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About twanger

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  1. Renaissance Wax is the wax used by museums on fine display furniture. Johnson's Paste wax has no silicone in it and the solvent used has never harmed any lacquer that I've used it on. My bottle of Dunlop creme wax does not list silicone as an ingredient. If you've had wax problems on nitro finishes then it must've been caused by silicone, some other ingredient or the chosen method of stripping the finish.
  2. Can't say what "brand" or "flavor" of mahogany it's built out of but I must say that I simply love my LPDC. If I'm reading the serial number correctly it was built around 2000. I can't think of a negative thing to say about both the sound and playability of the LPDC. The finish is not as durable so mine already has that "road worn" look. Most notably where my arm rests on the lower bout and along the low E side of the neck. It doesn't affect playability and it does give it a certain air of mojo. It is my main axe so it gets lots of lovin' and lots of workouts. I just can't say enough good things about the sound. It barks, it snarls, it growls, it purrs. It offers a wide palette of great tones and each has mucho character. The P90s are everything a regular single coil wanted to be and everything humbuckers are too "stuffy" to be. Playability is everything you expect from a Gibson. To me it just feels like an old friend in my hands. It is slightly neck heavy but I'm accustomed to that and adjust accordingly. The tuners function as they should and it holds a tune as you would expect. If you're buying a new one do yourself a favor and properly oil the fretboard (give a good edge to edge coat and let it soak in then do it again and again until it stops soaking up the oil). Then take the time to pull all the knobs, the bridge and the stop tail piece and give the body a coating with a good wax. The Dunlop creme wax is good stuff. You could also use Johnson's Paste Wax or Renaissance Wax. Whatever wax you choose just make sure there is NO silicon in it. Silicon will give you a boatload of headaches if you ever choose to refinish your guitar. P90s are single coil pickups. You would do well to line the pickup and control cavities with copper foil to mitigate hums and buzzes. You could also use an electrically conductive paint like that offered at Stewart- MacDonald: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Supplies:_Shielding/Conductive_Shielding_Paint.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=729 I did switch the strap buttons on mine for a wide head model mostly because my favorite leather strap is getting old and the strap slots were widening. The copper foil and the strap buttons are the only mods I've made to this guitar. Go pick one up if you haven't already and play it. Play hard, play soft, turn it up, turn it down and see what this will do for you. I love mine. Edited to add a pic:
  3. My Mileage Varied on the phase inverter tube. Every tube I tried sucked until I put in a Groove Tubes 12ax7 SAG (Special Applications Group) which is tested for balanced output. It greatly (read: GREATLY) improved the amp. It did NOT increase clean headroom but the cleans sounded like cleans. A lot of the BC30 owners have done the tube thing and have managed to get the most out of this amp. Better tubes to replace the stock tubes are pretty much a necessity. For more headroom/cleaner cleans or whatever you're looking for along those lines, at this point I really think that the only thing that would "open up" this amp any more would be to replace the output tranny and maybe even the power tranny. Mercury Magnetics offers replacement trannies for power/output/choke. http://www.mercurymagnetics.com/pages/mainframe.htm Just the power and output trannies are $440 for the pair. I love my BC30, however, I'm not willing to drop that kind of dough at this point in time. I'm sure the new trannies would get the BC30 up to it's maximum potential but, I have to ask... why? It meets my needs for the gigs I use it on. If I feel the need to inflict pain on my ears or if I want to hurt the audience I can use the Boogie.
  4. Might want to find that volume knob on your drummer and turn him down. :( On a more serious note, if you don't already, you might want to tilt the amp back or put it on a tilting amp stand like any one of these: http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-MUS-RS7000-LIST This is the one I use http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-QUI-BS317-LIST http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-TRI-STANDBACK My BC30 is plenty loud for rehearsal with the full band (5 piece) and I run it on 15 watts. Lately I've been using my Bugera V22 for rehearsals because it's lighter to carry and I run that on the triode setting (~13 watts). The BC30 is great for gigs. I don't play totally clean nor do I play totally dirty. It's mostly clean until I turn up my volume on the guitar so I can get the grit. Though I have a multiFX box I don't use it too often anymore. Just the reverb on the amp and wah pedal.
  5. Yep! That second vid with the Super 400, now THAT's the stuff. Yes, that does sound more clear and "open" than the Gibby P90s. The Gibby's offer a somewhat "darker" sound with more growl and snarl while the Duncan in the 400 seems to offer more "purr". If I had the choice I would probably get both the Gibby's AND the the Duncan then mix and match. If I had to choose just one I'd be all over the Duncan. But that's me and the kind of tone I would like to have available. Gibby's you can find fairly easily but that Duncan is an uncommon pickup and a steal at $50.
  6. I've got the Gibby P90 soapbars in my LPDC and they are a good pickup. A pair for $110 would be a good deal. It was kind of difficult to discern actual pickup tone from that vid what with all the reverb and such. Still, the pickups did sound somewhat more clear(?) perhaps "open" would be a better term. For my preferences I would like a P90 tone like that in the neck position. the Gibby does sound really good however I would like a bit more "openness" in that position. The bridge position just rocks as it is and I really like it.. So, yes, I do understand your dilemma. Since I'm prone to make impulse buys though, I would try the "other" since I'm already very familiar with the Gibby P90. In fact, if you buy the other and decide that it's not for you, well you might even be able to sell it to me. :)
  7. I was in GC yesterday to grab some strings and of course I had to review the selection of used guitars. Last time I was in there they had a Heritage 535 and I was kind of hoping I could take it for a test drive. Alas, it had been sold already. Still they had a nice looking Sheraton II and a used Dot. Both were in natural finish and in very good condition. Both were hanging high and the bouts were at eye-level for me. I was struck by the difference in thickness of their tops. The Sheraton had a top that you would expect to see on this style of guitar. The Dot had a top that seemed at least 2/3 thicker. The Dot also had what appeared to be a mahogany neck. Overall the Dot had a warmer sound than the Sheraton but the Sheraton sounded much more balanced and definitely brighter/more clear. Though both guitars played well and their necks were of a very similar size, the trim appointments and more detailed finish on the Sheraton made it a more visually appealing instrument than the Dot. Tone wise the Dot seemed more well suited to blues and rock tones while the Sheraton had a solid jazz tone to it. Of course, these are just my own quick impressions/opinions since I had to get out of there before I started spending money. I would've been happy to have either one and happier yet to have both.
  8. Yes. You will need 2 EL84 tubes along with the Yellowjackets. You will be replacing the 2 largest tubes in your amp. Easy to locate and a bit funny to change. You have to hold down 2 spring clips will simultaneously pulling the tube out. You do this for each tube socket. Layboomo mentioned that the EL84s will change the tone and character of your amp. He's right. The extent of that change may not be as extreme as implied but they will change the tone of the amp. Still, it will be a good usable tone. An attenuator, depending on which one you would buy, will also change the tone of your amp. As long as you pay attention to the specs and hook it up properly an attenuator will NOT damage your amp. So now you have available just about all of the options. the last one hasn't been mentioned yet so I'll bring it up...an isolation cabinet. these are designed to house a speaker and a microphone. Your amp is plugged into the speaker and you can crank it as loud as you wish. the microphone is aimed at the speaker inside the cabinet. That gets plugged into a mixer which drives a headphone or a small PA system that you adjust to a volume level that meets your needs. this is the most expensive solution as an isolation cabinet alone could exceed the cost of your BC30. Then add in the mic, mixer, etc. and you have probably the best solution but also the most expensive. So you have: 1) buy a smaller amp... 2) buy Yellowjackets... 3) buy an attenuator... 4) buy an isolation cabinet. Ooh! I almost forgot. There are some multi FX pedals that do amp modeling along with adding FX. Some of these have the facility to allow you to plug in headphones directly or you can run a signal to your computers' audio system. I have the Vox Tonelab LE. This unit has a headphone out and does a few pretty decent amp imitations. I think Line 6 and the Pod will provide similar functionality. The bonus here is that you would now have good usable FX for when you can play a bit louder. The price of these units varies widely so you should be able to find one that fits within your budget. Now comes the really hard part...deciding which solution will work best for your situation.
  9. As funny as this may sound, the simple act of pulling the tubes and reseating them may have been all that was needed to provide a clean connection and stop the annoying crackling sound. If the crackling returns, you already have the general problem area isolated. Still, it might be in your best interest to pick up a pair of spare tubes ( I would recommend the JJ brand) to have on hand to switch out in case the crackling returns.. Even if the crackling does not return, the spare tubes will definitely come in handy at some time.
  10. I'll second the THD Yellowjackets in the BC30! Switch your output to triode (15 watts) and pull out your 6L6/5881 tubes and replace them with the Yellowjackets. These will cut your output power to ~7 watts on the triode setting and they do sound really good. If you push them real hard you may get a "fizzy" tone. If that happens just back off the volume a bit and you'll be getting great tones again. I ultimately switched back to the 6L6 tubes because I can play a bit louder at home and I just like that full tone from the larger tubes. Still, you get to keep your tube amp, AND get great tones at a lower volume. Also, the price will probably be in the $200 range in Aussie dollars.
  11. Thanks! I'm enjoying the heck out of this thing! I like it so much I'm thinking about getting another one for a backup or maybe even to run stereo! It's simple, quiet, gives me the tones I want at volumes I (and most anyone else) can easily tolerate. 7 sure seems to be the magic number on the volume knobs for both the clean and the drive channels. It breaks up a bit more on the clean channel than it does on my Epi BC30 but it's certainly usable. I get more breadth in in the sound on my BC30 but the Bugera isn't quite as heavy so it's a pretty good trade off.
  12. Yet Another New Amp Day! This time it's the Bugera Vintage 22. Phenomenal tone from a widely and undeservedly despised amp brand. For me this one is definitely a keeper. It ranks right up there with my Epi BC30 for great tone and versatility. This is a 2 channel amp like the BC30 having both a clean and an overdrive channel. Instead of a spring reverb it has digital reverb. The EQ section is the typical TMB and it affects BOTH channels. Tube complement is 3 x 12ax7 + 2 x EL84. Like the BC30 it has a switch on the back that allows for triode or pentode operation. There is also an FX loop on the rear. A footswitch jack is also on the rear for the included footswitch. On the front panel at the far left you have your choice of a Normal or Bright input jack. Next is the clean volume control. After that is the manual switch for channel selection. That is followed by gain pot for the OD channel and it's own volume control. Next up are the EQ pots with a Mid Boost switch between the mid and treble controls. Then there's the Master volume control followed by the Presence and reverb controls. Of course, at the end are the Power and Standby switches along with an incredibly bright blue pilot light.. Great tones at realistic volume levels are what this amp is all about. Rock, blues, funk, Motown Sound, jazz and country are this amp's native languages and it speaks them all fluently. This is no hi-gain monster so the metal crowd needs to look elsewhere. It likes all kinds of pickups and responds very well to pedals on the input side. I have not tried the FX loop yet. In fact, I've found this amp to be most enjoyable as a simple plug n' play setup. I have the good fortune of being in 2 bands and the one where I use this amp is the one where a bunch of us old rockers play tunes from the 60's and 70's and this amp is the perfect fit for that group. the other guitar, who plays a Marshall DSL over an Egnater cab, liked the Bugera so much he went down to GC and bought one after our last practice. It's a very responsive amp too. It does NOT do Fender cleans but the clean tone is very respectable if a little generic. the amp can be dialed in from a good clean to nice light breakups to full-on juicy tube goodness. There are some challenges though. The footswitch chip or relay in the amp seems to be prone to heat problems as it will change channels on it's own after it's been on for an hour or so. This is bad news because I really want to gig this amp but I won't until Behringer, the maker of Bugera, gets this sorted out. Of course, until that time I can just use the panel mounted channel switch. the other thing that stands out not so much as a problem but more of an oddity is the standby switch. It doesn't seem to open the signal path like other standby switches. I don't know how it operates but it seems to take a whole minute before you can noiselessly unplug your guitar. My standard practice is to have the standby switch in the off position when I turn on the amp to give the tubes a chance to warm first before playing. I've had the standby NOT engage until the amp was on which, of course, let me hear the handling noise while I set my guitar in the stand. Outside of the footswitch/standby thing this amp is just great. Obviously I can't speak to durability as I haven't had it long enough to make a credible opinion. Anyway, if your shopping for a new amp you owe it to yourself to check this little gem out.
  13. For ANYBODY considering switching out pickups you might want to try some other options first. For imported guitars like the Epiphones it's a sure thing to get improvement in tones simply by replacing the original pots with CTS pots and replace any switched/jacks with genuine Switchcraft parts for reliability and durability. After that, well this may sound like heresy to some but your Epi pickups may not be as bad you think. Check out this link for some interesting wiring options: http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/558-wiring-library.html I'll be trying it here in the next couple of weeks. reports from others who have tried thee wiring schemes have been most encouraging. Of course, there may be greater tonal improvements to be had with better pickups and these schemes but you can save some money and gain some great experience by experimenting on your current pickups first so if you do decide to upgrade pickups you can select which wiring schemes will help you reach your tone goals.
  14. You can get the footswitch from Sweetwater and it's surprisingly inexpensive with FREE shipping ($23.95): http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EPAFSB/ This place will make a cover for your amp: http://store.amplifiercovers.com/epiphone.html Tube upgrade will be needed. Be absolutely sure you get the matched phase inverter tube. This cat will fix you up: http://www.eurotubes.com/ Make sure you give the speakers time to break in (12 -20 hours total playing time) before you make any decisions to change them out for something different. If you're feeling adventurous and are handy with tools and a soldering iron, here's THE BC30 mod thread: http://forums.epiphone.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=6812
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