New Arrivals For January 2020

Almost no new gear for me, this month. The gear budget had to go on some urgent car maintenance instead. I can’t complain; the car’s been almost completely trouble-free until now. It’s just one of those things as it gets older (120,000 miles and counting!)

I don’t feel that I missed out, though. Volumes on eBay are definitely up, but not back to the levels of a year ago. If anything, there’s been more interesting guitars than interesting (to me!) pedals … and plenty of people piling on and bidding hard on those pedals.

A couple of items I’d ordered last year did arrive this month. Here’s what I got.

Spectre Media Group’s Clock Blocker Noise Gate Pedal

Glenn Fricker is a studio engineer / producer who splits his time between Canada and Los Angeles. He runs a popular YouTube channel which has a no-bullshit, no-prisoners approach to recording music well. He does a great job of educating amateur engineers through sharing what does – and does not – work for him.

Last autumn, he announced the launch of a new pedal: the Cock Blocker. It’s a noise gate pedal that supports the 4-cable method, like the ISP Decimator ProRack G that I already have. I ordered one, partly to support Glenn, and partly because a noise gate pedal is a little more convenient for me than a noise gate rack unit.

I’ll write up my first impressions in a separate post.

Quik Lok BS/313 Amp Stand

I don’t like having my acoustic amp flat on the floor. I feel that I have to crank it a bit to fill the room, and that the bass is a little unnatural. It’s even worse if I’m at a gig, and using the amp as a personal monitor. So I decided to get an amp stand, so that I can lift it off the floor. I ordered it sometime last year, and it turned up about a week ago.

When I went round to the shop to pick the stand up, it almost didn’t come home with me. We (the shop staff and myself) were very worried that it wouldn’t hold my acoustic amp safely.

If you look down on my Acus amp from above, it’s a pretty square shape. The amp stand, though, seems to be designed for 1×12 combo amps, which are much more rectangular (longer left-to-right, shorter front-to-back). The bit of the stand that sits under the amp doesn’t quite make it half-way under my Acus amp.

I’m glad to say that my amp does actually fit on the stand – just! Because the amp is tilted back, that moves the centre of gravity just enough to make sure the amp does sit securely on the stand. My amp is about 32cm deep. I definitely wouldn’t try this stand with any amp that’s any deeper than that.

Does it help with projection and boomy bass? I don’t know. We didn’t rehearse this week, so I haven’t tried it.

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