Warm Audio, Ernie Ball Music Man + more: our top five gear releases of the week

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Warm Audio, Ernie Ball Music Man + more: our top five gear releases of the week

1. Warm Audio Foxy Tone Box + Jet Phaser

Warm Audio have built a rather sturdy reputation for their wonderful reinterpretations of classic studio gear, and now it seems they’ve got their sights set on guitarists with their first ever foray into stompbox territory. The Foxy Tone Box and the Jet Phaser are both based on coveted vintage circuits from the 1970s, with both units perfectly replicating the aesthetic and sounds of their forebearers.


Wrapped in thick orange velvet, the Foxy Tone Box is based upon the Foxx Tone Machine, a sought-after unit used by the likes of Trent Reznor, Billy Gibbons and Peter Frampton. It features NOS Fairchild germanium transistors to create its roaring tone, while controls for volume, sustain and fuzz allow you to tap into a variety of flavours. There’s also a toggle switch to engage the Tone Box’s octave effect for a scorching hot lead tone, while true-bypass switching will maintain the integrity of your tone when the unit’s in bypass mode. 



The Jet Phaser, on the other hand, is based on Roland’s own beloved modulation unit of the same name, and stays true to the awesome footprint of the original. It’s got six modes on offer – two Phase, four Jet – and can range from a subtle warble to all out whooshy madness depending on how you’ve got your controls set. A resonance filter knob lets you shape the Jet Phaser’s sonic peaks, while a fast/slow footswitch and slow rate knob lets you model that classic rotating Leslie speaker cab tone.



All in all, this looks like a very exciting start to Warm Audio’s guitar effects range, and we’re stoked to see what the company have got waiting for us in the wings. 


2. Ernie Ball Music Man John Myung Bongo 6

Dream Theater’s mind-blowingly talented bassist John Myung has linked up with Ernie Ball Music Man to unveil one of the best signature basses of the year with the John Myung Bongo 6; a bespoke monster with eye-popping appointments and a killer tone to boot. Developed across a ‘decade long refinement process’, the bass features a basswood body and roasted maple neck, and makes use of a unique rosewood/roasted maple fretboard, effectively splitting the fretboard into two different tonewoods and adding White Half Moon inlays for a subtle touch of class.


The Ernie Ball Music Man John Myung Bongo 6 also boasts twin humbucking pickups with neodymium magnets, while a master volume and pickup blend knob keep things simple in the electronics department. Interestingly, the John Myung Bongo bass also features a tight five-string nut width, and is topped off with a chrome bridge and custom lightweight Music Man tuners. These Bongo basses are always a treat to play, and if the playing experience of Myung’s model is any similar to that of his bandmate John Petrucci’s own signature EBMMs, this one is going to be a ripper. 



3. The Circle Guitar

This is a bit of an odd one, but we’re suckers for the hype, and there’s no way we’re letting this one go to the keepers. Invented by Anthony Dickens, the Circle Guitar is a revolutionary (ha) guitar that utilises a step-sequencing disc to cycle underneath the strings, with users programming different rhythmic patterns by magnetically placing five different guitar picks onto 128 slots on the disc.


There’s also a single hexaphonic pickup and independent outputs for each string, while six mini toggles can also be used to momentarily engage these outputs. Being able to reach speeds up to 250bpm, Dickens says that “by using a mechanical device to strike the strings, rather than a human hand, you can exceed what is physically possible and push guitar playing into new, unexplored territories,” with the Circle Guitar also receiving praise from Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien. It’s a fascinating concept – if you’re as intruiged as we are, we suggest you follow Dickens on the ‘Gram for all updates and announcements. 



4. Catalinbread Effects Custom Naga Viper 

Catalinbread’s brand new Gallery Series sees them deck out some of their most loved pedals with custom art coverings, with a portion of the proceeds from each unit going towards a charity chosen by the artist. They’re kicking things off with the limited edition Naga Viper treble booster painted by Colin Shawcross, with 10% of sales going to Shriners Hospitals For Children in Florida. 


Taking inspiration from the Dallas Rangemaster, the Naga Viper gives players three different controls to shape the Volume, Range and Heat of the pedal, making for a much more modern take on the unit without neutering its classic sound. Each purchase also comes with a bunch of stickers, a drawstring bag and a matching t-shirt, and there’s two different black and yellow stompboxes to choose from – head to Reverb to grab yours today. 



5. Korg Krome EX Limited Edition Copper Version

Sick of glancing at your keyboard collection and seeing a boring mass of tarnished grey and faded black plastic boxes? Korg’s new Copper Krome EX could be the one for you. The synthesier giants have shared a new limited edition version of their 61-key workstation that’s decked out in a cool Copper finish, which could be a sight for some sore eyes.


Other than that, it’s pretty much the exact same unit – but we’re still excited! If you’re keen to get your mitts on one, make an enquiry with Korg’s local distributors today.



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