Yesterday, Sweetwater Editorial Director Mitch Gallagher began his list of the best products shown at last weekend’s Summer NAMM tradeshow in Indianapolis. Let’s continue with Mitch’s picks (in no particular order).
Since iPods are an everyday part of our lives, why not include them in DJ rigs? Numark had the coolest little product for making this happen. iDJ has docks for two iPods and a mixer with 3-band EQ for each iPod, mic input, phono/line inputs, USB for connecting a computer, iPOD recording capabilities, and a crossfader for working between the two iPods. It looked good, had all the control you need, and was priced very aggressively. Could this be the end of having to haul cases of LPs and CDs to DJ gigs?
Roland’s SP-303 sampler was cool, but the SP-404 takes things to the next level: More features, more voices, more pads, and more memory. The SP-404 will operate on batteries or AC power, and use CompactFlash, has a built-in mic, 29 built-in effects, realtime loop recording, 12-voice polyphony, 12 pads, and much more – but still at an affordable price. I got a great demo on what this monster can do, and it’s very impressive.
Fender Big Block series
The Big Blocks (there’s a Tele, a Strat, and a P-bass) feature a black and chrome color scheme, with big “block” inlays on their rosewood fretboards. On the Strat and the Tele, even the pickguards are chrome. The Strat has a humbucking/singlecoil/singlecoil pickup array, while the P-bass has a double-coil Jazz Bass humbucking pickup that can be coil tapped. The Tele was my favorite. It features vintage-style lipstick pickups in the middle and neck position, and a vintage-style Tele lead pickup. Five-way Strat-style switching is provided. The prices are excellent – you’re getting a lot of guitar for your dollar. Best of all, we already have these beauties in stock here at Sweetwater!
Fender Special Run ’65 Twin Reverb
Speaking of vintage, Fender scored on my list again with the Special Run ’65 Twin Reverb amplifier. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Twin, Fender is building a limited number of Special Run ’65 Twin Reverb amps loaded with dual 12″ Eminence speakers, US-made Groove Tubes power tubes (85 watts total), blonde Tolex covering, wheat grille cloth, amber jewel light, and a commemorative badge.
I’m a sucker for new takes on the guitar; my goal is to have one guitar of each type in my collection (a Strat, a Tele, a Les Paul, etc.). The problem is that companies keep coming up with new twists, and putting achieving my goal into great jeopardy. Case in point: The Martin Sting. Based on the Mini Martin model the Sting Mini Signature Edition has a 21″ scale length, a 12-fret design, and uses almost all sustainable materials in its construction. The instrument is high-strung a minor third above standard tuning. (High stringing is like taking a 12-string guitar and removing the six normal-tuned strings, leaving only the octave and doubled strings. On this guitar, that tuning is moved up a minor third.) The result is a beautiful chiming sound that seems great on its own or layered with a regular-tuned guitar. Only 100 will be made, so get your order in now!