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!
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!
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.
Photo 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?
Photo 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?
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.
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.
Standley gets in the stores worldwide in the beginning of 2017, but you can get it before if you pre-order now.
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
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.
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.
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 yamaha.com.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
TaylorSense Monitors Vital Health Stats of Your Guitar
One of the coolest advances in guitar health technology introduced at this year’s Winter Namm is the TaylorSense from Taylor Guitars.
The TaylorSense is a guitar health monitoring system that puts all of your guitar’s vital health stats in the palm of your hand via a hardware component mounted into your Taylor guitar, and a free app for your iOS device. The hardware will require a Taylor guitar with 9v Expression System ®, ES-T, or ES-N pickup.
TaylorSense will alert you when your guitar needs care by communicating via Bluetooth between a smart battery box and the free Taylor Guitars App on your iOS mobile device. Shaped by Taylor’s extensive guitar care expertise, TaylorSense is calibrated to send you timely alerts and includes easy-to-follow videos that show you how to solve problems when they arise.
The TaylorSense battery box contains a digital hygrometer that monitors the humidity level, a temperature sensor, an accelerometer to monitor impacts, and a battery level sensor.
Acoustic guitars in particular, are very susceptible to damage if the guitar is exposed to extremes in humidity or temperature for extended periods of time.
If the humidity levels remain too low or high for an extended stretch, you’ll receive a humidity alert and a link to information on how to remedy your guitar’s condition.
When the temperature becomes dangerous to your Taylor guitar, the system will send an alert and a link to helpful advice from Taylor’s service team.
While TaylorSense can’t prevent your guitar from being dropped, knocked over, or roughed up during your travels, it can let you know if it suffers a serious blow. If your guitar takes a hit, the device will notify you so you can inspect it more closely for damage. TaylorSense also records the time of the incident, which can help you identify the probable cause. That can come in handy if the incident occurs after you’ve checked your guitar with an airline or when the guitar is at home with kids or pets around.
With TaylorSense, you’ll always have a handle on your pickup system’s battery capacity so it doesn’t fail you when it matters most. When your battery life reaches 30%, you’ll receive an alert. You’ll receive one more when it hits 10%. You can also check your battery life anytime through the Taylor App, which means you’ll always know exactly where you stand before a gig.
Taylor is estimating release of the TaylorSense in Q2 of 2016. No price has been released as of yet.
You can find out more about the TaylorSense from the Taylor Guitars website.
Rail Tail Non-Locking Tremolo By Floyd Rose Released
Here’s something for all you players out there that love the Strat-style non-locking tremolo, but hate the thing going out of tune each time you use it!
Floyd Rose has released its new Rail Tail Non-Locking Tremolo.
The Rail Tail Tremolo is designed to retrofit your existing Strat-style 6-point tremolo with no modifications to your guitar. It is a full contact, dive-only tremolo that is the result of a clever design merging the feel and reliability of a hardtail bridge with the flexibility of a tremolo system.
With computer design and precision machining, the Rail Tail provides superior performance without compromising comfort or feel while offering a modern look that’s rooted in its ground-breaking predecessors.
The unique features of the Rail Tail allow for it to be adjusted to fit a variety of guitar bodies and for easy DIY installation.
The Rail Tail improves upon the original Strat-style design in every aspect. While the original rocks on a bevel located under the screw heads, the Rail Tail tremolo plate rotates around a precision machined rail that is mounted directly to the guitar body. The plate cradles the entire rail as if they were one unit – improving sound quality and tuning stability. This precision union also creates a greater breakpoint allowing open strings to maintain pitch while bending other strings, much like a hardtail bridge.
The tremolo plate provides adjustability by use of slotted string block mounting holes, allowing the string block to be positioned forward for greater rotational range.
This provides the ability to dive up to 15 degrees more than conventional tremolo bridges.
The advanced string block also consists of mid-positioned tapered string holes to assist in true string saddle contact. Adding to the improvements are the direct-to-plate string saddles. This entire assembly provides the ultimate string to body contact, resulting in better overall sustain and tonal qualities.
I for one, think this is a HUGE improvement to the original Strat-syle trem, and am looking forward to getting my hands on one soon!
Read more about the Rail Tail on the Floyd Rose website.
Check out the video below, then leave a comment and tell us what you think!