Ultimate Ears 4 Pro Series offers the perfect solution for professionals looking for high-quality in-ear monitors
A Joyful Noise
The Ultimate Ears 4 Pro series makes good on the early promise of in-ear monitors. Imagine a world where guitars sound like guitars, voices sound like voices, and drums and bass reside in the mix rather than over the mix. The UE 4 are very transparent, giving you back an extremely accurate representation of the natural timbre of instruments and voices.
Now I understand why 75 percent of today’s top touring professional artists—including bands such as Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Van Halen, Sheryl Crow, Sugar Ray, The Killers and SwitchFoot—use Ultimate Ears custom in-ear monitors.
I test-drove the UE 4 on a large, open-air festival gig and a smaller 2,000 capacity club gig with a low ceiling, (a potential stage mix nightmare). In both environments the UE 4 Pros worked perfectly; they were comfortable and sounded clear and accurate with no discernible distortion. Being able to hear everything so well really made the gigs fun. The UE 4s sounded better than any in-ear system I’ve ever used. I was so impressed with the UE 4 Pros that I brought them along to a recording session where they soundedmuch better than the cans provided by the studio. My only suggestion is that the cord could be a little longer. It’s the perfect length for live work, unlike other in-ears rigs that give you miles of cord that has to be awkwardly stuffed underneath your shirt or pants. The UE cord makes for a short leash when you have to reach a mixing station, however. It was worth working around this small inconvenience because they sounded so great, and I’m told that a longer cord can be purchased from the website for $39.
Another unexpected pleasure came when I brought the UE 4 along on my last four flights. Usually in-flight movies are painful to watch because the poor sound quality ruins the experience. The UE 4 cut out all that loud ambient airplane noise, reproducing a clean audio signal with both the movies and the music I listened to. They were far easier to carry than noise canceling headphones, which cost about the same but don’t sound nearly as good.
The Final Mojo
At this point I’ve gone through probably six disappointing in-ears monitors. Had I started with the UE 4 Pros, I would’ve stopped right there and saved myself lots of money and aggravation. For those of you who have not yet owned in-ear molds, the fitting process may sound a bit intense, but it’s remarkably easy. Once you’ve decided to make the jump into in-ear monitors, schedule an appointment with a qualified audiologist. The UE website will help you locate an audiologist near you: ultimateears.com/_ultimateears/ support/audiologist_instructions.php. The audiologist shoots some pink goo in your ears and you leave with the impressions. Next, send the impressions to Ultimate Ears, where a pair of custom monitors will be created based on an exact replica of your ears. Plan on roughly a 30-day turnaround.
you’re just getting into the in-ear world or if you’ve had the same in-ears for five or six years.
you were born a wedge rocker and you will die a wedge rocker.
Street $399 - Ulitmate Ears - ultimateears.com
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.