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Levy’s Leathers Straps Have Arrived!

Levy's Guitar Straps

Levy’s Leathers Straps Have Arrived!

Mage Music is very proud to announce that we are now an authorized Levy’s Leathers dealer, and have received our first shipment of killer straps into inventory!

Levy's Leathers

About Levy’s Leathers

In Antigonish, Nova Scotia, 1973, with a handful of leatherworking tools, a few hides of leather and the exuberance of youth Dennis Levy began crafting and selling a variety of leather goods: belts, watchbands, gun slings and yes – guitar straps. A few years later he met his wife Cheryl Clarke, and together they invested their life savings and hearts and began building the company millions of players have come to know and trust today as Levy’s Leathers Ltd.

Jerome MacPherson was hired to assist in 1975, and together with a small group of leather craftsmen Levy’s began expanding across Canada, quietly developing expertise and improving its products. Harvey Levy joined in 1979. As a lifelong guitar player he was a good fit and had ideas for guitar strap design, recognizing its importance as a fashion accessory.

With their dedication to quality and craftsmanship, hard work and integrity, Levy’s started to grow. Starting locally, it wasn’t long before we were selling our straps nationally and soon enough, with our participation in the major music trade shows in the United States, Europe and China, we expanded our reach world-wide. Levy’s guitar straps are now available in 80+ countries.

From the outset we have kept pace with the ever-changing world of leather making and processing. Innovation is a constant, with equipment and technology always changing. Our buyers and designers, selecting leather from the same tanneries as the elite fashion houses of the world, annually visit fashion-leather shows and leather equipment and technology shows in cities across the globe. Visiting these shows in New York, Toronto, Milan, Las Vegas and Hong Kong we are always looking for the latest trends in leather and techniques for working it. As a result every item Levy’s makes is made from the finest materials which are tailored specifically for each use.

While adopting the latest technology we have not forgotten our art of hand crafting. A video documenting the production of an MSS17, from start to finish, showing the hands-on care given to the creation of each strap –can be viewed in ‘Building Our Straps’. As you will find, the majority of our processes continue to be done by hand.

In our ongoing desire to make the ideal guitar strap for every budget, we boast the widest range of strap options in the world. From the ultimate luxury of the MSS17 to the utilitarian serviceability of the M8, we truly have a strap for everyone, and a strap for every taste – country to blues, rock to jazz, heavy metal to rockabilly.

The dependability and style of Levy’s guitar straps are what make us a favourite of just about every major artist from Merle Haggard and B. B. King, to James Hetfield and The Edge. It would be hard to find a serious guitarist who is not aware of or uses our straps.

Now, 42 years on, a new generation of Levy’s is making its mark, Danica Levy in design, DJ Levy in accounting, and both contributing to and overseeing many operations within the business. With this mix of old blood and new, we have found a certain harmony and continue to grow and evolve while holding true to our roots, all of us dedicated to making the finest guitar straps in the world. Because . . . Your Guitar is Worth It.

So head on over to our Levy’s Leathers section of the shop, and see what we have in stock! Also, we can order anything from the catalog, so have a look at the awesome straps and bags on the Levy’s Leathers website, and if we don’t have it on hand, we can get it for you!

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ESP Will Cease Use of Rosewood On Their LTD Line


ESP Will Cease Use of Rosewood On Their LTD Line

Manufacturer now using sustainable materials on the LTD range

ESP has announced that they will cease using rosewood in their LTD line of instruments due to CITES legislation.

As one of the first manufacturers to announce a reduction in the use of woods covered by CITES, ESP is leading the way in adjusting it’s manufacturing processes. But, what does this all mean?

Well, here’s the low-down from ESP themselves :

From ESP’s page – Moving Responsibly Into the Future with Sustainable Materials

ESP Guitars has always been a company who takes seriously our responsibility as a manufacturer of wood-based instruments. With the most recent amendments to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), all instrument manufacturers face increased scrutiny to ensure that the raw materials used in their products meet the requirements as designated under this international treaty.

Particular to the current version of CITES is the use of the wood genus Dalbergia, with several species known commonly as rosewood, which has been overexploited in the wild. To remain compliant with CITES, ESP has researched a number of replacement materials for use in some of our products’ fingerboards. Note that in some cases, the replacement materials are a running change via our various manufacturing facilities, and as stock is depleted on earlier versions, the use of new materials will go into effect.

Moving ahead, fingerboards on this series of instruments will use jatoba to replace rosewood. Jatoba is a wood found in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America that is commonly called “Brazilian cherry” due to its appearance. Some of the current 200 Series instruments have replaced rosewood with Blackwood, an engineered wood made from sustainable pine. Both materials have been tested by ESP’s specialists for tone and aesthetic appearance, and meet all of our standards for high-quality instruments.

ESP is making two changes to these instrument series. First, most of the guitars in these series formerly offered with rosewood fingerboards will soon be manufactured with Pau Ferro. While Pau Ferro is colloquially referred to as Bolivian rosewood, it is not actually part of the rosewood genus that is restricted via CITIES regulations, and is an excellent, high-quality substitute for rosewood on guitar and bass fingerboards. Second, on certain models that had been previously offered with rosewood fingerboards, we are making a design change to offer them with Macassar ebony. We are also changing current models in these series being offered with African ebony to using Macassar ebony instead. This is a wood native to Indonesia, and is much less vulnerable than true Rosewood or African ebony as a sustainable material.

For all LTD acoustic models that previous used rosewood for fingerboards and bridges, the guitars have been manufactured since January 2017 using Blackwood, and beginning in July we have started to produce them with jatoba as described above. Any model that previously used rosewood for its back and/or sides will now make use of black walnut.

For our instruments designed for beginning musicians and to be made available at the lowest possible cost, the fingerboards of LTD 10 Series has been switched to a manufactured wood material that will act as an acceptable rosewood substitute. This is a running change that is still in progress, and we will announce the specific material at the earliest opportunity.

We are sure that you share ESP’s commitment toward staying in compliance with the current CITES regulations, as well as our enthusiasm for helping to conserve these important natural resources for the planet.

What do YOU think of ESP’s decision? Let us know below!

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Acoustic Guitar Bridge Replacement

Acoustic Bridge Replacement

Acoustic Guitar Bridge Replacement

Acoustic Bridge Replacement

I recently had the opportunity to perform a bridge replacement on a really cool 70s era Ibanez Concord 699. These were really good guitars, and were unique in that they were all solid wood, with no laminates, and had spruce tops with maple back, sides, neck, and fingerboard. Yes, fingerboard. Don’t see a lot of acoustics with maple fingerboards, so I was definitely intrigued!

The original bridge had cracked through the string pin holes, and had completely come apart. Another unique feature of this guitar, the original bridge was also adjustable. It had a brass bracket holding the saddle, and screws at either end of this bracket to facilitate raising and lowering the saddle, and therefore, adjusting the string action. Pretty cool.

This is what the original bridge looked like at one time before it broke :(
Original Bridge

Obviously, by the time the guitar got to me, the bridge had completely come off, leaving a bald spot on the gorgeous solid spruce top. A little sanding to prep the bald spot, and she was ready to have a nice new bridge glued on.

Sourcing the bridge was not an easy task, but I finally found one that was very close. The Retro Parts RP287. It’s a nice rosewood bridge with an adjustable saddle. It was slightly wider in the string spacing, but not enough to make a huge difference. The only thing missing was the hole for the bolt behind the bridge pins, but that would be easily remedied with a well placed countersunk drill hole, and a pearl dot inlay.

Retro Parts RP287. This will make a great replacement for our original Ibanez bridge!
Retro Parts RP287

New and (what’s left of) original bridge.
New and Old Bridge

The placement of the bridge is critical to the intonation of the guitar, so I spent a good amount of time measuring the scale length, and marking the location for the new bridge. This is a fairly straight-forward process, but you only get one chance to place the bridge and glue it up, so I wanted to make sure it was right!
Essentially, in order to get the bridge position, you measure the distance between the nut and the top of the 12th fret. This distance is equal to half of the scale length of the guitar. Since the 12th fret marks the halfway point, you then measure the same amount from the top of the 12th fret to a point on the guitar top. This point is the exact scale length.
Now, the saddle needs to be placed at the point of exact scale length plus a small amount of compensation to account for when a string is fretted. When you fret a string, the pitch will raise slightly due to the increased string tension, so the saddle needs to be moved back a bit to compensate for this, and bring the note back to pitch.
This compensation amount varies a bit with string type, desired action, saddle type, etc. but a good rule of thumb that has served me well on 6 string steel acoustics, is to add about 1/8″ (0.125″) to the scale length.
If you are interested on more exact calculations, there is a fantastic calculator available at Liutaio Mottola’s luthier wbsite. You can check it out HERE.
Note that with a compensated, or slanted saddle, I take this measurement on the centerline of the neck and top. That way, the bass and treble strings will be slightly compensated with the slanted saddle, but the D and G strings will land right on the scale length + compensation measurement. This will allow the maximum flexibility when making small intonation adjustments to the saddle later. Also note that this point on the top is where the top of the saddle needs to be placed, not the front of the bridge!

After the top prep, the marking of the bridge location, and a little masking with painter’s tape to protect the soundhole, I’m ready to drop the clamps inside the guitar, and get to gluing!

Always use a clamping caul when clamping…..well…..anything! There are expensive cauls out there, and you can spend some time making your own if you’d like.
Here, I’ve used some scraps from a balsa wood project my daughter had. They are soft enough not to mar, but solid enough to provide good pressure, and they don’t split. They work great!

Clamps in soundhole, cauls present, getting ready for glue!
Bridge Clamps

Next, I prep for gluing. I’m going to use standard wood glue for this bridge. I know, I know…..You can talk about hide glue and vibration transfer and tone until you are blue in your face, but you will never convince me that hide glue is any better than carpenter’s glue for a bridge. Hide glue is a pain to work with. Hide glue also results in lifted and completely separated bridges if the stars aren’t aligned absolutely perfectly, or the temp is .06 degrees off, or there’s a fly near your bench, or a molecule of dust gets in it, or……you get the idea. The stuff is finicky as can be, and I’ve had too many bridges pop off after using hide glue. Don’t get me wrong, it has its place…..just not under the bridges I do unless the customer demands it! But enough of my rant…
Make sure to have any tools and items needed for cleanup at the ready before gluing. I always have some rags, a small bowl of water, some paper towels, and a small screwdriver near by.
I do a “dry run” of placing the bridge, putting the clamps and cauls in place, and lightly clamping them to make sure everything will go as planned when the glue is in there. I take some measurements again to make sure the bridge is centered and in the right position. Then, I release everything, and apply a light coat of glue to the bottom of the bridge.
You don’t need a ton of clamping pressure to get a good joint. Just enough to get good compression, and squeeze out any excess glue. Start cleaning up the excess right away by dampening a cloth rag and folding it over the end of a flat screwdriver or similar flat object that can be used to get to the very bottom of the joint where the bridge meets the top. Run the screwdriver/rag combo down the seam of the joint to wipe out the excess glue. This needs to be done several times. Tighten clamps, wipe away excess, repeat. Also, pay attention to any other areas of the bridge where glue will squeeze out. This particular bridge does not have holes cut through for the pins yet, but many do. You will want to remove excess glue from these areas also.
Once the clamps are fairly tight, and all of the excess glue has been removed, leave the bridge clamped up overnight to cure.

Bridge all glued and clamped and resting for the night.
Acoustic Bridge Replacement
Acoustic Bridge Replacement

The next day, I remove the clamps, do any final glue cleanup, and prepare to cut the holes for the string pins, the bridge screw, and the saddle adjustment screws. At this point I tape up a vacuum cleaner hose to suck up some of the dust. This, of course, isn’t necessary, but I hate cleaning, so I try to do it as I go. ;)
I also add some protective tape around the bridge to protect the top.
I start with string pins. The RP287 has holes started, but not all the way through, so I center punch the existing holes and drill them through with an 1/8″ bit. A 3 degree tapered reamer is then used to finish the holes out to get a good fit to the pin. I’ve used a bit of painter’s tape here on the reamer to indicate when to stop for the hole to be the perfect size. This was done on the first hole by trial and error, reaming and then pressing in the pin until a proper fit was achieved.

Then it’s on to the bridge bolt/screw. Some bridges have these, others don’t. There was no provision for one on the replacement bridge, but the original had one, and the customer wanted to have one on the replacement. I had some 1/4″ pearl dot inlays left over from a fretboard project that would work perfectly to cover the new screw.
I simply drilled a 1/8″ hole for the screw, and then counter sunk the hole with a 1/4″ brad point center bit. This will accommodate the screw nicely, and is the perfect size for the inlay.
After installing the screw, I slip the washer and nut on through the soundhole, and tighten it down. Make sure it’s tight, because once the dot is glued in, it will be next to impossible to remove without some damage to the bridge!
The dot inlay is them dropped in place with a drop of super glue to hold it in.

Finally, I drilled a 3/16″ hole at either end of the saddle slot to accommodate the screws for the adjustable saddle.

Reaming the bridge for the string pins.
Bridge Pin Reamer

Drilled, reamed, screwed, and in-layed!
Acoustic Bridge Replacement

Now comes the sanding. Lots and lots of sanding! I start fairly aggressive at 220 grit to get the inlay smoothed out, and then gradually work my way down to 2000 grit. Rosewood has a beautiful finish, and really doesn’t need any treatment other than a good sanding and perhaps some oil, but I usually just sand it down and let the beautiful grain shine through!

Sanded, and ready for strings!
Acoustic Bridge Replacement
Acoustic Bridge Replacement
Acoustic Bridge Replacement

After the bridge is sanded and polished, we’re ready to string it up! I do another test fit of the pins, and seeing they are good, go ahead and start stringing her up.
Since this bridge is adjustable, we can set the action with the adjustment screws. This is really handy. Normally, I would need to file and sand the bottom of the saddle at this point to set the action, but here I just need to adjust the screws like on an electric guitar bridge! I like to aim for about 3/32″ on the bass side, and 5/64″ on the treble side at the 12th fret. Of course, if this bridge weren’t adjustable, I would want to do a final adjustment with the customer playing it to get it to their liking.

After setting the action, and stretching and settling the strings a bit, it’s time to check intonation.
This is done with a good quality tuner, and fretting the open note, the note at the 12th fret, and sounding the 12th fret harmonic of all the strings. All of the notes on a given string should be the same (the 12th fret note and harmonic will of course be an octave higher). If the 12th fret notes are sharp, the string length needs to be lengthened. If they are flat, the string needs to be shortened.
The intonation came out very well in this case thanks to a good bridge placement, and no additional adjustment was required.
If adjustment were required, however, the saddle can be filed on the front or back of where the string breaks over the saddle to adjust it. File the front of the saddle to move the break point farther back to increase the string length, and file the back of the saddle to move the break point forward, and shorten the string length.

With the action and intonation set, it’s time to take a spin on this old girl who’s been given a new lease on life! She plays and sounds awesome, and I can’t wait to see the smile her owner’s face after being able to play her again!

This was a really fun project, and I think it came out really well.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Ready to make some sweet sounds again!
Acoustic Bridge Replacement
Acoustic Bridge Replacement

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New Gibson Solidbody for 2017?

New Gibson

New Gibson Solidbody for 2017?

A week prior to the Winter NAMM show, the Gibson booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas unveiled a new Gibson double cutaway solidbody electric guitar that looks more like a Paul of the Reed Smith variety than the Les.

New GibsonPhoto by Francisco Rivera

Not much is known about this new model, but it appears that the mysterious guitar features the ubiquitous stopbar tailpiece and tune-o-matic bridge found on most Gibson electrics. Also present are the standard two humbucker pickup set with a three way selector switch, but it appears to only have two control knobs. One could assume these controls are for Volume and Tone, but perhaps they could also provide some push/pull options?

New GibsonPhoto from John Cola

There’s a peek or two of the model in the video below, but Gibson appears to be silent on any details, and no mention of this new Gibson solidbody on their website.

I will, of course, post any updates here as they roll in.

So, what do YOU think of this new model? Can Gibson score with an innovative new design, or will it be snubbed by the traditionalist guitar community?

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Meet Standley – The First Click-On Guitar Stand


Meet Standley – The First Click-On Guitar Stand

Here’s a pretty nifty gadget that’s gathering funding on Indiegogo right now. It’s a guitar stand that’s almost flat, and you can click it onto the strap post on the bottom of your axe for a very portable guitar stand that won’t get in the way!

Have a read from their Indiegogo page :

The Story behind Standley

Danish musician “Muri” from “Muri & Mario” broke his guitar neck at a band practice two years ago. When it fell, he thought that there must be a simple item that one can clip onto a guitar to make it stand up by itself. No such product existed. After 2 years of designing with a team of dedicated engineers, a simple solution has been created to offer guitar players new freedom.


Standley has four adjustable feet that stand your guitar 5 degrees from vertical. This is where your guitar is most stable.


Danish Design

Standley is simple, elegant and looks great.

Fits any guitar bag

Standley is ideal for traveling due to its size and weight of only 140 grams.

Production and delivery

We work with a manufacturer in China with about 20 years of experience in production of high quality guitar parts and we have partnered with the leading shipping company in Denmark to ensure that you get the product within the scheduled time.

Product availability

Standley gets in the stores worldwide in the beginning of 2017, but you can get it before if you pre-order now.

Affordable price

We have designed the click-on guitar stand with a low cost because we want to offer this product to all guitar players at a very affordable price.

Limited edition.- 25% off market price.

You get a great offer if you pre-order now.

Expected delivery of pre-orders: February, 2017.


1. How does it work?

Click-on Standley to your guitar.


2. Why hasn’t anyone thought about making a click-on stand before?

We won’t reject that someone might have thought about it before us, but we’re the first to realize the idea.

3. Does the guitar get damaged when clicking-on Standley?

No, not if you follow the instructions, but there is always a risk that your guitar can get damaged if you don’t use your guitar gently. Standley is designed to protect the strap-button from being damaged when clicked-on to the guitar. The four adjustable feet are designed in high quality rubber to protect the guitar from being damaged when used in daily routines.

4. Does Standley affect the sound quality of the guitar?

No, two independent sound engineers found no differences in the sound quality when comparing studio recordings with Standley connected to the guitar.

5. Why is 5 degrees from vertical the most stable?

An engineer specialized in geometrics found out that 5 degrees from vertical is the ideal angle for a guitar to stand at after 2 months of research and testing.

6. Why is Standley more convenient than regular guitar stands?

Five good reasons:

  • Integrated – directly connected to the guitar.
  • SGives guitar players a higher degree of freedom than regular guitar stands because the guitar player can immediately place the guitar on the floor.
  • Saves space in your home compared to regular guitar stands.
  • Enables the guitar to fit almost any corner in your home, which means that the guitar is always within reach in your home.
  • Makes your guitar look stylish when standing on the floor.

7. What are the limitations?

We don’t recommend using Standley in highly crowded environments or when performing on stage.

8. Are you interested in feedback from guitar players?

Yes, very much. We encourage you to share your experiences with us. Our goal is to increase the value of your guitar. Therefore, we very much appreciate your feedback to keep improving our products


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Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitar Creates Chorus and Reverb Without Amp or External Effects

Yamaha TransAcoustic

Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitar Generates Reverb and Chorus Without Amp or External Effects

One of the coolest devices introduced at the 2016 Summer NAMM show is now shipping to musicians everywhere.

It’s the TransAcoustic guitar from the Yamaha Corporation of America, and it is a game changer!

From the company:

TransAcoustic technology vastly expands the capabilities, versatility and sound of traditional instruments. Originally developed in our acoustic piano division, TransAcoustic technology is now available in the handcrafted Yamaha LL-TA dreadnought and LS-TA concert acoustic guitar.

In essence, TransAcoustic guitar technology adds reverb and chorus to the natural sound of the instrument, emanating from the guitar itself, without having to plug in external effects or amplification.

It accomplishes this feat through the incorporation of an actuator inside the guitar. When the player performs, the strings cause the actuator to vibrate, which is then conveyed to the guitar body and to the air around the guitar, resulting in stunningly authentic reverb and chorus effects.

Three knobs on the side of the guitar provide easy adjustment of the level of the effect, a line out volume level, and an on/off control.

Superior Construction

The two models are available in Vintage Tint and Brown Sunburst finishes with clear pick guards and ebony fingerboards. They each feature a solid Engelmann spruce top that has been aged with Yamaha A.R.E. technology, as well as rosewood backs and sides. This translates into a warm, yet powerful vintage quality tone. Five-ply mahogany and rosewood necks are climate resistant to intonate well and stay intonated over time.

Yamaha TransAcoustic

An SRT piezo pickup provides the guitar’s plugged-in tones. A redesigned battery box is integrated with the guitar’s endpin, reducing acoustic sound loss.

“Whether practicing, writing, recording or just playing for fun, the Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitar will make you play better, longer and with more creativity,” said Dennis Webster, marketing manager, acoustic guitars, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Adding these effects to the natural sound of the instrument is far more enjoyable than a dry-sounding room. Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never want to play another acoustic guitar again.”

Pricing and Availability

The Yamaha LL-TA dreadnought and LS-TA concert acoustic guitar have an MSRP of $1,600.

For more information, visit the guitar’s page at

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Larrivée East Indian Laurel limited edition acoustic guitars

larrivee east indian

Larrivée East Indian Laurel limited edition acoustic guitars

Larrivée’s latest Limited Run is now delivering!
East Indian Laurel (Terminalla elliptica) is a spectacular and often overlooked species of tonewood. It has the look and feel to that of East Indian Rosewood and American and English Walnut. Known for its exceptional tap tone quality, Laurel offers up rich overtones and brilliant highs that produce an overall lively and vibrant presence. It’s sound is often compared to that of Blackwood or Brazilian Rosewood.

The first of these 20 Limited Laurels featuring this spectacular tonewood are now complete and delivering to select dealers. Complimenting the select East Indian Laurel back & sides is a unique Laurel leaf headstock inlay design. Each is hand inlaid consisting of 15 individually cut pieces, creating an all new and pertinent inlay for this limited run.

Specialty pricing for this Limited 03 Series is set at $1948 MSRP for standard body styles (L, OM, D) and $2398 for LV cutaways.
Each guitar carries Jean Larrivée’s hand written signature on the inside label. Complete specs can be found in the Limited Runs & Special Editions product section on the Larrivee Guitars website.

Contact us today to check availability and place your order!

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Undertone Audio Vari-Cap Cable Provides 16 New Guitar Tones

Undertone Audio Vari-Cap

Undertone Audio Vari-Cap Cable Provides 16 New Guitar Tones

A new guitar instrument cable from Undertone Audio allows the player to select from 16 different fixed capacitance settings, changing the tone of the guitar by varying the capacitance of the cable itself.

The interaction between the capacitance of the cable with the inductance of the instrument pick-ups has a MASSIVE influence on the sound of the instrument being used.

For the first time, a guitarist is able to vary the amount of capacitance imparted by the instrument cable itself. The Vari-Cap Cable allows the user to adjust the capacitance from an unbelievably low 150 pF to 1,650 pF in 100 pF steps.

The Vari-Cap is the work producer/engineer Eric Valentine and circuit designer Larry Jasper, following Valentine’s quest to find cables that perfectly paired with particular guitars and amps.

The UnderTone Audio Vari-Cap is available now for $99.95

Check out the Vari-Cap cable on Undertone’s website

You simply have to hear the difference this makes to truly understand how important this issue is. The video below gives some insight into the difference this cable can make.

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Nervana : Sounds Like Brain Stimulant


Nervana : Sounds Like Brain Stimulant

Ever wanted to really feel your favorite song? Well, soon you’ll be able to with a new device dubbed Nervana.

Nervana is “The world’s first consumer product to stimulate the body’s pleasure center and release natural feel-good chemicals synchronized to your music.”

Here’s a bit from their Indiegogo campaign

Nervana is a wearable device that sends a gentle electrical wave through the left ear canal to stimulate the body’s Vagus nerve, while syncing with music. This elicits a calm, relaxed feeling for most users in a natural way, which stimulates the brain’s pleasure center, known to release neurotransmitters (the body’s feel-good messengers).

In more technical terms….A central signal-processing circuit receives both music and stimulation signals and routes those signals appropriately to the two ear buds. The right ear bud receives only the right channel of the music signal, which is output to a hand-picked, high-fidelity speaker in the right ear bud. The proprietary left ear bud, in comparison, not only receives the left channel of the music signal at its speaker, it also receives the stimulation signal within the ear bud material itself, to deliver electrical stimulation to the inside surface of the ear canal and, thereby, the Vagus nerve.

The device will provide three stimulation modes:
Music Mode
The Nervana Generator acts as a pass-through for a user-selected music signal, which is input through a standard audio jack and is output through the speakers contained within the ear buds. Proprietary, patent-pending circuitry within the Nervana Generator analyzes the music signal and generates a targeted Vagus nerve stimulation output that synchronizes with the music’s signal, so the user can Feel the Music.

Ambient Mode
In contrast with Music Mode, Ambient Mode tasks the Nervana Generator’s internal microphone with modulating output to the ear buds based on sounds from the environment. Put more simply, any music being played around the user, for example, at a concert, will be the basis for the Vagus nerve stimulation output sent to the user through the ear buds. This means that, in the Ambient Mode, all Nervana users in the same location can experience similar nerve stimulation.

Formula Mode
For users wanting to use the device without music, there is a pre-defined nerve stimulation signal pattern that can be selected.

Each mode can be easily customized with simple buttons to control the intensity level of the signal, ranging from 2 to 25, and a sensitivity dial. Nervana is portable and compatible with all music players, and it can be used virtually anywhere.

The dual jack takes both output signals — from the Nervana Generator and the music supply circuit (either from the user or from the environment) — and supplies them to various signal conduits within the lower portion of the Nervana Ear Bud cord.

The Ear Buds are unique and contain proprietary, patent-pending technology throughout. The entirety of the Nervana ear buds were designed in-house and are made using custom-designed molds and circuitry. Ear buds like these do not exist anywhere else.

The device is the brain-child (get it? ;) of two brothers, Drs. Richard and Daniel Cartledge, both practicing physicians, who have been fascinated by Vagus nerve stimulation for decades. They had an idea to take the best part of vagus nerve stimulation and provide it to users in a way that was entirely non-invasive. In 2014, they formed NERVANA LLC, including medical and intellectual property experts and engineers to make that dream a reality. The team created Nervana, a breakthrough product that accesses the Vagus nerve in a simple way and does so in harmony with tunes selected by the user.

“Vagus nerve stimulation has been studied for decades,” said Dr. Richard Cartledge, co-creator and co-founder of Nervana. “We wanted to bring the wellness benefits of Vagus nerve stimulation to more people in a non-invasive way that is easy for consumers to use on a daily basis. That’s what Nervana is all about: making people feel good.”

You can learn more at the Experiencenervana website.

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Vox Launches All Analog AV Series of Modeling Amps


VOX has been building analog amplifier circuits for decades, and they have now put that vast knowledge into a new category of analog modeling amplifiers, offering players a full palette of authentic amplifier sounds via eight, all-analog preamp circuits with the release of the AV (Analog Valve) series. The AV series ushers in a new concept in tube amps, delivering versatile tube sound while still being affordable. Featuring 12AX7 driven preamp and power amp sections, the AV15/30/60 can create eight types of tube sounds ranging from transparently clean to crunchy chime and modern high-gain.

This is accomplished by an innovative Valve Stage section which modifies the circuit to add or reduce brightness and bass response, and allow players to adjust the bias and response of the power section by the twist of a knob. Special attention has been paid to the amp’s analog design. The preamp circuit that shapes the character of the sound is completely analog, and is constructed with a huge number of carefully selected resistors and capacitors. Additional features like a unique, sealed cabinet design, Chorus, Delay & Reverb effects, and a retro aesthetic make the AV Series one the most exciting, and unique, offerings in the VOX lineup.

“The AV Series is perhaps the most revolutionary tube amps in all of VOX’s long history,” shared Brian Piccolo, Brand Manager for VOX. “The signing tone of a tube amp, the stunning presence … there’s a certain sound that can only be attained by analog circuitry, and by a tube amp in particular. While multi-voice tube amps do exist, they are few and far between, and hardly ever affordable.”

“With eight different analog preamp circuits, the AV series is able to accurately reproduce the sound of eight classic tube amps. In addition to the coveted AC30 top boost sound, it also covers a wide range of tones from clean to high-gain, including a sound that is reminiscent of the rare AC15 with EF86 tubes,” added Piccolo.

The cabinet structure of the AV range plays a major role in the sound quality. The baffle and cabinet utilize a one-piece construction, which allows vibration of the speaker to be supported by the entire cabinet, minimizing unwanted vibration and more efficiently reproducing the sound. Front mounting the speaker also achieves a louder and clearer sound that’s less directional and more spacious. In addition, the bass reflex design maintains the low range while delivering a more natural sound balance.

The AV series achieves functionality and expandability, both with a high degree of precision. The headphone amp features a version of the cabinet simulator used in products such as the amPlug series, and additional refinements allow it to convey an even more detailed sense of airiness. The AUX input lets players connect an external audio source, and is equipped with a circuit that compensates for the response of the speaker and cabinet, allowing players to hear sound that’s faithful to the original source. The AV30 and AV60 provide additional expansion potential with send/return jacks for convenient connection of effect units, as well as an external speaker output.

The entire AV Series line is available, AV15: $229.99, AV30: $329.99 and the AV60: $429.99.