04/17/14

Gig Bag: The Latest Must-Have Gear

New products from Cort, Fishman, Sabian and Remo

Jeff Berlin “The Rithimic”
Signature Bass by Cort
Fans of fusioneer Jeff Berlin rejoice: Cort Guitars has released a lean, mean Berlin signature instrument with an emphasis on functionality and stylistic versatility. The fretted four-string boasts an Alder body with a Spalted Maple and Padouk top, giving the ax a kind of yin-and-yang look; a tone-improving Babicz FCH4 gold bridge; and custom, passive soapbar pickups designed by Berlin’s longtime go-to brand, Bartolini. Other specs include a bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fretboard, a 34-inch scale length, Hipshot Ultralite tuning machines and controls for volume, balance and tone. Cort Guitars

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Fishman Fluence guitar pickup
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Fishman Fluence guitar pickup
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Remo Silentstroke Drumheads
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Sabian Stick Flip

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Fishman Fluence Electric Guitar Pickups
Fishman’s Fluence pickups were big news at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif., in January, for good reason: Through a process of “printing” rather than winding coils, the Fluence designs solve many of the dilemmas associated with electric guitar pickups while maintaining the integrity of classic and contemporary tones. What does that mean exactly? These single-coil and humbucking pickups can be manufactured with newfound consistency, and they eliminate the hum and whir inherent in wound pickups. Then there’s the “multi-voice” angle, in which each pickup can be set to toggle between two useful tones: say, a ’54 Strat bell tone and a grittier, hotter Texas snarl; or the beefy sound you’d expect from a neck humbucker plus a clarion, Tele-like spank with added weight. (And we didn’t notice any annoying shifts in volume at the NAMM demo.) These are active pickups, but the power options are relatively painless—either a 9V or the optional lithium-ion battery. Before dropping 10 grand on a vintage ax, swap in some Fluences. Fishman

Sabian Stick Flip
Here’s something simple but ingenious that should become a staple accessory for drummers. Sabian’s Stick Flip begins as a durable stick bag and, by unzipping and bending its front, transforms into a sturdy stick holder. Broken stick? Mid-tune brushes or mallets section? No problem. Sabian

Remo Silentstroke Drumheads
What’s that? Your Brooklyn apartment doesn’t have a soundproofed rehearsal studio where you can practice your polyrhythms until 3 a.m.? Remo’s got you covered. The company’s Silentstroke drumheads, available in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 24, feature a single-ply mesh material that allows for realistic playability without neighbor-waking volume. If electronic kits aren’t cutting it, check out the Silentstroke line. Remo

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