World Music Supply | Parker Guitars PDF Series

Hey guys, Brian from World Music Supply again, bringing you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews. Today I got to check out something I have only dreamed of since I was say 13 or so, I got to review a Parker guitar. I remember when Parkers first started getting big, I had the joy of trying one out in a store, it was weird, but in the same way being weightless would be weird, cool but confusing. The body was so amazingly thin and light that had I not felt strings under my fingers I might not have known I was wearing a guitar at all. From its arrays of knobs and switches, its ability to sound like an acoustic with the flick of a switch, its weird knob behind the bridge that controlled the flat spring for the vibrato, heck even its shape was out of this world.

Everything on the guitar felt like it was from the future, from that strange looking asymmetrical vibrato that just didn’t seem to want to slip out of tune, the carbon glass fretboard, the stainless steel fret wire, the weird not really there headstock, according to the flyer attached to the guitar, even the body and neck woods were weird, something like a sandwich of hard super resonant woods, and soft absorbent poplar to help shape the sound into perfection. The guitar felt, and sounded downright amazing, but just like everything else on this guitar the price tag was outlandish, like vintage guitar outlandish.

Parker PDF Radial Neck Series Vintage Sunburst Finish

Parker PDF Radial Neck Series Vintage Sunburst Finish

So fast forward to today, when I got to sit down with a few, amazingly affordable new designs by Parkers, the most notable of which was the PDF105QVSB. The first super noticeable thing to me is they have modified the shape a tad bit to make it a little less outlandish looking, with a more standard profile with all of the same Parker flair. The Vibrato system has been redone, to have a more conventional spring arrangement, but it still has all of the bells and whistles of the old days, just without the big roller wheel on the back of the guitar. The Carbon glass fretboard has been replaced with Ebony, and the Materials of the body were a little easier to remember this time around too, as this guy was a good ol’ chunk of mahogany, granted carved down into a thinner profile quite like the older Parker models.

The PDF105 is also part of their radial neck series, which is designed to give a stronger, more musical connection to the body by eliminating the foot of the neck that connects to the body. This allowed the neck and the body to resonate a little more in tune with each other, resulting in more harmonic richness, and longer sustain of the fundamental. The PDF105 also features a Graphtech Ghost piezo system, which has down right fantastic sounding acoustic tones thanks to the Graphtech proprietary polymer that was designed just for them, with a built in compression, meaning they never clip or get fizzy like some piezo units. Lastly add in the fact that the PDF105 comes armed with Seymour Duncan humbuckers and you have a guitar that is just ready to take over your life.

Parker PDF Radial Neck Series Black Burst Finish

Parker PDF Radial Neck Series Black Burst Finish

Clean, this guitar sounds amazingly articulate, with lots of chime and snap, but it was still warm, and harmonically rich. The bridge pickup was bright, but still full sounding, it never lacked the character of a bridge pickup, but it was never too thin and bright, it just did what it needed to do. The neck pickup was smooth and rather jazzy, with a bit of pop-y snap to keep things interesting.

The acoustic tones through a PA speaker were just amazing; they were so close to a real acoustic guitar that it was jaw dropping. The slight compressing that the Graphtech saddles have built in, really do keep it from sounding like a Piezo, and it really, really does sound like a well mic’d dreadnaught. The illusion was daunted however by my constant use of the whammy bar, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

My real favorite tone of this guitar however was not the stellar clean sound, or the stunning acoustic sounds, it was the roaring electric tone. The shape of this guitar feels familiar but still a little ethereal, which makes you play just a little bit off from what you usually play. This tiny bit of vibe in the guitar really did a lot for me, and the vibe doesn’t stop with the looks, let me assure you of that. Cranked up through our test amp, the Marshall DSL40C, this guy was a beast! The bridge pickup was rich, and clear too, playing whole chords on even medium to high distortion settings were still articulate and full, never muddy or noisy. Single note lines rung out for what seemed like forever, and that snappy, punchy character that this guitar had when clean was amplified ten fold when distorted. Power chords had punch and attack, and single line sung out with force I couldn’t have imagined. The vibrato system might have changed from the original Parker design, but the bulk of what made it play like a parker is still there. I could swing it around for days and it kept coming up in tune.

I loved this guitar, it sounds great, it feels great and it looks like nothing else. Of course, I am sort of biased, as I did love the old Parkers too. For what its worth though, this guitar is geared towards more conventional guitarists, with a vibrato that actually is set up in a way most people will understand it, body wood that a guitarist can recognize, rather than a list of space aged composites and different layers of different density wood. This guitar is like a turbo charged sports car, its as much fun as a super car without the giant price tag. At the end of a day though, the fun factor of these new Parkers really does show, and I dare anyone to play one of these guys and not smile the whole time, the Parker PDF105 series earns itself a solid 10 out of 10.

Advertisements

World Music Supply | New and Improved Jackson 7 and 8 String Guitars

Hi everyone, it’s Brian with World Music Supply here to bring you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and do I have a treat in store for you all today! Today I am going to be talking about some of the new Jacksons that came out at NAMM this year, more specifically their new line of entry level seven and eight string guitars. Now they won’t be out on the market until the end of the month, but I got a chance to sit down, and quickly give these guys a once over just for you guys.

Jackson JS32-7 Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar Satin Black

Jackson JS32-7 Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar Satin Black

First up on the block today is easily the nicest, cleanest looking entry level seven string I have ever seen, the Jackson JS32-7 Dinky. Sure, it is an entry level guitar so the appointments aren’t stellar by any means. You have some nice high output Jackson made pickups an arched basswood body covered in a satin black finish, a comfy 26.5” scale length maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard with a consistent 16” radius. You also have 24 Jumbo frets and those cool Piranha fin inlays they debuted on the Slat series not too long ago. The stamped hard tail bridge is simplistic, but it would easily get the job done, nothing too complex.

Strung up with some lighter strings, the clean tone was tight and punchy, with lots of bright strat-y tones on the high strings and thick growl on the lows. The neck was surprisingly fast, my issue with seven strings is simply, I don’t own one, and I don’t really get to review enough of them to really get used to the girth of the neck. This guitar however, didn’t feel hugely different from a six string, sure there was that chunky low B down at the bottom, but my hand still fit the guitar perfectly well. The pickups were high enough output that even uncompressed there wasn’t a world of volume difference between all seven strings, and the dynamic range of the guitar was surprisingly wide as well. Clean tones rang out with plenty of snap and sustain, and of course the distorted tones were just brutal.

Sure it doesn’t do everything, and it doesn’t have a dozen different pick up combinations or special add-ons that make it into some dream machine of a guitar, but what it does have is a solid sound, and a comfortable feel. This guitar could easily be someone’s work horse, an affordable, no nonsense guitar, with enough muscle to get the job done in almost any situation in which you would need a seven string (which is getting to be more and more common nowadays) so for all of that, I would have to be crazy to award the JS32-7 anything less than a 10 out of 10.

Jackson JS32-7 Q Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar

Jackson JS32-7 Q Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar

Next up is the JS32-7 Q which is very similar to our last guitar, except for the fact that its basswood body is topped with a stunning quilted maple top, and the inclusion of the HT-7 fully adjustable bridge. Play wise, this did a bit for the playability, the bridge felt a little more comfortable, and the strat style 3 way switch was a nice change too, sure it might just be a tiny change, but I’m just sort of biased towards the strat/tele style switch. Sound wise, the guitar had more spank to it, with a brighter, glassier top end, and a little tighter sounding low end. But what this really does for the guitar is make it look a thousand times nicer, sure the simple matte black finish might do it for some people, but some of us guitarists getting into the extended range territory aren’t always going to be metal heads, so its nice to see a guitar that appeals to my aesthetic senses as well.

I liked this guitar, and the addition of the quilted top and beefier bridge were nice touches, but I cant say I found a world of difference between it and its more cost friendly sibling, so I am afraid I can only award the JS32-7 Q an 8 out of 10.

Jackson JS32-8 Q Dinky Trans Red 8 String Electric Guitar

Jackson JS32-8 Q Dinky Trans Red 8 String Electric Guitar

Last up for the day is the JS32-8 Q which is officially the first 8 string I have ever personally held. Until now, I have had admittedly had very little experience with this range of guitar, with the only one I have ever seen in person being Charlie Hunters fan fretted Novax, although I’m sure this guitar wasn’t meant for his style of music, this guitar was designed for forward thinking metal. As I’ve said before, I’m not the most metal of guitarists, and I’ve discussed before at how weird I felt on a seven string, so an 8 string felt as unfamiliar to me as a 6 string bass. So please take this review with a grain of salt.

The quilted trans red top was stunning, very rich, and very heavily quilted. The guitar balanced surprisingly well on a strap, and it wasn’t too heavy which impressed me. The pickups ultra high output pickups had a very deep, very dark sound when I played on the lower register, and simply sang on the high strings. The clean tone had a wonderfully wide range across the guitar, with dark short scale style bass tones on the one hand, and quasi strat tones on the other, a wonderful all in one style instrument. Playing thunderous rhythm parts was sort of simple after my hand got adjusted to the width of the guitar neck, which was pretty comfortable all things considered. The dark metal tone was apparent as soon as I kicked in some distortion, and dropping the tuning a step resulted in down right awesome sounding riffs. Its no wonder these things are popular all of a sudden.

Playing tapping riffs was probably the best part of my experience with the eight string, as I got to enjoy the extended range, without having to stretch my hand out so much. All in all, it was a fun experiment, and I could see how someone could get used to an instrument like this, all those extra notes, and the ability to play in the same range as a standard bass guitar was pretty fun, if a little intimidating. For the price this is going at, I was down right amazed at how good it looked, and at how great it sounded. There is just nothing else on the market right now that has this kind of bang for your buck attitude, and for that the JS32-8 Q earns itself a well deserved 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Takamine Pro Series

Hey guys its Brian from World Music Supply, sorry for yet another rather lengthy hiatus from the blog, what with all of these new products flying in after NAMM, its difficult to find time to even breathe, let alone sit down and review a guitar or three, just not enough hours in the day.  Well today I got a free minutes, so I used it  to look at a couple of cool guitars by way of our friends over at Takamine. Over the past couple of years Takamine has been more or less consolidating some of their higher end models to try and get a better, more applicable guitar into the hands of some of today’s most demanding musicians.

Takamine P1JC PRO Series 1 Acoustic Electric Guitar

Takamine P1JC PRO Series 1 Acoustic Electric Guitar

First up on that list is the Takamine P1JC, which is part of their Pro Series 1 level of guitars. The Pro Series is divided into different levels, to help really hone in what a guitarist needs, so that each series can really be just about what the guitar plays and sounds like, rather than having to worry about having a guitar of every type of tone wood in every series, or having to worry about different inlay work for one specific guitar, or different brands of tuners etc. because each series level is outfitted the same, the only thing that changes is the body style.

I picked what I consider the quintessential model from the Pro Series 1 Level, the Jumbo. I love the way Takamine does Jumbos, especially when they use warmer sounding tone woods like Cedar and Sapele, which long time readers will know, I simply adore. So maybe I’m a little biased, but when it comes to guitars, aren’t we all? The Cedar top on the P1JC was stunning, with tons of super tight grain, and a gorgeous orange hue to it. The sapele back and sides were rather nicely figured, and since they are within the same general family as mahogany, it had a similar bold, yet warm sound.

Combined together, these two tone woods, and the jumbo body generate a plethora of amazing sounds. With gigantic low end, a driving powerful midrange, and crisp, pristine highs, the P1JC was really something to behold. Fingerstyle lines really popped, with clear definition, but still lots of body to even single notes. Strummed, this thing was a cannon, it was amazingly rich in harmonics and sustain, with all of the tone you have come to expect from Takamine, oh and did I mention it was loud!

Plugged in, the Palathetic pickup and the CT4B II preamp come together to recreate the sound of the acoustic guitar with flying colors, and more so, this guitar almost sounds better through an amplifier, as the already harmonically rich sound of the Jumbo Cedar top is further enriched by the natural harmonics inherent within the preamp tube. The sound was clean, pristine, and amazing. The guitar is a little more prone to feedback than I am used to, but with a top carved so eloquently to resonate like this one does, it can only be expected to respond to harmonic feedback just as well, so a sound hole cover is a must.

For the first guitar I got to review in over two weeks, this one was a genuine treat. The tones were jaw dropping, the looks were subdued yet handsome, and the playability of the whole ensemble was just to die for. The P1JC easily snags itself a solid 10 out of 10.

Takamine P2DC PRO Series 2 Acoustic Electric Guitar

Takamine P2DC PRO Series 2 Acoustic Electric Guitar

The other guitar I got my hands on today was the P2DC which is part of the Pro Series 2. The construction between the Pro Series 1 and 2 at first seemed rather minuscule, the Series 1 has a Cedar top, while the 2 has Spruce. Now while the differences are small, the sounds are worlds apart. While the Cedar has that familiar old world warmth, and charm, the Pro Series 2 with its Spruce top had something else, something new. I love Spruce topped guitars, I do have a personal bias towards Cedar, but my main guitar on and off stage for years was a cheap no name Spruce topped guitar that I have put through its paces for close to 10 years now, so I know how Spruce tends to sound, but this guitar, it was so much richer.

The sound was crystal clear, big huge low end, mid range that had a depth to it that ate up a ton of frequencies, but left more than enough room for my voice to live within, and enough high end presence to bring the guitars jangly side out to the fore front. This guitar had a classy, very round sound to it, that took fingerstyle amazingly, with tons of definition between notes, with a brilliant warmth and harmonic richness that you just don’t usually hear with many spruce topped guitars.

Plugged in, this guitar has a very crisp sound, thanks in part to the palathetic pickups unique construction technique, but also thanks to the CT4B II Preamp which enhanced the pure sound of the guitar, with its added harmonic richness. The sound was as close to the true sound of this guitar as I think you can get without a microphone, all of the highs and lows recreated perfectly, and the mids were as close to the real thing as possible. The guitar wasn’t as prone to feedback as the P1JC, but I think it had more to do with the actual size of the guitar this time around, as it is slightly smaller and thus less prone to feedback than the jumbo, but still with the volume up much past 5 or 6 I had to put a sound hole cover in.

The P2DC seems perfectly suited for any job you would usually leave to a dreadnaught, be that studio work, stage work, or song writing, the bold, beautiful voice of the P2DC is second to none in its class. It easily deserves its score of 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | New and Improved The Behringer P16 Powerplay System

Hi guys Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews, and today I get to take a look at something that complements a previous review quite well, in this addition of New and Improved, I get to talk about the Behringer Powerplay P16 series of personal monitors. Designed to work in conjunction with the X32 mixer, the whole Powerplay series is designed to give each individual their own custom mix, no matter where they are, and no matter what they need.

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

One of selling points of a lot of mixers as of late, was that you could work monitor mixes from on stage via an iPad, but this does something negative as well, it’s only useful if you are using the traditional floor wedge style monitor, if you’re using in ears, then you are way out of luck. The other problem with this is, you can’t just have your sound man run onstage mid show and start tuning your monitors just because you aren’t 100% happy with the way its sounding, it’s just not practical.

The P16 system works by allowing each individual their own private mix that they can adjust to their liking. This is ideal for dozen upon dozens of different mixing situations, and the most commonly advertised one is using it onstage. Just think about it, you can now tune your own in ear mix without having to worry about yelling at the sound guy, or hoping they get it just right, factor in the limiter and gate on the mixer and there is no more worrying about ear damaging sound levels on stage ever again. The Cat 5e cables used to connect the system can be run very long distances without negatively effecting sound quality, so you can still have your mixer way out front so the soundman can do his job, and now you are free to do yours, except now with a perfect monitor mix.

The I/O Section of the Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The I/O Section of the Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

But let’s not stop at simply using this for stage, because a system like this is as versatile as the X32 mixer it is designed to work with. In my review of the X32 mixer, I mentioned that it is sort of a Jack of all Trades, its great for live work, for studio work, you can use it for theaters and plays, you can use it for houses of worship, it just is designed to do anything you want it to, and the P16 system is designed to do all of that and more. In most professional recording studios, they have had little boxes like these for years, but the problem was the price point was well out of the way of everyday people like you and me. So most of us have had to deal with using splitter jacks to hook multiple sets of headphones up to our computers or mixing boards to try and give everyone the ability to listen back during recording, and that never works because not everyone wants to hear the mix the same way. Suddenly with the Powerplay system, and the X32 mixer, you can now have real, pro level studio equipment, at about the price of renting a studio long enough to make a decent demo.

Imagine using this for theatre work, most people who have ever had to do musical work, know what its like to wear those little skin colored headset mic, and a set of in ears, all wired up to you. I know the annoyance of having to sit and work the mix out on these at the beginning of the night, and hope that no one gets louder, or softer as the night goes on. You could actually set an entire arsenal of these up back stage, and if at any point during a scene change, someone is unhappy with how their mix sounded, they could go back and actually tweak their levels before going back out on stage, pure genius.

The Behringer P16-1 16 Channel Rackmount Personal Monitor

The Behringer P16-1 16 Channel Rackmount Personal Monitor

Or what about houses of worship? Now I’m not talking little four piece youth bands, or a solo singer with an acoustic guitar, they already see how the P16 system could benefit them. Let’s talk about the giant groups, with 15, 20 musicians all up on stage, with a few dozen singers all up there, all at once. What about them? For years they have either had to just listen really hard, and do their best to fall into where they need to be, or just go by muscle memory, and hope it sounds good. Not anymore, you can set the entire P16 system up as a permanent installation, and now everyone can have their own private mix, all of them can hear just what they need to hear to do their job, and when you can hear yourself better, you can perform better.

As you can plainly see, the P16 Powerplay is just like its companion the X32, designed for anything and everything you could throw at it. It does a job that almost every musician needs done, at a price point that isn’t out of the range of possibilities for most working musicians, and the entire system is well within the combined budget of a band, theatre or house of worship. For all of these reasons, from its affordability, its simplicity, and the fact that it does a job many of us have needed done for ages, the P16 Powerplay system earns itself a definitive 10 out of 10.

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

World Music Supply | New and Improved The Behringer X32

Hey guys Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you the usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, sorry for the lack of an update yesterday, I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather as of late but luckily that’s all over and done with. To make up for the lateness I figured I would make it up to all of you, with a new addition of New and Improved, feature the Behringer X32 digital mixer. There have been a lot of new digital mixers hitting the market the past few months, from the Line 6 StageScape, or the Mackie DL1608. The key difference between the X32 and these two mixers however, is while the StageScape and DL1608 have taken mixing towards a more touch screen interface, decreasing the reliance on knobs and sliders, aiming on a more live friendly mixing situation; the X32 keeps the giant banks of sliders and knobs, but adds iPad interaction into the traditional mixing format.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

While talking about mixers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I know the pain of having to sit behind the board and try my hardest to get a good live mix for all parties involved. This job is never easy, from attempting to mix monitors from 40 feet away, judging what needs turned up and down from a singer whose yelling from across the room. This is why I liked the X32, it has everything you could need for any application, with 16 fully motorized sliders, dozens upon dozens of built in effects, Firewire/USB outputs and of course, iPad support via the remote app and the use of a standard wireless router, you can own a room with this, mixing the stage monitors from on stage, and the room monitors from your perfect little mixing booth, with all of the effects you could ever need.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

Sitting down with the X32 to try my best to completely understand it in the short amount of time I had to review it, the first thing that needs to be mentioned, is that the new Midas designed preamps sound absolutely fantastic, with a very pristine, very clear sound to them. The motorized board was lightning fast, and was down right fascinating to watch when you control them via an iPad. The next really interesting feature was the scribble strip, which on most mixers is where ever there is enough room to lay down a piece of tape so you can write down what instrument is on which track. On the X32 however, there is a tiny LCD screen for each track, which shows an equally tiny picture of what instrument is on that track, with a little picture of a bass drum, a persons face for vocals, a guitar etc, as well as text to remind you what it is, and color coded lights all to help you keep everything straight. Add in the fact that each individual track features a limiter and gate, as well as a level meter so you can see which tracks are spiking at any one time, and you quickly have one of the most impressive mixing consoles to hit the market in years.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

There are some features of the X32 that make me think it was designed as the jack of all trades when it comes to mixers, which is a refreshing change of pace. There are dozens of features that make it seem like an amazing live board, from the bright LED lights, the scribble strip and the use of an iPad so you can mix anywhere in the room, but there are also features that make me believe that this mixer was designed with recording in mind, like the USB and Firewire outputs, the dozens of effects, its ability to link up with the P-16 monitoring systems, and last but not least the 32 bit floating point DSP. All this together creates a mixer that is designed from the ground up to do everything, from huge rock concerts, church worship groups, tiny clubs, and even budget conscious recording studios. With the X32, it doesn’t matter what you need a mixer to do, it will get the job done, and that’s why the Behringer X32 gets a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Yamaha’s New DXR and DXS Series of Active Speakers

Hey guys, Brian again with World Music Supply, and today I’m here with another addition of New and Improved, and today it’s all about an amazing new line of loudspeakers from Yamaha. Yamaha has been producing quality sound products since the 1960’s, and they have made it their continuing goal to stay at the head of the technological curve. They have done this across the board, from their musical instruments which are some of the finest to ever come out of Japan, to their Club series of passive speakers which have dominated the market for years.

The New Yamaha DXR Active Speakers and DXS Active Subwoofers

The New Yamaha DXR Active Speakers and DXS Active Subwoofers

Yamaha unveiled their New DXR and DXS Active Loudspeakers Series at Winter NAMM 2012 with an amazing demonstration of their crystal clear response along every possible frequency range, and at literally any volume level by actually demonstrating them at every possible frequency range, and at every volume level. You can find videos of this demonstration all over youtube, with the whole range of DXR speakers hung from the ceiling, and the DXS subwoofers sitting comfortably below a large flat screen that displayed what it was you were listening to. In the bottom corner of the screen was a DB meter that measured in real time, just how loud these speakers actually were. They covered everything from the sounds of water rolling through a creek, an acoustic guitar, a motor cycle revving up, a stadium sized audience applauding, an electric guitar playing through a standard blues shuffle, and even a clip of LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” which actually peaked their DB meter, all without distorting or getting muddy.

Their video then went on to feature all the good techno jargon that you have come to expect from new products at NAMM, companies talking about how their product is so much better than this other product, or how their product is so much cheaper, yet still more effective than some other companies product. The difference is Yamaha was telling the truth! The DXR and DXS actually do produce the highest SPL in their class, and they do produce great crystal clear sound, even when you’re running them full out. So without further ado, let’s move on into the review section of this blog.

The Full Line of Yamaha DXR Active Speakers

The Full Line of Yamaha DXR Active Speakers

The DXR series features the DXR8, the DXR10, the DXR12, and the DXR15 Active speakers, all of which feature the same power and performance ability, all of them come armed with 1100 Watt of power, with a 950 Watt main speaker, and a 150 Watt 1.75 inch titanium compression driver. The only real difference between the four in the DXR family is the size of their main speaker, which means they all have similar abilities, but different strengths.

For instance the DXR8 is versatile, it can be used from anything from a reference monitor, a main speaker for a smaller venue, or just another speaker to help bring up the highs a bit in a larger installation. The DXR10 however is great as your main speakers for most standard sized venues, bars and clubs etc. With its extremely large frequency range, you can even use it without a subwoofer and still have a very full rich sound. With the DXRs built in mixer, the DXR10 would even make a perfect acoustic guitar amplifier or standalone PA for a rehearsal space. The DXR12 and 15 however are different monsters.

The Yamaha DXR15 Active Speaker

The Yamaha DXR15 Active Speaker

The DXR12 is has more than enough power and punch to be used as a mainline speaker in almost any situation, and this is going to be the best choice for a main speaker in most installations, and it would still work as a floor monitor if you need more sound at your feet. With more than enough low end to run sans subwoofer, and enough punch to be down right fantastic when used in conjunction with a sub. However, the DXR15 has the widest range of any in the DXR line, and when running full out is still pristine and crystal clear. Valuable as everything a standalone main speaker, running with a subwoofer, it provided some of the most clear and powerful sounds that I’ve ever experienced.

Overall, the DXR lineup of active speakers are some of the most amazing speakers I have ever heard, and they are easily the cleanest sounding speakers I have ever heard at such high volumes. At the end of the day, I feel like my standard 10 out of 10 maximum, just isn’t enough for these speakers. So let me just say that the DXR speakers really are some of the most impressive speakers that I have heard in a long time, and I hope that more companies follow suit in the years to come. 

The Yamaha DSX12 and DXS15 Series of Active Subwoofers

The Yamaha DSX12 and DXS15 Series of Active Subwoofers

Next up are the Yamaha DXS series of active subwoofers. I’ve spent a lot of time playing in bands, and helping wire up sound installations for local bars and clubs, and in that time, I have learned just how important a good subwoofer is to the feeling of the entire venue. When you have a band on stage, and you can’t hear the bass drum, or let alone the bass guitar, the sound and feeling of the whole room becomes flat and fake sounding. If you have a subwoofer that is too powerful though, to where all you hear is low end mud, and you feel like you’re just being kicked in the chest, it equally ruins the feeling and sound of the venue.

The DXS series solves this problem in the most ingenious way, by releasing two equally powerful

The Yamaha DXS12

The Yamaha DXS12

Subwoofers, with two very different voices. The DXS12 is a 950 Watt subwoofer, with a 12 inch woofer housed in an acoustically optimized band pass enclosure. The DXS12 is ideal for a small to medium sized venues, but it seems more inclined for use with live bands, than it would for a more bass heavy act like a DJ for instance. The DXS12 is immense sounding, with more than enough low-end to satisfy anyone’s needs, and is controlled and tight sounding enough that I never found it over powering, or obnoxious. 

The DXS15 is designed for bass heavier acts, which need a little more bass than the DXS12 can provide. The DXS15 is perfect for DJ’s or bands with very prominent bass players who need that extra power to contribute fully to the overall performance. The DXS15 is the kind of subwoofer that can go from a gentle shake, to a kick in the chest as needed, and just like the DXS12 I never felt that the DXS15 was over the top or uncontrolled, it always felt tight and punchy, even when it was dealing with deep dubstep style bass grooves.

The DXS series of active subwoofers are downright amazing, and you shouldn’t get a DXR speaker without a DXS to join it with, because while it’s not required, when it sounds this good it should be. Just like the DXR speakers, I feel that the DXS series is too good for the 10 out of 10 maximum I can award, and I found them equally amazing, with sound that was crystal clear, never muddy or distorted, and at the end of the day I personally would pick these over any other sub on the market.

So there you have it folks, two amazing new series of active loudspeakers, whose quality and versatility far outshine almost all others on the market today. From everything from simple installations at a bar or night club, to full theatre installations, heck, even big outdoor festivals could use these amazing speakers and would find them outstandingly useful. These amazing speakers are available, and surprisingly affordable, and you can get them right now at Worldmusicsupply.com!

World Music Supply | Line 6

Hey guys it’s Brian here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about some new stuff coming out from our good friends over at Line 6. For years Line 6 has developed cutting edge digital amplifiers, effects, recording equipment, and guitars, and now they are moving into the realm of sound systems, and professional quality mixers. These new additions to the Line 6 family are designed like all other Line 6 products, meaning they are designed to replace everything else on the market. Once you buy them, Line 6’s design philosophy seems to be, that you will never want to replace any of them. They are designed to be revolutionary, and amazingly simple and straightforward. Lets start with their new mixer, the StageScape M20d.

The Line 6 M20d

The Line 6 M20d

Marketed as a Smart Mixer, the M20d doesn’t disappoint. The first, and most noticeable thing about the mixer, is its lack of traditional mixer controls, no faders, no huge EQ array, just a touch screen, twelve little knobs, one big knob, and seven buttons. The secret is the power that the touch screen allots, from its simple drop-down menus, you can configure whole mixes by simply dragging and dropping icons of what’s on stage. You just plug in the mic, and the M20d knows what’s plugged in and adjusts accordingly. Plug in a guitar, you simply assign it a guitar icon, which comes complete with a corresponding EQ and your guitar tone is set. EQ-ing is even easier, is the guitar too bright? You simply go to the “tweak” button, and using the touch screen as an X Y controller, you move the on screen slider away from the “bright” corner of the pad, to the “dark” or “punchy” corner of the pad, in effect moving several EQ parameters at one time. 

The Line 6 M20d

The Line 6 M20d

 This high level of simplicity is part of Line 6’s new idea about who really uses mixers, as these mixers are designed more towards working bands, who have to run their own sound mixes, as opposed to having a full time sound engineer. However, the simplicity and amazing flexibility is also useful to sound engineers who have to run multiple acts in the same night, or who have to try and juggle mixing and live recording duties. No more having to have a band set up and then worry about if your going to have enough to properly mix and EQ everything, because the M20d has a neat feature where you can record 20 seconds of audio, loop it, and adjust the mix from there. Meaning you can adjust in real time, individually for each different instrument, monitor, and mic. Imagine, just play some of the chorus to a song and within a minute or two, all of the monitor mixes are set, all of the channels are EQ’d, and the sound engineer just saves the mix for next time you play that venue. Recording wise, you can just hook a portable hard drive, or even plug in your laptop and you can record all of the tracks in individual WAV files pre-effect, meaning you have great sounding, crystal clear audio ready to mix at the end of the night.

My favorite part about the M20d is that, like the Mackie from last week, the M20d is compatible with the iPad, and just like the Mackie, you can now walk into the crowd, up on stage, or walking through the room, mixing on the fly. A perfectly tuned mix, with the ease and sensibility even a novice could understand. This isn’t to say though that the M20d is designed with only the novice in mind, as pro engineers can dig in too, and control EQs in a multitude of ways, through the X Y axis control, to 32 band Graphic EQ, or even using the twelve knobs as you would to EQ on a traditional mixer. For the extreme simplicity, and at the same time, rich and in-depth control over your sound, the Line 6 M20d easily gets 10 out of 10.

New From Line 6

New From Line 6

Next up in this round up of new Line 6 products is the companion speaker system for the StageScape mixer, are the incredibly powerful, and amazingly versatile StageSource speakers. The speakers include the L3T main speaker, and L3M monitor speaker, which are both designed around being the most versatile speakers on the market, for use as everything from an acoustic guitar standalone amplifier, to a monitor, to a front of house reference speaker, to a full backline of speakers.  

Line 6 L3T and L3M

Line 6 L3T and L3M

One of the amazing new features is has what’s called the “speaker mode” setting, which digitally re-voices the speakers to better suit what its being required to do. This includes everything from becoming a keyboard amp, a flat reference PA, MP3 playback, to even just being a good old floor monitor. Actually, thanks to its built in accelerometer, it will actually know that if it’s set on its side, it needs to act like a floor monitor, and will immediately retune itself to act as a floor monitor. As well it has L6 connection, meaning when linked to the M20d mixer, it will know where in the room it is in relation to the M20d, and retune itself to suit better, even leveling out the volume of the room, and helping to cancel out feedback in high volume situations automatically. You can even run it in conjunction with any of the POD family of effect modelers and have it sound like everything from a 1400 watt 4×12, to a big, booming acoustic guitar.

The Line 6 L3S

The Line 6 L3S

The other speaker in this new line is the L3S which is the subwoofer of the family, which like the others has the ability to digitally re-voice itself to suit its intended situation. Meaning the L3S is capable of going from reference speaker, to a bright punchy PA, to its D.J settings which feature ultra, and extended bass. Using the L6 link, you are also able to chain the L3T or L3M to the L3S and they will automatically adjust themselves accordingly. This is where the StageSource really shows itself off. Yes, they are great P.A cabinets, and are very flexible and versatile in their own right, but they are also very easily expandable and stackable. Using standard microphone cables, it is possible to chain cabinet after cabinet together and form an intelligent sound system with ever increasing thresholds of power.

The New Line 6 Speakers

The New Line 6 Speakers

So you can wire up a few dozen L3T’s to some L3S’s and put some L3M’s on the floor, and hook it all to a M20d and within a few moments you have an amazing sounding system, no having to adjust acoustics or going speaker to speaker to adjust the sound of the room. You just plug them in, and within a few minutes, you can have great sound at your finger tips. For the easy expandability and extreme versatility every speaker in the StageSource line, easily gets a 10 out of 10.

So what can we take away from this? Well that’s simple; both of these new lines of products are great additions to the already amazing Line 6 family of products. With its ability to quickly interface with all current Line 6 products, and its ability to take mixing in a new and far simpler direction, the M20d out classes and out does anything on the market today, and the StageSource speakers are some of the most intuitive systems available anywhere. So why don’t you head on over to World Music Supply and stop just sounding okay, and start sounding great with these new Line 6 products today.

World Music Supply | New and Improved

Hi guys it’s Brian here with World Music Supply and today I’m here to talk to you about some new and improved pieces of gear coming soon to World Music Supply. For our very first installment of New and Improved I’m going to talk about two innovative mixers that are about to shake up the market.

The Mackie DL1608

The Mackie DL1608

First up to bat is the Mackie DL1608, which is by far one of the most unusual, and innovative mixers I’ve seen in years. First and foremost it should be noted that this isn’t your average mixer, because what it is, is an iPad dock, with the ability to function in tandem with the iPad as a powerful mixing surface. The Mackie handles the input and output sections, while the iPad functions as the controller of the DL1608, by allowing you control over your faders, each complete with a dedicated graphic EQ, Effects and dedicated compressor for each channel.  The DL1608 also has 6 aux sends alongside the standard left and right, each with a graphic EQ and dedicated compressor, meaning this machine can really do it all.

The Mackie DL1608

The Mackie DL1608

The most fascinating thing to me was that you have the ability to plug the mixer into a wireless router, so you can then unplug the iPad, and walk around the venue, using the iPad to wirelessly control the mix from within the crowd.  You can even walk onstage and tune each monitor to the corresponding musician’s personal taste, which is something that is light years ahead of almost every other mixer on the market. You can even run up to 10 iPads per DL1608, meaning that you can have a few friends sitting backstage running a continuous monitor mix, while you and a few more friends walk through the crowd tuning the main mix to perfection. The benefits of a system like this to smaller venues like bars and clubs is immediately appreciable, us musicians might never have to deal with muddy monitor mixes and frustrating sound engineers might finally find some relief from having to run around the venue to see if everything sounds okay.

The Mackie DL1608

The Mackie DL1608

The actual Mackie DL1608 console uses 16 boutique-quality Onyx Mic preamps, and the power and performance of 24 bit Cirrus Logic® AD/DA converters, allowing this mixer unparalleled sound quality. It also includes a PadLock™ feature so you can lock the iPad down for a more permanent installation, as well the DL1608 features a Kensington lock to help protect the iPad from theft, and finally it’s also capable of being mounted on an optional rack mount kit to help keep it in place.

iPad running the Mackie DL1608 control App

iPad running the Mackie DL1608 control App

Overall I think the addition of the iPad connectivity gives the Mackie an edge over almost every other mixer on the market today, and it’s certainly more powerful then any in it’s price range. The ability to mix a live venue while walking through the crowd is unheard of, and being able to mix monitor mixes on stage, this thing could be a real game changer for smaller venues, the days of having to struggle with poor mixes in bars and clubs might be over with the introduction of the Mackie DL1608. For everything it’s worth, the DL1608 is amazing, and its innovative ability to mix while walking through the crowd, on stage, or even both at the same time is really exciting to me. It is for these amazing features that the Mackie DL1608 gets a 10 out of 10 hands down.

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

Next up on the new product list is the Behringer Xenyx UFX1604, and for what the Mackie DL1608 does for live mixing, the Xenyx does for live recording. By now most of us have a mixer or some other interface hooked into our laptops, or our desktops. We probably own some type of recording software, and for the most part, you track one track at a time, like most “bedroom recording studios” do. Now while this is great and all, if you’re like me, you know the hassle of having to try and track a band in a studio like this. The problem comes from the fact that most of these “studios” are made in either a spare room, or a bed room, places you can’t typically fit 4-5 guys, a load of amps, and a drum kit.
 

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The idea behind the Xenyx is to allow all of those cool recording functions, without having to bring along your laptop to either your practice space, or your shows. You simply plug a flash drive or a portable hard drive in the back of the console and it tracks all 16 tracks as individual recordings onto the drive. So you can worry about mixing them later on when you get home, all you have to do is plug the flash drive into your laptop, export the tracks into pro tools or cubase or what have you, and then you just edit and mix your band. Did someone mess up during a song? But other then that the mix is great? Well no problem, just plug the Xenyx into your computer, using either USB or Firewire, and you can just retrack the part that was messed up.

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

        Behringer has made reliable, great sounding, dirt cheap mixers for a long time now, but finally, a firewire/USB analog mixer/recorder with ultra low-noise, high headroom that can export all of your music discretely to a flash drive. The Xenyx also features “Planet Earth” connectivity, which means this mixer can be used world wide. For its amazing flexibility and versatility, walking the line between powerhouse mixer, and amazingly convenient recorder, the Xenyx also gets a 10 out of 10.

So here we have two awesomely powerful mixers, with two very different innovative designs, one is a mixer that you can pick up and carry around, effectively giving you the ability to mix a venue from any area within the venue, while the other allows you to record your whole band from anywhere with the simplicity and reliability of a thumb drive. Now with mixers like these, you finally have the opportunity to perform and enjoy your music the way it was meant to be enjoyed, without all of the hassle and headaches. Now thanks to us here at World Music Supply, you too have this opportunity, because both of these amazing mixers are available for pre-order now at Worldmusicsupply.com.