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Paul Ridden

The supercapacitor-powered Helium Bluetooth speakers from Blueshift

Sharing music with friends through laptop or smartphone speakers can be less than satisfying, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the overwhelming choice of portable Bluetooth speakers that come into view as you enter a consumer electronics store. Such offerings all suffer the same problem, though. Just as you're getting your groove on, the built-in battery dies and you have to wait hours while it juices up from a wall socket. What mobile music lovers like me need are wireless speakers that can charge in minutes, and then last for hours. An impossible dream? Sam Beck from Portland's Blueshift doesn't think so. He's developed mono and stereo portable Bluetooth speakers powered by supercapacitors. Helium users can look forward to a super quick charge time, hours of full volume playback and years of recharge cycles before needing to consider a supercap refresh.  Read More

An ensemble of ODD instruments will take to the stage at Euromold in Frankfurt, Germany, b...

Kiwi Professor of Mechtronics Olaf Diegel has now added a set of drums and a keyboard to his catalog of beautiful 3D-printed instruments. His new creations will join guitar and bass models for a road trip to Frankfurt's EuroMold event next month, where a band will take to the stage to play some live sets using the instruments.  Read More

The Korus Wireless Speakers from Core Brands LLC

Playing music without having to run a cable between speakers and smartphone, computer or media player has great appeal, but is not without issues. Bluetooth technology is well supported, but has limited range and pairing can sometimes be a real test of character. AirPlay or Wi-Fi give a little more freedom to wander, but you're tied to a router and all the finicky logins and security settings that go with that particular territory. The Korus wireless speakers from Core Brands use a wireless audio protocol called SKAA that promises increased range, easy setup, almost latency-free high fidelity playback.  Read More

The Yamaha Tricity at the Tokyo Motor Show

If personal experience is anything to go by, Europeans love their scooters. One seems to zoom past every few seconds where I live, and a good many of those are three-wheelers from the likes of Peugeot and Piaggio. Yamaha is looking to grab a slice of the action with a Leaning Multi-Wheel concept named Tricity. Debuted earlier this month at EICMA in Milan, Italy, the company sees the three-wheel, tilting scooter becoming the standard city commuter when it's released next year. Gizmag caught up with the sporty little number at the Tokyo Motor Show.  Read More

The Roadie Tuner from Band Industries

All manner of integrated and external gadgetry has been introduced over the years to help newbies or seasoned guitarists achieve and maintain pitch perfection with little effort. Rather than requiring players to swap out stock tuning heads for some robotic assistance, like with the TronicalTune system, or buy into the digital manipulation of output from folks like Antares, the Roadie Tuner slips over each machine head, one at a time, and works with a smartphone to bring an instrument to tune.  Read More

The Clara ukulele from Blackbird Guitars

The stork flew over San Francisco today and delivered a new baby to the workshop of Blackbird Guitars. Unlike its stablemates, such as the gorgeous Rider, the Clara concert-level ukulele is not made from carbon fiber. It's made from a newly-developed sustainable material called Ekoa, which is said to give the instrument the strength and durability of the company's usual material of choice and the tone of vintage wood.  Read More

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

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