greetings and New Years Wishes to everybody. And continued salutations to Mr. Kiyohiko Yamaya for creating what is without doubt the finest and most reliable piano pickup you will find ANYWHERE. Some highlights from 2012:

KEM - Universal/Motown R&B artist toured throughout the USA. As his monitor engineer, I always need to get his grand piano clearly heard on stage over a kickin' band. OR, to allow FOH engineer Jim Gibbons the means to get the signature piano intro on "Why Would You Stay" to carry the far reaches of large auditoriums. It's a wonderful feeling to KNOW that with my Yamahiko pickups, we NEVER have any worries regarding these demands. For our Japanese fans - KEM will be in Tokyo at the Blue Note this January 18 & 19. Check him out.

HERBIE HANCOCK - 2012 saw the creation of Herbie Hancock Plugged In: A Night Of Solo Exploration. Herbie's first solo tour of Europe visited Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal & the UK in October-November 2012. As always, only Yamahiko pickups were good enough to properly reproduce Herbie's brilliance on his preferred Fazioli concert grand. As this show ALSO includes electronic and track elements WITH acoustic piano, it's important to have CONSISTENT sound at all dynamic ranges - acoustic whispers to electronically-backed screams. With my Yamahiko pickups, never a worry. During a live studio TV broadcast in Amsterdam (Kunststof TV), we used the Yamahiko pickups exclusively - no microphones. This was an extremely popular decision with the director, as he no longer had mic stands spoiling his camera angles. The audio engineer was horrified that I would agree to such a thing - UNTIL he heard Herbie play the piano at soundcheck. "AMAZING - what ARE those pickups?" he asked. Believe me, I get this reaction all the time. Another new Yamahiko believer.

PERFECTING CHURCH - only the best will do in God's house. My Yamahiko pickups made it to Perfecting Church in Detroit, Michigan where gospel superstar Marvin Winans is the founder & senior pastor. I used my pickups during the official release concert of Marvin L. Winans Presents: The Praise And Worship Experience. To date, the church had been using a single condenser (clamped inside the piano) and a Barcus Barry pickup. I replaced these with my two Yamahiko's for the concert, and the result was revelatory. Most of the church members I talked to afterward were convinced we had brought in a new piano for the event. NOPE - same old piano, all new Yamahikos. I'm sure they wanted me to leave them in there, but no way. I NEED my pickups for the next round of challenges - who knows what is in store for 2013?

- BIG ED -