Carr Amplifiers, Roland + more: our top five gear releases of the week
10.12.2020

Carr Amplifiers, Roland + more: our top five gear releases of the week

Words by Will Brewster

Missed everything that's gone on in the gear world this week? Never fear - we've got you covered.

This week, we’re tucking into a tantalising offering from boutique dons Carr Amplifiers, as well as an update to Arturia’s endlessly useful V suite, Roland’s amazing new Aerophone Pro and more.

1. Carr Amplifiers Super Bee

Inspired by the classic tones of the Blackface era of Fender Super Reverb production, the Super Bee from Carr is a 10 watt, super portable combo powered by a newly created secret weapon: the 6BM8. This power/preamp hybrid tube combines a 12AT7 triode with a low watt plate dissipation pentode to combine dynamic output, volume and tonal transparency. The Super Bee pairs this 6BM8 with an EZ81 rectifier tube to inject even further character into your tone, creating a winning trifecta that so many other little amps simply don’t amount to.

The Super Bee also provides a three-position Sting switch to let players flick between three classic Blackface tones – extra scooped, Fullerton strut and a hot ’70s CBS-style sound – making for the ultimate amp for use at home.

2. Roland Aerophone Pro

The new flagship model in the company’s digital wind instrument range, the Roland Aerophone Pro is an absolute monster of a device for any brass or wind player looking for a bit of peace and quiet around the house. Powered by the ZEN-Core Synthesis System – the very same as the one used in Roland’s FANTOM and JUPITER-X synthesisers – the Aerophone packs a bunch of classic saxophone, trumpet, flutes and a number of other instruments from around the globe into a compact, lightweight and versatile unit.

Sharing a similar fingering to that of a high F# acoustic saxophone, the Aerophone Pro is extremely easy to play, and features MIDI and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a built in speaker and battery powered operation. There’s even in-app compatibility to tweak sounds ands save presets – the future is well and truly here.

3. Arturia V Collection 8

Arturia’s flagship V collection of soft synths has received a new update to add in the previously released OB-Xa V and three other synths to make for a collection that simply won’t let you down.

One of the new additions to the Arturia V collection includes the Jun-6 V 8, a recreation of the world famous Juno 6. This recreation offers all the same features as the original unit, and adds in a secondary LFO and envelope as well as reverb and delay effects to expand the palate of the original.

Elsewhere, the V Collection 8 also sees Arturia replicate the Emu Emulator II – an early sampler similar to the Fairlight CMI – as well as a replica of Roland’s VP-330 vocoder and string machine for all your ’70s disco and robo-voice stylings.

Arturia have also provided updates to all other soft synths in the V range, including major overhauls to the Stage 73 V and Jup-8 V, plus new Macro controls and an improved browser for the whole suite. Check it out today.

4. Red Witch Pristina 

New Zealand’s Red Witch have revealed a new pedal named the Pristina, providing two channels of germanium-powered amp-style boost right at the tip of your toes. Constructed with two independent channels, each side of the Pristina features a hand-selected new-old-stock germanium transistor, perfect for slicing through the mix with a fat solo or cascading an amp into overdrive.

A bi-colour blue and red LED signifies whether each side of the pedal is on or off, and there’s also two knobs on the top of the pedal to control the volume of each channel. The Pristina runs on a regulated 9 – 18v DC power supply, and is available in extremely limited, hand-built and signed numbers. Get yours ASAP!

5. Blackstar Carry-On Guitar 

The latest product from Blackstar Amplification is a nifty, ultra-portable travel guitar fittingly named the Carry-On. Designed in conjunction with Gordon Smith Guitars, the Carry-On features a 20.7″ scale, and is built with an okoume neck and body with a string-thru bridge, as well as a 19 fret laurel fretboard and a set of 12-54 gauge strings to compensate for its short scale length.

In the pickup department, the Carry-On features a single mini humbucker, with the guitar’s volume knob functioning as a coil-splitting control to unlock further tones should you desire. It’s also available in White and Black finishes, and can be purchased either solo or with two different accessory bundles. Keep your eyes out for it in stores soon!

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