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New Gear: Epiphone Rex Brown Thunderbird Bass

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New Gear: First Epiphone Signature Guitar From Legendary Bassist Rex Brown

Photo courtesy of Epiphone

First Epiphone Signature Guitar From Legendary Bassist Rex Brown, the Epiphone Rex Brown Thunderbird Bass…

For over 150 years, Epiphone has been a leading innovator in instrument design. By leveraging its iconic past and leaning into the future, Epiphone has set the stage for the next era of sound for present and future generations. Epiphone is proud to unveil the latest addition to its collection of bass guitars and its first collaboration with Rex Brown, the Epiphone Rex Brown Thunderbird Bass. The acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, solo artist, and member of Pantera and Down, Rex worked closely with Epiphone luthiers to create the Thunderbird bass that can fulfill any level of a player’s ability. A striking new Bass model in Ebony with Gold accents, the Epiphone Rex Brown Thunderbird Bass is available now at select global dealers and on www.epiphone.com.

“Sometimes, it’s not about the price, but the quality, and Epiphone has some of the coolest bass designs ever made, IMO,” says Rex Brown. “I’ve had Thunderbird’s as long as I can remember! There is nothing cooler looking than a TBird… All my favorite bass players growing up have played them!! From Tom Hamilton to Pete Way, these fckr’s Rule, you fool…” Rex adds, “I worked really hard with the Epiphone guys, to design something that has never been done before! The pick-ups were made by Richard Aker, who has been with Gibson for 40+ years. We put the same thumpers that were in the ‘76 Anniversary T-Birds, passive & deadly!”

Multi-instrumentalist Rex Brown is famous for his work with legendary metal band Pantera and Down and his hard-rocking solo album, Smoke on This… Epiphone is proud to release the first Epiphone Rex Brown signature guitar in partnership with the legendary musician. The Epiphone Rex Brown Thunderbird Bass features a 9-plyneck-through-body mahogany and walnut neck with a C-shape profile, mahogany body wings, and a standard 34” scale length. It is powered by a pair of Epiphone ProBucker™ 760 bass pickups, which feature nickel covers that complement the otherwise all-gold hardware. The passive electronics have two volume controls and a master tone control that feature smooth CTS® potentiometers. The gold pickguard bears the famous Thunderbird logo with Rex’s signature reproduced on the back of the headstock and a Rex Brown logo doodle on the rear control cover. A hardshell guitar case is also included.

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)…

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel the Elder probably had many things in mind when painting his Hunters in the Snow in oil on oak wood in 1565. This masterpiece tells plenty of little stories about winterly pastimes and precarious livelihoods in the Early Modern Age. What Bruegel presumably did not have in mind was that this painting would, several centuries later, become one of the most popular ones in fine arts globally, displayed in a permanent exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna. The painting’s popularity was lately taken to a different level as it was replicated by hand to design an exclusive BITE bass.

An international art collector and bass player who regularly visits Vienna to immerse himself in the wonderworld of Kunsthistorisches’ Bruegel Hall asked BITE to replicate the painting on a bass body. BITE Guitars, an Austrian premium manufacturer exporting most of their basses to the US, has become renowned for colorful artwork basses, offering a range of manual and digital techniques. The firm’s art director Peter, a trained scenic painter of Oscar and Palme d’Or rank, specializes in photo-realistic reproductions. He also painted the bass for Robbie Williams’ 2023 world tour by faithfully replicating Robbie’s own stage design onto the tour bass.

Peter copied the Bruegel motif onto the bass body in minute detail, little twigs even by one-hair-brush. Positioning the rectangular image section on the body shape proved to be a special challege that he met by repositioning little elements, a bird here, a horse and cart there.

It all came together in a memorable video shooting in front of the original painting in the Museum’s Bruegel Hall: venerable fine arts, premium handicraft and groovy jazz tunes.

View video at the museum: www.youtube.com/shorts/2evdqfR6gUE

What’s the conclusion of BITE’s client, our Vienna, art and bass lover? “It’s a magical bass! When I touch the strings, I feel warm inside.”

Specs highlights:
Bass model: BITE Evening Star, the proprietary BITE premium model with inward curved horns
Pickups: 2 x BITE 1000 millivolt passive split-coils (PP)
Neck: roasted maple neck and roasted flamed maple fretboard

Price tag incl. insured door-to-door express shipping:
New York: 4726 USD
London: 3645 GBP
Berlin: 4965 EUR

Full specs available at bite.guitars/old-master-bass/

Bruegel Hall at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: 
khm.at/en/visit/collections/picture-gallery/the-best-of-bruegel-only-in-vienna/

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass Compact Plus BG-450

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Phil Jones Bass Compact Plus BG-450

Compact Plus BG-450…

The Compact Plus BG-450 is the pinnacle of PJB’s line of small and lightweight powerful compact bass combos and will be available for purchase on February 5th.  It is the same size as PJB’s C-4 speaker enclosure with a power amplifier that will reach up to 500 Watts with four internal 5” drivers. Available in black and red, the BG-450 contains the latest proprietary PJB chrome dome drivers which are the most efficient five-inch speakers ever engineered by PJB. The result is a perfect pairing of power and driver efficiency that makes it the best-sounding 4×5 combo ever made by PJB and, remarkably, with less weight. It has an incredible punchy sound that cuts through air as “a knife through butter” with a solid and powerful low-end response normally associated with a much larger combo.

In the heart of this amp lies a formidable ultra-high-energy power supply using a Class D power amplifier for high efficiency which equals less heat and less weight, and is coupled with a pure Class-A, ultra-low noise preamp. This combination completes a power section that achieves a massive dynamic range that allows the player to attain the best tone in any playing situation.  

The pre-amp design includes a single channel equipped with a variable gain input section that matches precisely with both active and passive basses. It also features a mute switch and the classic PJB 5-band precision EQ system that achieves the broadest range of tones imaginable with just 5 controls. This allows the player to effortlessly locate their perfect tone within seconds. 

The send /return FX patch can be blended to the direct signal allowing even more tonal opportunities. A secondary AUX input allows for practicing along with backing tracks via a 1/8” stereo jack. Back panel features include a Line Output jack that allows the BG-450 to be used in slave mode coupled with one or multiple amps, and a line input that provides the ability for an external pre-amp to be connected if desired.

The DI balanced out can be pre or post-EQ and offers a ground lift to avoid problematic hum. Speaker output is via a Speakon NL4 socket perfectly matched to run a C4 or C8 cabinet. The amp can run on any AC voltage from 100 volts to 240 volts.

The Compact Plus puts out a punchy 300 watts into its own speakers and up to 500 watts when connected to an external cabinet. The product dimensions are 14.21”(W)x14.25”(H)x13.24”(D) with a Net Weight: of 31 lbs. The BG-450 at max power will cover a wide variety of playing situations. For environments that demand much higher volume, PJB recommends a BP-800 amp with PJB cabinets, or a BG-800 Roadcase as powerful alternatives.

Visit online at www.pjbworld.com

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New Gear: MESA/Boogie 1×10 Rectifier, 1×12 Rectifier 23”, and 2×12 Rectifier Diagonal Cabinets

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New Gear: MESA/Boogie 1x10 Rectifier, 1x12 Rectifier 23”, and 2x12 Rectifier Diagonal Cabinets

MESA/Boogie Announces 1×10 Rectifier, 1×12 Rectifier 23”, and 2×12 Rectifier Diagonal Cabinets…

From humble beginnings to worldwide recognition, MESA/Boogie® has remained the original boutique Home of Tone, hand-crafting amplifiers of uncompromising quality from the world’s finest materials in California, USA. Founder Randall Smith instilled basic principles into MESA such as passion, drive, integrity, and excellence, and his insistence on making the best amplifiers has guided half a century of breakthrough innovations, elevating the amplifier into an instrument in its own right–one with the power to shape and create musical genres

The perfect compact companions for a Rectifier Head or Combo, the new 1×10 Rectifier, 1×12 Rectifier 23”, and 2×12 Rectifier Diagonal cabinets from MESA/Boogie deliver tremendous punch and low-end resonance in easily transportable sizes and are ideal for rock, alternative, metal, and more.

Explore the new MESA/Boogie 1×10 Rectifier, 1×12 Rectifier 23”, and 2×12 Rectifier Diagonal cabinets on www.mesaboogie.com.

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