Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Monster, Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ and Sean “Diddy” Combs Enter Partnership and Announce “Diddy Beats™”: A New Portable Audio Experience

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 15th January 2010 in Music Industry

2010 Monster, the leader in audio/video accessories, and Beats by Dr. Dre, co-founded by legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, are proud to announce the official introduction of Diddy Beats (MSRP: $179.95), the latest addition to the hugely popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphone family from Monster.

Created in conjunction with music entrepreneur and fashion icon Sean “Diddy” Combs, Diddy Beats integrate Dr. Dre’s incredible club-level bass, amazing clarity and sonic power into an elegant, sophisticated in-ear design. With their sleek black and silver chrome finish they look as great as they sound.

Diddy Beats in-ear headphones incorporate a host of today’s most advanced sonic technologies with design elements that echo the sensibilities and trendsetting style of the artist’s critically acclaimed international fashion label Sean John. As such, Diddy Beats are a 21st century combination of sophisticated styling and cutting-edge technology. Sporting a high-tech aluminum and leather-wrapped housing and high-polished enamel, Diddy Beats embody a celebration of pop culture and high fashion that truly exemplify how “sound is life.”

“My mother played music for me as a child, and I grew up loving the way music made me feel. It brought out joy and pain. It was my first career, my first love. No matter how many roads I travel, my heart always takes me back there. Music is my life, and Diddy Beats is an expression of how great sound makes me feel,” said Sean “Diddy” Combs.

“What Diddy has done with Sean John is incredible,” said Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. “His marketing genius combined with his sense of design and fashion is unparalleled in the music business. When you think of how rare it is for someone who comes from the entrepreneurial creative side of music to turn it into something as extraordinary as what Diddy has done with Sean John – the air is very thin. We felt it would be great to bring that sensibility to Beats by Dr. Dre headphones; the fact that he also happens to be a great record producer made the fit all the more perfect.”

Head Monster, Noel Lee noted: “Throughout his entire career, Diddy has been a trendsetter in both the music and fashion worlds. The launch of Beats Diddy is an ideal merging of these two worlds, and we’re both fortunate and proud to have worked with such a major and influential talent on their creation.”

Since launching the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line in partnership with Monster, Dre and Iovine have set out to reproduce the full spectrum of sound that musical artists and producers hear in professional recording studios. In September of 2009, the two companies announced Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, the first artist line that combined the style and vision of Lady Gaga with the sound of Dr. Dre.

Diddy Beats come in an exclusive Sean John-inspired travel case and with an assortment of eartips to ensure maximum comfort and fit for every wearer. They also feature Monster’s exclusive matching flat black cable design that not only integrates into the overall look and feel of the headphones, but also makes them tangle-resistant.

Diddy Beats are being made available with “with Monster’s ControlTalk headphone cable, which can be used with iPhone and iPod® for music playback control as well as to take hands-free calls with iPhone and many smartphones. The special Monster ControlTalk headphone cable features an integrated high-grade microphone and answer button and allows users to access their music and answer phone calls without having to reach into their pocketbook, backpack or pocket.

* The ControlTalk remote and mic are supported by iPod nano (4th and 5th generation), iPod classic (120GB), iPod touch (2nd generation), and iPhone 3GS and newer, but not all, Blackberry models. The remote is supported by iPod shuffle (3rd generation). Audio is supported by all iPod models. Requires software version 1.0.3 for iPod nano (4th or 5th generation), 2.0.1 for iPod classic (120GB), and 2.2 or later for iPod touch (2nd generation). Support for Blackberry varies by model. Subject to change

E-A-R™ Hearing Conservation Clinics Presented by 3M

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 15th January 2010 in Music Industry

2010 marks the 30th year of the E-A-R™ Hearing Conservation Clinics. These educational seminars, presented by 3M, provide practical information on how to enhance hearing conservation programs that help protect workers who are exposed to on-the-job noise. The Clinics are FREE and are accredited for professionals by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certification Program, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and American Academy of Audiology.

The Clinics are offered to industrial, government, and military personnel who want to learn more about effective hearing conservation program management and how to properly protect their employees from hazardous noise. Attendees typically include industrial hygienists, health and safety personnel, occupational health nurses, industrial audiologists, consultants, engineers and medical staff. The Clinics focus on practical and applied solutions rather than highly technical matters.

Well known author and industry expert, Elliott Berger, is the leader of the Clinics. He is a Senior Scientist in Auditory Research in the Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division of 3M. Berger, who has conducted the Clinics for 29 years, will talk about the mechanics of hearing, how noise levels are measured and proper protection of workers. He will also address the EPA’s recently released Proposed Rule which could drastically change the labeling of hearing protectors.

Berger believes there has been an increase in the number of people wearing hearing protection. “Data suggests some inroads have been made when there are effective conservation hearing programs in place,” notes Berger. “I think because of media coverage and people’s general interest in a healthier lifestyle, they are more likely to wear hearing protection in non-occupational settings as well.”

2010 Clinic locations:

  • Pasadena, California – January
  • Houston – March
  • Miami – March
  • Chicago – April
  • Denver – May
  • Vancouver – September
  • Philadelphia – November

For full presenter biographies and online registration, visit:

SANYO ‘eneloop’ Provides Sustainable Solution for Music Industry – ‘eneloop music booster’ Rechargeable DC 9V Battery Unit for Music Devices

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 14th January 2010 in Music Industry

Convenient rechargeable battery pack provides consistent, long-lasting sound quality

SANYO North America Corporation (SANYO), a Leading Company for Energy and Environment, introduces the ‘eneloop music booster’, a rechargeable DC 9V battery unit for music devices, as a new addition to the ‘eneloop universe’ product series. The ‘eneloop music booster’ rechargeable battery will be available in late spring 2010 at a target MSRP of $149.99 at music specialty stores nationwide.

The ‘eneloop music booster’ will be displayed at the NAMM Show 2010, the world’s largest musical instrument trade show, from January 14 to 17, 2010 in Booth 7013.

SANYO, utilizing its background as a world-leading rechargeable battery supplier, realized the need in the music industry for portable, stable, and reusable power, the type that rechargeable batteries can provide. In developing the ‘eneloop music booster’, SANYO hopes to make the music industry more aware of how energy is used, and to promote lifestyles of reusing and recycling.

Power is needed for many music devices, including effects units, amps, graphic equalizers, and multi-track recorders, which is typically provided through an AC adapter or a 9V dry cell battery (9V laminated battery). Musicians using AC adapters are limited to performance locations with electrical outlets, and are faced with issues where AC power causes nearby electrical equipment to generate noise interference. While 9V dry cell batteries offer the convenience of portability, dry cell batteries need to be replaced before exhausted to prevent any disruption during a performance, wasting of battery power, inconveniencing the musician and creating more waste. The SANYO ‘eneloop music booster’ has been designed to offer stable, long-lasting portable 9V power with a high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery to encourage a music style that matches the eneloop lifestyle of reusing and recycling energy for music devices.

“SANYO will reshape the way the music industry uses power, by offering our battery technologies like those found in the eneloop music booster for musicians to help them support a lifestyle that values reusing and recycling,” said Tom Van Voy, General Manager of the Consumer Products Group for SANYO North America. “We are committed to providing energy and environment-related solutions for professionals and consumers, and the eneloop music booster allows us to do both in one package.”

Main Features

1. Portable, rechargeable 9V power supply

– Use anywhere as a truly portable power source

– Reusable rechargeable high-capacity lithium-ion battery

– Dual output supports power two 9V music devices simultaneously (max output of 2,000mA if using one, or 1,000mA per port when using both)

2. Stable voltage providing consistent, long-lasting sound quality

– Voltage boosting technology helps maintain steady voltage until power is exhausted

– Stability from unique blend of SANYO technologies offers long-lasting power for consistent sound quality

3. Three-stage remaining power indicator shows battery level at a glance, even during use

– Equipped with three-stage LED light that changes color to indicate remaining power level (over 60% indicated in Green, 30%~60% remaining indicated in Orange, and less than 30% indicated by Red)

– Indicator is viewable even during performance

– Convenient on/off switch to turn off multiple devices simultaneously, especially useful for effects units that normally have to be unplugged manually

4. Water Resistant

– Water resistant to JIS IPX3 compliance level (Japanese testing standard for water resistance, no damage when sprayed with water in vertical position at angles of up to 60 degrees on both sides)

5. Other Features

– No noise interference from surrounding electric equipment as occurs with AC power

– Approximately 3.5 hour charging time

– Standard usage times include approximately 50 hours for analog effects units (~10mA), up to 27 hours for digital effects units (~50mA), about 17 hours for digital multi effects units (~100mA), 7 hours for multi-track recorder or synthesizer (~300mA), and 2 hours for electronic drums or percussion (~1,000mA)

– Built-in 3.7V, 7.35Ah Lithium-ion battery

For more information about the SANYO ‘eneloop’ brand of products please visit

Taylor Guitars Introduces the Baritone 8-String Guitar

Posted by Carl on 13th January 2010 in Music Industry

ANAHEIM, Calif. – January 14, 2010 – Born from a love of tone and a passion for innovation, Taylor Guitars has expanded the possibilities of guitar voicing in its new model, the Baritone 8-String. With a bold, fresh sound, the Baritone 8-String  broadens the tonal spectrum, giving players a rich musical palette that promises to uncork new inspiration of musical harmony.
Featuring a Grand Symphony body with a richly hued back and sides of Indian rosewood topped with Sitka spruce, the Baritone 8-String embodies the spirit of a traditional baritone guitar paired with Taylor’s quality craftsmanship and product innovation. The model features a longer-scaled 27-inch neck and Taylor-designed baritone bracing. The guitar is tuned from B to B and features additional octave strings paired along with the third and fourth (D and A) strings. This feature gives players an extended range of sounds, without compromising tonal integrity or playability.
The Baritone 8-String came to be as Taylor’s product development team was deep in the throes of designing several series of 35th Anniversary guitars, including a 6-string baritone (XXXV-B) and a 9-string guitar (XXXV-9). The team decided to experiment by creating a hybrid of the two, as Bob Taylor explains. “We loved the traditional baritone, but missed having some of that upper register. We thought, what if we turned it into a 9-string baritone? So, we made one. But after deciding it was a little too jangly, we pulled off the [doubled second] string, leaving the third and fourth octave strings. It sounded awesome.”
Adding the two octave strings, Taylor says, transformed the baritone. “It’s a whole new ballgame. It’s really, really cool because you can either accentuate those octaves or stay away from them. The beauty of this guitar is that it goes low and those two strings brighten it up, but they don’t sound too ‘octave-y’. It doesn’t give you that 12-string effect as much as it really just extends the range because, as a baritone, the octaves aren’t really high. It fills the guitar out and gives it a nice (tonal) spread.”
The Baritone 8-String is tuned a fourth below standard guitar tuning, allowing the player to play songs in a lower register. In terms of the playing experience, Taylor’s David Hosler, a member of the product development team, compares the tonal properties of the 8-string baritone to a blend of three different instruments. “When I hear it, I feel like I’m hearing a 6-string, a bass, and a bit of 12-string all in one guitar,” he says. “In giving it a good listen, it sounds like standard and alternate tuning at the same time.”

The product development team at Taylor isn’t the only group excited about the new model. Taylor-strumming dealers, from metal players to singer-songwriters, are lining up to play and share the experience with their customers. Matt Clancy, from Craig’s Music in Weatherford, Texas sampled the 8-string during a fall Taylor Road Show event. As a heavy metal musician, he was blown away with the “bigness of the tone.” In fact, he says his favorite thing about the guitar is the tonal fullness he gets from a single strum. “When you’re playing regular chords on the 8-string, there’s so much more body, especially with octave strings,” he elaborates. “It opens up the way minor chords sound, and they sound huge on it. It’s a great guitar for guys who do metal and some acoustic rock, as it’s perfect for power chords, and for some jazz too, especially if they like playing in low B. It’s a guitar that’s filled with big, tonal goodness. It adds a depth that you can’t get from any other guitar on the market right now.”  
Evan Carmen, a Taylor dealer from Morgan Music in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, had the chance to play an 8-string prototype during a recent visit to the Taylor factory. As an acoustic singer-songwriter, Carmen is sure this guitar will be an addition to his collection. “There is practical application in nearly every style and genre I can think of,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time before it starts changing music forever. I can’t wait to see how people react to it right out of the gate. No doubt, we’ll be hearing it used frequently after people catch wind of what it’s capable of. I can’t wait to have one of my own.”

As enchanting as the guitar is to play and listen to, it’s equally attractive visually. The model’s appointments include a mother-of-pearl peghead inlay and delicate diamond-shaped fretboard inlays, a three-ring abalone rosette, and abalone-dotted bridge pins. Premium features include Indian rosewood binding, a bone nut and saddle, and an all-gloss finish. Amplified with the Taylor Expression System® pickup and strung with ELIXIR® Baritone strings, the model is also offered in a standard 6-string version.
Available at authorized domestic and international Taylor dealers in mid-winter, the Baritone 8-String will be offered at a suggested retail price of $3,998 and the Baritone 6-String at $3,798. Players looking to keep their baritone guitar equipped with ELIXIR strings® can purchase them through TaylorWare, the company’s online store of Taylor-branded clothing, accessories and gear.
To experience the company’s new guitars, artist performances, or to learn more about Taylor Guitars, please visit the Taylor Guitars booth on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 213.

For additional information about the Baritone guitars, please visit  


For Taylor Guitars news, please visit

Serj Tankian to Unveil New Signature Model Guitar, Hold Question and Answer Session with Fans at NAMM

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 13th January 2010 in Entertainment, Music Industry


by Sam Eiferman


At the annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show in Anaheim, California, Taylor Guitars co-founder Bob Taylor will be joined on stage by Serj Tankian, accomplished solo artist and creative frontman for the Grammy award-winning rock band, System of a Down. Tankian, who garnered critical acclaim with his debut solo album, Elect the Dead, has played Taylor acoustic guitars for several years, and has spent the past two years touring with a Taylor T5.

Tankian will join Taylor to chat about guitars, his career and new projects, and to debut his latest endeavor, the Serj Tankian Signature Model T5 guitar. Following the conversation, fans in attendance will be able to ask Tankian their questions.  

DATE:            Thursday, January 14
TIME:             2:00 PM
LOCATION:    Taylor Guitars Room 213 ABC at the Anaheim Convention Center

To experience the company’s new guitars, artist performances, or to learn more about Taylor Guitars, please visit the Taylor Guitars booth on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 213


About Taylor Guitars 
Founded in 1974, Taylor Guitars has evolved into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic and electric guitars. Renowned for blending an innovative use of modern technology with a master craftsman’s attention to detail, Taylor guitars are widely considered the best sounding and easiest to play in the world. Many of today’s leading musicians make Taylor their guitar of choice, including Dave Matthews, Prince, Jason Mraz, Serj Tankian, Taylor Swift, the Goo Goo Dolls, Sarah McLachlan and more

NAMM Extends Warm Welcome to the Professional Audio and Lighting Communities at the 2010 NAMM Show

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 7th January 2010 in Music Industry

by Sam Eiferman

NAMM’s New H.O.T. Zone offers specialized training courses and networking events for music industry professionals in live audio, house of worship and stage and lighting industries.

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) today announced the session schedule for its new Hands-On-Training (H.O.T.) Zone at the 2010 NAMM Show, which will take place in Anaheim, Calif., Jan 14-17, 2010.

“NAMM recognizes the importance of the live audio, house of worship and stage and lighting industries to the music products industry and welcomes these music industry professionals to the 2010 NAMM Show,” said Kevin Johnstone, director of trade shows, NAMM. “This year, we’re working closely with a number of partner organizations and media outlets that serve these segments to create a new and valuable education track to meet their needs and giving them even more reasons to attend this year’s NAMM Show.”

More than 15 industry partners, publishers, organizations and associations in the live audio, house of worship and stage and lighting industries will offer a series of FREE special training seminars, face-to-face meetings, networking opportunities and one-on-one mentoring to strengthen the knowledge base of industry colleagues.

The 2010 NAMM Show H.O.T. (Hands-On-Training) Zone partners include:

American Disc Jockey Association

Audio Ethics, Inc.

Worship Musician magazine

Church Production magazine

U.S. Dept. of Commerce

Front of House and Production Lighting and Staging News magazines


Mobile Beat magazine

National Association of Mobile Entertainers (NAME)

National Chamber of Commerce

PH413, Inc. (for the house of worship market)

Roland Corporation

SCORE (“Counselors of America’s Small Business Owners”)

Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS)

Sound and Communications magazine

Technologies for Worship magazine

Tour Guide (publication for touring industry professionals)

USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office)

Worship Leader magazine

Yamaha Corporation

The current lineup of H.O.T. Zone sessions includes:

15 Common Mistakes that Small Businesses are Making

21st Century Musical Instruments Part 1: Alternate Controllers

21st Century Musical Instruments Part 3: High-Tech Percussion

7th Annual Roland Worship Summit

A Theology of Visual Technology

Arranger, Work Stations and Worship

Collaborative Workflows for Music Production

Compliance Testing Overview

Concert Lighting Design

Continued-Modern Branding Strategies for Audio Professionals

Copyright Protection, Use of Others’ Copyrighted Work

Counterfeiting and Piracy

Digital Mixing and Recording

Digital Networking Primer

EMC Testing Presentation (FCC Compliance, EN-55013 / 55020 and EN-55103-1 / 55103-2, Emissions and Immunity)

Green Presentation (RoHS, REACH, WEEE, EuP, New Initiatives)

Hands-on Product Training Sessions from Yamaha

How Can You Improve Your Service of Worship

How to Find and Maintain Technical Volunteers

How To Get Your Song Out There

Increasing Sales and Marketing Efforts to International Markets

IP Issues on the Web Site (domain names, trademarks, copyright.)

Is Your Church Ready for a Digital Console?

Media Shout Version 4

Meet Andrae’ Crouch with Documentary Preview, Reception and Autograph Signing

Mixing Creative Personalities

Modern Branding Strategies for Audio Professionals

Patents – Searching, Filing, Global Strategy, Non-disclosure Agreements

Power Distro Basics

Record at Home and on the Road Like a Pro

Rock Band Network: Get Your Music in the Game Using MIDI

Safety Testing Presentation (Safety Standard 60065)

SCORE-Facilitated Roundtable Coaching/Networking

Secrets of the Quiet Stage

Songwriting and Composing for Worship

Sound & Communications Awards and Mixer

Stage Volume and Its Effects on Worship

Taking Your Platform Ministry Team to the Next Level

The Art and Business of Music for Games

The Knobbit: What All the Knobs Do

The L.E.A.P. Show Mixer/Reception

Things to Think about When Buying Your Audio/Video System

Touring on the Green

Two Acoustic Guitars in Worship

Wireless Strategies: Dealing with White Spaces, New Regulations and an Overcrowded Spectrum

Worship Keyboard Skills

Worship Leading 2.0

New Sequel Content Sets now available: World Beatz, Electronic Dance and Groovy 70s

Posted by Daniel Frabotta on 27th December 2009 in Music Industry

Three new Content Sets each offer over 200 quality loops for Sequel and Cubase, exclusively available through Steinberg’s online shop at

Hamburg, December 3 2009 – Three new Sequel Content Sets each featuring hundreds of new loops produced by top professionals have been released today for Steinberg’s Sequel and Cubase music creation and production products. World Beatz melds the latest hip hop and gangsta beats with sonic influences from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and spotlights an array of instruments from around the globe. Electronic Dance delivers the hottest and heaviest electro, dance and electroclash sounds available anywhere. Groovy 70s encapsulates the best grooves, riffs and sounds from the heyday of 70s funk, soul and disco, and throws in the best of 60s surf rock, spy movie and western themes for good measure.

The three latest Sequel Content Sets bring the total number to 13, each containing between 200 and 350 first-class loops by top content producers. Priced at €14.90* each, the Sequel Content Sets are available exclusively through Steinberg’s online shop at The three latest releases extend the range of Steinberg’s Sequel Content Sets to cover Rock, Electro, Hip Hop and Hip Hop 2, 80s Pop, Industrial, Funk, Chillout, Reggae, Orchestra, World Beatz. Electronic Dance and Groovy 70s.

*Suggested Retail Price

Propellerhead Releases Reason Soul School ReFill

Posted by Daniel Frabotta on 21st November 2009 in Music Industry

Propellerhead Software puts the soulful sound of the 60’s and 70’s into the Reason rack

Stockholm, Sweden (November 18, 2009) – Propellerhead Software today announced the immediate availability of Reason Soul School ReFill for Reason, Propellerhead’s award-winning music production system. The Reason Soul School ReFill explores the classic sounds coming out of three of soul’s biggest capitals: Detroit, Memphis and Cincinnati.

The Soul School ReFill sample library features twelve unique soul and funk instrumentals with all their musical elements – bass, drums, guitars and horns – in Propellerhead’s tempo-independent REX format, as well as a collection of the 60’s and 70’s-sounding instruments multisampled for use with Reason’s NN-XT sampler and powerful Combinator device. Reason users will find the library organic sounding and extremely flexible; they can use the ReFill as a starting point for song creation, play their own tracks from the instruments or add “classic spice” to any style of music.

Composed exclusively for this ReFill and recorded using the finest in vintage technology, all material was played live by funk-savvy session musicians – simultaneously, without overdubs, for that genuine feel.

“It’s like finding the multitrack masters from a stack of unreleased records from that era,” says Kristoffer Wallman, Propellerhead Content Manager. “When we started looking at the sounds we wanted to capture in Soul School, these three cities stood out with their distinct sounds and solid grooves.”

Every drum fill, bass line, guitar riff and horn lick featured in Reason Soul School is in Propellerhead’s REX format, sampled in different keys for full flexibility and tempo independence. Complementing the loops and licks are the multisampled versions of the included instruments, as well as the Reason Soul Keys ReFill, containing patches for the Reason Factory Sound Bank and Propellerhead’s free Electromechanical ReFill as well as Abbey Road Keyboards and Reason Pianos based on the Soul School sound.

Reason Soul School takes its place amongst the five other critically acclaimed Propellerhead Collection ReFills for Reason, further expanding Reason users’ sonic palettes. More info can be found at:

Pricing and availability

The Reason Soul School ReFill is available exclusively for download through Propellerhead’s web shop today, at a price EUR €79 / USD $99

Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 1st November 2009 in Music Industry

by Sam Eiferman

Kool Kay Klassics of the ’50s and ’60s

The Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin electric guitar and electric Pro Bass guitar are authentic reproductions of instruments that evoke the vintage look and smoky–bluesy–gutsy sound of Kay electrics of the ’50s and ’60s. This was the golden era of Kay electrics, when players ranging from the great bluesmen Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Reed to jazz god Barney Kessel hit the stages with the latest creations from Kay. I first spied a Thin Twin played by T–Bone Burnett accompanying Robert Plant and Allison Krauss on the Grammy Awards show. The reissue Thin Twin and its Pro Bass sibling are distinctive, fun, and inspirational instruments that are also hard workers—capable of some rough–and–tumble working–class blues and rock sounds.

Thin Twin electric guitar

It won’t take much of a search on the Internet to find pictures of Jimmy Reed holding his Kay Thin Twin. A heavy influence on blues disciples like the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Mike Bloomfield, Reed recorded most of his hits on a Kay Thin Twin. Opening the case of the sample Thin Twin guitar revealed a seductively curved blonde beauty with tiger–stripe pickguard and checkerboard binding that oozed the ambience of a downtown blues club.

The Thin Twin gets its name from the two single–coil “blade” pickups that, in conjunction with its semi–hollowbody construction, give it a very resonant, round tone topped with a bright, crisp edge. With the Thin Twin plugged into my pre–CBS Princeton Reverb, the bridge pickup gave me a distinctive sound that was clean and sharp. I also found that the EQ from the tone controls was more responsive and interactive than I had anticipated. In fact, the bridge pickup with its tone control wide open is quite crisp and clear with a bright, raw edge that doesn’t become brittle or ice–picky—great for cutting through the mix. Rolling back the treble just a bit, I launched into a couple of late ’50s/early–’60s instrumentals including “Harlem Nocturne” and “Guitar Boogie Shuffle.” The 26″–scale neck with 12″ fretboard radius allowed smooth, sure–fingered riffing. In Jimmy’s honor, I played a couple of his hits, “Big Boss Man” and “Bright Lights, Big City.” The neck pickup produced a classic blues tone with clean, natural distortion that provided the foundation for my re–creation of the loping, low–end cut–boogie shuffle—Jimmy’s trademark sound. You could almost smell the smoke–and–beer ambience in my imaginary jook joint.

Pro Bass

The Beatles and Rolling Stones were the original roots–rock revivalists. The Kay Vintage Reissue Pro Bass is similar to the bass favored by Stones bassist Bill Wyman in the early ’60s and the similar Kay Jazz Special played by Paul McCartney. Just as it did when first introduced in the early ’50s, the Pro Bass, with its semi–hollow body and medium 31–1/16″ scale, plays easily without sacrificing any tone. Like the Thin Twin guitar I tested, the Pro Bass had head–turning looks with a blonde finish and tiger–striped pickguard. Also available in honey sunburst and black, the Pro Bass has a maple body and maple neck complemented by a rosewood fretboard. I tried out the Pro Bass’ thump by playing along to early Stones R&B covers such as the insistent I–V–bVII–IV vamp that propels “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” and the insistent pattern that drives the instrumental “2120 South Michigan Avenue.” The Pro Bass’ unique high–frequency cut switch helped me reproduce that Chicago–style upright bass punch. With the tone controls wide open, I switched to using a pick and the Pro Bass nailed that classic electric bass sound I’ve heard on so many great records of the ’60s. Overall, the Pro Bass gave me a range of tones and playability I hadn’t expected and in a vintage package I really dug.

Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin Electric Guitar and Pro Bass

The return of the kool

On all Kay Vintage Reissues the fun begins with the cool, two–tone hardshell case. Brown and crème with a Kay chevron screened on top, it has heavy–duty latches, a leather handle, and is lined with plush, lipstick–red velvet. A cool cosmetic addition that convinced me Kay set the Wayback Machine to the right era is the legendary headstock “Kel–von–a–tor” chevron in all its Lucite glory. Also on the headstock, the truss rod cover bears the name of Roger Fritz, the legendary luthier who has been crafting clones of the Kay Pro Bass for a bunch of years now. He was recruited by Kay along with other collectors and historians to help re–create vintage parts and update designs (as in the aforementioned truss rod—the originals didn’t even have one). To reproduce the parts authentically, molds were reverse–engineered from the original pickguards, knobs, and tailpieces. The repro pickups have that hand–wound sound.


The Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin and Pro Bass let you drink from the cauldron of R&B, blues, and down–home country sounds that form the basis of rock–and–roll. You’ll be well–served using these instruments to reproduce that hearty brew and create your own special recipe for a funky, rootsy, sonic stew.

Country Pop Star Taylor Swift and Taylor Guitars

Posted by Carl on 20th October 2009 in Entertainment, Music Industry

Once a talented, aspiring preteen with a Taylor guitar and big musical dreams, country pop superstar Taylor Swift has made her mark on the music industry. After spending much of 2009 on her first headlining tour and celebrating the milestone success of 10 million total albums sold and over 20 million paid downloads, Swift is now adding to her repertoire as a singer, songwriter and actress with her very own signature guitar. In collaboration, Taylor Guitars and Taylor Swift announce the arrival of the Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar (TSBT), a model that is sure to inspire players of all skill levels with its compact size, full-voiced tone and a top that features Swift’s design touches.

Based on the best-selling Baby Taylor guitar, the TSBT is ideal for both promising players and accomplished pickers. At three-quarters the size of a standard dreadnought, with a slim 1 11/16-inch neck and a comfortably compact shape, the guitar is just right for both the littlest player’s hands and anyone who likes to pick up and play on the go. With the new model, Swift hopes to inspire others to express themselves through music. “I wanted to share my passion for playing guitar with my fans,” she says. “For a beginner, finding the right guitar can be intimidating, but this guitar, it’s the perfect size. Even if you’ve been playing for years, it’s a great size to travel with.”

The TSBT is crafted from a resilient sapele laminate body with a solid Sitka spruce top. Swift’s design, which encircles the guitar’s soundhole, features her well-known expression “Love, Love, Love” among delicate vines. The design also commemorates the songwriting spirit and success of her latest album, Fearless, whose title is inscribed above the bridge along with her signature.

Swift, who shares a close relationship with Taylor Guitars and regularly uses a variety of Taylor guitars when both performing and recording, fondly remembers her own Baby Taylor as a go-to guitar during her early days of touring. “I used to sit in the back seat of the rental car while I was on my radio tour at 16, writing songs on my Baby Taylor guitar,” she reflects. “I love the sound, and I love those memories.”

It’s not just Swift who is excited about this guitar. Taylor dealers everywhere are also eagerly anticipating its arrival, like Bryan Rankins from Fazio’s Frets and Friends in St. Louis, Missouri. “It’s not often that I get excited about another ‘signature’ guitar, but when I heard about the Taylor Swift Baby Taylor, my reaction was much different,” Rankins says. “Here you have an incredibly gifted young woman who is inspiring young people through her words and music. When I first saw a picture of the guitar, I knew right away that it would help spawn a whole new breed of young musicians and give them something positive that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

In addition to Taylor’s global network of dealers, the Taylor Swift Baby Taylor is available now for pre-orders at “We’re thrilled to work with Taylor Guitars to make the new Taylor Swift Baby Taylor available to our customers,” said Noah Herschman, director of Home Electronics and Musical Instruments for “Taylor Swift is one of the hottest stars in country and pop music, and her collaboration with Taylor Guitars has resulted in a product that we think our customers will love. Now they can pre-order it and ensure they’ll get it in time for the holidays.”

Introduced in 1996, the Baby Taylor was designed to be the ultimate musical travel companion and set the standard for how good a small guitar could sound. Delivering impressive volume and tone for its compact dimensions, the Baby Taylor quickly became the favorite “road guitar” for many professional musicians, including rock legends Bono (U2) and Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), pop artist Katy Perry, and country music hit makers Clint Black and Tim McGraw.

The TSBT will be offered at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $398 and comes ready to rock in a cushioned Taylor Guitars gig bag. The Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar is available for purchase at authorized Taylor Guitars dealers, and soon, at