New Gear On The Way
Next year's new gear - Mag gives sneak preview
After several fruitless attempts to stage an annual instrument show open to the public as well as the retail trade, the Association of Instrument Industries has finally reverted to its old 'Trade Only' policy so, sorry folks, while you're sitting on the beach eating ice cream and reading MUSIC UK, your local retailer is going to be sweating it out in a collection of London hotels, looking at what he'll be offering you when you start thinking about getting your band on the road again, come September time. That's the theory, at any rate.
We'll be there, of course, doing our David Bailey bit with the company Instamatic, tracking down all the new gear, which we'll be reporting back on in our next issue. In the meantime, our man in the shabby raincoat reveals the results of several weeks spent tapping 'phones, steaming open letters and posing as the man from Customs and Excise to bring you a sneak look at what's on the way. Now all we have to do is chip these concrete shoes off his feet and... over to you, 007.
Already among the lowest cost guitars on the market, Hondo are scheduled to unveil a complete new range of 'original design' electrics with prices starting as low as £82! These will be joined by several new acoustic models.
Our photo shows one of the top of the new Hondo range the 'Model One' which is going to be available soon at an RRP of £199. Keyboard players on the lookout for an inexpensive electronic piano will shortly be able to find a new model from John Hornby Skewes (Hondo's distributors). It's a 6 octave amplified model which they'll be offering at £299.
Leading guitar makers Aria are about to unveil an amp range of their own. For guitarists there will be models from a 5 watt practice amp (the AX-5) up to a 100 watt model (the AX-100). Bassists will have the AX-115B (15 watts) and models up to a 100 watt version (the AX-100B).
New guitars will include the RS Bobcat (3 single coil pickups, vol, tone and 5-way selector), RS Wildcat (2 humbuckers, tone, vol and coil tap) new SB Bass models, new 'Black and Gold' guitars and basses and a complete new line of Cardinal guitars with one new bass, the CSB DE LUX (sic).
Due to be hitting the streets soon (not literally, we hope!) is a new keyboard from Korg. Dubbed the SAS-20 this will be Korg's first attempt at what importers Rose-Morris describe as the 'mass market'. The SAS-20 has a computer analysis of rhythms and chord sequences, allowing single note melody lines to receive automatic accompaniment in any key. Plug-in cartridges will expand the memory module.
Vox, we understand, are about to launch a new range of combos and, despite 'Deep Throat's' best efforts, the Rose-Morris secrecy veil remains secure. All we could discover about them is that they will look different!
Effects units are yet another new line from R-M which we we'll be seeing in the shops this Autumn. These will be under the Guyatone brand name and will be combination units, coupling together Compression and Sustain or Distortion and Sustain in single units. Mains powered units will include a valve overdriver fitted with a genuine valve - whatever next? Di Marzio have come up with a good idea - a humbucking pickup for Strats which drop straight into the slot originally provided for single coil pickups. There will also be a new series of Di Marzios called the Signature Series.
Finally, several new acoustics are on the way from Ovation. The Collector Series Slimline will be an electric/acoustic with a cutaway, finished in grey and only around 20 will be imported into the UK. The Ovation Adamas will be joined by the Elite - a lower priced Adamas type guitar featuring a solid wood top.
Scheduled for unveiling to the Trade and, no doubt, to the Public immediately afterwards, are three new keyboard amps from Japanese manufacturers Casio. The range comprises the 50 watt AS 1000, fitted with a 12" speaker with tweeter and built-in reverb (RRP £195), the AS 10, an 8 watt keyboard practice amp with a 12 cm speaker. This model has the ability to be operated on four UM2 batteries or via a mains adaptor and should sell for an RRP of £39. Last model is the midrange AS 120 20 watt combo with a 20 cm speaker and built-in reverb - selling price should be £145.
Three new Casio keyboards are coming too. The CT 610 full size keyboard, the MT 800 mini and the PT 50 — a development of the PT 30 micro/mini.
The CT 610 will be a five octave stereo keyboard, coming in a choice of wood or silver finishes. This model will replace the current MT 602 and is to offer stereo chorus (enabling string ensemble), 1-finger chords, 12 rhythms and arpeggio. It will also come with 20 preset sounds. Price should be around £345.
The MT 800 mini keyboard is aimed directly at the semi-pro player and will be a four octave stereo keyboard, fitted with two detachable speakers for maximum stereo spread. The MT 800 will have RAM and ROM (Random Access Memory and Read Only Memory) plus the facility to dump/store onto standard cassette tapes. Twelve pre-set rhythms, stereo chorus, 12 pre-set sounds and 5 watts per channel output complete the picture. Selling price will be approximately £250. One move up from the PT 30, the PT 50 has the extra ability to take RAM and ROM packs. It will also dump onto cassette for storage and includes 8 preset sounds, 16 pre-set rhythms, 9 1-key chords and one key melody. Price should be around the £99 mark.
Lovers of acoustic/electrics will soon be seeing a new Washburn Monterey. Now featuring an arched top and back (cedar upstairs, rosewood back and sides, ebony fingerboard and mahogany neck) the new Monterey features a novel Barcus Berry active transducer with gain and tone controls.
Amp makers Ohm are due to show their anticipated Tramp bass practice amp and also promise to unveil some new PA enclosures which they say will be 'cost effective'. Top of the range will be a compact 250 watt enclosure fitted with a 15" bass driver, a new compression driver and radial horn. RRP is expected to be about £270 including VAT.
Also new from Ohm will be a new 125 watt pair of keyboard and bass combos.
As ever, a stream of new products is on the way from Yamaha. The trade will see the full range of DX Series synths (see this month's MUSIC U.K. STAR BUY). Completely new, though, will be several introductions to Yamaha's Producer Series Home Recording System, the MT44 cassette deck and MM30 mixer. We also hear that there will be new PA gear including stage and recording mixers and speaker cabs.
New electric guitars are also due to be shown to the Trade (so you'll be seeing them in the shops pretty soon afterwards) which will include the SG200 and 3000, SA800, SC300T and 400T, BB300 and BB3000. Three of these new models (the SG200, SC300T and BB300) will sell for below £200! The Portasound range will be expanded by the addition of a model to be known as the PS55 - complete with a built-in 4-track digital recorder.
Hohner are all set to announce several new developments at the Show, including a professional pickup system for their harmonicas, developed by American experts Barcus Berry. They are also about to launch a new stainless steel 'harp' taking interchangeable reed plates - good idea, eh? Following the use of accordions by two major bands (Fleetwood Mac and Dexy's Midnight Runners) Hohner are obviously hoping for a return to favour of this instrument. Accordionly (ho ho!) they plan to show a new model (the Hohner Champion Showaccordion) finished in gleaming pearloid white.
Hohner are also due to unveil a new GP 98 professional keyboard system plus a range of organs.
Japanese drum and percussion stars, Tama plan to hit the market this Autumn with a new low-priced kit, to be added to the Tama X'Tras range. At the top level, Tama are due to launch a professional series called the Artstar range. New hardware and accessories are due as well. More details for drummers when we get to see these latest products.
On the Ibanez guitar front we hear that there will be a brand new Roadstar 11 plus a Stagemaster series of guitars and basses. Described as 'outstanding', Ibanez are also on the verge of launching a new guitar named for Steve Lukather. Also on the endorsement front, Ragtime guitarist Stefan Grossman is another player to join the Ibanez ranks and has designed his own guitar for them. It will be on sale as the Stefan Grossman SG10.
Finally, expect some developments on the acoustic/electric front, a trend which seems to be growing among all the Japanese manufacturers this year.
As usual, star makers ROLAND will have a whole host of new lines on show, fresh from the American NAMM Show in Chicago. Anticipated are new BOSS units, the DE 200 (digital delay), HA5 (a cunning looking headphone amp) and RH 11M headphone with mike. New to the AMDEK Series will be a handclapper kit, Octaver kit and delay machine kit. On the major unit side, Roland are to have two new digital delays, the SDE-1000 (offering delay up to 1.125 sec. on 4 channels) and the SDE-3000 (with programmed delay up to 4.5 sec. on eight channels!). Watch out also for the forthcoming PR 800 digital piano recorder (this uses the Midi interface system) and the PB 300 Rhythm Plus (which, run alongside the PR 800, gives you an automatic piano!). All these should be in the shops by the autumn.
Next month we're hoping to fill in the many gaps in this preview with a comprehensive look at any further new product that comes to light!
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