New Arrivals: January 2021

It feels weird to write ‘2021’. While it always takes a bit of time to get used to writing down the new year each time around, this year it just feels plain weird. 2020 was one of the hardest years many of us have had to face, and it seemed to go on forever. [So far, 2021 is shaping up to simply be Season 2 of 2020 – Ed]

This month, I’ve been focusing on things that will help me hit my 2021 New Year Resolutions. Oh, and I found another tweed-tone pedal too.

Roswell mini K47 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

As part of my New Year Resolutions, I’ve been focusing on figuring out how I want to go about recording acoustic guitar. I started off using the gear I already have. And then my Neumann TLM 49 developed a fault.

When I was researching how to record acoustic guitar in the first place, there was one microphone that kept appearing over and over in YouTube videos on the topic. (Okay, two if you count the Shure SM-57 …) That was the Roswell mini K47. Folks who know way more about this stuff (and who produce music for a living) recommended it specifically for micing up acoustic guitar.

And the best bit? Here in the UK, it costs less than the official Neumann repair fee.

My first impressions are very positive indeed. This is going to get a lot of use in 2021.

Catalinbread Formula 5F6 Overdrive Pedal

There aren’t that many tweed-tone overdrive pedals in regular production. Catalinbread’s Formula 5F6 is one of the few that is, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for one on the second hand market.

Why not get a new one? I wasn’t very happy with the last Catalinbread pedal that I tried, and I was worried that it wasn’t a one-off problem. My worries were confirmed the moment I plugged my Les Paul into the Formula 5F6.

However, while it doesn’t work for me at all with a Les Paul, I did find it to be a fantastic drive pedal with a Stratocaster. More details in my First Impressions post!

Neumann KM184 Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Matched Pair

I’ve been using a pair of Rode M5’s for recording acoustic guitar, and while they’re a great mic to learn with, their low sensitivity and high noise floor just doesn’t work well for my soft fingerstyle technique. I needed to change them with something else.

During my research into what to buy next, one microphone caught my ear time and time again: Neumann’s industry-standard KM184. In demonstration after demonstration, I fell in love with the way it captured all sorts of acoustic guitars.

Do they live up to my expectations? Honestly, that’s going to take me months to answer. All I can do is give you my First Impressions after an evening of working with them.

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