Posts tagged ‘TW28-CSN’

17/10/2018

Testipenkissä: Vox AC30S1

”Älä muuta mitään. AC30 on sinun lapsesi, ja sen tarina tulee jatkumaan ikuisesti!”

Näin sanoi Voxin alkuperäisen emoyhtiön, JMI:n, perustaja ja pomo Tom Jennings hänen pääsuunnittelijalle, Dick Denneylle (kuvassa), joskus 1960-luvulla.

Jo ennen kuin Marshall-vahvistimien tuotantoa edes suunniteltiin, Voxista oli jo tullut ensimmäinen brittivahvistimien legenda. Alkuperäistä Vox AC30:tä kehiteltiin vuonna 1959 The Shadows -yhtyeelle, AC15-mallin isommaksi versioksi. Hank Marvinilla ja Bruce Welchillä alkoi nimittäin tulla vaikeuksia saada kitaransoittoansa kuulumaan, koska bändin (ja Cliff Richardin) yleisöt ja keikkapaikat kasvoivat yhä nopeammin.

Vox AC30:n ensimmäinen versio oli yhdellä 12-tuumaisella kaiuttimella varustettu kombo. Kun The Beatles -yhtiön kitaristit alkoivat käyttää AC30:tä vahvistin oli jo kasvanut kahdella 12-tuumaisella varustetuksi versioksi, jota Vox kutsui ”Twiniksi”. John Lennon ja George Harrison olivat myös ensimmäisten joukossa saaneet kombon (silloin) uusimman version Top Boost -piirillä. Maailmaa järisyttävä Beatlemania oli Voxille parasta mahdollista mainontaa ikinä.

Voxin AC30 Twinistä Top Boostilla tuli Vox Amplificationin lippulaiva, joka on edelleen yksi maailman ikonisimpia kitaravahvistimia. Kiitos tästä kuuluu myös kaikille näille kitaristeille, kuten Brian May (Queen), Rory Gallagher, Lenny Kravitz ja U2:n The Edge, joille AC30 on ollut ja/tai on edelleen oman soundin kulmakivi.

Alkuperäisiä AC30-komboja (ja niiden uudelleenpainoksia) arvostellaan usein niiden koon ja painon vuoksi. Joillakin alkuperäisillä 60-luvun versioilla on myös taipumus kuumentua liikaa, vahvistimen uumenissa sijaitsevien putkien takia. Tämän lisäksi kaikki alkuperäiset AC30:t on rakennettu ilman master volume -säädintä, minkä vuoksi kombon omia särösoundeja saadaan tuotettua vain silloin, kun styrkkari pyörii (lähes) täysillä volyymillä.

Onneksi Voxin nykyisestä mallistosta löytyy monta eri nykyaikaisia ja virtaviivaistettua AC30-versioita.

Upouusi Vox AC30S1 (katuhinta noin 780 €) pakkaa AC30:n parhaita soundeja helppokäyttöiseen, master volumella -varustettuun ja helpommin kuljettavaan muotoon.

****

Uusi Vox AC30S1 on firman hyvin suositun kiinalaisen Custom-malliston uusin jäsen.

AC30 Single -kombolla on edelleen klassisen Voxin ulkonäkö, mutta yhdellä 12-tuumaisella varustetun uutukaisen kotelo on hieman perinteistä kapeampi. Tämä versio painaa ”vain” 24,5 kiloa, mikä on peräti yhdeksän kiloa vähemmän kuin Custom-sarjan AC30 Twin (AC30C2).

Uudessa kombossa on yksi kanava kaksikaistaisella EQ:lla, sekä master volume -säätimellä.

Tämän Voxin sisäinen kaiku on digitaalinen mallinnus perinteisestä jousikaiusta.

Ihan niin kuin 60-luvun esi-isällä, AC30S1:llä on puoliksi avoin takaseinä.

Vox Custom -sarjan vahvistimet on suunniteltu nykypäivän sähköturvallisuusmääräyksien mukaisiksi. AC30S1:n tapauksessa tämä näkyy esimerkiksi helposti vaihdettavissa ja hyvin tuuletetuissa vahvistinputkissa, metallisessa turvaverkossa (joka estää suoran pääsyn kuumiin putkiin), sekä irrotettavalla sähköjohdolla IEC-liittimellä.

AC30S1:n etuvahvistin käyttää kahta 12AX7-putkea, kun taas päätevahvistimessa pyörii peräti neljä EL84-putkea.

Kombon kaiutin on 12-tuumainen Celestion VX, joka on suunniteltu varta vasten tälle vahvistimelle.

Takapaneelista löytyy lähtö lisäkaiuttimelle (16 Ω), sekä efektilenkin liittimiä.

AC30S1:n EU-versioihin on lisätty myös Eco-ominaisuus, joka laittaa kombon omatoimisesti pois päältä kahden tunnin tyhjäkäynnin jälkeen.

****

Upouusi Vox AC30S1 on selkeästi helpompi nostaa ja kuljettaa kuin perinteiset Twin-versiot, mikä on varmasti hyvä uutinen meille kaikille.

Nyt seuraa pieni varoitus:

Vaikka Voxin mainoskuvissa uutta AC30 Singleä esitellään monissa olohuone-tyylisissä tilanteissa, tämä kombo ei mielestäni ole oikea valinta olohuonekäyttöön. Vaikka tässä on kyseessä ”vain” yhdellä 12-tuumaisella kaiuttimella varustettu styrkkari, AC30S1:llä ei ole minkäänlaisia ongelmia tarjota henkeäsalpaavia volyymitasoja. Totta, tässä on master volume -säädin, mutta sen toiminta on – ainakin testiyksilössä – epätasainen juuri potikan alkumetreillä, jossa hypätään hiljaisuudesta lähes suoraan noin 30 prosentin teholle. Tämä vahvistin ei kuulu kerrostaloon tai olohuoneeseen, vaan se haluaa isoon studioon tai Rock-klubin lavalle.

Vaikka uutukaisen toimintasäde on hieman Twin-versiota kapeampi (koska kotelosta löytyy vain yksi kaiutin), Vox AC30S1:n soundit ovat kuitenkin täynnä ehtaa AC30-magiaa. Niin kuin AC30:ssä yleensä, puhdasta headroomia ei ole tarjolla niin runsaasti kuin esimerkiksi Blackface-tyylisissä Fendereissä. AC30:n juju on juuri sen tasaisesti kasvavassa reunasärössä, joka lähtee liikkeelle jo kohtuullisen pienellä gainella, sekä crunch-särön tiheydessä ja purevuudessa.

Tästä pätkästä saa hyvän idean AC30S1:n soundimaailmasta. Gain on säädetty täysille ja vahvistimen säröä ohjataan Fender Stratocasterin volume-säätimellä:

AC30S1:n digitaalisesti mallinnettu jousikaiku kuulostaa erinomaiselta – tämä on ehkä paras putkivahvistimen sisäinen digikaiku pitkään aikaan:

Demobiisissä soitan pätkiä neljästä Vox AC30:llä soitetuista klassikkobiiseistä – ”Wonderful Land” (The Shadows), ”I Feel Fine” (The Beatles), ”We Will Rock You” (Queen), sekä ”Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (U2).

• Wonderful Land – Fender Stratocaster

• I Feel Fine – Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Casino, Tanglewood TW28-CSN (magneettisella Seymour Duncan SA-1 -mikrofonilla)

• We Will Rock You – Fender Stratocaster

• Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster

Mikrofonit: AKG C3000 & Shure SM57

Delay-efektejä on lisätty miksausvaiheessa:

****

Minun mielestäni uusi Vox AC30S1 on erinomainen lisäys firman AC30-valikoimaan. Uusi Single-versio tarjoaa miltei kaikkia klassisia Vox-soundeja hieman kompaktimmassa koossa.

****

Vox AC30S1

Katuhinta noin 780 €

Maahantuoja: EM Nordic

Kiitos DLX Musiikille testivahvistimen lainasta!

****

Plussat:

+ paino

+ laadukas digikaiku

+ efektilenkki

+ soundi

+ kovaääninen

Miinukset:

– master volume -potikan jyrkkyys

– kovaääninenSave

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

16/10/2018

Review: Vox AC30S1

”Keep it as it is. The AC30 is your baby, and it will go on forever!”

These prophetic words were spoken by Tom Jennings, the founder and head of Vox’ original parent company JMI, in the mid-1960s to his chief designer Dick Denney (pictured above).

Well before Marshall Amps arrived on the scene, Vox became the UK’s first legendary guitar amplifier brand. The original Vox AC30 was developed in 1959 as a larger version of the AC15 for the group The Shadows. Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch started having problems getting themselves heard over the ever-growing crowds they were drawing at ever-larger venues.

The first version of the Vox AC30 was a combo equipped with a single 12-inch speaker, but by the time the Beatles arrived on the scene the amp had evolved into what Vox called a ”Twin amplifier”, meaning a combo with a pair of 12-inch speakers. The Beatles were also the first band to receive AC30s with the company’s (then) new Top Boost -circuit. Vox couldn’t have dreamt up a more potent way of promoting their products than Beatlemania.

The AC30 Twin with Top Boost became Vox Amplification’s flagship product, which still stands today as one of the most iconic guitar amplifiers of all time. This is thanks in no small part to the great guitarists, such as Brian May (Queen), Rory Gallagher, Lenny Kravitz and U2’s The Edge, who made the combo a vital ingredient of their respective signature sounds.

Vintage AC30s (and faithful reissues) are often criticised for being quite large and heavy. Some 1960s examples also seem to have a tendency for overheating, due to the valve layout inside the chassis. Original AC30s also are non-master volume designs, which means that break-up and crunch sounds can only be had close to full volume levels.

Luckily, Vox’ line-up also includes more modern and streamlined AC30-versions.

The brand-new Vox AC30S1 (current Finnish street price around 780 €) takes everything that is great about the AC30, and puts it into a streamlined, master volume-equipped, and much more portable single speaker combo.

****

The new Vox AC30S1 is part of the company’s very successful Chinese-made Custom range.

The AC30 Single keeps the classic Vox look, but comes in a narrower cabinet. At 24.5 kg the newcomer weighs a good nine kilos less that the Custom Series AC30 Twin (AC30C2).

The new combo offers a single amp channel with a two-band EQ-section and a master volume knob.

The built-in reverb is digital, and modelled after a classic spring reverb.

Just like the classic Sixties design the AC30S1 also sports a half-open back.

Vox’ Custom Series amps have been redesigned and updated to comply with all necessary safety regulations for modern tube amplifiers. In the AC30S1’s case this means well-ventilated valves that are easy to access, a safety grill to prevent anybody from touching piping hot tubes, and a detachable IEC mains cord.

The AC30S1 uses a pair of 12AX7 valves for the preamp section, as well as four EL84s in the power amp.

The speaker is a 12-inch Celestion VX model, designed specifically for use in this combo.

The back panel offers an additional speaker output (16 ohms) and an effects loop.

EU-versions of the AC30S1 also come with a switchable Eco-function, which will turn the amp off automatically when left running unplayed for two hours.

****

The brand-new AC30S1 is noticeably easier to lift and carry than any of the regular Twin versions, which is great news for virtually any of us.

A word of warning first:

Despite Vox’ promo pictures showing the new AC30 Single in different living room set-ups, this isn’t really a combo for noodling on the couch. Despite being a single 12-inch speaker combo, the AC30S1 has no problem whatsoever in dishing out ear-shattering sound pressure levels. Yes, there is a master volume knob, but – at least on our review sample – the pot’s taper isn’t especially even, instead jumping rather abruptly from ”off” to something like 30 percent power. This combo doesn’t belong in a block of flats or in a sitting room, this amp belongs in a full-blown studio or on a club stage.

Despite the inevitably narrower throw of a single speaker (compared to a twin speaker set-up) the sounds gleaned from the Vox AC30S1 are pure AC30 magic. Typically, clean headroom isn’t available in Fender Blackface-style amounts. An AC30’s sound is defined by the smooth and steady break-up at comparatively moderate gain levels, and by the bite and density of its crunchy distortion.

Here’s an example of the range of textures you can get from the AC30S1 with its gain at full, while using a Stratocaster’s volume control:

The AC30S1’s digitally modelled spring reverb sounds terrific; probably the best onboard digital spring reverb I’ve heard in a long time:

The demo track features my covers of four classic Vox AC30 tracks – ”Wonderful Land” (The Shadows), ”I Feel Fine” (The Beatles), ”We Will Rock You” (Queen), and ”Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (U2).

• Wonderful Land – Fender Stratocaster

• I Feel Fine – Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Casino, Tanglewood TW28-CSN (with Seymour Duncan SA-1 pickup)

• We Will Rock You – Fender Stratocaster

• Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster

Microphones used: AKG C3000 & Shure SM57

Any delays were added during mixing:

****

In my view the new Vox AC30S1 is an excellent addition to the company’s AC30 range. This combo gives you virtually all of the classic Vox tones, but with far less bulk.

****

Vox AC30S1

Street price in Finland approx. 780 €

Distributor: EM Nordic

Thanks to DLX Music Helsinki for the loan of the review amp!

****

Pros:

+ lesser weight

+ high-quality spring-style digital reverb

+ effects loop

+ sound

+ high volume levels

Cons:

– master volume taper

– high volume levelsSave

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

11/10/2018

Vox AC30S1 – the Kitarablogi-video

VOX AC30S1

• Single-channel design inspired by the AC30’s trademark Top Boost

• All tube design featuring two 12AX7 pre-amp tubes and four EL84 power-amp tubes

• Equipped with a single Celestion-made 12-inch speaker, specially voiced for the AC30S1

• Effects send/return and external speaker output are provided for pairing with pedals or external cabinets

• Equipped with digital reverb that simulates a classic spring reverb

****

The demo track features my covers of four classic Vox AC30 tracks – ”Wonderful Land” (The Shadows), ”I Feel Fine” (The Beatles), ”We Will Rock You” (Queen), and ”Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (U2).

• Wonderful Land – Fender Stratocaster

• I Feel Fine – Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Casino, Tanglewood TW28-CSN (with Seymour Duncan SA-1 pickup)

• We Will Rock You – Fender Stratocaster

• Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster

Mics used: AKG C3000 & Shure SM57

Delays added during mixing.

01/10/2018

First Look: Vox AC30S1

VOX AC30S1

• Single-channel design inspired by the AC30’s trademark Top Boost

• All tube design featuring two 12AX7 pre-amp tubes and four EL84 power-amp tubes

• Equipped with a single Celestion-made 12-inch speaker, specially voiced for the AC30S1

• Effects send/return and external speaker output are provided for pairing with pedals or external cabinets

• Equipped with digital reverb that simulates a classic spring reverb

****

The demo track features my covers of four classic Vox AC30 tracks – ”Wonderful Land” (The Shadows), ”I Feel Fine” (The Beatles), ”We Will Rock You” (Queen), and ”Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (U2).

• Wonderful Land – Fender Stratocaster

• I Feel Fine – Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Casino, Tanglewood TW28-CSN (with Seymour Duncan SA-1 pickup)

• We Will Rock You – Fender Stratocaster

• Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster

Mics used: AKG C3000 & Shure SM57

Delays added during mixing.

27/09/2016

AKG C3000 – Old versus New

Maahantuoja: Studiotec

09/03/2015

Changing strings on a steel-string guitar

String change steel string – start

Here’s what you need:

In addition to a fresh set of strings, you should have a wire cutter and a tuner at the ready. An inexpensive string winder makes the process much faster.

A steel rule will come in handy, should you want to double-check your ”before” and ”after” setups. Measure your string height at the 12th fret (top of fret to bottom of string) before taking the old strings off. That way you will be able to use the steel rule to ascertain that your setup has stayed unchanged. Alternatively, you could also measure the neck relief at the seventh fret directly, by using a capo at the first fret, while pressing down the low E-string at the 14th fret.

Ideally, though, you should stick to the exact same string gauge (and even string brand) to avoid inadvertently changing the playability of your acoustic guitar.

String change steel string – loosening string

I find it most convenient to take off all strings at once.

There are some people who claim that taking all six strings off at the same time may cause damage to your instrument. Let me tell you, I have been changing strings on steel-string guitars since 1977, always removing the whole set at once, and have never had any problems at all. Even Martin Guitars suggest you do it this way in their own video, and they should know!

String change steel string – cutting old string

Once the strings are completely loose and flabby, I cut them in half.

This isn’t something you must do, but I find the shorter lengths easier to handle, than having to deal with the whole string.

String change steel string – winder pin puller

For the largest part, steel-string acoustics come with pin bridges. The bridge pins – made out of plastic, bone, wood or even metal – keep the ball-ends locked into place.

Most string winders sport a small cut-out for lifting the bridge pins. I’d suggest, though, that you first try extracting the pins by hand, because, very often, the ball-ends have jammed the pins in place fairly tightly. Trying to pull them out directly might damage your string winder or the bridge pins, or, even worse, the bridge itself.

String change steel string – push end in

Most of the time you will be able to extract the bridge pins by hand:

Start by pushing the ball-end down (into the body) by a centimetre, or so.

String change steel string – pull pin out 1

Usually, this is all that’s needed to unjam the bridge pin.

String change steel string – pull pin out 2

If a pin really is stuck, and can’t be lifted out with your fingers, I’d strongly suggest using a piece of tissue paper (or a piece of cloth) as a cushion to protect the pin and the bridge’s surface.

tak-n20-bridge

Some acoustic guitars come equipped with a pinless bridge – most notable Ovation and some Takamines. With these bridges, all you have to do is pull the ball-ends out of the back of the bridge.

String change steel string – take string off machine head

At the headstock end you have to untie the strings and take them off the tuner posts.

If your guitar’s fretboard and/or bridge feel (or look) a little dry, now would be the perfect time for applying a little fretboard oil.

String change steel string – put pin in

You start putting on a new string by feeding the ball-end into the appropriate bridge hole, while inserting the bridge pin.

String change steel string – pull on string

By pulling the string up a little, while holding the pin down, you will conveniently get the ball-end to jam the bridge pin in place.

String change steel string – stringing 1

Next you feed the string through the tuner’s post…

String change steel string – stringing 2

…pull the string away from the body, and around the post…

String change steel string – stringing 3

…and, finally, lock the string end in place.

String change steel string – stringing 4

Keep the string pressed downwards, while you’re turning the crank. Each new winding should pass under the one before it.

String change steel string – keep pin in place

When the string starts getting taut, I move my hand from the headstock to the bridge, to make sure the bridge pin stays firmly in place.

String change steel string – cut off end

I’d recommend cutting off the surplus string in close proximity to the tuning post. Then I bend the stub down towards the headstock face. Be careful, a cut-off string is very sharp!

I put on the fresh strings in pairs, working my way away from the nut – first the two e-strings, then the pair of A and b, and lastly the D- and g-strings.

String change steel string – strings on machine heads

This is what the result should look like at the headstock end.

String change steel string – pin height

The bridge pins should sit at a uniform height above the surface of the bridge.

String change steel string – string stretching

Getting new strings to stay in tune is a much faster process, if you stretch each string carefully. It works like this: First you tune to pitch, then you stretch each string, and retune again. Once you’ve repeated this process four to five times, you should be ready to go.

Your fretting hand should hold down the string you’re stretching at the first or second fret to avoid damage to the top nut.

****

Once the guitar is in tune you could check the string action at the 12th fret and compare it with the values measured with the old string set.

If the action is noticeably higher, chances are you’ve put on a heavier gauge set of strings. You need to compensate for the stronger string pull by tightening the truss rod (with the correct tool) by a quarter of a turn (or half a turn, at the most).

If the action is noticeably lower, chances are you’ve put on a lighter gauge set of strings. You need to compensate for the weaker string pull by loosening the truss rod (with the correct tool) by a quarter of a turn (or half a turn, at the most).

The truss rod is meant solely for neck relief adjustment. Even though adjusting the neck relief does have an impact on the action, string height adjustment isn’t really what the truss rod is meant for. Adjusting the action on a steel-string acoustic is usually a job for a luthier, and is achieved by changing the height of the bridge saddle.

23/10/2014

Review: Roland Cube-10GX

****

cube-10gx_angle_black_gal

The new Roland Cube-10GX approaches the company’s popular Cube-concept from a slightly different angle.

****

cube-10gx_front_gal

The 10-watt Roland Cube-10GX (Finnish price approx. 125 €) slots into the model range right between the 3-watt Micro Cube GX and the 20-watt Cube-20GX combo.

Despite its very affordable price, the 10GX is built as sturdily as the larger Cube models, featuring chunky corner protectors, and the metal grille typical of this series.

An eight-inch speaker has been installed into the closed-back, front-ported cabinet.

cube-10gx_back_gal

The backpanel sports connections for DC In (the PSU comes included), Aux In, as well as a combined line level output/headphones jack.

cube-10gx_top_gal

The Cube-10GX combo’s architecture differs somewhat from the rest of the GX-models:

The 10GX doesn’t feature a built-in tuner or an i-Cube-Link, like the rest of the GX-models, but offers a much more open way of offering its COSM-generated amp models.

cube-kit-image_1800

The Cube-10GX lets you choose from a number of different amp models via the new Roland Cube Kit app (Android and iOS). At the moment of writing the app offers eight guitar amp models, plus one bass amp and one amp for acoustic guitar.

Despite the fact that the control panel reads ”Clean”, ”Crunch” and ”Lead”, you can load any of the COSM amp models on offer into any of the amp’s three channels. If you’re a Jazzer, for example, you might prefer to use only clean amps, like Acoustic, JC Clean and Black Panel.

****

cube-10gx_angle_gal

Let me deal with the ”bad news” first: Sadly, the Cube-10GX offers only a single effect section, in contrast to all the other Cube GX -combos. The 10GX gives you the choice between either a chorus or a delay or a hall reverb or a (very wet) spring reverb. And there are no effect combinations on offer.

The new combo’s main focus lies in the easy-to-swap amp models, and improvements in the sound of both the amp and the COSM-models. For a 10-watter the Cube-10GX is surprisingly loud. Thanks to its much larger speaker the new combo sounds much fuller and more grown up than the Micro Cube.

The updated COSM-models sound noticeably more transparent and fresher, without any additional background hiss or noise. The 10GX’ well-designed three-band EQ section lets you tailor the sound to your requirements.

Loading a new amp model into one of the Cube-10GX’ channels via the Cube Kit app is fast and easy, and doesn’t require any special cables. You only need a fitting mini-jack adapter to hook up the guitar lead to your smartphone (or tablet). All the necessary data is then transmitted from the Android- or iOS-device to the amp via the guitar cable. The whole process takes only a few taps and a couple of seconds.

The factory default has the Jazz Chorus amp model loaded into channel 1. I’m playing my Fender Telecaster with a little chorus added from the combo:

Here’s another Jazz Chorus clip, but this time seasoned with some Surf-type spring reverb:

The Classic Stack model is the factory setting for channel 2. It is Roland’s version of a Marshall-stack. I’ve added some delay for this clip:

I loaded the Brit Combo (AC30) model into channel 2, using the Cube Kit app. I’m playing my Telecaster with some reverb from the combo:

”Orng Stack” stands for Orange-stack. This is what it sounds like, played with my Gibson Melody Maker SG:

The factory default for channel 3 is the R-fier Stack model. First a clip using the Telecaster, and then an example Played with the Melody Maker SG:

The Cube Kit’s Acoustic model provides an easy solution for amplifying your acoustic guitar. I’ve used a Tanglewood dreadnought equipped with a magnetic soundhole pickup by Seymour Duncan:

The Cube-10GX even sounds surprisingly good as a tiny bass combo (all audio clips have been recorded with a Shure SM57):

****

Roland’s Cube-10GX (and the cool Cube Kit app) makes it possible to turn this little combo into the amp you really need. A Blues player will probably load his (or her) Cube-10GX with the Black Panel-, Brit Combo-, and Tweed-models, while a Metal guitarist will prefer the chunkier COSM-models on offer (like the Classic-, Metal- and R-fier-stacks).

The Cube-10GX sounds great and is a real little shouter. Despite offering fewer built-in effects than the rest of the GX-range, the Roland Cube-10GX still offers a lot of fun at a very competitive price.

cube-header

****

Roland Cube-10GX

Price range in Finland approx. 125 €

Maahantuoja: Roland Scandinavia

****

Pros:

+ fair price

+ powerful

+ wide range of available amp models (via the Cube Kit app)

+ three-band EQ

+ sturdy build

+ sound

Cons:

– only one effect section

spring reverb offers only little scope for adjustment

08/09/2014

Testipenkissä: Roland Cube-10GX

****

cube-10gx_angle_black_gal

Hiljattain ilmestynyt Roland Cube-10GX on Cube-perheen uusin jäsen, joka lähestyy firman suosittua Cube-reseptiä hieman toiselta kulmalta.

****

cube-10gx_front_gal

Kymmenwattinen Roland Cube-10GX (hintaluokka 125 €) asettuu vahvistinteholtaan kolmiwattisen Micro Cube GX:n ja 20-wattisen Cube-20GX-kombon väliin.

Kymppi-GX on edullisesta hinnastaan huolimatta samaa vankkaa tekoa kuin sen isot veljeksiä. Reilunkokoiset kulmasuojat ja Cube-sarjalle tyypillinen metalliritilä suojaavat kombon tehokkaasti monilta kolhuilta.

Koteloon on asennettu kahdeksantuumainen kaiutin.

cube-10gx_back_gal

Takapaneelista löytyy virtaliittimen (verkkolaite kuuluu hintaan) lisäksi aux-tulo, sekä yhdistetty kuuloke- ja linjalähtö.

cube-10gx_top_gal

Cube-10GX-kombon arkkitehtuuri poikkeaa toisista Cube-perheen GX-malleista:

Muiden GX-kombojen viritysmittarit ja i-Cube-Link-lähdöt puuttuvat tästä mallista, mutta niiden tilalle uudessa Cubessa tarjotaan huomattavasti avoimempi rakenne COSM-vahvistinosiossa.

cube-kit-image_1800

Cube-10GX tarjoaa nimittäin uuden Roland Cube Kit -appsin kautta (Android ja iOS) kitaristeille mahdollisuuden valita ja vaihtaa oman Cuben COSM-mallinnuksia oman maun ja käyttötarpeen mukaan. Tällä hetkellä Cube Kitistä löytyy kahdeksan sähkövahvistinmallia, yksi vahvistinmalli mikitetylle akustiselle kitaralle, sekä yksi bassovahvistin.

Vaikka kombon etupaneelissa lukee sen kolmen kanavapaikkojen kohdalla Clean, Crunch ja Lead, käyttäjä saa valita appsin kautta vapaasti kanaviin juuri niitä COSM-malleja, joita hän itse haluaa – vaikkapa vain puhtaita vaihtoehtoja, kuten Acoustic, JC Clean ja Black Panel.

****

cube-10gx_angle_gal

Kerron sen ”huonon uutisen” ensin: Olisin kernaasti nähnyt myös uudessa Cube-10GX-mallissa kaksi efektiosastoa, niin kuin esimerkiksi Micro Cube GX:ssä! Kymppi-GX-kombossa voi valita joko choruksen tai viiveen tai kaiun tai (reilusti annostetun) jousikaiun, eikä yhdistelmäefektejä ole tarjolla lainkaan.

Uutuuskombon painopiste on siis selvästi vahvistimen soundissa ja entistäkin parannetuissa COSM-mallinnuksissa. Cube-10GX on yllättävän äänekäs vahvistin 10-wattiselle kombolle, ja sen kahdeksantuumaisen kaiuttimen ansiosta tämän Rolandin yleissoundi on paljon syvempi ja aikuisempi kuin esimerkiksi Micro Cubessa.

Uudistetuissa COSM-malleissa on myös selvästi rapeampi, erottelevampi soundi, ilman lisättyä kohinaa. Kymppi-GX:n musikaalisesta kolmialueisesta EQ:sta on todella paljon apua soundien muokkaamisessa.

Soundien vaihtaminen Cube Kit -appsilla onnistuu erittäin helposti ja – mikä on parasta – täysin ilman erikoisjohtoja. Tarvitaan vain puhelimen (tai tabletin) ja kitarajohdon väliin sopiva kuulokeadapteri, jolla saadaan ohjelman dataa kulkemaan Android- tai iOS-laitteen kuulokelähdöstä kitarajohdon kautta Cube-10GX:een. Muutama täppäys vaan ja valitun kanavan COSM-malli on vaihdettu uuteen.

Tehdasasetuksena kombon ykköskanavassa on valittu Roland Jazz Chorus -kombon mallinnus. Tässä soitan Fender Telecasterilla ykköskanavan läpi ja chorus-efekti on päällä:

Myös tässä käytän Jazz Chorus -mallia, mutta tällä kertaa Surf-tyylisellä jousikaiku-efektillä:

Classic Stack on kakkoskanavan tehdasasetus. Se on Rolandin COSM-versio Marshall-stäkistä, jota kuullaan tässä delay-efektillä höystettynä:

Latasin Cube Kitillä kakkoskanavalle Brit Combo -mallin (AC30). Soitan Telecasterilla ja käytän kombon kaikua:

Orange-stäkkiä matkiva Orng Stack -malli kuulostaa tällaiselta Gibson Melody Maker SG:ltä soitettuna:

Tehtaalta on asennettu kolmoskanavaan R-fier Stack -malli – siis Rectifier-meininkiä (ensin Telecasterilla, sen jälkeen Melody Maker SG:llä soitettuna):

Cube Kitin Acoustic-malli tarjoaa nopean ja helppokäyttöisen ratkaisun akustisen kitaran vahvistamiseen (tässä Tanglewood teräskielinen magneettisella Seymour Duncan -mikrofonilla):

Cube-10GX kuulostaa yllättävän isolta myös bassovahvistimena (kaikki ääninäytteet äänitetty Shure SM57:lla):

****

Rolandin Cube-10GX tarjoaa firman oivan Cube Kit -appsin ansiosta jokaiselle kitaristille juuri sen vahvistimen, jonka hän tarvitsee ja haluaa. Bluesmies (tai -nainen) voisi esimerkiksi ladata kymppi-GX:n kolmelle kanavapaikalle Black Panel-, Brit Combo-, sekä Tweed-mallit, kun taas rankan musiikin ystävä voi tehdä pikkustyrkkarista metallimusiikkiin erikoistuneen koneen (esimerkiksi valitsemalla Classic-, Metal- ja R-fier-stäkit).

Cube-10GX:stä lähtee niin paljon – ja etenkin niin laadukasta – ääntä, että tämän kombon (muihin GX-malliin nähden) supistetulla efektivalikoimalla ei ole mielestäni oikeastaan niin paljon väliä. Roland Cube-10GX tarjoaa todella paljon vahvistinta edulliseen hintaan.

cube-header

****

Roland Cube-10GX

Hintaluokka noin 125 €

Maahantuoja: Roland Scandinavia

****

Plussat:

+ edullinen

+ tehokas

+ monipuolinen vahvistintarjonta (Cube Kit -appsin kautta)

+ kolmialueinen EQ

+ tukeva rakenne

+ soundi

Miinukset:

– vain yksi efektiosasto

jousikaiun vähäinen säätövara

21/08/2014

Seymour Duncan SA-1 Acoustic Tube in action!

Seymour Duncan SA-1 + Tanglewood TW28-CSN

Ostin itselleni hiljattain Seymour Duncanin SA-1 Acoustic Tube -mikrofonin, koska etsin helppoa mikkiratkaisua akustisia keikkoja varten. Huomasin, että netistä löytyy melko vähän tietoa tästä magneettisesta mikrofonista, siksi tämä tietoisku:

SA-1 on humbuckermikki kahdella päällekkäisillä keloilla (ns. stack-rakenne), jolla on sisäänrakennettu volume-säädin.

Pidän siitä, että Acoustic Tube -mikrofonilla on vain lyhyt johto, joka loppuu laadukkaan jakkiin. Jakkia voi kiinnittää esimerkiksi kitarahihnaan, ja sitten voi käyttää tavallista kitarajohtoa SA-1:stä DI-boksiin, mikseriin tai akustiseen vahvistimeen.

Parasta tässä mikrofonissa on kuitenkin sen soundi, joka on yllättävän luonnollinen, kun ottaa huomioon, että kyseessä on suhteellisen edullinen, pelkästään magneettisesti toimiva mikki.

Lisätietoja saa Musamaailmalta.

****

****

I recently went out and bought myself a Seymour Duncan SA-1 Acoustic Tube pickup, because I needed an easy-to-use pickup solution for acoustic live gigs. Strangely, there’s not that much information on this pickup available on the Internet, which is why I decided to give you a short decription of the SA-1:

The SA-1 is a stacked humbucker pickup featuring a built-in volume control.

I like the fact that Duncan’s Acoustic Tube comes with only a short pickup lead that ends in a high-quality phone jack. You can tape the jack to your guitar strap and then run a normal guitar cable from the SA-1 to your DI Box, mixing console or acoustic amplifier.

The best thing about this soundhole pickup is its sound, though, which is very natural and offers plenty of sparkle – especially considering that the SA-1 is a relatively affordable, purely magnetic pickup.

Seymour Duncan products are distributed in Finland by Musamaailma.

SA1-xlarge

12/02/2014

Review: Zoom H6

Zoom H6 – perspective 1

Zoom have released their new handy recorder flagship:

The Zoom H6 is a six-track mobile recorder with exchangeable microphone modules.

****

Zoom H6 – package and case

Zoom’s H6 (rrp in Finland: 398 €) comes in its own carrying case.

Zoom H6 – the set

The package includes the H6 itself, two mic modules – the XYH-6 offering XY-stereo and the MSH-6 with an MS-stereo capsule – a foam windscreen, a USB-cable, four AA-size batteries and a 2 GB SD-card.

Also included is Steinberg’s Cubase LE audio-sequencer software.

h6n

At the moment the H6 is the only field recorder offering you different exchangeable mic and preamp modules.

In addition to the supplied XY- and MS-modules you can also buy Zoom’s shotgun module (SGH-6) or a module with an additional pair of XLR-/TRS-inputs (EXH-6).

Zoom H6 – accessory pack

For this review we were also supplied with Zoom’s accessory pack for the H6 (APH-6), which contains a furry windshield for outdoor recording, as well a USB-power supply and a remote control.

****

Zoom H6 – XY-module

Except for its control panel the Zoom H6 is entirely covered in a non-slip rubbery coating, which also cuts down on handling noise during recording.

Zoom H6 – XY 90 deg

A typical Zoom-feature has been carried over into the recorder’s XY-module:

You can switch the stereo width of the XY-setup by turning the capsules. The options are the slightly narrower 90 degrees angle…

Zoom H6 – XY 120 deg

…and the wider pickup pattern of 120 degrees.

Zoom H6 – left side view

The combined XLR/TRS-connectors have been placed on both sides of the H6. The Zoom offers switchable phantom power for condenser mics.

On the left side you’ll find the access to the SD-card, as well as the headphones output and the volume control.

Zoom H6 – right side view

In addition to the recorder’s mini-USB-port the right side is home to the Menu-button and the device’s nifty navigation toggle.

Zoom H6 – back view

This recorder runs on four AA-size batteries, and will run for approximately 20 hours on a fresh set of alkalines.

You can place the Zoom on most camera tripods, thanks to its standardised thread. There’s also the HS-1 hot shoe adapter available, which makes it possible to mount the recorder straight onto a camera.

The small monitor speaker isn’t particularly Hi-Fi, but it’s good to have it for quick checks.

Zoom H6 – line + remote

The unit’s line level output, as well as the connector for the optional remote control, has been placed on the bottom rim of the Zoom.

****

The Zoom H6 can handle two audio formats:

Linear WAV-files offer you sample rates of 44.1, 48 or 96 kHz with 16 or 24 bits of resolution. When you choose WAV as your recording format the H6 works as a multitrack recorder, which makes it possible to do overdubs, and which allows you to mix the recorded tracks afterwards. You can do your mixdown internally, using the Zoom’s own Project Mixer, or by exporting the separate tracks to an audio-sequencer.

Another function that only works when you’ve chosen WAV as your recording format is called Backup Record. This nifty function records the input signal from the exchangeable module twice – one set of tracks uses your input gain settings and is routed to the L/R-track, as usual, while the second set is recorded with 12 dB of attenuation as the so-called Backup-track. The Backup-track is your safety in case your own settings were too hot.

The big advantage of using the H6 in MP3-mode is, of course, this mode’s greatly extended recording time, made possible by data reduction. The recorder lets you choose from many different recording quality settings between 48 and 320 kbps. When in MP3-mode you use the Zoom’s Monitor Mixer to mix all of the six inputs into one stereo file, which is the recorded. This means that, when recording using the MP3-format, the end result is always a single stereo file, instead of the separate tracks you get when running in WAV-mode.

Zoom H6 – MS-module

When you’re using the MS-module you can adjust the side-mic level, either before recording (WAV and MP3) or afterwards if you’ve recorded the module’s input signal using the Zoom’s MS-Raw-mode (WAV only).

More information on MS-stereo can be found HERE.

****

Zoom H6 – level knobs

The Zoom H6 is very easy to use, because the signal routing is fixed:

The module’s output always goes to the L/R-track (stereo), while inputs one to four are routed to their corresponding mono tracks (1-4).

Zoom H6 – display

Beneath the Gain-controls there’s a row of track status buttons, as well as the recorder’s ”transport” buttons.

Zoom H6 – monitor mixer

The Zoom’s Monitor Mixer is where you adjust the signal levels and pan positions of all the signals for monitoring.

The Monitor Mixer window also shows you the status of each channel’s bass cut, compressor/limiter and phantom power.

Zoom H6 – menu view

This is what the Menu-view looks like.

Zoom H6 – project mixer

To mix down recorded tracks you use a different internal mixer, called the Project Mixer.

The Project Mixer allows you to adjust each track’s volume and pan position, as well as the playback pitch for each track (without changing the playback speed).

****

Zoom H6 – top view

In my opinion Zoom’s H6 hits the bull’s eye:

The exchangeable mic modules give you an enormous amount of flexibility to tailor the recorder quickly to the recording situation you find yourself in. The H6 is easy to use, and the recorder’s sound quality is very, very good. Thanks to the built-in metronome and chromatic tuner it’s easy to make sure you play in time and in tune. I’ve also enjoyed the Zoom’s nice compressors and limiters, which work very musically.

To demonstrate the H6’s performance and sound I recorded a short song using the recorder’s overdub function. I used the X/Y-module (at 90 deg) to record the steel-string acoustic, and recorded two mandolin tracks and two vocals with my trusty Shure SM57.

First, I mixed the song using the Zoom’s internal mixer, after which I exported the stereo file to Garageband, where I cut off the count-in and added a little bit of reverb:

I also tried taking the other route by exporting all the separate files from the H6 into Garageband, where I remixed the song using the original tracks:

****

I used a series of sine-wave sweeps to give you an idea of the effect the side-mic level has on the stereo-width of the recorded material. The lower the side-mic level is, the narrower your stereo image gets.

Side-mic +6dB:

Side-mic -2 dB:

Side-mic -9 dB:

Side-mic -22 dB:

Side-mic off:

****

Zoom H6 – perspective 2

I think Zoom’s H6 is a great field recorder and portable multi-track studio. The H6 works great to capture your song ideas or to for quality recordings of your band rehearsals or live gigs. The Zoom makes pro-quality recording on the road possible.

****

Zoom H6

Finnish distributor: Studiotec

Zoom H6 – 398 €

APH-6 – 48 €

EXH-6 – 58 €

SGH-6 – 118 €

****

Pros:

+ exchangeable L/R-modules

+ rugged build

+ colour display

+ Overdub-, Pre Record- ja Backup Record -functions

+ quality compressor/limiter-section

****