We are constantly on the lookout for products that we think would be interesting to our customers. Here are some recent arrivals.
Steinberg UR22 USB Interface
We've added another piece of equipment to our in-store computer recording demonstration. Steinberg is a respected manufacturer of recording software and hardware, and they are now associated with Yamaha.
The new UR22 2-in x 2-out interface delivers professional features at a home-studio price: Great-sounding mic preamp circuitry; 192kb x 24 bit depth sampling (CD quality is only 44.1kb x 16 bit depth); low-latency headphone monitoring; phantom power for condenser microphones; two-way MIDI; a rugged steel enclosure; and more. It comes with Steinberg's Cubase AI6 recording software for PC or Mac, so you're ready to record right out of the box.
This is the perfect interface for vocals, keyboards, and other sources that don't need the on-board modeling and effects features of the Yamaha THR line. (May 2013)
Meinl Fruit and Veggie Shakers
These are just plain fun - shakers that look like fruit and vegetables. Buy several and put together a fruit basket for your favorite musician!
Where else can you get an eggplant or pineapple shaker? (May 2013)
Yamaha THR5A Recording Package
This compact package from Yamaha gives you everything you need to turn your computer into a recording studio for pickup-equipped acoustic guitars. The THR5A hardware has (1) a high-quallity 5 watt stereo amplifier (which can double as a practice amp or even a performance amp for small venues); (2) virtual studio microphone modeling to make your recordings sound more realistic; (3) a bidirectional USB interface for connection to your computer (Windows PC or Mac); and (4) professional-quality Steinberg Cubase recording workstation software.
We have the THR5A and its electric-guitar brother, the THR10, set up in the store with a computer so you can see the whole rig at work. (April 2013)
Kala KA-CE Acoustic/Electric Uke
The uke craze continues! Customers have asked for ukuleles with pickups, so we got some.
This Kala concert-size uke has durable laminate-mahogany sides, back and top with attractive white binding. The active under-saddle pickup has bass and treble EQ and a built-in tuner. (April 2013)
Vandoren Jazz Reed Sampler
Sax players: Have you wanted to try some different reed styles, but didn't want to buy a whole box just to see how they played?
Here's the answer! Vandoren has just released a line of sampler packs. Each pack contains four reeds of a single hardness, one from each of their popular jazz reed styles. We stock sampler packs for alto and tenor in 2-1/2 and 3. (April 2013)
Martin Commemorative Tenor Uke
The legendary Hawai'ian musician, Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo`ole, played a Martin tenor uke. C. F. Martin has just released a limited-edition uke in his honor, and we have one!!! more >>>(March 2013)
Paul Combs releases "Dameronia"
Our customer and former Minor Chord teacher, Paul Combs, has just released a new book about the important jazz figure Tadd Dameron. We have copies!
Dameron has been called "the architect of Bop" for his influence on the idiom. But he has remained relatively unknown even in jazz circles. With his new book, the product of many years of painstaking research, Paul aims to bring Dameron some long-overdue credit.
The musical world is taking note. Listen to this feature story (including interview clips with Paul) that aired recently on National Public Radio. (March 2013)
Motherland Guitar Workshop
Our favorite luthier, Bill Whitsett, has something very special planned for this summer. He has invited Japanese Master Luthier Shinya Hibi to come to his shop to lead an interactive guitar-building workshop. Each student will work under the direction of Master Shinya and his teaching team to build their own acoustic guitar using traditional Japanese designs, materials and methods.
Shinya is a Master Luthier and the founder and principal of Motherland Guitar Craft School. With over 30 years experience building, repairing, and restoring guitars, Master Hibi has acquired a deep knowledge and understanding of the use of tonewoods, various finishing techniques, and guitars in general. He follows a strict handcraft approach to his building, using traditional Japanese tools and techniques. He prides himself on his masterpiece all-spruce guitars (including spruce sides and back!) and his guitars made of black persimmon wood. Master Hibi's guitars are played by such famous guitarists as Stefan Grossman, John Renbourne, Woody Mann and Tokio Uchida.
More at the workshop web site. (March 2013)
Vintage 8-String Resonator SOLD!
We see all kinds of interesting fretted instruments at The Minor Chord. Here's an example: This is a small-bodied vintage resonator with four double strings tuned to the top four pitches (8 strings) of a 12-string guitar. That probably classifies it as an 8-string tenor. Don't see many of those!
The instrument reportedly belonged to a former Chief of Police in Concord, MA. A set list of traditional tunes is still pasted to the body. We have it for sale at $299 with the old case. Come on in and try it! (February 2013)
Native American Flutes
These Native American-style flutes were brought in recently by local maker Doug DeBenedictis and we agreed to offer them at The Minor Chord.
The smaller flute is made of poplar and pitched in the key of B. The larger one is made of ash and pitched in F#. Both are of traditional construction and sound beautiful.
We can also order flutes in specific woods and tunings. (February 2013)
Kala Resonator Ukulele
Do you need a ukulele that will stand up to the crowd? Are you being drowned out by the banjo player? We have what you need!
We just received a couple of Kala resonator ukuleles. They are 'concert' size, not too big, but they are the loudest little ukes we've every heard. We've been waiting a while for these, and we only have two - so check them out soon. (November 2012)
Audio Technica AT2020
USB Condenser Microphone
Here is the big brother of the AT2005USB dynamic microphone we featured on our Facebook page a few weeks ago.
The AT2020USB is a quality side-address condenser mic with a built-in A-to-D converter. The audio goes into your computer (or iPad) via a standard USB connector - no external A-to-D converter box required.
This is the perfect microphone for accurate recording of instrumental sources like guitar amps, brass and woodwinds. All for about $150 including a vibration-isolation mount and desk stand. (November 2012)
OnStage iPad Holder
Several customers have asked for these, and now we have them! If you use your iPad for set lists, lyrics, lead sheets, or whatever - during practice or performance - this is a really useful accessory.
It's a protective cover for your iPad that mounts onto an adjustable bracket that in turn attaches to a microphone stand or anything else of similar diameter, like a cymbal stand. The bracket can hold the iPad in either a horizontal (shown) or vertical position.
The cool thing about this system is that your delicate iPad never has to leave its protective cover! (November 2012)
Fishman Aura Spectrum DI
The engineers at Fishman have spent years studying why pickups on acoustic guitars never sound as good as a studio microphone. It turns out that one of the important factors is "Helmholtz resonance", which is something that microphones are sensitive to but pickups are not. (Sure, you knew that!)
Through the magic of digital signal processing, the Fishman folks have figured out how to reconstruct Helmholtz resonance from a guitar's pickup signal. The result is a sound much closer to a quality studio microphone than was previously possible with a pickup. On-board Fishman Aura systems sound great but don't harness the full power of the Aura technology.
The Aura Spectrum DI box makes all the Aura acoustic modeling parameters directly available to the player and brings the Aura modeling technology to any pickup-equipped acoustic guitar.
You tell this amazing litle box all about the acoustic guitar you are playing and then choose the studio microphone you want to emulate. It does the rest. Icing on the cake: You can use the provided editing software to define new emulations beyond those provided by Fishman. And you get EQ and DI capabilities, a compressor, anti-feedback control and a tuner - all built in. (Oct 2012)
Yamaha THR10 Guitar Recording Interface
This is a really cool new product from Yamaha: A complete compact recording setup for the guitarist or bassist. The whole rig is packaged in a sturdy metal enclosure not much larger than a shoebox. All you need is a Windows PC or a Mac to start making great-sounding multi-track stereo recordings.
All of this for under $300! (Sept 2012)
Here's what you get:
- A high-fidelity stereo monitor amp.
- Extensive guitar and bass amp modeling, EQ and stereo effects.
- Five presets to save and restore all settings.
- Dry and post-effects digital audio feeds to your computer via USB.
- Audio playback from your computer via USB.
- Simultaneous playback and recording capability for overdubbing.
- Headphone jack for silent operation.
- Powerful Cubase AI6 digital audio workstation software.
Fender Excelsior Amp
We've been waiting for this amp for a couple of months and it's finally here. Fender came up with a cool retro design, a distinctive sound, and a great price.
This is a 13-watt, all tube amp with a special-design 15 inch speaker that has a really solid low end and an extra-stiff cone so it can still deliver the highs.
The internal circuitry is divided into two separate preamp and power amp chassis. This arrangement reduces hum and noise in the preamp and puts the heavy components at the bottom of the cabinet where they belong.
The amp has guitar, microphone and accordion (!) inputs with optimized circuitry for each. Effects are basic - a tremolo with speed control and a light/dark tone switch - but this amp will respond well to your outboard effects pedals. (Aug 2012)
Ibanez ARTcore hollowbodies
Thinking about a hollowbody? We recently received a number of Ibanez ARTcore hollowbodies in both full and thinline styles. We think these Ibanez instruments are very playable, an excellent value and quite affordable compared to the "big name" brands. (July 2012)
KATT-Z Effects Pedals
Yes, we know: The world is full of effects pedals. But here are a couple of solid yet affordable pedals from a local builder that we think deserve attention.
The KATT FURR is an update on the classic 'fuzz' effect delivering a wide range of fuzz/distortion sounds from blues to hard rock. It has a quiet signal path, without the hum and distortion you often see in cheaper pedals. Its unique MODE switch selects either a bass-heavy distortion or a mid-boosted distortion, while the FURR control lets you dial-in just the right amount of crunch for a variety of playing styles.
THE DUKE is not for the squeamish, blending overdriven and synthesized tones to produce a really unique sound. The MODE switch selects either a synthesized sub-octave or high frequency tone that, when used in combination with the FREQ (frequency) control, generates ringing and feedback in controllable pitch ranges. Plus, THE DUKE is not limited to guitar - it does interesting things to bass, keyboards, and electronic drums as well. (May 2012)
VOX AC4C1-BL special edition tube amp
We love tube amps. There's something about the sound of a tube amp, when driven just right, that can't be duplicated any other way.
Maybe you've noticed that a big amp, cranked back for a recording date or a small performance venue, just doesn't sound as good. To get that sound you want, you have to be pushing the amp a little. So you need a smaller amp but with the same tube circuitry.
Enter the VOX AC4C1-BL. This is a full-tube amp that generates 4 watts RMS (which means 4 truthful continuous watts)into a 10-inch Celestion VX10 custom 16 ohm speaker. It's dressed in a special edition blue covering with a natural tweed grille. We only got two of these, and they're sure to go quickly. (Apr 2012)
Fender Eric Clapton 'Blackie' Strat Back in stock!
This special Strat model is designed with great features inspired by the instruments played by virtuoso guitarist and bluesman Eric Clapton.
It has a solid alder body with a beautiful gloss black finish. The neck is a soft-radius 'V' with a 9-1/2 inch radius fretboard. It's equipped with a vintage-style bridge and tuners, 'Noiseless' pickups and active mid-range boost.
And of course it's an American Made-in-USA Fender. (Mar 2012)
Kurt Cobain Mustang®
We just received this eye-catching Mustang model in Lake Placid Blue with diagonal racing stripes across the body.
Reflecting Kurt Cobain's habit of heavily modding his instruments, Fender has installed a Seymour Duncan JB Humbucker in the bridge position and an Adjusto-Matic bridge. The neck position pickup is the usual single-coil.
This Mustang has a traditional 24" scale length and a C-shaped maple neck with rosewood fretboard. (Mar 2012)
Acoustic Image Ten2 Amp
Acoustic Image amps, designed and assembled in the USA, have a well-deserved reputation among bassists, arch-top electric, and acoustic players for their incredibly clean tone and compact, portable power.
The Ten2 is their latest design. Compared to previous models, these amps boost power output to an incredible 650 watts RMS for faithful reproduction of the transients that are so necessary to a good acoustic sound. Like in previous designs, the down-firing 10 inch woofer provides strong omni-directional bass. But in the Ten2, that downfiring woofer has been joined by another front-facing 10 inch driver for improved low-mid presence. A tweeter provides high-end clarity and crispness.
The whole thing fits into an over-the-shoulder gig bag smaller than a floor tom. Or if you are playing a large venue, the removable head (about the size of a hardcover book) has the power to drive a much larger stack. This is the ultimate acoustic amp. Check out the full specs at the Acoustic Image web site. (Feb 2012)
Fender '72 Reissue Thinline Semi-hollowbody Telecaster
Did you know that Fender makes a hollow-body Telecaster? The humbucker pickups and semi-hollow body give you a unique tone that's a cross between a Tele and a full hollowbody. This model has an ash body and maple neck.
We got our first one from Fender just a couple of months ago and can't keep them in stock - the first two sold within days of their arrival at The Minor Chord. We got our third one right before Christmas. Come in and check it out before this one is gone. (Jan 2012)
Fishman SA220 Solo Performance System
We like Fishman acoustic amps because they produce exceptionally clean sound at good power levels and at a reasonable price.
We are now carrying their SA220 Solo Performance System. This is the perfect gigging amp/PA for singer-songwriter artists. The SA220 has two mic/instrument channels with separate EQ, effects send, feedback-fighting notch filters and DI to feed the house system. Its 6x 4inch drivers are arranged in a compact vertical array to deliver a wide horizontal dispersion with very little vertical dispersion, meaning that your sound is heard clearly throughout the venue without wasting power.
The SA220 comes with a solid tripod stand that gets the vertical array off the floor and in the right position to project. It also comes with a convenient rolling case that holds both the integrated amp/speaker array and the stand. (Dec 2011)
Oh no, another guitar effects box...
That's what we thought when a customer came in a while ago to show us his JangleBox. But wow, were we impressed!
This little box faithfully recreates the 1960's chime guitar sound made popular by the Beatles and the Byrds. Gary, our classic rock guru, loves the thing. Come in and ask him to demonstrate it. Or check it out online at the manufacturer's web site. (Aug 2011)
Fishman "Platinum" Instrument Preamps
Playing live often means providing a direct feed to the house sound system, which can present a number of problems to the unprepared player. Unless your amplifier has a "direct injection" (DI) capability you will need an outboard DI box to generate the balanced low-impedance XLR connection required by the sound engineer. (A simple cable will not work for this!) But most common DI boxes do not provide any EQ or compression, which means you completely lose control of how you sound in the house system.
Fishman has an answer with their Platinum standalone preamps. These solid little boxes provide level boost for passive pickups, adjustable EQ and compression, a DI feed for house systems, and 1/4 inch outputs for your stage monitor amp and tuner. The units are powered either by an on-board 9-volt battery or phantom power from the house sound board.
We stock two versions of the Platinum preamp, one each for guitar and electric bass. Each version is tailored to the EQ and compression requirements of its respective instrument class. (May 2011)
Brass Mutes by Denis Wick
A brass player looks for several things in a mute. First and foremost, the mute should produce the proper sound: A straight mute should be crisp and project well; a cup mute should be mellow but still with character; and a Harmon-style (sliding tube) mute should be edgy and expressive.
On the other hand, a good mute will avoid unwanted side effects such as stuffiness, boomy resonances in the low register, and poor intonation.
We are now carrying trumpet and trombone mutes by Denis Wick. These are professional-grade mutes that play easily, produce exceptional tone and have none of the annoying faults of a beginner's stone-lined mute. As an extra bonus, the space between the cup and the instrument bell on Denis Wick cup mutes is easily adjustable so you can get the tone and volume you need for each playing situation.
These mutes will make a big difference in your sound, especially in solo work or small ensembles such as jazz bands. (Apr 2011)
World percussion has become hugely popular. Just in our own area we know of several community drum groups playing African drum music. We have also realized that the Brazilian community has no convenient source for the traditional instruments of the samba bateria.
We are very pleased to announce that we are now carrying an extensive line of instruments from Meinl - one of the most respected names in world percussion - including instruments from the African, Brazilian, and Latin musical cultures.
We have djembes - shakeres - congas - bongos - maracas - cajons - claves - surdos - tamborims - caixas - cuicas - afuxes - caixixis - agogo bells - samba whistles - tambourines - shakers of all types - cowbells - and more! (Apr 2011)
Oasis™ Digital Hygrometer
Solid wood acoustic guitars are very sensitive to humidity. The winter months in New England are particularly difficult, with indoor heating creating dry air that can irreparably crack the thin top of a fine instrument. We have sold the excellent Oasis humidifiers for several years. At our customers' request, we now also carry Oasis digital hygrometers. These instruments accurately measure the humidity around your guitar so you can be sure the humidifier is doing its job and your valuable instrument is safe from damage.(Jan 2011)
The Minor Chord
222 Great Road
Littleton, MA 01460
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