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Topics - Guitar74

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The Pickup Place / Bobbins cracked
« on: April 24, 2021, 09:10:52 AM »
So many moons ago, around 2010 I believe, I noticed the pickups in the trusty 'ole Big Apple Strat had what looked like black ink splats on the mtops of the bobbins. Upon closer inspection I found that the bobbins had cracked in a diagonal line from the high e slug to the low e slug. I called SD and they assured me that this was normal (never been the case with any other pickups in ANY other guitar), and that it wouldn't affect anything.

What's funny is as the cracks continue to open the pickups become more and more microphonic, as well as a subtle change of tone over time. Now when I listen back to recordings and use the same settings (yes I write them down in a notepad to keep things consistent), this guitar sounds nothing like it did 10, 12, and 15 yrs ago. Now I know that magnets will "soften" over time, but I can't help but think that having open areas around the slugs is contributing to the change.

So I would like some input on this if anyone has had this experience regardless of brand, as well as some suggestions because I also think that it is time for a pickup change (I know I had said in an earlier post that the '59 PG+ wouldn't leave this guitar, but after listening to older recordings, what endeared me to the tone is pretty much gone). I still want to go with a more vintage wind setup on this guitar to keep it versatile.

I am thinking PAF 36th in the bridge because at least output wise it seems to be in the ballpark of the PG+. I would like a suggestion for a neck pickup. Maybe not too far off of the '59 vibe. There is an almost single coil quality to this pickup that gets that sort of Yngwieish neck pickup tone that I love. I would, however not mind getting rid of a touch of the boominess that the '59 has. Also, aesthetically, I like to have pickups match (slug and screw). It's just an OCD thing for me. That last one isn't a have to, but it's what I prefer.

I don't want to high of an output because a) my amps have enough gain to compensate and b) This is my gigging desert island guitar so I need to have a good tonal compromise of humbucking and passable single coil tones. I am not that worried about too much volume drop when I split because I either run an ADA preamp, or when I drop the pedal board I pretty much have my compressor as an always on pedal.

The mini bar (off topic & misc) / Peavey....WTF?
« on: April 09, 2021, 12:35:07 PM »
So I noticed around 2012 that the quality of their gear, even though they always seemed to market themselves as a lower budget alternative, started to go down a little. It was things like their combo amps (I was working at a Peavey retailer at the time), felt like feather compared to the 'ole Bandit series from back in the early to mid 80s (I know the Black widow speakers had a lot to do with the weight factor). I also noticed that, for instance the Special 212, looked and sounded like a generic copy of the transtube Special 212. Then I looked a the back and saw the absence of the Made in the USA label.

I know I am a little late to the party with the whole Undercover Boss episode, and how they ultimately did nothing they claimed they would, shut the plant down, put loyal employees out of work, just a whole douche fest on the part of Peavey. So I get an email that they have a speaker sale. I look at a  Q&A where someone is asking about the correct speaker as a replacement for their Bandit 112. The answer? "So many speakers sound so different. It's a matter of taste, I guess." This was from a PEAVEY EMPLOYEE. Do they just NOT like making money? It's no wonder they don't control the market share in the price range where they once ruled. I don't think with that attitude towards a prospective customer that any amount of moving manufacturing overseas will compensate from such a "I don't know, and furthermore, don't care that you want to spend money with me" approach to people.

What a joke of a once successful company.

The Pickup Place / PAF 36th vs Duncan '59
« on: April 02, 2021, 07:38:22 AM »
So I checked out a shootout between the 36th and Duncan '59 last night. Now keeping in mind that when you watch those things you can't see if anyone did any eq doctoring, etc., to make one sound better than the other. That being said in the same guitar, in the same position, The PAF 36th, and it seemed especially true in the neck position just sounded alive compared to the '59. It really has me re-thinking what has been my neck humbucker go to for 20 yrs.

It sounded like a blanket was lifted off of the guitar. Not bright or shrill, but just articulate while still getting that, what I call neck pickup noodliness for lack of a better term. So......Now I have the neck pickup squared away for the RG220. 

The mini bar (off topic & misc) / Good Therapy
« on: April 02, 2021, 07:33:01 AM »
So some of you know that I am hip deep in recording a Christmas album. I haven't been able to in a minute because my wife had gotten sick. Thankfully, she is better now. The funny thing is, the day she got out (I spent a week in the parking lot due to COVID restrictions as I was NOT goin to be any further than need be), she asked, "So did you finish anything else?" So after a few months of acting like a terrified child over her and what I can't control with her health, I finally hit the record button for a couple of hours last night. I haven't been that relaxed in months.

I can't believe that I have spent that much time away from doing what I love. I also can't believe how easy it is to forget how music, and more specifically playing and creating it, can wash all of the stresses, and bad things away. It's like I said-Good therapy. I truly believe music is on of those gifts given to us by God to communicate what our sould feel.

The mini bar (off topic & misc) / I got a good laugh out of this
« on: March 11, 2021, 07:25:28 AM »
So our techs all got a Surface Pro for picking up and closing out tickets. Their supervisor told them to use as few words a possible when closing out a ticket. This is the result (said technician replaced a ballast)

The Pickup Place / Middle single in an HSH
« on: March 10, 2021, 12:21:58 PM »
I am looking for something for the middle position of my RG that has a little less magnetic pull as it grabs the strings when I dive the trem. Even when I lower it, the pickup just grabs the strings and you get a nice "bam" as a result. Any ideas?

The Pickup Place / Air Zone...Anyone?
« on: March 10, 2021, 12:17:14 PM »
I haven't seen much on it on this forum. I was just curious of anyone opinions on it. What kinds of wood it balances well in, etc.

Gear Closet / And my present to myself
« on: March 05, 2021, 11:56:31 AM »
I had talked previously about my 80s rack setup. I just scored a new foot controller for $31 from Music Go Round. Happy Birthday to ME!!

Gear Closet / Early birthday present
« on: February 25, 2021, 11:44:45 AM »
So last night my brother in law calls and asks if we are busy as the family went to his wife's parent's house for the evening. I tell him to come over and hang with us. He show up and gives my wife a bunch on candles, and then hands me a Sweetwater box from the bottom and tells me, "I got this over a month ago for your birthday and couldn't wait so enjoy." I open it up and there it is; a Boss SY-1. We must have noodled around with that pedal for 3 hrs. At one point my wife walked in and asks if that was me that just played the organ solo from Highway Star. I just grinned and told her THAT was why I married her.

Anyhow, very enjoyable night with a new toy and good company. That pedal is amazing, by the way. I couldn't stop thanking Donnie. That was a very unexpected gift that's also pretty expensive. If it had sucked, I still would have appreciated it.

So back in '07 one of the other motorcycle techs at work heard me play and introduced me to Dragon Force via the Fire and Flames video. I went and bought the disc because I thought to myself, "Finally! Guitar heroism is back!" Then I listened to the disc. While I still like Fire and Flames, it just seemed to me that every song was somehow Fire and Flames 2.0, 3.0, and finally a sort of power ballad type song. And then it occurred to me that the list of guitar heroes, or guys that I considered great guitarists all did something else on top of guitar playing. They had a catalog of songs that while in the same style, did somehow differ from one another. Sometimes greatly sometimes not so differently, but enough that it didn't feel like I was listening to the same song over and over and over again.

Today, I decided to take a look and see what happened to them. Surprisingly, they still seemed to be pretty busy. I only looked it up to see what happened with the Ibby endorsement as their models hadn't been in the lineup for some time now. When I read Li's comments, I thought about how a lot of us called b.s. on Nita Strauss' "Oh I FINALLY got the guitar I had in my head with this signature model" which to me looks like every other S series with some personalized appointments like the pickups and the inlay. Kind of the same thing but the opposite. "I left Ibanez because I need something more advanced and they just couldn't keep up with what I demanded in a guitar design". A little later in his quote he talked about how he doesn't buy guitars.

I then thought about how all of us pretty much concurred that Nita could have probably easily found 5 or 6 axes from the rack that would have suited her needs. Now this guy is no longer endorsed and is claiming almost the same thing while making the statement that he doesn't pay for guitars, they get sent to him for free. I guess I am just missing something, or misinterpreting the whole statement because he really came of as "dicky" for lack of a better term.

Center Stage / It's a little after Christmas but...
« on: December 31, 2020, 11:44:43 AM »
So I was in the middle of recording a Christmas album when we had a terrible health scare with my wife. Thankfully she is home and doing great. So I only got one song done, and it's late. It's a medley of Amazing Grace and Greensleeves. I had already posted a rough one of Amazing Grace but wholly inteded to have it go straight into Greensleeves. So after much time (we had a pipe burst and destroyed our floors 2 wks after Debbie came home from the hospital which resulted in everything going into the studio for the estimates/repairs-when it rains.....) Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2021 PLEEEEEAAAAASSSSE in no way, shape, or form resemble 2020 (although for those of us who are old enough to remember, the original Mad Max was based in the year 2021-guess I shouldn't have put that out there in the universe).

Here it is:

Center Stage / "Amazing Grace"
« on: August 11, 2020, 04:26:09 PM »
A link to the opener of my Christmas album, "Amazing Grace":

The mini bar (off topic & misc) / Oh the joys of recording
« on: August 11, 2020, 04:12:37 PM »
So, yep, I am recording a new album. After letting my brother in law (who used to be the bassist/keyboardist in the first band I was in when I first moved here to the good 'ole ATL) hear the first track I heard things like,"Man, I am hearing SO many things for the bass track.", I caved and asked if he would lay down a bass line as well as some synth sounds (strings mainly. Of course this was at my wife's prodding). So I send him a copy that has some rhythm guitar tracks (enough for an arrangement), acoustic guitar, and drums.

A week later, no response. Two weeks later a response about orchestrating the album (which is typical of him wanting to take over something, inject his ideas, and ruin it). Three weeks later, nothing. Last Friday, as response of,"So when do you want to get together and record this song?" If you can see may face in my hands as I type this, then you know what I am feeling. So I end up having to remind him that all I wanted was a bass track and a keyboard track. I also have to remind him that this is my record. I don't know if you have met this type, but he's the kind that likes to stand on the shoulders of other people, and then take credit for their hard work. It's why we fired him from that band, and pretty much why nobody can work with him.

Moral of story? Don't do things against your better judgement. Even if that means telling your wife that her brother is a poseur.

Sorry. I am recording the bass line tonight, and moving on. Just had to vent. Even if this faux pa was my own doing by way of not listening to that voice inside me that said,"Stop! Don't touch that red button!" 

The Pickup Place / PAF '59
« on: October 08, 2019, 11:17:33 AM »
So I look at the PAF '59 and get a little confused. The marketing jargon starts by saying they used Larry's '59 Les Paul cherry sunburst as the reference. I thought that was what they did for the 36th anniversary paf.

They really DO need some new blood in marketing. Also, if you already have a set that used your guitar as a reference, then why do ANOTHER set that uses your guitar as a reference.

Needless to say I am more than a little confused on this one.

Guitar Lounge / New neck time.
« on: September 06, 2019, 03:55:25 PM »
I don't think I have made it any secret, that my '97 Big Apple Strat has pretty much been my number one axe. Anyhow, since the day I got it, it has had a slight twist in the neck. I mean ever so slight. Of course over time, that twist has gotten worse. I didn't really notice how bad, until I played my G&L and went back to it. Over time I adapted, even as the twist just kept getting worse.

 I took it to a luthier and the cost was just stupid. So I ordered a new neck today. I am surprised that duthiers are even in business anymore for feet jobs when they charge more than the cost of a top shelf neck from Warmoth just to drop 1 name. The cost of my neck with the same woods, radius, etc. Was half of just a regret, and 1/4 what the luthiers around here want for a new slab and fretjob.

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