In the age of hi-fidelity, lo-fi seems to be making a comeback. Vinyl records, for example, have become all the rage once again, with many artists releasing special edition LPs, in addition to standard MP3 and CD formats. It’s the warmth associated with analog, which doesn’t exist in the digital realm, that appeals to these audiophiles.
Vintage gear has always been highly sought after by serious players and enthusiasts. But with vintage instruments often priced out of the average buyer’s price range, manufacturers are starting to offer new products with a vintage feel and sound. Many manu- facturers are tapping into the phenomenon by creating “relic” versions of their instruments. These are essen- tially brand new guitars and basses made to look and feel old and worn.
The Hammond SK1-73 is a revamped classic and the first B-3 to have 73 keys. Instead of a lot of other keyboards that have a copycat Hammond B-3 tacked onto their smorgasbord of sounds, the SK1 is the opposite: it’s a full-on real-deal Hammond B-3 plus other sounds.
The ultra-light instrument provides vintage-perfect Hammond organ sounds with all the features expected in a vintage B-3, including an advanced Digital Leslie. In addition to the authentic Hammond Tonewheel voices, the SK’s Extravoice Division provides hi-def acoustic grand, Rhodes, Wurli, and FM pianos. Clavinet, harpsichord, accordion, wind, brass, synth, and tuned percussion voices are also part of the instrument’s ar- senal. You may play any of the extra voices solo or add them to the organ voices.
Bruno Cow Tipper Pro II 35 Amplifier
The Bruno Cow Tipper Pro II 35 is a medium power amp that the company claims has enough classic American tube tone to tip a cow. We just hope no cows were injured in the development process. The Cow Tipper is an ideal size for both recording and small club gigs.
Considered an “American-style” reverb amp it’s per- fect for anyone looking for the rich fat complex tones that the old classic blackface amps are famous for. It’s great for rock, jazz, surf, country, pop, jangle, or any style where a premium is placed on stellar tone and smooth spacious reverb.
Fargen John Lennon JL-15 Guitar Amplifier
John Lennon’s iconic music and visual art come together in the Fargen John Lennon JL-15 amplifier. This truly unique amp, which is the brainchild of Ben Fargen and the Fargen Custom Shop, authentically captures Lennon’s vintage tone.
You can toggle between Lennon’s ’60s “Liverpool” and ’70s “Plastic Ono Band” tones with its two-way decade switch and play through the warmth and depth of boutique amplifier engineering at its best.
DiPinto Belvedere Deluxe Guitars
DiPinto recreated the look and feel of the old ’60s molded plastic bodies with its patented double-layer, semi-hollow Belvedere Deluxe guitar. If you’re look- ing for a budget electric, but want a distinctive retro design, the DiPinto Belvedere Deluxe is for you.
It provides rich resonance and percussive punch, and its mini ‘buckers deliver fat tone that still has plenty of bite. The three-position pickup-selector switch and master volume and tone controls produce every- thing from rockabilly twang
to jazz swing. In overdrive, the Belvedere growls with a bite and sustain perfect for blues and rock players alike.
Vinyl Love for iPad
VinylLove for iPad is a music app that beautifully mimics a record player. The slight crackle and pops that are digitally added to your music turns all the songs on your iPad into more textured pieces, as if there’s a history to that MP3. Of course, it’s a little bit gimmicky, but they don’t overuse the effect.
You can also thumb through alphabetized crates of records (the songs on your library) and move the needle (to fast forward), just like you would on a turntable—if you remember what that’s like.