Reviewed: Cioks DC8 Pedalboard Power Supply
A guitarist’s pedalboard is often an ever evolving work. New pedals, different gigs, different patch leads, new signal paths, buffers, wireless, cables and of course, the power supply. This last item, however, doesn’t always receive the attention it properly deserves. You spend so much time researching, trying, buying and playing with pedals to then use them with a $15 power supply and daisy chain from a dodgy online supplier? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Thankfully, there is an ever growing selection of power supplies to cover your needs for boards of all sizes with Cioks being one of the best, in my experience. From its Professional line, let’s check out the DC8.
Reviewed: T-Rex SoulMate Acoustic Pedalboard
Working on the guitar multi-effects design (typically used and aimed at electric players), the T-Rex SoulMate is chock full of effects and tone shaping tools for acoustic guitar. Compressor, boost, delay, modulation, EQ, and reverb are complemented by a chromatic tuner, five-minute stereo looper, stereo DI outputs, a FET preamp (with phase switch) and auto feedback suppression. I/O is all on the back panel with an input jack with Hi/Lo impedance, phase buttons and a gain level control. The middle section has an insert for a volume expression pedal, boost, and level out controls, while the outputs feature a ground lift button and both balanced and unbalanced (jack and XLR) left and right outputs. The unit comes in a cool brushed metallic type look and is around the size of a computer keyboard (if that gives you some reference).
Reviewed: Nektar Pacer MIDI DAW Footswitch Controller
Foot controllers are usually something that you associate with guitarists and to be honest, when I first had this unit land on my desk, I thought it was just another MIDI controller for an effects rig. Then I actually looked at the product and saw what was on offer. I am, of course, talking about the Nektar Pacer, a new foot controller that has been brought out by the innovators at Nektar, who originally delivered the Panorama keyboard that changed the way in which Reason users could interact with their software. With the Pacer, the team at Nektar has again changed the way in which musicians, producers and engineers can interact with their DAW of choice.
Reviewed: Aston Microphones SwiftShield & Shield GN
British microphone manufacturers Aston have developed a name for themselves in recent years by delivering microphones that are unique in both design and sound. It’s not just their microphones that are changing the classic design principles in the studio, as seen with accessories like their Halo reflection filter and now, the new line of pop filters, the Aston Shields. There are three combinations available in the range, and I got to test out a couple of them that cover all the options on offer.
Reviewed: Sfarzo Touchtone electric guitar strings
I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned it in the past, but during the day I work in a guitar shop. Right by the counter is a wall teeming with strings of as many different sizes, colours, materials and combinations as could ever possibly be necessary. In my day-to-day life, few sections of my place of employ bring forth so many questions. Few sections of the store illicit so much heated debate, especially when it comes to the inclusion of a new suitor to the racks. Everybody has their opinion on which set is best for which purpose and just about every opinion holder is so doggedly loyal to their brand as to turn to a quivering mess at the slightest hint of a change in packaging. We’re a bit like smokers in that way I guess. On the occasion a newbie does roll into town all bright and bubbling with intent, this is the audience there to greet them. This is the test that California’s Sfarzo Guitar String Company faces as they launch into the Australian market with Touchtone.
Reviewed: ZOOM H1N HANDY RECORDER
The Zoom Handy Recorder series are nifty little devices that have changed the way in which many of us look at location recording. The full range caters for multitrack options and incorporate external input sources like an additional microphone, but the simplest recorder is often all that is needed. That is where the Zoom H1N shines, and as the newest generation of their popular H1 Handy Recorder, there’s some nice touches that Zoom have included to make this even more usable than before.
Reviewed: Gruv Gear product range
For me, Gruv Gear was a brand that I had heard about but never took the time to deep dive and see what the fuss was all about. I had seen a myriad of players using their FretWraps, but had no clue that the company offered so much more further to those. I was surprised and excited to have a bundle of Gruv Gear’s products arrive at the office this month for me to check out.
Reviewed: JBV Premium String Sets
One of the most widely agreed upon, must-see documentaries of the past decade, where the guitar world is concerned, is without a doubt a little flick by the name of It Might Get Loud. More arguments have started in rehearsal rooms over any of the three protagonists’ involvement than I care to fathom. One of the more pathos-fueled moments in that filmic round table happens in the beginning where Jack White nails a pickup to a plank and cobbles together a rudimentary slide guitar right before our very eyes. This moment, more than any of the grandstanding usually associated with rock and roll, illustrates just how basic our needs are as string slingers. At the end of the day, all we really need is a wooden box and a good set of strings to drag our sorry knuckles over.