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Gigbag: March 2003

Pacific SX Series Snare Drums

Sometimes you just want another snare. Something different, fun and affordable. Pacific’s SX series all-maple snares come in variety of sizes from 4-by-10 inches to 8-by-14 inches and all list under $300, allowing the drum-hungry skin hitter a number of guilt-free timbres. Each drum is finished in a natural lacquer and has a wood hoop, and you can have your choice between hammered bronze and chrome-over-steel models.

C.G. Conn 34M Saxophones

With the 34M tenor, C.G. Conn re-creates the forceful sound of its highly prized turn-of-the-century models. While the sound remains true to the vintage horns, the 34M features modern keywork and domed tone booster pads. It climbs all the way to high F, and if that isn’t high enough for you, the alternate 34M-HF model goes a half step higher. Both models come with a hardshell case and a full warranty.

Vandoren Reed Cases

The new reed cases from Vandoren-one for altoists, one for clarinetists-fit inside a shirt pocket and still carry enough reeds for you and all your woodwind-tooting friends. The clarinetist version accommodates eight reeds, the alto carries six, and both provide adequate ventilation so your reeds won’t warp.

J.J. Babbitt G and M45 Mouthpieces

If you lust after Cannonball Adderley and Paul Desmond, or at least the unique sounds they coaxed from their alto saxophones, the mouthpiece mavericks at J.J. Babbitt have the tool for you. The new hard-rubber G model mouthpiece is crafted with a chamber and tip opening specifically intended to help you attain the tone of both of those alto idols. Tip openings for the G come in sizes 5, 6 or 7. And, for the clarinetist, Babbitt has introduced the M45, another hard-rubber mouthpiece that delivers a dark, centered sound.

Evans J1 Drumhead

Drummer Peter Erskine says that using Evans’ new J1 drumhead (the “J” is for jazz) has made him a better drummer. We thought Pete was pretty good already, so the J1 must be worth a stroke of the brush. In fact, the J1 makes the most out of your brushwork-its specially etched, timbale-headlike surface produces a silky tone and lets the “shush” sound of a dragging brush resonate longer than other heads. The J1 can be fitted to snares and toms in a variety of sizes.

Parker Fly Bass

Just like the uniquely shaped guitars he introduced in the 1990s, Ken Parker’s Fly bass is an expertly crafted instrument versatile enough to suit players from jazz to rock to R&B to whatever. The layered spruce body contains two custom-wound DiMarzio Ultra-Jazz pickups and a Fishman active piezo pickup/preamp/mixer system, which makes for limitless possibilities in the tone department. A carbon-fiber composite fingerboard tops the mahogany neck, and Parker makes the bass in four- and five-string models.

Originally Published