September 2010 Archives

Yamaha Synthesizers

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Fourth generation of the MOTIF music production synthesizer is now available with greatly advanced instrument voices, playability and control capability. The largest feature is ability to expand the instrument voice to 2GB by transporting contents into separately sold flash memory.

They provide 741MB (in 16bit linear format) wave data including voices of the S6 grand piano in addition to rich and high quality Yamaha concert grand pianos, new voices of clavinet, organ and synthesizer, Yamaha' acoustic drum and percussion, and R&B voice kits.

The XA (Expanded Articulation) function allows the user to select desired articulation from key let off of piano, guitar slide and harmonics to pizzicato of string instrument real time. Output analog circuit has tuning capability to achieve maximum effect of the function and produce crispy, deep sound.

With two flash memories loaded in desired combination of FL512M (512MB) and FL1024M (1,024MB, photo left), the user can take advantage of more than 2GB instrument voices including built-in voices as the flash memory holds sound data after instrument power is shut down. Additional voices, audio loops and vocal data can be downloaded from the website.

Music production capabilities are significantly expanded with highest level controls of audio and MIDI data, arpeggiator, making song data into patterns, or developing songs from sequenced patterns.

A 128MB SD-RAM is built-in to sample external audio data without additional memory. The Integrated Sampling Sequencer allows the user synchronized playback of sampled sound to sequencer just like processing MIDI data.

61-, 76-, and 88-key models are available to be selected depending on playing style. The 61- and 76-key models feature FSX keyboard action which efficiently supports glissando and other fast phrases and provides comfortable play feel with the gentle response when keys hit the bottom. The 88-key model has BH (Balanced Hammer) keyboard action which has realized authentic grand piano key touch.
The LCD control panel has much improved to be customized to the needs of player. In addition, the upgraded DAW remote control offers sound edit confirmed in sight either by the instrument or PC in synchronized control of the parameters with help of MOTIF XF Editor VST provided in the package.

A Cubase AI software is standard to all models. Separately sold FW16E FireWire expansion board (photo left) allows the user to record 16-track audio data into DAW software with the MOTIF XF to serve as audio interface simply by connecting with PC via one single FireWire cable.
Further information is available from:

Yamaha Electric Guitars & Silent Guitars

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SG1820/SG1802/ SG 1820A ¥350,000, respectively
(photos: SG1820 Brown Sunburst, SG1820 Vintage White, SG1802 Gold Top and SG1820A Silver Burst)

Since the first launch of the SG2 and SG3 in 1966, the SG series electric guitars have been widely accepted as one of most favorite gears among top artists. Many guitarists from all over the world loved the legendary SG2000 and SG1000 which came into the market in 1976. Yamaha has remodeled the SG series with new concepts and tonal color to fit today's rock music scene. While retaining basic features as mahogany body with maple top and characteristic double cutaway design of the original SG series, the new models come with a new body shape with enhanced rock taste. Besides thick body center to efficiently respond to string vibration, they have achieved powerful sound and beautifully flowing arched edges. The flat body back produces deep mid and bass sounds.

Other features include rosewood fingerboard, a slightly trimmed headstock for improved weight balance, Grover machine heads, GraphTech nuts, TonePros bridge and tail piece.

Three models are available to meet differential requirements of rock guitarists. The SG1820 features two covered type '59 Seymour Duncan pickups for excellent control of high frequency range and tonal color favored by rock players. The headstock comes with the traditional 'flower pot' motif. The available finishes include Black, Brown Sunburst and Vintage White.

The SG1802 features two Seymour Duncan SP90-3 single coil pickups for open sound with authentic picking nuances, and sharp attack and sticky mid and treble range. It's recommended for guitarists searching for well amplified classical rock sound with fine body resonance. The headstock with bindings comes in simple design. Black and Gold Top finishes are available.

The SG1820A specially designed for heavy rock musicians feature two EMG 85 and 81 active humbucking pickups to deliver heaviily distorted sound with high gain and low noise. The headstock motif and dot markers of the neck are newly designed. The black nickel hardware gives it an aggressive look. Either Black or Silver Burst finishes are available.

A hard case is standard to all models.

Silent Guitars
SLG110S ¥70,000 
SLG110N ¥70,000 
SLG130NW ¥75,000

(photos: SLG110S Tobacco Brown Sunburst, SLG110N Black Metallic and SLG130NW Light Amber Burst)

After a decade since the initial launch, Yamaha has redesigned the Silent guitar line with much improved tonal quality and playability. The on-board effects are expanded adding chorus and echo to two types of reverb. High quality guitar sound is produced with the Yamaha's original DSP. Alkaline battery is employed for 13 hours of play, much expanded from 7.5 hours of the predecessorsIn addition to AUX In jack and AUX In level control for joint session backed by CD player, they have LINE Out jack that allows the player to practice plugging with amplifier or played on stage and in recording with no worry of feedback.

They feature maple body, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, and a contoured arched frame to better fit player's body, and a finger rest.

They come in steel-string, narrow neck and nylon-string models. The steel-string SLG110S features a slightly narrow neck, same fingerboard and string length of traditional folk guitar, a compact size headstock which is easy for tuning and gives an outstanding look.

The nylon-string SLG11N features fingerboard narrower than traditional classical guitar and little lower string height. Three color finishes of Natural, Tobacco Brown Sunburst and Black Metallic are available.

The nylon-string SLG130NW is designed with serious classical guitar player in mind featuring upgraded rosewood and maple frame, and ebony fingerboard. It's finished in Light Amber Burst.

A stereo in-ear earphone, power adaptor and original soft case are standard to all models.

Further information is available from:

ESP Electric Guitar

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CRYING STAR Classic ¥475,000
The CRYING STAR, a gear for Shu of Galneryus and SPINALCODE, has an additional model in traditional design. It features Honduras mahogany body and set through neck, 24 frets rosewood fingerboard, one individual Seymour Duncan SH-2n Jazz and SH-4 JB humbucking pickups for the front and rear, GOTOH tuner and bridge and Tune Matic & Stop tail piece.
It's finished in Vintage Cherry and comes with a certificate autographed by Shu, and a hard case.

Further information is available from:

H.S. Anderson Electric Guitars

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HS-3/HS-4/HS-4 TR/HS-5/HS-5 TR (TR stands for tremolo system)
Like the Mad Cat which was put into the market in 2009, they are reissue models to be built in limited numbers. First introduced in 1973, the H.S. Anderson electric guitars were highly praised with their characteristic, innovative design and superior sound, and are still popular among guitar enthusiasts today. (photos top row: HS-3, HS-4 and HS-4TR, bottom row: HS-5 and HS-5 TR)

The HS-3 inheriting attractive appearance of the Mad Cat features framed maple top, ash back with walnut body center, and it's finished in Golden Brown.

The HS-4 has exotic grained Burl walnut top, ash back, and the body is finished in Glossy Natural Dark. The HS-5 and HS-5 TR feature tiger maple and framed maple top, respectively, and ash back. Both models are finished in Glossy Natural Yellow.

The HS-4 and HS-5 offer tremolo system-mounted models.

All models have one-piece maple neck, two Bill Lawrence L500 humbucking pickups except the HS-3 which has one L250 single coil pickup for the front. A matched gig bag is standard.

Further information is available from:

Tokyo Guitar Show 2010

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Drew 3,800 Visitors, 140 Guitars Sold
Yamano Music and Fender Musical Instruments co-staged 9th Tokyo Guitar Show at TFT Hall, Ariake, Tokyo on June 26 and 27. It welcomed a total of 3,800 visotors, a 3% increase from the last show.

The No. 1,000 main hall accommodated 16 guitar shops. Their exhibits were new, coveted vintage and valuable models. Jackson/Charvel introduced outlet models, and Squire guitars included a special model exclusively modified for the show.
During the two days, they sold 140 guitars, 31% more than last year, valued 58.5 million yen which was an 8% increase.   
The Boss x Fender joint booth offered latest models for hands-on experience and professional level seminars. Staged for 4 consecutive times, it has been contributing to attract young visitors including growing number of female players to the show.
The live stage featured top level artists including Tetuo Sakurai and Michiya Haruhata. More than 400 visitors enjoyed new signature model presentation of Michiya Haruhata.

As the first experiment, the organizers posted the seminars live on Ustream which resulted in 1,163 views.
Tsutomu Iwasaki, Sales & Marketing Manager of Yamano Music Overseas Division, said, "The event has nearly accomplished its original goals having achieved unprecedented business results. We charged admission fee of  ¥1,000, doubled from the previous shows, but more visitors than we anticipated filled the show floors. That means they were serious guitar players and fans looking for their gears. The show is widely recognized among guitar enthusiasts, and has proven quite an effective event for business for the industry. We hope to stage celebrative 10th session next year with further integration of the user support programs."

Tokyo Guitar Show 2010 Exhibitors

Big City Guitars
Guitar Traders
Ikebe Gakki
Ishibashi Music
Junsei Guitars
Kagetsu Rock
Kamo Brother Music Center
Mars' Guitar
Miki Gakki
Musicland Key
Shinseido Rock-In Shinjuku Store
Velvetsound & The Guitar Lounge
Yamano Music

baden Guitars
Caparison Guitars
Fender Acoustic
Fender Custom Shop
Fender USA
Hook Up
Jackson & Charvel
KID/Korg Import Division
PRS Guitars
Singer Song Guitar
Taylor Guitars

Music publishers and others
Nikkei BP 'Adults Rock'
Rittor Music
RollingStone Japanese Edition
Shinko Music Entertainment
Music Master/Sound Designer