Featuring four distinct boost circuits, these tone accelerators offer unique modifications individual to each circuit.
Crazy Tube Circuits has added tone shaping modifications, individual to each circuit, that you can switch at will via the white and black button modifiers.
rm: Crazy Tube Circuit's silicon interpretation of the 60s classic germanium treble booster. Using a unique setup of paralleling 2 low gain silicon transistors we’ve managed to produce a sound that will convince even a NOS OC44 enthusiast. Select between original voicing or enhanced lo-mid frequencies for fatter sound.
ep: JFET preamp – gain stage based on the preamp circuit of a tape echo unit of the early 70s run on true to the original specs 24V DC power supply via an internal voltage boost. This tone enhancer is known for its magical coloration and the added focus and detail it gives to your sound. Select between original 70s voicing or enhanced full frequency boost with extra output.
ma: Based on a clean and “transparent” volume booster of the late 70s / early 80s. This circuit is a “reference” to louder solos. Use it to run long signal chains with its low output impedance or drive your amp harder into natural saturation. Select between original 9V DC power supply or internally boosted 18V DC for increased headroom.
mf: Based on a late 90s ultra-transparent, high input impedance MOSFET boost. This interpretation doesn’t crackle but still retains the massive clean boost with pristine highs, sonic identity of the circuit it was modelled after. Select between original 9V DC power supply or internally boosted 18V DC for increased headroom.
Crazy Tube Circuits Super Conductor
Price: 189.00 Euro / 199.00 USD. More info at: www.crazytubecircuits.com.
Ernie Ball Music Man Launches the DarkRay 5-String Bass & the Jason Richardson Artist Series Cutlass
An all-new DarkRay 5-string bass featuring dark glass electronics, plus the latest collaboration with guitar virtuoso Jason Richardson.
DarkRay 5-String Bass
The all-new DarkRay 5-string bass unlocks a new range of sonic capabilities thanks to a growing collaboration with world-renowned bass accessory manufacturer Darkglass Electronics. Available in two new striking finishes, Starry Night, and a limited-to-100 White Sparkle. Starry Night will be available at retail while the White Sparkle is exclusive to the Ernie Ball Music Man Vault. The DarkRay 5 is all about tone and features a new 2-band EQ preamp designed specifically for this 5-string model. It offers three very distinct and useful tones: Clean, Alpha (distortion), and Omega (fuzz), each fully mixable via an onboard gain knob and blend control set to the player’s preference. In addition, the original DarkRay 4 bass will be offered in Starry Night, Obsidian Black, and the exclusive White Sparkle, which is limited-to-25, and only available in the Vault.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_1aRXY5fhY
Jason Richardson Artist Series Cutlass
The 2022 Jason Richardson Artist Series Cutlass guitar collection is the next evolution between the award-winning Ernie Ball Music Man design team, and virtuoso guitarist and composer Jason Richardson. For 2022, the Jason Richardson Cutlass is available in two exciting new finishes, Majora Purple and a limited Empress White. The Majora Purple finish features an exotic burl top, natural wood binding, all gold hardware, and is available through authorized Music Man dealers. The Limited Edition Empress White features a white sparkle finish, black hardware, and is limited-to-25 of each of the 6 and 7-string offerings. These limited edition Empress White instruments are available exclusively in the Ernie Ball Music Man Vault.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mGsfNxn60M
So many varied ways to phase for days.
Sweet, distinct phase voice. Resonance, mix, range, and volume controls expand tone-shaping possibilities significantly. High quality.
Spaceman effects tend to be cherished, treasured, and, in some cases, driven to insane resale market prices because they reliably sound fantastic. But Spaceman pedals are also rare creatures. And even its most popular pedals tend to come and go—often disappearing before real players can beat collectors to the punch. The analog, 6-stage optical Explorer phaser, however, is the unusual Spaceman pedal that is reappearing in the wild after a hiatus. It returns in a more compact enclosure. But this time out the Explorer offers access to six additional waveforms that build on an already expansive modulation vocabulary.
Not So Simply Red
I love one-knob phasers. They are a sure-fire means to mindless fun, and one less thing to worry about when drifting off amid some psychedelic-jam reverie. That mindlessness comes at a cost, of course. A classic Small Stone or Phase 90 tends to sound just like it’s supposed to and little more. So while you can extract everything from rotary speaker sounds to staccato pitch shifting with such a circuit, they’re usually imprinted with a specific voice and phase coloration—what you hear is what you get.
The Explorer brushes aside those constraints in very cool fashion. For starters, the mix control helps you render the phase effect nearly subliminal. That enables you to use pretty extreme phase voices in low-key ways—a beautiful means to apply the effect to add motion in a spare mix. The Explorer also comes with an output volume control. This means you can overcome any perceived volume loss when using intense waveforms. But it also gives your signal a slight—and slightly dirty—bump even when the effect mix is low. The volume gives you options in that direction, too. And although there probably won’t be hordes of players dying to use the Explorer at less than unity gain, the ability to do so opens up interesting arrangement possibilities in which you can move from straight-ahead clean passages to quieter effected chapters in a song without missing a beat. It also gives you a means to mate the Explorer more easily to an unruly or unpredictable fuzz.
The Explorer’s wave-shaping options are abundant and powerful. The rate control generally falls in line with most classic analog phasers in terms of range—moving from molasses sweeps to insectile stutters. Resonance, of course, adds vowelly emphasis to the waveforms. Its effect is strong enough that I tended to leave it in a modest 8 to 10 o’clock range. But it can also help put a phase over the top in a crowded effects mix and help add rhythmic emphasis. The Explorer’s range control is, perhaps, the hidden gem. There’s nothing magical about it. It’s essentially a filter that enables you to thin out or add a low-end bump to the signal. But the extra low end can be a beautiful sweetening agent with slower phase rates (which get chewier and dreamier with more low end) and gives you extra wiggle room for tailoring the Explorer to different guitars, amps, and effects in your chain.
The extra low end can be a beautiful sweetening agent with slower phase rates.
The Explorer isn’t the only contemporary phaser with the option for multiple waveforms. But there is something about the essential sweetness and clarity of its voice that makes the differences among these wave types feel more distinct. The sine wave is smooth-snaky and sounds dreamy at slow rates and sitting low in the wet/dry mix. Ramp-up and ramp-down waves have a pronounced “reset” pulse at the peak of each wave that tends to reinforce certain rhythm-based approaches. Triangle generates pretty, precise, and steady heartbeat pulses that make lots of room for picking detail at dryer mix levels, but it also sounds awesome at more stroboscopic rates and higher intensities. The square wave at a 50-precent rate and with a healthy heap of low end from the range control is another favorite—and with the resonance just right, you can get a very bubbly auto-wah effect. The alternate phase patterns, which are accessed by powering up while holding down the footswitch, are all worth investigating as well. And the arpeggiated phases, in particular, are especially cool—lending textures that evoke everything from bouncing ball bearings to tinkling glockenspiels.
The Explorer often distinguishes itself by living at a cool intersection of organic and mechanical precision pulses and sounds. But the abundant tone-shaping options mean you can fine tune these tone crossovers like a surgeon. It’s fun, too. The right sound rarely feels out of reach or impossible on the Explorer, so the search seldom feels like work. For anyone that has suffered the limitations of 1-knob phasers but been intimidated by more complex alternatives, there are a lot of cool compromises here. The Explorer is expensive. But it’s a high-quality U.S.-made pedal that reflects a lot of thought and experience. It may just tempt you to sell the rest of the phasers in your collection, too—a smart, constructive way to offset the cost, if you ask me.
A lightweight, portable amp series developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps.
The St. James series offers amps in two formats: an EL34 design creating classic British rock tones and a 6L6 model with crystal clean tones and higher gain, both available as Celestion-equipped combo or amplifier head with matching vertical 212 cabinet. Designed to be simple to use but highly versatile, these amps offer an intuitive two-channel setup that delivers Blackstar’s best-ever clean and overdrive tones.
These amps are ideal for gigging players in search of a great-sounding valve amp at less than half the weight of traditional valve-driven amplifiers, as well as studio players looking for elite tone with the convenience of built-in tools used for recording applications. The models’ light weight is attributable to several factors in construction and design, namely the candlenut wood cabinet and custom Celestion Zephyr speaker, all without sacrificing the all-valve signal path creating the sound and feel of a traditional valve amplifier.
- the 50W full power setting, offering the loudest clean headroom;
- the SAG setting, proving the softer, vintage-feeling dynamic compression of a power supply ‘”sag,” most noticeable on the loud transients (attack) of the sweetest tube amps;
- and a 2W low power setting for recording or smaller gigs, delivering a more overdriven power amp tone by controlling HT (high voltage) and bias in the power stage, delivering a more natural tone than the usual “power soak” load resistor method often used.
See How These Players Reacted to St. James | St. James | Blackstar
For more information, visit: www.blackstaramps.com. Blackstar will be exhibiting at Booth 5723 (Hall D) at The NAMM Show, June 3-5, 2022, in Anaheim, CA.
U.S. MAP pricing is as follows:
- St James 50 Watt 6L6 Combo Amp: $1299.99
- St James 50 Watt 6L6 Amp Head: $1199.99
- St James 50 Watt EL34 Combo Amp: $1299.99
- St James 50 Watt EL34 Amp Head: $1199.99
- St James Vertical 212 Cabinet Black: $749.99
- St James Vertical 212 Cabinet Fawn: $749.99