A Mesa-centric cabinet emulator offers a straight-ahead and simple solution to top-box needs.
Superb construction. Full collection of Mesa cabinet/speaker IRs. Stores 16 IRs onboard. Traditional MIDI I/O jacks. Supports third-party IRs. Continuously adjustable attenuation levels.
No switchable ohmage. No editing software. No effects. Only includes Mesa IRs (but you can load third-party IRs).
Mesa Boogie CabClone IR+
Mesa Boogie's CabClone IR+ is a major upgrade on the company's original CabClone (which I reviewed here in 2016). The original was a load box and attenuator with an old-school speaker emulation, which was actually a speaker-like EQ curve rather than a set of impulse responses. The CabClone IR+ is available in 4-ohm, 8-ohm, and 16-ohm models.
(Mesa also offers the $599 CabClone IR, minus the plus sign. It's a load box/IR speaker emulator similar to its pricier sibling, but it omits speaker attenuation. If you seek a device primarily for direct recording or gigging, but don't need to lower the volume of your amp, you can save $200 with the non-plus version.)
The CabClone IR+ is a hefty chunk of hardware measuring approximately 7.5"x 6.5" x 4". It's as rugged and road-ready as most Mesa gear, and it sports the company's signature industrial vibe. Yup, it would look pretty sharp perched next to a Mesa head and cab.
… and Nothing but the Boogie
In fact, CabClone IR+ is specifically targeted toward Mesa amp users. The included IR library is not a grab bag of popular cabs from multiple manufacturers, but a collection of eight Mesa cabs impulses: two 4x12s, two 2x12s, and three 1x12s. The four Recto IRs, the two Lone Star cabs, and the 1x12 Thiele cabs feature Celestion speakers. The 1x12 California Tweed cab has a Fender-favored Jensen.
The CabClone IR+ stores a generous 16 IRs onboard in two banks of eight. As shipped, Bank A includes the eight cabs captured through dynamic and ribbon mics, while Bank B features the same cabs recorded via condenser and ribbon mics. Meanwhile, you can load third-party impulse responses to expand the IR gene pool
The attenuation function is uncommonly versatile. While some products merely toggle between preset attenuation levels, here there are four levels and a -16 dB trim pot. That means you can dial in precise speaker levels ranging from full volume to silence.
With the presence control set at noon (as heard in demo Clips 3 and 4), tones are bright and stringy, with more high-end content than you typically get from a miked speaker. Lowering the presence knob softens that edge for a more naturalistic sound, but that extra treble is always there if you need it. It could be especially useful with ultra-high-gain tones, which can lose treble impact.
Hold the Bells and Whistles
The CabClone IR+ excels at its core tasks. You can master its streamlined controls in minutes. But the flipside of that simplicity is a lack of extended features. There is no editing software other than a minimal IR loader. (Your computer "sees" the connected device as a hard drive. Just drag the desired IRs into the single-level directory that appears on your desktop). You can't, for example, alter the relative mic levels of the dual-mic IRs, shift virtual mic positions, or add effects. But the CabClone IR+ offers full MIDI functionality via full-sized MIDI I/O ports.
Withits focus on Mesa cabinet sounds, the CabClone IR+ is an obvious choice for players who pledge allegiance to the brand. (Mesa has been integrating CabClone into its recent amp models—a darn good idea.) It's dead simple to use, but it offers minimal editing features. You may not want or need those features, but consider your likely use scenarios before buying.
- Mesa/Boogie California Tweed Review - Premier Guitar ›
- No Mics, No Cab, No Problem! - Premier Guitar ›
- Mesa/Boogie Rectifier Badlander 50 Review - Premier Guitar ›
- No Mics, No Cab, No Problem! - Premier Guitar ›
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more!
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.
Dunable announce new Minotaur model featuring Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners.
The Minotaur's DNA is rooted in their classic Moonflower model, which Dunable discontinued in 2017. However, they have long since wanted to create a fresh take on a carved top guitar design, and various attempts to rework the Moonflower led them to a brand new concept with the Minotuar.
Dunable's goal is to give the player a guitar that plays fast and smooth, sounds amazing, and gives maximum physical ergonomic comfort. The Minotaur's soft and meticulous contours, simple and effective control layout, and 25.5" scale length are designed to easily meet this criteria.
- 25.5" scale length
- Dual Humbucker
- one volume, one tone, push pull for coil splitting
- Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners
- Grover Tune O Matic bridge with brass Kluson top-mount tailpiece
- jumbo nickel frets
- 12" fretboard radius
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA