Posts tagged ‘Fender’

12/09/2019

Review: Bluetone Bass 200

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Finnish boutique amplifier makers Bluetone have recently introduced a compact bass combo – the Bluetone Bass 200 (1,450 €).

The Bass 200 is a modern hybrid bass amplifier that combines an all-valve preamp section with a compact and efficient Class-D power amp. The preamp’s architecture is based on four tubes (2 x ECC82/12AU7, 1 x ECC83/12AX7 & 1 x EF86), while the modern power amp section and the combo’s light poplar plywood cabinet result in a low weight of only 12 kilograms.

Another factor in keeping the combo’s weight player-friendly is Bluetone’s choice of speaker – a neodymium-powered Eminence Kappalite 3012HO, with a power handling of 400 W and an impedance of eight ohms.

The combo’s cabinet features two ports in the back, and it comes covered in black textured vinyl.

Thanks to its low weight the amp’s top handle is all you need to move the combo around, and its compact size (W= 42.5 cm, H= 52.5 cm, D= 29.5 cm) means it will fit in a car’s boot easily.

I very much like the business-like look of the Bass 200’s control panel, which means it’s very easy to find you way around the amp’s features.

The Bluetone Bass 200 offers separate knobs for preamp gain (Volume) and power amp output (Master). The active three-band EQ (plus Bright-switch) offers three-way selectable mid-band rotary switch, with centre frequencies of 300 Hz, 500 Hz and 1 kHz. The Mute-switch is a handy addition, which should be made a regular feature on any bass amplifier.

The Bluetone Bass 200 may be compact, but it is still fully spec’ed:

Around the back we find a switchable effects loop with its corresponding level control, an adjustable balanced, line level DI output (XLR), and Speakon and phone jack speaker outputs. Many bass combos have the speaker cable soldered to the internal speaker, which can be a real pain if the cable gets damaged. Bluetone’s Bass 200 goes the professional route, using a short high-quality speaker cable, which connects the back panel’s output to a sturdy phone jack on the combo’s back wall.

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The Bluetone Bass 200 offers plenty of clean headroom, but should you desire a little overdrive or some genuine valve distortion the combination of the Volume and Master controls will happily oblige. In terms of the drive character the Bass 200 is clearly more of an ”old school” amp, dishing out plenty of Ampeg-style tube goodness. For modern metal tones I’d probably suggest you use an appropriate distortion pedal.

In my mind a bass amp’s EQ-section should be a tool to fine-tune the amp’s tone to your personal taste and/or the room and playing situation you’re faced with, and not, as in some lesser amps, to make up for the amplifier’s tonal deficiencies. Bluetone’s Bass 200 scores full marks in this respect – even with the three-band EQ’s controls set to 12 o’clock the bass sound is great and well-balanced. This combo keeps the different tonal characters of different bass models intact, freeing up the EQ-section for additional tweaking.

Despite its name, the Bluetone Bass 200 actually delivers 250 watts of output power connected to the combo’s own Eminence speaker. This is more than enough power to use the combo ”as is” for most of the smaller and medium-sized venues most working bassist play in these days. And if you need to be louder, the excellent DI output will send the combo’s signal to a PA system.

The first clip features a Jazz Bass played fingerstyle:

I used a plectrum to play my Rickenbacker 4003:

And here’s an example of the Bass 200’s distorted sound, played with a short scale Squier Vista Musicmaster Bass:

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The Bluetone Bass 200 is a great choice if you want a compact and lightweight professional bass combo. No, this isn’t a cheap mass-produced bass combo from China, but I feel that for a handcrafted Finnish amplifier the price tag is really rather moderate.

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Bluetone Bass 200

1,450 €

Contact: Bluetone Amplifiers

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Pros:

+ handcrafted in Finland

+ size

+ weight

+ features

+ soundSave

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11/09/2019

Bluetone Bass 200 – the Kitarablogi-video

04/09/2019

Now on Soundcloud: Bluetone Bass 200

Here are two demo clips of the Bluetone Bass 200 hybrid combo (valve preamp & Class D power amp).

• Jazz Bass (fingerstyle) – Based on the song ”Did I Hear You Say You Love Me” by Stevie Wonder

• Rickenbacker (plectrum) – Based on the song ”Silly Love Songs” by Paul McCartney & Wings

Amp recorded combining the built-in DI Output with the signal coming off a Shure SM57.

Contact: Bluetone Amps

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26/08/2019

Bluesharppu-testi nyt Rockway-blogissa

Bluesharppujen katsaus on nyt ilmestynyt.

13/08/2019

Bluesharput tulossa Rockway-blogiin!

Huuliharppujen testi tulossa Rockway-blogiin.

Mukana ovat:

Fender Blues Deluxe

Hohner Silver Star

Suzuki Bluesmaster

Hohner Blues Harp MS

Suzuki Manji M-20

Seydel Session Steel

11/06/2019

Testipenkissä: Tokai TST-50 Relic

Tällä kertaa Kitarablogilla oli ilo tutustua upouuteen erikoiserään, joka tehdään Tokain japanilaisesta TST-50 Stratokopiosta. Erikoismallin nimi on TST-50 Relic (1.699 €; topattu pussi kuuluu hintaan), ja kitara on saatavilla kahdella mikrofonivaihtoehdolla – ostaja voi valita Seymour Duncanin SSL-1- ja SSL-3-setin välillä.

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Monen kitaristin mielestä TST-50 on yksi maailman parhaimmista Stratokopiosta, ja vanhoille japanilaisille Tokaille on jopa omat vintage-markkinat.

Uusi Tokai TST-50 Relic vie nyt asiat vielä pidemmälle tarjoamalla soittimia, joilla on kevyesti ”vanhennetut” metalliosat, hieman naarmuuntunut pleksi (ja mikkikuoret), sekä viimeistely aidolla nitrolakalla.

Tämän Relic-mallin perusajatus ei ole tarjota raskaasti keinovanhennettua kitaraa, vaan tässä haetaan sitä ”closet classic” -mojoa. Tokai TST-50 Relic on kuin vuonna 1961 uutena ostettu Strato, jota on soitettu vuosi tai kaksi kotioloissa, ja joka on sitten työnnetty sängyn alle ja unohdettu.

Erikoiserä on saatavilla ainoastaan Sonic Bluessa.

TST-50 Relic:n perusainekset ovat leppärunko, ruuvattu vaahterakaula, sekä ruusupuinen otelauta.

Otelaudassa on vintage-tyylinen radius (7,25 tuumaa) ja se tarjoaa 21 medium-jumbo-kokoista nauhaa (Dunlop 6130). Kaularaudan säätöruuvi löytyy kaulaliitoksen luona.

Erinomaiset Gotoh-virittimet näyttävät hieman kuluneilta, mutta ne eivät ole läheskään niin likaiset (tai jopa ruostuneet) kuin joissakin rajummissa relic-kitaroissa.

Sama pätee myös erikoisvalmisteiselle Gotoh-vibratallalle.

Tokai Guitars Nordic tarjoaa Tokai TST-50 Relic -mallia kahtena versiona:

SSL-1-versiossa löytyy luonnollisesti yksi setti Seymour Duncan SSL-1 -mikrofoneja, jotka ovat firman uudelleenpainos Fenderin alkuperäisistä myöhäisen 50-luvun ja varhaisen 60-luvun Stratomikeistä. Näissä mikrofoneissa on siis erikorkuisia Alnico V -magneetteja, joilla on pyöristetyt yläreunat. Keskimikki on käämitty vastasuuntaan mikä tarkoittaa, että väliasennoissa ulkopuoliset häiriöt katoavat. Tallamikki taas on teholtaan muita mikrofoneja hieman kuumempi.

SSL-3-setti on Seymour Duncanin Hot Strat -versio, jossa on vintagea pidemmät, samankokoiset Alnico V -magneetit, käännetty keskimikki, sekä hieman kuumempi tallamikki.

Jostain syystä testiin saapuneessa SSL-3-versiossa on kiiltävät säätöruuvit, kun taas SSL-1:llä varustetussa Tokai TST-50 Relic:ssä säätöruuvit ovat pikkasen ruosteiset, mikä sopii paremmin mallin yleisilmeeseen.

Säätimet toimivat perinteisellä tavalla – master volume, kaksi tonea (kaula- ja keskimikille), sekä viisiasentoinen mikrofonikytkin.

Tokai TST-50 Relic:n hintaan kuuluu laadukas pussi erillisellä sisäpussilla.

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Minulla on hyvä vanha ystävä, joka omistaa aidon vuoden 1964 Stratocasterin (sekin on viimeistelty sonic blue -värityksellä). Olen itse saanut soittaa kyseisellä kitaralla useampaan otteeseen ja täytyy sanoa, että Tokain kopio samasta aiheesta on erinomaisen onnistunut.

Jotkut Relic-version ominaisuuksista vaikuttavat pikkuseikoilta, mutta tällaisessa closet classic -tyylisessä soittimessa ne ovat erityisen tärkeitä. Hyvä esimerkki tästä on testikitaroiden lakkaus:

Kaulan puu on jätetty kolhuttomaksi, mutta silti kaula tuntuu vanhalta, mikä johtuu ohuesta, puolihimmeästä nitrolakasta. Relicin runko taas on kiiltävä, mutta puun syyt näkee ja tuntuu hyvin pidetyn vanhan soittimen tavoin. Minusta on vain hyvä, että Tokai ei ole lisännyt TST-50 Relic -malleihin keinotekoisia painaumia ja naarmuja. Nämä kitarat tulevat varmasti saamaan aitoja jälkiä soittamisen kautta.

Tokain kaulaprofiili on täydellinen uudelleenpainos varhaisen 1960-luvun Stratokaulasta – se on erittäin mukava, hieman ovaali C. Molemmat testikitarat ovat kevyitä.

Työnjälki, säädöt, sekä soitettavuus ovat molemmissa versioissa ensiluokkaista.

SSL-1-version soundissa on aitoa vintage-mojoa. Kitara on erittäin dynaaminen, ja ääni on kuivahko maiskuttavalla atakilla ja aimolla annoksella purevuutta:

SSL-3-version signaalitaso ei ole silmiinpistävästi kuumempi kuin SSL-1-kitarassa. Mikkisetin Hot Strat -nimitys tulee pitkälti mikkien voimakkaalta keskialueelta. Tämä on paksumpi ja lihaksikkaampi näkemys Straton soundista:

Käytin demobiisissä molempia TST-50 Relic -versioita. Klippi perustuu Beatles-klassikkobiisin ”And Your Bird Can Sing” kuuluisaan kitarasooloon, jota John Lennon ja George Harrison soittivat kahdella sonic blue -värisellä Fender Stratocasterilla. Vahvistimena toimi Bluetone Shadows Jr. -kombo ja sen eteen oli laitettu Shure SM57 -mikrofoni:

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Tokai TST-50 Relic on erinomainen uudelleenpainos 1960-luvun klassikkokitarasta. Kitarassa on aito vintagekitaran tuntuma, ilman että kaulaan tai runkoon olisi lisätty keinotekoisesti naarmuja. TST-50 Reliciltä saa rutkasti vanhan sähkökitaran lumoa, ilman aidon vintagesoittimen suurta hintalappua. Lisäbonuksena uuden Tokain kanssa ei tule sitä pelkoa, että kyseessä olisi hujaus tai eri kitaroista ja osista kasattu ”Palacaster”, joka on myyty arvosoittimena.

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Tokai Japan TST-50 Relic SSL-1 & SSL-3

1.699 € (topattu pussi kuuluu hintaan)

Lisätiedot: Musamaailma

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Plussat:

+ työnjälki

+ aito nitrolakka

+ soitettavuus

+ kaksi eri mikkiversiota tarjolla

+ soundi

Miinukset:

– vain yksi värivaihtoehtoSave

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05/06/2019

Review: Tokai TST-50 Relic

This time Kitarablogi.com had the pleasure to receive a special run model of Tokai’s Japanese TST-50 Strat-style guitar for testing. The special model in question is called the TST-50 Relic (1,699 €; includes gig bag), and the guitar is available with two different Seymour Duncan pickup sets – either loaded with SSL-1s or a set of SSL-3s.

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For many guitar fans the model designation TST-50 is synonymous with ”one of the finest Strat-copies in the world”, and there is a considerable market for vintage Tokais.

The Tokai TST-50 Relic takes things even further by offering instruments with lightly aged hardware, slightly scratched pickguard and pickup covers, as well as a genuine nitro lacquer finish.

The basic idea is not to offer a beaten up, abused electric guitar; Tokai is going for the look that wet dream of many guitar collectors – the vintage Strat, bought new in 1961, played for a little while, and then forgotten beneath the bed or in a closet.

Currently the TST-50 Relic is only available in Sonic Blue (just like John’s and George’s Strats).

The basic ingredients of the TST-50 Relic are an alder body and a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard.

The ’board has a vintage radius (7.25″) and comes with 21 medium-jumbo frets (Dunlop 6130). Truss rod adjustment is at the neck’s body end.

The excellent Gotoh machine heads are deliberately, but lightly tarnished, but devoid of any over-the-top filth or rust.

The same goes for the custom-made Gotoh vintage vibrato bridge.

Tokai Guitars Nordic offers the Tokai TST-50 Relic in two versions:

The SSL-1 version comes loaded with a set of Seymour Duncan SSL-1 pickups, which is the company’s recreation of a late-50s/early-60s set of Fender Stratocaster single-coils. This means we find staggered height Alnico V magnets with bevelled top edges, a reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle unit for hum-cancelling in the in-between settings, and a slightly overwound bridge pickup.

The SSL-3 set is Seymour Duncan’s ”Hot Strat” set that offers taller-than-vintage Alnico V magnets with level tops, a RW/RP middle pickup and a slightly hotter bridge unit.

For some strange reason the SSL-3 equipped Tokai comes with shiny, modern-type height adjustment screws, while the SSL-1 TST-50 Relic sports slightly rusty vintage-style screws.

The control setup is what you’d expect in an instrument like this, offering a master volume knob, two tone controls, and a five-way pickup switch.

Tokai’s TST-50 Relic comes with its own well-padded gig bag and a protective inner shroud.

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A good friend of mine owns a genuine 1964 Fender Stratocaster – which, funnily enough, is finished in Sonic Blue – which I’ve had the pleasure to play on a number of occasions, and I must say that Tokai are hitting all the right marks with their ”family heirloom” style Relic-version.

Many of these features are subtle, yet make all the difference in the world. Take the lacquer finish, for example:

On the neck the finish has an immaculate played-in feel, halfway between a gloss and a matte finish. The body is glossy, but it has that sunken in look of an old guitar, instead of the completely flat finish you’d normally expect on a brand-new instrument. The Tokai TST-50 Relic’s thin finish invites you to play the guitar and add some genuine battle scars of your own, instead of fake relicing out of the box.

The neck profile is a dead ringer for an early-60s Strat – a charming, slightly oval C. Both TST-50 Relics are comfortably lightweight.

The workmanship, setup, and playability of both versions proved top notch.

The SSL-1 version gives you a faithful recreation of a vintage Strat’s sound. The guitar sounds very dynamic and dry, while offering ample cluck and bite:

The SSL-3 version isn’t that much louder than its SSL-1 counterpart. Its Hot Strat-tag comes from the forceful mid-range it provides. This is a fatter and bigger take on the familiar Strat-theme:

The demo song features both versions of the TST-50 Relic. The clip is based on the classic Beatles track ”And Your Bird Can Sing” and it was recorded with a Bluetone Shadows Jr. combo and a Shure SM57:

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The Tokai TST-50 Relic gives you plenty of that vintage-style Strat-vibe, without resorting to any embarrassing fake dings and scratches. The TST-50 Relic feels and sounds very much like a 60-years old instrument, but comes with a far friendlier price tag. And you won’t have to worry that you might have spent all your money on a fake or a bitser.

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Tokai Japan TST-50 Relic SSL-1 & SSL-3

1,699 € (including gig bag)

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

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Pros:

+ workmanship

+ genuine lacquer finish

+ playability

+ two pickup options

+ sound

Cons:

– only available in Sonic BlueSave

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29/05/2019

Working on a review +++ Tulossa pian +++ Tokai TST-50 Relic

Contact: Musamaailma

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21/05/2019

Nyt Rockway-blogissa: Viiden edullisten T-tyylisten kitaroiden katsaus

Rockway-juttu löytyy TÄSTÄ.

23/01/2019

Simble As That – Simble Overdrive

Simble Overdrive

Dumble-style overdrive pedal designed by Lassi Ukkonen and made by Mad Professor.

DEMO TRACK

• Rhythm guitars – left: Kasuga ES-335 & Juketone True Blood; right: Fender Telecaster Custom & Juketone True Blood

• Lead guitar – Fender Stratocaster & Bluetone Shadows Jr.

CONTROLS:

• SENSITIVITY: Amount of distortion and compression.

• LEVEL: Output level.

• ACCENT: Adjusts the pick attack and brightness before the signal is overdriven.

• CONTOUR: Brightness of the output.

SPECIFICATIONS:

• Current draw: 10 mA at 9V DC approx.

• Input impedance: 430 kohm

• Output impedance: 50 kohm

• Voltage supply range: 9-12 V

• Silent True bypass

• Runs on 9 V battery or power supply (centre negative)