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.

marshall-mini-jubilee

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 – Line 6 Firehawk FX

 

Line 6 Firehawk FX

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  No, it’s the latest amp sim and multi FX to come from those boffins over at Line 6!

A mash up between an Amplifi FX100 and POD HD, gives you a streamlined interface, some great Amplifi (X3) and HD amp tones, and a very rich selection of FX (200 in total, with 50 from the POD HD).  It doesn’t have quite all of the features of POD HD500X, no dual signal path, no MIDI, etc – But for some this will be an ideal piggy in the middle!

You can jam along to Bluetooth audio sources, and edit presets using an iPad, iPhone and Android.  You can also use the tone match feature in the remote app, to auto select you a guitar tone to jam along to what you’re listening to.  This helps you to focus on playing more!

There’s a USB interface for recording and playing back audio if that’s what you like.

There are many preset locations, as well as the ability to use additional footswitches to turn on and off FX within a preset – and I like the dim/bright footswitch LEDs that glow dimly when an FX block is off, and brightly when it’s on (just like a Line 6 M13).

If you’re a Variax user (original Vax, JTV, or new Variax Standard) you can use the build in Variax VDI input too – or alternatively there’s the standard guitar input.  If you do have a compatible Variax, the Firehawk can also switch your Variax guitar models and the tunings too, all as part of a preset change (i.e. pressing a footswitch) – NICE!

Check out http://www.line6.com for more info.

NAMM 2015 – Line 6 Relay G70 and G75 – Evolved Wireless

G75 G75 rearLine 6 G70  transmitter

In the market for wireless?  Check these babies out!  You can connect multiple transmitters to one receiver and at the press of a button (or footswitch) switch between your instruments.

How about 8+ hours of battery life for your transmitter, tour grade metal casings, near zero latency (under 1.5ms) and uncompressed lossless sound.

I’ve previously reviewed Line 6 Relay wireless, and have gigged with a G50 and G90 units in the past – All I can say is that it’s very high quality kit, and with the cable tone settings, you can still get that tone as if you are using a cable.  Great stuff!

NAMM 2015 – Marshall Reissue Silver Jubilee 2555X

Marshall_2555X_Stack_2015

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.

Line 6 POD HD500X First Play

HD500X

POD HD (same as HD500)

That’s right faithful readers and Line 6 fans, I have a lovely new POD HD500X that Line 6 have kindly loaned me to do some product reviews…

It only landed on my doorstep yesterday, and the first thing I wanted to try was to compare the more powerful POD HD500X to a POD HD500 or POD HD Bean (both the HD bean and HD500 have the same processing power and I have the HD bean to hand so that’s what I’ll use).

Above is a preset I created on the POD HD500X (above top picture).  Then the lower of the 2 above pictures is as far as I got on the POD HD Bean.  The next effect I tried to add on the HD bean was the 63 Spring Reverb, and I got the DSP over limit warning.  Now I do appreciate that this isn’t a full test, it’s just me creating a preset in the order that I usually do it, and that’s as far as I got.  For reference: I usually add amps, then delay(s) and then reverb.  Perhaps adding the FX in another order would mean I can add more less DSP intensive FX to the POD HD bean preset before the DSP limit is reached (as the 63 Spring Reverb is well known to use a large amount of DSP processing resources), but that’s a test for another day.

Line 6 Release Updated POD HD500X

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Line 6 Updates Best-Selling POD HD500 Multi-Effects Processor with New POD HD500X

Best-in-class multi-effects processor delivers more DSP power for exceptional flexibility and creativity

RUGBY, UK.—10th July, 2013— Line 6, Inc. today introduced the new POD® HD500X guitar multi-effects processor, the successor to the best-selling* POD HD500. With even more processing power, POD HD500X enables musicians to create more intricate sounds and signal chains than ever before. Professional-grade, backlit footswitches provide total control and are highly visible in any environment.
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Line 6 WHAT’S NEXT Musicians’ Conference Tours – London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York City.

WhatsNext_Logo_v3_black

 Line 6 and Topspin Media present WHAT’S NEXT Musicians’ Conference in London.

Line 6, Inc. and Topspin Media are joining forces with other leading music and technology companies to present the WHAT’S NEXT Musicians’ Conference, a series of free events that will allow musicians to explore the ideas, trends and technologies that are impacting music today. Featuring panel discussions with industry experts, live artist performances, breakout sessions, music technology demos and more, WHAT’S NEXT will empower musicians to take control of their future—and chart their own path to success.

WHAT’S NEXT conferences are scheduled to take place in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York City. The London event will be on 6th July at Music Bank. Used by the likes of Jimmy Page, Noel Gallagher and Corinne Bailey Rae, Music Bank is a world renowned suite of rehearsal studios in south London, and is an ideal environment for discussion and workshops around improving live performance. 
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