YOUR ONE-CLICK INDEX OF LAST WEEK’S REVIEWS
And there’s still more to read! Click the link to read the rest of this DV247 Blog weekly round-up for exclusive reviews, breaking news and the best in expert opinion!
THE BEST OF THE BLOG
Last week was dominated by a mighty three part review pitching the Roland V-Piano and Yamaha CP1 against one another. In part one Rob tackled the CP1, before testing the V-Piano in part two and delivering his verdict in part three. “Past a certain price point, comparison is very difficult indeed…” Rob mused.
Renowned producer, remixer and DV247 Blog guru Paul Dakeyne delved deep into the inner workings and performance of M-Audio CX5 active monitors on Thursday and Friday of last week, as he added them to his studio for a review. Despite rarely reviewing studio monitors, Paul was moved enough by the pair to write: “When placed next to the aforementioned Adam A7s and some Genelec speakers I’ve used, this pair sits quite comfortably – impressive for such esteemed company”.
THE BEST OF THE REST
Marc Noel Johnson kicked off Monday morning in loud fashion with Behringer B815 Neo loudspeakers, leaving the DV247 Blog reviews bench positively trembling. “The overall volume on offer from the Neo is simply stunning, with nary a hint of overload, which if present would be indicated by an LED on the front. For power to weight, I can’t think of any other speaker that comes close,” he wrote.
Concluding his two part review of the Vestax Spin DJ controller from the previous week, Paul Dakeyne delivered his verdict on whether the controller could be considered a pro piece of kit, or just an option for beginners. “The Spin is well built, feature packed and fun to use for novice DJ wannabees,” he observed.
Monday afternoon saw the release of Native Instruments Maschine 1.5, and Paul Dakeyne was quick to analyse the news for the Blog while describing the 50 new features on offer. “The manufacturer has made Maschine even more enticing to any potential users,” he explained, adding: “for a free update to existing users, this looks like a slam dunk”.
Marc Noel Johnson found himself surprised on Tuesday morning when he sat down to review the Gibson Sammy Hagar Red Rocker Les Paul. The guitar is, he explained, “a surprisingly restrained affair considering the larger than life rock and roll legend and tequila millionaire that it was made for”. While MNJ enjoyed the guitar itself, he was less convinced about the Chickenfoot logo adorning the headstock.
In one of the strangest yet impressive stories yet to break on DV247 Blog, Barney Jameson brought news on Tuesday afternoon of the Orange OPC – a hybrid between a guitar combo and a PC. “The decision to develop a music computer system that so closely mimics the appearance and function of a normal combo amp is certainly novel…” Barney wrote.
Having already reviewed the new Fender American Deluxe Telecaster and Stratocaster, Marc Noel Johnson spent Wednesday finding out how N3 noiseless pickups sound on the new American Deluxe Jazz Bass V. “This new model proves that Fender is not content to sit around contemplating past successes,” he declared.
On Wednesday afternoon Barney Jameson wrote about another Musikmesse 2010 product, but this time one that had not yet enjoyed the attention it deserved – the Audient ASP2802. A combination of analogue mixer and DAW controller, the ASP2802 promised high-end Audient technology in a mid-priced desk.
With the release of the Mackie Onyx I mixer range having already prompted a surge in interest thanks to the desks’ compatibility with M-Powered Pro Tools, Barney Jameson reported on Thursday afternoon that the driver required for the Pro Tools functionality was now free until the end of May. “With the current boom in live recording, this is an important gap in the M-Powered armoury that the Mackie range is seeking to plug,” Barney mused.
Rob Sandall tested the SE Electronics ICIS studio valve microphone and found himself thoroughly impressed, especially with the 1.07″ gold diaphragm – the same as used in the manufacturer’s Z5600 model. “That mic is over double the price, so it’s fair to say that there’s a pretty epic quality commitment when it comes to components here,” Rob enthused.
There was one thing on the mind of Marc Noel Johnson when he reviewed the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier on Friday afternoon – volume! “Plugging into a Mesa Boogie 4×12, setting the voicing switch to Vintage and selecting channel two, I think I went straight to the heart of this amp,” he reported.
On Saturday Rob Sandall found himself extolling the virtues of the SE Electronics Reflexion Filter. The review quickly turned into a reasoned argument for the importance of this kind of product. “I think whether or not this kind of thing bothers you is a question of production maturity,” he argued.
Finally, on Sunday Rob Sandall sat down to test and rate the Phonic FireFly 808 FireWire interface, deciding it was ideal for home set-ups, and declaring: “the preamps are of a high quality, and with the wealth of input and output options here it’s easy to work this into any project studio”.
THE WRITER’S BLOCK: OUR OPINIONS, YOUR COMMENTS
Paul Dakeyne spent his Tuesday Writer’s Block column having a rare but justified moan about the state of modern dance music and clubland in general. “What of the club crowds today? Are they really that interested in the music?” he argued.
One time lo-fi recording devotee Rob Sandall renounced his past on Wednesday afternoon, declaring that modern technology had done away with genuine lo-fi production entirely. Anyone who still sounded lo-fi was just pretentious, he declared.
Having read endless magazine lists of the world’s most famous guitarists, Marc Noel Johnson decided to redress the balance in his Thursday Writer’s Block column, instead introducing 10 players who deserved to be heard.
With electioneering and X-Factor style TV debates dominating the airwaves in the UK, Barney Jameson couldn’t resist picking the songs that leading politicians might sing if they really were invited on to the X-Factor stage…