Yesterday afternoon Roland let slip that a few new products would be unleashed at NAMM. Actually, they’ll be unleashing a fair amount of innovation this year if all goes well. Unleash is their new thing. I like it. In particular, I like the look of the newly released Eric Johnson Blues Cube Tone Capsule and the BOSS ES-8 Effects Switching System. I was lucky enough to see them working first-hand at the Roland pre-NAMM launch. Pictures below!
The Eric Johnson Blues Cube Tone Capsule is a very cool new piece of amplifier technology. The Tone Capsule is a voicing circuit that Roland Blues Cube amplifier owners can install themselves. This voicing circuit changes the sound and response characteristics of the amplifier to Eric Johnson’s specifications. Listening to the demonstration last night I’d have to say the tones are pretty damn good. Versatile as well. Eric Johnson’s opinion is also worth seeing and hearing.
From a solid state amplifier user’s point of view, I really like the concept with this technology. I’ll be very surprised if Roland doesn’t introduce other custom Tone Capsules and perhaps eventually allow users to customise and develop their own. Well, that’s what I’d do. Tone customisation on a real amplifier. Very cool potential.
Another piece of awesome is the new BOSS ES-8 Switching System. Simplistically for me, this allows a real-world pedal board to be turned into a multi-effects unit where one simple control panel allows you to turn individual pedals on/off with ease. A huge advantage however is that this unit also allows you to switch the pedal order on a board without having to reposition and therefore re-cable the pedals. That opens up a whole new barrel of fun and opportunity. Certainly more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
BOSS have also released a couple of new Volume Pedals. The FV-30L and the FV-30H. L for low-impedance and H for high-impedance. If you’re connecting the volume pedal to stereo gear like stompboxes or keyboards, then the FV-30L is your pedal. If you’re connecting straight to your guitar, then the FV-30H is the pedal for you. Both pedals have a small footprint and look metal, because they are metal. These should be available in March.
There you have it. New gear from Roland and BOSS. If I capture any better imagery or video at NAMM, I’ll post an update. I look forward to seeing and hearing more in regards to that Tone Capsule. That should be very cool.