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About iamgreg

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  1. I didn't cut them until tuned to pitch but I did stretch them. Now that you mention it every time they broke I was doing string bends. Perhaps they are the wrong choice for playing lead?
  2. It seems that other people have had issues with the Fishman Ellipse Aura as well: http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/81702-ellipse-aura-question/page__p__1117585__hl__%2Bfishman+%2Bellipse+%2Baura+%2B__fromsearch__1#entry1117585 A tad disappointing though not the end of the world.
  3. Yes; I really like the Sunbeam tone & feel as well but it's crazy how they are breaking on me. The Guitar Center tech says that DR is inconstant in their quality.
  4. Now I'm not so fond of DR Sunbeams. After a weekend of heavy playing I broke all of the wound strings twice over; I never broke a string on this guitar until now. I went up to Guitar Center and they said they are getting a lot of complaints about that as of late so they hooked me up with a set of John Pearse 700M's and my string breaking stopped! Has anyone else had a problem with snappin' Sunbeams?
  5. Hi All, I want to take a moment to give Gibson Customer Service an A++. I plugged in my 2011 SJ-200 Standard yesterday (I don't plug in much) to prepare for an upcoming gig and it was cutting in and out along with some nasty lf buzzing. I couldn't find anything obviously wrong so I took it up to the Grand Rapids, Michigan Guitar Center where I bought it. They have a great tech on staff there and he couldn't isolate the problem either so he suggested that I call Gibson Customer Service so that's what I did. I got a guy named Vince on the phone and he gave me the option to either take it to an authorized repair center about 60 miles from here or he would send me a new Fishman Ellipse Aura and let me install it myself; the installation instructions look easy enough so that's the route I chose. All that he asked is that I ship the old system back to them once I get the new one installed; easy & fair enough. Gibson Customer Service is top notch and buying my guitar new for the warranty was definitely worth it!!!
  6. I appreciate all of the feedback. I put on a set of 13 gauge DR Rare's but am finding that the inntonation is poor. I get the open strings in tune but when I play a chord all of the fretted notes are sharp; that's not good. The Rare's also are under a lot of tension; had to tweak the truss rod. I just switched the Rare's over to 13 gauge DR Sunbeams and took a little tension off of the truss rod and they feel nice. I'll have to give them some time to break in but my initial thought is that the Sunbeams are brighter then the Rare's or John Pearse 13 gauge PB's. Does anybody know if John Pearse PB's are hex or round core? I might try a bone saddle with JP's next. I'll order up some Gibson J-200 13 gauge as well to try. I've tried Martin strings but didn't like the tone.
  7. Greetings All!!! My new 2011 SJ-200 Standard (purchased 9/2011 from Guitar Center) came with D'Addarrio light gauge strings. At least I'm assuming that's what they were by the 6 different colored ball ends. I continued to use D'addarrio 12-53's though I tried a set of their mediums and found that they had no give so I went back to lights. I was finding the tone a little thin when playing with others so a few weeks ago I picked up a set of John Pearse Medium 700M's and I really liked the feel and tone but after a few days it seemed like the bass notes were muted sounding and had a quick decay. I just put on a set of DR Rare's in 13 gauge and man do they sound great thus far. They must have more tension as the action crept up just a hair but they are still very playable. I am finding that the DR Rare's project better and hype up the bass response and sustain like a bell. I also picked up a set of DR Sunbeams in 13 gauge to try next. By the description I am guessing that the Sunbeams will have a bit less tension (they are round core where Rare's are a hex core) but will also be brighter. Has anyone tried both DR Rare and Sunbeams that can offer a comparison? I have also tried Martin FX's and SP4100's on the SJ-200 and didn't care for either. Are there any other "Must Try" strings out there for an SJ-200? BTW; I outfitted the guitar with Colossi bone pins, ivory nut & ivory compensated saddle. I chose ivory because I didn't want to overly brighten the guitar. Perhaps down the road after the guitar has opened up I'll switch over to a bone saddle. Has anyone A/B'd an ivory vs. bone saddle on their SJ-200 that can offer a comparison? I've been keeping the guitar out on a stand as I've heard that being out will help it to open up quicker. Fortunately the winter has been pretty calm here in Michigan so it's been easy to keep my studio at 72 degrees with 45% humidity. At any rate I'm loving this guitar and I like the new manufacturing process for the pickgaurd. The Fishman Aura Ellipse sounds great and the build quality is flawless. I traded in a 1991 J-200 towards this guitar and the build quality is a night and day difference in favor of the 2011. The '91 was very sloppy; headstock overlay was coming undone, where the sides meet the neck was buckled and the bracing had a lot of glue run out. Sorry for rambling on; I'll eventually get to posting the obligatory pics, sound clips and video. Have a great day!!!
  8. Madison Violet; The Ransom: http://www.youtube.c...1/1/Rv0Dg9IfirY Lori McKenna; Bible Song: http://www.youtube.c...3/1/S18TX2w2dX8 If you're not familiar with Lori McKenna: http://www.youtube.c...3/0/WteqRdaM-i8 My take on Lori McKenna's Drinkin' Problem: http://www.youtube.c...C/6/hfkEXQyndBY
  9. I have done my share of Coffee House gigs; I enjoy the simplicity of them. Here are a couple of links: Hey Hey What Can I Do? Me on a 2010 Martin JC-40: http://www.youtube.c...C/0/DZJsVJaXOFU Old Man: (me on a 1970 Gibson F-12 mandolin and Ralph Cayedito on vocals and a 1994 Gibson SJ-200: http://www.youtube.c...C/5/213w6uc0QKg
  10. Del Nilppeznaf; you said of the new pickgaurd design "Does it change the sound? It's a 1/4 inch slab of rubber what do you think?" No offense but…this just isn't true. I stand by my measurement of 9/128 of an inch and it ain't no slab of rubber. Some people feel that any pickgaurd hurts the sound because it creates a dead spot where the top vibrates less. It seems to me (in theory anyway) that if the pickgaurd is softer there would be less of a dead spot because the top is more free to move. Hogeye; soundproofing a studio is a whole other story. The soft face of a sound panel is to help reduce the higher frequencies from reflecting back. Under the soft face is a rigid fiberglass panel such as OwensCorning 703 which is for absorbing the sound. The mechanical energy of sound has a tougher time traveling through hard material as opposed to a soft material. A hard material will transfer mechanical energy better but a pickgaurd is not there to transfer energy. At the end of the day I don't see these new pickgaurds hurting the sound any more than any other pickgaurd and the design won't fade. I have also heard that the TV's are a mix of concepts and not modeled after one particular year; no debate there. Most people aren't thrilled about the fading pickgaurd design so this new design indeed fixes a past mistake in my eyes. PS; it is nice that Gibson offers variations of different models because one size will never fit all.
  11. I am responding as A) an owner of a 2011 SJ-200 Standard stamped on May 18, 2011 with the new pickgaurd design, B) educated/experienced in mechanical design and fabrication of wood and plastics and C) have seen and owned enough Gibsons over the years. First these pickgaurds are not 1/4" thick; mine measures in at 9/128 of an inch. They are translucent; you can see the rosette through it and the design is etched into the backside of the gaurd so that it won't scratch off. People are claiming that they are rubber which they are not. Rubber (even hardend) has some push and this pickgaurd does not. While this new material might be rubberized plastic and roll up when off of the guitar this would be a good thing. Having a pliable pickgaurd material versus a solid material would dampen less of the soundboard's vibration because it has more freedom to move. I traded a '91 SJ-200 in towards my new one and have also owned an '02 L-200 Emmylou with the old design and can say that I'm partial to the new pickgaurd. Another change on the new SJ-200 Standard is that the height of the bridge is lower; it's top is 1/4" above the soundboard where the '91 and L-200 were almost twice that. There is plenty of saddle height at 11/64" for a healthy break angle and room to lower the action as the years take its toll with top bellying. Currently my action is 6/64" at the 12th on the low E and 5/64" for the high E. The '91 with its tall 4 ribbon bridge had a bottomed out saddle; many people including Frank Ford find the original bridge design to be poor. The L-200 was a heighty 2 ribbon but it also had an almost bottomed out saddle. These guitars were way too young for a neck reset but because of poor design it is typical. Worth noting; my 2011 is the cleanest built of all my Bozeman built Gibby's. Ren might have left the building but he has left them building guitars that equal the Kalamazoo classics from the early '50's and before. If you prefer the vintage way the TV's are true to form but if you want a modern design not repeating the mistakes of Gibson past the Standard is it.
  12. Hey, I do large format digital printing. I can print a digital photo in "Fine Art" quality up to 24" x 60". You can check out my stuff at: http://grandcreations.net/store
  13. I had a 2002 L-200 which I bought used with similar fading of the pickgaurd. I recently traded the L-200 for a '91 SJ-200 which also had a fading pickgaurd; no big deal but a little disappointing. I returned the '91 SJ-200 to Guitar Center after a week because it needed a neck reset and bought a new 2011 SJ-200. It is my observation that Gibson is now making the pickgaurds differently then they were. Before the paint/color was on the top but now it seems like the color is sandwiched between layers and not on top anymore.
  14. Leaving anything finished with lacquer out when the temp is around 72 with 45% humidity will help it to cure quicker. Lacquer is a solvent based finish and the solvents need time to evaporate. It is this evaporation that leads to that magical moment of a guitar's tone "opening up". As far as the funk that builds up on the neck of a new guitar; that is from your hands rubbing out the still uncured lacquer. This is a very important time to wipe things down in order to not get permanent dull spots in the finish. If the weather is cold and humid keep it in the case.
  15. I recently (14th of February, 2011) got a new Songwriter Deluxe 12 String and I love it!!! I put a Colossi compensated bone saddle on it and keep it tuned down a whole step with mediums and it is a cannon. I can play it unplugged in small venues and theaters and it will project with both warmth and clarity all the way to the back of the room. I am saving for a new SJ-200 to go along with my L-200 but am seriously considering getting a SWD EC 6 String instead. Here's a video of me playing on it unplugged at Vicker's Theatre of Three Oaks, Michigan. http://www.youtube.c...C/1/yWgTwKnZJXs
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