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Topics - joecool85

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Guitar News / Fender releases new headphone amp - Mustang Micro
« on: January 14, 2021, 08:09:12 AM »
Available for purchase April 2021, or pre-order from many places now, the Fender Mustang Micro will sell for $99 USD.  It comes with 12 amp models and 13 effects.  It has a headphone out jack as well as USB which is used for charging and direct recording to a computer.  DSP in your pocket, guitar case, or desk drawer!

Guitar News / Gibson acquires Mesa/Boogie
« on: January 10, 2021, 06:19:22 PM »
One of the most expensive major guitar brands, Gibson, has now purchased one of the most expensive major amplifier manufacturers, Mesa/Boogie.  Now I'm not saying anything bad about either company, they both make killer stuff!  But they are pricey.  It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward.  Mesa/Boogie will be making Gibson's new "custom series" amps.  Maybe they (both companies) will start a line of gear in the several hundred dollar range rather than several thousand.  We'll see!

It's official, the Kickstarter campaign is live!

The Honey amp is a small 1/2w, LM386-based amp.  Unlike most LM386 amps though, it doesn't use that chip for it's primary distortion.  The LM386 is set open for a gain of 20.  Preamp duties are taken care of by a modified version of my 5th Gear Overdrive circuit, including a custom BMP style tone adjustment.  I've voiced it very similarly to the Top Boost circuit of a Vox AC30 - it does not emulate the Vox, but it does have similar tonal response.

It can run from 6v to 18v (spec'd with an LM386-4).  It comes with aux in and headphone out 1/8" jacks, and has gain, tone, and master volume controls.  Check it out!

Guitar News / Vox Valvenergy - NuTube pedals are finally out
« on: October 15, 2020, 11:51:54 AM »
For just under $200 USD, you can get a Vox Valvenergy pedal onto your pedalboard.  The concept is that using a "NuTube," which is effectively a small flourescent tube, will bring you "real tube" sound.  Is it worth it?  Does it work?  Not sure, but if I see one in a local guitar shop I'd sure try it out.  They look cool, and the concept is great.  It sure is expensive though...

Of note, this technology has been in a handful of their amplifiers for months now and they do have fairly good reviews.

Guitar News / Puzzle shaped pedals to get rid of cables? Check!
« on: October 13, 2020, 08:42:28 PM »
Puzzle Effects has come up with a prototype effects pedal case that snaps together like puzzle pieces and uses a 3 conductor connector to hook them together.  Power up one pedal, they all have power.  Plug your guitar into the pedal on the right, your amp on the left and proceed to rock on!  No patch cables!  The coolest part is that if you only have one pedal, you can always use the in/out jacks on the top like normal and just have a weird shaped pedal on your board!  No price yet as these are prototypes, but they sure do look interesting!

Guitar News / Rock out with your blocks out - LEGO Stratocaster and amp!
« on: October 13, 2020, 08:37:54 PM »
LEGO has decided to release a fan design again, this time of the Stratocaster as well as an amp (Frontman 65R is my guess).  It looks really cool, and honestly, who doesn't love LEGO?   :tu:

If it's released soon enough, it'll be on our list for Yule this year!

Guitar News / More class D love - GPA-100 from Harley Benton
« on: September 29, 2020, 08:46:45 PM »
Harley Benton has just released the GPA-100, a 210w (at 4 ohm) class D amp that can fit in your pocket.  For $77 you get a three band eq and a master volume.  While I don't have any experience with the brand, for the money, I'd honestly give it a try!

Quilter has announced their new OverDrive 202, actually it was back in June but I somehow missed this one.  Anyway, it's a 200watt, 2 channel, pedalboard-sized monster.  I'd love to have one, that's for sure!  MSRP at $575 means I won't be seeing it any time soon though.

Hamstead Soundworks has released a new single knob, clean boost pedal.  The Ascent Amplitude doesn't seem to be technically anything terribly new or interesting.  But socially, it sure is.  They are employing tech members that normally work with Iggy Pop, AC/DC, and The National, to put these together - helping people that were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  On top of this, part of the remaining profits also go to a charity to help struggling musicians.  I think this is a great idea.  If their booster plays half as well as their social concept, it's money very well spent.

Electro-Harmonix (EHX) has released the new Cntl Knob (pronounced "control knob").  This pedal can be used on all devices that have a TRS "EXP" or "expression" pedal input.  It simply has two knobs and a footswitch between them.  Set EXP1 to your first sound setting, and EXP2 to your second.  Then toggle through them at will.  It's a simple device, but for $39, I could see this being very useful for a lot of people!  Plus it looks pretty darn slick!

The Newcomer's Forum / MOVED: Music Electronics Forum
« on: July 06, 2020, 11:31:44 AM »

Crew Nation, set up by Live Nation, is helping musicians and those who tour with them (road crew etc) who need financial support due to not being able to tour etc to support themselves.  Fender has decided to help out with this and is now supporting Crew Nation with the sale of some Masterbuilt guitars.  These guitars were built at home by some of Fender's best luthiers and they look great!

According to, the Shure SM57 and SM58 earned the 1st and 2nd place spots respectively for best cheap mics in 2020.  This isn't terribly surprising since they have been at the top of their game since they came out over 50 years ago.  Check out the others in their top 8.

Abominable Pedals, God City, Chase Bliss Audio, and Cooper FX are some of the latest companies to start actively promoting the end of racism.  I hope that this continues and eventually gets to the point where it isn't necessary because racism dies out.  Call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Guitar News / DryBell releases "The Engine" - $299 preamp pedal
« on: June 04, 2020, 01:47:43 PM »
DryBell has announced it's newest pedal, The Engine.  Selling for $299, this is a preamp pedal "for all those that love 1960's style non-master volume amps."  The concept sounds good, and the clips sound pretty good.  But it seems a convoluted way to get the sounds they are shooting for.  There are two preamps on board, A and B.  You can control either one, or put them together with A or B coming first in the signal chain.  They both have tone controls but not your typical TMB stack.  Preamp A has Level, Gain, Tone, and Shape.  Preamp B has Level, Range, Low, and High.

Perfect?  Too complicated?  What's your take?

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