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Everything posted by Jinder

  1. I currently have Retro 11-52s on my ‘67 J45. They are very clear, balanced and direct but fairly characterless. That can be a good or bad thing, depending on the task in hand. They really, REALLY sucked on my Dove. I can’t explain why…a real mismatch of string and guitar. The Dove is super dynamic and has a beautiful voice, but the Retros deleted half of that and made it sound very ordinary. Perhaps your 45 needs the drama and overtones that a set of Bronze or PB strings can bring to the table…the snarl, as you said. All of this is part of the joy of the string journey! PS…try a set of DR Sunbeams. They’re round core strings so you must tune them to pitch, stretch them in and retune before cutting the ends off, but they’re ace strings on a slope.
  2. Certainly not in the immediate future, sadly. I’ve no idea how long it will take to extricate us from the current mess we’re in, or how long after that we’ll see grassroots venues putting music on again…I’ve got a trickle of work over here but people are understandably wary of coming out to shows. I think international touring is still years away, which is gutting. Mainland Europe is looking difficult post Brexit also. Looks like I may be an islander for a while…
  3. That’s very true, and not the most conveniently shaped or sized thing to send either! If you’ve still got it when I’m next Stateside we’ll have to talk turkey. Ironically the David Deluxe is an amp I tried at length to find over here during my hunt…I ended up unable to track one down, so ended up with a Roy which was just too big a unit.
  4. Oh man, that would have been perfect for what I needed!! Are you looking to sell, Buc?
  5. I wasn’t mad about the XL for vocals, you’re right. The Compact 60/4 is a different sounding amp to the XL, which I think is attributable to a couple of factors-firstly, the Compact XL is based on the second iteration of the C60, and the C60/4 has of course been revised twice since then. The current XL is still based on the C60/2 pre/EQ circuit, as far as I am aware. The other aspect is that the XL has a driver and a separate tweeter with a high/low pass crossover, whereas the C60 has a concentric “whizzer cone” speaker and no tweeter or crossover. To my ears, the C60 is full and rich for vocals with terrific articulation. The XL, unlike the C60, brought out a nasal frequency in my voice which I hadn’t heard in any other amplification or recordings. I tried several mics and all sorts of tricks with positioning etc, but I just couldn’t connect with the XL as a vocal amp. Sounded terrific for guitar though, every bit as good as the C60. I would recommend you try them both. The C60/4 is a remarkable amp and is more than loud enough for anything I’ve come across. I’ve never even turned the master up as far as midday-the volume and projection is has are startling. This weekend I’ve just finished a run of gigs, the first being a 100 capacity basement bar gig which I used the C60 for as sole sound reinforcement, the second a 350 capacity pub in which I did the same, and the last being a 1000 capacity music venue in which I used the C60 as mixer, fx and monitor and ran the DI out to the house rig. The sound engineer was delighted to get my mix DI’d in, and was raving about the clarity and quality of the DI signal. The pres are pristine also, such crisp articulation and warmth. It’s hard to conceive a situation where the C60 wouldn’t be loud enough for a solo/small band setting. I could have used it as FOH for tonight’s gig, but it made more sense to DI my mix out and use the house PA. Another great AER option you may like is the Monte Montgomery signature MM200 amp. They can get seriously, brutally loud and sound superb. Plenty expensive, but well worth investigating.
  6. Gibson Pump Polish is as good as anything else I’ve tried. One vital thing to remember is to NOT to use acetone…please don’t ask me how I learned that bitter lesson a long time ago!!
  7. I have a few “top end” Gibsons (SJ200, Dove, Hummingbird, AJ, the latter two being from the Custom Shop) and have owned and greatly enjoyed a few of the more “budget” models from the line (J15, LG2AE, SJ100 x2). I noticed no discernible build quality or finish variation between any of them. In fact, I downright loved my J15 and SJ100 reissues. The LG2 was no slouch either.
  8. That J185 sounded light years ahead of everything else to me…that’s exactly the tone in my head when I think of really good, old Maple. Video sound quality was lacking but everything else sounded pretty ordinary next to that 185 to my ears.
  9. Hohner every day of the week for me. I prefer the Big River or Pro Harp models as the ABS comb is less prone to distorting with humidity than the maple comb in the Marine Bands. They all sound great though, really sweet and toneful. I like Lee Oskar too, but they often have a tuning issue which drives me nuts, coming in at under A440 which is intentional on their part to make them sound more “bluesy” but for straightahead singer/songwriter work that I do, they just sound flat. Lovely build though and good if Blues is your thing.
  10. I’ve owned a few. Had an ‘07 Legend on long term loan which was just exquisite…I was sad to give it back! I had an ‘08 Blues King and a ‘94 Blues King also, the ‘08 was the better guitar but both acquitted themselves well. Mahogany Vs Walnut, Standard Vs Studio…I wouldn’t consider Walnut a lesser tonewood than Mahogany at all. I’ve owned a few Walnut guitars and have been very impressed with them. It’s just a different sound, not better or worse…I would try a Studio and a Standard and see which one rings your bell louder than the other. You will definitely have a preference one way or the other. The outlier option is to seek out a Nick Lucas, my favourite iteration of the L-00 style guitars. A little more ornate but not too much. The Nicks were made in Maple and Rosewood, either of which would complement your existing stable of Walnut and Mahogany nicely and give you an extra voice in the armoury. Personally, the Maple Nick Lucas is, for me, the ultimate Gibson small body. But Maple is my favourite tonewood, so I may be a bit biased! Good luck on the search, enjoy it and take your time…jewels await.
  11. My SJ200 sounds serviceable with old wires, but not stellar. Sweet spot is a couple of days into a new set. Ah! The maple AJ shines with old strings and, unless using it for a run of shows, I’ll change them when they start to break. My Dove sounds great whatever is on it, just different. Never too harsh with new strings, never too dull with old ones. What a great guitar. My ‘67 J45 is a little harsh with new strings and gets nice and old-timey with old strings. They do reach a point where they’re cacked though. My Hummingbird 12, like all 12s, sounds a bit woolly when the strings are past it, but that takes a LONG time as I use Martin Lifespans on it. Last set went on at the end of 2018 and still sounds great-that’s after several tours and two albums. I broke the plain G which is so thin it’s basically mermaid hair, but that usually happens after a bit. Great guitar and the Lifespans are a really stellar choice for a 12. I think it tends to be guitar and job specific for me. Sometimes a project really calls for thunky old strings, sometimes shiny new wire. Different strokes and all that 🙂
  12. I’ve very much enjoyed all of the Gospels I’ve played, both the ‘70s Maple iteration and the ‘90s Mahogany reissue. Really nice guitars. Whilst the IBG models are very good, one advantage to the Gibson is you’re not likely to lose money if you move it on, as you’re already in the secondhand window. Personally I’d buy the Gibson, but I’d recommend you try both and make the call based on what speaks to the most. Let us know what you go for!!
  13. The IBGs are great. Watch them disappear from the lineup within a year…whilst they’re not a Gibson, they’re too close to a Gibson in feel and performance to justify the gigantic upcharge to make the leap from one to the other for most working musicians. Gibsons as a new purchase are well out of the reach of most professional players’ pocketbooks now…or at least most I know. I haven’t bought a new Gibson for five years, and even then it was a guitar which was exceptional (my 2015 SJ200, currently sitting right in front of me wearing a new set of strings in preparation for tonight’s show!) and sold to me at trade price due to Gibson’s screwy distributorship in the UK leaving the dealer with a massive overstock of SJ200s. My fiancée (soon to be wife…five days left to the big day!) and I were debating this last night. We watched the Guitar John video and she concurred that they’re very good guitars indeed, as he states. She rather aptly put, however, that the IBG Hummingbird fees like a great guitar for now, whereas a Gibson Hummingbird (she has experienced all four that I’ve owned) is a great guitar for forever. She’s not a player, but I thought it was an interesting perspective.
  14. Wily…what a great guy. So, so many great chats with him over the years, he was here right from the early days of the forum and was always friendly and full of wisdom and insight. Always nice to see his name pop up on these old threads.
  15. I have a Dove with the ‘70s style bridge, I can measure it but the only caveat I would add is that mine is a replacement bridge that was made by a luthier for the previous owner when (presumably) the standard Dove style bridge failed and was replaced, so it’s slightly oversized to my eye. Happy to measure if that helps, though!
  16. I had a Maple CJ165 in 2007, it was a non-cutaway example with Rosewood board and bridge. I liked the tone, very responsive and sort of sharp, quick and dry. A bit like a good Maple Nick Lucas but with a slightly more modern twist. I like Maple in all shapes and sizes and was quite taken with it. Sadly I had to return it as I noticed the top had a major, fairly deep crease in it between the bass end of the bridge and the edge of the top. It didn’t affect playability or tone at that point, but I didn’t fancy taking a chance on future problems developing. I bought mine whilst trying (and failing) to find a first iteration Emmylou L-200, having played one and fallen in love with it. The 165 was close, and maybe would have gotten there with age, but it wasn’t to be. I’d certainly entertain the idea of owning one again. Likewise a J185 or L4A.
  17. I recently swapped out the Rotomatics on my SJ200 Standard for Gotoh 301s with chrome tulip knobs. Much lighter and a very accurate machinehead with no backlash to speak of at all. A significant upgrade from the Rotos, drop in fitment and they look great. Surprisingly inexpensive, too. The 501s are touted as a higher end machinehead but they’re not a drop-in replacement for Rotos, unlike the 301s.
  18. I’ve ordered a set of Gotoh SG301 units with chrome tulip buttons to try. They should bolt straight in as replacements for the Rotos and are reportedly lighter and a bit more accurate, so we’ll see how it goes. I must stress that I’m in no way anti Grover and have used and recommended Rotomatics to other players for many years. They have always been bulletproof and one of very few varieties of machinehead that I’d trust on a touring instrument. I’m less than enthusiastic about the weight of them, but as Olie said, the buttons can be changed out to aid that. I will keep the set that is on my SJ200, and look out on eBay for a single unit to replace the failing G string Roto. They will ride again! I’ll report back on the Gotohs-they should arrive this morning, hopefully in time for me to sling them on prior to my gig later today and take them for a test run!
  19. Thanks all. I’m going to either go Gotoh or Schaller I think. I’m amazed that I can’t purchase a new rotomatic singly to replace the faulty one…I guess that’s how Grover make their money! I’ve always liked Rotos, and this is the first one I’ve ever had a problem with, in well over two decades of using them. They are beefy units though, and wouldn’t object to losing a touch of weight via the slightly lighter Gotohs. Not sure on the weight of the Schallers but I’ve had a similar set of Gotohs on my Takamine EAN20C for 20yrs and have never had an issue with ‘em.
  20. That is stunning. Just glorious. I’ve had a raging lust for one of these since they were announced as they’re right in my wheelhouse in every way (Bling? Check! Maple? Check! Two fancy pickguards rather than one? Check!) but time, tide and finances haven’t made it possible to own one so far. One day! In the meantime, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that it would be fantastic to see yours in action if you could grab a video for us!
  21. Hi all, My beloved SJ200 has a faulty G string machinehead…it has gradually got rougher/tighter over the last six months and now feels about ready to let go. After many years of Rotos on most of my guitars, I think it may be time to try something different. What would you choose as a replacement? Obviously it needs to be drop-in rather than something that requires drilling etc. Would like to save a bit of weight if possible as the Rotos are a weighty unit. Any and all thoughts very welcome!
  22. Thanks TG! The Compact 60 is a revelation isn’t it? So good. Every time I fire it up I’m impressed all over again. The 50w Alpha Plus is great too. Great kit!
  23. An update on this, two years down the line…the Hughes & Kettner was very good, but after a year or so developed a fault in the high pass filter circuitry and would randomly lose tweeter function midway through a gig, which could only be remedied by switching the amp off and back on again. Not a huge issue at home, but as a stage amp it rendered it somewhat useless! I sent it back for repair, but H&K couldn’t fix it, so I accepted a refund on the amp. The H&K was not an inexpensive amp, so I had a little cash to play with. I figured that the one amp I hadn’t owned was the industry standard, the AER Compact 60. It has a dual concentric speaker so no tweeter (I didn’t like the phaser crossover point on the tweeter equipped Compact XL) and I’ve borrowed C60s as guitar monitors for bigger shows several times in the past, with superb results. Why not give it a try? So, earlier in the year I ordered a brand new Compact 60/4, the latest iteration. It’s a superb amp and has been faultless since I’ve owned it. It is LOUD (I’ve used it as a single source for audiences up to 200, and have never had the master volume past 11 o’clock!) and really crisp. Super hi-fi sound. Beautiful to sing through, too. It has a very gentle compression/limiting at extremes which is rather like singing through a good LA2A comp/limiter in the studio. In fact, I like it so much that I used the leftover funds from the H&K refund to buy a secondhand Alpha Plus from a friend of a friend. The AP is the same size as a C60, but 50w rather than 60w, and has a global EQ and FX level rather than each being individually adjustable for each channel. It’s the halfway house between the little 40w Alpha and the 60w C60, and is a superb second amp, or extension speaker to turn the C60 into a stereo setup/mini PA. The power and dispersion of these amps is remarkable. The wattage rating doesn’t reflect the SPLs at all. My 60w Compact 60 is significantly louder than my 400w H&K Era 2 was…top job, AER! I should also mention that their customer service is second to none. I’ve had really great chats with them via social media and they respond readily with answers for all manner of questions. Superb.
  24. A USA Frontier is basically a Dove in a dinner jacket…specs are almost identical, bar cosmetics. Having said that, I’m a Dove owner and am very much GASing for the USA Frontier reissues!
  25. I had one of the very first EL-00s from the late ‘90s. It was shaped like an L1, not an L-00 as per the latter models. I’m not sure how long the L-1 shaped EL-00s were made for, but I’ve only ever seen one either in the flesh or online, which is the one I owned! It was a beautiful little guitar. I paid £150 for it secondhand with a Rare Earth pickup installed. I gigged it for several years and really enjoyed it. The neck was a little narrow but I soon got used to it. I traded it towards a ‘94 Gibson Blues King L-00 which was a lot more money but not significantly better, and didn’t stay for long. I wish I’d kept the EL-00!
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