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About bluesman345

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  1. Have you tried any of the new Vox Valvetronix VT series? They all have very convincing amp models, decent effects and have output wattage controls. If you're not hung up about having just one tube amplified by solid state, then give it a try. I have owned several Valvetronix amps over the past 5 years and now own two 50 watters. I prefer them to all-tube amps any day, considering price, versatility, build quality, etc.
  2. I bought my son an SG Special. I liked it - it played and sounded somewhat reminiscent of my Gibby SG in the '70's. However, the CHEAP open coil pups wouldn't stay put, they kept on falling into the pup cavities. Oh well, one day it fell over and the neck broke We finally went in and bought a beautiful used Elite '61 Reissue SG for $600. It looked and played better than the Gibson Faded next to it, selling for $1000!
  3. I know a lot of people have tried to scrape, dissolve, or otherwise remove the signature from the pickguard. It didn't bother me enough to do that, but I was bothered by the translucent tortoise finish, it looked kinda cheap. One day, I just got a black felt marker and colored the back of the guard and, to me, it looked as good as factory, but with a little more depth.
  4. That was a good article. I laughed when I read, "In 1957, Epiphone took over Gibson". Of particular interest was the history of the decline of Gibson in the '70's (I think Gretsch had a similar reversal of fortune a few years back): The problems started many years earlier, around 1973/74. Gibson was looked at as a money-making project. The owners of that time were in the beer business, the spirit that is so important in instrument making was lacking. I often had the feeling that the company was being degraded into a furniture factory. Instead of making the instruments by hand in a first-class way, they looked for the fault in the models themselves. They experimented on the market with new instruments that were not well thought out or fully worked out. The owners understood absolutely nothing about the guitar business. They hired top managers who had been educated at first-class universities, but who had a flaw: For them, instrument making was a book with seven seals. They came to me with things that I knew right from the very beginning would not work. If I made my objections known, they said I just didn't know anything at all about business. That fact that that really bothered me is the reason I left Gibson, but in my subconscious I had the feeling that someone would come along who would bring the business up again, and I already had a plan firmly in mind about how that could be done! But before that came to pass, the company was turned over to new people who were not even worth talking about. This involved a consortium of banks or something, to this day we don't know anything more about it. Then Gibson/Norlin was really golden by comparison, because then you could still talk to real people, be a real person. Truly, all the bankers could see was a killing to be made. Nothing was repaired, all of the machines fell apart. It was a crying shame. Could this be "deja vu all over again"?
  5. I like to use the bridge pup for palm muting and country/steel type bends, but for rhythm I like to use the middle (n & position, as just the neck is often too bassy. On the other hand, I have a 7 band graphic eq to further tweak the tone.
  6. I've got a Gotoh Nashville as well. My tech sez it is better and will last longer than Graph Tech saddles
  7. Is he using really light gauge strings, such as .09 or lighter? The E and B strings tend to break quite easily. Strings will often break at the point of a kink or sharp bend. There may be a burr or rough edge on the surface of the saddles, effectively filing or cutting the string. My suggestion would be to use at least .10 gauge strings and to get a bridge with roller saddles or Graph Tech String Saver graphite saddles. As the name suggests, you can reduce/eliminate string breakage under normal playing conditions because string movement over the saddles releases silicone which lubricates the string at the most vulnerable point, the saddle. Good luck
  8. The only problem with a retainer is that it can come loose and cause an annoying rattle or get bent.
  9. If this is an option for you' date=' I can highly recommend the Vox Valvetronix line of hybrid amps. The AD--VT (old) and the new VT series come in 15, 30, 50 and 100 watt sizes. They have a 12AX7 in the preamp section (I think) but it does much more than just give "tube-like color" to the preamp. The 12AX7 is used in a "Valve Reactor Circuit", in an unconventional way, to create a miniature true tube circuit, which is amplified by solid state. To put it simply, you can think of it as a tiny tube amp mic'd through a solid state (clean) sound support system. The VT series have 22 amp models from warm clean to total raunch, as well as patches for selected popular songs. They take pedals well - I use a Boss ME-50 and an MXR Carbon Copy Analog delay. The onboard fx are also quite usable. The build quality is pretty good and they are cheap like borscht. Oh, and they all have built-in output wattage attenuators! I already owned an AD50VT but also had an Epi Valve Standard. I wanted to trade the Standard in for a Valve Senior, but there was only one available in the Vancouver area at the time, so I just went out and bought the Vox VT50. That was one of the best gear decisions I have ever made! I am convinced it is the best sounding and most versatile amp I have ever owned (for the type of music I currently play). My tube Fenders, Peavey and Ampeg are ancient history and I don't have the bux to replace them at 21st Century prices Good luck...
  10. I have 2 DiMarzio "Virtual P90's" in my Epi '56 Gold Top Les Paul. They are P90-voiced side-by-side humbuckers in modified P90 covers - they just drop right in. I haven't seen these pups in dogears yet, but I would imagine they would fit in either style cover. Here is the link for DiMarzio: http://www.dimarzio.com/site/#/pickups/
  11. Yeah' date=' Lenny Breau was a genius. A friend of mine said he used to shoot "junk' with Lenny and Fred Turner (B.T.O.) in the '60's. What a tragedy - he was found murdered and floating in a pool in L.A. in 1984. Here is a Wikipedia article about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenny_Breau I bought this LP in the '70's: [img']http://i574.photobucket.com/albums/ss187/bluesman345/TheVelvetTouchofLennyBreau.jpg[/img]
  12. The Joe Pass is definitely a beautiful guitar, especially if it's modded. The only gripe I had with the one I used to have was that the stock HB's were a little muddy and the gold plating tarnished easily. Here's a pic of my JP along with a MIM Strat:
  13. If I've got my facts straight, I believe that open-coil hb's may be a little hotter sounding or have a little more presence than covered hb's. However, I understand that wax potting helps to eliminate excessive feedback. I prefer covered pups because open ones tend to get dusty and dirty and the fabric wrapping can come off, among other things. I stand to be corrected if I am wrong...
  14. FWIW, if that's what he has his heart set on doing, then all the more power to him! I do think, however, that only a MUSICIAN (guitar player) can really appreciate all of the subtleties, nuances and idiocyncracies of a fine guitar. These things should be appreciated and considered by the luthier so that the final product is more than just a nice looking piece of furniture.
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