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Messages - Strangeman86

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The Pickup Place / Re: Recommend something to me
« on: November 01, 2019, 07:00:24 am »
Another option, for those who like something outside the traditional humbucker realm, is the PW Hornet set from Monotone.  They're incredibly musical and have versatility in spades.

Gear Closet / Hipshot Baby Grand Bridge...
« on: October 29, 2019, 05:20:51 pm »
A small disclaimer to start, these are only my initial thoughts after playing a freshly assembled parts-caster with this bridge for around 10 days (I'll put a reminder in my phone so I can add some long term thoughts down the road).  I've read some pretty shining reviews for this bridge and I was anxious to have a guitar that didn't require multiple flips to change strings.  That being said...

- Relatively easy to install (only two inserts for the threaded posts have to be driven into the body).
- Adjusting the height and intonation is much smoother than some of the TOM/nashville bridges I've run across.
- Very light but solid feeling.
- Transfers string vibration to the body wonderfully.

- The threaded posts don't fit quite as snugly into the body inserts as I'd really like.  They aren't loose by any stretch, but the bridge does lean towards the neck a couple of degrees.
- The high e and B strings make contact with the bridge just behind the saddle (it doesn't affect playability or intonation right now, but it's a potential break-down area in the future).
- The string holes on the tail piece are a bit on the small-ish side and, while the ends of my strings sit nicely inside them, getting the ends out to change strings was a task the first time (I ended up using on end of a bobby pin to gently push the ends out).

Overall, I dig it.  This guitar vibrates/resonates like crazy, sounds great and I haven't found any uncomfortable edges/surfaces while playing.  There are just a few little quirks that could be easily addressed that would make this bridge pretty close to perfect IMHO.

Gear Closet / Lovepedal Tchula 'Burst'
« on: October 03, 2019, 05:56:21 pm »
If you're unfamiliar with Lovepedal, I'll spare you the boring minutia about Sean's greatly lauded and simultaneously despised work.  To keep it short, his typical business model has been to constantly make small changes/modifications to his circuits (which he openly admits are derived in some fashion or another from other designs; some folks really don't like that, but pedal makers do it all the time) and then sell them as different versions with varying differences in sound.  For example:  The original Tchula was a modified Church of Tone (or COT 50; which was meant to emulate an old cranked marshall amp).  This version, the 'Burst' is supposed to be the warmest version of that circuit that Sean has built (this is similar to his Eternity Burst, which is the warmest version of that circuit he makes). 

All that being said, I've owned a Tchula twice before (a white one and a gold one if memory serves; not sure if there were any differences in those two other than aesthetics).  Those were both a bit bright and lacked a bit of low end for my tastes.  The burst seems to remedy those ailments in my ears while having a much more appealing appearance as well (think Gibson's Tobacco 'burst finish).  Perhaps it's my ears, my guitar or amp, but I've never heard the similarities to the stereotypical marshall sound.  I've always just heard the Tchula as a lower gain gritty transistor drive.  In the sea of TS's and Klones the Tchula has a mildly unique voice and the spartan layout appeals to my inner caveman.  If you'd like some sound samples, google Mr. Josh Smith with the word Tchula and listen to him (he's a vastly better player than I am anyway).  I hope the day finds you all well.

Gear Closet / Re: Keeley KE-808 (Red Dirt Pro)
« on: September 14, 2019, 08:55:19 am »
I couldn't tell you how it compares unfortunately.  I've never played a fulldrive.

Gear Closet / Re: 1981 Inventions DRV
« on: September 10, 2019, 09:16:58 am »
A quick update. I'm bad about swapping pickups to find out what works with a given piece of gear.  I pulled out my Imperium and soldered in my Transition, shortly followed by my Duncan Custom in an effort to see if less mids from the pickup in my guitar was a positive or negative change as far as the DRV goes.  I think it's been a very positive experience and the DRV is effectively a bit more 'metal' or 'aggressive' sounding at this point.  Just FYI.

Gear Closet / 1981 Inventions DRV
« on: August 28, 2019, 10:06:33 pm »
I had to think about how to describe this pedal for a while.  Yes, it started out as a fancy Rat (and it harkens to its roots), but it's very much more than that.  With the drive knob all the way down it's crunchy and a bit lean. The farther up the gain range you go, richness and a bit of heft are added.  The cut knob is quite handy for those of us who value our ability to hear high frequencies, and there's probably more output on tap than most of us are likely to need. The note separation is great and it doesn't mind solid state amps (for those of us on the dark side).  The overall voicing of this box is somewhere between OD, distortion and fuzz (greatly depending on how far into the drive knob you go).  All that and some killer paint jobs (depending on which run you buy from).  If you want a reasonably unique sounding dirt box, give this one a whirl.

The Pickup Place / Re: Metal pickups for chambered Les Paul
« on: July 04, 2019, 05:58:19 pm »
Mojotone also makes pre-wired LP kits, and their 'vintage' pots are absolutely fantastic (in feel, taper and consistency).

The Pickup Place / Re: Metal pickups for chambered Les Paul
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:39:03 am »
Well, the Dominion set comes to mind (Mr. Morton's signature Jackson is spec's similarly to a chambered LP if memory serves me correctly).

The Pickup Place / Re: DiMarzio Twang King / Area T / Virtual T
« on: June 12, 2019, 10:49:38 am »
Well, it isn't an ideal solution for some, but if you can't find a 'stock' tele-style pickup that works you could always call up either Seymour Duncan or Mojotone. They both offer custom pickups in most styles (albeit for a higher than normal price).

The Pickup Place / The Domperium...
« on: June 05, 2019, 08:57:06 am »
So, I was curious again.  Apparently curiosity killed some cat however long ago, silly cat.  Anyway...  I decided to take one of my Dominion's and splice in part of an Imperium (specifically, the 'northern' or neck coil is from the Dominion and the 'southern' or bridge coil is from the Imperium).  The magnet setup is the Imperium's (3/8" thick ceramic with a spacer pad to isolate it from the frame), the Dominion coil still has the keeper bar making direct contact with the magnet, but the bar doesn't touch the frame (I have no idea if that makes a difference, but I KNOW the magnet being isolated from the frame makes a world of difference in the high end based on previous endeavors).

To my ears, this particular mutation is more balanced than either of the individual designs (likely from the disparity between the coils).  There's still some compression going on, but it's more subtle.  The overall output feels like it's somewhere between the Dom. and the Imp. (I have no way to measure, sorry).  The low end is kind of punchy and not muddy, the mids are reduced from either individual pickup (and feel wider as opposed to being focused in a certain range) but in a pleasant fashion and the high end is open and smooth.  There's a good amount of bite with distortion and a great mix between the Dom's more raucous nature and the Imp's velvet-fisted control.  The cleans, are absolutely wonderful.  Not a honk in sight (like a lot of 'buckers) and a bit of chime and depth. 

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's perfect, but so far I'm digging it.

The Pickup Place / Re: Dimarzio D Activator-X (bridge) Review...
« on: June 04, 2019, 11:18:16 am »
I know there was a thread recently talking about how high pickups should be and I commented that I simply adjust each pickup to taste. With my setup (medium action, guitar description in my sig') I like the DAX 2.5mm from the low E and roughly 1.3mm from the high e. Just in case anyone is curious.

The Pickup Place / Dimarzio D Activator-X (bridge) Review...
« on: June 03, 2019, 02:32:50 pm »
Hello folks!  I hope the day finds you all well!  Just wanted to present my thoughts on a long time curiosity of mine, the D Activator-X bridge model.

- Output for days, but not overbearing (and if it's too much for you, just lower the pickup away from the strings a bit... or a lot, the pickup won't mind).
- Great clarity and note separation (not nearly as good as some, but vastly superior to others).
- Dynamically sensitive (again, not as good as some, but for a pickup with three giant ceramic magnets it's pretty stinkin' good).
- Don't let the EQ measurements fool you, the pickup feels a bit more 'flat' which I feel makes it more adaptable to multiple situations (your amp and pedal EQ adjustments are much more important though).
- A reasonably 'big' sound.
- The dual blades have always been an appealing look for me  ;D
- The extra output means you don't have to dig in or pick as hard.
- Lots of tasty harmonics that are easy to call forth.

- Probably the biggest one is the EQ.  I've seen some folks describe this pickup as dull or lifeless.  And given that a lot of Dimarzio's humbuckers have a more mid-boosted voicing (Dominion, Imperium, Sonic Ecstacy, Pandemonium, etc...) it's easy to see why.
- The dual blade look isn't for everyone and you can't have it with a cover of any sort (although you can get it in a large number of colored bobbin combo's).
- Some folks like their pickups to be more subtle.  While it IS possible to be so with the DAX, it is certainly not its primary strength.
- Feels a bit stiff in certain situations.

Overall, a fantastic pickup if you need something big, powerful and almost neutral.  It will likely appeal more to players who want those qualities and like their effects/preamps/amps to do more of the voicing.  For me, it's more of a pallet cleanser after years of playing pickups with boosted mids.

The Pickup Place / Re: Sonic Ecstacy Review...
« on: May 30, 2019, 05:50:17 am »
If I ever decide to buy that one I certainly will.

The Pickup Place / Re: Pickup pole adjustment tool size
« on: May 29, 2019, 08:59:55 pm »
I only ever adjust the poles to keep the volume even between each string.

The Pickup Place / Re: Any chance of a stickied DiMarzio Mods post?
« on: May 29, 2019, 04:59:28 pm »
A twice-aired Dominion.  Obviously the standard Dimarzio fare of a gap between the pole pieces and the magnet, but also a gap (with some sort of pad, like the Imperium's magnet setup) between the magnet and the base plate.  It really cleans up the attack, opens up the treble in a super-pleasant way and increases the dynamic sensitivity quite a bit. I should also mention that I'm using an Imperium's 3/8ths in mag for this mod (I know, sacrificing one pickup for another) which makes up for most of the power lost in the air'ing process.

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