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MusicSafe Pro Hearing Protection

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alpine_1As a theatre musician, you often feel like a sardine in a tin can when you’re in the pit. It’s small, dark, and you normally share real estate with the drummer. While that may not seem like a big deal, your ringing ears and possible hearing loss become more important than finding a small rig to cram into that pit. So for the past seven years, earplugs have been in my gigbag.

New for 2013 are the MusicSafe Pro earplugs, from Alpine Hearing Protection. Curious to hear (or, not hear?) the difference, I was very graciously given a set of them to try out. Initial impressions were good. They looked good, felt good when in your ears, and had some great features. The Alpine earplugs have three sets of filters, capable of pulling out varying levels of sound. Most earplugs in this price range don’t have this option at all; you only get that once you pay for custom molds. They also have a much more compact profile, staying “hidden” when in your ears.

alpine_2With the earplugs in hand, I started a four week, 33 gig schedule. This allowed me a little over one week to use each set of filters to compare which one works the best for the application. With a five person pit in a 10′ x 10′ area, these earplugs could be a lifesaver. The biggest thing I noticed throughout this entire run was that the smaller profile wasn’t as convenient as they claimed. You’re provided with a tube that allows for you to easily insert the earplugs in your ears. Without it, it’s actually kind of difficult to get them seated correctly; I rarely had them fit as well as I did with that tube. The bigger profile of comparable earplugs (like the Hearos brand) wins out in this department.

Attenuation values MusicSafe Pro in decibels
Hz 125 250 500 1000 2000 4000 8000
white dB 10.2 11.2 14.3 17.9 24.0 23.4 18.0
silver dB 14.8 15.0 15.7 18.7 26.6 24.4 18.9
gold dB 18.8 15.6 16.0 18.5 27.7 23.9 22.0

White Filters: I could hear little to no difference between having them in and the few times I took them out. Especially with the location of the drummer to my spot (as in, I was basically in his lap), I still heard a little ringing at the end of the night. Nothing really major, but definitely something that wouldn’t work in this close proximity.

Silver Filters: You can definitely hear a difference with these ones in, although it’s very slight. These definitely kept the offending drumming frequencies out of my head and saved my ears. For regular gigging, these would be my go-to filters to use.

Gold Filters: For me, these ones pulled out too much. Things started sounding muffled, and it was hard to hear the vocal monitor (which was quiet to begin with) over the band at times. If I was playing in a band that didn’t understand the concept of stage volume, these filters would be ideal. For my purposes, these ones really were too much.

With the varying needs of musicians and workers alike, Alpine makes a great set of earplugs with the MusicSafe Pro. While the small, compact profile also makes it hard to install without their included tube, the extra filters allow a lot of options in a price range that doesn’t usually offer that.

Bass Videos

New Gear: Spector Woodstock Custom Collection Volume II

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New Gear: Spector Woodstock Custom Collection Volume II

Spector Launches Woodstock Custom Collection Volume II…

Spector Musical Instruments expands their celebrated Woodstock Custom Collection with the Volume II series – a breathtaking series of 12 handcrafted, one-of-a-kind bass guitars, each one masterfully designed by members of the Spector team. Crafted in the Spector USA Custom Shop in Woodstock, New York, these works of art go beyond musical instruments and expand the boundaries of Spector Bass design.

Spector’s iconic design lays the foundation for the Volume II collection. Each bass showcases a unique vision, including the selection of tonewoods, electronics, captivating finishes, and intricate design details. The collection highlights Spector’s commitment to craftsmanship and artistry and the individual people and stories that make up the team.

“The Woodstock Custom Collection was such a huge success, and we had so much fun with it that we couldn’t wait to do it again,” said John Stippell, Director – Korg Bass Division. “With Volume II, we’re expanding on everything we learned from the first collection, as well as pushing our design and Custom Shop team even further. These basses are a testament to the inspiring talent, creativity, and skill of every person on the Spector team. I’m excited for all of these basses and love how they tell the unique stories of all involved.”

Visit online at spectorbass.com/

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New Gear: The Dingwall John Taylor Signature Model

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New Gear: The Dingwall John Taylor Signature Model

Dingwall John Taylor Signature Model…

After playing a limited edition Dingwall live with Duran Duran, John Taylor has launched his
Dingwall Guitars production model, loaded with a Rupert Neve Designs preamp and
Rio-inspired graphics.

Dingwall’s major launch for 2023 was the limited edition Rio Dream Bass, featuring an
innovative Rupert Neve Designs onboard preamp. A year later, the range has been bolstered
with the Canadian company now offering unlimited access to its continued collaboration with
John Taylor of Duran Duran.

Dingwall CEO Sheldon Dingwall says the basses are a response to Taylor’s upfront bass style.
“John’s bass playing with Duran Duran really imprinted on me how a bass should fit into a band mix. The combination of tastefully busy syncopation, his punchy tone, and tight performance immediately drew my ear. His basslines have always had a special combination of energy and elegance.”

The John Taylor Signature model follows the formula of the limited edition Rio Dream Bass,
combining a lightweight Nyatoh body with three neodymium pickups to produce what Dingwall deems “wonderful playability and tones that display a rare clarity and refinement.” The JT Signature model also updates the Rio Dream Bass with a range of new colors; Metallic Black, Primrose, Cranberry and Seafoam Green, as well as a new 5-string variant.

Other specs include a bolt-on Maple neck, a Pau Ferro multi-scale fingerboard with the ‘Rio Eye’ inlaid at the 12th fret, and Dingwall’s new ‘Minimalist’ bridge. The headstock sports lightweight tuners and a Rio-inspired graphic that complements the body stripes, designed by longtime Duran Duran collaborator, Patty Palazzo.

Finally, an onboard preamp designed and configured in collaboration with Rupert Neve Designs, whose studio consoles have long represented the pinnacle of high-end audio engineering, promises a clear voice that balances punch and sustain. “Duran’s breakthrough single, the title track from 1982’s Rio, was originally recorded on a Neve console, so the history was already there,” says Sheldon. “But the team at Rupert Neve Designs absolutely nailed the tone.”

Like the Rio Dream Bass, the JT Signature has also been configured to Taylor’s own personal
specifications. “It all started when I was in Toronto about six years ago,” says Taylor. “A friend
showed me a Dingwall bass on his phone. I loved how it looked and immediately said to my
tech, ‘You’ve got to reach out to these guys!’”

For further information on the range options, head to dingwallguitars.com

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Gear News

New Gear: Nembrini Launches Bass Hammer Plugin

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New Gear: Nembrini Launches Bass Hammer Plugin

Bass Hammer Plugin…

Nembrini Audio launches the Bass Hammer plugin which is engineered for advanced bass tone sculpting. Modelled on the Aguilar Tone Hammer* which is renowned for its tone shaping flexibility, the Nembrini Bass Hammer features Adaptive Gain Sculpting, comprehensive EQ adjustments and versatile cabinet simulations.

The Nembrini Audio Bass Hammer plugin has been designed to infuse discerning musicians’ digital workspace with the legendary tonal characteristics and dynamic versatility of its hardware counterpart. The new plugin delivers all the distinct organic warmth, detailed midrange control and adaptive tonal shaping the Tone Hammer* is famous for in a flexible digital format.

Bass Hammer features Adaptive Gain Sculpting to transform a signal’s EQ curve and gain structure and alter the behaviour of the MID parameter.  The Graphic EQ has six bands enabling nuanced shaping across the bass frequency range. Plus, the four selected bass guitar cabinets, four carefully selected microphone emulations and a parallel D.I. signal with console compressor offer users plenty of scope to explore ambient reverb blending.

Introductory prices of $29.99 for the Desktop version (regular price $137) and $9.99 for the IOS form (regular price $19.99) are available until 30th April 2024. Bass Hammer is PC and Mac (VST2, VST3, AU, AAX) compatible and requires a FREE iLOK account.

To find out more and download the Bass Hammer plugin please go to nembriniaudio.com/products/bass-hammer-bass-amplifier or
apple.com/us/app/bass-hammer/id6480058361Video

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Gear News: Ernie Ball Music Man Custom Design Experience

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Gear News: Ernie Ball Music Man Custom Design Experience

Ernie Ball Music Man is proud to launch the Custom Design Experience.

Ernie Ball Music Man Custom Design Experience is an online custom instrument configurator that allows customers to design and build their dream StingRay Special Bass guitar. Customers can choose from 4-string and 5-string models, right and left-handed orientations, single and double humbucking pickups, a multitude of finish options, many neck, pickguard, hardware, string gauges, tuning, case options, and more.

All Custom Design Experience instruments are built in the Ernie Ball Music Man San Luis Obispo, CA, facility and are shipped directly to the customer.

Options include:
Right or Left hand
4-string or 5-string
Single H or double HH pickups
30 unique finishes
3 hardware finishes
5 pickguard options
12 fretted neck options
2 fretless neck options
Regular or SLO Special neck profiles
4 tuning setups
3 string gauges
2 cases

For more information, visit online at music-man.com/custom-design-experience

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Gear News

New Gear: Dunlop Robert Trujillo Bass Strings

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New Gear: Dunlop Robert Trujillo Bass Strings

Dunlop & Robert Trujillo Thrown Down Thick, Cutting Bass Tones with New String Sets…

Robert Trujillo’s powerful attack and monstrous tone have earned him the most coveted bass gigs in rock. Dunlop worked closely with him to develop a set of strings to complement that signature sound and playing style with the extra power and flexibility he needs to meet his rigorous touring schedule head on. The resulting Robert Trujillo Bass Strings serve up a clear and articulate top end, a solid midrange punch to cut through a wall of guitars, and more than enough focused bottom to knock you on your backside.

Robert likes his tapered, but not everyone has their bass configured for that style—so these strings are designed specifically for non-tapered setups using the exact same formulas. They’re available in Nickel Wound and Stainless Steel in four-and five-string sets.

“Always trust your ears, attitude, and fingers,” Robert says. “These strings are the perfect balance of power, tone, and resonance on wood.”

Dunlop Robert Trujillo Bass Strings highlights:

  • Designed using the same formulas as Robert Trujillo’s own custom tapered strings
  • Made specifically for non-tapered setups
  • Clear & articulate top end
  • Solid midrange punch
  • Focused bottom to knock you on your backside

Availability

Dunlop Robert Trujillo Bass Strings are available now at $30 (four-string sets) and $35 (five-string sets) from your favorite retailer.

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