More News, more Stories
Grabbed your attention with the snappy headline eh? Well, we aren't kidding! Every musician who uses speakers needs cabs to put them in and, obviously, it can work out a lot cheaper to build your own. Fine, you say, but how? Well, Celestion International have come up with what must be one of the best package ideas for the working struggling musician in many a year — a complete book of speaker cab plans and speaker data for just £1! Not only is there money to be saved by making your own cabs, the plans offered by Celestion include details which would enable you to choose specifically the type of speaker and cab design which suited you style and sound. Further, the book offers cabs suitable for PA use as well.
The Celestion Cabinet Handbook opens with a simple introduction on cabinet construction hints and details and then starts off with a suitable cab for a compact vocal PA system suitable for use in cabaret type environments.
Next off is a 1x12" wedge monitor plus tweeter, then a straight 4x12" guitar or bass cab. From then on things start getting more sophisticated and designs are provided for side-fill monitors, W-bins horn loaded bass reflex bins, lower-mid cabs, just about every basic type of cab design seen on stage these days.
Needless to say, Celestion are hoping that you'll fit their speakers into these enclosures and include in their package some fascinating data sheets on their products from drive unit/compression drivers through to more conventional speakers. One further aspect (which doesn't seem to be mentioned in the book) is the way in which the data offered by Celestion would enable the owner of an existing combo or speaker cab to replace his or her current speakers with more powerful, wider ranging or just plain different sounding units, thus up grading their equipment's performance level for what would amount to relatively low cost. Along with all the plans specifications etc comes a very detailed book which shows not only the technical specs, for each product but also the suitability and intended use.
Especially for bass players, PA users and keyboardists this book would enable them to put together a highly advanced system for somewhat less than the arm and a leg it would cost to buy it ready-made. For those who are just interested in re-speakering an old cab or combo amp then all the facts and figures you'll need are contained here too.
So, how do you get a copy? Well some may be had from certain dealers but if you want to be certain of your copy and you can't find one locally, all you have to do is send £1, which includes postage, to Celestion International Ltd., (Contact Details).
News from leading Japanese Hi-Fi maker JVC is that they have just launched a new portable single manual keyboard organ — the KB500 — which works in stereo, enabling it to be run with its own built-in speakers or through a Hi-Fi system.
JVC claim that the KB500 has a remarkable sound for its size, so it may have its uses for home recording buffs. Features in addition to stereo capability include the 'Ultrachord' system which converts single notes into full chords and the 'Compucorder' which allows you to programme up to 42 bars of accompaniment chords and chord changes leaving you free to concentrate on harmonies, melodies and counterpoint.
The KB500 also features a mike socket, phono socket and can be run from the mains, batteries or a car battery. Not while I'm driving please, Cynthia!
Further details from JVC (UK) Ltd. (Contact Details).
Britain's leading Disco equipment company, Citronic, have been making significant advances in the band lighting market in recent months and now, to further the system, there comes the DC8 lighting control desk, which appears at an RRP of £169 inc. VAT.
As we have said before in MUSIC U.K. — band lighting is a subject much neglected by too many outfits and there are some good inexpensive products on the market these days which any group seriously intending to make a go of it should examine carefully.
Citronic's Pa-Faze lighting system, which includes four lanterns, a dimmer pack, filters, controller and carrying case retails at a low recommended price of £317 including VAT and is a prime example of the sort of value for money gear which we are talking about.
The DC8 desk can be used in four or eight channel mode and has four 4-way pre-set lighting conditions as well as a variety of sequencing effects.
When the editor staggers back into the office looking like he's just found a fiver in a gutter you can be sure that something's moved him!
This occasion was a meeting with Tony Reeves, ex-John Mayall and Curved Air bassist, now proprietor of MTR Ltd. a company established by Tony to import and distribute some fascinating lines of gear.
The first thing to catch editor Cooper's eye was, apparently, a Japanese range of superb-looking accessories called VESTA Fire, these include a rack mounting system of modular effects comprising distortion, flanger, phaser, limiter, delay line, noise gate, pre-amp and power supply. The units can, apparently, be run on their own but the real plus of the system is that they rack together into an aluminium flight case. Ideal for stage use and, apparently, with specs, high enough for them to be used in home demo set-ups. Suggested retail prices look very competitive, like the Limiter, £52, Phaser £57, Noise Gate and preamp (also £57 each), and Delay line £105. The Flight-case for the complete system is priced at a very fair £63. Equally impressive are the TC Parametric Equalisers. Connoisseurs of effects pedals may have encountered these superb Danish-made units before, but MTR are the only people bringing in these luxurious looking 'pro' units. In the current T.C. range is a stereo 2 band parametric selling for around £144, a mono 4 band parametric/pre-amp (fitting standard 19" rack mounts) for £162, and a stereo version of the above which goes for around £263.
Finally, Tony also showed us some of the ACES sound equipment units which he distributes. These include excellent items like a stereo 2-way crossover for just under £70.00, a stereo 480+480 watt power amp (top of a range of four models) for £395 (no kidding!) and a huge range of mixers.
Final breathtaking 'bargain of the month' is a 16 track 2" tape recorder (ideal for demo studios) which retails below £5,000!
Accordingly arrangements have been made with MTR for review samples to be sent along to us and we'll be having a look at some of this equipment in coming issues. Can't wait? At these prices we can hardly blame you so it's probably worth asking for literature and the details of Tony's equipment. Interested readers can contact him at MTR Ltd., (Contact Details).
PA hire companies and bands struggling to put together good quality PA systems will, no doubt, be delighted to learn that HH have just announced a brand new power amp to join their superlative MOS-FET range at a low cost per watt rating.
The newcomer is the M900 which offers a really powerful 400 watts per channel output (800 watts, bridged mono) for a low retail price of £579.31 including VAT. Plainer looking than the rest of HH's excellent MOS FET power amps, the new M900 dispenses with some of the extras of previous models like the definitive V-800. Gone is the fancy printed diagram on the top panel, and the rear panel connections are restricted to XLR connectors for both 'in' and 'out'. In this day and age, however, when we're all pushed for money, these are luxuries that most of us can do without.
The new M900 is packaged in a tough 19" rack-mount housing, ideal for regular use on the road or in studio environments. Optional balanced input transformers are available and inputs are set by 'potentiometer locks' which allow for fixed gain levels.
Regular readers may recall our recent very enthusiastic review of the V-500 MOS FET power amp well, we're still using one as our basic reference power amp and it is performing superbly well under all tests. More news will follow about it as the story develops. In the meantime, interested readers can contact HH Electronic at (Contact Details).
Sabian Cymbals (as reviewed in this issue) are going from strength to strength in the U.K. among top-line professional drummers. News has just reached us of a list of Sabian endorsees which includes Kenny Jones, Phil Collins, Topper Headon (The Clash), Ted McKenna (The Michael Schenker Group) and Jeff Allan (John Martyn's band).
Distributed in the U.K. by Cymbals & Percussion, Sabian are to be joined by several new products, including Pro Tip sticks (a Canadian hard rock maple stick which comes in 12 versions) and the new Rhythm Tech Tambourine.
Spotted by us at the recent A.P.R.S. (Association of Professional Recording Studios) show in London was a fascinating new development from West German mike manufacturers Beyer. The product is the SI85 UK Radio mike system. Like many musicians the prospect of radio mikes (whether used for vocals or instruments) has always appealed to us but factors like cost and technical specs have tended to make us feel that the systems on offer were either beyond most musicians financially or of insufficient quality.
The new Beyer system (although costing in excess of £700) does, however, seem to perform extremely impressively (even functioning perfectly in the middle of an exhibition) and offers facilities extremely useful to the band in search of 100% freedom from mike or guitar leads.
The most interesting thing about the Beyer system, however, is that it operates from a basic mike body which can take a very wide range of mike capsules and heads — even those from other makers in some cases! All Beyer mike Dynamic capsules from the MCM Series can be adapted which means that you can use a very wide range of mike types on this radio base. Further details for bands and PA companies can be had from Beyer Dynamic at (Contact Details).
It's always the small things which cause the most havoc when they go wrong on stage; leads, straps, effects and, yes, capos too. Well a new design on the market, the Double M, seems to have sorted out a great number of the problems associated with some of these devices. Designed by session player Bob Fallon and design engineer John Williamson, the Double M is a self-adjusting type, suitable for use on any guitar, and employs the brilliantly simple idea of fastening by Velcro. The Double M has taken two years to develop but the results seem worthwhile as the capo is light, fast changing and self-adjusting. Six lucky Music U.K. readers will be getting the chance to find out for themselves how good the Double M capo is because we're giving them away as joint third prizes in this month's competition. The rest of you, we're afraid, will have to find them at your local dealer's.
To date three models are available; acoustic, Spanish and twelve-string, but other types are soon to follow. Interested readers can find out more from Muse Music Co. Ltd., (Contact Details).
Newly available in the U.K. are American drum sticks Rollers, endorsed by Earth Wind and Fire's Freddie White. The Freddie White 99B Rollers USA sticks are reverse taper rock sticks offering extra reach for the 'power' drummer. Made from American Hickory the new stick is available from Dixies Music, (Contact Details). In addition to these, the Rollers USA range includes wood tip and nylon tip sticks in a very wide range of types. Also available from Dixies is a cymbal cleaner - a non liquid product selling for £2.76.