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Paul Ridden

The Opera Only high end amplifier from Andrea Pivetta

We're no strangers to gigantic audio throwers here at Gizmag. A couple of years ago, we brought news of a monstrous iPod dock called the iNuke Boom that Behringer claimed capable of pumping out an incredible 10,000-watts, and earlier this month Sweden's Studio Total unveiled the 8000-watt second generation Wall of Sound. Yet both these systems combined couldn't come anywhere near the awesome power of the extremely expensive Opera Only from Italian designer Andrea Pivetta.  Read More

The Bowboard scooter

A Florida company has thrown some essence of kick scooter, two cups of skateboard, a dash of bike seasoning, and perhaps even slice of Kangoo- or trampoline-like jump action into the idea mixer and cooked up what looks like one fun ride. When riders step down on its flexible deck, a special drive mechanism propels the Bowboard forward. The developers say that once mastered, users can bounce along at cruising speeds of around 12 mph (20 km/h).  Read More

The iLoud portable speaker for musicians and audiophiles

Thanks to mobile audio processing and recording apps, composing on the road has never been easier. Showing off your latest killer riff to the rest of the band through tablet or laptop speakers is less than satisfying, however. There are a good many battery-powered micro amps out there which might help a little, but the output is often, to put it delicately, sub-par. Italy's IK Multimedia demonstrated a wired/wireless audio thrower at the Winter NAMM show back in January that promised studio monitor sound quality in a portable, chunky tablet-sized package. Developed specifically for musicians and audiophiles, the 40 W iLoud has now been released.  Read More

The Farmer's Mill Electric Mud Grinder from Crushsound

Inspired by the kind of brown or muddy tones produced by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons on tracks like Loaded from the 1996 album Rhythmeen, Jedrzej Lewandowski of Poland's Le 2 Workshop architects created the Farmer's Mill, which was unleashed, appropriately enough perhaps, on April 1 2012. The second generation has now been released. It's a little bigger than its predecessor, a lot better, and is now available in orange as well as white. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks making guitars wheeze, cough and splutter like they've been smoking 40-a-day since birth, and walks way mighty impressed with the destructive capabilities of the Mark II Electric Mud Grinder.  Read More

The Asus EB50N NFC-enabled, Bluetooth 4.0 (with EDR) earphones

Asus has announced what is claimed to be the world's first Bluetooth 4.0 headset to feature NFC technology. The ergonomically-designed EB50N earphones support one-touch pairing with smartphones and tablets, feature full-range stereo drivers, and boast a long battery life.  Read More

The Olympus Stylus 1 premium compact superzoom

Should you find yourself wondering what would happen if the OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera and the XZ-2 compact had a baby, the answer from Olympus is the 12 MP Stylus 1 premium compact superzoom. Combining DSLR-like operation and performance and compact camera portability, the prothusiast camera features a 300-mm constant aperture zoom lens (with the option to extend the telephoto end via an adapter and add-on lens), a tilting touchscreen display and an electronic viewfinder, and built-in Wi-Fi.  Read More

The new Immaculate Wireless Sound BeoLab speakers from Bang & Olufsen

As promised earlier this month, Denmark's Bang & Olufsen has officially moved into the wireless speaker market with the launch of three new WiSA-certified BeoLab digital active speakers. Undeniably stylish and capable of streaming high fidelity, uncompressed audio, the Immaculate Wireless Sound range comprises the BeoLab 17 bookshelf speaker, the BeoLab 18 column floor-standers, and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer.  Read More

The DacMagic XS USB headphone amp from Cambridge Audio

It doesn't seem too long ago that a quality headphones amplifier was the size of a chunky paperback novel, and would occupy so much space in a laptop bag that it would probably get left behind more often than not. Now the UK's Cambridge Audio has managed to squeeze a high-end digital-to-analog (DAC) converter and headphone amp into a device that's smaller than a matchbox.  Read More

The gesture-controlled PACO concrete speaker from Digital Habit(s)

Visitors to the homes of audio buffs might well be surprised to find weighty blocks of concrete breaking up the living room's otherwise colorful designer decor. These high-end music lovers have turned their backs on the unwelcome distortion and color that can be caused by oscillations of MDF, wood or plastic speaker cabinets, and plumped for drivers housed in concrete. If you can't afford, or don't have room for, large commercially-available floor-standing units like the exquisite N1 loudspeakers from Germany's Concrete Audio, Italy's Digital Habit(s) design house has created a gesture-controlled, Bluetooth-enabled tabletop speaker called PACO, which can be built at home using open source plans, or bought fully assembled.  Read More

The custom graphics on the Indus guitar from France's Kompozit Guitars

Many veteran guitarists believe that great tone can only come from instruments made using exotic hardwoods. This hasn't stopped makers from trying other materials, though, including Ampeg's iconic Dan Armstrong-designed Plexiglas guitar, the all-metal Gittler Guitar, and the 3D-printed guitar from AweSome Musical Instruments. For its new line of hand-made, Tele-shaped axes, France's Kompozit Guitars has chosen to give polyester-based fiberglass a whirl.  Read More

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