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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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 – Line 6 New Product Hints

Line 6 have today hinted on their Facebook page and Twitter feed about new products being “unleashed” at NAMM. Here’s what they said:

“At #NAMM 2015, we’re unleashing exciting new products that will inspire innovation for creative guitarists. Stay posted to learn more!”

Here’s a link to the tweet: Link to tweet

Line 6 AMPLIFi Detailed Review

 

Amplifi1

As a father to a cheeky but adorable 2 year old girl, I often find myself with a little time to spare late in the evening to pretend that I’m the next Joe Satriani or Angus Young.  With the aforementioned dozer being fast asleep at such hours of the evening, it would be ideal if I had a whiz bang tool that allowed me to very quickly plug in and jam along to some Satch or AC/DC in my living room, or with the possibility to use headphones if I wanted to play loud without anyone else hearing it. The same features would also make such a product ideal for any bedroom rock star or a student who cant make too much noise in their dorm room.
I suppose it would also make sense that such a tool has super flexible features like streaming music from any Bluetooth device (phones/tablets/PCs/MACs) and is loud enough to rehearse and gig.
What about making it look especially cool and edgy with a funky updated vintage vibe going on so that it looks as good in a living room as well as on stage. Then lastly give it a price point that is affordable for even the smallest budget.

Well prepare yourself….. As those clever boffins at Line 6 have only gone and delivered an innovative and feature rich amp that fits all those requirements and more to boot! Its called the AMPLIFi, and is apparently such a new take on the humble guitar amp, Line 6’s marketing material suggested that the AMPLIFi is ‘The guitar amp, reinvented’. That is perhaps an overstretch, and I would have gone for ‘The guitar amp, evolved’.
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Line 6 UK Online Store Opens

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Line 6 have had a US online store for a long time, selling spares and accessories to US customers.
Line 6 just opened a UK online store too, selling similar accessories, including Spare James Tyler Variax (JTV) batteries, piezo pickups, knobs for PODs, wireless spares, amp spares, and US custom shop JTV guitars, among many other things.

Visit the UK store here.

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 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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