Winter NAMM 2016 – What’s Hot?

Well, it’s been a busy past year with work and family life – barely leaving time to blog.  But fear not, Rowbi couldn’t resist blogging after seeing all the news this evening about numerous guitar related gear being released at Winter NAMM!

Line 6 look to have come up trumps with the Firehawk 1500 – I recall when I first found out about this beast when it was only an idea, I was staggered that they’d fit in a 1500 watt power amp into a large combo – however when you think that the Line 6 StageSource PA speakers are 1400 watts then it seems sensible for a guitar amp come FRFR PA system.  Essentially for me, this is the Vetta III, and compared to other similar offerings it just has no competition for the great value ~£750 price tag.  Check out the cost of Boss’ new Waza Craft amp head and cabinet (it’s ~£3000, yes look again, that’s no typo) – silly money for the Boss.

Click here for more info on the Firehawk 1500.

Firehawk_1500The Amplifi range has a new baby in the Amplifi30 – Fab products all round (I have the TT and 75 courtesy of Line 6 beta testing) and the 30 watter will deliver a great solution to those needing a guitar amp/Bluetooth streaming speaker – but in a smaller and better value product.

Click here for more info on the Amplifi30.
Amplifis

Next we come onto Marshall. They’re taking a very different approach with their new CODE modelling amps – only modelling their own valve amps. Of course they own prime examples of their own amps which I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand in the Marshall museum – so who better to model Marshall amps than Marshall themselves. It’s sort of a competitor to the Amplifi range above, as there’s Bluetooth editing and streaming included – however with the range of amps only being Marshall some might say it’s a bit limited… Not me though, Everyone loves Marshall amps, and you’ve got every style of amp covered here – what’s not to like! Some of the demo videos so far released show they’ve recorded the demo on the CODE25 and CODE50 combos, thus showing that the best tones are available across the whole range – not just from the flagship 100 watt head!

Click here for more info on the Marshall CODE amplifier product line.marshall-code

There’s not much to say about the FBV3 – the previous version (the Shortboard MKII) has been around a while.  It’s great to see the long list of previous products that the FBV3 works with (Going back to the Spider II, POD2, Vetta, HD147) as well as of course supporting the latest products too.  It’s essentially a Firehawk style pedal with multi colour footswitch indicators – nice1.

Click here for more info on the FBV3.FBV3

OH MY GOD!!!!!! A 20 watt Silver Jubilee head (and combo)!!!! I’m sure many guitarists prayers are answered right here.  Combo includes a Celestion G12M Greenback, and both have a 5 watt low power mode.

I’ve nothing else to say except: AWESOME!

Click here for more info on the Mini Jubilee.

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I’ve owned  and gigged with Line 6 Relay G50 and G90 units in the past and they were absolutely solid and faultless.  Pro guitarists also seem to really rate the G90 units, so I’m pleased my thoughts on them are shared by those who are more qualified than I am to make judgement.  The introduction of the G10 is a stab at simplifying what was already a simple set of wireless systems – however with any settings came a tiny bit of complexity that the average guitarists just wouldn’t want or need.  Sure a pro player needs to be able to select up to 12 different wireless frequencies, but most do not.  The G10 is so simple that I’m sure it will be a big seller!

Click here for more info on the Relay G10.

Relay_G10

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Rowbi Investigates – Are Marshall Releasing a 2203BLS After all?

BLS You will likely have seen my previous posts that detailed rumours (and some confirmation from Zakk himself, see this article: https://rowbinet.co.uk/2012/01/04/marshall-golden-jubilee-the-holy-grail/ ) that Marshall were planning to release a new Zakk signature just, we assume looking like those in the picture above.  Zakk called them the Steel Curtain Of Doom – I and others referred to them as the 2203BLS.

Since my old pal Zakky announced last month that he is starting Wylde Audio, and other reports have confirmed that some of his main endorsements have ended, detective Rowbi has been hot on the trail of who will actually be building these new amps for Zakk – as surely he’s not reinventing the wheel?!?!¿¡¿¡

First, check out the 5:04 mark in the following video – hmmm, that mini stack clearly resembles that of a Marshall MG15CFXMS!
What really caught my eye was the flashing tap tempo light:
MG15CFXMS-2-2
Next, check out that same video at 5:09, and you’ve guessed it – another Marshall look-a-like!  This time it’s the Wylde Audio Master Practice 15, which is a real dead ringer for love a Marshall DSL15C:
marshall-dsl15c-15-watt-combo-amp-review3-2
So, this got me thinking, is the Master 100 just a 2203 as Zakk has famously used over the years? The front panels seem to match up, and he’s also showed it off in a steel curtain cosmetic version that matches his current Marshalls:
 wylde-audio-master-100-half-stack-steel-curtain
So, with the above points in mind, are Marshall making these Wyde Audio amps? Or has Zakk borrowed or ripped off the designs?
Only time will tell for sure – but I know what my money is on!

NAMM 2015 – Marshall Reissue Silver Jubilee 2555X

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Remember this momentous occasion!  The reissue of the Marshall 2555 Silver Jubilee in January 2015 at the Winter NAMM show.

The reissue head will be called the 2555X, and the cabs (containing 4 x V30 speakers) are the 2551AV (angled) and 2551BV (straight).   Never let it be said that Marshall didn’t release a significant Jubilee model around their 50th anniversary (ok, so it’s their 53rd this year in 2015 🙂 )

2555X-Front

Full specs and the official press release below:

Marshall Launches a Modern Re-Issue of the Legendary Silver Jubilee 2555 Stack

1987 was a very special year for both Marshall Amplification and its founder, Jim Marshall, as it marked 50 years in the Music Industry for Jim, and the 25th Anniversary of his iconic British guitar amplification brand. To celebrate these two momentous occasions, Marshall released the Silver Jubilee Series of amps, clad in silver vinyl. Of this critically acclaimed series, the 100 Watt 2555 stack quickly became one of Marshall’s most popular and significant products. It was adopted by countless artists, including the one-and-only Slash.

Due to incredible public demand, Marshall is offering a UK made, modern re-issue of the highly sought after 2555 stack that exactly duplicates its features and legendary tone. The models are the 2555X head plus the angled-front 2551AV and straight-front 2551BV 4×12” cabinets (sold separately).

2555X-Rear

Here are the features:

2555X 100/50 Watt valve Head Features
• 3 x ECC83 (12AX7) preamp valves and 4 x EL34 power valve
• Silver vinyl and silver front panel
• High/Low Output selection switch – this switches the power stage between Pentode operation (100 Watts) and Triode (50 Watts)
• 2 footswitchable channels – Rhythm and Lead.
• Presence, Bass, Middle and Treble EQ controls
• Output Master/Pull channel Control. This footswitchable push/pull control switches between Rhythm and Lead settings.
• Lead Master Control which sets the Lead mode volume.
• Input Gain/Pull Rhythm Clip Control. When pulled out if adds extra crunch to the Rhythm Mode of the 2555X.
• Series Effects Loop
• DI Output for PA or recording
• Footswitch included
• Made in Britain with Pride

Check out my buddy Chris George doing what he does best in the video below:

2551AV and 2551BV Cabinet Features
• Angled (2551AV) and Straight (2551BV) fronted 4×12” versions available
• 4 x Celestion ‘Vintage 30’ speakers (70 Watts a piece)
• 280 Watts
• Silver vinyl
• Mono/Stereo Switching – 16 or 4 Ohms Mono; 8 Ohms per-side, Stereo
• Castor wheels included
• Made in Britain with Pride
For more information on Marshall Amplification visit: www.marshallamps.com

NAMM 2015 – Marshall 50th Anniversary Of The Stack – Ltd Edition 4×12 Cabs

50th_Full_Left_SM

Cool!  it’s the 50th anniversary of the Marshall 4×12 cab, so Marshall have quite rightly decided to release a 50th anniversary 4×12 cab.

Full specs and press release below:

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the iconic Marshall stack, and to celebrate this we are delighted to announce the launch of two very special 4 x 12” speaker cabinets: the 812A50 angled cabinet and the 812B50 straight cabinet, which will be launched at NAMM 2015. The 50th Anniversary cabs are limited edition and will be available only until the end of the 2015.

These British built commemorative 4x 12”s will feature original cosmetics: authentically reproduced fret cloth, leather strap carrying handles, and era correct Celestion G12M speakers with solder tags. Both angled and straight cabs will bear a special plaque identifying them as limited edition 50th anniversary. And because not every guitarist will want or need a full stack, each cab will be available to buy separately.

For more information on Marshall Amplification visit: www.marshallamps.com.

Marshall’s Golden Rule

Gold Covered Marshall

Marshall Amplification posted this on their Facebook recently – with no real clues about what it is – and a hint that it will be released soon.

I’m guessing that it wont be anything to do with their golden jubilee 2 years ago, and to me it looks like a smaller headbox than a full width 750mm wide 100watt flagship amp…. But what do I know anyway!

Signature Tone Hunters

Some guitarists feel the need to engage in an everlasting and bloody (expensive) quest to replicate the signature tone of their favourite guitar hero(s). Is there rhyme or reason to this widespread madness? – We shall see…..

Take for example the distinctive ex GnR top hat toting Saul ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’ Hudson, aka Slash. Perhaps one of, if not the most hunted signature tone around. Thousands of bedroom guitar bandits have simply strapped on a saucy Les Paul standard, run it through a Silver Jubilee amplificator with Vintage 30s Speaker-me-bobs and put a top hat upon their bonce, and their transformation was almost complete – so long as their chops produce a high level of Riffability.
Sure, if you’ve already changed your name by deed-poll to Slash, you could then get a daft early 90s (aka dodgy) perm and engage in trying to Mod your vintage Marshall to sound like the fabled SIR #34. Or is it the SIR #39? Who knows!? But without Slash’s own fingers and style, you’ll only ever get close enough as to be a poor imitation at the very best.

But remember: Always condition your hands with snake oil each night – it really helps to better imitate guitar hero’s.

Rowbi’s Winter NAMM 2014 Roundup

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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/

ditto-looper-x2-persp

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/

Screen%20Shot%202014-01-25%20at%205_57_55%20PM

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/

ML2%20Classic%2043-630-80

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/

MF_MD_LP_line-6-amplifi_01_v2-01-24-14

Boss OD-1X/DS-1X

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

ds-1x

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/

Marshall_handwired_1962HW_2245THW_1958X_1973X_namm_2014

Something Big Coming Soon From Marshall Amplification

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Marshall Amplification have been using their Facebook page to hint at something big to be announced soon.
But what will it be? My money is on a new amp of some kind (no shit Sherlock), but aside from the new Zakk Wylde signature 2203BLS (one of the worst kept secrets since the Slash 5 watt combo) I’m unsure what could be left that Marshall hasn’t done yet.

Please comment on this post or tweet me with any ideas!

More info:
Marshall Amplification on Facebook.
@Rowbinet on Twitter

Possible Marshall Silver Jubilee Reissue

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Coming straight from the twitter feed of Marshall Amplification’s new product chap, Chris George, there seems a hint towards Marshall considering a reissue of the Silver Jubilee. What a great idea.

Here’s the info posted 2nd April 2013:

“@chrisgeorgeband: Hey y’all, wanna help me out with something?! How many of you would like to see a reissue of the @MarshallAmpsUK 2555 Silver Jubilee?”.

Musikmesse 2013 – Marshall Custom Shop JTM1 Offset

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According to Guitarist Magazine’s twitter feed (@Guitarist_Mag): this is “the final word on Marshall Amplification’s 50th anniversary”.

So that begs the question of what Marshall is planning for 2013? Marshall Amplification’s 51st year of loud…. Speculate away, but only time will tell.