At every turn, Donner is redefining what it means to be a “budget” brand. In the past, the idiom “you get what you pay for” rang true in all but a few scenarios. You got the occasional meal of substance or a night out at the movies on the cheap. Aside from that, small amounts of money got you small amounts of low-quality stuff you didn’t want.
But Donner isn’t just creating “cheap” products. They’re creating the best quality products in an affordable price range, something few companies ever master. And this is what stands out about them.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the much-lauded Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar. So, is it any good? Read on…
The Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar
The Donner DTC-100 TC (or the Standard Series – we’re still not sure what Donner ultimately wants to call it) is a beginner Telecaster-style six-string electric guitar. You’ve seen it all over YouTube. But does it measure up to the hype?
Straight up – you could do a lot worse. As a former full-time guitar teacher (I still teach the occasional lesson), I’ve had the opportunity to play a ton of beginner electrics, and I found that most off-brand ones are adequate at best, and unplayable at worst. I also found some on-brand ones mediocre.
The DTC-100 TC, on the other hand, is simple, sleek, and fun to play. And as far as I can tell, it has very few downsides.
Students and beginners alike can carry this axe around with pride, and without worry that their guitar is holding them back from progressing as a guitarist.
Honestly, I was a little worried about the guitar’s neck out of the box because it has a very thin finish. I thought this might cause unwanted resistance and friction and make the guitar harder to play. But no, it’s very comfortable, and I never feel like I’m rubbing my hand against sandpaper as I’m running up and down the fretboard.
Similarly, there are no issues with sharp frets, a hallmark of cheap guitars that are intentionally rushed out the door by lesser brands.
The action is also very even and there is minimal buzz. Bends and vibratos are very easy to perform. It’s mostly upsides with this guitar!
It doesn’t have a smooth, luxurious neck in the style of my Ernie Ball Music Man Axis, but it wouldn’t be fair to ask that of a guitar that’s under $200 USD. If I want a guitar that fits my hand like a glove, I can always pick my Axis off the guitar stand on which it rests.
Well, it’s a guitar. You really can’t ask for too much here, especially at this price point. It comes with two single coil pickups (standard Tele setup), one volume knob, one tone knob, a three-way pickup switch, and six strings.
No whammy bars, no B-Benders, no stacked humbuckers. But if you wanted to mod the guitar, you could either do it yourself or hire a skilled tech to do the work for you. Of course, as with any axe, you’ve got to ask yourself whether it’s worth the mod, and putting higher-quality parts on lower-quality guitars will only get you so far.
Ultimately, no disappointments here. The guitar features a simple, standard setup. And it does come with a few worthwhile extras, like a gig bag, hex key, instrument cable, and guitar strap.
First things first – I tried the Donner Standard Series guitar direct into my computer through my audio interface. This is the most unflattering way to listen to any guitar, as all its frequencies and natural character are greatly diminished.
Then, I tried the guitar through Positive Grid’s BIAS FX 2 Standard, experimenting with a few presets.
I was mostly listening for potential flaws but could not find any.
The bridge pickup offers all the twang and grit you would expect from a Tele. The neck pickup offers that delightful bell-like tone Teles and not coincidentally Strats are also known for.
If you were to test this guitar side by side with a $3,000 Fender Telecaster, of course, you would notice a difference. But the DTC-100 TC still sounds good enough for recording, and not just for demos and sketches.
I approached the test with a critical mind and came away feeling the guitar’s tone was more than adequate, especially at this price point. Naturally, it buzzes to high heaven, but that’s mostly to be expected from a guitar equipped with single coil pickups.
This is probably the guitar’s chief weakness. You can’t ask too much of a beginner guitar, but I do find that the Donner DTC-100 TC is lacking tuning stability, and it requires regular tuning.
It’s not much of a problem if you’re practicing alone, but if you’re playing gigs or recording, you’d want to keep an eye on this. Tune regularly to minimize cringing.
Also, make sure you know how to tune the guitar. That will keep you in the game.
When I picked up the guitar from the local convenience store post office, I couldn’t believe how light the instrument was. That’s not always a good thing, but in this case, it was a pleasant surprise.
Considering its overall playability and sound, the fact that it weighs so little makes it very convenient for road trips, and presumably, international travel as well.
I drive quite a bit myself, and this guitar has followed me all over Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, and the Okanagan Valley without issue.
Of course, hauling it to and from school, lesson rooms, jams, and so on should prove mostly effortless too.
Manufacturers like Donner owe a great deal to Fender, which originally introduced the Telecaster design.
I would advise against callously throwing the guitar in the back of your truck, slamming it into the ground, crushing it by setting heavy amplifiers on top of it or otherwise abusing it in unnatural ways.
But the axe should hold up to quite a bit of wear and tear, thanks to its robust design. That’s always a good thing for beginners, who might tend to bump and scrape their guitars without noticing.
What Others Are Saying About the Donner DTC-100 TC
You don’t need to take my word for it. You can watch the guitar in action in these videos:
Final Thoughts, Donner DTC-100 TC Electric Guitar
Everything you’ve heard about the Donner Standard Series is true. This is an excellent guitar for the money. Even advanced players will likely be wowed by the guitar’s overall quality and stability based on its price point.
For beginners, it should serve as a great instrument for learning and practicing alike. And for more seasoned players, the Donner DTC-100 TC is sure to become a workhorse for practice, demoing, jamming, and more.
Black Rooster Audio recently released a new free AAX / VST / AU plugin they call RO-GOLD Vintage Gold-Plate Reverb.
Reverb, as you well know, is an in-demand effect, whether in the studio or on the stages of the world. That’s also what makes it “a dime a dozen” effect – whether free or premium, there are just so many options out there.
How does RO-Gold Vintage Gold-Plate Reverb stack up? What did we think of it?
Keep reading to find out…
This section of the article isn’t about the plugin’s graphical user interface (GUI). We cover that later under the heading of “User Interface.”
Rather, this is where I dissect the product’s marketing – namely, RO-GOLD’s landing page.
Now, it should be said upfront that the Black Rooster Audio team obviously knows what they’re doing when it comes to web and graphic design. Their website is both simple and clear, while exuding a sense of professionalism amateur websites simply don’t.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise, then, that the RO-GOLD landing page is on point. It features:
A clear call to action to download the free plugin in exchange for your email
3D mockup of the product box (this gets extra points in our books)
Video clips demonstrating what the reverb can do
A well-written, informative product description that isn’t overwhelming (always good for bloggers, podcasters, media, etc.)
The gorgeous GUI
DAW compatibility – always reassuring
In a world where free plugins often don’t have their own landing pages, are completely lacking product descriptions, or are even relegated to footnotes (instead of their own dedicated pages), what Black Rooster Audio has done is above and beyond.
Having signed up to download the plugin, I was asked to register a new account with Black Rooster Audio. This is relatively standard practice nowadays.
I then had to download the Windows installer for the Black Rooster Audio app. I haven’t had a good experience with proprietary apps (Spitfire Audio comes to mind), so this initially worried me a bit.
As it turns out, it’s a simple installation wizard, the kind most applications use. So, my fears were alleviated relatively quickly. I went ahead and installed a few freebies, including, of course, RO-GOLD.
Once installed, I was prompted to enter my serial number (can be found on the “License Manager” page on the Black Rooster Audio website) to unlock the plugin.
First impression – the RO-GOLD reverb is very rich. I think it would be a rare occasion I’d need to turn the dry/wet dial passed 15 to 20%, because tracks start to sound like they’re underwater beyond that point (though there are techniques where 100% wetness could be utilized).
I first tested out the reverb on an acoustic guitar. It took me a minute or two of messing around to learn the impact the controls would have on the sound before dialing in a “sweet spot.”
Creating a nice, authentic sounding atmosphere on a dry acoustic guitar proved simple enough.
I also tried RO-GOLD on dry vocals with consistent results. It didn’t take hours of tweaking to find settings that complemented the voice.
There is no mistaking that RO-GOLD is a bit of a one trick pony. What it does, it does very well. It delivers a vintage plate reverb that sounds good and is easy to use. If you like the sound, you will enjoy it. But if you’re looking for a different sound, you’d want to find a different reverb, because RO-GOLD doesn’t include multiple models.
The RO-GOLD Vintage Gold-Plate Reverb comes with four primary controls – bass cut, damper, pre/delay, and dry/wet. For experienced producers, these parameters should be self-explanatory, but I’ll offer a bit of a personal take on these.
The dry/wet works just as expected. Turn the knob to the left and the effect will become more subtle. Turn it to the right and it will become more intense. And as I already said, it doesn’t take much for it to get very intense.
Pre/delay would basically be the length of the tail. You can shorten the reverberation by turning the knob to the left and lengthen it by turning it to the right (up to 500ms).
The damper affects the intensity of the pre/delay, where a setting of 1 would minimize and diminish the reverberation, almost as if you were making the room smaller. A setting of 10 would make it sound more like you’re playing in a concert hall.
Different damper settings work for different situations, but I usually found myself setting it somewhere between one and four. The “small room” effect is awesome, almost like a subtle doubler or chorusing effect.
Finally, we have the bass cut, which is quite subtle, but it’s obviously there to help you remove excess rumble from the reverb (the greater the intensity of the reverb, the more you’ll be able to hear the difference bass cut makes).
If you’re a guitarist like me, you could almost think of it as a “tone” knob, because spinning it to the left (towards 10Hz) will bring out more of the warmth, while turning it to the right will emphasize higher frequencies.
Besides that, you’ve got a few settings for knob mode, knob sensitivity, and GUI size (don’t miss the tiny settings button in the bottom right corner).
That’s it. RO-GOLD is a very simple reverb plugin. Even though presets would be nice, when it’s this easy to dial in your tones, it’s hardly necessary.
Whoa! The user interface is huge! I had to set it to XS (extra small) for it to fit my screens properly.
The user interface is obviously emulating classic rackmount gear, and not surprisingly, Black Rooster Audio has nailed it. They’ve managed to achieve a realistic, worn looking interface that’s the envy of countless plugins.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the competition is fiercer than it’s ever been, so making a good first impression is key.
Personally, I always like to see a little more color in a GUI, but based on what they were seeking to emulate, it’s forgivable that it isn’t more visually dazzling. They kept it truer to the source material.
Black Rooster Audio says RO-GOLD Is compatible with:
I tested it with Waveform myself, and I can confirm it works with Waveform too.
RO-GOLD Vintage Gold-Plate Reverb in Action
Hear the reverb in action.
RO-GOLD Vintage Gold-Plate Reverb, The Verdict
From the outset, RO-GOLD Vintage Gold-Plate Reverb presents very well – it has the outer coating of a professional plugin that makes you want to check out other Black Rooster Audio products (which is clearly the point)
Registering your account and installing the plugin isn’t as straightforward as the process of say, downloading a free plugin from PLUGINS 4 FREE, but overall, it was not a lengthy or frustrating process
True to form, the reverb has a very thick, vintage plate sound that should work nicely on vocals, drums, and instrument tracks alike
It’s a bit of a one trick pony, but did you really expect something else?
The feature set is ridiculously simple – if you know what you’re doing, you should be able to dial in desired tones in mere seconds or minutes
It has a simple but beautiful user interface, nailing that vintage “worn” look
About a year and a half ago, I launched Content Marketing Musician.
Content Marketing Musician is home to books, courses, and coaching programs for independent musicians looking to level up their music careers.
But it wasn’t created randomly or in a vacuum. So, here’s the story and intention behind its creation and ongoing development.
Challenges Faced by the Modern Musician
Here are just a few things we’ve heard from you:
Overwhelm – too many platforms, too many opportunities, too much information, too many things to do
Niche and identity – trying to figure out where you fit in the “oversaturated” music world
Competition – too many other musicians vying for the same gigs and opportunities
Songwriting – trying to write the next big hit (“it’s all about the song”)
Income – creating income and earning a living from your passion
Marketing – being effective enough in marketing to generate a steady income in music
Trust – too many voices in the market, it’s hard to know who to trust
How Content Marketing Musician Addresses These Challenges
We address them through our books, courses, and coaching programs. But that, perhaps, is a little over-simplistic.
We tackle some of the most troublesome topics head on to help you find your path – digital marketing, attitude and mindset, music licensing, tools and resources, and a great deal more.
Brent Vaartstra of Learn Jazz Standards says I cover the mindset, marketing, and business of music. I like his summary.
We have offers at a variety of levels to suit the needs of the individual. More affordable support for those looking to address specific challenges in their careers, and more premium, comprehensive solutions for those who are all-in.
And newcomers are welcome to get started with our free Music Money Machine training (don’t miss the free book offer after entering your email address).
Is Content Marketing Musician in Partnership with Music Entrepreneur HQ?
We officially announced the partnership about a year ago, on February 11, 2021.
You can think of Content Marketing Musician as an extension of Music Entrepreneur HQ.
Why a New Site?
When we started Music Entrepreneur HQ, WordPress was the best solution available for what we were creating.
Over the years, we tried several sales funnel builders, course hosting platforms, membership site solutions, and even “plug and play” WordPress plugins. They’re all wonderful, but none of them worked out.
Then along came John Lint’s 10XPro. From the moment we signed up for a trial, the choice became obvious. 10XPro offers a great experience for creators and customers alike, it’s easy to use, and it’s powerful beyond anything else we’ve seen.
Content Marketing Musician is built on 10XPro, and we can’t imagine a better home for our books, courses, and coaching programs.
What Products Does Content Marketing Musician Offer?
Important note: This product listing is up to date as of January 19, 2022. Offers and prices are subject to change. All prices are in USD.
Elite Players: All Access Pass
Price: $1 14-day trial, $147 monthly after
What’s included: Members only forum, audios, bonuses, all courses, Music Licensing School, archived training, tools & resources, shows
Our premium online academy for musicians. Just like it sounds, an all-access pass to all our training programs, past and archived trainings, members only audios (featuring many experts), links to the best tools and resources, and more.
Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass
What’s included: The complete course – 13 lessons
In 2011, I joined two network marketing companies and even started one in 2012. What did I discover in the business model? A powerful education in entrepreneurship as well as how it applies to being a musician.
Even in a world where digital marketing best practices and platforms are constantly changing, it’s possible to lean on road-worn, time-tested principles to build a bulletproof web presence. Social media isn’t the cake – it’s just the icing on top.
What’s included: Three PDFs – two eBooks, one newsletter
The modern musician isn’t just a creative or creator. They’re also a promoter and a leader. This may sound counterintuitive, but these are the new music industry frontiers.
To succeed in music on your own terms, you must be willing to take a different approach. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll get what everyone else has gotten.
The Renegade Musician System is the definitive guide to taking control, taking ownership, and taking pride in taking a different direction than everyone else.
Members Only Audios
Price: $15 monthly
What’s included: The complete archive of Members Only Audios, with new content added each week
An extension and supplement to The New Music Industry Podcast, Members Only Audios features exclusive content not heard anywhere else, covering a wide range of topics, from social media to video marketing and distribution.
From Q&As and reflections to guest tips and interviews, Members Only Audios is chock-full of great tips and advice for the modern musician navigating the ever-changing music industry roads.
What Can We Expect Next from Content Marketing Musician?
We have multiple projects in development. The next course to be released, though, is the Chord King Course, a comprehensive beginner guitar course. Stay tuned!
Thanks for letting me introduce Content Marketing Musician to you. It’s been a load of fun.
Do you have any questions? What programs are you interested in? What would you like me to create next?
Maybe you’ve heard me talk about KLEQ (formerly 10XPro). Perhaps you heard about it on a podcast somewhere. Or maybe you’re just curious as to what all the hype is about.
KLEQ is a comprehensive funnel builder, online course platform, and membership site solution with an extensive integrated feature set (requiring no other plugins), efficiency, and value-adds that sometimes seem too good to be true (but rest assured, they are true!).
KLEQ was created by serial entrepreneur John Lint who is in partnership with none other than James Schramko. That might explain why it has been so successful to date.
In this review of KLEQ, you will discover whether this is the solution you need to build your own fan club, set up your guitar course, replace Patreon, and / or level up your music career earnings.
It seems strange to say, but there is really nothing KLEQ doesn’t already have or isn’t adding to their incredible platform. They even listen to feature requests!
(The reason I say that’s “strange” is because as a reviewer I have unkind things to say about just about every product!)
Here’s an overview of what’s available (but this should not be considered more than a summary):
Build forums, courses, and membership sites in minutes (put any content you want behind a paywall)
Drip feed course content (e.g., 30-day course where one lesson is dropped daily)
Offer private coaching to your students
Coach your audience ongoingly with the live streaming option
Create social walls by integrating a commenting system
Take advantage of gamification to keep learning fun
Promotion & Sales
Set up sales funnels and campaigns of any kind (product launches, webinars, list building, and much, much more) with the click of a button (just replace the default copy with your own)
Set up your website with the powerful and efficient page builder
Accept online payments (PayPal and Stripe)
Integrate with your email service provider and / or payment system (audience segmentation built in)
Add a blog to your website for more traffic
Leadpage style opt-in boxes to grow your list
Built-in affiliate system
Viral share campaigns to boost engagement
Built-In Tools to Customize User Experience
Behavior tagging – anytime, anywhere
Dynamic redirects based on tagged behavior
Automated countdown timer that adjusts to the user
Automated product launch deployed with the click of a button
Automated webinars without the need for extra tools
Web hosting is included – simply provide a domain name
Daily backup and security
Live customer support for all those times you can’t figure out something yourself and need help
Example Campaign – Chord King Course
I recently launched my beginner guitar program, Chord King Course. I have more complex sales funnels than this, but I wanted to demonstrate just how easy and powerful KLEQ is, so I thought it would be best to keep this section succinct.
To build this funnel, first, I went to the “Campaigns” section in KLEQ.
I clicked on the + button to create a new campaign.
From here, you can choose any campaign type you want and have the pages auto-populated (blank campaign, list builder, quick sale, auto launch, virtual summit, whatever you like – then all you must do is customize the content on each page to suit the offer).
I used the “blank campaign” option in this case because I knew I wanted to create a simple three-step sales funnel (lead magnet, sales page, order page).
If you used any of the other campaign types, the relevant pages would be automatically created for you.
With “blank campaign,” you need to create your own pages. Don’t worry, it’s not that bad. All you need to do is click on +Add New Page and choose from the templates, all organized by category (launch pages, optin pages, thank you pages, etc.).
My Chord King Course campaign has an optin page, sales, page, and order page, as seen below:
This is the opt-in “squeeze” page (the only action the user can do is enter their name and email to download the free eBook).
This is the sales page. The entire page was deployed in advance. All I needed to do was add my own copy, insert my video, add relevant graphics and testimonials, and everything was set up and ready to go.
Now for the order page, where I added an order bump:
Notice the order bump… that was EASY to set up!
Remember. Everything within KLEQ can be customized. If there’s something you don’t like about the template you’re using, you can modify it, and it’s incredibly easy.
How to Build with KLEQ
You’ve already seen how you can deploy new sales funnels / campaign with the click of a button. Here I want to show you how the page builder works.
If you’ve ever used Divi Theme (a great page builder for WordPress) or ClickFunnels (a great sales funnel builder), then you probably have a good idea how this works already.
That said, I do find KLEQ’s builder to be easier and more efficient overall.
Blue is the outer block, green is the middle block where you can specify columns (many options to choose from), and the grey inner blocks are for adding content (text, title, image, video, audio, button, etc.). Pictured here is just the outer blue block, but it should give you an idea:
Just for fun, let’s add a new content block under the “Get Your Free Video Training” button:
Like I said, you can choose from a variety of options…
I added a “social share” block just for fun.
The amount of customization is insane… You can even specify which page is going to be shared from the dropdown…
It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to replace the logo, create a new menu, or change a background. It’s all quite straightforward in KLEQ.
Yes, it will take a while to grow accustomed to it, but that’s true of any software you can name.
Customer Experience – Fully Customizable
One of the things I always look for in an all-in-one builder like this is the ability to customize the user experience.
A lot of other funnel builders have great templates and look shiny and attractive on the outside, but for whatever reason, don’t look like much on the backend.
That means a lot of builders are great for the creator, but not so great for her poor customers taking the courses.
If you scroll down, you can find individual lessons.
Clicking on any of them opens the full lesson along with the video and transcript.
There are plenty of course platforms out there that look far less elegant, and aren’t anywhere near as smooth.
What I Like Most About KLEQ
Deploy new campaigns with the click of a mouse
Built-in copy for all templates (customize to suit your offer)
Easy to use and build pages of all kinds
Awesome support when you need it (built right into the backend)
Online knowledgebase with articles and videos for additional help
No hosting requirements, simply bring your own domain name
Payment processor that’s easy to set up and just works
Great overall experience for creators and their customers alike
What I Like Least About KLEQ
Price point (but I cover how to problem-solve this issue quickly and easily later – honestly, I don’t regret the investment one bit)
There’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s still easier than most campaign builders you can name
Example of a Successful KLEQ User Who’s a Musician
Robin Nolan of Gypsy Rhythm Domination runs his course on KLEQ and earns six-figures on what many would consider a subset of a niche.
What could you create? Could you start a fan club? Create your own course on piano, drums, or songwriting? Offer subscription only video and audio content? There are plenty of options, and it’s all easy to set up inside KLEQ.
What Others Are Saying About KLEQ
I’ve compiled several video case studies, reviews, and testimonials for your perusal:
Who is KLEQ for?
If you’ve ever faced the trauma of trying to piece together several standalone applications that don’t play well with each other
If you’re spending way too much money on said software
If you’d like to break away from the clutches of fan engagement platforms that keep a percentage for themselves and don’t give you complete freedom over your content (and could even pull the plug on you at any moment)
If you’re tired of earning a pittance on streaming royalties, can’t build a big enough following on YouTube to earn on advertising, don’t have a big enough reach to make your micro-crowdfunding projects work…
There are many funnel builders, online course platforms, website, and membership site solutions out there.
Out of all of them, I love KLEQ most. It’s the easiest to use, and in my opinion, offers the best experience for the user and their customers.
I am an affiliate of KLEQ, and I do earn commissions on those who purchase through my affiliate link (at no additional cost to you).
But honestly, I’m mostly interested in sharing great software solutions that save you the trouble and headache of having to cobble together a bunch of complicated tech applications that don’t sync. There are some all-in-one builders that may come close, but still aren’t as user friendly, powerful, or robust as KLEQ.
Do You Personally Use & Endorse KLEQ?
While Music Entrepreneur HQ runs on WordPress (I set up the website way back in 2016), Content Marketing Musician and all related products run on KLEQ.
I have been a client since 2020.
It’s Just Too Expensive… How Can I Justify the Purchase?
I’ve gotten emails from musicians saying KLEQ is simply too expensive for them to be able to justify the purchase.
Look, I totally get it. I’m an artist myself, and there was also a time when I bristled at the idea of software subscriptions costing what KLEQ does.
Let’s speculate on some possibilities here…
Could you play one or two paying gigs per month to offset the expense? (For me, the answer would be an emphatic “yes!”)
Could you sell one course per month costing more than $200? (That’s all you need to cover the costs of the solution.)
Could you start a membership costing $20 per month and get 10 subscribers? (Or sell a $10 membership to 20 fans?)
But if KLEQ just isn’t for you, then you might be interested in Sellfy. It’s not as powerful as KLEQ to be sure, but it is more affordable, and it does allow you to set up a store where you can sell digital goods and subscriptions, as well as physical products.
Premium solutions come with a premium price tag. Sure, in isolation, you can find apps that do opt-in pages, or sales funnels, or courses, or memberships well. But solutions that do it all well while offering an excellent experience for the creator and customer? Now that’s a rare breed. And that’s what KLEQ is!
The Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital is all the rage right now. I was personally sent a unit a few months ago and was eager to give it a whirl.
Amazingly, I realized I’d never played guitar with a wireless setup prior to this. I’ve used wireless mics, especially as a former audiovisual tech, but never a wireless setup for my guitar. And so, this was an exciting journey of discovery.
Here are my thoughts on Evolution Digital Wireless. Did it live up to the hype? Keep reading to find out…
It seems a tad indulgent to comment on the packaging, and it might not even have occurred to me to do so if it weren’t worth commenting on.
But I have been sent a couple of Sennheiser products to this point, and what their boxing demonstrates to me is that they care.
I make no claims of Sennheiser’s being the most beautiful, luxurious wrapping ever invented. I have been sent a set of Status Audio headphones and considering the price (affordable) and quality of the product, when those cans arrived at my doorstep, it felt like I was opening a Christmas gift. Stunning packaging.
Even so, there is pride in the Sennheiser boxing, and it is well designed. That enhances the overall experience of the product.
Ease of Use & Setup: Slight Hiccups
I can admit that I was trying this baby out on a sleepy Sunday, so if I was feeling a little sharper, setup probably could have gone a little smoother. Which isn’t to say it was terrible because it wasn’t.
I’m also not saying that this is the fault of Sennheiser. I’m not even saying that this factors into my overall rating of the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital.
But I must point out the irony in the fact that I had to think about how the cabling was going to work as I was setting up a wireless unit.
The user manual seemed to indicate that the AF out on the receiver was for the included 1/8” to 1/4” cable, when clearly it accommodates standard 1/4” cables. Maybe I’m missing something here? But the 1/8” cable is quite obviously for the transmitter, not the receiver.
Once I got my cabling sorted out, though, setup was quick and painless.
The transmitter and receiver pair just as Bluetooth devices do. That part should be familiar to most. It should be noted, though, that the on switch for the transmitter is on the inside (where the batteries go). Nice design – you shouldn’t bump the power switch on accident.
After that, I didn’t adjust anything on the receiver. I only adjusted my amp to taste, and I was well taken care of.
Range & Performance: No Issues
I live in a humble basement suite. Even so, my first inclination with a wireless unit is to test its range.
So, I strapped on a guitar, and walked around the various rooms while playing – the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, and even the study in the far corner. I heard a slight delay at that distance (as is to be expected), but I didn’t notice any signal dropout while walking about.
And as I understand it, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital automatically maintains signal integrity on your behalf. No effort required on your part unless something is off.
One of the things a guitarist might be concerned with is a degradation in tone. And let’s face it – this is nothing new. Whether it’s cabling, effects pedals, or rackmount units, our signal path tends to dictate the integrity of our sound.
I’m happy to report that I did not notice any degradation of tone while using the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital.
Now, when I switched from my Ernie Ball Music Man Axis (with humbuckers) over to my Fender Mexi-Strat, I did notice quite a bit of noise. And while that’s somewhat expected with a Strat (equipped with single coils), I can’t fault the Evolution Wireless, because I think there’s a loose connection in the guitar (it’s high time I took this baby in for a look over). Might explain why I’ve had some issues with it on other occasions.
Overall, I can’t promise flawless performance at any range, I don’t think even Sennheiser promises that, but within reason, the Evolution Wireless will deliver with flying colors.
Practical Application: Yes!
Could I see myself using the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital live? Yes! I would even be happy to try it at my next gig.
It doesn’t eliminate the need for cabling, and the freedom of movement offered will still be somewhat dictated by how well you’ve secured your transmitter, but overall, it’s going to give you far more freedom to move around on stage without worrying about you or someone else tripping over your cables.
I only tested the unit with a bare minimum setup (amp and guitar), but those with a more sophisticated signal path should still enjoy the benefits of a wireless setup, if that’s what they’re looking for.
Appearance & Esthetics: Magic
Both the transmitter and receiver are compact and sturdy pieces of gear. They look nice, are easy to set up, and honestly, most instrumentalists using the Evolution Wireless console probably won’t find the need to adjust the receiver.
Esthetically speaking, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital is pleasing to the eye. The modest black and grey color scheme is standard stuff, but it’s standard for a reason – it works. Plus, the display is bright and easy to read.
The box comes with rackmount mounting gear, as well as power adapters in case you happen to be plugging in across the world (in your gigging efforts). Seems like they’ve thought of everything here.
Final Score for the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital: 8.5/10
I couldn’t find any major issues with the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital. Only minor nitpicks or areas for improvement. I’ll summarize.
The issue with the user manual (AF out) is a funny one, and if someone can sort me out on that, I might bump the score up a notch.
And then there’s the issue with noise. Again, while I don’t think my Strat is in perfect working order, it might not reflect an isolated incident (further testing needed). And, with more sophisticated guitar setups, it might be something to look out for as well.
But overall, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital Instrument Set works near flawlessly. Setup is mostly fast and easy, and there’s no lengthy menu surfing required. For the most part, it works automatically in the background.
It’s a practical solution for live performance, and a fun one for general practice and jamming purposes too. It preserves the integrity of your tone and keeps your signal strong and clean.
There’s not much I can say about its durability besides what has already been said, but if you take care of your gear, I can’t anticipate you’ll run into issues with this product. It should last you a good long while.
In brief, the Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital comes with excellent packaging, relatively easy setup, strong sound integrity, nice esthetics, and reliability.
“Don’t Think About It (Tequila Sunrise)” represents a unique collaboration between Vancouver based producer Timmy “Boom Bap” Proznick and R&B singer Tiago Vasquez. Together with co-writer MXD MSSG, they set out to work on a fun, one-of-a-kind tune about summer love, putting their various influences and approaches into a blender to create a tasty medley.
That makes it sound like combining random ingredients hoping the smoothie will turn out, and that’s not what I’m saying. In a successful, synergistic collaboration, it’s all about taking the best elements and fusing them together in a methodical, meaningful way, and I think Proznick, Vasquez, and MSSG were fruitful in achieving just that.
In a post-pandemic world, the three friends found it refreshing to write a fun song about hot, summer love, and rightly so. In a tension-filled world, escapism is healing, and it calls back to memories of youthful awe and wonder. A simpler time filled with adventure and innocent joys, and maybe even a little restlessness and angst.
The opening notes of “Don’t Think About It” immediately evoke sizzling summery vibes. With a heavy, in-your-face drum beat, coats of additional percussion, layers of funky, staccato guitars, dreamy electric pianos, synth swells, and robotic autotuned vocals, you can already imagine a sunbathed audience at a summer festival grooving along with hip shakes and over the head claps. The song would feel equally at home in the party culture of late-night shot-guzzling dance clubs too, mind you.
And therein lies the essence of this track’s distinctive character. The instrumentation is unusual, especially considering today’s top hits, which rely almost exclusively on synths and drum machines. And while these elements haven’t been opted out on “Don’t Think About It,” it’s noteworthy that it features a bed of vintage, jazzy guitar sounds that add rare color and texture to the entire track. The perfectly timed, celestial electric piano flourishes are also a nice touch.
Tiago Vasquez’ voice is sure to bring plenty of skilled R&B singers of the yesteryear to mind and it carries the track from start to finish. “Don’t think about it,” the voice offers, prompting the listener to get lost in the moment. And no doubt, audiences everywhere will find themselves getting lost in this song’s smooth, scorching beats.
As for the lyrics? Don’t think about it too much. It’s meant to be fun, and we need fun music. Especially now.