TruSource Technology DL2 Integrated Digital Mixer

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September 2012 - Music Connection

NEW TOYS

—BARRY RUDOLPH barry@barryrudolph.com

Aguilar Amplification AG 4/5J-HC

Aguilar Amplification has the AG 4J-HC and AG 5J-HC hum-canceling

pickups that are direct replacements for 4 and 5-string Fender Jazz®

and other J-style bass guitars. Just as with electric guitars, single-coil

bass pickups suffer noise and hum problems, and when used on basses,

it becomes more problematic when mixing the sound between the

neck and bridge pickups at vastly different volume levels. Playing loud

and/or using a compressor and lots of amp/recording pre-amp gain only

exacerbates any hum and noise problem.

The Aguilar hum-canceling pickups feature a split-coil design that

allow for very specific tone settings with any blend between the neck

and bridge pickups you’d like—without 60Hz hum.

Yes of course, hum bucking pickups solve the hum and noise issues

but it’s a different sound AND modifying your bass guitar to accommodating

their larger size is risky business on at least three levels:

expense, damage and devaluation—and unknown tone results until you

actually do the surgery on your particular instrument.

Wound in Aguilar’s N.Y.C. factory, the HC pickups use 42-gauge

Formvar-coated copper wire with Alnico V magnets and they drop right

into the existing holes of most J basses’ pickups—without further carpentry.

The AG 4J-HC pickups MAP at $189 and the AG 5J-HC pickup

goes for $219. Check out http://aguilaramp.com.

Aphex HeadPod 4 Headphone Box

Aphex®, a division of DWV

Entertainment, has released the

modern HeadPod 4 studio headphone

box. It more than updates

my Aphex Systems Model 454

HeadPod I previously reviewed,

purchased and still own for one of

two headphone systems in my studio.

As before, the HeadPod 4 has

four, stereo headphone “stations,”

each with its own power amplifier

and level control—any combination

of disparate headphones from iPod

ear buds to my professional Shure

SRH940s are driven simultaneously

to maximum, comfortable loudness

and without interaction.

The biggest change from the old analog-only 454 is the addition of a

three-way source selector switch. This source selector makes Aphex’s

HeadPod 4 universal the world over for desktop audio production,

recording and broadcast studios, language labs, quality assurance listening

stations, rehearsal and live sound venues such as worship spaces

and schools. It interfaces simply with any audio system no matter

operating audio levels or impedance requirement(s). It accommodates

digital sample rates up to 96kHz/24-bit.

Select Analog 1 for a +24dBu balanced audio input using two TRS

jacks (L/R); or Analog 2 for -10dBv unbalanced input using a single

stereo TRS (stereo headphone extension cable), then select Digital for

the S/PDIF coaxial (RCA jack) input and direct connection to you computer’s

sound card output.

Source selection allows for many capabilities new to headphone

boxes in this price range. Because a digital-to-analog converter is built

in to the HeadPod 4, you can listen to music CDs (44.1kHz/16-bit audio)

via the S/PDIF input even though you’re working at a different sample

rate/bit depth in your DAW. Besides the Source switch, there is a Master

input level control for proper gain staging depending on nominal input

levels from all three sources.

I like the rear panel on/off switch on the HeadPod 4 (I have to unplug

my power supply on my old 454 unit) and the HeadPod 4’s new futuristic

look with its faceted edges. Not new is the price though: same as the

old analog-only box at $249.95 MSRP. Check out http://aphex.com.

SongCraft Station All-Wood Series

The new Songwriter, Composer and Grande models are constructed

from hardwoods and Grade-A plywood veneers. The new All-Wood

Series desks are lighter in weight than the company’s Standard Series

hardwood desks and are also available optionally with hand-rubbed

finishes applied using the French polishing technique to bring out the

wood’s grain and beauty.

The new SongCraft Station Home Studio Desk line is a quality, pro

audio desk designed for smaller home studios with limited floor space

and when you’d want the desk to blend with your other home furnishings.

My 80-year Schiller baby grand has a dark toned finish and would match

perfectly with the rich finish of the desk pictured above.

All Standard Series models are made of 3/4-inch thick MDF board, and

come with rock maple tapered legs painted black, two 15-inch square

monitor speaker plinths (stands), MIDI controller keyboard slide-out drawers,

and your choice of hardwood trim on both the desktop edging and

monitor stands.

Largest in the SongCraft Station Home Studio Desk line is the Grande

measuring 64.5 inches wide; its 55.5W x 21D-inch keyboard drawer

holds either an 88 or 76-key controller. The Composer model is 53

inches wide and its 44W x 21D keyboard drawer holds up to a 61-key

keyboard. Both these desks are 27.5 inches deep and 34 inches high.

At just 48 inches wide, the Songwriter desk is 25.5 inches deep and

31 inches high and comes standard with a pair of monitor stands (custom

sizes available), a decorative wood utility drawer plus hardwood legs that

match a choice of wood trims.

Woods available are cherry, walnut, and mahogany and most

models are ready to accept their Desktop Cable Cabinet

as an option. This feature organizes and hides unsightly

wires and cables and provides separate power switches

for up to eight pieces of studio gear.

SongCraft also offers setup and delivery if you live

within 300 miles of their offices including: New York,

Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Check

more information and pricing at http://songcraftstation.com.

Oktober Guitars MGT

The Mark Gallagher Signature Tele is made in the tradition,

style and look of the legendary Raven guitarist’s old

warhorse guitar. Ordered and sold directly from http://

oktoberguitars.com, the MGT updates the traditional

Telecaster look with a recessed Floyd Rose tremolo

system and Oktober’s Suckerpunch humbucker

deployed in the bridge position. But this added

punch is balanced by a more traditional single coil

pickup up in the neck position.

The Jet Black body and headstock are highlighted

with a red body binding and the infamous red Raven

Flash streak across the body and inlaid throughout

the bound rosewood fret board. The guitar pictured

has a hard rock maple neck, mahogany body,

bolt on neck construction, a 22-fret neck with a 25

and a 1/2-inch scale and comes with a form-fitting

Oktober hard shell case.

MSRP is $1,699 but factory direct is $579.99

For other models, see http://oktoberguitars.com.

10 September 2012 www.musicconnection.com

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