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Ibanez RU 10 Jam Tuner


guildbass
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It's strange but of all the little 'Plug your guitar in and practice on headphones' widgets around, as far as I know, this is the only one with a library of drum sounds.

Basically, it's a plastic box about 2" by 3". In fact it looks like any one of a dozen tuner/metronome things available for a tenner or so.

It's about as straight forward as you like. There's an off/on switch, a volume wheel for headphone out and the tiny built-in speaker, an instrument in jack, a headphone out mini jack, a 'volume level' wheel for the instrument input and a really nasty 'gain' wheel which clicks 'on and then proceeds to make your guitar sound like it's being played through a £3 MW only transistor radio which has been hidden in a biscuit tin. Fortunately, this 'wheel' clicks off for sensible grown-up bass guitarists....Mmmm....clean tone.

The metronome is OK...it's the beep type so fairly generic. The Function button on the front selects 4 functions; there's 'beat'..Normal metronome time sigs, tempo, for changing the...er...tempo... a tap function so you can get the speed correct for something you're doing and there's a rhythm which adds a few beeps into each pattern...

The drums are nothing special in terms of sonics...it's no Alesis SR18, rather they are the old school synthesised type. They sound like drums however so who cares. There's 20 different patterns some of which are set up as 12 bars with appropriate fills for the key changes.

However... Plug the bass in, select 'Mode' to get to 'Drums', select a drum pattern on the 'Up/Down rocker button, , use 'Function to select either 'Tempo' or 'pattern' and off you go.

It's great! ...get a nice short patch lead and start to groove...You can feel your timing tighten up minute by minute.

Yes, a real drummer is great to groove with, anf yes, you can rig up a drum machine yada yada yada, but this is a tiny AAA powered one box solution to silent practice...

Best of all, although it's meant to be £30 plus, Nevada Music have white ones only (there's also a red one and a black one from other people)...for £20 inc postage.

The secret to regular practice is not to put complicated barriers in your way. This thing can sit in your guitar case with a set of cheap headphones and a short patch lead and you've got it all there ready!

Best toy this week...

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