Tag Archives: Hardware

The Conn-O-Sax

While surfing the net, I came across the strange instrument called the Conn-O-Sax. There is one on Ebay right now that can be bought for the princely sum of $100,000 (I kid NOT).

Conn made these to spur sales that had been slumpin. Seems they made them from 1915 to 1925, and they believed it was going to be the next big thing. They do have almost a 3 octave range (A to G), and the tone I’d describe as a really mellow soprano in quality to something like a Paul Desmond sound. Sadly, it seems that only about 20 of these instruments exist now.

If you want check out some audio clips (or buy a CD), Rob Verdi has an excellent album out that he did exclusively on the Conn-O-Sax. And it sounds great!!

Below are the images off the Ebay auction because I though this instrument was extremely interesting.

AKG C214

AKG has a new mic out, the AKG C214. From the press release:

Based on one of the most successful studio mics released by AKG, the C 414 model, and using all the feedback that during 30 years they have received from its users (maybe they could release a new version earlier, but…), AKG has released the C 214 Condenser Recording Mic, that includes some of the features of the models which is based on and some improvements that does not make it a expensive mic affordable only for big studios.

The AKG C 214 Recording Mic is a single capsule model that features cardioid polar pattern, 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response, from 12 to 52V phantom power, 1” edge-terminated large diaphragm, ultra low noise circuit (that includes a suspension to reduce the mechanical noise), rugged double mesh grill (to protect it from high radio-frequency signals), switchable bass cut filter, switchable pre-attenuation pad (up to -20 dB) and 3-pin XLR output.

This mic is specially good for vocals and miking instruments or amps, both in stage and studio, and comes with a shock mount and a carrying case. The AKG C 214 Recording Mic will be available after the AES show and its price will be $600.

I have two C414s (a ULS and an EB…..don’t ask why I need two, I just DO….or think I do). Honestly, I can’t think of the last time when I put them OUT of cardioid pattern.

All Plastic Saxophone

There seems to be a resurgence in this idea. Enter the Vibrotosax.

To create more saxophonist in the world is our prime concern. Our designer team need to accomplish 3 objectives….Design a saxophone that everyone can afford, provide a standard fingering configuration and producce a solid saxophone sound. The solution: to replace brass with polymer. By doing so we not only change the material but also the process of saxophone manufacturing which has remained unchanged since 1843.

Besides the strange English (they are a Thailand company and refer to the King of Thailand in their about page), aren’t we experiencing a strange sense of Deja Vu? I mean……haven’t we been there, done that?

Keyless Saxophones

When I was in college, I heard the story of Siguard Rascher having a keyless saxophone. Basically, a conical tube in the shape of a sax. Mr. Rascher was reported to be able to play anything on it.

Well, looks like you can actually get one and try to be a virtuoso like Siguard Rascher. Hollywood Winds sells an alto and a tenor version for $495 and $695 respectively.

I wonder if it would be cheaper to get an old C-Melody off of Ebay and just plug the holes….

Yamaha’s Tenori

Yamaha has a new thing out, called the Tenori

Media artist Toshio Iwai and Yamaha have collaborated to design a new digital musical instrument for the 21st century, TENORI-ON. A 16×16 matrix of LED switches allows everyone to play music intuitively, creating a “visible music” interface.

Check out a video of it

Create Digital Music also has an article about it.

Roland KC 550

Roland KC 550I recently bought a Roland KC 550. It is a keyboard amp, but you can use it for many other things. I bought it for some gigs this summer. It has an XLR microphone input, plus 3 additional inputs. Easily enough to share with a keyboard player, your EWI and your Sax mic. We touched on the subject of amplification way back (not sure if I agree with my opinions from then, oh well).

Sound. It has a nice, smooth sound, and a real nice low end. Two of these together would make a nice little PA system. One makes for a killer amp for those gigs where no one wants to setup and run a PA system. The KC550 has tons of output. I don’t think I ever got past about 4 on it. It never cut out or distorted on any gigs.

Size. Well, Continue reading Roland KC 550