A Cable Any Guitar Player Would Love
When guitar players see this new cable, they’ll say, “I can’t believe somebody hasn’t thought of this before”. Yep. Meet the Spinstigator, a clever new guitar cable that never gets tangled or twisted from all your crazy rock moves on stage.
Active guitar players used to have a couple of choices; buy an expensive wireless rig or simply untangle the guitar cord throughout the night. The third option is the new Spinstigator. This is great for the working musician or even someone practicing at home. Even if you only move around a little bit with your guitar you can get pretty tangled up in just a half hour. Check it out next time you’re at a bar or wedding. Watch how the guitar player has to untangle the guitar cord nearly every set. It’s not fun and it certainly doesn’t look cool nor professional.
We tested the Spinstigator with a Rickenbacker and Strat. One of the best things about using this cord versus a wireless rig is the sound. It sounds just like a regular guitar cord but without the hassle, noise or interference of a wireless system. I love this product because it’s classic problem solving at its core. What makes guitar players crazy? Twisted cables and drummers that play too loud. Here’s a solution invented by a guitar player and made in the USA that addresses the first problem. You're on your own with the crazy drummers.
The Spinstigator folks claim this guitar will last longer than a regular cord because the copper wire inside isn’t getting bent into knots all the time. It’s very quiet and makes no noise whatsoever so your playing is always nice and clean. The electrical connection in the rotating device is being made with mercury, a liquid metal, so it’ll never get that static, scratchy noise like dirty volume knobs on a guitar or amplifier. There’s constant electrical contact being made all the time between the moving parts. The flexible 20 gauge cable and G&H connector ends are top quality, too.
Players that already use cords instead of wireless will love this because it’s simple and they’ve got the same direct signal they want, and a few wireless users may jump back to using cords once they try this little funky little deal. Of course, this is not for everyone. Obviously if you’re a player running around on an arena sized stage this won’t cut it. However, for most users, this will be a nice change from the receiver, transmitter, batteries, wall wart, interference and the “I don’t get exactly the same tone and gain” problems associated with wireless.
The Spinstigator comes in four convenient lengths so players running to nearby stomp boxes or all the way to their amps should be covered. This would make a great Father’s day gift or stocking stuffer.
Visit The folks at Spinstigator for more information and to watch a video of this cable in action. Made in the USA.
- Category: Tech Soup
Casio Edifice 3D Chronograph Review
The Casio Edifice 3D Chronograph is a sophisticated everyday watch that combines Casio’s rugged solar technology with familiar G-Shock features in an upscale stainless steel design. The analog face is attractive in spite of being a little busy. Most importantly, the latest Ediface from Casio keeps great time thanks to its Multi-Band 6 Waveceptor Atomic Timekeeping.
When we unboxed this beauty the first thing we noticed was its heft. This watch looks and feels substantial. So much so that at first we thought it was a little too heavy. However, after getting a few links taken out and wearing it for a few days we found it quite comfortable.
Setting the time couldn’t be easier once you know which combination of buttons to press. However, it did require a quick peek at the manual. Unlike a digital watch that you can easily figure out by seeing which digits flash when certain buttons are pressed, the analog nature of the 3D Edifice left us looking at a confusing array of clockwise and counter clockwise movements, sometimes all at once. The 4 button Scheme is similar to what you might encounter with a G-Shock but less intuitive.
We wore this watch out and about, in the shower and in the pool. After a few days we got used to the heft. We really like Casio’s implementation of its rugged solar technology. The biggest problem with a watch running out of juice is it happens at the wrong time. The Edifice 3D is designed to give you plenty of warning signs it's about to run out of power and needs some light to recharge. For example, the second hand will tick every two seconds when power starts getting low. The watch will appear to have stopped when juice gets really low. Pop it in the sun and it comes back to life and displays the correct time. Very Cool. Very smart. Very Casio.
We tested the first electric car from General Motors, the EV-1, and one of the things that drove us nuts at the time was we constantly had to check the “fuel tank”. The EV-1 had very poor battery life. So we were always afraid of running out of juice. Solar watches tend to be rather efficient and Casio has effectively eliminated any doubt and is providing extra piece of mind, albeit on a much smaller scale, with its rugged solar technology. It’s efficient, green and cool.
One caveat. When we had the watch sized at Tourneau they claimed a watch of this size and heft would benefit from having two sleeves per pin in the band for better durability. Maybe just a sales technique to get us to second guess "our purchase". The Edifice has just one sleeve per pin. We'll leave you watch freaks to hash this one out. We simply didn't notice and we don't plan on operating a jack hammer with this watch. We've got the G-Shock for that.
With a $450 MSRP the Edifice 3D Chronograph is not an impulse buy. However, we imagine a few lucky dads and grads might get a stainless steel surprise this year that will keep them happily on time for many years to come.
Visit Casio for more information.
- Category: Tech Soup
Phones and Music
The phone isn't a traditional music listening device but that's changed dramatically in the last few years. Just think about the iPhone. Two of the most popular applications for the iPhone are Shazam, an app that helps you identify music, and Pandora, the ultimate music discovery tool if you can tolerate some absurd song picks from time to time.
Now it's possible to receive Sirius XM on a cell phone although it sounds like garbage and of course Slacker is now offered on the iPhone. SanDisk announced it's slotRadio product at CES and hopes says it will have the cards working on mobile phones this year as well.
On the device side FM transmitters are being added to the chip sets so now you can beam any audio content from your phone to your FM stereo on the frequency of your choosing.
So, here's a crazy scenario. Run the Sirius XM app on your cell phone and send it to your car stereo via FM. Nuts. I know. For the true geeks just because they can. A more likely scenario is to load up a microSD card with lots to music and use the phone as wireless MP3 player in the car.
We reviewed the LG Chocolate 3 a while back and sort of chuckled at the FM transmitter. Cool, but how much would we really use it? Well, it's actually been extremely handy. While riding n a friends car I can DJ with my own collection of music and simply tune the dial to my tunes. My cell phone is the one device I always have with me. With a 16GB microSD card installed I have access to over 4 thousand tracks. We can go on a road trip and listen to music 24 hours a day, 10 days straight. That's pretty nuts.
This is just the beginning. We're going to see more devices and better GUIs that make it seamless and fun to access more and more content, especially music on wireless devices. The evolution of these phones is just remarkable. Many support more codecs than standalone portable media players.
The final piece of this puzzle will be ruggedized designs with extended battery life. This will be the death blow to the already declining standalone portable media player market.
- Category: Tech Soup
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