New Arrivals: May 2024

This month, I’ve picked up a couple of bucket-list tweed-tone pedals, a couple of new instruments to learn … and hopefully a replacement for one of the biggest disappointments that I’ve ever bought.

What did I get? Read on to find out.

Spector Euro 5 RST Bass

Frankly, this is long overdue. Bass is a fundamental component of rock music (and arguably most music across most genres). And one I’ve tried to gloss over by using octave pedals with guitar instead.

My #1 desire this month was to sort this out. And I think I have.

True North Pedals Tweed Drive Pedal

This has been a bit of a stealth entry on my bucket list ever since it came out. It’s pedal I’ve always wanted to try, but it’s never quite reached the top of the list – until now.

That’s because this is a bit different. Unlike the vast majority of tweed-tone pedals, this isn’t an amp-in-a-box pedal. This pedal chases the overdrive characteristic of early tweed amps, rather than their overall tone.

As you’ll see from my First Impressions, I think it does that superbly well. This might just be the most accessible tweed-tone pedal that I’ve tried to date.

DanDrive Tweedy 5B3 Overdrive Pedal

This is another bucket list pedal that I’ve put off for years, because of the asking price. I’ve already got my #1 tweed-tone pedal (my beloved Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive), and it’s hard to justify DanDrive’s prices for a pedal that isn’t going to be my main choice.

And then, one evening, one pops up in my Reverb feed for a price that I was willing to pay. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to finally try one.

It exceeded my expectations. Even now, I’m still pinching myself. This might just be the perfect tweed-tone pedal.

Arturia Keystep MIDI Keyboard

Regular readers may recall that I’ve been thinking about getting back into guitar synth this year. I’ve had a serious look at it, and I think I want to try something different first. If it doesn’t work out, then I’ll reconsider.

One of the most interesting YouTuber musicians in recent years is David Hilowitz. He’s the guy behind the Decent Sampler plugin and the Decent Samples community. (There’s also a pretty large Decent Samples community over on Pianobook.) He’s a great storyteller, and I’ve deeply enjoyed his videos where he tells the story behind the sample instruments that he builds for Decent Sampler.

In those videos, he often demonstrates the new sample instruments using a little MIDI keyboard. It’s compact, and seems to have all the bells and whistles someone like me will need. Looks perfect for someone like me who can’t play piano but who wants to get into virtual instruments.

Turns out, they’re really cheap too. I’m looking forward to using it over the summer to dip my toes into this world.

IK Multimedia Tonex One

This is another opportunity purchase. I popped over to my local guitar store to get a setup done, and noticed that they had this in stock. Decided that I am intrigued enough, and

I have a hate-hate relationship with my Kemper – and yet, I’ve kept it for the last six years instead of moving it on. Now that I have its replacement, hopefully I’ll finally let go of it.

So what do I think of the ToneX One? It didn’t get off to the best of starts …

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