Mixdown’s 2023 Gift Guide Part 3: Instruments

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Mixdown’s 2023 Gift Guide Part 3: Instruments

Gift Guide Part 3
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, read our gift guide! 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 third part of our gift guide complete with links to purchase, prices and an overview!

Read another gift guide here.

Epiphone Kirk Hammett “Greeny” 59 LP

Distributed by: Australis | RRP: $3499

Recommended for: Guitar nerds, Les Paul fanatics, rock dogs, 5th members of Metallica

Features: The mysterious story of the famed “Greeny” guitar has become somewhat legendary in guitarist circles, with this particular 1959 Les Paul Standard having graced the hands of three iconic guitar players in its fabled life. First, Peter Greene (previously of Fleetwood Mac), who then sold it to Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy and solo) and finally Greeny’s current owner – Kirk Hammett of Metallica. The reversed polarity neck pick up is said to be what makes the sound of this guitar so unique, and my oh my is this axe a striking beast! Thanks to a collaboration between Epiphone and Gibson Custom Shop, Greeny is now available to the masses, featuring premium components which include Gibson USA Greenybucker pickups (complete with reversed polarity neck pickup of course), Switchcraft pickup selector and ¼” jack, CTS pots, Mallory caps, Grover Rotomatic tuners and spade-style buttons on a classic Gibson-style “open-book” headstock. A vintage styled brown and pink hard shell case completes this faithful recreating of an absolute classic.

Overall: To pick up the most faithful recreation of one of the most mysterious guitars of all time is simply iconic! The look, the sound, with all the bells and whistles. A guitar made for players of studio and stage. 

For local enquiries, visit Australis.

Sequential Prophet Rev2 Synthesizer

Distributed by: Focusrite | RRP: $2799

Recommended for: Synth wizards, composer virtuosos, sound design demigods, lovers of legit synthesis 

Features: Not for the faint hearted, the Sequential Prophet Rev2 to put it simply, is an absolute beast and a stellar addition to our gift guide. Being the reinvention of Dave Smith’s modern classic, the Prophet 08”, the Prophet Rev2 has some serious lineage. 16-voice polyphony, wave shape modulation, expanded mod matrix, a wealth of digital effects (with the ability to add different effects per layer in stacked or split voice mode) makes for near endless sound manipulation and with classic bold and punchy 2/4 pole, low-pass, resonant Curtis filter per voice; the Rev2 is just gigantic sounding. If the engine and extended mod matrix (touting 8 individual slots and seemingly endless destinations) wasn’t enough, the polyphonic step sequencer allowing up to 64 steps (with up to 6 notes per step) might just make this synth worth its salt – elevating the Rev2 to an electronic music making nirvana. Connectivity is abundant as you’d likely expect with ¼” inputs and outputs as well as the full family of MIDI connections on board. 

Overall: An expansion on a modern classic, the Sequential Prophet Rev2 is absolutely bricked with features  and all the Dave Smith vibes and quality one would expect. A serious synth for endless sonic exploration. 

Keep reading at Sequential.

Ibanez UKS100 OPN Soprano Ukulele

Distributed by: Australis | RRP: $229

Recommended for: A more serious ukulele player, uke orchestras, campfire singalongs, when 4 strings is more than enough

Features: For those that have played a legitimate ukulele (as opposed to a throw-away toy version) will appreciate just how different they sound and feel, and no truer example of this could be found than the Ibanez UKS100 OPN soprano ukulele. Featuring a beautiful Okoume neck for supreme playing comfort and purple heart fretboard emphasising the richness of its bass frequencies, the UKS100 OPN sounds every bit as good as it looks and feels. The taller frets make for an incredibly comfortable playing experience, with lightning fast note response, impressive clarity and defined note articulation. The sapele top, back and sides offer a full, rich and warm tone with a nice balance of mids and brighter tonal character. The side sound port connects players even more to the instrument whilst also being aesthetically unique. Gig bag included, the UKS100 OPN is ready to rock!

Overall: With rich wood tones, ergonomic design and player friendly features, the UKS100 OPN is the perfect gift for those wanting to take their ukulele playing to the next level.

For local enquiries, visit Australis.

Katoh Hispania Classical Guitar

Distributed by: Dynamic Music | RRP: $899

Recommended for: Nylon stringed fanatics, gigging guitar players, Classical Gas

Features: There’s nothing more satisfying than busting out some finger picking magic on a classical nylon string, there’s a particular magic there that simply doesn’t exist in other guitars. What can be even more enticing is the sound of a nylon through a PA system. The fresh off the block Katoh Hispania is the perfect amalgamation of what makes an electro-acoustic nylon so special and alluring. With a stunning flame maple top and rich mahogany back, sides and neck with a deep rosewood fingerboard and bridge, the Hispania oozes sophistication and playability. Its ergonomic shape is made for the gigging musician being purpose-designed to eliminate feedback whilst providing stunning resonance and overall tone across the frequency spectrum. Packed with high quality components which include Martinez (by Der Jung) tuners, two-way adjustable truss rod, SG1 (Martinez & Double) electronics and high gloss finish, plus an included gig bag, this guitar is just begging to be played.

Overall: A truly professional electro-acoustic nylon with no expense or detail overlooked, making the Hispania a sturdy and reliable piece built to last. Its stunning finish is guaranteed to turn heads as is its natural acoustic and amplified sound combined.

For local enquiries, visit Dynamic Music.

Tenon-Chateau Valencay CAS-22 Alto (Golden)

Distributed by: Kurt Jacob & Company Pty Ltd | RRP: Enquire for pricing

Recommended for: Students looking to upgrade their instrument, parents looking for their child’s next sax!

Features: Valencay CAS-22 Alto Saxophone is perfect for both beginners starting their musical journey and advanced players seeking a versatile companion. Crafted with precision, it features a stable brass body with ribbed construction. Enhancements include a High F# for easier playability, an intricately engraved bell for visual appeal, mother-of-pearl key buttons for a touch of elegance, and Pisoni pads for precise tonal control. Adapt easily and play beautifully with the Alto Saxophone.

  • Brass
  • Ribbed Construction
  • High F#
  • Bell Engraved
  • Mother of Pearl Key Buttons
  • Pisoni Pads

Overall: a great upgrade for students or other intermediate saxophone players. Refined specs, upgraded quality and playability and most importantly – sound!

Tenon-Valencay CCS-22 Curved Soprano (Golden)

Distributed by: Kurt Jacob & Company Pty Ltd | RRP: Enquire for pricing

Recommended for: Students and players looking to begin their sax journey with the best!

Features: Experience the brilliance of music with theValencay CCS-22  Curved Soprano Saxophone. Ideal for classical and modern jazz, its bright tones, reminiscent of crystal clarity, unveil the essence of musical beauty. Tailored for players with some experience, it shines in special musical settings, showcasing the performer’s skill. Crafted from brass with a single post design, it features a high F# for versatile playability. The engraved bell, mother-of-pearl key buttons, and Pisoni pads ensure both visual elegance and precise tonal control.

  • Brass
  • Single Post
  • High F#
  • Bell Engraved
  • Mother of Pearl Key Buttons
  • Pisoni Pads

Overall: The CCS-22 is possibly the best choice for an entry level sax player, carrying them through to more advanced playing. A good instrument prevents bad techniques and form developing, and the CCS-22 is our pick!

For more info about the CAS-22 or CCS-22, keeping reading at Chateu Wind.