The annual NAMM show features thousands of new products on display from top manufacturers and budding new startups, all with the same basic goal: getting the creative juices flowing and inspiring music makers of all ages. If you missed our first roundup you can read it here. Below is our followup of some more gear we think you’ll find interesting, taken from each company’s press releases. Look for our reviews of some of these products and more throughout the year!
Martin Guitar SC-13E
Martin Guitar’s new SC-13E took home a Best in Show award at the NAMM show in the Acoustic Guitar category. The all-new SC-13E, with its patent-pending Sure AlignTM neck system, gives you full access to all frets so you can comfortably reach those high notes. It’s also equipped with a new, low-profile velocity neck barrel that ergonomically accommodates your hand as you move up the neck, giving you the comfort and playability of an electric.
It was designed from the ground up to be plugged in, and its asymmetrical body shape provides balanced output, giving you more gain before feedback.
The SC-13E is constructed with a Sitka spruce top and a koa fine veneer back and sides, all with a beautiful gloss finish. Its low-profile velocity, ergonomic neck is carved to produce a subtle progressive taper for maximum comfort, while blue accents in the rosette, fingerboard, and binding are sure to make this guitar stand out in a crowd. It is equipped with a built-in tuner, discreetly tucked inside the soundhole so you can make adjustments without missing a beat. And to further delight performing artists, the SC-13E comes with a soft-shell case and is strung with Martin’s Authentic Acoustic Lifespan® 2.0 strings.
IK Multimedia Axe I/O Solo
IK Multimedia announces AXE I/O SOLO, a new entry in its range of AXE I/O® high-end guitar interfaces with advanced tone-shaping features. Developed for guitar players who want to record the best possible sound on a budget or on the go, AXE I/O SOLO is a compact 2-in/3-out USB audio interface that features IK’s high-end PURE microphone preamp; an instrument input with proprietary tone-shaping options; an exclusive Amp Out to incorporate real gear into a recording setup; and 24-bit, 192 kHz converters with a wide dynamic range, for pristine recordings in all musical genres.
AXE I/O SOLO can also act as a controller for use with IK’s included AmpliTube® or other favorite guitar-friendly software, offering a complete, affordable solution for players who want the best possible tone for their tracks. AXE I/O SOLO will be available Q2 from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for $/€249.99*, and is now available for pre-order.
D’Addario Accessories Backline Gear Transport Pack
Designed from the ground up, the D’Addario Backline Gear Transport Pack is the ultimate solution for players on the move. With more than eight specialized storage and transport compartments built right in, the Gear Transport Pack makes getting everything to the gig – and keeping it safe along the way – painless and intuitive. It’s heavy construction, water-resistant zippers, and comfort-padded contact points mean you can arrive confident, comfortable, and ready to play.
- Modular cable filing system
- Small and large accessory compartments
- Microphone and Mic Stand storage
- Discrete Laptop/tablet storage
The Backline Gear Transport Pack will be available on March 2, 2020.
Boss Waza Air Personal Guitar Amplification System
The Waza-Air Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System is a revolutionary new wearable, over-ear sound system for guitarists. In BOSS Waza tradition, Waza-Air combines decades of expertise with cutting-edge innovation to present a breakthrough musical product that truly pushes the envelope. Melding BOSS’s premium amp, effects, and wireless technologies with dynamic 3D sound and natural “amp-in-room” tone, Waza-Air delivers a unique guitar amplification experience that’s never been available until now.
Waza-Air’s advanced ambience setups provide three realistic environments to play in. Surround mode places the amp in a virtual room, providing an immersive experience like playing a recording studio. Static mode provides natural spatial localization, where the combined amp and room sound continually changes depending on where the user moves their head. Finally, Stage mode places the user center stage, with the amp sound coming from a virtual backline behind them.
Waza-Air features tones and controls from the stage-class Katana amplifiers, with full customization available using the free BOSS Tone Studio app for iOS and Android. Five amp types deliver tones from classic clean to high gain, plus a full-range voice that’s ideal for bass or acoustic-electric guitar. Over 50 effect types are available as well, including mod, delay, and reverb effects optimized for Waza-Air’s unique spatial experience. And with six onboard memories, users can store favorite setups and recall them with dedicated buttons.
In addition to providing a wireless connection to BOSS Tone Studio, Waza-Air’s built-in Bluetooth lets the user jam along with songs from their mobile device. When used with Stage mode, the streaming music plays from the backline along with the amp sound, simulating a live performance environment. It’s also possible to remotely control volume and playback functions with a multi-function lever on Waza-Air.
All audio connectivity with Waza-Air is 100-percent wireless, allowing users to move and play in complete freedom. Advanced wireless tech from BOSS’s acclaimed WL series provides premium sound quality, effortless set up, and great playing feel with ultra-low latency. The headphones and included transmitter also feature auto standby and wake functions, conserving the life of their built-in rechargeable batteries between playing sessions. The BOSS Waza-Air Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System is available for $399.99
D’Addario XT Strings
D’Addario XT, the first portfolio in the series, combines high carbon steel cores and our most popular alloys with an extended life treatment on every string in the set, giving players enhanced break resistance, pitch stability, and long-lasting performance – all while preserving the tone and feel of their favorite uncoated strings. These strings are made to stay, for performance that never fades away.
XT will be widely available this September for Acoustic, Electric, Bass, and Classical Guitar, as well as Mandolin and Banjo. The XT portfolio will range in price starting at $9.99 MAP.
Positive Grid Spark: The Smart Guitar Amplifier and App.
Positive Grid announces Spark, a smart guitar amp and accompanying app (iOS/Android) driven by intelligent technology to offer real-time Smart Jam accompaniment, Auto Chord detection and intuitive practice features for players of all levels. Spark also functions as a full-range, 40-Watt combo amp and features a variety of tone-shaping options plus amp and FX modeling built upon the company’s award-winning BIAS engine.
Guitarists can play and practice using the Spark’s Auto Chord feature to access millions of songs on popular streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music. The Spark app automatically analyzes and displays chords for millions of songs in real time, and its easy-to-use controls let the player slow down the song’s tempo or loop a difficult section to practice.
As a guitar amp, Spark features a deep, loud and immersive speaker design with two custom-designed speakers and a tuned bass-reflex port that are engineered to provide deep, full-sounding basses and crystal-clear highs for every style of music.
Spark also boasts a full amp modeling and multi-effects engine powered by Positive Grid’s award-winning BIAS tone engine to provide realistic virtual tube amps and effects. Players can dial in pristine melodies, crunchy chords or soaring leads for electric guitar; deep, thunderous tones for bass; and a bright and full-bodied sound for acoustic guitar. Players have access to over 10,000 guitar and bass amp-and-FX programs from famous guitarists, session players, studio engineers and producers from around the world via Positive Grid’s ToneCloud community.
Spark can be used as a USB audio interface for easily recording on a computer. It even comes with PreSonus Studio One Prime recording software for free, allowing players to get started right out of the box.
Watch the Spark introductory video here: https://youtu.be/Em7yHXqH6p4
Find out more at positivegrid.com/spark
PreSonus StudioLive ARc Mixers
PreSonus®’ new StudioLive® ARc series combines a multi-channel 24-bit, 96 kHz, USB-C compatible, USB 2.0 audio interface with an analog mixer front-end, to create a hybrid design that simplifies recording and mixing using a single intuitive console. Featuring newly designed high-headroom analog circuits, along with the company’s high-gain XMAX Class A mic preamps, StudioLive ARc audio interface mixers fulfill the needs of both modern musicians and content creators.
Three models are available: The StudioLive AR8c offers 4 mic preamps and 6 balanced line inputs for 8×4 recording/playback, while the StudioLive AR12c sports 8 mic preamps and 12 balanced line inputs for 14×4 recording/playback, and the StudioLive AR16c delivers 12 mic preamps and 16 balanced line inputs for 18×4 recording/playback. All models support recording every channel plus the main mix over USB and feature a musical, 3-band analog EQ on every channel; mic/line boost for low-level vintage synths, broadcast microphones, and consumer electronics; and Bluetooth® 5.0 connectivity. The onboard stereo SD recorder is great for recording a rehearsal or a mobile podcast interview or quickly capturing songwriting ideas. An all-new digital effects processor with 16 presets supplies rich reverbs, lush delays, and fat chorusing and includes a dedicated send and return, as well as a bypass footswitch jack (footswitch optional).
All three models are available now at PreSonus dealers at U.S. street prices of: StudioLive AR8c $499.95, StudioLive AR12c $599.95, and StudioLive AR16c $699.95. For more information, visit www.presonus.com/products/StudioLive-AR-Hybrid-Mixers.
JBL EON ONE Portable PA System
Want to play a gig in the middle of nowhere? With the JBL EON One Compact you can — no AC power required! This battery-powered all-in-one PA delivers 112dB of clean, full-range audio with a low-frequency range that extends all the way down to 37.5Hz. A built-in 4-channel mixer and generous I/O options accommodate your microphones, instrument, and portable media player. Bluetooth enables you to stream audio from your mobile device. You also get an 8-band EQ and high-quality digital effects for optimizing your sound, and a 1/4” passthrough for expanding the system for larger rooms. What’s more, the EON One Compact weighs a mere 17.6 pounds, so it’s light enough to carry with one hand!
Universal Audio Announces All‑New LUNA Recording System
Universal Audio (UA), a leading manufacturer of professional audio recording hardware and software, introduces LUNA Recording System, a full-featured music creation, recording, and analog-style production system shaped by over 60 years of analog audio exploration.
LUNA transforms UA’s industry-standard Apollo interfaces into the most inspiring and fully integrated recording systems available. LUNA Recording System consists of a UA Thunderbolt-equipped audio interface, the LUNA Application, LUNA Extensions, and LUNA Instruments.
LUNA will be available as a free download for Apollo and Arrow Thunderbolt audio interface owners (Mac only) in Spring 2020.
Key LUNA Recording System features include its deep Apollo interface integration, built-in Neve® Summing, Multitrack Tape Emulation, and all-new LUNA Instruments — UA’s long-awaited foray into software‑based instruments.
Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT
The Boss Acoustic Singer Live LT is the latest addition to the popular Acoustic Singer amplifier series. The Acoustic Singer Live LT is ideal for players with basic stage amplification needs, offering guitar and mic channels, independent effects, DI connectivity, and more.
The new Acoustic Singer Live LT is the most streamlined model in the series, offering an essential feature set for players who don’t need the extended features found in other Acoustic Singer amps. The bi-amp design delivers 60 watts of total power, and the portable cabinet is easy to carry to rehearsals, gigs, and jam sessions.
Dual channels provide premium sound for acoustic/electric guitar and vocals, with discrete analog input circuitry, independent three-band EQs, and chorus, delay, and reverb effects. BOSS’s Acoustic Resonance processing is available on the guitar channel, restoring natural tone to stage guitars with piezo pickups. The mic channel features a one-touch Enhance function, making it simple to achieve big, studio-quality vocals on stage.
The Acoustic Singer Live LT is equipped with onboard tools to help players quickly eliminate feedback issues, including a phase switch on the guitar channel and a notch filter that works on both channels. Ample rear-panel connectivity is provided as well, allowing users to interface with PA systems, music players, computers, and more.
Other models in the Acoustic Singer series include the 120-watt Acoustic Singer Pro and 60-watt Acoustic Singer Live, which offer advanced features like intelligent vocal harmony, onboard looping, dual DI/line outputs, and more. The Acoustic Singer Live LT will be available in February 2020 for $399.99.
PETERSON TUNERS ADDS REMOTE PRESET SELECTION TO STROBOSTOMP HD
Peterson Strobe Tuners, a leader in professional tuning equipment for over 70 years, has announced a major firmware update (v.1.0.25) for their StroboStomp HD tuning pedal. This firmware update adds a Remote Preset Selection feature and allows users of the StroboStomp HD a quick way to access all their tuning presets without having to reach down to access the on-board buttons in order to navigate through their collection of presets. When the Remote Preset Selection feature is activated, by simply pressing and holding the stomp switch users can now pull any open string, or even “thump” their connected instrument, to advance to the next tuning preset.
Since the release of the StroboClip tuner back in 2009, Peterson’s Sweetened Tuning presets have garnered lots of attention from multiple ranges of players. These specialized presets address a variety of tuning issues and ultimately enhance an instrument’s playability. With the popularity of Sweetened Tunings rapidly growing, the capability to program user-inspired tunings, and the StroboStomp HD having over 135 factory presets, navigating through presets at the gig proved to be problematic for some players with intricate preset lists. This Remote Preset Selection feature will allow players more time to monitor visual cues on stage, free up time to adjust other pedals, and decrease the amount of time spent navigating presets often during very short breaks between songs.
The Remote Preset Selection option is a signal driven feature that requires an input trigger to advance through a user’s preset list. Users must be connected to the StroboStomp HD to use this feature. It does not matter where the StroboStomp HD is located in the signal chain to use this feature. Triggering the tuner by pulling a string or “thumping” your instrument will advance the preset selection by one setting. Additionally, if you have a dedicated color assigned to the preset, this will continue to serve as a preset identifier.
Casio CELVIANO AP-710 And Casiotone Electronic Keyboards
Equipped with many of the features musicians have come to know and love in the CELVIANO line, the AP-710 features three world class grand piano sounds, improved speaker system, LCD display and audio accompaniment with Concert Play mode. Like the Grand Hybrid line, the AP-710 was also developed in collaboration with C. Bechstein and offers world-class piano sounds that can be experienced through Casio’s Tri-Sensor 88-note scaled hammer action keyboard II with simulated ebony and ivory keys. This combination of piano tones along with Casio’s scaled hammer action, provides players the experience of owning three of the finest pianos on earth. Other features include 26 different tones, three built-in pedals (damper, soft, sostenuto), 15 pre-set songs, two-track MIDI recorder, and more!
Perfect for music enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels, the new Casiotone CT-S200, CT-S300 and LK-S250 electronic keyboards are ideal for playing at home or on the go. Each model boasts 61 full-size keys, 400 tones, 77 rhythms, 60 built-in songs, 50 patterns for Dance Music Mode, USB Midi, and more. Equipped with a slim chassis, easy-to-read LCD display, and intuitive controls, users can quickly start playing any tune! Built-in speakers and the 1/8” audio input mean users can enjoy sharing music with friends or plug in headphones to play on their own. The Casiotone series is also compatible with the Chordana Play app, allowing users to take their music further and learn how to play any songs from downloaded MIDI files. The LK-S250 model boasts lighted keys and Casio’s Step-Up lesson system, making it easier than ever to learn your favorite songs. Finally, all models can be powered by either six AA batteries or the included AC adaptor, allowing players to have fun making music wherever they go.
To learn more about Casiotone digital pianos, and the full portfolio of Casio electronic musical instruments, visit www.CasioMusicGear.com.