Music Instrument Product Reviews

Get the straight skinny on the music gear you want with The Hub’s exclusive Hands-On Reviews. You’ll find in-depth details on all manner of musical instruments including guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, and many more. Looking for live sound or recording hardware or software? We’ve got you covered there too. Whether you’re a DJ seeking to amp up your show, a beginning guitarist looking for learning tools, or a seasoned weekend warrior searching for the right music gear and accessories to fit your needs and budget, count on The Hub for no-B.S. product reviews. And be sure to stay tuned as we continue to add new music equipment reviews in the coming months.

Gear Review: Jupiter 1600I XO Trumpet

Gear Review: Jupiter 1600I XO Trumpet

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By Christopher Dean Elliott

The first thing you notice when you open the Jupiter 1600I XO’s case is its beauty. It is a classic design with a stunning silver plate that would instill a pride of ownership in any player. The bell engraving is a simple cursive XO whose austerity reflects the restraint and good taste that is present throughout this elegant instrument.

Electro-Harmonix Hot Tubes Nano Overdrive

Electro-Harmonix Hot Tubes Nano Overdrive

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The return of the legendary 70s-era CMOS overdrive

By Phil O'Keefe

Vintage effects can be a funny thing. It's nearly impossible to tell you today which of the currently-available crop of effects will become highly-sought collector's items that will be prized by players thirty-five years from now. One pedal from the 1970s that has become very in-demand with modern players is the original Electro-Harmonix Hot Tubes Overdrive. Originally introduced back in 1978, this vintage pedal has enjoyed continued popularity that has only grown in recent years, and which has sent the prices for used examples soaring - often exceeding $300 for an original in working condition.

Crucial M500 120GB mSATA SSD

Crucial M500 120GB mSATA SSD

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Want to speed up the feel of your DAW computer? This will do it

By Phil O'Keefe

I recently rebuilt my main DAW PC. It was actually long overdue - I last did so in 2006. While I could have built something even more powerful, the new configuration is no slouch in that regard, with a quad core 3.5 GHz i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. Most DAW users know how important a fast CPU and lots of RAM are to overall system performance. The faster and more powerful your CPU is, the more plugins and processing it can run simultaneously. Having plenty of RAM is important for plugins, audio caching and virtual instruments, and adding more RAM to your system is often one of the best upgrades you can make to it. Without enough RAM to hold everything in memory, your system is forced to shuttle data back and forth from one of your hard drives, which are considerably slower than RAM memory is.

2014 Gibson Les Paul Standard

2014 Gibson Les Paul Standard

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The new Standard in tonal versatility

By Phil O'Keefe

The Gibson Les Paul is one of the most iconic guitars ever released. The first Les Paul models were introduced in 1952, and the "Standard" model was unveiled in 1958. Today many players and vintage guitar experts consider the 1958-1960 Les Paul Standards to be the finest electric guitars ever made. They're certainly among the most desirable, if the stratospheric prices for them on the vintage market are any indication.

Reviews from the Road: The Gibson Memory Cable

Reviews from the Road: The Gibson Memory Cable

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A premium instrument cable that captures those inspired moments on the fly

The Touchscreen Control Surface Revolution

The Touchscreen Control Surface Revolution

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Whether for mixing or synth programming, touchscreens are having a major impact 

by Craig Anderton 

Mixers used to be so predictable: Sheet metal top, faders, knobs, switches, and often, a pretty hefty price tag. Sure, DAWs started including virtual mixers, but unless you wanted to mix with a mouse (you don’t), then you needed a control surface with . . . a sheet metal top, faders, knobs, switches, and a slightly less hefty price tag. 

Little Booty Shakers

Little Booty Shakers - Make Your Snare Basket Come Alive

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by Dendy Jarrett

INTRODUCTION

When I reviewed Booty Shakers … I stated: "Trust me, a name you don't want to Google at work or with kids around. But a clever name nonetheless. So I assure you this product isn't the first thing that probably pops into your mind." So, yes, I can assure you that Little Booty Shakers isn't Honey Boo-Boo twerking either!

Blackstar ID Core Series Guitar Amplifier

Blackstar ID Core Series Guitar Amplifier

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By Chris Loeffler

Blackstar ID:Core Series Amplifiers

Only a few years ago the likelihood of getting an affordable amp that was toneful and feature-rich was near impossible outside of stumbling across a garage sale special. Blackstar took note of this and created the Blackstar ID:Core series of solid state amplifiers; bringing flexibility and tone normally found in expensive amps to players at a very affordable price.

Tweak your amp tone

Tweak your amp tone

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By Chris Loeffler

Utility and availability made the 12" speaker the industry default for guitar amplifiers shortly after guitar amps became a serious business. 10" and even 15" speakers have always been available and have even been stock in many acclaimed vintage amps, but at the end of the day the typical tube guitar amp you find in a music shop is going to be rocking a 12" speaker (or two… or four). While 12" speakers benefit from a rich mid-range and deep bass (not to mention most amplifiers and pickups being tuned to them), there's a certain higher frequency bandwidth, focus, and speed of response that a 10" speaker brings to the table that makes for easy, toneful guitar recording while avoiding stepping over the bass player's frequencies.

Reviews from the Road: Takamine GN93CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Reviews from the Road: Takamine GN93CE G Series NEX Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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An Affordable and Elegant Acoustic-Electric

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