Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NGD: LPB1, plus

I have failed to take pics of either the unboxing or my assembled rig, but I am now the proud owner of an EHX LPB-1. It's a linear power booster, basically a clean boost pedal. I haven't yet decided on the placement for this pedal yet. I tried it right after my Boss CS3, which was OK, but there are a few places left to try. But I have to say that I like it. I really like it a lot.

I mentioned previously that I plugged my #1 into a Mesa Boogie amp. It has ruined me. I know how good my guitar can sound, and now I'm shamed and offended by my tone. It may be too many patch cables. It may be my AX1500G. It may be settings on my AX1500G. But I must fix it. I must!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just Got Back From Gearfest

Well, no. I got back. I played with toys. I crashed. I woke up. And now I'm reporting.

As always, it's a good time. And this time, I came home with something more than the freebies. Eric's been needing a strap, and I got him a nice Levy strap, suede so that it grips the clothes and fights neck drop. And I got myself a new pedal, an EHX LPB1. I like being Mr Clean with my amp, so I don't need some dirt, I just need some more. I've played with it some at home, and it's more.

I also got my #1 restrung, and I took the liberty of taking it into the guitar room and running it head-to-head with some other Teles there. And I found a few things.

  • My Tele, a late 80s MIJ toploader, has a certain grace and certainly sounds like a Tele.
  • The series position, the fourth position on the four-way switch I added, adds a noticeable and nice amount of volume.
  • Sweetwater has a number of sweet Telecasters. This one has the great baseball-bat neck, but it was a little too sticky with the poly, but the size was perfect.
  • I think I want a Mesa-Boogie Lone Star Special
This was not part of my head-to-head. It is a Custom Shop Ghost Paisley Tele, and that's sweet. 

I saw Greg Koch, who is truly a mutant. Imagine Chet Atkins playing "Stairway To Heaven". Greg can do it. David Grissom also showed off his PRS guitars and the new PRS amps. I knew David was good, and I knew PRS guitars sounded good, but man, I was impressed.

I also met Mandy Marie, who I kinda know from TDPRI. She was looking at a Jazzmaster (I think) and my son was playing with a Sustainiac-equipped Jackson, and they jammed. It was cool. 

I played a Nord Stage EX. I played a Korg KAOSSilator. I want both. The Nord has exactly the Rhodes and Hammond sounds I want in a keyboard.

I took some pics of some cool stuff, and I'll try to get them up tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Day In The Life

They have campus all jacked up. There's one main drag through campus, and they have it blocked off to build a new building. So, the main drag has been redirected in front of my building.

This leads to me following me like they're on the main drag when I'm looking for a parking space. As often happens, I have to go down to the end of the street to get a spot. I'm OK with that — it's a way for me to force myself to get exercise — but today, someone thought I was pulling into the right turn lane and pulled right in after me.

I am continually amused by my life.

Well, That Was ... Fun

The FCC has kicked every everyone off the 700MHz range. By "everyone" I'm meaning folks with wireless mics and earphones and the like. I'm certainly not talking emergency services, which is the primary user of this band, now.

Specifically, our Wednesday Pack-1  and Pack-2 are history.

This meant only Pack-3 was available. So, out of vox keys drums bass guitar, only the keys got to hear what he was playing. Everyone else had to listen to the house, with all the speakers facing away from us.

But wait, there's more.

Keys' keys, they have onboard speakers. which can be switched off. Of course, there's one volume, not separate volumes for the output jack and the onboard speakers, which means if you turn down the built-in in order for him to not blow the band away, he has to have the board really push him.

I brought my #2, the white Rondo w/ .012s that is really loud. That was good. But if you're relying on the acoustic sound of electric instruments, that's not good.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Say a word for Ginger Brown

More on that Unpaid Endorsement

You can see the bevel I've generated. The tip of the pick looks kinda like "\". I understand why they went with the black block rhino, because while this wears like rhino horn, the image doesn't. I swear and affirm it's a 1mm, even though the text on the pick is long gone.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sweetwater Minute - Vol. 41, Korg "monotron" Synth Demo

I want. I so want.

Thanks, Scott, for Saving the Morley Volume Pedal for Me

Or, "They're all retarded."

Morley makes expression pedals, like volume pedals and wahs. In fact, Steve Vai has a signature volume, the Little Alligator, and a wah, the Bad Horsie. The difference is that they're optical. They don't use pots with moving parts to wear out. Evidently, Mark Knopfler is using the same Morley volume pedal he started using back in the "Sultans of Swing" era 30 years ago. So, you'd think that it's a no-brainer that folks that really do volume swells a lot, country twangers, would absolutely be all over this.

But you'd be wrong. Go to the product reviews on Musician's Friend, for example, and you'll see folks saying that it's fine as a glorified mute pedal, but if you want to get your swell on, avoid Morley like the plague. Starting at 6:30 on the video, Scott explains why. Basically, it's as close to a perfect representation of almost no tone, almost no change, from 1-8, and 9 and 10 being wide open. Unless you carve the hole out with a screwdriver.

Also, he points out something. They use the same LED they use for the optical circuit stuff as a "pedal on" indicator. That's what one might call a neat hack. Especially if you're using it in a normally-lit indoor venue. But evidently, if you're playing a bright mid-day show, the light bleeds in and makes it always on. Not good, but fixable with electrical tape.

So, now I want one again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rondo Lap Steel Change

Here's the Agile Labradoodle, the newest version of their lap steel. What's the change?

The old version, like the old-school Fender Champion steels, had the bridge cover and electronics cover connected. And they had a Les Paul Jr-style bridge, which means you had to take off the cover to change strings. It was considered a pain. Plus, I have one guitar w/ a cover and one without, and I don't see much of a point to the bridge cover anymore. I like right-hand muting with lap steels. So, I agree with the change and am officially tempted.

That's a Strat-style pickup, by the way, for your modding pleasure.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Gear Day

There, right between the Behringer O/D and the Digitech Death Metal is my new Washburn Soloist Distortion, an clone of the Altec Soloist. I got it from Sam Ash on an incredible phone-only deal. I plugged in a 9-volt, put it inline, and yeah, it's a sound I like. Good stuff. I'll tape up some settings for it soon, once I'm sure what they should be.