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Seymour Duncan presents Mick Thomson's Signature Blackouts EMTY

Posted by sarabdeep Tuesday, November 10, 2009 0 comments

Seymour Duncan has announced the release of the latest addition to our popular Blackouts Humbucker series the Blackouts AHB-3 Thomson EMTY. Like its predecessors (The AHB-1 and AHB-2), the Blackouts AHB-3 EMTY provides distinctive, screaming metal tones, packing a serious mid-range punch, thicker, darker chords than other humbuckers and hard-hitting driving leads.

The 9-volt active Blackouts are designed specifically for more aggressive playing styles including players using extreme low tunings. The EMTY takes it a step further, created to meet Mick Thomson's personal specs and metal desires. Mick asked for tighter bottom, and more searing top end cut, and Seymour Duncan delivered.

The AHB series conveys a less compressed tone, with a more extended frequency response helping to cancel hum by using balanced inputs. Blackouts are up to 14dB quieter than any other active pickups, while producing more lows, more highs, and more output. Simply put, Blackouts have more tone than other active pickup. And players have noticed the benefits of the reduced hum, especially during recording.

Thomson was already an avid fan of the Blackouts when he met Seymour Duncan Head of Artist Relations, Evan Skopp during a discreet backstage meeting at the 2008 Loud Park festival in Japan. Mick stayed involved every step of the way from the precise wiring configuration to the logo and printing on the pickup including his renowned "seven" imprinted right on the side of the cover. Now he depends on EMTY to execute his completely psychosocial tone that defines the Slipknot sound; because to play extreme metal, you need extreme metal tone.

AHB-3 Blackouts EMTY are available as Mick's two-humbucker set, or in individual neck and bridge models to mix and match with other Blackouts and Livewires Classic II active pickups. All versions come with all necessary mounting hardware, including pots, jack, and a battery clip. For players with active pickups already installed, the EMTY can plug right into the quick connection harness, making it a snap to unplug the old pickup and plug in the new EMTY.

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The TLC Compressor is designed to give musicians the ability to control their dynamics in a flexible and musical way, making it an invaluable musical tool for both recording and live use. Our proprietary Trans Linear Control (TLC) circuit enables us to achieve unprecedented levels of performance in a small package.

The TLC Compressor features a four-knob layout to provide a full set of important features. Using a wide range of attack times and variable threshold and slope levels, you’ll be able to dial in just the right sound. Aguilar’s TLC Compressor gives you a range of control usually found only in expensive studio compressors.


- Threshold control: variable from -30 to -10 dBu
- Slope control: variable from 2:1 to infinity
- Attack control: variable from 10ms to 100ms
- Level control: -infinity to -3dBu
- Low Distortion: (<0.2 %)
- Gig-saver bypass (signal passes even if your battery dies)
- Power: Nine-volt battery or optional universal power supply
- Heavy Duty steel construction
- Battery life >100 hours

The TLC Compressor will be released in January 2010 and carries a US MSRP of $269.

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Peavey Electronics has announced that its new IPR DSP Series of power amplifiers will be the first amplifiers to use the acclaimed Waves MX5010 semiconductor.

The Waves MX5010 features such proprietary Waves technologies as MaxxBass Bass Extension, MaxxTreble High Frequency Enhancement, 7-Band Paragraphic MaxxEQ, MaxxStereo, MaxxVolume Level Control and much more. Waves is the industry leader in professional audio digital signal processing technologies, heard on hit records, major motion pictures and popular video games the world over.

Boasting a net weight of just 7 lbs. on the lightest model, the groundbreaking Peavey IPR Series utilizes an advanced design that allows Peavey engineers to dramatically reduce weight while increasing reliability, thermal efficiency and output power (up to 6,000 watts at 2 ohms stable). IPR Series amplifiers are designed with a resonant switch-mode power supply and a high-speed class D topology that yields the highest audio resolution and efficiency available. Four DSP-equipped models feature 32-bit, floating-point digital signal processing with program-specific EQ presets that make common sound-reinforcement EQ treatments easy to perform.

The revolutionary Peavey IPR Series DSP power amplifiers are the first to integrate Waves technology, in particular MaxxBass, which uses psycho-acoustics to create precise harmonic overtones that give the perceived effect of adding low frequencies to the mix. MaxxBass resides in the amplifiers' 32-bit DSP section and can be adjusted from 0% to 100%.

The Waves MX5010 semiconductor integrates a high performance 24-bit DSP core with pre-programmed MaxxAudio algorithms for a powerful and cost-effective sound enhancement solution. The benefits of utilizing the MX5010 in the IPR Series are numerous. Providing processing at 24 bits at up to 48kHz and 100% clean bypass guarantees the MX5010 DSP preserves audio quality at its most pristine form. Aside from MaxxBass, the MX5010's other proprietary technologies provide wide-ranging sound enhancements.

MaxxVolume will protect the speaker and electrical components from electric surges and speaker fatigue without requiring a dedicated limiter. The unit's Delay function can be used to create programmable speaker arrays and delay towers without an external delay module. MaxxTreble can be used to enhance high frequencies dynamically without "painful" high end. MaxxEQ and MaxxBass can be used for designing efficient and programmable active crossovers for both amplifiers and powered speakers. The MX5010's router section can be used to control levels for multiple speaker outputs, also allowing the user to create presets for various I/O scenarios.

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The Loar has reintroduced the vintage-inspired LH-200 guitar for players looking for an affordable classic blues guitar design. Carefully assembled in the same hand-carved workshop where the best-selling LM-600 and LM-700 hand-carved mandolins are built, The Loar LH-200 has a classic pre-war body style, outstanding features, and the warmth and projection typical of a much-larger guitar.

From the vintage sunburst finish to the open geared butterbean tuners, The Loar LH-200 is modeled after classic small-bodied flat top acoustic guitars from the 1930's. The guitar features a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, grained ivoroid body binding and a rosewood fretboard.

The LH-200's smaller body size is great for songwriters and touring musicians who want an acoustic guitar that travels easily and sounds great consistently. Blues players will love the classic tone, reminiscent of the historic blues boxes of the 1920's and 30's. The guitar's vintage sound, looks and features make the LH-200 a perfect choice for all styles of playing.

The LH-200 has a list price of $699.99 and is available now.

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AXL has introduced an all-new PlayerPac with everything beginner players need to get started, all packaged in a great-looking point-of-purchase box.

The AXL Electric Guitar PlayerPac (AS-BOX) offers players a beginner guitar that looks and sounds great, and makes learning fun. The double cutaway guitar has a basswood body with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard, for that classic electric guitar style and tone. With 3 single-coil pickups and a 5-way selector switch, players can choose from a variety of tonal options. The classic-style tremolo bridge makes for great string-bending action, and the guitar's sealed tuners keep it in tune even for demanding players.

The package also includes the AXL Compact 10 amp, a loud 10-watt amp with volume, tone and drive controls and a 1/4" headphone jack enabling quiet practice for students AND parents. With the included tuner, picks, strap and gig bag, beginning players have a complete kit that they won't grow out of quickly.

With the perfect combination of guitar, amp and accessories, all in one box, the AXL Electric Guitar PlayerPac is an easy choice for parents, and has great margin for dealers, making it a must-have for the holiday shopping season.

AXL Guitars also builds the Badwater Series of guitars and basses, the AXL Wavepoint and the AXL Jacknife.

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Hagstrom Guitars has announced that its full line of electric guitars and basses is now available on for online purchase. Amazon will feature the full Hagstrom line, including the popular Viking, Swede and Super Swede models.

Hagstrom guitars and basses have an avid following among musicians and collectors, who admire them for their classic styling, versatile sound, and great playability. Current artists who play Hagstrom include Pat Smear (Foo Fighters, the Germs); Dweezil Zappa (Zappa Plays Zappa), Ryland Blackinton (Cobra Starship), Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo (Gym Class Heroes), Forrest Klein (Hellogoodbye), Robert Morris (The Hush Sound) and more.

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Gibson Teams With Marker Völkl For Custom Guitars

Posted by sarabdeep Tuesday, November 3, 2009 0 comments

Skiers have another reason to celebrate the opening of this season. The Gibson Guitar Corporation has teamed with Marker Völkl USA to produce a series of unique electric guitars reflecting the feel, graphic elements and quality performance of the distributor of Völkl skis and Marker bindings.
Völkl’s newly redesigned Gotama ski model serves as the inspiration for a black Les Paul Custom, while Marker’s “Rule The Mountain” slogan blazes across the Flying V model.
"We're incredibly proud to be associated with Gibson," said Chris Adams, Marker Völkl’s promotions director. "Their craftsmanship has always set the benchmark in quality, so to partner with them on one-of-a-kind instruments is really exciting, especially because the guitars will ultimately help some good causes."
The themed guitars are currently in production at Gibson’s Custom Shop in Nashville, Tennessee. They will be on display through the winter and then go up for auction following the SIA Show in January.
Proceeds from the Gotama Les Paul auction will support Protect Our Winters, an organization of Snowsports athletes and industry professionals dedicated to raising awareness of climate change.
Proceeds from the Marker Flying V auction will go to the family of Shane McConkey, a professional skier who suffered a fatal accident in March.

"We`re thrilled to be partnering with Völkl and we`re grateful for the opportunity to raise contributions for POW with it", said Jeremy Jones, founder of POW. “The money raised will be re-directed toward a number of climate change initiatives we’re supporting this year.”
Fans can get a glimpse of the finished product at,, or right here at
Details about the auction will be available Nov. 1.
"These guitars are stunning," said Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz "We know there has always been a strong association between music and skiing, particularly in the ski films, so to be part of this with another top tier manufacturer like Marker Völkl is very exciting for us."

Last week, Guns N’ Roses announced it would finally hit the road in support of 17-years-in-the-making Chinese Democracy – a mere year after the album was actually released.
Now we get word on the support acts for the trek, which so far only includes 13 confirmed dates in Canada. According to Live Nation, GNR will be touring with the support of former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach and three-piece Canuck band Danko Jones.
Bach is an old friend of the band’s, having opened several dates for them in 2006 and frequently jumping onstage to sing help Axl Rose sing "My Michelle."
The VH1 reality show star also contributed backing vocals on the Chinese Democracy track "Sorry,” while Rose sang on three tracks from Bach's last solo release, 2007’s Angel Down , including a cover of Aerosmith's “Back in the Saddle.”

Guns N’ Roses Canadian Tour Dates:
Jan. 13 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
Jan. 16 - Calgary, AB - Pengrowth Saddledome
Jan. 17 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall PlaceJ
an. 19 - Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
Jan. 20 - Regina, SK - Brandt Centre
Jan. 24 - Hamilton, ON - Copps Coliseum
Jan. 25 - London, ON - John Labatt Centre
Jan. 27 - Montreal, PQ - Bell Centre
Jan. 28 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Jan. 31 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
Feb. 01 - Quebec City, PQ - Colisee Pepsi
Feb. 03 - Moncton, NB - Moncton Coliseum
Feb. 04 - Halifax, NS - Metro Centre

Fender Bassman TV 15 Fifteen £889

Posted by sarabdeep Monday, November 2, 2009 0 comments

While guitar players are bombarded with reissued classic amps, we humble bassists are seldom offered such vintage-inspired choices. Our interest was piqued, then, at the news that Fender is revisiting one of the most famous amp models in history: the Bassman. Designed originally for bass in the early 1950s, it was then hijacked by guitarists later in the decade and, in 1959 narrow-panel guise, has been dubbed by some luminaries as the best electric guitar amp of all time.

Here the TV-style front, lacquered tweed covering and cloth grille are pure nostalgia, but by employing a valve preamp and solid-state power section – upping power by around 300 watts over the original – it now has the clout it needs for modern players.
The control complement is also given a modern twist reflecting that bass amp technology has come a long, long way since the '50s. The bright chrome panel supports a single channel with a second input offering optimum connection for active basses.
"The upgraded power rating cuts it with the big boys."
It's simplicity itself with an input gain control, master volume and three rotary tone controls, enhanced with deep and bright switches for expanded tonal range. With a dog bone handle, chicken head-style control knobs, removable casters to help in transportation and a powerful output, this is definitely built for jobbing bassists – this lacquered tweed is a great deal hardier than you might think.
Gone is the old open-backed design, replaced by a ported rear panel that allows every bit of the bass sound to come into play. Practical additions include a balanced XLR DI out on the back panel and even a mini-sized cooling fan. A slavish reissue this ain't!
Fender bass combos have always had a purity of tone that's both clean and dynamic, making them ideal in the studio. The bigger models in the early days were extremely good at projecting the sound, although their power rating was soon overawed by the sheer force of an overdriven guitar combo. But not any more.
This Bassman TV Series may feign a pleasingly ancient personality, but the upgraded power rating cuts it with the big boys. Much of the signature sound and purity remains, however. It's the less-than-perfect nature of the humble valve that gives enhanced depth to any selected tone, providing the fatter and indeed warmer elements that bass players seek.
The solid-state power stage anchors it all well, offering up a classic-voiced tone that'll fit roots, blues and rock tones, reproducing the solid foundation and percussive click of a good Precision Bass, for example, with aplomb.
There's a very reliable, robust delivery throughout the tonal range, with the true Fender bass amp sounds achieved by using just the three tonal rotary controls, so it's lush and warm even at lower volume. With the sensible addition of the bass and top boost switches you can open out the sounds, giving it a more modern edge and greater versatility. The results are huge and dynamic – it certainly lives up to the legendary name.
While the two smaller models in the range are attractive options, it's the Bassman TV Duo Ten and TV Fifteen that are the full-on gigging combos. With a pair of 10-inch speakers the Duo Ten is the most expensive in the range and favours the funkier, modern styles of playing.
For sheer all-round rock versatility, though, this 1 x 15 TV Fifteen is a mighty good friend to own. No external speaker out is surprising, as this powerful beast would feed the extra spread without difficulty. Other than that, this retro-modern belter holds bags of new-old appeal.
Eminently practical, yet classically sexy. We bassists may like innovation and progress, but this is true retro love.

As if the mid-range monitor market wasn't competitive enough already, M-Audio has revamped its line-up with the introduction of two new designs which it claims work particularly well in difficult acoustic environments.

These CX5s are the smaller of the two new Studiophile models, both of which stick to the tried and tested two-way ported enclosure design. With a five-inch low-frequency driver and 1.25-inch silk-domed tweeter, the CX5s look familiar as soon as you pull them out of the box and feel incredibly weighty and solid with a high quality finish. The only design feature that sticks out is the Kevlar-coned woofer.


Initial listening tests are instantly impressive, with the CX5s reproducing a variety of material with clarity and accuracy. The bass response is excellent for such a diminutive driver, producing clear notes way down the frequency range and a powerful thump more usually associated with far bigger speakers.

Starting to work with some rough mixes, the Studiophiles continue to impress, reproducing soloed tracks with a revealing accuracy while maintaining a good overall balance that makes mixing straightforward.

"Whereas the majority of monitors in this range tend to offer basic adjustability, the CX5s really go to town."

M-Audio is keen to point out the way that the CX5 can be made to suit any environment, offering a level of adjustment not often found at this level. That vital tweakability factor comes in the form of a series of toggle switches round the back, and this could just be the area where the CX5s offer a significant advantage over their rivals.

Whereas the majority of monitors in this range tend to offer basic adjustability, the CX5s really go to town. Alongside the usual RCA and combo input sockets you'll find controls for low frequency cutoff, mid boost and high trim and an acoustic space switch. Together, this should be enough to help tailor the sound to most rooms.

Our only minor complaint about the rear panel layout is that the volume control is unnecessarily small and fiddly. Plus, it's only detented at the half way point, which makes balancing the levels of the two monitors much more tricky than it needs to be.


The sound of the CX5 is certainly comparable with its rivals. For five-inch bass drivers, the low-end response is particularly impressive, offering bottom end thump and musicality which you wouldn't expect from such a compact nearfield. What's even more unusual is the way that these monitors seem equally comfortable with any style of music; whereas some small nearfields are noticeably better with acoustic music or struggle with bass-heavy dance, the CX5s don't show any weaknesses no matter what you fed them.

Of the excellent tone controls, the mid boost control is particularly interesting, allowing a peak to be introduced at around 2kHz in order to increase focus on the midrange while mixing. Some might argue that it's unnecessary, but it offers you plenty of options to help make sure you get the right sound for your room and ears.

At this price point, the market is already crowded with good monitors from a variety of manufacturers. The CX5s are in the same range as models like the Genelec 8020As, KRK VXT4s and the outstanding Adam A5s.


Excellent compact monitors that can certainly compete with the best at this price level.