Allans Billy Hyde

Allans Billy Hyde blog

Key Things to Consider

When looking to purchasing a keyboard or digital piano, the multitude of options available can be ov

When looking to purchasing a keyboard or digital piano, the multitude of options available can be overwhelming. Do I want 61 keys or a full 88? Should they be weighted or non-weighted? What about voicing options or compatibility with complementary software? At Allans Billy Hyde, we stock a wide range of Yamaha keyboards, in amongst which you will certainly find one that suits your playing needs.

For the enthusiastic beginner we suggest taking a look at the Yamaha PSRE Workstation/Keyboard range. They are small, lightweight and capable of running on batteries alone. This makes them the perfect unit for the young aspiring musician’s bedroom or holiday away. With hundreds of built in samples and sounds, accompaniment rhythms, quick style selections, and an intuitive light up lesson screen, this unit introduces the beginner to the many creative capabilities of music technology. A new addition in recent years is the introduction of “USB to Host” connection on rear panel. This enables the operator to utilise software plug-ins, software recording programs, and learning apps using any smart device or laptop. This in turn creates one advantage over the use of standard USB controllers: with built in multitrack recording they are ready for inspiration even if your laptop isn’t available, thus preventing the lengthy process of “plugging in and loading”, whilst trying to keep that inspirational melody or chord progression in mind. With touch sensitivity above the PSRE263 range the player is free to use dynamic (louds and softs) to express that flowing ballad.

However, with the abundance of learning aids and features on this unit, it won’t be long before the student will start “running out of keys” as their ability moves beyond pieces that are playable on 61 keys. If this is a concern, I would suggest looking into buying the 76 key variation of the PSRE453, the PSREW400. This model boasts all of the above features, plus a much larger key range.

For those looking for portability the quality sounds and samples of the well-known Yamaha range but worry that the huge variety features of the PSRE will be a distraction I always recommend the non-weighted Piaggero range. The NP32 and NP12 are ideal for introducing the beginner to the world of digital pianos. They are super light-weight, battery operational, and still offer “USB to Host” capabilities spanning 61 and 76 keys. These are simple to operate and lusciously expressive to play.

 At the other end of the spectrum, Yamaha’s digital piano range are for committed pianists, or those that are serious about learning piano. With a full range of 88 keys plus the “USB to Host” connectivity and high quality sounds as smaller keyboards plus an even larger dynamic range, the digital pianos offer greater expressive possibilities on every front. Weighted keys let you produce softer softs while larger higher wattage speakers are capable of producing louder louds. As the prices increase in the digital piano range the touch, sounds and dynamic range become closer and closer to the real thing. We retail both the Arius and Clavinova range. Digital pianos allow the player the full piano experience without the need for tuning or expensive relocation when moving house.

If you have any further enquiries, or would like a demo on the aforementioned products, feel free to call or pop in to see me!

Clinton Cox - (Allans Billy Hyde Bourke St) Call (03) 8699 7960

Allans Billy Hyde | Make Music

The Ongoing Inspiration of a Really, Really Nice Instrument

We all know that music can be produced using anything that has a string or a tube or a skin (includi

 

We all know that music can be produced using anything that has a string or a tube or a skin (including our own bodies). For millennia humans have been doing just fine with whatever makes a sound. So when we hear the local music store salesperson trying to convince us to buy the more expensive ‘premium’ instrument it definitely makes us suspicious.

Our blog today will put to rest some of these suspicions and hopefully answer some questions you have about the real value of expensive versus cheaper instruments.

The truth is, instruments are a little bit like cars. The cost accumulates based on the features you want. Desirable features such as quality manufacturing, innovation, extras, and rarity come with a higher price tag. All these factors determine the final cost to the consumer.

Generally, place of manufacture will also affect the cost of an instrument. However, the rise in quality coming out of Chinese factories in all consumer industries has decreased the market size of locally made, English/European and American made products as they are now seen as too expensive. This competition is good for consumers as there are more options available. But are mass manufactured cheaper instruments really as good as those coming out of traditional workshops?

Most music retailers have now heard over and over “My $500 Chinese made electric guitar copy is just as good as the real thing!” How can a $500 item be as good as the $5000? While it would be great if it was, most of the time it simply isn’t. Having the $500 available is awesome because it makes these instruments accessible to people with all kinds of budgets. And the fact that the quality of these instruments has risen recently means not being able to afford the $5000 instrument doesn’t hurt quite so much.

But what is the real difference in quality between the two? Well, in 99% of cases, the more expensive instrument is made from superior materials (which are more expensive), by a person with more expertise (who costs more to employ).

The value of quality materials cannot be underestimated. Take the example of string instruments. Good quality tonewood timber gets more expensive every year. It grows slowly but everyone wants it, so resources are dwindling. This drives up the cost significantly.

Then we need to consider workmanship. Many premium instruments are handmade. Highly skilled builders are like master mechanics- they don’t come cheap! They also have a reputation to uphold, and a precision build takes time. All of this again, drives up the cost of manufacture.

This is not to say that the cheaper product doesn’t do a good job. But, as your playing progresses you might find that it does not perform to your exacting standards, at which point you realise you need invest in an instrument that hits the high notes easier, or has better bass response, or more sustain and clarity. These nuances in performance ultimately contribute to improved technique, knowledge, and most importantly, inspiration.

There will always be the used car salesman type (no offense meant…) that only upsells for financial benefit. But a good salesperson will take the time to explain the benefits of spending more. Remember to value anything that is made with care, and of quality components. By buying a premium instrument you are investing in high quality manufacturing, materials and in yourself as a musician. If this blog has made you wonder whether a higher tier instrument might be what pushes your playing that extra step, don’t be afraid to come in and have a chat.

- Stephen Forth (Store Manager: Adelaide) Email Stephen

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Taylor by Numbers

In this post, we will learn to understand the numbering system employed by Taylor Guitars to identif

In this post, we will learn to understand the numbering system employed by Taylor Guitars to identify their range.

There are three different model variations to choose from:

1. Cutaway body with on board electronics e.g. 614ce

2. Non-cutaway body with on board electronics e.g. 614e

3. Non-cutaway body with no on board electronics e.g. 614

Taylor models are arranged by series, from the 100 through to the 900 with each of the three numbers identifying a particular appointment feature.

The first number reveals the series. Generally, most guitars within a series offer the same back and side woods, plus similar features. From the 100 series through to 900 series, this remains a consistent identifier.

The second number tells us one of two things:

a) The guitar is either a 6 or 12 string model

b) Is the top made of a hardwood? For example: Mahogany or Koa, or a softer tone wood like Cedar or Spruce.

If the guitar is a 6-String the middle number will be a 1 or 2, for example:

816ce indicates a softwood top, typically made from either Spruce or Cedar

• 826ce tells us the top is a hardwood, like Mahogany or Koa.

For 12-string guitars the middle number will be either a 5 or a 6, for example:

756ce is a 12-string with a softwood top, in Spruce or Cedar

• 766ce is also a 12-string, this time featuring a hardwood top, Mahogany or Koa.

The third number identifies the type of body shape you will expect to find.

0 = Dreadnought (e.g. 810ce) 2 = Grand Concert (e.g. 812ce) 4 = Grand Auditorium (e.g. 814ce) 6 = Grand Symphony (e.g. 816ce) 8 = Grand Orchestra (e.g. 818e)

Cutaway and Electronics

“c” indicates a model with a cutaway; “e” indicates a model with on board electronics

Nylon-String Models

Taylor nylon-string guitars can be found in the 200-800 series, and easily recognised by the letter ‘N’ at the end of the model name. For example, a nylon-string GA (Grand Auditorium) with a cutaway and on board electronics within the 800 series would be 814ce-N.

Starting with the Baby Taylor, Big Baby  GS MINI 100 Series to 900 Series, to the Deluxe Koa series and Presentation Series - each model delivers something unique and different that sets it apart from the rest. From shape, tone wood pairing, and aesthetics, Taylor’s 5 body shapes can be found in each series, but combinations of wood pairing on Top, Back and Sides, as well as appointments and features differ by series.

Find Your Fit and talk to our Online Team to choose the Taylor that's right for you! 

- Allans Billy Hyde Online Contact

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Hey Hey, My My: A look at Neil Young’s “Old Black”

If you’ve been playing guitar for a while, there is a good chance you have accumulated a few of them

If you’ve been playing guitar for a while, there is a good chance you have accumulated a few of them. As a new guitar comes into your possession, you need to part ways with another from your collection to make room. This is the vicious cycle that all guitarists go through in the search for their particular sound. Nevertheless, there is always that one guitar that has a sentimental grip, the one you will never part with…no matter what.

The same story rings true for one of rock ‘n’ roll’s great guitar slingers, Neil Young.

In 1969, Young traded his Gretsch 6120 to Jimmy Messina from Buffalo Springfield for a 1950s Gibson Gold Top that had received an amateur black spray paint job in an effort to cover the guitars original finish. Messina loved the look of the Gibson Les Paul but found the guitar “uncontrollable and monstrous.” As Messina tells it: Young is “the kind of guy who if he sees a scraggly dog walking down the street, he’d see something in that dog and take it home.” Needless to say, Neil loved the guitar and quickly dubbed it “Old Black.”

While Young is sometimes unpredictable in his musical output, there has been one constant since the beginning. More than 45 years later, “Old Black” is still by his side while other guitars have come and gone. Though his guitar collection has become part of the Neil Young legend, it is still his ‘go to’ axe for all electric parts, both recorded and live.

Over the years, there have been a ton of modifications to “Old Black,” most notably a mini-humbucker from a Gibson Firebird in the bridge and a P-90 pick-up and cover out of a Gibson ES-335. The other integral part to Young’s sound is the Bigsby Tremolo tailpiece which is believed to have been fitted in 1969. Nowadays, “Old Black” looks thoroughly well-loved, has travelled a million miles and could tell as many stories.

With the announcement of Gibson’s 2017 range imminent, the time is right to find your version of “Old Black” -  that guitar that you will never part with.

- Curtis Prout (Allans Billy Hyde Online) Email Curtis

Allans Billy Hyde | Make Music

One of rock ‘n’ roll’s most revered song writers and performers, Neil Young will return to Australian shores in early 2017 headlining the Byron Bay Bluesfest plus a heap of shows right around the country with his latest cohort of backing musicians, Californian’s Promise of the Real – a 5 piece featuring Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah.

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 100w Head

The first time I remember seeing the words Mesa Boogie was in the late 90s, as a teenager, where eve

The first time I remember seeing the words Mesa Boogie was in the late 90s, as a teenager, where every guitar player was looking for the bigger, more menacing and heavier sounding rig. The low end ‘chug’ dominated the guitar market and all the biggest bands played brick decimating rhythm riffs alongside more simplistic drum grooves to compliment the song structure.

Yes, ‘Nu Metal’ was the big thing for me as a teen and the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier was the ultimate amp to get your hands on if you were a guitar player. Obviously, Mesa Boogie’s line of amplifiers started well before this phase of music but the bands that stood out to me, and still do, were the likes of Soundgarden, Everclear, early Foo Fighters to Mudvayne and System of a Down. Fast forward another 15 years and I keep going back to this amp. It literally has everything you need.

The true beauty lies in the player’s hands. With endless tonal possibilities at your fingertips, the Dual Rectifier Head shines on the individual taking the time to dial in their tone. Featuring three blistering channels; the first channel offers two modes ‘clean’ and ‘pushed’ whereas the other channels (rock and metal) offer three modes per channel: ‘Raw,’ ‘Vintage High Gain’ and ‘Modern High Gain.’ Each of these incredibly versatile channels has been assigned a multi watt power switch to go from 50 to 100 Watts making it extremely usable from smaller club shows to the arena.

The head is completely tube loaded, no solid state or digital design in sight, equipped with 4x 6l6 power tubes and 5x 12AX7 preamp tubes.

Additional features include an ultra-transparent fully buffered effects loop to throw all your crazy effects through and channel assignable rectification with rectifier tracking. Also, a tuner out with mute bundled into a redesigned footswitch! I know right…where’s the kitchen sink? The new and updated Dual Rectifier Head not only sounds the best to date, it’s easily the most flexible.

Now, with age, most people find themselves playing more of a variety of styles and this really reflects the amplifiers flexibility - from clean chordy jazz rhythms to gritty low gain bitey blues. Switching on the vintage high gain gives you a classic rock tone all the way up to winding the gain into those ‘And Justice for All’ Metallica tones! Roll off the volume on your guitar and it completely cleans up.

Many modern metal player’s refer to this amp as the industry standard so there’s clearly a reason why nearly every hard rock and metal band around the globe keep a Dual Rectifier Head in their rig. You can spend endless hours and money on software and digital guitar products that try to imitate this monster but nothing really comes close to the live, organic beastly tube power and decimating tone of the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Head!

- Josh Ellacott (Allans Billy Hyde Online: Store Manager) Email Josh

Allans Billy Hyde | Make Music

Kramer Baretta Special Electric Guitars

If you’ve ever sold or bought musical instruments, there is a 94% chance you’ve had a customer or be

If you’ve ever sold or bought musical instruments, there is a 94% chance you’ve had a customer or been the customer that has a request that sounds like this: “I’m looking for a good guitar but I don’t want to pay the earth for it...and I don’t want a cheap and nasty one!” It’s the oldest question in the book and it usually leads to an up sell or a disappointed customer.

Let’s be honest. Most electric guitars under $400 are pretty tough to give stellar reviews. Either they're a challenge to play straight out of the box for a beginner or they last for a while and need upgrading after a year or so. Well, fret (pun intended) no more! The Kramer Baretta Special is here to save the day. At under $400.00, the Baretta is a lil’ ripper of an axe with amazing bang for minimal buck. The first thing you notice is how smooth and playable the neck is. It’s like you’ve been playing it for years after the first twenty minutes. This guitar looks like it is built for shredding and you bet your sweet amp, it is. Fast is the adverb that comes to mind and after a run around the higher frets, you start to see why this guitar type was a fave for shredders like Mick Mars and Vivian Campbell in the 80s.

The quality control from Kramer is fantastic and the fact that they devote this much attention to the cheapest guitar in the range is testament to that. The humbucker pickup is nice and hot and gives a good true crunch, when needed. While tremolo and tuners are pretty standard for a guitar in this price range, they definitely don’t slip and slide as much as others.

All in all, the Kramer Baretta Special punches well above its weight and if you are looking for a cheap guitar but don’t want to pay the earth and don’t want something cheap and nasty, you really can’t get better than the Baretta.

- Tarquin Keys (Allans Billy Hyde Online) Email Tarquin

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The Repercussion of Dave Lombardo

The Repercussion of Dave Lombardo Tour Wrap-Up THANK YOU to everyone who came out to see Dave. YOU




 

ABH ARCHIVE: OCTOBER 2015: The Repercussion of Dave Lombardo Tour Wrap-Up

THANK YOU to everyone who came out to see Dave. You made this tour the overwhelming success that it was!

Our partners: Tama Drums,  Paiste Cymbals, Evans Drumheads and Promark Drumsticks. Special thanks to the wonderful Paula at Killion Management. Cheers to Maric Media for the PR. All the photographers for the killer pics! And ALL the media outlets who supported this sold-out tour!

Did everyone enjoy the show?

Dave was of the nicest guys you could ever meet and it was such a pleasure to see him live. The energy and passion he showed - a lot of musicians could take a leaf out of Dave’s book of how to treat their fans. Thanks to Dave and ABH for such a wonderful evening

• Had a fantastic time. If you could pass on to Dave he IS fkn heavy metal

• Thanks for the opportunity to see Dave last night. It was seriously an amazing experience

• Big kudos to Dave Lombardo- gracious, patient, virtuosic. Thanks for visiting our city; it was one of those few occasions in my life which I'd consider an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

• What an insane great night with the king Dave Lombardo! Thanks guys for making this possible

• Adelaide people this will leave you speechless....I was at the Melbourne show last night and it was just brilliant. Thanks Dave for a great night

• Simply brilliant ... True gentleman and gave so much time.... Especially to the kids.... Thanks Dave

• Awesome seeing and hearing so much about Dave. Such a cool, generous and caring guy

• Was great meeting Dave such a cool guy and gave more than he should have

• One of the nicest guys I've ever met. Cheers for putting it on ABH

• Just saw Dave at Melbourne gig and it was awesome. Thank you Allans Billy Hyde for bringing him to Oz.

• My boy and I had the best night ever!!! Thank you so much, you guys are legends!!!!! \m/><\m/

• Best night ever I loved it & after 30 years I got to meet one of my favourite drummers of all time , was so grateful he signed my original Slayer records from the 80's - the staff at Billy Hyde Windsor bris were a bunch of friendly helpful people too • A top night guys - thanks!

• Thank you again for giving me the chance to go, it was soooo great. Still on a high from that night. Thanks you rock! • Sensational night thanks guys for putting it on

Dave Lombardo: Your passion, power, finesse, fire, musicality and enthusiasm for the art of drumming is truly awe-inspiring. And equally is your love and generosity towards your fans. You were provocative and breathtaking. THANK YOU for an amazing and unforgettable experience! 

Allans Billy Hyde and Dave Lombardo: inspiring musicians for generations!

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