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.
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.
There's no denying that the best way of listening to music is through a set of headphones. Unfortunately, however, headphones also keep us from hearing things like ringing telephones, knocks on the door and (if the movies are to believed) psychotic killers breaking into our homes. That's why California-based electrical/computer engineer Shari Eskenas created the SoundBrake – it's a li'l device that mutes your 'phones when it detects noises in your environment. We recently tried it out.
String-pickers, digital tunesmiths and bin bashers are not the easiest of folks to buy gifts for. Some are quite conservative and prefer tried and tested old tech while others are gearheads who like to gather in the latest, the novel and the bizarre just in case the need arises. And then there's the (often) eye-watering cost of instruments and accessories to consider. The holidays are almost upon us and a state of muso-related panic may now be setting in. Here are a few ideas that should hit the right note.
Bluetooth earbuds designed for working out are a pretty personal peripheral – they go in your ear and they mingle with your sweat – so finding one that works just right and can also stand up to some abuse is tough. We tried out Sol Republic's latest effort at cracking the code, its Relays Sport Wireless in-ear headphones, and have this review.
It wasn't too long ago that DJs would need a good-sized van to haul around the equipment needed to get a party moving. Digital mixing stations like the DDJ-WeGO, and even all-in-one powerhouses like the Urban 500, helped lighten the load. But, with everyone carrying around music libraries in their pockets, portable DJ tools like the iRig MIX made anyone with an iPhone or iPad wired for sound. Rugged speaker maker Braven brings mixing on the move to the wireless generation with the release of the Fuse.
Australian company Audiofly, long-associated with quality in-ear monitors, has delivered its first attempt at a professional over-ear product with the AF240 headphones. After a promising demonstration at CES2015 in January, they were released this week. Gizmag was sent a pre-release pair for review and found them stylish, practical and sonically pleasing.
Europe's Strat King Thomas Blug brought his full-fat tone knowledge to market earlier this year in the shape of a 100 W boutique amp called the Amp1. The celebrated string picker has been busy adding to his BluGuitar platform ever since, and has now announced that, with the recent addition of two new guitar amp cabinets, the Amp1 System is now complete and available to buy.
Whatever your mobile music poison, there's a good chance that your earphones or headphones are plugged into the tune-playing source hardware via the 3.5 mm audio jack. Earlier this year we reviewed some earphones from Hong Kong-based Zorloo that took a wholly different route, and one that served up a good slice of high resolution goodness in the process. The new EL-8 Titanium headphones come shipped with an audio cable which, like the Z:ero earphones, sports a built-in headphone amp and high resolution DAC in the cable. But this one ends in a Lightning connector.
Earlier this year, Delaware-based high-end headphone maker Hifiman launched a new flagship planar magnetic open back headphone to much audiophile and pundit applause, with the nanometer-thick diaphragm and non-symmetrical planar driver design offering critic-silencing clarity and sonic detail. They were big. They were beautiful. And, at US$3,000, they were eye-wateringly expensive. Hifiman's president and founder Dr. Fang Bian says that he wanted to offer a model with similar features and performance, but one that was more portable and didn't need a large expensive amp to run it. This has been realized in the new Edition X.