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Launched back in 2009, the Meridian series supercedes two previous Mapex ranges, the Pro M and M Birch. This has lead Mapex to offer the Meridian series as a selection of all-maple and all-birch drum kits.

 

To show that the new Meridian range of kits is more than just re-badging old drums, Mapex have added a load of new features.

 

Though neither kits are especially expensive, there is a sizeable difference between the cheaper to manufacture birch and the maple model, which recently won the MIPA award for Best Acoustic Drum Kit. 

The Mapex Meridian Birch Drum Kit has a slightly different feeling and response to the maple version, but is no less playable offering users plenty of attack and a remarkably bright tone.

 

The Birch Mapex Meridian drum kit gives players light-weight appointments compared to bulkier alternatives. From lugs to their tom mounting system, Mapex has looked at everything on this drum kit to ensure that the Meridian models are lighter, easier to set up, and better to gig with than other acoustic drum sets in the market.

 

The drum shells feature Mapex’s I.T.S. Mounting System in another weight saving process. By mounting to the lug casings, Mepex have kept the mount compact to enhance overall drum response allowing for minimal drum shell contact. The mounting also allows you to swap the drumheads while the tom is still attached to it's holder allowing a much easier setup while touring.

 

To keep the price down the heads on the Mapex Remo Asia’s see-through UT heads which are generally felt to be OK but not as resilient as the made-in-USA versions, but if you promise to look after the Unicorn heads they will last a pretty long time regardless of playing style.

Despite examples of cost cutting, the Mapex is remarkably well built. An example of this is the 700 bass pedal, which truely is a no-nonsense rugged unit with a normal sized duo footboard with a toe stop, twin spurs, and a three surfaced beater. Quite simply...it gets the job done. 

 

If you are in the market for a mid-ranged acoustic drum kit, that sounds great, offers a bright tone and is rugged enough to be able to travel with, you have to check out the Mapex Meridian Birch model, a great set for the intermediate player.


For a long time, if you wanted to get the sound of an authentic tone-wheel organ, the Korg CX-3, introduced in 2000, was the way to go. The CX-3 single manual combo, re-created so well the classic sound that many had demanded, that many were calling for a dual-manual. Enter the BX-3. The dual-manual BX-3 is the bigger brother of Korg's CX-3 digitally modelled combo organ and has become a firm favourite for many musicians.


 
Don’t let it’s old and 'vintage' styling confuse you, everything about the KORG BX3 is digital, with a handy set of computer programs that emulates a tonewheel sound generator, and other programs to recreate the numerous effects that are vital to the original Hammond sound.



This organ successfully emulates many different Hammond setups sounding and playing in a superior fashion to ALL of the competition, including the current crop of Hammond-Suzuki and Diversi models. There is a long list of extensive and expensive arsenal of synthesisers and digital pianos, but the BX-3 stands out as it’s is all you really need in an organ. It doesn't require anything beyond a pair of 1/4" cables, a few pedals for volume and the Leslie effects.



The dependability of a KORG is known the world over and many musicians gig with a BX-3 without a back-up due to their complete confidence in the reliability of KORG manufactured instruments. In the event that you would ever need to contact the manufacturer, KORG has a sterling reputation for offering their customers great assistance with any issues.



Very focused instrument that has been implemented thoroughly with no frills and no clutter, yet provides everything you need in an organ. Okay so maybe if you are not organist, then you may look for something a bit more universal as an instrument. But if you are, the BX-3 is perfectly versatile.



Quite simply, if you want a quality B3 presence, sound and style when gigging, and want to spend less than a small car, then the Korg's BX-3 is definitely the way to go.

 

Line 6 has a habit for getting it right and with the M13, it seems they’ve done it again.


The Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler has the heart of a multi effect pedal and the brute force of a rack. It contains an impressive collection of effects combined with rock-solid construction, and a great brand to boot.


The all-metal construction means that the Line 6 M13 multi effects pedal is built tough to ensure it survives any on-stage abuse and comes with over 100 distortions, reverbs, delays, and even offers access to some of history's most celebrated stompbox sounds all from one pedal.

Integrated into this one board, the M13 boasts every effects pedal Line 6 offers like a gigantic pedal board stuffed into a convenient, easy-to-use stage ready box. This means the effects can then be used individually, or placed into pedal board "scenes," which can be created for each of your live performances. This is a dream come true for any live musicians as you can set up your whole show on a menu controlled with one button.


The M13 was obviously designed by players, not some office bound schmooze. Some parts of the unit are pretty straightforward but I’d definitely recommend downloading the advanced, as some of the more complex stuff the M13 can do needs a little light reading first.

The Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler is really the first of its kind. The effects sound clear and precise, and the extra features make this box a must have for any musician, in fact, I’d go as far to say that you're going to be seeing a lot of musicians adding the Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler to their rigs.

Overall, if you’re looking for an all in one pedalboard that’s built well, sutable for touring, has impressive looping attributes and extreme versatility, you’re looking for the Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler Guitar Multi Effects Pedal.

 

 

Joey Kramer, one of the most famous drummers of all time, has been drumming with Aerosmith for over 40 years. His reward? His very own signature Ludwig Joey Kramer Model snare.

 

A limited production, the Joey Kramer snare is very similar to the Corey Miller signature model and Ludwig's other new snare, The Brick. With nylon washers under the tension rods, it features almost exactly the same conventional throw-off. The main difference between the models, to me anyway, is that each Joey Kramer drum is hand-signed by Joey himself on an internal paper slip.

 

The black nickel over 1.5mm gauge brass shell looks impressive with impeccably engraved Asian style dragons lacing the sides. The dragons are encased by 5mm die-cast hoops and 10 black nickel-plated brass tube lugs.

 

Despite their similarities the  Joey Kramer's brass shell drum is much heavier than Corey Miller's steel counterpart, and plays with a deep, dark fundamental. One potential stick-splitting danger is the die-cast hoops, but if you are careful, they are worth having as they really enfold sound really well, making the Joey Kramer snare loud but less unruly than the steel Corey Miller. It has a fat and warm tone making it sound exceptionally refined, and is capable of a wide tuning and dynamic range.

 

Now before you rush out and buy this fantastic snare, I’m afraid there is a bit of a drawback. Firstly, I was a little disappointed that Ludwig didn’t put their name anywhere on the Joey Kramer signature. It’s not a big deal but it would of been the icing on the cake to have a superior brand listed on a superior product.

 

The second and more financially damaging drawback is the price. At the time of writing, Ludwig are shipping these bad boys out at about £700. That’s a full £250 more than the Corey Miller model. Although it is probably worth every penny, this is definitely one for hardcore drummers, leaving the amateurs in their dust...unless of course, they can find it cheap on Instrumania.

 

The Washburn guitar company started making guitars in 1883 in Chicago and since then has gained a lot of recognition from the extreme metal, hardcore punk and post-rock genres.

 

The Washburn Idol Series has been around for over 10 years and hasn’t changed much since it’s inception in 1999. As with most guitar series, Washburn Original Idol electric guitars vary in price depending on features and specification. There are several guitars that make up the Washburn Original Idol series such as the Washburn WIPRO Lite, WIDLXLITE and WI STDLITE.

 

Washburn has the knowledge and experience you can rely on, and that kind of experience is well built into WI STDLITE. With a mahogany body and neck, the WI STDLITE is sturdy enough for even the most hardened rockers. The cherryburst finish is immaculate and complements the pearl wing inlays of the fretboard. To put it plainly, this guitar looks amazing. It feels reliable and Washburn have clearly put a great deal of time and effort into producing such a good-looking guitar.

The Washburn has a rosewood fretboard that feels very similar to popular guitars such as a Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster, offering players immediate familiarity.

 

The WI STDLITE is fitted with all the features you could possibly wish for in a mid range guitar and suits a variety of playing styles. You can see that Washburn have carefully chosen features to ensure that they leave no guitar player's desire unfulfilled.

 

Though it is advertised as “ready to play out of the box”, the Washburn WI STDLITE needs a little tinkering before it’s ready to roll. Thankfully it’s very easy to set it up and you can be playing within a few minutes of adjustments.

 

The fitted Duncan USM Humbucker pickups are tremendous and give a real crunchy sound out the mid tones. Ideal for rock/metal players that are after something a bit different. Played through my Marshall 100 watt tube, the Washburn makes it really easy to get perfect tones out of it. Playing this guitar day in day out is a pure joy. It stays in tune despite prolonged use and travelling.

 

If you need an instrument that’s sturdy enough to deal with life’s mishaps, looks great and carries an impressive sound then you really should take a look at the Washburn WI STDLITE. Built to last and sound great, you’d be hard pushed to find another guitar that offers the same bang for your buck than the Washburn WI STDLITE.

 

So what are you waiting for? Begin your search for cheap musical instruments now at Instrumania.com

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