High Fidelity: Soundstage — New products for musicians

The Fretlight teaching guitar.

The Fretlight teaching guitar.
Whether you’re an experienced musician or an aspiring one, there are companies lined up to provide you with learning tools and hardware to rock your audience.


 Fretlight is a video-powered teaching guitar that teaches individuals how to play a real guitar quickly and easily. Connect it to a PC or Mac via USB cable and instructional videos that feature a teacher playing light-up LEDs in the guitar neck to guide finger placement.

According to the manufacturer, “It’s like having your own personal guitar teacher 24/7 — whatever the teacher plays on their guitar ‘appears’ on the student’s guitar. This technology also makes it possible to learn from professional guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, etc.”

 Five models are available starting at $299. For more information, go to http://fretlight.com.


AKG is releasing three new microphones this month. First, there’s the redesigned and limited-edition D 7 LTD vocal microphone. AKG’s new reference dynamic microphone delivers high-end performance and sound for both studio and on-stage applications. The Laminated Varimotion diaphragm allows the microphone to be fine-tuned without any extra tuning resonators. The integrated high-pass filter is designed to eliminate handling noises and the inner windscreen provides users with additional protection. The inner windscreen of the D 7 LTD can be replaced with an extra windscreen that is supplied with the microphone, further extending the lifespan and durability of the microphone.

The Perception 820 Tube Microphone features a 20 dB attenuation pad and a low-cut filter for an extensive range of microphone capabilities, including vocals, brass instruments, electric guitar amps and overhead miking. The remote-control unit allows selection of nine different pickup patterns, from omni-directional to cardioid to figure eight. In addition, it also controls the switchable second-order bass-cut filter and the switchable attenuation pad. A ground-lift switch prevents unwanted hum, and the all-metal housing unit ensure maximum shielding against radio-frequency interference.

The AKG LC light condenser vocal microphone is designed for both live sound and recording and studio use. It’s designed to ensure maximum gain before feedback and has been optimized for use with in-ear monitor systems.


Once you’ve got a microphone, where do you want the sound to go? A loudspeaker, naturally. JBL has a line of portable powered loudspeakers, as well as cases and covers to protect them.

The newly released PRX512Mi is a 12-inch, 2-way, multipurpose self-powered sound reinforcement system, with a frequency range of 46 Hz to 20 kHz. It’s comprised of a 12-inch Differential Drive woofer, a neodymium compression driver mounted to a 70 x 70-degree horn, all driven by a multichannel Crown International Class-D digital power amplifier. The PRX512Mi features 400-watt low-frequency and 100-watt high-frequency amp channels. It weighs in at 40 pounds. The loudspeaker provides mic/line level input, selectable system EQ, and a premium A/D converter for maximum signal-to-noise ratio.

Also new is the PRX718S, an 18-inch, self-powered subwoofer system, offering a frequency range of 33 Hz to 160 Hz, and a power rating of 1,400 watts peak. In addition to the 18-inch Differential Drive woofer, the PRX718S features JBL’s proprietary Dual-Bridge Technology (DBT), which directly links discrete amplifier channel outputs with each voice coil in the woofer. The PRX718S also offers a DSP input section for precise bandwidth control and limiting. Additional functionality includes a selectable high-pass filter on the stereo loop-through outputs and polarity reversal. The unit weighs 80 pounds.

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