Reviewed: Fender Level Set Buffer Pedal
Let me tell you a little story, dear reader. Once upon a time in the land of rock and roll, there were hundreds of happy little elves wailing away on twelve-bars in garages to their hearts’ content. They were perfectly happy with the volume they got out of their tweed covered amps and when those tubes started to warm and break up, you could hear their excited squeals ring out across the land. These were simpler times. Then, one day, an evil genius decided to throw a spanner in the works. He had invented a number of small devices designed to situate between the guitar and its electrical destination, changing the sound in many and varied ways. This opened up a Pandora’s box of questions, options and problems for the happy little elves, and not all of them were so easy to resolve.
Reviewed: Sennheiser EW100 G4-835 Wireless System
There is no doubt that when it comes to wireless microphones, Sennheiser is one of the world leaders. Their systems can be found being used at the local pub every weekend, to large scale tours, broadcasts and some of the biggest events around the world, like the recent Eurovision contest. It’s because of the quality of build, reliability and flexibility that Sennheiser wireless systems offer that they get chosen for so many large scale events. And with that, there is no reason why you too can’t have the same quality of wireless transmission and exceptional audio quality, no matter what size your audience. With the recent release of Sennheiser’s G4 wireless systems, it is now even more affordable to have the best quality wireless system in class. Let’s have a look at the EW100 system.
Reviewed: Fender The Bends Compressor Pedal
When you think about glass, you think about clarity. You think about windows that shield you from the wind and rain, but also reveal the subtle and resplendent beauty of the landscape you surround yourself with. In the process of doing their job, one side will invariably catch all the dirt and degradation that comes with exposure to the elements, but the best glass will clean up with little more than a once over with a squeegee.
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: Markbass Little Marcus 800 Bass Head
It doesn’t get much bigger than Marcus Miller in the world of bass playing. His career boasts Grammy awards, platinum records, film scores, and playing/writing/producing/recording with the likes of Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Bill Withers, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock and so many more. He has an identifiable sound, serious chops and groove, and has been hugely influential as a musician (and not just for bass players). So when someone with his status joins forces with a bass amp company, it really must be something they believe in. With Markbass being quite the innovator and one of the market leaders, it seems like a primo combination. Enter the Little Marcus series of bass heads with the 800 watt model sitting on our desk.
Reviewed: Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge Amplifier
If sales of battery powered amps and loop pedals are any indication, Bourke Street Mall must be nearing a 1:1 ratio of buskers to change-throwers by now. With the high voltage guitar heroes of yesteryear giving way to their spongier, more sensitive Sheeran-esque descendants, it seems like every player and their dog wants to take to the streets to profess undying love for a childhood sweetheart through song. For the longest time, Roland’s CUBE Street range has been the go-to for those not able to live off the grid, but these days there are more contenders to the throne than ever before. Fishman has been the pickup and preamp choice for discerning acoustic players almost since their genesis. Its line of Loudbox acoustic amplifiers has risen through the ranks thanks mainly to its unprecedented attention to sound quality, and throwing the Loudbox Mini Charge hat into the busking ring could well see them knock the black, angled box off the top spot.
Reviewed: Vox Starstream Type 1
“The ultimate instrument for players looking to redefine the electric guitar” reads some of Vox’s press regarding the Starstream Type-1. There have been a number of companies that have had a swing at straying from the traditional electric guitar sound and shape with varying degrees of success. Vox, under its umbrella with Line 6 and Yamaha, has been on the money with recent releases, so I’m intrigued to see and hear the Starstream Type-1 in action.
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).