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BOSS Micro BR Digital Recorder

From our phones to our stereo systems, svelte tech appears to be every man’s desire these days. So it was only a matter of time before something like Boss’ Micro BR digital recorder came along. Other companies have marketed similarly small recording units, but this is the first that looks like something you might see … Read More “BOSS Micro BR Digital Recorder”

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M-Audio Black Box

Unless you’re a guitar-slinging hermit living out in the sticks where not a soul can be pestered by the sound of your endless practice sessions, there are bound to be times when you need to noodle as quietly as possible. Neighbors, spouses, roommates, even pets seem to become all the more irritated each time they … Read More “M-Audio Black Box”

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Planet Waves Chromatic Pedal Tuner

In recent years, Planet Waves has expanded its arsenal of tools for the performing guitarist with some truly innovative products. Earlier this year, the company unveiled a new line of tuners that includes, among other innovations, a strobe tuner the size of a guitar pick and a string winder/cutter/tuner combo. The line’s flagship product, however, … Read More “Planet Waves Chromatic Pedal Tuner”

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Instrumental Innovations

Believe it or not, but Art Tatum played numerous live performances of “Tiger Rag” in Anaheim, Calif., this past January. He played it twice for me, in fact, and both times it was like watching the man race toward that cheeky last bit of staccato punctuation at the rag’s end. Amazing. Naturally, it’s impossible for … Read More “Instrumental Innovations”

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Hughes & Kettner Duotone Combo Amp

Take a look at the surface controls on Hughes & Kettner’s Duotone combo amp. That’s a lot of knobs–14, plus four toggle switches–which can only mean that it’s an amp built for the guitarist’s guitarist. This all-tube animal is for those who need something that goes from ultraclean to hideously dirty and serves up all … Read More “Hughes & Kettner Duotone Combo Amp”

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Tascam CD-GT1mkII Portable CD Guitar Trainer

I’m not old enough to remember the days when transcribing a solo meant slowing down a vinyl LP; I’ve only heard wiser elders go on about how easy us kids have it today. By the time I became crazy enough to attempt unraveling dense melodies by Barney Kessel or breaking down Johnny Smith’s dumbfounding chord … Read More “Tascam CD-GT1mkII Portable CD Guitar Trainer”

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Wynton Marsalis: Live at the House of Tribes

With Wynton Marsalis’ multimillion dollar JALC compound finally built, the trumpeter could have easily made this live recording an advertisement for the acoustics of its swanky Allen Room or Rose Hall. Instead he recorded in the modest surroundings of the Lower East Side’s House of Tribes and delivered us something that lends more credence to … Read More “Wynton Marsalis: Live at the House of Tribes”

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Harry Connick Jr.: Occasion

Despite its overuse, the notion that great jazz sounds like a conversation between its makers continues to ring true, and Harry Connick Jr.’s latest is further evidence. Returning to the Marsalis label for the second installment of the Connick on Piano series, Hollywood Harry pares down the instrumentation from the quartet on 2003’s Other Hours … Read More “Harry Connick Jr.: Occasion”

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Tiny Moore & Jethro Burns: Back to Back

It’s hard believe that Jethro Burns and Tiny Moore hadn’t met each other until the rehearsal for the 1979 session that yielded Back to Back. You’d think the two master mandolinists, both 59 at the time, would have crossed paths long before producer and fellow mandolinist David Grisman called on the pair for this fascinating … Read More “Tiny Moore & Jethro Burns: Back to Back”

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Weber Big Sky Acoustic Archtop

While the name Weber may not yet ring a bell in the minds of guitarists, it’s far from obscure in the tight, friendly, roots-music community. Mandolinists have trusted the brand since it rose from the ashes of the former Flatiron mandolin operation in Bozeman, Mont. In 1987, Gibson USA, which has a guitar-production plant in … Read More “Weber Big Sky Acoustic Archtop”

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Tascam FW-1804 Recording Interface

Tascam’s FW-1804 enters the crowded market of computer-based recording interfaces as an easy-to-install, easy-to-use centerpiece for a studio in need of an audio interface with MIDI capability. Unlike some other recording interfaces of its size and ability, the FW-1804 requires no separate PCI card to be installed in the computer it’s connected to. It takes … Read More “Tascam FW-1804 Recording Interface”

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G7 Kontakt Edition Guitar Sofware

Guitarist-composers who wanted to create sheet music may have felt overwhelmed or alienated by applications like Finale, which appeal mostly to composers who create large scores for multi-instrument ensembles. What many guitarists want is a simpler program that can bridge the gap between standard music notation and tablature, the system guitarists tend to prefer as … Read More “G7 Kontakt Edition Guitar Sofware”

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NAMM 2005

In late January I left snowy Washington, D.C., to visit Anaheim, Calif., home of Winter NAMM-the musical instrument industry’s annual product-showcase blowout-and a place with much better weather. The four-day show, held in the Anaheim Convention Center, officially began at 10 a.m. on January 23. But my first stop there was a half hour before … Read More “NAMM 2005”

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Peterson StroboStomp Tuner

A users’ forum at the Peterson Web site displays a picture of a giant truck rolling over the British company’s StroboStomp tuner, an attempt to show the durability of the unit’s casing. Cleverly modeled after an Aston Martin sports car, and die-cast from sturdy aluminum frame, the StroboStomp is just a bit larger than a … Read More “Peterson StroboStomp Tuner”

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Echo Digital Audio Indigo IO

Even with inexpensive recording software it’s possible to produce professional-sounding tracks on a laptop. But built-in sound cards have lousy analog-to-digital converters, and musicians need better ways to plug in other than via a computer’s standard microphone or line input. Finding a solution isn’t hard these days, as a wealth of USB and FireWire breakout … Read More “Echo Digital Audio Indigo IO”

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Soloway Swan LN6

When Michael Jordan attached his image to the Hanes line of underthings, I doubt he ever said, “Those shorts gotta have a French cut.” Mike didn’t design those undies. But when a noted musician puts his or her Hancock on an instrument, it’s not your average product endorsement and it’s not just a way to … Read More “Soloway Swan LN6”

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Ultrasone Headphones

I’m not certain that everyone who dons Ultrasone headphones will be able to notice the difference between these S-Logic technology-equipped cans and other high-end ‘phones, but a difference exists and it could save your ears. S-Logic? It’s not new technology so much as it’s smart design. In most headphones the drivers in the ear-cup aim … Read More “Ultrasone Headphones”

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Stromberg Monterey Guitar

The semi-hollow Monterey comes from Stromberg as a kind of answer to Gibson’s long-loved ES-335, though the two guitars’ shared qualities are just skin deep. The first incarnation of the Monterey sported a double cutaway and Gibson, protecting its interests, served Stromberg with a cease-and-desist order. Fair enough-after all, the Monterey really would have looked … Read More “Stromberg Monterey Guitar”

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James Williams Dies

James Williams, a pianist and onetime member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, died Tuesday, July 20 of complications from liver cancer. He was 53. Born in Memphis in 1951, Williams began playing piano at 13 and concentrated on gospel music and R&B, early influences that would remain a part of style throughout his career. While … Read More “James Williams Dies”

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Blue Ball Microphone

To those readers who remain immature enough not to contain your titters upon reading phrases like penal colony (or the word titter, for that matter), I must remind you that you are reading a serious and classy magazine. There are to be no such infantile antics while reading this review of the Blue Ball microphone. … Read More “Blue Ball Microphone”

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