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snark

I've been using one of these Snark clip on tuners for a couple of years now, and have to say the difference between this, and my old Korg tuner is night and day. Just to explain, this is only used at home, and on just on Electric guitar, and my acoustic, I don't use it in a live band environment.

I have the older version of the SN5 Guitar Bass and Violin, and can only assume the new version is better, though not sure how it can be, my one works flawlessly. It clips nicely on to the headstock of all my guitars very nicely, you can adjust the angle very easily thanks to the ball and socket between the display and the clamp, so seeing the display from any position is great. The display itself is really easy to see, and has brightly coloured sections to show if your sharp, or flat.

Very simple to operate, it has one large button on the front which you press to turn it on and press again to turn it off. I would highly recommend you turn it off once you've tuned your guitar to extend the battery life, even though it will go off automatically after a period of time.

Here's some places to check them out.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Thomann
Gear4Music

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Harley Benton HBZ-2005

Description (from Thomann) Harley Benton HBZ-2005 5 string bass guitar, mahogany body, neck through body, 7 piece maple/nato neck, rosewood fretboard, oval abalone shape inlays, 24 frets, nut width 45mm, 864mm long scale, string space at bridge 16 mm, 2x ceramic bar pickups, active preamp, black hardware, die cast tuners, 5 single bridge, finish natural satin.

You can buy one HERE














Plus points:
Thomann's excellent customer service. The first example I had was an escapee from quality control and had to be replaced. This was done quickly, and with a very helpful attitude. The second example, the one I have kept, needed a little remedial soldering to fix a broken connection.
It's a beautiful looking thing, better in the flesh than in the photographs. The combination of woods works well. It is cosmetically very attractive.

Very little, if any set up will be required. The neck pick-up is arguably a little low, and appears not to be adjustable, and the  truss rod will need a little tweak as the neck is not quite concave enough. This is not a big deal, I've have had to adjust the truss rod on just about every guitar I have ever owned.
D'Addario strings. Apparently not everyone's cup of tea, but they are the brand I currently favour, so I won't be changing them, except for another set of D'Addarios when they wear out.
Smooth operating control knobs that have a very subtle but definite centre notch (not the volume control).
Reasonably quiet electronics.

Very good tonal range, as you would expect from an active bass, have a listen to the samples on the Thomann site. I have seen reviewers grumble that the bass is not as deep as more expensive basses, or that the treble is not as bright. To which I would say, learn how to play the thing. There's plenty there.
The through neck is obviously wider than a 4 string, and the strings are slightly closer spaced. It is, however, pleasant to play.

The balance is good.
The machine heads are precise and seem rather better quality than I had expected.
There is no significant fret buzz anywhere (what little there is high up the neck on the B string will go when the neck is adjusted properly).

Minus points:
The first example had a body in three pieces. The lower part of the bottom wing was a separate piece of mahogany. The joint was solid, but inevitably you could see where the grain changed. My current example of this model has single piece wings.

The bridge pieces are individual for each string, and not quite perfectly aligned across the guitar. They were differently misaligned on the first example I had, it looks like the manufacturers just can't get it right. I doesn't matter other than visually. The bridge pieces are steel. I can't help feeling it would have been better to have a billet bridge and tailpiece.
There is no instruction sheet. I have labelled the picture below with what I think the controls are.



For me, the lack of a thumb rest is a big deal. Luckily I have some hardwood and will make my own.

Conclusion:
My experience of Harley Benton instruments is that they are of noticeably cheap construction on close inspection, but sound unexpectedly good and play unexpectedly well. This is the cheapest bass I have ever owned by a significant margin. That it is so capable for less than £200 is an indicator of how much better cheaper instruments are these days. So for a first dabble with 5 strings my immediate reaction is that really, for so little money, you can't go wrong. I play quite forcefully with the middle cut and through the Hartke A100 this bass really growls, I like it. The acid test is would I use this bass live? The answer is yes, I would, but I'd still stick with the Hohners as my main instruments.

The thread this article was taken from, you can leave your comments here, Harley Benton (Thomann) HBZ 2005 - 5 string bass guitar

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IK Multimedia Amplitube 4 Ampeg SVX 2 Bass Amplifier Collection - Review
An in-depth look at IK Multimedia's Ampeg SVX 2 collection.  Tested reviewed by Howard Worf, for us here at Guitarist Guild.
The bottom line (somehow strangely appearing at the top, and first . . )

This SVX2 bundle is highly recommended - with no other bass amplification emulators in your Amplitube warehouse you will not find any tone you are looking for missing. I really like these a lot. And if you cannot run to the whole package use Custom Shop to buy the SVT-VR and 8x10 cabinet as individual pieces of gear - you will not be disappointed.

New from IK Multiimedia is this gear package emulating a further clutch of classic Ampeg bass amplification. The new SVX 2 collection of reimagined and re-released amplification from Ampeg comprises the SVT-VR, the V-4B, and the Heritage B-15N heads and the SVT-810 AV, the SVT-212 AV, and the B-15N 115 cabinets - the cabinets being the matched units for the amplifiers in the same order - the B-15N Heritage is in any event a combo with the 'sewing machine' flip top head, released in limited edition in 2011 and currently very expensive to acquire, used only. So these then are the models of the re-released Ampegs, available as a collection for €99.99 or as an upgrade to the original Ampeg collection for €49.99 or as a bundle of the two for €149.99. If you need Amplitube 4 too then the price for the complete package is €199.99 (all plus VAT and at the time of writing). To give an idea of value for money UAD's emulators retail for $149 for each individual amplifier module. And, of course, the real things are substantially more costly. Don't forget, also, that Amplitube and therefore these modules can be used in live performance.

So what is being emulated here? The SVT-VR is the re-released version of the 1970's Blue Line SVT 300w head, currently retailing for around £1900 or $2200, the V-4B is another 1970's re- release, this time of the 1971 100w all valve head, around the £1000 mark, and the final model is the very popular 1960s 1x15 combo that has a home in many pro studios and according to Ampeg is the most recorded bass amplifier ever. Quite possibly.

To my way of thinking it is the SVT heads that create that distinctive Ampeg growl, but let's give them a listen. My comparisons are from memory, so how the models give me the impression of the Ampeg sounds rather than a direct comparison as I do not have any physical Ampeg equipment to measure against. Indeed I have never seen nor heard either an original or Heritage B-15N, so rare are such beasts. My own personal amplification comprises Trace Elliot and Behringer heads with 1x15 home built cabs for live performance and Hartke A100 and Harley Benton HB300B (Thomann's own brand) combos for practice. I don't like the Hartke much; I usually let my wife use it for her keyboard and it's better at that. Although I have been playing for more than 4 decades I have generally avoided valve amplifiers. In my early days I like everyone else owned Marshall and sometimes borrowed Orange valve amps, but I never liked the flat slightly distorted sounds and to be brutally honest they were hopelessly unreliable.

For this review I have used my Ibanez SR375 and Hohner B Bass 5 strings and a Hohner B Bass 4 string. All of these have large amounts of maple in their construction giving them a tone which is bright rather than neutral. I am not using any effects between the guitars and the software. My interface is a Saffire Pro 14. The DAW I am using is Cubase 9 Artist (although, of course Amplitube 4 does have a stand alone mode), my monitors are a pair of Behringer Truth B2031As and my headphones AKG K240.

After such a long preamble the actual 'how do they sound' bit is going to be quite short.

Let's do them in reverse order.

1)The Heritage B-15N. Arguably a better amplifier than the originals, as it has both 1964 and 1966 channels and voicing, the latter year's implementation being somewhat brighter. The tones are smooth, clear and very much full range. Some bass amplifiers are either too bass or too treble orientated with flat tone controls, but not this. It doesn't really growl until the bass control is almost all the way up on either channel, so an excellent model for a clean uncoloured bass sound. The tone controls are simple in design but beautifully effective in operation giving a really useful range of tonal values. I like it.


   


2)But not as much as the V-4B, paired with the 2x12 cabinet. Although the tone controls are a little more complicated in that we now have a three band midrange parametric and bass and treble cut/boost switches as well as gain, what we do have here is the appearance of that Ampeg growl in a more controllable package. So again, very good.


   


3)And then there's the cream of the crop, the SVT -VR paired with the 8x10 cab emulation. It sounds to my tired old bass player ears the best of the bunch. A wonderful easily controlled growl and huge tonal range. Now we have much more useable flexibility: channel selection, channel one normal bright switch, ultra-hi boost, 3 band bass cut off, ultra-lo boost, bass, treble and mid cut/boost pots, with ultra-lo, ultra-hi with bass and treble pots on channel two. It just sounds very good - how subjective is that? But it does.


   


As I have had no Ampeg hardware with which to make comparisons what I am telling you is how subjectively they sound to me. I am guessing that these emulations are as accurate as they can be - if not then IK Multimedia have nevertheless created three first rate bass amplifier models which I can thoroughly recommend. And because they are software and not powered by real valves they won't break down or wear out. Which is nice.

Having never really appreciated Ampegs in the real world (and I would still be leery of buying anything with a valve driven power stage) these models will be my go to place for recording in the future for the smooth even tones of the Heritage B15N and V-4B, and the lovely controllable understated growl and penetrating mid range of the SVT.

So the conclusion of this review is that the SVX2 bundle is highly recommended - with no other bass amplification emulators in your Amplitube warehouse you will not find anything you are looking for missing. I really like these a lot. And if you cannot run to the whole package use Custom Shop to buy the SVT-VR and 8x10 cabinet as individual pieces of gear - you will not be disappointed.

2nd October 2017




Features
•Officially licensed by Ampeg®
•3 new amps (SVT-VR, V-4B, HERITAGE B-15N)
•3 new matched cabinets (SVT-810 AV, SVT-212 AV, B-15N 115)
•Exact recreations of the originals thanks to IK’s 20 plus years of modeling experience
•Based on our breakthrough Dynamic Interaction Modeling™ technology
•Available à la carte inside the Custom Shop or as a whole collection
•Available as part of the SVX Power Duo Bundle (including AmpliTube 4, SVX and SVX 2)
•Perfect companion for MODO BASS for Mac/PC
•Runs inside any version of AmpliTube 4.3 or later (free or paid version)
•Expandable with more gear models via AmpliTube Custom Shop

More info can be found here, http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/ampegsvx2/

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AMPLITUBE 4 REVIEW

"Hyper Realistic Tone"

An in-depth look at IK Multimedia's Amplitube 4 software.  Tested reviewed by Howard Worf, for us here at Guitarist Guild.



Introduction

It seems like the world and his concubine are in the business of providing homo dawis with ever more complex and detailed digital processing options, both for live and studio use. Guitarists are one of the target audiences and there are a few front runners in the field, IK Multimedia's (hereinafter IKM) Amplitube being well established and having a deserved good reputation. The competition includes Native Instruments Guitar Rig, Peavey Revalver (for obsessive fiddlers amongst other things), Line Pod Farm, to name just a few. Not to mention the more limited emulators often built in to the DAWs themselves.

VST


Amplitube is now in its fourth iteration (hereinafter APT4). On the off chance that you didn't already know, it is stand alone, VST 2 and 3, and AAX 'hyper realistic guitar amp and FX software' , now with a built in 4 track looper and basic 8 track audio only DAW in the stand alone version.

It is 64 bit only, so dont be tempted if you are still using a 32 bit OS. With Windows (I am using Windows 10) you will need an ASIO interface. With a Mac a thunderbolt interface would seem to be the way to go, although I am not familiar with the current Mac range of options. I am using a Saffire Pro 14 through a motherboard firewire card. The firewire interface roughly halves the latency compared to my old USB interface, and at double the bit rate.

I also have some additional Fender models that were provided with a Fender custom version of Amplitube 3 accompanying my Mustang V2 combo. I shall be comparing some of the Amplitube modelled sounds with the DI output from the Mustang V2, Zoom G3, Cubase's Amp Rack, and additionally for the bass (my first instrument) the DI sounds using Hartke and Trace Elliot amplification.

Although it is principally aimed at guitar players, there is a limited range of bass amplifier models available, skewed towards the Ampeg range, along with a classic Orange valve head. Amplitube 4 comes in a variety of flavours, so have a look at the IK Multimedia website HERE. I shall not list what is and what is not included in each version as this is likely to change over time as new modules become available.

The base price is €149.99 at the time of writing, and works its way up from there. The version tested is the Deluxe bundle, at €299.99 (both plus VAT for EU customers).

As a Plug-in:
As a plug in the interface and functionality is different to the stand alone version. The looper and the mini DAW are absent, but apart from that the rest of APT4 is the same. The first line of the window displays the name of the current preset, a click label to open the preset browser, file management tools and a tempo display - linked to the DAW project tempo by default. The second row shows the signal path (8 different preset paths are selectable from the left hand numbers box) starting with the tuner and working along through to a double bank of rack effects. New in this version is an effects loop between the pre and power amplifiers. Clicking on one of the signal path labels opens the graphical interface for the relevant item, stomp box, amplifier etc.

What controls are available is obviously dictated by the piece of gear (to use IKM's nomenclature) is chosen. In order to access a list of the pieces of gear you can choose either left click on the menu boxes - in the image above there are three, identifiable by the arrows adjacent to the name boxes - or scroll through the choices with the up/down arrows. The amplifier and other gear controls are clearly labelled and you adjust them as you wish. OK, let's go through the signal path and see what we can find.

Tuner:
APT4 has both the tuner from earlier versions and a new Ultra Tuner. Choosing 'tuner' opens the older tuner, which is bypassed by default. Two things here: why open the tuner bypassed? Who would open the tuner and not be intending to use it? Secondly, the ultra tuner is so much better than the old tuner I would rather the tuner button open with this by default. Once you have used the ultra tuner you won't want to use the older version again, really it's that good - fast and very accurate.

Stomp Boxes:
What you get depends upon the version you have, and, of course, the gear that you have bought from Custom Shop. There is quite a range of famous and IKM’s own effects available. There are two stomp insert chains, and each one can accommodate up to 6 effects. For me the effects are one of the highlights of APT4. To my ears they sound realistic - smooth where smooth is required, hard and edgy where more oomph is desired. But why no reverbs?

VST


Not recently having been a user of individual stomp pedals I cannot confirm the authenticity of the sounds, but the suite of stomps supplied with APT4 Deluxe is pretty comprehensive. The effects are all listed under the Amplitube sub menu. There are also 5 rack effects that can be inserted here. All the branded effects are listed but most only available after additional purchase from the Custom Shop. Some effects and their parameters can be controlled via MIDI controllers (ie wah, volume, bypass). Automation of all parameters is possible - right click the relevant control to access this.

 • Not all rack effects can be used in the stomp arrays.
 • Automation is only possible when APT4 is used as a plug-in within a DAW.

IKM feature the new Acoustic simulator in their advertising, so I thought it appropriate to have a quick look at that.

Like the other acoustic simulators I have used it has body and top voicings, but these are stepped and not inifinitely variable as with other acoustic emulators for example. You do have the bass and treble controls, as well as mix, for fine tuning.

The question is, does it work?
The answer is yes, like all acoustics sims, up to a point. It will definitely sound convincing in a mix.

I have added a couple of sound clips so that you can hear for yourselves.






Amplifiers:
As with the stomp boxes automation of all parameters is possible - right click the relevant control to access this.

1. Guitar: APT4 Deluxe comes with 25 guitar amplifier models. This premium version has a selection of branded models and most of the IKM in-house models. It comes with the 'Classic Brit' collection of Marshall tops (as does the basic version, and if you are a rock player maybe that will be all you ever want), one Orange and one THD. Visit the Custom Shop to enable any additional gear.

The complexity and fidelity of APT4 is both its strength and weakness, as it can take a while a quite a lot of knob twiddling to get exactly the sound you want. With the guitar amplifier emulations the sound quality is most definitely there and like the better modelling 'real' amplifiers (Fender's Mustang V2s for example) the amplifier tones are varied according to playing style, just like the real thing. It sounds to me as if the gain amplitude between quiet and loud playing has a greater gain range than the Fender modelling with the crunch and driven sounds, ie JCM800, a major plus as you have real control over dynamics.

Just about every tone you can imagine can be configured from the options in APT4, and they all sound professional. The basic modelling engine in APT4 is simply excellent. There is so much flexibility with the amplifier and effects available that it is pointless trying to describe what you can do - try it for yourselves.

2. Bass Guitar. That APT4 is primarily for guitar is quite clear when we come to the bass guitar section. For bass there are just 4 models (1 in the case of the base version). A house model, and, in this Deluxe version, additionally one each from Gallien Krueger, Trace Elliot and Ampeg. Nothing, from other iconic bass amplifier manufacturers like Ashdown, Eden, Fender, Hartke, Markbass, Peavey, or Warwick. There are a fair few bass guitar presets, but many of them rely upon the purchase of additional pieces of gear, notably a range of Ampeg head emulators. The Trace is very close, but it is just not quite right and just slightly pipped by the 'Green' bass amplifier model in Cubase's Amp Rack which really grinds. Listen to the samples and see what you think. In a blind test I think you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. On the other hand the house solid state bass amplifier is very good, flexible with a wide tonal range, so unless you are a dedicated bassist this should be more than enough. The 'free' Bass Amp Rack in Cubase Artist and upwards, however, offers far more for the bass player than APT4 does, with what sound like more accurate emulations. But after 30 years of gigging the subtleties could well be lost on me.




 • Automation is only possible when APT4 is used as a plug-in within a DAW.

Insert and Rack Effects:
These share the same effects modules, with both many of the rack and stomp effects being available to run either before or after the cabinets section. Too many to list, and a few greyed out for subsequent purchase. Again, they are very good. But there is only one reverb unit in the racks, and that cannot be used in a Stomp array.

Cabinets:
More than 40 guitar cabinets, and 6 bass (including the Gallien Krueger 1x12 combo cabinet).

VST


This module really is the house of fun and the icing on the cake. You choose the cabinet. Big choice, lots of variation there. Then move on to the speaker chassis selector to refine how the cabinet is loaded.

VST


Then the microphone choices and placements, then the room size, and then the microphone and room mix control. You can really fine tune the sound you want here. Brilliant.

Stand Alone Version:
Just like the plug-in version, but with the addition of an 8 track mini DAW and a 4 track looper. The manual for APT4 is, at the time of writing, hard to find.

The looper:

This has four tracks, so is capable of multi-layered noodling, the outcome of which can be exported. The only limited to the length of a loop is the available disk space. The length of loops 2,3, and 4 are set to the same as the first loop. There is an auto start feature, which quite frankly is essential. I for one have only two limbs normally usable at desktop height, which means I cannot play my guitar and start the looper at the same time. Unfortunately there is no 'auto end' feature to detect silence or sound at a low or customisable threshold, so to move on to the next loop or to stop altogether you have to stop playing to hit the space bar, which leaves a gap at the end of the phrase. There is no trim feature (that I have found). So for me this is a not a usable addition. With a looper pedal for example you can start and stop the looper with a press of the foot - that makes sense.









The Mini DAW:

This is an 8 track audio recorder dedicated to APT4. Potentially of use for jotting down ideas perhaps, but most customers who buy APT4 will have a dedicated DAW of some ilk and run APT4 as a plug-in. Really it takes only a few seconds to open a DAW template in any and all such software. I always use Cubase to jot down ideas - I can easily expand ideas with the tools and instruments within it. And this applies to all the other DAWs out there, from Protools down to Ableton Live Lite.

The APT4 recorder is limited. It is audio only (ie no MIDI event recording). There is a metronome, but a basic rhythm box to play along to would be better. There is no possibility of adding external instruments, although you can import external audio to play along with. It is also much simpler use the recorder as looper notepad, because the tracks are editable and can be easily looped.

The looper and mini DAW seem rather superfluous to APT4. I could be wrong, but I suspect that most users will not be firing these features up more than rarely.

 • The manual can only be found under 'my products' 'pdf manuals' in Custom Shop - not on the product page.
 • MIDI transport control is an option for both the looper and recorder, (using a MIDI learn function) but would of necessity need to be foot controlled at least in the case of the looper, and so additional hardware is required.

Preset Browser:
In the preset browser choosing for example 'Electric Guitar' will filter to list all of the Electric Guitar presets. But they are not shown in a logical sequence. For example there are 3 Jimi Hendrix presets called Third Stone from the Sun - the first one is separated from the latter two by three other presets, two of which are metal core ones (as an aside the second one of those is jolly convincing). On the other hand, just typing Jimi Hendrix into the search box will bring up all the presets with that tag.

And then . . by the time I get to the 7th Jimi preset I am presented with what is for me is an annoying feature in APT4 - an error message box telling me that the preset can't be loaded because one or more of the component pieces of gear is missing.

VST


There is no facility, however, to have a time limited preview to see if it is worth laying out for the missing gear. You just have to guess how the preset might sound. Other presets also have one or more pieces of gear missing, sometimes even the whole chain. I would like to see either the provision of a time limited trial from within the browser, and/or the option to hide the unavailable presets from the user. It is possible to search for just the free presets by typing ‘CS free’ before your search term in the search box. Unwanted presets can be deleted, but it is not clear if they will be reinstated as part of any extra gear purchases if the new gear would make the deleted preset viable. As it is, it's irritating. I counted 76 such unavailable presets in just the 'A's. There also doesn't seem to be any way to mark the presets as favourites, or to star rank them for example.

The preset browser window also give access to the 'Preset Exchange', which enables the sharing of presets with and from other users - just like Fender Fuse
¹It is possible to try pieces of gear via Custom Shop, but you have to sign in and select them all individually.
²According to the manual, but this did not work for me, always returning no results.

Custom Shop:
This is an integral part of the package and will install along with the Amplitube applications. It provides direct access to the range of add-on pieces of gear available from IKM. The categories are shown in the left hand column, giving you various search routes to find what you are looking for, as well as various highlighted products.
 
VST


There is a lot of emulated kit available, although many users will have their preferred set ups and will not be buying the whole lot.

Each item has a graphic representation, description and price, together with the option to either buy it or try it. Try it is 72 hours and you have to have the Custom Shop window open for the duration of the trial period.

Alternatives:
I have already mentioned the availability of a number of software rivals, but that is by no means the end of the alternatives that you have to chose from.

There are dozens of modelling pre-amp pedals on the market, from Line 6, Zoom, Boss, and Digitech to name but a few. Many of these come in at less than £150 (€200). I have a Zoom G3X, which has 95 effects but only 21 amplifier models, bizarrely missing some of the later classic Marshalls and the models are a bit primitive - so it might be time to trade that in for a Digitech 500. But I digress. The point is that if you do not need that DAW plug-in or stand alone interface you can record from these pre-amp pedals, and even use them via your interface to modify a previously recorded guitar sound, just as you can with a DAW plug-in. The signal routing is not difficult to do, as long as you have more than one input and one output bus available on your interface. You will, however, potentially be doubling up on latency even though there is effectively none within the pedals themselves. and usually the DAW will automatically adjust monitoring to eliminate latency delay.

The other alternative is to use either a DI or USB interface from your modelling amplifier. I have a Mustang 3 V2. I record this from the stereo DI outs. This has 18 models and 37 effects split into various categories. Not, clearly, as comprehensive a suite of available sounds as in APT4, but it actually costs less for this 100W combo than for the APT4 Deluxe software. And, of course, it can be used with the Fender Fuse software to display the parameters on your screen as you work with it.

VST


The Fender modelling of their own brand amplification is outstanding, The other brand modelling is not so good - which is where APT4 comes in. It simulates its range of gear with considerable accuracy and fidelity.

Two things to consider, common to all software emulations. Firstly, you can't play feedback like you can with your real world amplifier. Secondly, the L word: latency. The signal from your guitar has to go through the audio interface to APT4 and back out again, being converted to digital on the way in and analogue on the way out. Suffice it to say that you will not believe how amazingly fast your ears and brain work. Even a few milliseconds can be disturbingly obvious, not to mention distracting. You can play through headphones with low latency and get away with it, but run through speakers from your DAW and the delay is obvious. I can just about cope with 256 samples (a round trip of around 7 milliseconds), but even then the 'echo' is apparent. Lowering the sample rate too much will lead to dropouts, pops, and clicks. You need extremely high end audio interfaces to make live use of APT4 (or any of the competition) a viable proposition.

Conclusion:

Recommended:
If you are a home user then start with the base version and add the gear modules that you want. This is the most cost effective way of getting exactly what you want - duplicate your hardware in a virtual environment.

If you are a professional or semi-professional engineer then the Deluxe version would probably be the one to go for, as there is a large range of gear included covering just about every conceivable need, and you can always customise with add on purchases as required. Summary: A significant upgrade with a bagful of new features, excellent sound quality and dynamics.

Plus Points:
Sounds as good if not better than ever. The enhanced Cab section is quite brilliant. Hours of fun and so many variations. Easy to use and configure. Incredibly versatile and very expandable through the Custom Shop.

Minus Points:
In place of the speed trainer in version 3 (which I never used) we have a basic audio only DAW and a looper which really needs additional hardware to come into it’s own. Bass guitarists will find their choices limited. Only one external reverb effects simulation, in the rack effects. Not practical for live use unless you have access to the necessary hardware. Preset browser could do with 'favourites' and/or 'rating' column(s).

Sound Samples:
I have fumbled my way through a few small clips to give a very brief introduction to the sounds from APT4 and compared them with sounds from both Cubase’s Amp Racks and DI from amplifiers.






System Requirements

AmpliTube is a 64-bit Plug-in and requires a 64 bit CPU and Operating System.

Mac® (64-bits)
•Minimal: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, 2 GB of RAM (4 GB suggested), Mac OS X 10.7 or later.
•Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): Audio Units, VST 2, VST 3, AAX.

Windows® (64-bits)
•Minimal: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2, 2GB of RAM (4 GB suggested), Windows® 7, Windows® 8 or Windows® 10. Requires an ASIO compatible sound card.
•Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): VST 2, VST 3, AAX.

You must be connected to the Internet as all of the Custom Shop operations are web based.

More info can be found here, http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/amplitube4/


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Epiphone Prophecy - The best-kept secret for playing metal on a Les Paul




I don't try to hide the fact that I love cheap guitars and cheap gear. And fortunately for the modern guitar player, you can get some genuinely good stuff if... and this is a big if... you can stop shopping by brand and/or manufacturing country of origin.

Shopping by headstock example: "I will only buy Gibson guitars."

Shopping by manufacturing country of origin example: "I will only buy guitars made in the USA."

To the metal guitar snob who carries this attitude, you're missing out on fantastic guitars like the Epiphone Prophecy Les Paul.

Now while the Prophecy doesn't fall into the "cheap" category (it's midrange-priced), it is the best "metal Les Paul" a player can buy.

Why? Two reasons.

First, a "D" shaped neck with a nice fast 14-inch fingerboard radius (flatter than the standard 12-inch for better soloing).

Second, a LockTone bridge and tailpiece system. Read that link to find out why that system is far superior, especially for metal playing.

I'll give a third reason for those of you that opt for the EX model of the guitar: EMG pickups. You get the EMG-85 in the neck and the EMG-81 in the bridge. The neck is an Alnico V and the bridge is ceramic. And chances are pretty good you will not need to upgrade this guitar at all once you plug in and go because it's just that good.

The Epiphone Prophecy is the best Les Paul a metal player could buy right now at the best possible price. Any metal player who plays Les Pauls would be an idiot not to try out the Prophecy.

And yeah, if you already own a "real" Gibson Les Paul and do the metal thing, I guarantee you will like the Prophecy better. True, it doesn't say "Gibson" on the headstock, but...

...consider you could buy not one, not two, not three but FOUR Prophecy guitars for the price of a single USA-made Gibson Les Paul.

Go try one. You won't regret it. If you can't try one, could you buy it "blind" (unplayed?) and be confident you would be happy with it? Yes; I have that much confidence in the build of the guitar.



This article contributed by Rich Menga. Check out his blog at menga.net or follow on Twitter at @richmenga
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The KORG GA1 Digital Tuner

I purchased a KORG GA-1 LCD Guitar /Bass / Acoustic Digital Tuner a while ago, must say this is a great little tuner.
 
The KORG GA1 can be used it to tune a electric guitar or bass guitar, and it's so easy to use, and does exactly what is says on the tin. It can be used by plugging into it (electric guitars), or acoustic guitars.via its built in microphone. The GA1 doesn't come with its own stand, but it has a slot in the back so you can push a spare guitar pick into it, and stand it up. Comes complete with batteries, and good instructions. In my opinion, for the money you can't go wrong with the KORG GA1

Features

Korg GA-1 LCD Guitar /Bass / Acoustic Digital Tuner
 
The Korg GA-1 features a digital display and green/red led's to clearly show the tuning of your instrument. It will even tune 7 string guitars and 6 string basses and has a built in ultra sensitive microphone to pick up the tuning of an acoustic guitar.
 
Ultra-compact design.
High-precision LCD needle-type meter for stable tuning.
Quinta Flat Tuning mode lets you tune 1--5 semitones flat
Supports 7-string guitar tunings.
Sound Out can produce a reference tone from the internal speaker.
Auto Power Off function conserves battery life.
Approximately 100 hours of continuous use.



At Sweetwater Korg GA-1 Guitar and Bass Tuner

At Thomann KORG GA-1

On ebay Korg GA-1 LCD Guitar /Bass / Acoustic Digital Tuner

On Amazon KORG Tuners
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