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Everything posted by dhanners623

  1. Thanks, all. I'm actually going to see if Petros would film a couple of other videos if I pay him. His turn-around time on this was a couple of days. He works fast. I haven't heard from any dog lovers about my comment at the very end of the video....
  2. I've got a new video up, but I didn't shoot it. It was shot and edited by Petros Sofocli, a recording engineer and the brains and talent behind “Moving Sessions,” a video series featuring musicians from Cyprus, Europe and elsewhere. I’d gotten in touch with him a couple of months ago and we filmed a video last month. There were technical issues, though, so Petros asked if I’d be ok with recording it again. We headed to Old Town in Lefkosia to scout new locations. For those unfamiliar with Old Town, it dates to Medieval times; the streets are narrow and winding and it is filled with cool little shops and colorful people. There are a jillion great backdrops for filming. We turned down a street named Archiepiskopou Filotheou and spotted an abandoned house with the door chained. Petros had wanted to film my song, “There Are No Secrets in This Town,” and it seemed like an appropriate backdrop. (The “Bad Choices Tattoo Club” was just a couple of doors down….) Petros set up his gear, I played through the song a couple of times, and that was a wrap. The song is the title cut off my most recent album, but this is a new version of it. I wanted to breathe some new life into it. I'm playing my Farida OT-22. Ironically, the "OT" stands for "Old Town," but I think they were referring to somewhere other than Lefkosia. I’m impressed with the video Petros put together. I feel it captures me, the song and the eclectic nature of Old Town. If you have a couple of minutes, please check it out.
  3. A quick update.... I bit the bullet and decided to relocate the tuner holes so I can install a set of Golden Age Restoration tuners. There's a very good guitar repair shop, Guitar Repair Collective, a 5-minute walk from our apartment. The owner, George (known locally as "Dr. Fret") is a nice guy and does great work. I took my OT-22 by the other day and described the situation. He's willing to do the work (plug and re-drill the tuner holes, do the cosmetic touch-up, install the new tuners) for €60, which is cheaper than what the job would cost in the U.S. So I went home and ordered the GAR tuners from StewMac and when they arrive, I'll takethe guitar in. I checked and Farida uses the same tuners on all its guitars, and they are arranged in a rectangular fashion. As you can see from Dave F's great photos (as well as other photos I found online) the two 3-on-a-plate tuner strips on LG-2's (and even my J-35) are arranged in a trapezoidal fashion -- the posts for the 3rd and 4th strings are farther apart than the posts for the 1st and 6th strings. On Faridas, the plates are equidistant, and since the tuner button post is unusually long, Farida insets the tuner post holes quite far from the edge of the headstock. If you want to upgrade tuners, you can't because there isn't enough clearance between the buttons and the edge of the headstock. Re-locating the tuner holes will fix that problem. I'll keep you updated, and thanks for the help!
  4. I've actually changed tuner buttons before, and I've also "aged" them with Kiwi brown shoe polish. Some guy on the Facebook J-35 fan page got good results aging the buttons with turmeric mixed in hot water, but I have no idea if that treatment lasts. That said, it isn't just a button issue. I've had great luck with GAR tuners (I've had them on three different guitars and they work great) and they'd be an upgrade on the OT-22. I may just live with the stock tuners, but when we move back to the U.S. this summer, maybe I'll dive in and have the holes plugged and redrilled to fit the GARs.
  5. Thanks. I was wanting to replace the tuners that came on my Farida OT-22 (Farida/Elderly's LG-2 copy) and so I got the same set of Golden Age Restoration tuners from StewMac that I installed on my J-35 a couple of years ago. But when I put them on, the bottom edge of the buttons barely clear the side of the headstock. I measured the distance from the centerline of the tuning post to the plane of the bottom of the tuner buttons. On the Farida tuners, the distance is 1.9cm. On the GAR tuners, it is 1.5cm. On my J-35, the distance from the centerline of the tuning post to the side of the headstock is 1.2cm. On the Farida, it is 1.6cm, although the Farida's headstock edge is arched, so the 2nd and 5th string posts are about 2mm closer. I emailed StewMac and it appears they don't have any white- or cream-button tuners that have enough clearance to fit. The bottom line is I think Farida inset the tuner holes too far from the edge of the headstock. Their guitars all seem to use the same tuners, so I'm guessing they space the holes to fit the tuners. That's not a problem unless you want to change tuners. So I'm either stuck with them (they work fine, so I'm not really complaining) or I can have the tuner holes plugged and redrilled. That's a pricey bit of work on a guitar that costs $423....
  6. I'm wondering if the LG-2 owners out there can help me with some measurements. I'm trying to figure out how far the tuner posts are inset from the side of the headstock. Can someone grab their LG-2 and measure, in centimeters, how far the centerline of the string posts are from the side for the 4th, 5th and 6th strings? Thanks.
  7. Check out Bob Colosi's offerings. I had one of his saddles installed in the J-35. Money well spent. http://www.guitarsaddles.com/gen_info.asp
  8. Glad it worked out. And, yeah, I know my J-35 sounds better with the pickup gone, so your J-15 may, too. For one thing, it is just lighter, and lightness has been a consistent quality of every great guitar I've ever played. In the case of my J-35, having the bone saddle in direct contact with the wood of the bridge was an improvement, too.
  9. The more I think about it, un-installing a pickup -- especially one as sophisticated as an Amulet -- is a job for a competent repair person, not a neighborhood kid with small arms. Even when I had my relatively simple Baggs Element removed from my J-35, I had it done at St. Paul Guitar Repair in St. Paul because I felt it was a job for a pro. And it turns out it was because Gibson saw fit to glue the tone & volume control to the inside of the soundhole instead of using double-side tape. I probably would've broken something trying to figure out why the double-sided tape wasn't coming loose.
  10. These are great for filling the oversized hole from the endpin jack. It's what I used on my J-35. Looks and works great. https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Endpins_and_Bridge_Pins/NoJak_Endpin.html
  11. Does this page have what you need? http://www.tranceaudio.com/manuals.html Had the pickup removed from my J-35 last summer. Sounds better without it....
  12. Sounds almost Dylan-ish. That said -- and I mean this constructively -- it is a wordy song to begin with and your delivery scrunches many of the words together. It can be difficult to understand them. (The situation is compounded by the song's Australian vernacular, which means not all the words are easy for most Americans like me to understand immediately anyway.) But it is a heartfelt performance of a powerful song.
  13. AbdulMateen-- Welcome. I'm surprised nobody has replied yet. Anyway, here is a decent explanation of fretboard radius: https://www.fender.com/articles/tech-talk/what-is-fingerboard-radius I would suggest taking the guitar to a competent repair person to see if it needs a set-up. That's what the issue sounds like to me. Your NS Artist capo should work fine. That said, if you can, try a Shubb capo. They are simpler and the screw allows for fairly precise adjustment. Here's another question: Is your heart set on light-gauge strings? My suggestion would be to switch to mediums. I think you'll find mediums aren't as affected by a capo as lights are. (In fact, I'm wondering if your guitar was set up for mediums, and the buzzing you're getting is caused by the switch to lights. The guitar generally needs to be set up for the gauge of strings you're using.) I hope that helps....
  14. You can't go wrong with a Shubb. I know some folks swear by their Kysers, but their one-spring-size-fits-all approach is outdated. Plus, they're just butt-ugly.
  15. Fine job! You're making great progress....
  16. Would love one of the new LG-2s, but I fear my days of buying $2,500 guitars are over. For that niche, I'm playing a Farida OT-22, which I'm quite happy with. And of course my J-35....
  17. I always liked going in my local GC and asking if I could use a Fender-branded polish cloth on a Gibson....
  18. Thanks. I should note the Facebook thing isn't a competition. It is just a way to get songwriters to write. We're given a prompt -- either a word, phrase or a picture -- and then we write songs and post them. It is interesting to see what others come up with. Some of them are very creative and talented. I've edited the song yet again. (I edit a lot....) I checked with a buddy back home about the guy who used to come in late at night and cut his speed on my counter (even though I always told him not to) and he said the guy died in 2011, but had really cleaned up his life. He'd received a Purple Heart and other medals in Vietnam, but never told his family about them. They were unaware he'd done that until after he died. So I felt kinda bad about telling that bit of his life, and that got me thinking about the rest of the song. As written, it took place in the 1970s. That's a long time ago. I decided to put the song in the present, even though the gas station is no longer there. Also decided to do a countdown thing in the bridge to illustrate how the town is declining. (And actually, my hometown, after years of decline, is seeing a resurgence because a local businessman has started building huge things and getting them certified by Guinness as "World's Largest" and the town is now pulling in tourists like crazy.) Here is the current version: Work the graveyard at the Marvel station out on 49 This town’s a corpse when the sun goes down Wanted or wealthy, they’re all runnin’ on empty And pissed they have to stop in this drive-through town Sleepy crossroads in the corn and bean fields Halfway ‘tween St. Louis and Naptown Fill their tanks and without so much as a “thanks” They’re pullin’ out of this drive-through town (chorus) They say the economy’s booming, good times all around But good times never stop in this drive-through town Good times never stop in this drive-through town My buddy John comes out, grabs a quart from the cooler 2 a.m., he’s still tightly wound Purple Heart in Afghanistan, no longer gives a damn What people think about him in this drive-through town (chorus) (bridge) Four gas stations, three dollar stores Two groceries until the IGA closed down One stoplight at Central and Main Is one too many in a drive-through town All great stories are about a journey Or about a stranger comin’ to town Those who make their getaway seldom come back to stay And strangers blow right past this drive-through town Strangers blow right past this drive-through town
  19. Thanks for the kind words. Actually, there are a couple of different recording projects I'd like to do, but they'll probably have to wait until I move back tothe U.S. and I'm not really sure when that will be. There are studios in Nicosia, of course, but I don't know how hip they would be to recording me and there is zero outlet for me to market the record(s) here in Cyprus. There is a grand total of one coffeeshop I can play at, and even they weren't crazy about having me. I have retooled the lyrics. As always happens with early drafts, there were some lines that were bugging me. The current version: Pumped gas on the graveyard at Marvel out on 49 This town's a corpse when the sun goes down Wanted or wealthy, they were running on empty And pissed they had to stop in a drive-through town It's a sleepy place in the corn and bean fields Halfway 'tween St. Louis and Naptown I'd fill their tanks and without so much as a "thanks" They said goodbye to this drive-through town (chorus) They say the economy's booming, good times all around But good times never stop in a drive-through town Good times never stop in this drive-through town Doper John would come out, cut his speed on the counter Late at night when there were no cops around Just another guy whose engine coughed and died When he tried to leave this drive-through town (chorus) (bridge) All great stories are about a journey Or about a stranger comin' to town Those who leave never come back And strangers blow right past this drive-through town Read the pumps, count the oils Then go home and plop down on the couch Watch the TV 'tail I fall asleep Dream of leavin' this drive-through town Dream of leavin' this drive-through town Dream of leavin' this drive-through town
  20. Part of me agrees wholeheartedly and part of me is hesitant. On the one hand, if anybody can make a decent "budget" guitar, it ought to be Gibson and Martin. And once you get entry-level players hooked on what a good guitar can sound like, they'll save up their money (or go into debt...) and buy something higher-end -- hopefully from Gibson and Martin. The hesitant part of me, though, worries about diluting the brand. You don't see Rolls Royce or Ferrari making entry-level, no-frills automobiles. Part of me says Gibson and Martin should leave the less-expensive guitars to others, and concentrate on their mid- to upper-end models. Then again, I've never been accused of being a businessman. Gibson (and Martin, to a lesser degree) has made missteps through the years, but they are both still in business and both still building some great guitars.
  21. I'm part of a Facebook songwriting challenge in which we're given a prompt every couple of weeks and write a song from it. The first prompt of the year is "drive-thru." Once you get past telling someone they broke your heart or declaring tomorrow will be the First Day of the Rest of Your Life, “drive-through town” -- i.e., a town nobody stops in unless they have to -- is about as cliche a concept as you can get for a song. A quick look online shows others have shoveled their own cliches on the pile. But I grew up in a drive-through town and Woody Guthrie told us, “Write what you know” so I did. Years ago, I worked graveyard at the Marvel filling station on Illinois Route 49 north of my hometown. It was dull work. In fact, my predecessor got fired for sleeping on the job. Along about 1 a.m., he’d kill the lights, go in the back room and nap. His upended circadian rhythm was my gain. I got people driving home from bars, the occasional lost soul or people who avoided interstates. They exist. We had gas, oil and vending machines that seldom worked. One of our signature products was a fuel additive named Marvel Mystery Oil. I was intrigued people would entrust their engine to a product with the word “Mystery” in its name; It just seemed to be asking for trouble. People swore by it, though. One of the regulars was a local who came in every couple of weeks and used my countertop to cut up his speed. I surmised he found the lighting helpful. I’d go out to fill somebody’s tank and come back in and he’d have his illicit product all over my counter. I’d shoo him away, but he always came back. I once suggested he call it, “Marvel Mystery Speed,” but he said the word “Mystery” would introduce an unwanted air of uncertainty in the mind of the consumer. Exactly. The line in the chorus, “Good times never stop in a drive-through town” can be interpreted two completely different ways — Either the good times never end, or they just pass through town without stopping. I’m unsure if this wordplay is a feature or a defect, but we’re advised to just write and post, so here, without further ado, is “Drive-Through Town.” I'm playing my J-35, strung with Martin Monel mediums. Drive-Through Town © 2020 by David Hanners Worked the graveyard at Marvel out on 49 This town’s a corpse when the sun goes down Drunks and night-owls, strangers passing through Pissed they had to stop in a drive-through town They’d buy gas, a quart of Mystery Oil Ask how far to St. Louis or Nap Town Pay their cash, tail lights fade to black Gettin’ the hell out of this drive-through town (chorus) They say things are booming, good times all around But good times never stop in this drive-through town Good times never stop in this drive-through town John Floyd’d come out and cut up his speed Late at night when there were no cops around Just a guy whose engine sputtered and died On his way out of this drive-through town (chorus) (bridge) They say all great stories are about a journey Or about a stranger comin’ to town But those who leave here always come back And strangers blow right past this drive-through town Sun comes up, another shift done I’ll go home, lay down on the couch Watch some TV until I fall asleep Dream of leavin’ this drive-through town (chorus) The video: https://youtu.be/lPRNgJ3ltwg
  22. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, how much money do they save by not painting the headstock faceplate and using those #%€£?!*@ ugly Grover tuners instead of more historically accurate open-geared white-button tuners?
  23. Townes Van Zandt said the instrumentation has to serve the song. You've certainly done that. You have more tolerance for a studio than I do, though. When I'm recording (and it certainly has never been at your level) I just wanted to get in and get out. It wasn't a question of money and studio time, it was just that I'd rather be anywhere else. I have a good friend who takes forever to record his records. It is because he hears a lot of music in his head and it takes awhile to make it a reality in a studio. What he comes up with is great, even innovative, but spending that long making the sausage would drive me bananas.
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