Guitars, percussion and pro audio, oh my! These segments of MI, as well as some others, like DJ controllers, are prominently featured throughout the year in the pages of the Music & Sound Retailer. That’s why we like to take an annual look at lesser-publicized products; ones that are featured less often in our pages or not featured at all. Here’s a look at some cool lesser-publicized products you can stock in your stores today.


Complete with 13 chromatic tones, the Lee Oskar Harmonicas Chromatic Tuner (Pitch Pipe) is useful for singers and choirs, and for tuning guitar, ukulele, violin and other instruments. Following the international standard, this product is designed to either be held in both hands or in the user’s mouth so that the instrument can be adjusted with both hands. This pitch pipe is made with the same level of quality as all products in the Lee Oskar Harmonicas system, manufactured in collaboration with Tombo Mfg. of Japan since 1983, stated the company.


Delta, distributed by Lyon & Healy Corp., is a solid-body instrument with cutting-edge audio technology with smooth playability, stated the company. Innovative use of a base, stand or a strap allows end users to play the Delta sitting or mobile, making it versatile for studios and stages. With an extended bass range down to sixth-octave C, the strings of the Delta run over a bridge, offering playing techniques like pitch bending and slides. The bridge pickup system offers a clean sound across the frequency spectrum from crisp highs to pure bass tones, offering end users the “maximum versatility” to develop their sound.


Alfred Music, in conjunction with Percussive Arts Society, released “Alfred Music’s Playing Cards: Drumset Rhythms.” This deck of real playing cards provides a unique way to familiarize oneself with drumset rhythms in a variety of styles. The deck contains four suits, each representing a different rhythmic style: Rock, Jazz, Afro-Cuban/Brazilian and World.


The Beatseat is a patented sensory instrument that end users play with their hands and feet, all while sitting comfortably upright. It is versatile and covers several markets. It has benefits for the following artists: solo artists/guitarists can add their own percussion with their feet while playing their primary instrument; drummers/ percussionists can play with both hands and feet; and music therapists/special needs players can have a full-body experience and feel the omnitones through their entire body. It should appeal to anyone who wants to release anxiety, build positive energy, or just have fun with rhythms and tones, stated the company.


The color-coded CodeDrum from MukikiM adds to the company’s Rock and Roll It category of electronic keyboard and drums. The CodeDrum drum kit includes a spectrum of colors of five drums and four cymbals with hi-hat and bass pedals, drum sticks and headphones. The multifunctional control unit manages seven different drum styles, a variety of demo rhythms to play along with and tempo control to adjust the speed. The record and playback feature lets end users lay down their favorite tracks to listen to over again. It also includes a “Learn to Drum” color-coded instructional songbook.


VOX Amplification has taken the feel and sound of a standard full-sized guitar and created the SDC-1 series; a line of miniature, electric guitars that embody the tonal quality of the real thing, all on a smaller scale. Unlike other mini-sized guitars, the SDC-1’s pitch, tension and tuning of each string are virtually the same as any standard electric guitar, making it an ideal choice for traveling musicians, beginners and intimate studio setups, stated the company. The SDC-1 series uses the scale length from the fifth fret of a standard guitar to the bridge, providing musicians with a more accurate and comfortable way to play compared to other mini-sized models in the market. In addition, chords and fingering are also the same as any standard guitar, and the clever use of heavy-gauge strings provides a soft feeling on the short scale. The special-ratio tuning machine heads deliver a “full-scale” feel for seamless and precise playing. The SDC Mini Guitar series comes in three colors: black, red and white.


In preparation for its 40th anniversary next year, Kyser Musical Products Inc. is remembering its past by channeling the golden era of guitar-making with a trio of premium capos. Designed with the spirit of history’s most iconic guitar finishes and materials in mind, the series includes maple, rosewood and sunburst variations. Along with their striking aesthetic, they’re thoughtfully designed to supplement the ergonomic functionality of Kyser’s legendary Quick-Change capo, and are available in select finishes for six-string acoustic and electric guitar, stated the company.


Kepma USA introduced the Populele 2, a smart ukulele made from carbon-fiber-reinforced composite. It features fluorocarbon strings, compensated genuine bone saddle and 72 LEDs build right into the fretboard, which show end users exactly where their fingers go. The Populele connects to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth, and a free interactive app gives end users everything they need for the most delightful and rewarding learning experience, stated the company. The Populele is now available in black or white matte finish.


Amahi has made a foray into the non-stringed instrument market with the addition of a Steel Tongue Drum line, currently available in eight-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch models. The eight-inch drum is tuned to a C-major pentatonic scale. Each drum is made from high-carbon steel and undergoes a two-step tuning process. It is available in bronze, red, blue, teal and matte black varieties and includes a padded carrying bag and a pair of mallets.


Although pro audio and DJ products are often featured in the pages of this magazine, stands deserve their due as well. The ProX X-EZTILT is a stand for professional sound and lighting consoles in road cases. It is a heavy-duty stand designed to transfer mixing consoles from vertical case position to the horizontal working position quickly, safely and easily. This stand is designed to prevent the user from the heavy lifting of the case and console and to provide a strong stand to support a console safely. It has a proprietary hinge design, making it easy to open and fold easily and smoothly, and a wide expanding hinge system (up to 38 inches wide) so it can hold mixers of a larger size. It measures 36 inches front to back, and the 30-inch height of the stand makes for comfortable working height. It features black powder-coated high-grade steel for ultimate strength with four-inch non-marring wheels, and is load rated to 650 lbs. maximum load. It has retractable legs with rubber stoppers to prevent tipping and can be used in multiples for larger consoles.


Yamaha’s Pianica is a breath-powered melodica, a small keyboard instrument that is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece. It is designed with musicians of all ages in mind. The Pianica P25F, the beginner model in the series, is made much smaller and lighter than more advanced models, intended for small hands and fingers. It comes with a lightweight carrying case so children can easily take their instrument from home to school, and back, and it is available in a light yellow finish. The Pianica P32D and P37D, which have 32 keys and 37 keys respectively, are both ideal models for teenagers that have mastered the beginner model. Both of the instruments have extended octave ranges, thereby giving advanced students the ability to experiment with a wider variety of sounds and ranges. And the Pianica P37E, the newest and most sophisticated model in the Pianica line, is ideal for parents that want to experience the joy of playing a musical instrument with their child. The model comes with a convenient soft zippered case, and is offered in brown and black finishes.


The Recording King Phil Leadbetter Signature resonator represents years of research and modern construction techniques for a squareneck that delivers one-of-a-kind tone, stated the company. The PL squareneck is built from highly flamed maple, featuring an interior bracing pattern guided and chosen by Leadbetter, a member of the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame, himself. Recording King’s hand-spun spider cone complements the sandcast spider bridge for truly professional-level sound heard on Phil’s recordings and stages around the world. Leadbetter’s signature is inlaid in pearl at the 12th fret, and his sonic stamp is found in every detail of the guitar. It also offers advanced sound-post design; flame maple top, back, sides and neck; Leadbetter signature block at 12th Fret; sandcast spider bridge; and square neck.


Although pro audio products are often featured in the pages of the Retailer, Bluetooth earbuds are not, and this product also represents a different offering from Electro-Harmonix. The company introduced EHX SPORT BUDS Bluetooth earbuds, which feature a flexible earclip design so they are comfortable to wear, fit well and remain stable on the wearer’s ears when he or she is jogging, hiking, biking, at the gym or simply on the go. SPORT BUDS provide an extended battery life, a sweat-proof design, and come with three sizes of ear cushions to accommodate all users regardless of the shape and size of their ears, stated the company. In addition, they will accept an optional cable with an 1/8-inch plug for wired use. They provide five hours of playtime, plus there’s an additional 15 hours of stored power in their compact charging case. The product comes equipped with three different ear cushions.


EAROS offers EAROS ONE, a high-fidelity hearing-protection device. After suffering from tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss, EAROS founder Ronnie Madra set out to prevent others from suffering a similar fate. EAROS ONE provides up to 25 decibels of noise reduction developed by audiologists, acousticians and vibration engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology to enhance the listening experience in high-decibel environments and protect hearing health. Designed especially for loud recreational environments, such as music festivals, concerts, nightclubs, sporting events and fitness venues, EAROS ONE allows people to protect their hearing without sacrificing the ability to enjoy music, communicate clearly with those around them and stay immersed in the vibe, stated the company.


The malletKAT is a MIDI controller that is designed to capture end users’ playing gestures and performance. It transforms their performance into musical notes (MIDI data) and captures the details of dynamics, pressure, speed, dampening, pitch bend, vibrato, etc., creating an incredible musical representation of playing, stated the company. It is this attention to nuance and detail that makes this instrument so enjoyable to play, the manufacturer added.


Gold Tone’s Little Gem Banjo Ukuleles combine a solid maple neck with a two-way truss rod and a hard resin pot with resonator to create a powerful-sounding banjolele made for ukulele players looking to diversify their sounds. They come with a POR box, gig bag, tool set and intonation ruler. Available in Sapphire Blue, Amethyst Purple, Ruby Red and Diamond Clear colors. The Diamond and Amethyst colors are also available with LED Lights.

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