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drathbun

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drathbun last won the day on December 11 2016

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About drathbun

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  • Birthday 04/21/1956

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    Calgary, Alberta

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  1. drathbun

    SJ-200

    My SJ200 is a vintage reproduction model; the Ray Whitley Golden Age 1930's. So there was no pickup option of course. I've decided to keep it unaltered by an onboard pickup. However, when I'm recording with it, it is sometimes more convenient to plug in rather than set up a mic. So I bought an iRig Acoustic Stage pickup that clips to the sound hole and the lead run on the exterior of the guitar to a beltpack. I've never played it live with this setup but this coming Friday I'm playing at the Tribal again and have decided to take the SJ200 with me. I was concerned about feedback (small club with two Bose L1 Compacts close to the stage) so I've improvised a feedback buster to accommodate the iRig. Sorry for seemingly hijacking this thread, but I thought it might be instructive that you don't actually NEED to install a pickup in your guitar if it doesn't come with one already. Here is the YouTube I did when I first got the iRig Acoustic Stage.
  2. drathbun

    SJ-200

    This is excellent advice. An underset neck means the guitar is screwed right out of the gate. They should never get out of the factory this way but stuff happens I guess. There are a few good ways to check for an underset neck: Sight the neck. Put the end of the guitar on your toe and look down the neck trying to align the edge of the treble or bass side of the neck until it becomes a straight line to the bridge. If the top of the bridge (not the saddle) and the end of the fretboard align, then the neck is set properly. If the line of the fretboard points below the bridge towards the body, then it is underset. Put a straight-edge down the fretboard, on edge, between the D and G strings. As you slide the straight-edge towards the bridge, the bottom edge should slide smoothly over the top of the bridge and then butt up against the saddle. If it hits the front thickness of the bridge, the neck is underset. Check for a low saddle. If the guitar is new or just a few years old, the saddle should have substantial material above the bridge. If you are looking at a new guitar and the saddle is low, then the neck was underset when it was made and the factory lowered the saddle to compensate. Once the guitar ages, there will be no saddle material left to adjust the saddle down to lower the action from the rising neck. In EVERY case, a new guitar with an underset neck should be avoided as more trouble than it is worth. I don't care if it is a new $5000 Gibson or Martin, they aren't worth being reset. Find a good one. On a personal note, any SJ200 with an Adirondack (red spruce) top will be superior to a standard J200 in my opinion.
  3. I agree 100%. I've never agreed with blind fanboyism or brand chauvinism. It is blinkered thinking. However, I have NO problem waving the flag for a superior product which I love. So I can proudly proclaim my love of my Gibson SJ200 guitar as one of the finest guitars I've ever played or owned. And I've played guitar close to 50 years now. Plus, I've sold thousands of guitars while I was a guitar salesperson. At the same time that I sing Gibson's praises, I feel comfortable calling them out when they are just plain BAD! I have the same feeling about Martin and Taylor. I own a stellar Martin and have owned incredible Taylors. Guitars are like people; there's good in bad in all and you don't fall in love with everyone. At least I don't.
  4. I agree with everything Nick just said. In addition to "chasing the tuning" around, I had just replaced a broken octave G string. Although I stretched it a bit, it was only an hour old and when I went to capo 2 and detuned the low E strings down a full step, the whole fretboard was out of whack. The Hummingbird 12 stays in tune really well I have to say. But under these circumstances, no 12 string would be in tune. I just had to decided which was worse, hearing an out of tune guitar or listening to an amateur tune a 12 string for five minutes. 😉
  5. Thanks, BBG! Six string next time with two mics; one vocal and one guitar. It doesn't matter how good you are as long as people are entertained. So playing a song where people can sing along or clap along gets them involved and they don't notice (or don't care) you aren't hitting the notes. I got so involved in my story about my G string, that I forgot to tell the joke I had prepared... "Everyone here who believes in psychokinesis, raise my hand." - Stephen Wright
  6. Thanks Phil! Oh there is no sound engineer. The lady that owns the cafe has a small mixer and she turns stuff up and down. I had control of my own pickup volume and should have turned it down but I seriously couldn't hear myself. When the guy adjusted my mic, I tried to get closer to it but then started popping my P's so I backed off. Each time is a learning experience. Next time, before I go up, I'm going to turn the Bose L1 Compacts slightly to see if the stage can get some of the mix.
  7. Please forgive the mistakes and the horrible tuning when I capo up and drop D. I was too nervous to even attempt to tune on stage! Next time I'll be using either my Gibson SJ200 or my Martin 00028vs but neither of them have pickups. 🙄
  8. First thing that came to my mind was the finish being softened by bug repellent on player's hands. Just once is enough to soften the nitro finish and then it gets tacky and wears, flakes and chips off.
  9. It is wonderful to see that old guitar (as old as me) back in playable condition. I don't think it matters much what it sounds like acoustically. These J160e's are designed to plug in anyway and with a good pickup and electric strings, you'll get that "I'll Feel Fine" vibe easily. And the amount of mojo on that guitar is fabulous! History.
  10. Thanks for the review. It is very comprehensive and useful. I've not wavered from preferring Elixir Nano HD Lights on my J200 and my Martin 00028vs and standard Elixir Nano 12 string on the Hummingbird. I could be convinced otherwise, but nothing has proven better for my acidic fingers so far.
  11. I just don't think you can go wrong with Waverlys in any of their configurations. The are quite simply the best guitar tuner for acoustic guitars you can get. Yes, they are expensive, but so are the Gibson acoustics we are talking about. Before I got my Martin 00028vs (which has Waverlys) I had a Martin 00017sm (which did not). I replaced the stock, slot-head tuners with Waverly and AHHHHHH (the sounds of the heavens parting and sun shining on the guitar) Nirvana! Precise, smooth, accurate... did I say SMOOTH? Of course the 00028vs now has the same tuners. They are amazing. I am not disappointed in the gold mini-Grovers on my Hummingbird 12 or the Grover Imperials on my SJ200 Golden Age to even consider replacing them, but if I had a stock Gibson J45, I would replace the Grovers with these instantly!
  12. Thanks everyone! The gig went well. The preparation for the gig did not. I was rehearsing and warming up my voice just about an hour before leaving for the venue and, while tweaking the tuning, I snapped the octave G string! The only spare string I had was a .010 and that's a bit too stiff to tune to octave G. I put the string on anyway and tuned a half step down but it was still feeling like it was going to snap any second. It was binding a LOT in the nut slot which is cut to .009. I sent out a frantic call and text to my son who works at Long & McQuade here in Calgary. I was hoping to catch him before he left work so he could snag me a .009 plain steel. Of course, yesterday was the single biggest day of the year at that L&M location; they were having the annual "Attic Sale". This location gathers up all of the overstock, old stock, seconds etc from all of the L&M locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and has a big blow out sale each year on this date. There were people camped (literally) in the parking lot from the night before and the line just as the doors were opening stretched for two blocks! I was lucky enough to catch him before he left and he brought me a new string. I quickly restrung the guitar and set off for the venue. Although the sound out from was excellent (two Bose L1 Compacts at each side of the stage) there was no monitor. So while on stage, my guitar drowned out my voice and I couldn't hear it at all. The guitar also sounded awful. It was shrill and mushed up and confused. I think next time I play the Hummingbird 12 live I will not use the pickup and mic the guitar instead. The LR Baggs Element might be one of the better UST pickups but it is still a horrible sounding piezo IMO. Regardless, the performance went okay with me only screwing up in a couple of places and forgetting the lyrics in one place for one song. It was nice to have my family and friends there to cheer me on and it was a very supportive and attentive crowd. Video attachment soon... it is compiling.
  13. I've been playing the Hummingbird 12 a lot lately but always in my studio or for friends and family. Tonight I'm playing in a ticketed, intimate club live. It is like an open mic but it only has 45 seats and is ticketed in advance. It is called "Free For All Friday" where anything goes from music, to poetry to book readings to stand-up comedy. Although they serve wine and beer it isn't a pub and so it doesn't have that open-mic atmosphere. People come to listen and you can actually hear yourself perform rather than the din from the loud crowd and background sports TVs. Should be fun! I'm playing three songs; Peaceful Easy Feeling, You've Got to Hide Your Love Away and Early Morning Rain. My wife is reading a portion of the book she is currently writing. Wish me luck. I may or may not post images/videos depending on how well it goes. 😉
  14. There are no Gibson guitars in this video but it is too wonderful a song to not post. Dildo, Newfoundland
  15. I'm a big fan of Pink and this version of Bobby McGee hits it out of the park. Great guitar playing too.
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