Tweaking settings on effects stomps for different song requirements can be a bit of pain. Not only do you have to indulge the patience of the audience by crouching down to your pedalboard to turn the knobs, but you also have to remember which value positions give the desired sound. GigRig's AutoPot allows players to set value presets and have up to three of its arms change the settings for them.
In an age of wireless speakers dominated by singing soda cans and the occasional light show, the Zeppelin Wireless from British audio firm Bowers & Wilkins keeps the focus refreshingly on the task at hand. The latest in the Zeppelin line takes what was previously a muscle-bound iPod dock, upgrades it, and delivers a top-tier speaker that just happens to be wireless. Let's take a listen.
Back in 2012, Vox reached back through its mold-breaking design history for the launch of the Apache travel guitars. The swinging 60s have again provided some inspirational fodder for next generation instruments, though only in name this time around. The Starstream Type-1 guitars feature an onboard modeling system that includes 27 different tones to play with, and a rather distinctive body shape.
Fishman's TriplePlay MIDI controller and pickup gives guitar players access to a world of digital sound generation, whether it's playing a funky vintage synth from your fretboard or blowing a haunting melody on a flute. The controller wirelessly links to music creation software running on a laptop, which then outputs the tones via the audio jack to headphones, powered speakers or even an instrument amp. But you don't really want to be leaving your laptop, which may contain personal information, just off stage when touring small clubs, so Fishman has launched the FC-1 Floor Controller. This allows players access to patches and presets from connected sound modules and synths.
The humble audio jack has served music lovers well over the years, but listening to tunes on mobile devices can be something of a disappointment for budding audiophiles. Manufacturers naturally concentrate on upping processor performance, squeezing more pixels per inch into the display and extending battery life, while audio components often appear something of an afterthought. Folks who like to groove on the move to high quality playback can opt for a portable DAC like the DacMagic XS, but the P5 Digital Headphones and Z1 Digital Earphones have their own hi-res DACs and are compatible with both USB and Lightning connections.
If you're listening to music from your smartphone via earbuds, there are currently two ways of pausing the playback: you can hit pause on the phone, or use the button controls on the earbud cable. New Zealand-based Vivnnovation Limited, however, has come up with a third alternative. Its SenCbuds automatically pause your music when they're removed from your ears, then resume it when you put them back in.
From the top-of-the-line Woburn speaker to the experimental London smartphone, Marshall Headphones offers audio for everyone in a range of prices and power. It was only until recent that the Kilburn was the company's most portable speaker. With Marshall's latest release, users now have a backpack-friendly option for music on-the-go. We spent the past weeks rocking out with the Marshall Stockwell to see if big things still come in small packages.
In what's reported to be a first for Digital Audio Players (DAP), Onkyo's new DP-X1 features two digital-to-analog converters (DAC) and two amps with balanced headphone output for greater power and control. The device supports hi-res digital music playback in WAV and FLAC formats, has native DSD, too, and is one of the first to support the MQA standard. It runs an Android-based OS and features two micro-SD slots that take its storage potential right up to 432 GB.
If you're looking to divebomb and squeal like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, but your vintage guitar doesn't have a vibrato system, you could avoid losing chunks of tonewood by installing a top mount system like the FRX from Floyd Rose. But switching from hardtail to whammy will still involve slamming your axe on the maintenance table for a while. Sydney, Australia-based Fomofx says that its Virtual Jeff can be installed in just 30 seconds on just about any guitar, and easily removed when not needed.
Altec Lansing has unveiled a new set of earphones that are "truly wireless," meaning there are no cables in sight – not even between the two earbuds themselves. The Freedom earbuds, which have a lengthy battery life and waterproof design, are on show at CES this week in Las Vegas.