When stuff like this comes out, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. In one case, we have the launch of Meris, which gives you a few bullet points about the product and chances are the target customer knows it’s for them. On the other hand, EHX gives a ton of info, and we’re left sorting through it to try and figure out what’s really important. It’s especially tough when new stuff goes out and people aren’t rushing to send you demo units 1. But either way, each of these releases caught my attention, so I’m spreading the word.
Meris 440 Guitar Preamp
Former Strymon chief, Terry Burton, emailed me randomly2 and it hit me that his new company had launched. Weeks later, I still don’t fully understand what Meris does. But their 440 preamp seems pretty badass.
The prize of the 440 is an input from Cinemag – a company that has a lineage in superb audio transformers dating back to the 40’s. It also includes a lot of guitarist-friendly features like an effects loop, high pass and shelf filters, and an analog signal path. I’ve seen a bazillion preamps, can’t recall ones that were very guitar-focused like this.
To date, I’m not seeing any audio clips of this thing. And I don’t even know how you’d appropriately value it compared to other units. But, given the lack of preamps that stricly focus on guitarists’ needs, I’m guessing this will be a big deal.
Either way, look for it to start shipping soon (and for a price tag to appear).
EHX 45000 Looper
The model number is so damn long, they have to spell it out.
The Fourty Five Thousand multitrack loop station seems like a perfect tool for quick songwriting. It’s got four tracks, punching, bouncing, quantitizing, up to 100 recordings (loops), removable storage and more.
This is a perfect solution for anyone doing digital music in a live setting. It’s dead simple and has line level outputs to go straight to a mixer. You can save all your beats or samples and easily play them whenever is needed. If you’re using your hands during a show (for a guitar or whatever), there’s an optional footswitch to make the job simpler.
I think this is going to get a lot of play in that area. But don’t overlook it as a tool with a lot of potential for the traditional guitarist. I’m always on the lookout for simple options to increase your songwriting output and this definitely fits the bill. But since it’s hitting the streets at $476.31 for the looper and $119.25 for the foot controller, you probably won’t be buying it only as a dumbed down version of Garage Band. The price is high-ish for a looper/recorder, but seems right for all the things it does.