It’s been quiet in the land of Rowbinet for a few weeks while I took stock of all the fabulous NAMM product releases. I also felt it was of little benefit to my readers to simply repost the same press releases as just about every other music blog around has, but instead to blog about something only I can, in the form of a Rowbi Roundup.
“What’s this fabled Rowbi Roundup you speak of?” I can hear you all thinking: Keep reading and I will detail which new products I am most interested in (in no particular order):
TC Electronic Ditto X2:
This one was a Rowbinet unofficial exclusive, which I blogged about in early Jan. It’s a great idea to expand a little on the tiny ditto looper, without going mad on too big a looper pedal. I feel that it has enough features in its limited package to be a great product in its own right though, and should be worth trying out if you’re in the market for a small and simple looper pedal.
Fav Feature: The ability to export and import loops and backing tracks via USB.
More info: http://www.tcelectronic.com/ditto-x2-looper/
Orange Dual Dark:
Despite some metal bands using Orange amps, they don’t really have many high gain amp options, but this surely fits the bill. The only concern I have is the high cost for what it is. There may be cheaper options but they’re not Orange… So choose your weapon wisely.
Fav Feature: Dark Terror gain channel but with more POWER!!!!
More info: https://www.orangeamps.com/products/guitar-amp-heads/dual-dark-series/
Chapman Guitars ML-2 Classic:
I have a particular soft spot for Goldtop guitars, and also have a lot of respect for anyone who can bring a fresh idea to the market within the music industry (I refer to community designed guitar). This limited edition brings a welcome twist to the community designed ML-2 with a nod towards the 1950s single cuts, including a hard case and USA Seymour Duncan 59 PAFs.
Fav Feature: The phase reversal switch for the neck pickup (aka the Peter Green Mod).
More info: http://www.chapmanguitars.co.uk/
Line 6 AMPLIFi:
In a shift to target consumers who are looking for an all in one guitar and media solution, Line 6 have really hit the nail on the head with this bad boy. Sure it will still work great as a gigging amp, but it’s the addition of being a full range Bluetooth stereo speaker system that makes it more flexible than a regular guitar amp can be. Think of this as Guitar amp v2.0 and perhaps the advert should say “The Guitar Amp, Evolved” may have been more accurate than ‘reinvented’, but I see what they’re getting at with the 5 speaker system, Bluetooth, iOS control and sharing community for tones.
Fav Feature: The iOS Amplifi App (Which you can download for free on the Apple App store to try it out before getting an Amplifi amp).
More info: http://line6.com/amplifi/
Another unofficial Rowbinet exclusive, as I posted the photos of these pedals around a week before NAMM on my twitter feed http://twitter.com/rowbinet I’m keen to try these out in person, as it’s hard to really know how a pedal will sound unless you’re using your own guitar and amp, but based on what info I have read and seen they kick ass! If you’re after something that’s similar to the original DS-1 or OD-1 with a little more, just get an original (and mod it if you need to). These new pedals are a totally new take on distortion and overdrive and use DSP (digital signal processing) so are not your typical old analogue (mod-able) pedals.
Fav Feature: Additional tone shaping controls (compared to the DS-1 and OD-1).
More Info: http://www.bossus.com/gear/productlist.php?ParentId=254
Marshall Handwired Series
There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous looking and sounding amp which has been built with all the care that comes with being hand wired. There’s really not a lot else that needs to be said about these amps except that if you like the sound that these vintage sounding Marshalls will give you, and you’ve got as spare stack of bank notes in your pocket – Why not! But if they’re not your ‘thang’ then check out the new custom Tattoo series of amps from Marshall as they nearly made this list: (http://www.marshallamps.com/products/custom-shop-tattoo-range/)
Fav Feature: Drake transformers in the 2245THW
More Info: http://www.marshallamps.com/products/amplifier/handwired-series/