-push switch works in the pickup selector’s middle position. ”Down” gives you the full sonic attack of two humbuckers, while the ”up” position switches off the outer coils of both pickups for thinner, more Fender-style sounds.

The third switch (near the output jack) is the volume control for the piezo signal. This knob sports a momentary switch, which allows you to reconfigure the output from standard mono – both the piezo and magnetic signals are sent to the same amplifier – to ”stereo”, enabling you to use a Y-cable to send the piezo’s output to a dedicated acoustic amp (or to a mixing console).

Music Man Majesty – trim pots

By using a tiny screwdriver you can adjust the active signal booster for the humbuckers, as well as set the maximum volume of the piezo signal, and the Fishman two-band EQ.

Music Man Majesty – back beauty

The Majesty’s active electronics are powered by a 9 V block.

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Music Man Majesty – body beauty

Some ”signature models” are only for posing. Others are simply souped-up, or slightly tweaked, versions of classic guitar models.

Music Man’s Majesty is one of the few instances, when a guitar hero had very clear and strong views regarding the look, the features, and the sounds of his dream guitar. Petrucci and Music Man set to work, and no compromises were accepted.

The Majesty is a fantastic instrument, and each guitar leaves the factory set up to Mr Petrucci’s exacting specifications. You get the exact guitar the master himself plays on stage and in the studio.

As already mentioned, this guitar is extremely light and comfortable, and balances perfectly on a guitar strap.

The neck profile is a relatively thin D. The satin-finished neck feels very fast and friendly, without being insubstantial.

Thanks to the jumbo frets and the flat fingerboard radius (17″) the Majesty is very bend-friendly. The action is low, but completely free of fret buzz (low-E: 1.7 mm/high-e: 1.6 mm).

The Majesty’s floating vibrato works very smoothly, and has excellent return-to-pitch.

The piezo system works great! It gives you a credible ”acoustic” tone in the context of a Rock or Metal band, and also comes in handy to ”freshen up” the Majesty’s magnetic signal (the clip has the following order:  piezo –> piezo + coil split –> coil split):

Here’s an example of the clean magnetic tones you can get from this Music Man. The powerful DiMarzio Illuminators are loaded with ceramic magnets (neck PU –> both (full) –> both (coil split) –> bridge PU):

The Majesty’s coil split and active boost give you three different degrees of distortion without even stepping on a single pedal. This clip has the coil split first, followed by the full middle position:

The active boost on this Petrucci-guitar is a great addition to any guitarist’s tool-pack, used here on the bridge pickup:

And, lastly, the audio track off the Youtube-video:

Music Man Majesty – body beauty 2

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Music Man Majesty – beauty shot

The Music Man John Petrucci Majesty is a top-grade signature guitar with an extremely wide array of sounds. In addition to the high quality and exemplary workmanship on display, the best thing about this guitar is that the Majesty’s features, its playability and its versatile sound also make it a great choice for many other guitarists, too.

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Music Man John Petrucci Majesty

approx. 3,900 € (hard case included)

Finnish distributor: EM Nordic

A big thank you to DLX Music Helsinki for providing the review guitar!

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Pros:

+ workmanship

+ finish

+ non-locking vibrato bridge

+ playability

+ versatile electronics and switching

+ sound

26/02/2015

Testipenkissä: Music Man John Petrucci Majesty

Music Man Majesty – teaser

Progressiivisen Rockin mestarilla ja Dream Theater -bändin keulakuvana tunnetulla John Petruccilla on jo pitkään ollut hedelmällinen suhde Music Manin kanssa. Firmalla on ollut jo pitkään useampi nimikkomalli valikoimassaan, ja myös Sterling-alabrändiltä löytyy Petrucci-malleja.

Viime vuonna ilmestyi uusin, kaikilla herkuilla varustettu nimikkomalli – Music Man Majesty.

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Music Man Majesty – case

Ensimmäinen asia jonka huomaa, on varmaan koko paketin yllättävän alhainen paino:

Kun hain Music Man Majestyn testiin (Helsingin DLX Musiikilta) piti ensin tarkistaa, onko laukussa edes kitara, koska laukku tuntui tyhjältä. Kyllä, siinä se kaunotar oli…

Music Man Majesty – full front – video

Music Man Majestyn (hintaluokka noin 3.900 €) tapauksessa kyseessä on todellakin huippumoderni nimikkomalli, jolla on selvästi ihan omat näkemyksensä siitä, millainen nykyaikaisen sähkökitaran pitäisi olla. Majestyn suunnittelu lähti liikkeelle lähes tyhjältä pöydältä.

Music Manin uutuusmallissa mahonkikaula jatkuu yhtenäisenä läpi koko rungon (ns. Through-Neck), mikä mahdollistaa erittäin sulavan kaulan ja rungon liitoksen 23. nauhan kohdalla.

Music Man Majesty – beauty shot 2

Myös Majestyn runko on veistetty erittäin sulavaksi, minkä ansiosta se myötäilee täydellisesti soittajan kehoa.

Runko on tehty kahdesta lehmussiivestä, joiden päälle on liimattu suhteellisen ohut vaahterakansi. Kilpeä (tai vaakunaa) muistuttava, tumma keskiosa näyttää ensisilmäykseltä hiilikuidulta, mutta todellisuudessa vaahteran pintaan on poltettu laserilla grafiittia muistuttava kuvio.

Testikitaran viimeistelyn nimi on Arctic Dream, ja sen väri vaihtelee katselukulmasta riippuen syvästä violetista tumman vihreään.

Music Man Majesty – tuners

Music Man -viritinlapaan on asennettu Schallerin laadukkaita lukkovirittimiä.

Music Man Majesty – headstock

Kompensoidun satulan ja ensimmäisen nauhan välillä näkyy Dream Theaterin logo.

Music Man Majesty – fretboard

Majestyn nauhatyö on ensiluokkaista. Eebenpuiseen otelautaan on asennettu 24 jumbonauhaa ruostumattomasta teräksestä.

Kaikki otemerkit uudessa Petrucci-mallissa ovat pieniä peilejä.

Music Man Majesty – vibrato bridge

Music Manin omassa kelluvassa vibratallassa on teräksisiä tallapaloja, joihin on upotettu Fishmanin piezoelementtejä.

Music Man Majesty – pickups

Majestyn magneettiset mikrofonit taas ovat kaksi DiMarzio Illuminator -humbuckeria – John Petruccin nimikkomalleja, siis – jotka on asennettu suoraan runkoon ilman kehyksiä.

Music Man Majesty – piezo switch

Music Man Majesty -mallin kytkentä on hyvin erikoinen, mikä näkyy myös firman kytkentäkaaviosta:

Music Man Majesty – schematics

Yläsarvessa on kolmiasentoinen kytkin, jolla valitaan käytetäänkö ainoastaan piezopuolta, magneettimikrofoneja vai molempia yhdessä.

Music Man Majesty – controls

Kielten alapuolelta löytyy perinteinen kolmiasentoinen mikkikytkin DiMarzio-humbuckereille.

Ensimmäinen säädin on humbuckerien volume. Tähän potikkaan on piilotettu myös push-push-nostokytkin, jolla voi ottaa käyttöön Majestyn aktiivisen signaaliboosterin.

Toinen säädin on passiivinen tone-nuppi. Tässäkin säätimessä on push-push-kytkin, jolla kytketään mikkien uloimmat kelat pois päältä, silloin kun mikkivalitsin on keskiasennossa. Näin saadaan Music Manilta myös ohuempia, Fender-tyylisiä soundeja.

Jakkilähdön lähellä oleva, kolmas säädin on piezo-puolen volume. Tässä säätimessä on painokytkin, jolla voi valita, käytetäänkö kitaran lähtöä monona – jolloin sekä piezo- että magneettiset mikrofonit menevät samaan vahvistimeen – tai stereona (Y-johdolla), jolloin piezosignaalin voi kytkeä akustiseen vahvistimeen tai suoraan mikseriin.

Music Man Majesty – trim pots

Elektroniikkalokeron kannen läpi voi säätää pikkuruuvarilla booster-toiminnon ja piezosignaalin tasoja, sekä Fishmanin kaksikaistaista EQ:ta piezopuolelle.

Music Man Majesty – back beauty

Majesty-malli saa tarvitseman virtansa yhdestä 9 voltin paristosta.

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Music Man Majesty – body beauty

Joidenkin artistien ”nimikkomallit” ovat pelkästään mainoskuvia varten. Toiset nimikkomallit taas ovat kevyesti muunneltuja versioita jostain tietystä klassikkokitarasta.

Music Man Majesty sen sijaan on yksi niistä harvinaisista tapauksista, jossa kitarasankarilla oli erittäin selkeät näkemykset soittimen ulkonäön, ominaisuuksien, sekä soundien kannoilta, joita on sitten lähetty toteuttamaan ilman turhia kompromisseja.

Majesty on huippusoitin, ja jokainen yksilö lähtee Music Manin tehtaalta prikulleen samoilla säädöillä, joita John Petrucci itse käyttää.

Kuten jo mainittu, tämä kitara on ultrakevyt, ja se roikkuu hihnassa täydellisessä tasapainossa.

Satiinipintaisen kaulan profiili on suhteellisen ohut D. Se on siis melko nopealta ja mukavalta tuntuva tapaus, joka ei kuitenkaan ole vielä epämiellyttävän ohut.

Jumbo-kokoisten nauhojen ja loivan otelautaradiuksen (17 tuumaa) ansiosta kielten venytykset onnistuvat vaivattomasti.
Kieltenkorkeudetkin on säädetty melko matalaksi (matala E: 1,7 mm/korkea e: 1,6 mm), mutta kitara soi silti puhtaasti ja rämisemättä.

Majestyn kelluva vibra toimii mukavan sulavasti ja ilman vireongelmia.

Majestyn piezosignaali kuulostaa todella hyvältä. Se toimii hyvin akustisen kitaran sijaisena Rock-bändin kontekstissa, tai sitten magneettisen soinnin raikastajana (järjestys: piezo –> piezo + coil split –> coil split):

Tältä kuulostavat Music Manin puhtaat magneettiset soundit. Tehokkaissa DiMarzion Illuminator-humbuckereissa on keraamiset magneetit (järjestys: kaulamikki –> molemmat (täysillä) –> molemmat (coil split) –> tallamikrofoni):

Majesty-mallin humbucker-puolitus ja kitaran kytkettävä boosteri luovat pohjan kolmelle eri särösoundille, ja täysin ilman efektipedaaleja. Tässä soivat ensin puolitettu keskiasento ja sitten sama täysillä mikrofoneilla:

Petrucci-kitaran tehokas boosteri on oiva lisäys työkalupakkiin (käytössä tässä tallamikrofoni):

Ja viimeisenä vielä videon demobiisi:

Music Man Majesty – body beauty 2

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Music Man Majesty – beauty shot

Music Man Majesty on erittäin laadukas ja todella monipuolinen nimikkosoitin. Laadukkaan toteutuksen lisäksi parasta tässä soittimessa kuitenkin on, että Majestyn kattavat ominaisuudet ja laaja sounditarjonta sopivat – John Petruccin ohella – varmasti myös monelle muulle kitaristille.

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Music Man John Petrucci Majesty

Hintaluokka: noin 3.900 € (kova laukku kuuluu hintaan)

Maahantuoja: EM Nordic

Kiitos DLX Musiikille testisoittimen lainaamisesta!

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Plussat:

+ työnjälki

+ viimeistely

+ vibratalla

+ soitettavuus

+ erittäin monipuolinen elektroniikka

+ soundi

25/02/2015

Music Man John Petrucci Majesty – The Kitarablogi-video

Testi tulossa huomenna…

The review will be out on Friday…

Music Man Majesty – pickups

Maahantuoja: EM Nordic

17/08/2014

Testipenkissä: Tech 21 Fly Rig 5

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – with Strat

Tech 21 NYC on firma monien oivien soittolaitteiden takana, esimerkiksi SansAmp-sarjan analogiset vahvistin- ja kaappimallintajat, Bass Driver DI-boksi ja Trademark-vahvistimet ovat firman käsialaa. Kaikille näille tuotteille on yhteistä se, että ne ovat erittäin toimivia ja helppokäyttöisiä ratkaisuja sellaisiin pulmiin, joita ammattikitaristi kohtaa päivittäin.

Tech 21:n uusin laite on suunnattu paljon lentokeikkoja tekevän kitaristin tarpeisiin. Megakompaktin, metallinhohtoisen, pedaalilaudan kaltaisen uutuuslaitteen nimi on Fly Rig 5.

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – full top

Kuten näkyy tämän jutun avauskuvasta, Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 (299 €) ei ole todellakaan koolla pilattu. Pikkulauta sopii helposti gigbägin etutaskuun, sekä monen kitaralaukun tarvikeosastoon. Vahvistimen vuokraaminen keikkapaikalla ei ole enää tarpeellista – nyt täytyy pakata mukaan enää kitara, Fly Rig –lauta, muutama johto, sekä viritysmittari. Ja ei kun menoksi.

Fly Rig 5:n ulkokuori on valmistettu kokonaan metallista, ja sen paneelin harjattu pinta näyttää erittäin tyylikkäältä.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – with PSU

Pikkulauta toimii 12 voltin tasavirralla (150 mA/miinus keskellä) ja sen virtalaite kuuluu (luonnollisesti) hintaan.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – Plexi + Hot

Tech 21: uutukaisen nimeksi on valittu Fly Rig 5, koska lautaan on mahdutettu viisi erilaista efektiä/toimintaa.

Kaksi ensimmäistä efektiä löytyy Plexi-osiosta: Hot on säädettävä boosteri, josta saa tarvittaessa jopa 21 dB lisävahvistusta signaaliin. Toinen toiminta on Tech 21:n mallinnus vanhasta Marshall Plexi –kitaranupista (lainattu firman Hot-Rod Plexi-pedaalista), joka tarjoaa säädöt gainille (Drive), tonelle ja lähtötasolle (level).

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – SansAmp

Fly Rigin seuraava osio on SansAmp-osasto, joka pohjautuu Tech 21:n legendaarisiin analogeihin SansAmp-pedaleihin. SansAmpiin sisältyy analoginen vahvistin- ja kaappimallinnus kolmialueisilla taajuuskorjaimilla, sekä kaunisääninen kaiku.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – DLA

Viimeisen osion nimi on DLA (lyhenne englanninkielisestä sanasta delay), ja se tarjoaa viive-efektin tap tempo –toiminnolla. Drift-säätimellä voi lisätä signaaliin portaattomasti nauhakaiun-tyylistä huojuntaa.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – front panel

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – Tech 21 logo

Tech 21:n Fly Rig 5 on erittäin helppo käyttää: Jokainen jalkakytkin ja säädin on nimetty selkeästi. Tämän lisäksi jokaisen osion säätimet loistavat – jokainen omassa värissä – silloin kun kyseinen efekti tai toiminto on päällä.

Laudan erittäin kompakti koko vaatii kuitenkin yhden pienen hinnan: säätimet ovat suhteellisen pieniä, mikä vaatii ainakin nakkisormiselta hieman tarkkuutta niitä säätäessä. Toisaalta, kun omat asetukset on kerran löydetty, niitä ei varmaan lähdetä muuttamaan keskellä keikkaa – ja keikkakoneeksi Fly Rig on suunniteltu.

Soundillisesti Tech 21:n uutukainen täyttää ammattikitaristin vaatimukset kiitettävästi. Fly Rigin soundi on erinomainen ja sen eri efektit kattavat varmasti lähes jokaisen kitaristin perustarpeet keikkatilanteessa. Plexi-tyylinen särökanava, SansAmp-mallinnus, boosteri, viive ja kaiku erittäin kompaktissa paketissa tekevät Fly Rig 5:stä oivan työkalun Jazz-, Blues-, Rockabilly-, Pop- tai Rock-kitaristeille. Metalli-miehet tarvitsevat luultavasti enemmän säröä, sekä varmaan myös kohinaportin, genren soundeja varten, mutta he eivät luultavasti olekaan tämän laudan varsinainen kohderyhmä.

Tässä pätkässä soitan kaikki Fly Rig 5:n efektejä läpi vaahterakaulaisella Fender Stratocasterilla. Ihan alussa Fly Rig on kokonaan pois päältä:

Seuraavaksi samankaltainen audioesimerkki, tällä kerralla humbuckereilla varustetulla Hamer USA Studio Custom -kitaralla, jossa on enemmän säröä ja pidempi viiveaika:

Tässä olen simuloinut vanhaa nauhakaiku-soundia DLA-osion Drift-toiminnolla:

Fly Rigissä on myös yksi ”piilotettu” ominaisuus: DLA-osiota pystyy myös käyttää choruksena. Chorus-efekti syntyy hyvin lyhyestä viiveestä, jossa on mieto syklinen vireen huojunta. Lyhyellä Time-asetuksella ja lisäämällä hieman Driftiä signaaliin syntyy hieno chorus-efekti (soitan tässä Stratolla):

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – angle 2 + lights

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – all on

Jos soitat usein pistekeikkoja ulkomailla, eikä budjetti tai taustaryhmä anna myöten raahata vahvistintasi kaikkialle mukaan, Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 on kuin juuri sinulle tehty.

Tässä on onnistettu pakkaamaan kaikki tärkeimmät efektit ja ominaisuudet, joita keikkaileva kitaristi tavallisesti tarvitsee, yhteen kompaktiin pedaalilautaan. Ja lopputulos kuulostaa erittäin hyvältä ja inspiroivalta.

Joillekin vintage-ystäville Fly Rig varmasti voi tuntua liian modernilta, koska sillä ei ole sitä vintage-voodoa. Mutta jos tarvitset toimivan, käytännönläheisen ja ongelmavapaan ratkaisun, millä saat musiikkisi yleisölle, Tech 21:n Fly Rig 5 on kerrassaan loistava valinta!

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Tech 21 NYC Fly Rig 5

299 €

Maahantuoja: Musamaailma

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Plussat:

+ kestävän-oloinen metallikotelo

+ koko

+ paino

+ ominaisuudet

+ soundi

+ vastinetta rahalle

Miinukset:

– säätimien pienuus

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – angle 1

07/08/2014

Review: Tech 21 Fly Rig 5

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – with Strat

Tech 21 NYC is the company behind many groundbreaking products, such as the SansAmp range of amp modelling stomp boxes, the Bass Driver DI or the all-analogue modelling guitar amps of the Trademark series.

What all these products have in common is that they’re no-nonsense tools to make the life of the gigging and recording guitarist (and bassist) easier.

Tech 21’s newest product is designed to do away with the need to hire a guitar amp for fly-in gigs. It’s an ultra-compact and sleek, pedalboard-style device called the Fly Rig 5.

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – full top

As you can see from the picture at the start of this review, the Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 (current price in Finland: 299 €) is extremely compact. It will fit in the pouch of a gig bag, as well as in the accessories compartment of many guitar cases. Just pack your guitar, the Fly Rig, a couple of cables and your tuner – and you’re ready to roll!

The Fly Rig 5’s sturdy housing is completely made from metal, and its brushed fascia gives it a cool modern look.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – with PSU

The unit runs on 12 Volts of DC-power (150 mA/centre negative) and the power supply unit is (naturally) included.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – Plexi + Hot

Tech 21 call their new creation the Fly Rig 5, because it features five different main functions/effects.

Two of these functions are grouped together under the Plexi banner. The first one, labelled Hot, is an adjustable clean boost of up to a whopping 21 dB. Secondly, you will find an analogue model of a Marshall Plexi head (based on the Hot-Rod Plexi pedal), with its controls comprising Drive, Tone and Level.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – SansAmp

The next section is called SansAmp and includes Tech 21’s legendary analogue amp (and miked up cabinet) emulator (with three-band EQ), as well as a reverb effect.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – DLA

The last section is labelled DLA (short for delay) and offers you a delay effect with tap tempo. Thanks to the Drift-control you can also dial in grungy tape echo-type wow and flutter.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – front panel

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – Tech 21 logo

Tech 21’s Fly Rig 5 is really very easy to use: All the controls and footswitches are clearly labelled, and the control knobs of each section light up in a different colour to give you an easy to read visual clue as to which sections are currently on and which are turned off.

There’s one very minor trade-off due to the über-compact nature of this ’board, and that’s the small, slightly fiddly nature of the control knobs. On the other hand, you’re hardly likely to make major adjustments to your settings in the middle of a gig – and gigging is what the Fly Rig was conceived for.

In terms of its sound and performance, Tech 21’s newcomer easily fulfills the high standards guitarists have come to expect of the products of this company. The Fly Rig 5 sounds awesome and does exactly what it says on the tin. This combination of SansAmp, Plexi-style overdrive, booster, delay and reverb delivers the goods for the large majority of guitarists – be it Jazz, Blues, Rockabilly, Pop or Rock, the Fly Rig delivers! Metal and Thrash guitarists will most probably demand more gain and the inlusion of a noise gate, but I’d reckon that the metal crowd aren’t really the intended target group for this type of ’board.

Here’s a run-through of all of the Fly Rig 5’s effects, played on a maple-necked Fender Stratocaster. The clip starts with the Fly Rig turned off:

Here’s a similar run-through using a humucker-equipped Hamer USA Studio Custom, adding a bit more overdrive and a longer delay time:

The Delay-section’s Drift-control makes it easy to simulate tape echo effects:

A ”hidden” feature of the Fly Rig 5 is the possibility to use the Delay-section as a chorus effect. Because a chorus is basically nothing more than a slightly wobbly, very slightly offset doubling of the guitar signal, you can achieve this effect by setting the Delay-section’s Time-control to something very short, and using the Drift-control to adjust the chorus’ depth. Here’s an audio clip of a chorus setting, played with a Strat:

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – angle 2 + lights

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – all on

If you play a lot of fly-in gigs, and have neither the budget nor the manpower to lug a large guitar rig across the globe, Tech 21 NYC’s Fly Rig 5 is a true godsend.

It offers the most important features and effects a guitarist needs on stage or in the studio. And — most importantly – it sounds really great and inspiring.

True, using a device like the Fly Rig may not be as ”authentic” as using a real amp in the eyes of some anoraks, because Tech 21’s brand-new tool doesn’t have the ”kudos” of a mythical vintage amp. But if you’re after a pro-quality, lightweight, no-nonsense solution that will get your sound to the audience with the least amount of fuss and hassle, Tech 21’s Fly Rig 5 is hard to beat!

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Tech 21 NYC Fly Rig 5

299 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

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Pros:

+ sturdy, all-metal construction

+ size

+ weight

+ features

+ sound

+ value for money

Cons:

– tiny control knobs

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – angle 1

06/08/2014

Review out tomorrow: Tech 21 Fly Rig 5

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – angle 2 + lights

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Contact: Musamaailma

27/06/2014

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – the Kitarablogi-video

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Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – with Strat

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Lisätiedot: Musamaailma

18/06/2014

Tulossa… Coming soon… Tech 21 Fly Rig 5

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 – with Strat

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Lisätiedot: Musamaailma

16/05/2013

Review: Zoom A3

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Zoom A3 + Godin Acousticaster A6

Zoom’s A3 is the company’s brand-new, next-generation modelling effects unit for acoustic guitar.

The Zoom A3’s user interface is very similar to the one used in their MS-50G-pedal for electric guitar, but in terms of its features the A3 offers a whole plethora of stuff developed specially for use with acoustic guitars.

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zooma3

Zoom have managed to pack an unbelievable amount of processing prowess into its new compact contender (current street price in Finland approx. 170 €), yet the A3 is still easy to use. The most vital functions have been given their own knobs and pushbuttons, which makes the A3 easy to use and cuts back on unnecessary menu-jumping at the same time.

The Zoom’s main sections are the quality dual preamp with its three-band EQ, the pedal’s versatile guitar-modelling department, as well as the A3’s large assortment of effects.

Additionally, the pedal offers a switchable solo boost (up to 12 dB) with its own tone control, an automatic feedback remover (that can defeat up to three different frequencies simultaneously) and a digital tuner.

a3_memory

The Zoom A3 is a programmable unit, which can store up to 20 patches. The patches can also be lined up in an A/B-list, which enables you to select patches for on-the-fly switching.

a3_battery

The effect pedal comes with its own power supply unit, but it can also be run on four AA-size batteries.

Zoom A3 – mic input

The A3’s microphone input – which can run phantom power (+24V or +48V) for condenser mics – and the unit’s balanced XLR-output (with a dedicated ground lift switch) have been placed on the front panel.

Zoom_A3_right_side

Your guitar’s output goes into the Zoom’s pickup input on the unit’s right hand side. A three-way slider lets you select two pre-EQ curves – magnetic or piezo – as well as a linear option (flat).

Zoom_A3_left_side

The stereo outputs have been placed on the opposite side, next to the USB-port for (firmware updates).

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Zoom A3

Each of the A3’s patches can run up to three different effects simultaneously, so you could use the first slot for one of the Zoom’s 28 virtual guitars, the second slot for one of three virtual microphones (SM57, C414, U87) and the third for something like a reverb.

On the other hand, you can also use the A3 as a ”pure” multieffect, by not using any digital guitar-modelling and creating patches with three effects in them. You can choose from 40 different effect types – from compression and chorus all the way to pitch-shifting and reverb. The sound quality is very good, and each effect offers plenty of leeway for precise adjustment.

16_body_types

Still, I think the A3’s biggest selling point is its excellent modelling section, which makes it possible to achieve astonishingly realistic results with only a few clicks of a button.

To work properly the modelling section needs a clean guitar signal, so the first thing is to make sure you’ve got the input gain settings for your straight guitar output and/or the mic put in front of your guitar just right.

Once the levels are OK, miraculously changing the character of your guitar is quick and easy: First, use the rotary switch above the Zoom’s display to select the body type corresponding best to the guitar you’re using – for example, choose ”Mold Body” if you’re playing an Ovation or ”YMH” if your guitar is a Yamaha LL-series instrument.

acoustic_preamp

Next, you select a virtual guitar of your liking for the first effect slot in the chosen patch. You can access all of the A3’s 28 virtual guitars by using the Type-buttons. The guitars are displayed using their model names – like J-45, LG-2 or F-55 – as well as by an icon in the display.

If you’re using only a direct piezo signal as a starting point, you can add a good dose of authenticity by selecting a virtual microphone for the second effect slot of the patch. Each of the three virtual mics lets you choose between close- and ambient-miking, and whether the mic has been placed in front of the virtual sound-hole or near the virtual guitar’s bridge.

I have recorded three audio examples to give you an idea of the modelling technology’s sound:

The first clip features a Godin Acousticaster with an LR Baggs piezo system. First you’ll hear the straight piezo signal, followed by the these virtual guitars: A D-28, an OM-28, a 00-18 and an SJ-200. I’ve used Zoom’s virtual version of an AKG C414, and a touch of reverb:

The second clip has been recorded with me playing my Takamine N-20 -jumbo into a real condenser mic (an AKG C3000). The sequence of virtual guitar models is the same as above:

In the third clip I play my Tanglewood TW28-CSN -dreadnought, with the physical microphone and the sequence of virtual guitars staying the same:

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In my opinion the Zoom A3 is a very serious contender for the title of ”Best compact multieffect for acoustic guitar”. It is a fantastic little tool for both live use and in the studio, where it can act as your own production centre for acoustic guitars. The Zoom is very easy to use and it sounds great. The on-board anti-feedback circuitry works very nicely and the solo boost is a handy tool to have in a unit such as this.

The best bit is, nonetheless, the A3’s surprisingly organic-sounding modelling section. The Zoom’s biggest advantage, when compared to other similar effect units, lies in its versatility and the wide range of different virtual guitars on offer. It is very easy to find a good body-style match for your physical guitar’s input signal, and the amount of different virtual guitar models makes it almost hard to choose. The option to creatively misuse the Zoom A3 – by selecting the ”wrong” body-type for your input signal – is also fun, and yields some nice new flavours.

But, don’t listen to me, go out and give it a try yourselves.

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Zoom A3

Current street price in Finland approx. 170 €

Finnish distributor: Studiotec

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Pros:

+ value-for-money

+ quality preamp

+ mic input with phantom power

+ great-sounding virtual guitar models

+ effect quality

+ EQ-section has physical control knobs

+ Boost & Anti-Feedback functions

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