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ION Duo Deck 2-In-1 Portable Turntable and Cassette Player with USB/Built-In Speakers
ION Duo Deck 2-In-1 Portable Turntable and Cassette Player with USB/Built-In Speakers
Price: 49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars How to improve the performance of this thing no end!:, 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is essentially a cheap version of the Audio-Technica Sound Burger (Google it) which was available in the 80s - now highly collectable and sells second-hand for hundreds of /$, so I wish I'd kept mine. The Sound Burger had a much higher build quality but more to the point, it had a clamp for holding the disc onto the platter, which the Ion lacks. If you want to improve the performance of the Ion in all sorts of ways, get a ClearAudio CleverClamp (they don't sell them on Amazon just now, but Google Shopping will find you one) and use it to clamp the disc tightly in place, thus giving the disc a mass equivalent to disc+mat+platter+whatever is transmitted via the belt drive. Result: no extraneous vibrations = better sound (the rather shrieky ceramic cartridge exaggerates high frequencies, such as disc resonance) and no - or very rare - groove skipping (because the disc can't vibrate or bounce about it's much less likely to throw the record out of the groove).

Most record clamps are made from metal and would add drag to this dinky 6 volt motor, so seek out the one I suggest - it's lightweight (just a few grammes) and easy to use. The Sound Burger's clamp was very similar in shape and size to a soft rubber doorstop, so one of those might work as a low-budget clamp.

The tape unit on this is basically the guts of a cheapish personal cassette stereo, but it does the job.


Behringer SM-200 Slow Motion
Behringer SM-200 Slow Motion
Offered by Beatcontrol
Price: 21.00

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Either pay 300 for a used Boss SG-1, or..., 4 Feb 2011
We all know that Behringer's claim that their pedals are 'designed to compete head to head with the leading products on the market' basically means 'our pedals have some interesting similarities to the Boss range except ours are a fraction of the price'. This is even more true of this little guy, which does a pretty good job of replicating the effect of the Boss Slow Gear SG-1. The latter became a cult pedal after it was discontinued and can now only be bought second-hand at a vastly inflated price.

The Slow Motion pedal chops off your stroke's initial attack, giving a violin-like effect similar to using a volume pedal or the old trick of curling your little finger around your guitar's volume knob. The advantages are, of course, that you just have to stomp and play rather than worrying about getting your timing right or hoping your finger stretches to the relevant knob, which is impossible on many guitar designs anyway. It does an excellent job, too, but be prepared to match the unit's sensitivity and attack (there are controls for each) both to your playing style and to your chosen guitar; different pickups and pickup configurations tend to produce different responses and, as ever, there's no substitute for some careful self-tuition.

All in all, this is well worth buying if you fancy using this sought-after sound in your playing. You'll occasionally hear gripes about the supposed fragility of the plastic cases used for Behringer pedals, but have you ever actually succeeded in breaking one or met anyone who has?


Behringer DIGITAL MULTI-FX FX600 Pedal
Behringer DIGITAL MULTI-FX FX600 Pedal
Offered by T2 Enterprises Ltd
Price: 41.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value and very tweakable., 4 Feb 2011
What you actually get with this pedal is a choice of individual effects. You'll spend a few minutes cursing the fact that you can't combine them before you realise you wouldn't want to anyway: all the effects are delay/modulation-based (there's no disortion or anything envelope-based) so even if you could they'd only get in each other's way. This is why people who insist on owning a phaser AND a flanger AND a chorus pedal AND everything else and then switch them all on at once end up with such a terrible sound.

Having established that, the mix level and two parameter controls (they have different functions depending on your chosen effect) give you a wide range of variations - too wide, in some cases, presumably because the slope settings on the controls are the same for each effect. This is why extreme or sloppy control settings introduce noise and/or give you a cheesy sound - just use your ears, your good taste and a bit of common sense.

One slightly disconcerting thing is that the effects selection is all firmware-based - the knob on the right isn't a rotary switch, it's another pot, which just glides smoothly from one effect to the other. The upside of this, of course, is that it'll last longer and there's no way at all you'll get an audible click when you switch effects - just make sure you can see what you're doing under stage lighting. You won't get true bypass at this price, but if you just use it in mono (yes, you get two ins and two outs) you can afford an A/B box as well.

In short, this is actually a lot of alternative pedals inside one stomp box, so even if you just want to explore what different kinds of effects do to your sound, this unit is hard to beat. As someone else says here, though, do buy a PSU for it - it's a total battery hog.


Behringer FX600 Digital Multi-Effects Pedal
Behringer FX600 Digital Multi-Effects Pedal

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value and very tweakable., 3 Feb 2011
What you actually get with this pedal is a choice of individual effects. You'll spend a few minutes cursing the fact that you can't combine them before you realise you wouldn't want to anyway: all the effects are delay/modulation-based (there's no disortion or anything envelope-based) so even if you could they'd only get in each other's way. This is why people who insist on owning a phaser AND a flanger AND a chorus pedal AND everything else and then switch them all on at once end up with such a terrible sound.

Having established that, the mix level and two parameter controls (they have different functions depending on your chosen effect) give you a wide range of variations - too wide, in some cases, presumably because the slope settings on the controls are the same for each effect. This is why extreme or sloppy control settings introduce noise and/or give you a cheesy sound - just use your ears, your good taste and a bit of common sense.

One slightly disconcerting thing is that the effects selection is all firmware-based - the knob on the right isn't a rotary switch, it's another pot, which just glides smoothly from one effect to the other. The upside of this, of course, is that it'll last longer and there's no way at all you'll get an audible click when you switch effects - just make sure you can see what you're doing under stage lighting. You won't get true bypass at this price, but if you just use it in mono (yes, you get two ins and two outs) you can afford an A/B box as well.

In short, this is actually a lot of alternative pedals inside one stomp box, so even if you just want to explore what different kinds of effects do to your sound, this unit is hard to beat. As someone else says here, though, do buy a PSU for it - it's a total battery hog.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 30, 2014 8:40 PM BST


Russell's Teapot
Russell's Teapot

5.0 out of 5 stars JazzUK magazine says..., 24 Jan 2011
This review is from: Russell's Teapot (MP3 Download)
On 'Russell's Teapot' (Chiwawa), their second album, The Swiss (who of course aren't, being in reality Si Robinson on bass, Steve Down on guitar and David Hackett on drums) [deliver] their capricious, animated tunes in a muted lounge-jazz style which is pleasingly incongruous. (Roger Thomas, JazzUK)


Be A Santa
Be A Santa
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 9.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JazzUK magazine says..., 2 Dec 2010
This review is from: Be A Santa (Audio CD)
Lea DeLaria's 'Be A Santa' (Warners) is more seasonally appropriate than you might ever expect this flamboyantly caustic artist to be; jazz treatments of Christmas songs are often cringeworthy, but DeLaria's raw Broadway-diva power, scat-singing ingenuity and the punch of a fine British band including Janette Mason on keys and Julian Siegel on saxes might just convert you. (John Fordham, JazzUK)


Whatever Sincerely: Tales from the Baltic Wharf
Whatever Sincerely: Tales from the Baltic Wharf
Price: 13.12

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JazzUK magazine says..., 2 Dec 2010
Ed Jones and Damon Brown's Killer Shrimp renews its inventive makeovers of the hard-bop style with 'Whatever Sincerely' (33Jazz) mixing an Art Blakey/Clifford Brown ensemble sound with electronics, fusion, funk and ska, but Brown's elegant trumpet runs and Jones's shrewdly-measured tenor solos are right in the pocket of the original style. (John Fordham, JazzUK)


Born Again (And The Religion Is The Blues)
Born Again (And The Religion Is The Blues)
Price: 11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JazzUK magazine says..., 2 Dec 2010
Guitar fusion mixes with typically riotous guitar confusion on Billy Jenkins's 'Born Again (And the Religion Is The Blues)' (VOTP), which sees the guitarist and a cast of mates and family members churn their way through a set of lurching boogies and blues laments on his favourite nightmare-in-suburbia themes. (John Fordham, JazzUK)


The New Emancipation
The New Emancipation
Price: 9.69

5.0 out of 5 stars JazzUK magazine says..., 2 Dec 2010
This review is from: The New Emancipation (Audio CD)
Soweto Kinch's 'The New Emancipation (SKP) is more polemical and possibly his best album so far, with his own flying alto lines and Byron Wallen's trumpet mixing hard-swinging postbop with raps and acted dialogues on the social tensions in contemporary British life. (John Fordham, JazzUK)


Reunion
Reunion
Price: 10.72

5.0 out of 5 stars JazzUK magazine says..., 2 Dec 2010
This review is from: Reunion (Audio CD)
Trudy Kerr and Ingrid James take a playful line on 'Reunion' (Jazzizit), which takes the singers back to their Brisbane club days. A vivacious, nimbly-negotiated and often boppish session mixes the American songbook, the Mulligan-Baker group, Beady Belle and Sheila Jordan materials, and - naturally - Waltzing Matilda. (John Fordham, JazzUK)


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