SKB FOOTNOTE PEDALBOARD
Touted as the very first amplified pedalboard, The SKB FootNote Pedalboard features a built-in 5W combo amp and a 6″ Eminence speaker, making the FootNote unique to the market.
The pedalboard has a 9” x 12” sloped mounting surface for easier access to the rear pedals and the FootNote can power up to eight 9VDC effects pedals with the included power supply and cables. The FootNote also features an auxilliary/MP3 stereo line input for jamming along to recordings and incorporates the same cable tester found on other SKB products. A headphone output for quiet practice and a line out for live or recording use are also packed in to this unit, which hasn’t left a lot out in terms of versatility and multiple applications.
An internal speaker on/off switch is independent of the outputs, allowing for flexibility in terms of where the player would like to hear the sound coming from. Of particular interest is the speaker output that allows the FootNote to drive an external switchable 4, 8, or 16-ohm speaker.
The FootNote itself can run with the supplied power supply or by using 6 D-Cell batteries, which makes the FootNote a serious contender for electric busking musicians. Indeed, given that this unit has been on the market for some time now, it seems that several applications – the aforementioned busking, teaching, practicing at home or on tour, even performing at small gigs – have been overlooked. At its core, even discounting the on-board amp, the FootNote is a sturdy, fully powered pedalboard with a cable tester included. On those terms alone this product is a winner.
The SKB FootNote retails for $279.
iLOUD PORTABLE SPEAKER
iLoud is the first portable speaker developed specifically for musicians. Essentially a Bluetooth speaker that combines increased power with high-quality audio, the iLoud aims to compliment the numerous app-based products that IK Multimedia already have in the marketplace, including the iRig and Amplitube modeling software.
With 40 watts of power, the iLoud sounds much bigger than other similarly sized speakers. The unit allows musicians to reproduce their music in any mobile environment (classrooms, tour buses, practice rooms, hotel rooms) as accurately as they would in a home studio.
The iLoud features a time-aligned 2-way system, precision custom neodymium loudspeakers, tuned bass-reflex, a non-resonant enclosure and DSP processing, affording the unit an accurate frequency response, good bass response and stereo imaging that does not feature in any other portable Bluetooth speaker. A gain setting on the rear of the device allows users to set a reasonable input level for the best overall response.
iLoud also features a built in iRig circuit for directly connecting a guitar or a dynamic microphone, which lets you take advantage of the increasingly impressive sound processing of mobile apps.
The iLoud is a similar size to that of an iPad and features a tilted shape for easy set-up on a desktop. The internal battery is long lasting and can be recharged with the included power supply / charger.
Perfect for musicians (particularly recording musicians) on the go, the iLoud retails for $399.
Reviewed at Mega Music Wangara