Reviewed: Vox Adio Air GT and BS

Yamaha Music Australia | au.yamaha.com | Expect to pay: $499

Once upon a time, there was a set sequence of events for those brave and/or dumb enough to venture into Guitar Players’ Grotto. First, you struggled to maintain interest as you learned Nirvana and Beatles numbers on a laminate nylon string abomination. If you made it through that mire, you went one of two ways; either you upgraded to a steel stringed acoustic, or you wandered blindly into the dizzyingly wide world of electric guitar.

More often than not, this meant scooping up some beginner package that consisted of a Strat copy, a 10 watt squawk box, and something to link the two. The amp in question would be a cheaply made 10” speaker driven by capacitors on printed circuit board. It would sound boxy as hell, have little to no head room, a drive channel that sounded like a bag of angry bees, and by God you’d love the living hell out of it.

Hits and Misses

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Realistic and malleable tonality

Simple functionality

Snappy design

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None

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Rising to make history with Richie Sambora

Under the RSO banner, Sambora pairs up with legendary guitar slayer and singer Orianthi Panagaris (AKA Ori) for a duo in the mould of Sonny and Cher, but with serious rock chops. The pair have been playing together since they met courtesy of Alice Cooper, in whose band Ori was playing at the time following her stint with Michael Jackson as his lead guitarist. Sambora unabashedly describes this rock ’n’ roll meet-cute as musical love at first sight. “I happened to be in Maui that year and Alice was doing a show,” he says. “I hadn’t seen him in a few years and he found out I was on the island and gave me a call, and goes, ‘Do you want to play this gig?’. Of course I said, ‘Yeah, man.'

I went to rehearsal and saw Ori. Alice and I were sitting down and catching up and I go, ‘Who the hell is that?’ and he said, ‘Oh, that’s Orianthi, she used to play with Michael Jackson. She plays with me now’, and I went, ‘No, she plays with me now’. Yeah, I stole her. We knew there was something there immediately.

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Reviewed: TC Electronic Quintessence Harmony pedal

Amber Technology | ambertech.com.au | Expect to pay: $319

Just when you thought every possible avenue of weirdness and tone bending had been explored, along come the Scandinavians. There must be something in the water along the northern European coast that makes its inhabitants relentless explorers. From Viking invaders up through renaissance upheaval to the boundless creativity of modern design, there is no frontier too intimidating for these powerful minds to cross. TC Electronic has been to the music world what The Bauhaus was to furniture design, consistently turning pre-existing thought on its head to see what else they can come up with. Their takes on classic distortion and delay sounds are concurrently more interesting and subtle than ever before, and it doesn’t end there. In their newest stompbox, the Quintessence Harmony Pedal, TC Electronic have found a way to stretch the outer reaches of pitch shifting technology in such a way as to leave just about every other iteration in the dust.

The bane of most musicians’ existence is the seemingly endless monotony of learning scales and modes. Practical as they are, these variations on the notational theme are not only tedious to learn by rote, but they run into each other like watercolours on cheap paper in the minds of many. Compositionally, however, they are indispensable insomuch as they lift music, particularly solos, out of the pentatonic doldrums. This is where Quintessence steps in.

Hits and Misses

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Covers any and every scale, mode, and interval you could possibly find useful

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A little digital in the tracking department; it couldn’t keep up with unusual chord shapes

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Reviewed: Moog Subsequent 37

Innovative Music | innovativemusic.com.au | Expect to pay: $2399

There is one name that lives in the world of synthesiser folklore ahead of all others, the name that was adorned by many of the various models from the brand, and the name of the inventor and creator of some of the most musical and challenging synthesisers to this day. I am, of course, talking of Moog, the legacy of the late Dr Bob Moog that carries on with a very forward thinking company today that is constantly delivering new designs and products to meet the market’s needs. That is exactly what the Moog Subsequent 37 is: the result of user demands coming to fruition in a serious keyboard that is now readily available in Australia.

It’s undeniable that the Moog name carries a lot of cache to a unit in the synth world, but the Moog of today is a big leap forward from what many people may have in their minds - images of the old wooden cased mono-synths and only a handful of models that really stand out. Yes, Moog has a long history and a heritage in synth design that cannot be left behind, but at the same time, it is not being held back by this history either, moving forward and creating products and promotions that get users talking.

Hits and Misses

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Classic Moog look and feel

Modern design and control

Upgraded features to meet market demands

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I don’t own one, and that is a real problem

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Martin reveals D-45 John Mayer signature guitar

Another NAMM 2018 Announcement

Martin Guitars are paying tribute to John Mayer by designing a signature acoustic for the talented performer using one of the company's most popular models, the D-45.

Featuring Guatemalan Rosewood back and sides with an Engelmann spruce top, the D-45 John Mayer sees Mayer's design brought to life by the experts in the Martin Custom Shop. The guitar also includes a bone nut and saddle, an ebony fingerboard, and an interior label signed by the 7-time Grammy Award winning artist. 

 

Find out more in the video below:

 

 

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Mooer introduces Audiophile pedalboard headphone amplifier

Debuted at NAMM 2018

NAMM 2018 announcements have arrived, and Mooer has joined the party with details of its new pedalboard headphone amplifier, Audiophile.

Audiophile is a professional headphone amplifier, compatible with guitar and bass pedalboards. It operates with an analogue Class A amplification circuit to allow users to connect headphones and experience an immersive practice session. 

 

The device features stereo and mono I/O, and an optional built-in analogue speaker cabinet simulation. Audiophile also incorporates true bypass, and can double as a signal boost/buffer when the cab sim is turned off.

 

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Preparing for Progfest: Voyager

With Progfest 2018 only a few weeks away, we sat down with some of the stellar acts on this year's lineup to get to know them better. Find out more about Voyager in our Progfest Q&A special feature below.

Who are we chatting to and what do you do in the band?

Hello, this is Ash Doodkorte. I do the graphic design, occasional video editing, and some management and logistics for Voyager. If I can find the time in between all that, I also play the drums.

 

Who are your biggest influences?

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Preparing for Progfest: Orsome Welles

With Progfest 2018 only a few weeks away, we sat down with some of the stellar acts on this year's lineup to get to know them better. Find out more about Orsome Welles in our Q&A below.

Who are we chatting to and what do you do in the band? 
This is Michael Stowers from Orsome Welles, and I am the lead vocalist.

 

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Preparing for Progfest: Meniscus

With Progfest 2018 only a few weeks away, we sat down with some of the stellar acts on this year's lineup to get to know them better. This edition of Mixdown's Progfest Preparation features Meniscus.

Who are we chatting to and what do you do in the band? 
I'm Dan. I play guitar, loops, and program the synths/samples ... and make weird faces.

 

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Preparing for Progfest: Alithia

With Progfest 2018 only a few weeks away, we sat down with some of the stellar acts on this year's lineup to get to know them better. First up: Alithia.

Who are we chatting to and what do you do in the band? 
Tibor Gede – Bass.

 

Who are your biggest influences? 
El Bicho, The Mars Volta, Tunderground, Besh-O-Drom, Pearl Jam (early records).

 

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