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Gigbag: July/August 2003

Marchione Guitars Mark Whitfield Signature Archtop

Are you a Mark Whitfield fan with an affinity for bright-red archtop guitars and an extra $18,500 in the bank? We hope you are so that you can enjoy playing luthier Stephen Marchione’s dazzling 16-inch Whitfield signature model guitar. Jim Hall’s 16-inch D’Aquisto was the blueprint for this loud wooden wonder, and Marchione put all the icing on top: custom mother-of-pearl and Zulu wood inlays, quality tone woods and a pickup handwound by Steve Blucher of DiMarzio.

Sibelius G7 Tablature Software

Real musicians read standard music notation. Guitarists read tablature. And reading tab is easy, but writing it is a pain unless you have software like G7 that creates it onscreen, on the fly, as you play a MIDI guitar or keyboard. G7 also lets you scan sheet music in standard notation and convert it to tab, or enter it manually using an onscreen fretboard interface. And if you want to hear the tab you just created, it will play it as audio with up to 16 simultaneous instruments.

TreeWorks Chime Damper

The brilliant high frequencies of chimes can ring forever, and at outdoor gigs when it’s windy, they can chime in without your permission. TreeWorks, maker of fine chime products, now makes the Chime Damper, a laser-cut steel rig that can either cut off the sound from a set of chimes in full or lessen its sustain in varying degrees. Best of all, the Damper will fit any brand of chimes, not just TreeWorks.

Yamaha AA5 Amplifier

Yamaha’s AA5 guitar amp is small and inadequate for serious gigging. But that’s the idea behind this portable, digital cube of high-impact polypropylene. It has two 4-inch speakers, a 4-watt amplifier and can run for 60 hours off four AA batteries-perfect for practicing in the middle of nowhere-true woodshedding. What’s more, it has an auxiliary input that accepts a line in from a CD or MP3 player for picking along to your idols.

Tech 21 Landmark 300

Let’s say you’re a bassist who thought that Tech 21’s Landmark 600 amp head sounded great but was just a bit over the top in terms of power. You’ll be happy to know that the New York City amp masters have sliced the 600 half, wattage-wise and now offer the Landmark 300, a 300-watt head with the same selection of vintage and modern tube amp sounds at your disposal. Aside from the tone-shaping controls available on both its channels (gain, EQ, presence, etc.), the Landmark 300 comes equipped with Tech 21’s proprietary SansAmp Tube Amplifier Emulation technology, which lets you go direct into a board while still sounding amplified.

Planet Waves Circuit Breaker Cable

Planet Waves’ Circuit Breaker cable is another one of the company’s smartly designed guitar accoutrements-it gets rid of the potentially equipment-damaging snap that occurs when you pull a live wire out of a phono jack. Pushing the button located at the cable’s end cuts off the flow of juice to the plug, so when you pull it from your ax, it’s silent. That can save an amp or a PA, maybe even a pair of sensitive ears. Breaking stuff is cool.

Originally Published