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Gearhead: Sabian, Moog, NS Design & more

The latest instruments, accessories and jazz-ed resources

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NS Design NXTa Active Series Bass
Ken Hatfield's "12 Preludes for Solo Guitar"
Moog Model 15 Synthesizer App
New cymbals in Sabian's Big & Ugly Collection
AER's Tommy Emmanuel Signature Guitar Amp

Moog Model 15 Synthesizer App

Although Moog is best known for its definitive analog synthesizers, the company’s digital game is coming on strong. Case in point: the Moog Model 15 App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, a modular synth and learning tool that recreates the otherworldly sonics and iconic controls of Moog’s history-making modules for a touchscreen interface. Included are 160 one-of-a-kind presets, a real-time looping recorder, MIDI capabilities, tutorials and fluid zooming and panning (the result of the app utilizing Apple’s Metal technology). $29.99 online.

NS Design NXTa Active Series Basses

Think of NS Design’s new NXTa Active Series instruments, including versions of the company’s popular Omni and double basses, as musical hybrid vehicles. In other words, you get active-pickup performance-go straight into any amp with no D.I. box-without loading old-school batteries into your bass. Just 60 seconds of charging yields up to 16 hours of performance. These axes can also be played in passive mode, with a high-impedance amp and a direct box.

Ken Hatfield’s 12 Preludes for Solo Guitar

Extremely rare is the educational book whose accompanying CD can be listened to like any other favorite album. But nylon-string guitarist Ken Hatfield, a classical-jazz fusioneer with a striking gift for melody, offers 12 Preludes for Solo Guitar that are just plain gorgeous-crisply performed in crystalline audio, and evocative of everything from Bach to Fahey to jazzy chord-melody and the Romantic-jazz gestures of Keith Jarrett. Sold as book/CD pack ($30), or CD only.

Tommy Emmanuel Signature Guitar Amp by AER

Australian fingerstyle guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, a disciple of Chet Atkins and collaborator to jazz masters like Martin Taylor and Frank Vignola, has long been a supporter of AER, the German manufacturer of high-quality acoustic-guitar amplifiers. This signature model is an elegantly tweaked version of Emmanuel’s long-favored AER amp, the 60-watt Compact 60, with new elements like onboard reverb/delay and special engravings. $1,499 MSRP.

New Cymbals in Sabian’s Big & Ugly Collection

Sabian’s Big & Ugly Collection-a coolly stylized “stressed” cymbals line with an accordingly free, brash sound-turned heads in a big way at Winter NAMM, and rightfully so. The brand is expanding this successful series with new cymbals, including the resonant, detailed 18-inch AA “Sick” hats, 14- and 16-inch AA Apollo hats, the 14-inch XSR Monarch hats, and crash-able 18- and 20-inch AA Apollo and 18- and 20-inch XSR Monarch cymbals.

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Originally Published