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Paul Ridden

Music

Top tune creation innovations of 2015

Twenty fifteen has been a helluva year for instrument creation, bringing a torrent of new ways to make sweet, sweet music with a bang, pluck, tap or scrape. Choosing a handful of tasty tone-tastic highlights from the last 12 months has been tough, really tough. But after much ruminating, we've managed to stealthily avoid picking from a hat and have come up with a select bunch of monstrous melody-making favorites.Read More

Clip-on device gives unplugged electric guitar a sound boost

Noodling away on an unplugged electric guitar is a great way to practice chops any time, day or night. But the raw sound can be a bit disappointing, lacking body and volume. DelSonix says that its clip-on guitar speaker can give a solid body electric a 10 dB sonic boost, which can be directed straight at the player.Read More

Home Entertainment Review

Review: Crossfade Wireless headphones offer quality wired or wireless listening

After a good deal of pre-release positivity from audio community reviewers and industry pundits, V-Moda's flagship Crossfade M-100 headphones were finally made available to buy at the end of 2012. Though many market competitors have since embraced the music-buying public's increasing desire for wireless freedom and added Bluetooth models to their ranges, V-Moda has stubbornly resisted the call to ditch the cable. That all changed in September, however, with the launch of the Crossfade Wireless headphones – the company's Val Kolton calling them the "best sounding and most versatile" Bluetooth headphones he'd ever tried. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks finding out if mobile convenience can be as sonically fulfilling as cumbersome cables.
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Winter NAMM debut for 660 Guitars and the Patriot

Texas-based startup 660 Guitars hit Kickstarter in November to help fund the production of a new line of aluminum-bodied guitars. Though the crowdfunding effort was not successful, founders Drew Emory and Myke Wilkerson are forging ahead with a company and first product premiere at California's Winter NAMM show in January.Read More

Music

Misa's new controller offers step sequencing on-the-fly

Almost 6 years ago, a video showing a new guitar-shaped digital instrument went viral and plans were hatched to bring the Misa Digital Guitar to market. The instrument was further developed, renamed the Kitara and unveiled at CES 2011. We got to spend some quality time with the futuristic axe later that year, and were suitably impressed. Production ended in 2013, however, with the introduction of the Misa Tri-bass. The latest project from the embedded systems engineer behind all of those creations, Michael Zarimis, offers an alternative take on the step sequencer.Read More

Home Entertainment

Wet and dry cleaner buffs up vinyl in a few spins

Vinyl records are growing in popularity, with Nielsen reporting a 260 percent growth in US sales since 2009. So now might be a good time to cable up your old turntable again and bring down the once treasured collection from the attic. When the cartridge coughs up a fur ball big enough to rival the household cat, though, it may be time to consider a vinyl cleaning machine. The VC-S from Austrian audio house Pro-Ject is claimed capable of washing and drying a 12-inch disc up to three times faster than the competition.Read More

Home Entertainment

Pavilion wireless speaker mixes concrete with a copper twist

Unwelcome color, nasty distortion and unnatural reproduction. Those are the kind of annoying qualities that loudspeaker housing made from cheap materials can add to the listening experience. This has led some audio designers to look for a high density and weighty solution to the cabinet vibration problem. Concrete. Though that does perhaps produce images in the mind of boring and ugly monoliths dropping through the living room floor to the basement below, Germany's Concrete Audio and Italy's Digital Habit(s) would beg to differ. Now Los Angeles-based Hult Design is hoping to join the concrete party with a crowdfunding effort aimed at bringing its Pavilion speakers to market.Read More

Music

Dry Switch EQ debuts with RevStar guitars

Yamaha is coming up to its 50th anniversary in the guitar business, and has launched a new series of solid body electric guitars inspired by café racer style motorbikes of the 1960s to celebrate. Of the eight RevStar models, seven include Yamaha's new Dry Switch tone enhancement technology that essentially replaces coil split wiring found in some guitars with passive circuitry for single coil-like tone from humbucking pickups.Read More

3D Printing

Cheetah strikes an odd chord with 3D-printed dreadnought

Back in January, South Africa's Hans Fouche demonstrated the capabilities of his custom-made Cheetah 3D printer by creating a full-sized lawnmower. Last month saw the release of the Cheetah 2, which Fouche celebrated by printing a working car jack made from plastic and now an acoustic guitar. What makes this dreadnought stand apart from instruments printed by the likes of Olaf Diegel and Customuse is that the whole guitar (apart from steel strings and tuners) has been produced by the printer, not just the body.Read More

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