Mixdown’s 2023 Gift Guide Part 1: Accessories and merchandise

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Mixdown’s 2023 Gift Guide Part 1: Accessories and merchandise

Gift Guide Part 1
Words by Mixdown staff

It can be really tough to find the right gift - especially for someone with a hobby or career as niche and music and audio!

Gift Guide

It’s that time again; either you’re someone looking to buy that special something for that special someone, or you’re the special someone looking to snag yourself a deal! For those not in the know, a Christmas list of things like “Little Labs IBP”, “Radial J48” or simply “pair NS10” might seem like another language, so we’re here to help. Here’s the first part of our gift guide complete with links to purchase, prices and an overview!

Read another gift guide here.

Van Damme XLR cable

Distributed by: Amber Technology | RRP: from $69

Recommended for: Music venues, live soundies, touring, broadcast facilities, home and pro studio folk, education facilities.

Features: One thing every live music venue, broadcast facility or recording studio each share in common is XLR cables, and their reliability is key to any smooth gig or hassle free studio session.

Hand terminated in the U.K. with non other than Neutrik NC3FXX and NC3MXX connectors and 2% silver solder (under the strictest of quality control of course), Van Damme Tour Grade Classic XKE mic cables are indeed the definition of cable excellence. Flexible, durable and completely noiseless is what anyone could ever hope for in a quality XLR mic cable and this is assured by oxygen free copper (OFC) conductors (75%) and silver plated oxygen free copper conductors (25%) as well as flexible PVC used in every Van Damme XLR cable. 

Overall: These cables are a no nonsense unit, cutting through the noise for crystal clear audio. Found in the UK’s most prestigious broadcast facilities and recording studios (aka the BBC and Abbey Road) for good reason – they’re the best the Brits can get! Additional cables are a no-brainer for every musician, so theyve made it onto our gift guide!

Van Damme XLR

Van Damme Instrument cable

Distributed by: Amber Technology | RRP: from $69 

Recommended for: Musicians of stage and studio, music venues, touring artists, home and pro studio folk, education facilities.

Features: Cables are a musician’s best friend, be it in the studio or live on stage One thing more devastating than starting a song out of tune though is having a cable cut out on you halfway through a song, we’ve all been there! Thankfully Van Damme Pro Grade Classic XKE instrument cables are not only made with incredibly high spec materials which includes 43% silver plated conductors, 57% OFC copper conductors and flexible PVC, but each end is also terminated by Neutrik NP2X connectors using 2% silver solder (lead free) for maximum reliability and contact. This all combines for a relatively low capacitance unbalanced audio cable suitable for guitars, keyboards and other unbalanced instruments or sound sources. 

Overall: Van Damme instrument cables don’t muck around, and for unbalanced output devices, these cables deliver as clear a signal as one could hope for. Proudly used around the globe by countless professional musicians, touring acts and studio players alike – if you get the cable right, it’s only up from there!  

For local enquiries, visit Amber Technology.

D’Andrea USA Ace Vintage Reissue Guitar Strap

Distributed by: EGM | RRP: $72.99

Recommended for: Vintage guitar enthusiasts, nostalgists, retro strap lovers   

Features: If you’ve ever taken a peak at some photos from the 60’s or 70’s featuring music icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Eric Clapton or Elvis Presley, you might not have realised at first glance but you’d also laid eyes on another icon, an icon so subtle that you might’ve missed it until just now. Yep, you guessed it, an Ace Guitar Strap. Featuring unique patterned designed to meticulously replicate these straps of the golden years of music, used by iconic musicians of the day, each of these reissue straps are 2” wide with leather ends and enjoy a stitched vinyl inner layer for additional comfort. Each strap is made in the USA with scrupulous attention to detail of each individual design. 

Overall: As close to the real thing you’re ever going to get, without the frayed edges or vintage price tag. Iconic designs used by iconic artists. If you’re into retro looking music gear, you know someone that does or you’re just a diehard 60’s/70’s music fan, then you’re well and truly sorted with a heap of epic designs to choose from. 

Ace Vintage Guitars straps

D’Andrea Spider Capo by Creative Tunings

Distributed by: EGM | RRP: From $76.95

Recommended for: Singer/songwriters, capo devotees, arachnid lovers, when there’s just no time for tuning or those browsing a gift guide for the PERFECT gift.

Features: An incredibly unique take on the trusty capo, the Spider Capo offers users complete control of the tuning of their guitar. Unlike the traditional capo which typically fret every string on the fretboard when placed across a guitar neck, the Spider Capo allows individual strings to be fretted or not, opening up near endless creativity with different open and augmented tunings without needing to adjust tuning pegs. What’s more, using two Spider Capos in conjunction with each other opens up further tuning options with the ability to play both in front or behind the Spider Capo. The ability to change tuning on the fly or mid performance allows users to be even more creative with their playing, being able to explore new keys, tunings, harmonics and textures never easily accessible. 

Overall: A creative take on the humble capo is an understatement. The Spider Capo is an empowering creative tool for any songwriter, allowing one to explore nearly endless tunings, playing styles, chord structures and more. Whilst the old school capo might be the most misplaced item on stage, you won’t let a Spider Capo crawl away so easily.  

For local D’Andrea enquiries, visit EGM.

Fender Ugly Christmas Sweater

Distributed by: Fender Music Australia | RRP: $135

Recommended for: Holiday peeps pranksters, sweater sweethearts, those who like to appear overly festive

Features: ‘Tis the season and there’s always that one family member who brings out some ghastly old kitted Christmas sweater. And whilst the rest of the family may scoff and ridicule, you’re silently cheering in joyful glee. Fender’s Ugly Christmas sweaters are bold this year, with the “TELEREX” (yes, a T-Rex playing a Telecaster) or the rockin’ snowpal slinging a Strat. Ranging in sizes S – XXL, made from super soft hand 100% acrylic, Intarsia knitting process, these cozy ones can be machine cold washed and tumbled on low. 

Overall: They’re overly cheerful, kinda ugly, but there’s something about them that makes you want to cozy up by the fire with a hot mug of coco and wonder “why the hell am I wearing this Christmas sweater in summer!” Whilst they may not be seasonally appropriate for much of the southern hemisphere in December, these Ugly Sweaters are undeniably fun and you’ll be hard pressed to find an excuse not to put one on or get it for a friend or family member. But for the love of all good things Fender, do not iron or dry clean! Merry tidings to all. 

Shop Fender merch and accessories here.

Fender Ugly Sweater

Tom DeLonge To The Stars Strap

Distributed by: Fender Australia | RRP: $49

Recommended for: Guitar players, strap fiends, Blinkers, cosmologists, researchers and fans of the extraterrestrial variety 

Features: One cannot deny the existence and impact of Tom DeLonge on modern music, be it his guitar playing in Blink-182 or Angels and Airwaves. Other than his musical ventures and influence in the music community, Tom’s work with his company TTS (To The Stars) has built a strong community with fans scattered around the world. Inspired by the distinct colourways of his signature Fender Strat models, Fender are bringin a collaborated collection of guitar straps, sporting the recognisable “To The Stars” logo, and they look great! Offering maximum durability, adjustable length of 34” – 59” to fit most players, these printed polyester designs are made in Canada with superb quality available in four different colours – black, blue, yellow and green. 

Overall: Aren’t you even just a little bit curious as to what could be out there? With a choice of four different coloured Tom Delonge “To the Stars” brand guitar straps from Fender to choose from, and being just around the corner from the gift giving season, let’s get cosmic folks! 

Shop Fender merch and accessories here.

Orange Box-L Bluetooth Speaker 

Distributed by: Australis | RRP: $499

Recommended for: Wireless audio enthusiasts, iconic British amp devotees, fans of both Bluetooth speakers and guitar cabs.

Features: Assuming you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 50 years, it’s safe to assume you’ve heard an Orange amp, even if you didn’t know it. From those 50 years of innovative design comes a rockin’ little Bluetooth speaker that is every bit as classic Orange as its guitar amp cousins. Bringing rich, resonant tone, cutting-edge speaker technology with a 5” woofer and 2 x 2” tweeters, the Orange Box-L relishes in its Bluetooth 5 connectivity, for stable and reliable connection, and for those who may fear wireless woes, the anti-tangle aux cable included is a sure cure for potential music dropouts. With decades of cabinet design expertise, the construction of Orange Box-L is top notch, maximising a satisfying bass response accompanied by detailed mids and highs. As for the amplifier, both Class D and Class A/B designs are utilised (the only Bluetooth speaker on the market to do so) producing a staggering 50-watts RMS of power, making it the most powerful in its class. 

Overall: With its striking unmistakably Orange amp looks, the Orange Box-L brings the rock n roll vibe and is assured to brighten up any home so it’s made its way onto our gift guide!

Buy your Orange Box-L here.