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Gear Check: January 2018

Jazzed Magazine • GearcheckJanuary 2018 • January 16, 2018

Brass & Woodwind

Phaeton Flugelhorn from PJLA Music

The new Phaeton Flugelhorn comes standard with a new black/copper antique finish. Specs are: bore .433”, bell red brass & .984” at flare with yellow brass lead pipe. All outer slides are nickel silver, and this model offers a new balanced fast action trigger design.

Cases & Stands

My Case from Jupiter Music

The Jupiter “My Case” for the 700 Series Student Instruments is a new lightweight case that features upgraded hardware including captive hinge pins, durable, stylish and light-weight scratch resistant ABS material, ability to stack, and interchangeable decals to allow students to customize their case to match their personal style. With the ability to change the look of your case as often and as many times you want, the new My Case offers over 400 designs to choose from to reflect a student’s current style or interest.

New Keyboard Cases from SKB Cases

SKB has released seven new iSeries Keyboard Cases with Think Tank Interiors, all of which are fully customizable to accommodate virtually all popular keyboard sizes and setups. The new cases feature dense Velex-covered foam blocks in different sizes, creating the perfect custom fit for every keyboard. As these foam pieces are easily repositioned, having a deluxe, custom-fit case no longer means being locked into one setup. All seven new cases are made of ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin, and feature a waterproof, submersible design that is resistant to corrosion and impact damage.

New Stands from Hercules Stands

The GS414B Plus and the GSP38WB Plus guitar stands feature a wider mounting area to better accommodate extended range instruments (up to 2.05” nut width), an upgraded height adjustment clutch, and upgraded rubber feet for increased stability. Included with these stands is the new Hercules accessory, N.I.N.A., Narrow Instrument Neck Adjustment, which is designed to increase the thickness of the AGS yoke so that it can accommodate instruments such as ukulele, mandolin and banjo (as small as 1.1”).


New Ned Steinberger Products from D’Addario Accessories

D’addario Accessories’ new Cradle Capos are quick and easy to position with a stainless steel, self-centering design. This cradle-style capo centers behind the neck of your instrument automatically, assuring horizontal string-pull for perfect tuning and intonation. Its adjustable micrometer lets you dial in the perfect pressure, allowing the freedom for quick transitions while conveniently storing behind the nut when not in use. MSRP: $99.95

D’Addario’s Universal Strap Lock gives the certainty and peace of mind that your instrument and strap are firmly locked in place. With tool-free, no-hassle installation, these strap locks make it quick and easy to connect and remove your strap, leaving you free to move about the stage with confidence. Strap buttons are available in black, gold and nickel, and vary in price based on the strap buttons selected.

The NS Clip-free Micro Tuner features a full-color display and metronome in a housing that blends with the aesthetics of any instrument. For the ultimate in discrete tuning, the included clip-free mount attaches directly to your instrument’s tuning machine (screws included, no additional holes needed) so your tuner is always at hand and visible only to you. MSRP: $34.95

Cleartone EQs from Cleartone Strings

Cleartone Strings has released their Cleartone EQs in two brand new gauges: 10-47 & 13-56. Designed to mimic a perfect EQ setting, Cleartone EQs take the guesswork out of 80/20 vs. phosphor bronze, and squeezes every last bit of tone out of your guitar’s natural sound. Cleartone Strings use 99% copper on the low E for its extended bass response and high frequency roll off. Phosphor bronze is used on the A & D because of its warm, well balanced characteristics and finally an 80/20 on the G for its accentuated treble and ability to cut through the mix.

Drumdots Mini from Drumdots

Drumdots mini are made of the same material as the original drumdots, at ½ the size to offer limitless versatility.  These drum dampeners are engineered to control the ring without sacrificing the natural tone of your drums. They can be used on any drumhead, cymbal and cowbell, in any position, even upside down and vertical. They are removable, reusable, washable, simple to use and easy to clean.

Print & Digital

Basic Piano Library: Popular Hits, Level 5 from Alfred Music

Alfred’s Basic Piano Library: Popular Hits, Level 5 is correlated page-by-page with Alfred’s Basic Piano Library: Lesson Book 5. When pieces from the Popular Hits book are assigned in conjunction with the material in the lesson book, new concepts are reinforced in a fun and motivating way, increasing the student’s interest in piano study. Arranged by Tom Gerou, this series answers the often expressed need for Broadway, pop, and movie music to be used as supplementary music for students. Soon after beginning piano study, students can play attractive versions of favorite classics as well as the best-known melodies of today. Price: $8.99.

New Releases from Hal Leonard

The Looper Pedal Songbook from Hal Leonard is the first-ever songbook designed to help guitarists play songs using live looping. Once a novelty tool in music, looping pedals are now used by some of the most popular artists in the world. Even though their popularity has grown, very little has been written for beginners about how to perform using them. The book features 50 songs that will put players’ looping skills to good use, and are designed to be played with even the most modest looper on the market. Each arrangement is written for performance by a single acoustic or electric guitar, but also allows for some experimentation to ensure players can take their looping to new heights. This book teaches how to start and end a loop, overdubbing, common routing directions, and loop setup. Regardless of looper-use skill level, The Looper Pedal Songbook will help expand a player’s looper knowledge and vocabulary. Price: $14.99

The Hal Leonard Drumset Method, by acclaimed educator Kennan Wylie with drummer extraordinaire Gregg Bissonette, will help all beginners kick-start their drum lessons. It includes lessons on drum setup and fundamentals, tuning and maintenance, basic music reading, grips and strokes, coordination and basic techniques, half-time grooves, syncopation, jazz drumming, drum soloing, and much more.

In additional to the great lessons, each book includes hours of audio tracks for demonstration and play along, plus video lessons from Bissonette. The audio and video tracks can be accessed online using the unique code inside each book and can be streamed or downloaded. The audio files include PLAYBACK+, a multi-functional audio player that allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right. Players also have access to downloadable PDF files with extra practice material for each book.

The Hal Leonard Drumset Method series is launching with three books: Hal Leonard Drumset Method–Book 1, Hal Leonard Drumset Method–Book 2, and Hal Leonard Drumset Method Complete Edition. Book 1 and Book 2 retail for $16.99, and the Complete Edition retails for $27.50.


The AVN11 from Ibanez Guitars

The AVN11 guitar from Ibanez features a Thermo Aged Solid Caucasian Spruce Top, which also delivers a dry vintage sound. A semi-gloss antique finish offers an even more classic appearance. Combined with a mahogany back and Thermo Aged Spruce X bracing, the AVN11 provides a wide open resonant sound with a vivid tonal projection. The satin finished mahogany soft-V shape neck provides increased playing comfort. A bone nut and saddle were chosen for their ability to naturally transfer string vibration.

Updated Entourage Series from Seagull Guitar

The new Entourage series from Seagull Guitars will feature a variety of body shapes in the new warm and vibrant “Autumn Burst” finish. The guitars in the series also feature white crisp binding and travel-sized models. Other special updated features include a Godin EPM Q1T preamp and the addition of two parlor-sized models in natural almond and natural finishes. Each Entourage will be priced under $600.

Pro Series Deluxe from Traveler Guitars

These Pro-Series Deluxe guitars from Traveler Guitars feature a custom piezo pickup and an upgraded dual-rail humbucker, allowing performers to play a breadth of tones and styles with just one instrument. Other upgrades include an ebony fingerboard, abalone inlay, gold 14:1 gear ratio locking tuners, and gold hardware. The lap rest is detachable for easy transport, so the guitars and included gig bag fit easily in an airline overhead compartment.

Drums & Percussion

457 Heavy Metal Cymbals from Wuhan

The 457 Heavy Metal cymbal box sets from Wuhan get their name from their unique blend of molybdenum, manganese, chromium, and carbon steel alloy – a composition specifically created for heavy hitters. Each cymbal is triple plated in a beautiful gold-colored brilliant finish that won’t transfer to drums or other cymbals. Retail price for a box set of 14” hh,16” crash and 20” ride is $140.

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