July 2009 Archives

A latest model of its digital harpsichord, C-30 made debut from Roland one year ago. In the July issue, Japan Music Trades interviewed three professional musicians, one music educator, and two music dealers in hopes of finding how users and dealers see this instrument with its origin dating back several hundred years ago, and rebirth as a modern version equipped with latest digital technology. Great opportunities and some critical keys enabling it to be widely accepted in the market have surfaced from their positive comments.   

'Preparing Exclusive Teaching Materials For The C-30'
Shinichiro Nakano, harpsichord player

Digital technology has solved problems
One of the prominent harpsichord players in Japan, Shinichiro Nakano, who is a visiting professor to Nagoya College of Music and a faculty member of Kyoto City University of Arts says that he was much impressed with the sound of the C-30 3 years ago as it was close to that of F. Blanchet, an early harpsichord. Until then, he had a negative image against digitally produced sound. Started playing piano at the age of three, he much inclined to harpsichord when he was a senior high school student.

He says, "Unlike my two German and French type harpsichords, there is no worry about regulation and maintenance for the C-30. It's widely spoken that there are fewer tuners than players for harpsichord. The instrument always needs replacement parts including plectrums and wire strings, but the C-30 is free from any maintenance requirements. Tuning is a headache when we work with historical instrument players as gut strings of their instruments easily get tuned off, and that seriously affects other players. The C-30 solves all these problems."

He highly praises tonal volume of the C-30, saying, "The sound of C-30 never gets buried in the back instruments even in large orchestra. Setting the C-30 in concert halls is quite simple because it's never influenced by environmental acoustic conditions."

Nakano also appreciates distinctively articulated sound of the C-30 when performed in legato in particular. "It delivers brilliant and punchy sound of F. Blanchet. And more than anything else I like the organ voices. High level of sound quality is only a manufacturer which has extensive research and development history in organ can achieve."

Wide Applications and Possibilities
Nakano is now producing an instruction manual which suggests selection of music, matched playing technique and registrations, and music scores best suited to the C-30. He says that the C-30 will find customers among piano students of schools of music and music studios in town. He believes the exclusive instruction manual for the C-30 will help those players.

He concludes, "Some music for the harpsichord can only be played with double-manual instrument. In fact I play the C-30 different way from acoustic harpsichord. However, such features of the C-30 as compactness, easiness in transportation and rich instrumental voices and player-friendly functions are real assets for players. I hope more players to experience the attractive characters and capabilities of the C-30."       

'Back to Baroque Age'
Yukio Yokoyama, Pianist

"In a moment I touched the C-30 at Roland R&D Center in Hamamatsu right before it made debut, I fell in love with it," says Yukio Yokoyama. A graduate of Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 19 in 1990, he won a merit as the youngest Japanese pianist at International Chopin Piano Competition the same year. Now he teaches at Ueno Gakuen and Elisabeth University of Music while traveling throughout Japan for concert.

From his experience, the C-30 was equivalent to acoustic harpsichord in many points. According to Yokoyama, acoustic piano efficiently meets requirements of players with delicate and subtle nuances responding to their technique. While, he has felt difficulties in expressing complicated feelings with digital musical instrument so far.

However, he says, "Harpsichord in much simpler structure than piano looks to be more suitable to be transformed into digital format. I felt I was right when I played the C-30 for first time. Acoustic harpsichord has such delicate characteristics easily interfered by humidity, lightings, and it frequently goes out of tune. It requires a lot of human hands to maintain in good conditions. On the contrary, the C-30 is immune to any environmental changes. No maintenance. It relieves player's nerves, I say. Yet, it has great expression capabilities."

Dream instrument will find market overseas
He gives concerts monthly at Italian restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto with a 1930s Pleyel and the C-30 as a coordinator of good music and cuisine. He also plays the C-30 in his regular concerts. On some occasions he sticks to the C-30 for hours. He enjoys those moments partly as a dedicated pianist and as one music enthusiast on the other.

For Yokohama who performs Bach and Scarlatti music written for harpsichord on piano, the C-30 serves as a helpful instrument to experiment playing technique of the time. It also helps his students to better understand structural and performing differences by playing same titles with the built-in voices of piano, harpsichord and organ.     

He expresses unrestricted advantages of digital musical instruments saying, "I basically play modern piano music, but I get much inspired playing digital harpsichord. It goes the same for digital piano as its possibilities have greatly advanced these days. I'm always interested in musical instruments developed with affection and senses of designers. It's exciting to experience to day to day technological progress. Digital harpsichord has not yet fully recognized in the music circle. The C-30 will find markets overseas as well if consumers come to find its attractive and distinctive sound."

'Encourage Students to Experience The Sound of Harpsichord' 
Akira Aoki, flutist 

Harpsichord and tuner problems
Harpsichord has long been a major obstacle for 76-year old flutist, Akira Aoki. While playing along with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, he has taught at a number of music schools including Ueno Gakuen, Toho Gakuen School of Drama and Music since 1956.

What he shares most of his time in his musical career is concert tours conducting Tokyo Wind Instrument Society with players from 5 different professional orchestras. Since its foundation in 1962, the quintet gave a total of 125 concerts throughout the country. Harpsichord has been a center of anxiety for the group as majority of the concert halls didn't have the instrument. With limited budget, he and the group have struggled between the policy to deliver audience authentic sound composers intended, and the reality that the group couldn't afford to keep a tuner all the time.

In 1974 he formed another music group, Tokyo Flute Ensemble Academy, a unique flute orchestra. Their activities expanded to give concerts overseas and participated in Flute Convention in U.S. He was instrumental in promoting Japanese flute and music to the world flute circle. Today, Aoyama serves as its conductor. 

Pianists allergic to digital technology accept the C-30
Throughout the periods, he came to know digital harpsichords developed by Roland. However, he didn't show appetite. It was the latest model C-30 what made him change his notion.

Prima Gakki, one of the leading distributors, urged Aoyama to a concert staged in Tokyo where Shinichiro Nakano performed the C-30. It was quite exciting for him, and later, he had an opportunity to talk with Roland engineers. Knowing more, he was more overwhelmed with the highest level of completion of the instrument. He was very impressed with its key touch.

Aoyama comments, "The sampled sound is magnificent. Digital technology does great work delivering full sound through tiny speakers. I don't see any problems with the 5 temperaments. It has solved every hazard of acoustic harpsichord from tonal quality, key touch to regulation. We can travel anywhere with it packed in car. It's really great."

Now retired, he suggested Nagoya School of Arts where he gives lectures once every term to buy the C-30. At one time, he demonstrated performance with one individual German, French and Italian harpsichords and the C-30. His purpose was to let the students understand body resonance of acoustic and digital harpsichords. He feels that the C-30 will be very helpful for music class.

According to Aoki, the C-30 is rapidly accepted among professional players and music school educators these days as they experienced the concert that Shinichiro Nakano, harpsichord player, gave with the C-30.
 
'A 30-year Dream Came True'
Makoto Ide, Owner, Ide Music Education Laboratory

Instantly intrigued when touched
Makoto Ide who organizes flute and piano teaching studio at his home in Tokyo purchased the C-30 right after it was introduced. He gives a 'Heartfelt' duet concert accompanied by his wife Nobuko on piano once every two months.

Ide first experienced harpsichord 30 years or so ago at Muramatsu Flute in Shinjuku where he regularly visited for printed music for flute. "There was a Sassman harpsichord, and I played it to verify notes on scores. I liked very much its delicate key touch and sound. I thought I might be able to have one some day," Ide remembers.

When Ides had a plan to give concerts at their atelier decorated with pine walls from ceiling to floor, he hoped to buy a harpsichord as a backing instrument. After a series of unsuccessful approaches, he happened to have information on the C-30 on the Internet in April last year. He immediately called Miyaji Gakki Koganei Store.

In the first moment touched the C-30, Ide knew it was what he had sought after. He was thrilled with the clicking effect felt when keys were pressed down. It felt very natural in comparison with traditional harpsichord. "I was pleased with the instrument of its comfortable playing feeling and price. I didn't hesitate to buy it."

Increased applications for studio and concert
The C-30 has now established itself at Ide Studio as a requisite for the 'Heartfelt' concert and teaching. Taking full advantages of digital technology, he gives his students complete instruction on temperaments. Before the C-30 came, he had to regulate his Steinway full concert grand piano into classical temperament taking substantial time in lesson. With the C-30, it's simple demonstrating difference of sound by 5 temperaments.

Ide says about meaning of understanding temperaments, "Students hardly have opportunities to observe regulation works by piano tuners at home. That is they are not much interested in internal structure and temperaments of piano. The C-30 definitely helps students experience classical temperaments and feel their beautiful sound separate from equal temperament. It will broaden their scope for music."

As he inclines more and more to the C-30, his students are likely to get interested in harpsichord. He invites a 3rd grade girl student who took up harpsichord spontaneously two months ago to perform the C-30 in July concert.

'Piano and Violin Instructors Are Prospective Customers'
Akitaka Shimokura, Manager, Shimokura Violin Co., Tokyo

Go digital: Unusual approaches of a string instrument dealer  
Shimokura Violin, a subsidiary of Shimokura Gakki in Ochanomizu, Tokyo launched retail business as a violin specialist in 1986. As business expands, the company relocated to a larger space and added Atelier Shimora which provides maintenance services for string instruments in 2003.

Shimokura has 300 stringed instruments displayed on the sales floor all the time, while its inventory goes over 1,000 units. They include Shimokura-exclusive Shimora lines made in Bubenreuth, Germany, more than 10 brand instruments imported from Germany, Czech, etc., representing in the Japanese market, as well as instruments built by name Italian artisans.  

Shimokura has 5 reps, 6 sales staff and 8 repair service men. Because of its origin, it's quite natural that no one had knowledge on large keyboard instruments. How have they come to distribute digital harpsichord?

Inspired by teachers
Akitaka Shimokura, manager, explains, "Our sales team always contacts independent and music studio teachers in larger Metropolitan area. We received orders for the C-30 from 3 teachers right after it was introduced. They planned to add it for small concerts and recitals." On the last day of Shimokura Dream Fair, an annual consumer event in May, the company organized in cooperation with Roland a special concert featuring 3 players of baroque violin, cello and harpsichord.

They learned from questionnaire sheets collected after the concert that not a few audience experienced Baroque music and harpsichord for the first time and, got interested. Shimokura expects much in the coming Musical Instruments Fair Japan to promote the C-30 knowing that it's increasing its awareness among violin and piano educators in town. He concluded that he and his staff would be well prepared and respond to the requests of customers when favorable business tide arises.

'Much Favored by Classical Music Enthusiasts'
Chiaki Nakayama, Kenbando, Ikebe Musical
Instruments Store, Shibuya, Tokyo

More than expected consumer response
Launched in 2003 as a specialist shop of Ikebe Musical Instruments Store for keyboard instruments and recording gears, Kenbando now operates at 2 floors handling the two lines separately. In coincidence, it added accordion to its lines. An in-store accordion shop opened last fall with about 60 Japanese-made and foreign brands in its inventory. The business has diversified.
Kenbando started selling Roland classical lines including digital harpsichords and portable type organs in 2006. Chiaki Nakayama who is responsible for sales of the C-30 says that customers responded astonishingly quickly. They obtained the product information on the Internet, they said. First lot sold out instantly as they purchased online. These days number of customers shopping at the store or online site is almost equal. They are classical music enthusiasts, not traditional customers coming to Kenbando to check synthesizer.

The purchasers of the store are female aged between 30s and 50s having an experience on piano, and interested in harpsichord as well. Nakayama says, "They probably enjoy it at home by themselves, or with family members."

Cultivate unexploited market   
She has background of playing piano and synthesizer. At the sales floor, she explains customers about the advantages of the C-30 such as no regulation required, insured from change of temperature and humidity, easiness of setting, light-weight and compact structure suitable for touring musicians. Not a few of them are supposed to be professionals and high-end amateurs with substantial knowledge on music and gears. Sometimes they have several acoustic harpsichords.

Unlike synthesizers, she has never talked about price and discount with customers of the C-30. Presumably, they well understand the value of the instrument which is provided at attractive price.

As Roland C-230 Classic Organ will soon be delivered to Kenbando, customers ring for information on pitches and temperaments. Nakayama expects that music makers of all types can enjoy the Roland Classic series. She believes the C-30 will generate increasing interest among synthesists and organists.

The accordion business has grown to another key line of Kenbando in the last years. Nakayama hopes so will be for the Roland Classic Series to be the third major line in the near future. That will no doubt further expand its customer base.

Rodgers Organ Goes Roland Subsidiary

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Roland Corp. announced at board of directors meeting on May 29 that it would acquire every stock of Rodgers Instrument Corp. in Oregon from Roland US, and it would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary company of Roland Corp. Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder and special consultant of Roland Corp. has been named Rodgers CEO.

Roland expects the move will make faster decision making available at Rodgers and thus, contribute to improving overall performance of Roland Group.

Steinway Kitchen Piano Replica Premieres in Japan

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Henry E. Steinway, founder of Steinway & Sons built his first piano in kitchen at his house in 1836. Dubbed Kitchen Piano, Chris Maene, Belgian Steinway dealer/restorer of historical musical instrument completed a perfect replica of the first piano in 2006. From July through September, Steinway Japan presents it at its dealers in Kobe, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Takasaki.

Measured 212cm deep, the No.1 Replica was made by professional hands of craftsmen. It features action mechanism efficiently responding to repetitive key strokes, leather-wound hammers to deliver full sound on entire tone range, and increased string tension which as a whole expands expression capabilities of the pianoforte.

Maene carefully studied the original model kept in New York upon consent for building a Kitchen Piano replica from Steinway & Sons, and found new facts for the frame, soundboard and other inside parts of the instrument through X-ray inspection. He had Liege University to find exact growth ring for the cabinet which was significant for determining tonal characters of the original .

Hamamatsu Supports School Music

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Yasutomo Suzuki、mayor of Hamamatsu, announced during the municipal meeting on June 9 that the city funds elementary and junior high schools with necessary musical instruments using government-supplied financial crisis rescue program.

Suzuki said, "We understand that the city supports art and cultural activities of the citizens will lead to revitalize and save economy in the region. Children and students are encouraged to pursue their music activities at school."

So far, Hamamatsu has provided the young generations with music appreciation programs, sending educators to schools, and offering training programs for symphonic band directors.

A symphonic band consisted of selected members from local elementary and junior high school students will take part in the versatile music activities held in the city as part of National Culture Festival scheduled this fall.

Yamaha MODUS R01 Digital Piano ¥380,000

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Yamaha has added a more simplified model with minimum functions packed in an elegant cabinet to the Modus line.

The sophisticated cabinet in soft Misty White is complemented with 4 sleek legs, and a flat top keyboard rid when it's closed. While it reminds us of modern furniture, it's definitely recognized as a piano as the keyboard is seen through semi-translucent acrylic window of the rid. When power is on with the keyboard rid closed, the volume dial is lighted in soft white.

Designed with experienced pianists in mind, the R01 incorporates high quality 4-level AWM Dynamic stereo sampled Pure CF piano voices, one individual power switch and volume control knob.

It features natural keys made of white ivory type Natural Wood (NW) which has excellent moisture absorption capability and comfortable playing feeling.

Piano tone is regulated in seated position so that sounds reach player in best conditions. Three pedals are provided.

An optional BC-103WH matched bench (¥30,000) is also available.

Further information is available from:
http://www.yamaha.co.jp/     

Roland JUNO-Di Synthesizer

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The latest model of the Juno series synthesizers with advanced sound in light-weight, compact structure has such additional features as battery operation for mobile use and expanded sound.

It has 1,082 plus 256 (GM2) instrumental voices, 29 rhythm sets for wider style of music, 128-note polyphonic, 16 multi-chamber capabilities efficiently serving for professional level music production, and 5 reverb, 3 chorus modes as well as 79 types of multi effects of which 3 groups can be selected on live stage.

The broad range of instrumental voices is efficiently categorized so that players can access to desired voices with exclusive buttons. The FAVORITE function is capable of assigning sounds to individual buttons for instant withdrawal during performance. 

A Sound Modify knob is provided for instant control of synth sound. The new SUPER LAYER function gives performance extra depth and expansiveness by layering a maximum of 5 parts sounds. The D-Beam which is favored for its real time sound modification capability is standard as well.

It weighs just 5.2kgs, excellent to carry to live stage and rehearsal studio. When run on batteries, it operates for about 5 consecutive hours. It turns every place into a live stage with coupled use of CUBE Street or Mobile Cube battery-powered amp. The Di has a vocal mic input, reverb and Vocoder effects for mic.

The Memory Player function supports players play back SMF files and WAV/AIFF/MP3 audio files saved in USB memory in live performance. An EXT INPUT for MP3 player is also provided.

It comes complete with a JUNO Di Editor software which links the Di and a PC via a USB MIDI cable.

Further information is available from:
http://www.roland.co.jp/

Pearl JJ1365RD Snare Drum ¥36,000

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A limited edition Joey Jordison "Slipknot" signature model comes in a new design, red faded finish with a No. 1 logo.

Built in the same sizes and with specifications as the best selling JJ1365, the compact deep steel shell delivers edgy attack and roaring bass sound. It matches any styles from speed to loud band.

A semi hard type soft case is standard.

Further details are available from:
http://www.pearlgakkki.com/

TAMA SAS1465PT Snare Drum ¥46,000

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Pat Torpey "Mr. BIG" signature model snare drum is now available in limited production of 100 units. It features a 1.5mm brass shell which has been his favorite for years, 14" diameter and 6.5" deep size, 10-tension die cast hoops, steel reinforcement rings, and a 42-strand snappie for brighter brass sound with additional power. The shell and hadware are finished in coordinated chrome.

A Pat Torpey authentic signature is provided on the seal plated inside the shell.

Further details are available from:
http://www.tama.com/

H.S. Anderson Electric Guitar

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MAD CAT returns after 37 years blank. The original H.S. Anderson guitars made a sensation for their characteristic design and quality. Not a few guitarists still favor them, MAD CAT in particular, as Japan Vintage.

Limited number of MAD CAT was exported under Hohner brand before, and Prince played one of them in his movie Purple Rain.

It features framed maple top and back with ash in between, and walnut at the center, one-piece maple neck, Bill Lawrence T-Ⅰand T-Ⅱsingle coil pickups, and Gotoh hardware.

It's finished in subdued golden brown, and comes complete with a matched original hard case.

Further details are available from:
http://www.moridaira.com/

Ibanez Electric Guitars & Bass

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JEM7EAFX ¥290,000
The Steve Vai signature model electric guitar features familiar Tree of Life inlay, a monkey grip and an earth patterned original logo in addition to a basswood body, 5-piece maple/walnut Prestige neck, rosewood fingerboard, 2 DiMarzio The Breed humbucking and 1 single coil pickups, and Tight-End hard tail bridge which has the saddle fixed to the base plate to transmit full string vibration to the body.

It's finished in black, and a matched hard case is standard.

 

ORM1 WH ¥60,000
The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez "The Mars Volta" signature model electric guitar has a mahogany body, 3-piece mahogany 24" scale neck, a larger headstock, rosewood fingerboard and a twin blade type mini humbucking pickup.

It's finished in white, and comes complete with a matched gig bag.

 

PRB2 BWF ¥145,000

The signature model bass of Paul Romanko "Shadows Fall" has a swamp ash wing & walnut striped body, 5-piece maple/walnut bolted neck, 2 IBZ PFR alnico magnet pickups, and a Mono-rail4 bridge.

It comes in burgundy wine flat finish. Factory tuned at D, G, C and F (from 4th to 1st strings), and a matched hard case.

Further details are available from:
http://www.hoshinogakki.co.jp/

 

 

 

Boss FRV-1 Reverb

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 Legendary sound of  '63 Fender Reverb returns with Roland's exclusive COSM technology in the compact pedal.

It produces brilliant and warm spring reverb sound typical to tube-driven system with 3 classic controls for Dwell, Tone, and Mixer for versatile musicians from surf-music, blues to country and rock.

Classic cabinet and grill color finish of the original model are duplicated for the FRV-1.

Further information is available from:
http://www.roland.co.jp/

Ibanez Bass Amps & Effects Processor

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 Promethean amps and speaker cabinet

P5110  ¥95,000 (photo left)
P500H  ¥70,000 (photo right)
P110C  ¥45,000 (photo bottom)


Reasonably priced, they have rich functions and deliver overwhelming output power well comparable to guitar and drums. 

The combo type P5110 features a 2-band equalizer and a 6-band graphic equalizer and a Vibe control to change overall tonal colors. An optional Ibanez IFS2X foot switch allows player to control Mute and Vibe modes. The top head comes as a P500H amp head easily carried around in an optional BGP500 carry bag ( ¥3,500)

The P110C Extension Cabinet contains one 10" speaker with tweeter.

All models deliver 250W/500W power.

AF2 Paul Gilbert Signature Pedal  ¥23,000

The Airplane Flanger in purple chassis has two modes; TAXI which produces clear and extensive chorus/flange sounds, and TAKEOFF for eccentric up and down arm sounds, 4 controls of manual, speed, range and enhance (for TAXI mode), and a speed control for TAKEOFF mode.

 

Further information is available from:
http://www.hoshinogakki.co.jp/

Zoom Multiple Effects Processor

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G1u ¥12,000

The G1 compact size effects processor has upgraded incorporating a USB audio interface.

It features ZFX-3 32-bit processing audio engine, 96kHz sampling capability which reproduces overtones of tube amplifier, 30 types of amp/stomp modeling sounds, 67 types of studio quality effects, 100 pre-programmed practical guitar sounds, Looper function which allows recording 5-second phrases and a drum machine providing 40 rhythm patterns.

It comes complete with a ZFX Tools recording and ableton Live Lite 7 Zoom Edition music production software.

Further information is available from:
http://www.zoom.co.jp/

Yamaha Power Amps

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TX4n ¥550,000
TX5n ¥600,000
TX6n ¥700,000

Yamaha introduces highest series power amps for professional applications. (Photo: TX6n)

The TXes feature Yamaha-exclusive highly efficient EEEngine amp drive technology, a 96kHz DSP and digital audio network to realize pro level amp control, meticulous speaker processing and easy trouble shooting.

They have analog inputs & outputs, AES/EBU-compatible digital inputs and outputs. The AES/EBU inputs/outputs are provided in a card accommodated in the Min-YGDAI slot which is compatible to other digital I/O cards including ADAT and TASCAM, and CobraNet and EtherSound networks cards.

They have 2,750W (6n), 2,500W (5n), and 2,200W (4n) stereo output power at 2 ohmes.    

Further information is available from:
http://www.yamaha.co.jp/

TEAC Analog Mixers

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M-164UF/M-164FX/M-164

Three models of compact 16-channel analog mixers are available from TEAC. The 164UF features a USB audio interface and a stereo effects processor providing 16 pre-programmed effects and the 164FX, the same effects processor, in addition to the basic functions of the 164 such as 6 mic/line inputs, 5 stereo line inputs, main and sub output busses, and a pair of aux sends for monitors and effects.

They have wider applications for live bands, home recording, installation, etc.

Further information is available from:
http://www.tascam.jp/

Vestax USB MIDI Controller

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TR-1
Designed to be perfectly compatible with Native Instruments TRAKTOR PRO, the TR-1 is a product that Vestax and Hiroshi Watanabe, known for PC-based DJ Style completed after 2 years and half of collaboration.

To achieve maximum level of real-time play, it features reliable, smooth touch switches making users comfortably enjoy long hours of play, accurate and flexible long mixing with 60mm input and pitch faders, controlling capability of 4 channels with selection switches on the front deck and more than 160 MIDI parameter settings.

Other features include a joy stick selector control for instant song selection and song preview, fast move control for loop play and LED light level controlling function.

The package comes complete with a Native Instruments TRAKTOR LE DJ software.

Further information is available from:
http://www.vestax.jp/

Vestax Digital Power Amplifier

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VDA-1000MKII
Vestax has refined the VDA-1000 compact digital power amplifier and introduced as the VDA-1000MKII which features a cooling fan system with temperature sensing capability. It efficiently operates for long hours under harsh conditions.

It delivers 3 types of output power, 100W plus 100W, 300W plus 300W and 500W plus 500W at 4 ohmes. In BTL mode, 1,000W output power is provided.

Other features include a combo input capable of handling balanced XLR and phono, an RCA pin input, and a USB digital input. A Speakon output is employed.

Further information is available from:
http://www.vestax.jp/

JET In-ear-canal Headphone

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IMl-1 -1 ¥9,300
Vestax's first in-ear-canal earphone is capable of providing ultra bass ambience and presence as if players perform in front of listeners thanks to Vestax exclusive PULSBEAT technology, a combination of a large pulsation chamber accommodated in the rugged metal housing and a full-range 11mm diameter driver.

The sound adjust knob allows listeners to control compression feeling by opening or closing the air ducts. When they are open, wide range sound is delivered, and when closed, flat hi-fi sound is provided.

A high quality coiled cable which is much appreciated by musicians and engineers solves cable mess. Four sizes of ear piece, 4 colors of adjust knobs, and a mesh pouch are standard.

Further information is available from:
http://www.vestax.jp/

Gueber DJ Headphone

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Vestax has designed a pop-colored, light-weight stylish headphone in collaboration with Japanese popular DJ MAYUMI. The heart-shaped cabinet is decorated with crystal beads. Pink and White models are available.

Professional quality heavy bass sound is delivered through a large unit. It comes complete with a phono/mini plug and a fashionable pouch.

Further information is available from:
http://www.vestax.jp/

Liveline LS1800 Guitar Strap ¥1,800

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Made of smooth cotton cloth and genuine leather, it comes in 4 soft earthy colors of Brown, Moss Green, Gray and Wine Red.

Further information is available from:
http://www.tmc-liveline.co.jp/

KSS Mute Holder ¥2,300

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The clip-on type mute holder for trumpet can be applicable to all types of music rack. Both holder and clip freely rotate in 360 degrees and  vertically turn to 180 degrees. Using light-weight and durable polycarbonate material, it's finished in black to effectively decrease lights reflection. It's foldable for compact storage. A sponge is provided to be plated on the clipping surface.

Further information is available from:
http://www.prima-gakki.co.jp/

 

 

 

 

Seiko Tuners

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SAT101 Guitar/bass ¥2,500
SAT501 Chromatic ¥3,300

More reasonable models than their predecessors are now available. They have a 40% larger display screen and employ lamp type LEDs for increased brightness. (Photos: SAT101, top and SAT401 bottom.)

One single function per single button design promises easy control for entry level musicians. Tuning irregularities are numerically shown on the display for highly accurate tuning.

They come with individual input and output jacks and a built-in mic for versatile applications from tuning of acoustic & digital musical instruments and sound-mutable instruments to transmission to external amplifier speaker system.

They operate for approximately 200 hours (when just tuned at A4) with two 1.5V batteries which are 3 times longer than the conventional models.

The SAT101 covers tuning ranges of 7B/6E/5A/4D/3G/2B/1E for guitar, LoB/4E/3A/2D/1G/HiC for bass. While, the SAT501 is capable of handling from A0 to C8 ranges.

Further information is available from:
http://www.seiko-sl.co.jp/music/