Vox are going miniature with tiny new amps and radios

Vox are scaling down, on size not quality, revealing a bunch of new speakers that are small enough to stash in your bag and still powerful enough to melt some faces.

Vox have announced 3 new ranges of gorgeous speakers and amps for musicians and music fans alike to drool over. The new line-up features mini guitar and bass amps packed with great sound and effects, portable amps packed with sound and functionality, and finally Vox have unveiled their very own AC30 old-school radio.

The retro radio from Vox brings back the old-school portable AM/FM boxes of old with a Vox AC30 amp design to beautify it. It may seem a little outdated but what’s the point in going for the retro look if you’re only doing half measures. The all-in-one radio/speaker does however feature an aux input and output so you can play your own music through it and listen through headphones.

The radio has two 3″ speakers which are capable of a 2W output and can run on 6 AA batteries if you want to make it portable. The Vox radio also features a clock function with an alarm so it makes the perfect retro-chic bedside radio for you hipsters out there, and guitar fanatics. At £65 it’s not too bad a snatch, though without digital radio it may not be the next Roberts.

Next are Vox’s new mini amps for guitars and basses which offer portable playing at an unbeatable price of £59. The design for the AC2 RhythmVOX amps again follows that traditional AC30 look on a small-scale. Vox are so proud of their mini amps’ appearance that they say it “looks so much like a real Vox amp that you’ll forget it’s a miniature”.

Vox guitar bass amp radio portable music new amplifier tunes sound AC30

For cheap, portable instrument amplifiers the AC2 RhythmVOX amps come with a surprising amount of range and customisation. The amps are capable of three amp sounds – clean, crunch and lead, come with five effects like chorus, delay and reverb, as well as a massive 81 rhythm patterns. The amps also have an in-built tuner as well as aux input and outputs like the radio, and features 20 hours worth of portable playtime when AA battery-powered.

Finally in their new range is a higher end option in the shape of their Adio Air GT and BS amps for guitar and bass. These amps pack much more power despite the similar size with a 50W output coming from their 2×3 speaker. As well as a whole lot more sound the Adio range comes packed with extra features like 19 effects and a load of amp models (23 on the GT and 17 on the BS).

Vox’s Adio amps feature Bluetooth for a host of functionality such as streaming music and controlling the settings wirelessly with Bluetooth MIDI. The amp can be connected to computers via USB for direct recording, and offer three different routings, while Vox’s JamVOX III and Tone Room software are included for setting tweaks and storage.

Other nifty features include Acoustage for surround-sound effects; an audio EQ with Bassilator circuit for rich low-end; noise-reduction on high-gain sounds; and an auto-tuner with support for dropped tunings. Once again the Adio can also be taken on the go with 8 hours of life from 8 AA batteries.

With a design like a mix between a Gucci designed bluetooth speaker and a cabinet head the Adio may not appeal to everyone but it’s certainly the most unique looking of their new miniature ranges. At £279 the price tag is quite a bit higher for the Adio’s but for a quality portable amplifier for guitar and bass it seems reasonable.

Vox’s Adio amps will be available from June whilst the radio and mini AC30 amps will both be released sometime in August.

Distort your guitar AND the truth with Brexit Means Brexit distortion pedal

Since last year’s vote to leave the EU there have been a lot of ups and downs, next in the ups is this Brexit themed distortion pedal from Tate Fx.

The Brexit Means Brexit pedal is a super hot-rodded Rat type distortion pedal for instruments. Taking inspiration from last year’s referendum where the UK decided to leave the European Union the pedal features 3 of the biggest names in the build-up and aftermath.

Named after the Conservative’s favourite referendum line – “Brexit means Brexit” – the pedal is engraved with the images of Nigel Farage, Prime Minister Theresa May and Michael Gove. Nigel Farage and Michael Gove both spearheaded the campaign to leave the EU and Theresa May is now leading the government as Britain exits (though perhaps not for much longer). The pedal features three knobs for controlling your tone: Racism, Recession and Farage.

The Brexit Means Brexit pedal uses the OP07 IC. It goes from a nice light gain crunch all the way to borderline fuzz overload. The ‘Farage’ knob distorts (the truth) the more you increase and the ‘Recession’ knob helps you cut through the mix. All Tate Fx pedals are handmade in England complete with etch PCB’s.

The Brexit Means Brexit pedal isn’t the only political instrument pedal offered by Tate Fx. There is also a special Bullshit Booster pedal – featuring Donald Trump on the front, the Bullshit Booster is a clean boost capable of up to 20db of boost for guitar and/or bass.

The Bullshit Booster pedal is available in limited stock for £70 from Pedalboards of Doom. The Brexit Means Brexit pedal is available for £75, also from Pedalboards of Doom.

Amazon reveal new Echo speaker with a touchscreen + more

The Amazon Echo Show is the debut screened version of their massively popular Echo home speakers, opening up a world of new possibilities.

Echo Show brings all the features that made Amazon Echo speakers such a hit to a new device with a screen for an all new experience. The touchscreen adds a visual world to play with on top of all the voice commands and responses Alexa is capable off, with optimized visibility even from the other side of the room.

With the Echo Show’s screen you can watch videos from briefings and YouTube, scroll lyrics as you listen to music, view security cameras, use it as a digital photo frame, and much more. With a built in camera the Echo Show enhances your conversations beyond the Echo’s calling features, allowing you to video call with friends and family around the world using just the device.

With Alexa’s in-built AI and connectivity you can use the Echo Show to control your smart home with security camera views, the ability to turn on lights and adjust your temperature as well as more. Alexa is capable of working with many of the popular smart home devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee and others.

Echo Show has eight microphones and beam-forming technology so it can hear you from across the room – even while music is playing. Echo Show is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive audio powered by Dolby. When you want to use Echo Show, just the wake word “Alexa” and Echo Show responds instantly.

Echo Show has been fine-tuned with Dolby powered speakers that “deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response and expansive sound”. As well as streaming from all the top music streamers like Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and so on, Echo Show is also Bluetooth enabled meaning you can connect your phone or tablet to play music even without internet.

Alexa—the brain behind Echo Show—is built in the cloud, so she is always getting smarter. The more you use Echo Show, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because Echo Show is always connected, updates are delivered automatically.

Amazon Echo Show will be released on the 28th June and is available for pre-order now at $229.99. Find out more and secure yourself one here: www.amazon.com/Amazon-MW46WB-Introducing-Echo-Show/dp/B01J24C0TI/ref=sr_1_10?tag=skim1x139863-20&ie=UTF8&qid=1494337253&sr=8-10&keywords=echo+show

New Cortana powered home assistant speaker teased by Harmon Kardon

After revealing the first ever speaker to feature Microsoft’s Cortana AI in December Harman Kardon have shared some more about the Amazon Echo competitor.

Microsoft announced that Cortana, Microsoft’s version of Siri and Alexa, would start being integrated across a bunch of new devices like fridges and toasters last December. The first new integration they revealed was a partnership they had formed with audio developers Harman o for a Cortana powered speaker, and now we know more.

This past week Harman Kardon released a ‘coming soon’ page for the upcoming speaker (since been removed). The page revealed the speaker’s name as Invoke and gave us a better look at its design after the previews in December. Possibly controversially, the new home speaker resembles the Amazon Echo to quite a large extent, with its slightly upward cone shape saving it from looking like a complete replication.

Invoke Cortana powered speaker microsoft harman kardon home amazon echo rival google home

The speaker is capable of 360-degree sounds and can assumably stream music from streaming services like the majority of its rivals. The speaker is also able to make and receive calls on Skype as well as most of Cortana’s usual abilities – like answering questions, keeping your planner, and more. The images show black and silver versions of the Invoke speaker with a small screen top which displays Cortana’s iconic blue ring when active.

Microsoft will be discussing more about Cortana at ‘Build’ where they will likely discuss Invoke and it’s abilities at further length. Neither companies have revealed any information of what price we could expect to be paying to get our hands on an Invoke speaker yet but it will probably be in the same price range of roughly $100-$200 like it’s rivals Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Invoke Cortana powered speaker microsoft harman kardon home amazon echo rival google home

Fender unveil WiFi and Bluetooth in amps with their new Mustang GT series

Fender are launching a new range of their highly regarded Mustang modelling amps with WiFi and Bluetooth so you can control and change your tone all through an app.

Fender’s Mustang apps are a divisive bunch – they feature wicked amp modelling that lets you choose between a variety of Fender amp sounds. Some complain that it takes away the naturality of the sound – it’s debatable, but whatever you think Fender’s new Mustang GT series looks sexy, packs a punch and gives you hundreds of possibilities.

The old Mustang amps allowed you to connect to your computer via USB to alter the sounds and add more. The Mustang GTs take that to the next level with inbuilt wireless connections letting you use an app on your phone to wirelessly connect. Using your phone you can create tones, change amps, add and remove effects and more to create your perfect sound straight from an app.

The new Mustang GT series comes in 3 different sizes; the Stereo GT 40 is the cheapest for $249. After that there is the Mono GT 100 for $399 and the Stereo GT 200 at the top end for $599. With a bluetooth connection the amps can also play music from bluetooth devices (i.e. smartphones) making it a powerful music speaker as well!

Here are all of the upgrades:

  • New models and effects with even more realism, increased signal path flexibility, more realistic response, “setlist” support and effects spillover when changing presets—we’ve updated everything about our digital modeling.
  • Mustang GT is the world’s first Bluetooth and WiFi-equipped amplifier. You can easily stream music, program the amp remotely, access Fender artist-created presets and connect directly with a community of other creative players.
  • Mustang GT includes artist-specific presets—the actual sounds from the studio and stage, created by the artists themselves. No one else has Fender’s access to inspiring artists across such a wide variety of genres.
  • The free, exclusive Fender Tone app adds one-touch control to the Mustang GT’s power and connects to Fender Digital for learning and sharing presets. Fender Tone makes it easy to upgrade the Mustang GT series’ already impressive capabilities, adding even more power and presets created by Fender artists and players just like you.
  • The optional 4-button footswitch (included with Mustang GT 200) provides hands-free control of effects and the looper, making Mustang GT a performing powerhouse.

You can shop for your own Mustang GT amp here: shop.fender.com/en-GB/mustang-gt