Reviewed: JBV Premium String Sets
One of the most widely agreed upon, must-see documentaries of the past decade, where the guitar world is concerned, is without a doubt a little flick by the name of It Might Get Loud. More arguments have started in rehearsal rooms over any of the three protagonists’ involvement than I care to fathom. One of the more pathos-fueled moments in that filmic round table happens in the beginning where Jack White nails a pickup to a plank and cobbles together a rudimentary slide guitar right before our very eyes. This moment, more than any of the grandstanding usually associated with rock and roll, illustrates just how basic our needs are as string slingers. At the end of the day, all we really need is a wooden box and a good set of strings to drag our sorry knuckles over.
REVIEWED: SWITCHCRAFT AUDIOSTIX COMPACT DI RANGE
The name Switchcraft is synonymous with quality connectors. They offer a standard of input and output connectors for professional audio uses as well as guitar and vocal applications. Many of you will most likely be using Switchcraft connectors on your guitar leads, or have switches, pots and output jacks on your guitar all made by Switchcraft. They are such a common brand name when it comes to everyday musicians’ use that most won’t even realise that Switchcraft is actually responsible for a great part of your signal chain, and a very important part, too. It’s not until many of us come across the separate devices that we take note of what they are, so for all of you who use Switchcraft every day, perhaps you might like to apply their devices in other areas of your signal chain when you need a dedicated audio solution.
REVIEWED: ZOOM Q2N HANDY VIDEO RECORDER
We live in a time where a smart use of social media can be a working musician’s best friend. There’s never been more ways to get your music and your skills out there to the world, yet copious amounts of players resort to a simple iPhone recording — or maybe even pulling a few loan cameras into the mix for good measure. With Zoom’s ingenious Q2n, musicians are given a one-stop tool to capture pristine audio and video in one easy to use package. For those looking to capture what they do best and share it with the world without breaking the bank, this is for you. We live in a digital world, and it’s time to make the most of it.
REVIEWED: ERNIE BALL CRADLETUNE
Behind every great man is an even greater woman, or so the old adage goes. In touring band circles the saying is more specifically behind every great axe-man/woman is an even greater guitar tech. The black-clad unsung heroes of performance are all too often ignored despite the omnipresent rattle and jangle, battle cry of the densely populated keychain-come-utility belt, especially where product innovation is concerned. Did anyone ever spare a thought for Pete Townsend’s overworked underlings? Where would The Edge be without someone to ensure that the 400 guitar changes that happen every show go as smoothly as possible? Where would Slash be without someone to wipe the Jack Daniels and cigarette ash off his near priceless riff-sticks? So it’s about time that someone paid them some heed and lightened even one small part of their load. In swaggers Ernie Ball with their space-saving, eyestrain relieving CradleTune clip on tuner.
REVIEWED: HARRON CUSTOM GUITARS DELUXE CARE KIT
I’ll be the first person to admit that I absolutely overlook the maintenance aspect of my guitars. Sure, I’ll give them a wipe down after a rehearsal, but I never take the time to use some elbow grease and make sure they’re all polished and maintained. Michael Harron of the Melbourne based Harron Custom Guitars recently expanded his repair/service business to include his own brand of guitar care products.
REVIEWED: ERNIE BALL PARADIGM STRINGS
Breaking strings is the worst. It’s the guitar equivalent of blowing a tyre, dropping your ice-cream on the ground or having your parents walk in on you and your Tinder date. Ernie Ball is justifiably proud of their world-class strings, and they don’t want you to break ‘em. They want you to change them only after the eventual tone loss that affects all strings, not after one overly-ambitious bend in the heat of the moment. So, with that in mind, meet Paradigm Strings.
REVIEWED: THE MATON CASE
One of the most terrifying ordeals faced by modern guitarists is the abject anxiety of flying with gear on a budget. Too many musicians at all levels have fallen foul of a grunting, simian, hi-vis-clad lummox hurling a precious artefact onto a conveyor belt like an angry bouncer only to find their pride and joy pulverised at the other end of their journey. No player should outlive their best friend in that way, and it is with this as their chief concern that Maton introduce The Maton Case.
REVIEWED: THE ERNIE BALL FLEXTUNE CLIP ON TUNER
Clip-on tuners are one of the staples of the gigging guitarist, particularly those with simple stage setups or who prefer playing acoustically. But in an increasingly crowded market and rapid developments in technology, what’s on offer has never been more competitive. Does Ernie Ball’s latest offering stack up to the rest? Thankfully, yes, but more than that, it also makes some impressive strides forward of its own.