Missed everything that's gone on in the gear world this week? Never fear - we've got you covered. Here's five of the best gear releases that might have flown under your radar this week, including a slick new overdrive from Walrus Audio, some shred-worthy guitars from Dean and Cort, a free emulation of a classic '80s synth and a very, very cool Kickstarter project. Check it out.
1. Walrus Audio Ages Overdrive
Everybody's favourite boutique stompbox builders Walrus Audio are back, and this time, they're getting gritty with the Ages Overdrive. Handmade in the USA, the Ages Overdrive features a whopping five unique gain stages, as well as controls for Gain, Volume, Bass, Treble and Dry to blend in your clean signal, allowing for a range of versatile tonal combinations.
By using the mode switch in tandem with the gain control, the Ages lets you tap into a myriad of classic overdriven tones, as well as options for either LED or silicon clipping, as described below.
- Mode 1 Low Gain with symmetric silicon soft clipping, described as compressed and smooth
- Mode 2 Low Gain with symmetric LED soft clipping, described as pushed, open and sparkly
- Mode 3 High Gain with symmetric silicon soft clipping, described as increased saturation and tight
- Mode 4 High Gain with symmetric LED soft clipping, described saturated, punchy and big
- Mode 5 High Gain with symmetric silicon hard clipping, described heavy compression, thick and chewy
Hear how it sounds in the demo below - Walrus Audio seem adamant that the Ages is also suitable to stack with other pedals, and from the video, you can understand why.
2. Dean MD 24 Select Series
With the launch of the new MD 24 Select range, Dean are aiming to seize the market with premium appointments at a hard-to-refuse pricepoint. The new guitars, modelled on classic '80s Super Strat models, feature shred-worthy easy access heels and direct mount Seymour Duncan APH-1N Alnico II Pro and TB-5/SH-5 pickups, and can be purchased with either a Tune-o-Matic hardtail bridge or with a Floyd Rose tremolo for all your divebombing needs.
Crafted from basswood and featuring satin necks with ebony fretboards, the new MD 24 Select series also offers contours for your picking hand and a back belly cut, as well as Grover tuners, a dual-action truss rod, 24 jumbo frets and binding around the neck and headstock. There's a single volume control on offer and a simple three-way toggle switch to make sure you're focused on the primary task at hand: shredding.
3. Cort KX300 Etched Series
Sandblasted guitars? Sounds like a bit of a treat. Cort's new KX300 guitars, which were originally debuted back at NAMM in January, have started shipping internationally. Available in either blasted black or gold finishes, the KX300 range sees Cort applying paint to the 15mm solid ash top grains on top of a mahogany body for a striking visual aesthetic.
Cort's newest range also features bolt-on maple necks with pau ferro fretboards, as well Cort's newly designed high-mass hardtail bridge to provide enhanced sustain and resonance. In the pickup department, the KX300 boasts active EMG RetroActive Super 77s modelled on PAF style humbuckers, aiming to provide an articulate tone with plenty of output on tap.
4. Full Bucket Music Fury-800 VST
Last week, we named the Korg Poly-800 as one of the best synths of the '80s, and now, you can experience it within the confines of your DAW. The classic '80s analogue polysynth has been transformed into a VST by developers Full Bucket Music, which you can download scott-free right now.
In comparison to the OG Korg Poly-800, Full Bucket's emulation lets you choose from two DCOs per voice, as well as two waveforms with additive harmonics for each oscillator. There's also three envelope generators, a low-pass voltage controlled filter and a stereo chorus effect. You can't really turn down a free VST of this calibre - listen to a demonstration below.
5. Aum Guitars Vibraslide
An incredibly cool Kickstarter project we stumbled upon last week, the Vibraslide is basically like a combination of an EBow and a pedal steel slide, all wrapped up into a tidy stompbox. It essentially offers infinite sustain with the classic action of a slide guitar, letting you cruise up and down the fretboard without letting your signal falter behind.
The stompbox part of the Vibraslide features controls for tone and sustain, and also boasts an effects loop to plug in additional effects. The entire unit is inspired by David Gilmour's spacey playing on Dark Side of the Moon, and certainly seems like a cool concept for any staunch Pink Floyd advocate to back - give it a listen below.
Want all the latest gear news delivered directly into your inbox every week? Sign up to our mailing list.