Music System

Musical Fidelity Merlin 1 gives vinyl a Bluetooth chaser

Musical Fidelity Merlin 1 gives vinyl a Bluetooth chaser

Vinyl enthusiasts may not have a reputation for embracing modern technology, but Musical Fidelity clearly believes at least some record lovers are willing to entertain more than one way to get their audio fix. The new Merlin 1 system is built around the British company's Round Table turntable, but the companion digital amp not only caters for vinyl but supports Bluetooth aptX streaming for pulling over digital music from a phone or tablet, among other sources.

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MOD Duo hands-on: Breaking the effects pedal cartel

MOD Duo hands-on: Breaking the effects pedal cartel

Of all the instruments and accessories in a musician's arsenal, the guitar pedal may be the one that most resolutely refuses to get with the electronic times. Musical Operating Devices (MOD) decided there was a better way than daisy-chaining numerous single-effect pedals, and so came up with the MOD Pedal, effectively putting a tiny computer in a box and running open-source effects for far more flexibility. With a MOD Duo Kickstarter launching today, I caught up with MOD's Gianfranco Ceccolini to find out more.

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Roland targets TB-303 and live musicians with gadget gush

Roland targets TB-303 and live musicians with gadget gush

Roland has gushed a bevy of new audio products, including a sync box that helps laptop musicians play nicely with classic kit like the SH-101 and TB-303, a S1LKi-based mobile audio interface, and a UFO-styled session mixer. Meanwhile, Roland also targets the entry-level with a new V-Drum kit intended to fit more discretely into smaller spaces like bedrooms, and a Boss looping pedal that aims to take some of the complexity out of sampling.

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Blue Microphones’ Mo-Fi headphones bake in the amp

Blue Microphones’ Mo-Fi headphones bake in the amp

If you want the best in personal audio, so the standard thinking goes, you need a standalone headphone amplifier, but Blue Microphones is hoping to change all that with its first set of consumer headphones. Mo-Fi may look like a typical set of over-the-ear headphones, but inside there's what Blue describes as an audiophile-grade amplifier and the rechargeable battery to power it, hooked up to 50mm hi-fi drivers.

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Beep sees ex-Googlers take on Sonos with sleek streamer

Beep sees ex-Googlers take on Sonos with sleek streamer

A team of former Google employees are taking on Sonos with a new music streamer, aiming to do for whole-home media playback what Google's own Chromecast did for easy video access. Beep is up for preorder now, a stylized volume knob that's actually a touch-sensitive control, and which funnels music over your WiFi network to whichever speakers you plug in. Then, using Beep's control apps for iOS and Android, users can pipe audio from Pandora and their phone or tablet.

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