NAMM 2009: New RainSong models

Ever played a RainSong acoustic? I tried a few at the Frankston Guitar Festival a few years ago (whatever happened to that festival anyway?) and I was way impressed by their tonal liveliness and playability.

RainSong is releasing two new models with an N2 adjustable truss rod (accessible through the headstock) which allows the neck relief to be tailored to individual playing preferences. The reason for including an adjustable truss rod at all in these uncorruptably stable carbon graphite guitars is purely for playability, since they won’t warp or twist at all like a wooden neck would.

Here’s the press release:

RainSong Graphite Guitars, the premier builder of Carbon/Graphite acoustic guitars, is excited to introduce the Concert Series and the Black Ice Series. The introductory products in both these lines feature the new N2 adjustable neck.

Black Ice Series The Black Ice Series embodies artistry. The soundboard on each guitar is meticulously crafted using various carbon weaves to achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance without overbuilding it. The result is a stunning, one-of-a-kind instrument. Each soundboard is individually conceived so every guitar is unique. Unique in design and unique in tone.

The Black Ice Series debuts with BI-WS1000N2, a 6-string deep body cutaway model, new N2 neck and Fishman Prefix Plus T electronics. Suggested retail price $3,295.

Concert Series The Concert Series is all about warm tone. These are the lightest soundboards built by RainSong. Also, the unidirectional carbon fiber of the soundboard mimics the tight grain of spruce. Thus, it is not surprising that this line produces a warmer tone.

The Concert Series debuts with CO-WS1000N2, a 6-string deep body cutaway model, new N2 neck and Fishman Prefix Plus T electronics. Suggested retail price $3,295.

N2 Neck The new N2 neck is a result of an extensive long-term collaboration with the renowned artist Steve Miller and master luthier John Bolin. The neck design is based on a modified “U” profile that has been popular in guitars since the 1950s. While the N2 has a more substantial feel than the original RainSong 6-string neck, it is ergonomically sound and actually results in better transfer of string vibrational energy to the soundboard. The N2 features a truss rod that is accessible from the headstock. Graphite does not warp or bow with changes in humidity and temperature. The purpose of a truss rod in the N2 is to allow customization of the fingerboard relief to individual preferences.

For more information, visit their web site at www.rainsong.com.

NAMM 2009: Matt’s Music NAMM updates

Matt from Matt’s Music will be posting realtime photo and video updates from NAMM in Anaheim this week.

In a posting on Jemsite, Matt said “I will be posting pics and video in real time from the NAMM Show beginning at 10:30 this Thursday morning. More pics than video, but all the instruments, rockstars, parties and more will be available for your viewing pleasure. If you see something you need more info on or want to buy, you can email me at matt@mattsmusic.com or call and text me at 617-281-1074”

Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattsmusiccenter

Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/mattsmusiccenter

I’m giving Matt a free plug cos I’ve bought a few things from him over the years, including an Ibanez RG550MXX Roadflare Red, and recently some pickups (which reminds me, I’ve gotta chase him up about a green Dimarzio single coil cover for my custom Ibanez Herc Fede swirl…).

NEWS: New 2009 Ibanez RG3550Z GK on eBay

Wow, that didn’t take long. These guitars aren’t even officially launched until NAMM but Home For Tone is already selling one on eBay.

RG3550Z GK specs are:
Finish: Galaxy Black
Neck: 5-pc Maple & Walnut Prestige Neck, Super Wizard Profile
Body: Basswood
Fretboard: Maple with Sharktooth Silhouette Inlays
Bridge: Edge-Zero w/ ZPS-3
Pickups: Zebra DiMarzio Air Norton Neck Humbucker, Black DiMarzio True Velvet Middle Single Coil, Zebra DiMarzio Tone Zone Bridge Humbucker
Prestige Hardshell Case Included
CLICK HERE to see the listing, and CLICK HERE for the Home For Tone eBay store.

NAMM 2009: Vigier G.V. single cutaway

Here’s the first photo of the new Vigier G.V. series I wrote about in December.

Check out how far apart those pickups are. There seems to be more space between them than on a Les Paul, and far more than on the new Ibanez PGM401 Paul Gilbert model. Or is it just an illusion caused by the body shape and neck joint? I’m only on my first coffee of the day so I can’t quite tell. I’ll look closer once the caffeine kicks in.

I like that it includes a 5-way switch: obviously there are some coil-tapping options built in. Sweet.

Here’s the press release:

Vigier introduces a unique new addition to its lineup. After a year of intense research and development, Vigier proudly presents the G.V., which is the very first single-cutaway guitar the company has created. The G.V. is a tribute to Georges Vigier, who unselfishly contributed to the success of Vigier Guitars for over 20 years.

By using the company’s exclusive 10/90 system (10% carbon/90% wood) and a few secrets in the design, Vigier has created a light guitar with superior tonal characteristics. The G.V. offers balanced response, lots of power, no dead spots on the fingerboard, and sustain that lasts forever. Furthermore, the G.V. benefits from having a zero fret and Teflon nut, which create less friction to allow strings to glide freely across the nut, and provide better stability in tuning. Depending on the model, the G.V.’s electronics will include a pair of either Amber or DiMarzio humbucking pickups that are activated by a 5-way pickup selector switch.

For this new series, Vigier has developed an exclusive bridge and tailpiece that can be locked in place once the setup is completed. This exceptional design prevents tuning problems and guarantees better sustain.

The G.V. Series includes three models: G.V.Metal, G.V.Rock, G.V.Wood. All instruments are carefully handcrafted by master luthiers using select grades of alder and maple. Vigier, the pioneer of carbon-fiber technology in guitar design, is delighted to introduce a unique new addition to its lineup. After a year of intense research and development, Vigier proudly presents the G.V., which is the very first single-cutaway guitar the company has created. The G.V. is a tribute to Georges Vigier, who unselfishly contributed to the success of Vigier Guitars for over 20 years.

By using the company’s exclusive 10/90 system (10% carbon/90% wood) and a few secrets in the design, Vigier has created a light guitar with superior tonal characteristics. The G.V. offers balanced response, lots of power, no dead spots on the fingerboard, and sustain that lasts forever. Furthermore, the G.V. benefits from having a zero fret and Teflon nut, which create less friction to allow strings to glide freely across the nut, and provide better stability in tuning. Depending on the model, the G.V.’s electronics will include a pair of either Amber or DiMarzio humbucking pickups that are activated by a 5-way pickup selector switch.

For this new series, Vigier has developed an exclusive bridge and tailpiece that can be locked in place once the setup is completed. This exceptional design prevents tuning problems and guarantees better sustain.

The G.V. Series includes three models: G.V.Metal, G.V.Rock, G.V.Wood. All instruments are carefully handcrafted by master luthiers using select grades of alder and maple.

NAMM 2009: Radial H-Amp

Wow, this is a cool idea. Radial Engineering’s new H-Amp allows you to take a headphone feed off the signal that goes to a speaker. If your drummer is like Alex Van Halen and they only want guitar in their headphones, this is an easy way of providing it. Or you can take a feed off the monitor so you can wear huge headphones on stage like Paul Gilbert (I know he does that because he damaged his hearing, but I just think it looks cool too).

Here’s the press release:

Radial Engineering Presents Radial H-Amp Speaker to Headphone Driver
January 13, 2009

Radial Engineering Ltd. announces the release of the Radial H-Amp, a unique passive interface that lets you take any speaker signal and convert it to a headphone source.
Designed for live stages, the Radial H-amp is the perfect interface to allow a drummer to get a monitor feed from any loudspeaker! Using the ‘through’ connection from a wedge monitor or side fill, the H-Amp is equipped with a Neutrik Speakon connector input and converts the high level speaker signal to a mono feed for headphones. It features a variable level control, high pass filter to remove excess low-end, a variable tone control to smooth out the highs plus a selector switch to enable various headphone types with wide ranging impedance and in-ear monitors to be connected. A second Speakon provides a throughput to feed a second H-Amp opening the door for applications such as in the studio or on concert stages where multiple members of the orchestra may need a headphone feed.

The Radial H-Amp is 100% passive. Because it only taps a small portion of the signal, it will not affect the amplifier’s impedance or load making it easy to use without any system reconfiguration. All you do is plug and play! It also works great with a power amplifier.

As with all Radial products, the H-Amp is designed to handle the rigors of professional touring. It features a 14-gauge steel welded internal I-beam frame with an outer book-end design that provides a protective zone around the connectors, switches and potentiometers plus the full-bottom no-slip pad helps keep the H-Amp on the drum riser even after a 20 minute drum solo!

For more information, contact Radial Engineering: 1588 Kebet Way, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 5M5. Tel: 604-942-1001 Fax 604-942-1010

$220 US Retail

For more information, visit their web site at www.radialeng.com.