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Recent Reviews

The NAMM Show 2017
Another year of gear lust and envy, as our editorial team tackles the greatest show on Earth to bring you the latest gear news.

Guitar

Mezzabarba Mzero Overdrive
From classic hard rock to modern high gain, Mzero packs massive boutique punch.

Hughes & Kettner Triamp Mark 3
When you're unwilling to compromise tone and functionality, you can't go wrong with the fantastic Hughes & Kettner Triamp Mark 3. Truly one of the greatest high-gain amps ever built.

Fender Johnny Marr Jaguar
Who would have thought that the legendary alternative rock guitarist from The Smiths would create a signature guitar that significantly improves upon the original?

Bass

Fender American Professional Series
Torn between a Jazz Bass and a Precision Bass? Not sure how they differ? Check out these two rock-solid choices from Fender.

Serious about the Peavey Cirrus!
We were excited last year when Peavey announced the impending return of their flagship bass line, Cirrus. Was it worth the wait?

Tech 21 VT Bass 500 Amp
Tech 21's first compact amp built around a class-D amplifier sounds fantastic and carries a ridiculously low price tag. What's not to love?

Keyboards

UVI Urban Suite
Need some classic drum machine beats and analog bass grooves? Check out the Urban Suite collection from UVI for something... retro fresh!

Radikal Technologies Accelerator
Odds are good that you didn't even know this virtual analog polysynth existed. What can this producers' secret weapon do for you?

StudioLogic SL88 Grand & SL88 Studio
If you've been searching for a MIDI controller that works with your racks full of MIDI sound modules as well as your computer-based soft synths, these just might be the controller keyboards for you.

Moog Mother-32
This semi-modular analog synth from Moog sounds great, is fun to use, and is priced for anyone. Who says your mother isn't hot stuff?

Akai Pro Advance 61
We are extremey picky about our choice of MIDI keyboard controllers, so it was an absolute treat getting to know this pro-grade controller and its accompanying VIP software.

Drums

Craviotto Butternut Snare Drum
Boutique build. Boutique sound. Solid shell. Butternut wood. Check out this beautiful snare from the master craftsmen at Craviotto.

Yamaha Recording Custom
The legend is back! Did Yamaha and drummer Steve Gadd manage to improve upon this timeless, classic kit?

Tama Starclassic BB Hyper-Drive
Solid performing pro drums with Tama's latest innovations, at a price that is just right for the working musician.

Zildjian Travis Barker Double Mallet
Blink and you just might miss these hard rocking stalks of hickory that double as both mallets and sticks.

Recording

USB & ThunderBolt Audio Interfaces
Looking to update your studio with a new interface and preamps? We went head-to-head with three of the latest and greatest: PreSonus Studio 192, MOTU 1248, and the Antelope Orion Studio.

Warm Audio WA-2A Optical Tube Compressor
Warm Audio created a replica of the legendary LA-2A compressor. Is it just as good? Almost as good? Even better than the original?

PreSonus DigiMax DP88 8-Channel
A/D/A Converter with Remote Preamps

Great sounding and easy way to add a bank of eight digitallly controlled preamps to your studio and/or audio interface.

Zaor Yesk Music Production Desk
We all need a place to set up our music production workstations, and the Yesk Desk offers a stylish and functional piece of furtniture for your project studio.

Live Sound

Etymotic Research
High-Fidelity Earplugs

Finally, earplugs that protect your hearing without killing the quality of the sound!

Listening To and Reading

Latest CDs and DVDs
New CDs and DVDs from Fire Garden, Kansas, Kee Marcello, Marillion, The Mission, The Neal Morse Band, My World, Operation: Mindcrime, Ted Poley, Paul Simon, Toto, Devin Townsend Project, John Wesley, Withem.

Check this space every week for additions!

The Not So Distant Past...


Guitar

D'Angelico EX-SS Archtop Guitar
The classic jazz guitar company from New York City is back, and the EX-SS is a beautiful hollow-body guitar that can hang at your jazz gig... or your rock gig.

Fuchs Mantis Jr. Amp
Andy Fuchs delivers a new high-gain, boutique amp with low wattage and a friendly price tag.

Knaggs SSC Guitar
Boutique builder Knaggs Guitars has unleased another monster in their Steve Stevens signature model.

Bass

Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI
Tech 21 takes their industry standard DI and improves it for use with five- and six-string basses.

NS Design WAV4 RADIUS Bass
If you need a modern, versatile bass with tons of style, tone, and feel, which also presents a solid value, you must check out this fantastic instrument!

Keyboards

Umlaut Audio PADS and ARPS
Tired of the same old synth pads? PADS delivers soundtrack vibe in a box, with a super-easy interface. ARPS delivers a new spin on percussion sequencing.

AAS Strum 2
Want to sound like a guitar player... from your keyboard? Strum goes way beyond simple guitar samples, delivering actual guitar playing feel. Check it out!

Drums

Tama BB156 Bell Brass Snare Drum
This monster of a snare drum sounds just as special as it looks. Does it belong in your drum kit?

Recording

Celemony Melodyne 4
One of the leading pitch correction and time correction audio tools gets even better!

NUGEN Audio ISL 2 Limiter
This true-peak limiter could be our new benchmark.

Eventide Anthology X
One plug-in suite to rule them all? If you want classic Eventide processing in your studio, this bundle is extremely hard to resist.

Live Sound

Shure KSM8 Dualdyne Microphone
The first revolutionary design change to a handheld microphone in nearly 100 years yields awesome results on stage and in the studio!

Shure Beta 87a & 87c Microphones
Two microphones, nearly identical, but with very different results. Which one will benefit your vocalist?

Mobile

IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo
New, premium mobile audio interface serves double duty on your laptop, too!

Listening To and Reading

Latest CD and Book Reviews
Great new musical releases from Susan Hyatt, Late Night Cable, Dan Reed Network, Roxette, Jorn, MGT, Karmakanic, engineering book by Sylvia Massy.


 

 

   
           
   

     
   
 


Guitar

 


Bass

 


Keyboards

 


Drums

 


Recording &
Live Sound

 


CDs and DVDs

 

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Random Notes

How We Test: Information on our testing methodologies.

     
               
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