New Gear July 2010

DAVE SMITH INSTRUMENTS MOPHO KEYBOARD Concept Really, we’re talking about the rebirth of the Sequential Circuits Pro One. Big deal Fully analog signal path. Face melting sound. Two oscillators, external audio input, and filter feedback loop. Poly chain lets you
Author:
Updated:
Original:

DAVE SMITH INSTRUMENTS MOPHO KEYBOARD

Concept:Really, we’re talking about the rebirth of the Sequential Circuits Pro-One.

Mopho_Keyboard_top

Big deal: Fully analog signal path. Face-melting sound. Two oscillators, external audio input, and filter feedback loop. Poly chain lets you cascade voices from other Mophos or Tetras.

We think:We teased you back in April’s NAMM report, but now that it’s shipping, we wanted to show you a nicer picture.

List: $879 | Approx. street: $800 | davesmithinstruments.com

OPEN LABS NEKO QX6

KM_nekoqx6

Concept: Powerful specs and a more approachable price for Open Labs’ popular integrated synth workstation and music PC.

Big deal: Intel Core i-series processors. Terabyte hard drive and 4GB of super-fast RAM. Velocity-sensitive drum pads. WuzikStation, Luxonix Purity, and E-mu Proteus VX pre-installed for over 10,000 sounds out of the box. Riff environment for splits, layers, and loops.

We think: Consider the cost of a PC with these specs, a workstation keyboard, and an audio interface, and you begin to see the value.

$3,995 | openlabs.com

KORG MP-10 PRO

Korg_MP10pro

Concept: DJ workstation meets one-man-band backup machine.

Big deal: Dual media players handle MP3 tracks—or MIDI files to play the internal sound engine, based on Korg’s M3 synth. TC-Helicon vocal effects, including voice canceling for karaoke. Touchscreen with iTunes-compatible media librarian.

We think: You have to see it to appreciate all it can do—check out the demo at keyboardmag.com/video.

List: $2,700 | Approx. street: $2,000 | korg.com

MACKIE SRM1801

MackieSRMsub

Concept: Companion subwoofer for Mackie’s popular SRM450v2 powered monitors.

Big deal: Efficient Class D amp pumps 1000W through an 18" woofer. Crosses over at 125Hz from your pole-mounted main speaker. Dual XLR inputs for summing stereo mains into one unit. Only 73 pounds, which is light for a sub.

We think:Mackie makes bigger powered mains, but this sub makes the SRMs you already own rock for club gigs and casuals.

$879.99 | mackie.com

E-MU LONGBOARD AND SHORTBOARD

emu_longboard61

Concept: Hardware synth/MIDI controller with built-in wireless audio transmitter.

Big deal: New chip provides 128-voice polyphony and 16 multitimbral parts. Knobs for what you tweak most: filter cutoff and resonance, and envelope attack and release. Over 192 of E-mu’s best sounds in an easy selection matrix.

emu_49

We think: The bang for buck looks outrageous, doesn’t it? Review coming soon.

LongBoard: $399 | ShortBoard: $349 | emu.com

WARNECK RESEARCH EP200

Adam_EP200

Concept: Replacement amplifier board for Wurlitzer 200A electric pianos.

Big deal: Reproduces the original sonic quality, only more cleanly and with far less noise. Includes reed bar shields to minimize 60Hz hum. No-solder installation. Co-designed by Ken Rich, keyboard restorer to the stars.

We think: This is the best thing you can do for your vintage Wurly. Adam MacDougall of the Black Crowes (shown) is just one artist who agrees.

$379 | keyboardcottage.com | kenrichsounds.com

SAFETY-EASE LID ASSIST

Kit-in-Piano

Concept: Lift assist and brake for grand piano lids.

Big deal: Lets you lift the lid with one finger and freeze it in any position. Try to slam the lid, and it slows to a soft, silent landing. Attaches without marring piano.

We think: It really works, and is a must if your grand piano lives with kids, seniors, pets, or earthquakes.

List: $999 | safety-ease.com

ROLAND LUCINA AX-09

AX-09-BK

Concept: Little sister to the AX-Synth (reviewed May ’10).

Big deal: Pitch ribbon, progressive modulation bar, and D-Beam provide expressive control of 150 Fantom-G-class sounds. Buttons on front key rail make switching patches while playing a breeze. Audio playback from USB stick. Cool design in white or sparkly black.

We think: Not since the Powerpuff Girls has anything this cute kicked this much butt.

List: $699 | Approx. street: $600 | rolandus.com