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Everything posted by vangoghsear

  1. Some Clavinisms. Relative to the test, "It's a little known fact that smartest animal is a pig. Scientists say if pigs had thumbs and a language, they could be trained to do simple manual labor. They give you 20-30 years of loyal service and then at their retirement dinner you can eat them." Relative to guitars, "I wonder if you know that the harp is a predecessor of the modern day guitar. Early minstrels were much larger people. In fact, they had hands the size of small dogs."
  2. Here's my official Tele, a 1980's Fender Black and Gold. You can see the entire guitar far left in this shot. And this is my Agile Tele.
  3. I have a bit of a rant here, but I think my point addresses the OP's question. Government administrative red tape has added immensely to the cost of doing anything in the US. I've seen how it can effect costs directly and indirectly in my own experience. My wife and I are rebuilding our house on our property. My initial design solved all of ourt problems with the property and allowed for us to build our new house next to the old house (we have a 1.75 acre yard), reuse the existing septic system and connect it to the new house, move out of the old house into the new one, tear down the old one and build a garage where the old house was. Sounds simple right? Then enter the government. Our zoning had changed since we bought the house. We went from Residential the something called "Restricted Residential." We now require 2 acres to build (state average building lot size is .26 acre, I have 6x that, they still tell us we don't have enough land to build). So we had to hire a lawyer and a civil engineer to go for a variance. $$ We have to pay for the township's engineer to review our plans and the township's lawyer to challenge our lawyer (yes you heard it right we pay for both sides). $ Turns out the septic system doesn't meet the current codes and we have to replace that, civil engineer draws up that plan. $$$$ The lowest floor of the house has to be set above the flood plain. The government, FEMA, in their infinite wisdom, chose as their high water mark for our property a flood which occurred following a Northeaster, a hurricane and an earthquake which destroyed four eighty year old dams upstream of our property causing our yard to flood. This in my opinion is more of a five hundred year event and should not have been used as the mark. Turns out we can only build where our existing house is due to the Flood plain. So we have to rent (2) PODS at hundreds of dollars a month to empty our house into, and move into an extended stay hotel for 3-4 months at $4500 a month. I have to house my guitar collection with friends and family for the time, I also had to sell several guitars and amps to reduce how many things I was storing. $$$ The existing house had a basement 6 feet below the flood plain, so we had to demolish the house, and fill the hole with certified fill and have the compaction process reviewed by a certification lab. $ Because we are building a house instead of buying an existing house we are charged with a fee of 1.5% of the house's cost that goes towards low rent housing. $ We have to pay for building permits, zoning permits, demolition permits, inspections by the construction official -- This is an absolute crock of crap, inspectors know less than the contractors about what they are inspecting, the contractors have to follow all applicable codes anyway, if there is a problem and the inspector does not see it, the inspectors are not responsible the contractor is anyway. $$ Once the basement walls are set in place, the site has to be re-surveyed to certify for the township that the foundation is placed where the plans said it would be placed (I asked them if they pay to have this done, they said "We pay for nothing"). So out comes the civil engineer again, first to mark the site for the house, then again to verify it was built where it was marked once it's built. $ Since the garage is in the flood plain, instead of being able to tear it down and rebuild both the house and garage at the same time and save transportation costs and staging costs for equipment and personnel, we have to wait until after the house is completely finished then begin the process to allow us to raise the garage two feet. Which means go back to the lawyer and the civil engineer who has to show how adding 2000 square feet approximately two feet deep of fill will impact every property associated with 20 acre lake in the event of another flood! $$$ We thought that the basement walls were being built while the house was being demolished and the site was being raised to the new grade (about 3 weeks). Turns out the people building the basement walls won't start to build them until they have a photo of the signed construction permit. Our government office is only open two days a week to begin with and they were on vacation the week after we gave them the design documents needed for the permit. So we end up losing three more weeks that we have to add to the time in the extended stay hotel. $ Tens of thousands of dollars added to the cost of this building project because of government interference. Most of it stupid bureaucratic BS. As for how that type of thing impacts Gibson, look back at the raid in 2009 on Gibson. They have to adhere to vague laws that reference hundreds of laws of other countries just to source materials. That must add to administration costs, legal fees, fines, import fees, storing and shipping, finding new sources, inspection fees and other stupid crap. This leads to them having to do more research and development for alternative materials and just generally impacts the quality or at least the perception of quality of the products (Richlite instead of ebony for instance).
  4. There is a technique I use to fight GAS attacks based on this thread theme. I remind myself that the old blues players would travel around with one old guitar and an amp to make their music, and I am blessed to own several (dozens) of guitars and several nice amps to choose from. It reminds me to play more and appreciate what I have. Sometimes it does work to fight off a GAS attack, other times I just end up with another guitar or amp to appreciate.
  5. The feel of the guitar especially its neck and fretboard of an LPM in a shop near where I work. I didn't buy that particular one, but after trying it, I just had that fretboard and the solid feel of the guitar in my mind. I've since bought three LPs with similar feel. Can't put my finger on what it is, but they have it and my foreign made guitars and Fenders don't.
  6. For years I would try Tele's and experience the exact same thing. I found the fret boards too narrow for my taste giving me difficulty playing. I have since found two exceptions. a 1980 USA Fender Black and Gold Tele, with a heavy brass 6 saddle bridge and what to me to be a very comfortable rosewood fret board and maple neck. And an Agile Tele with a 3 saddle bridge and again a very comfortable maple fret board and neck. I can play either one for hours without my fingers feeling cramped or slipping bends. The only problem is the Fender weighs like 11 lbs. So if you like the Tele tone, keep looking, there are some out there that are playable exceptions.
  7. 34 years ago, when I was 25, I bought a house and the previous owner had left a Teisco guitar and Crown amp in the attic. I played around with that cheese grater for about 6 months then bought a used Westbury at a yard sale, took about 10 years where I didn't play much, as some others stated here, then got back into big and kept it up. I pretty much play every day now.
  8. We can't tell from what you posted. Post a shot of the back. How can we help you without enough information?
  9. Yeah, they (the Romans) certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this.
  10. I'm an artist as well as musician (actually better as artist). Years ago singer Eddie Fisher, Carrie's father, bought one of my paintings for her. Strange feeling for me. I used to be able to say that a famous actress owned one of my paintings...not sure who'll have it now. She died far too young, only a year older than me. RIP Princess Leia.
  11. Looks like someone had a Merry Christmas. Congratulations! What a great couple of presents. There is a store near me that carries Blackstar amps. I've tried out guitars through them before and found them quite usable. I don't have much experience with PRS guitars, but I like how they look. Enjoy!
  12. Years ago when I was was just starting playing, I had a set of strings that had one of the high strings (a 'B' I think) that broke at the tuner above the nut. I didn't know any better, so I unwound some string from the tuner, twisted a loop in both and tied the two pieces back together. I played it like that for 6 months before I replaced the strings. My hands don't sweat much, and I am fairly easy on strings. I go for years sometimes. Several of my guitars over a year old have the original strings on them (if they were good quality strings), two Gibson LPs (2 or 3 years), a Michael Kelly Hybrid Special (4 or 5 years), Yamaha Acoustic (4 or 5 years), there are others. I just don't feel the need to change them very often. I have a bass that I bought 25 years ago (admittedly I don't play it often), I took it up to my local music store to lower the action and replace the strings. I asked him what strings I should put on it. He tried it and said the existing (original) strings still sounded lively.
  13. My groups have always been more background music type, we use odd instrumentation in our covers (flute player will play guitar solos, keyboard carries bass, etc), so we don't get bar gigs. We noticed a lot of the places we would play wineries, coffee houses, restaurants, dried up as a result of spot inspections by copyright organizations to collect royalties for the song writers. While I respect that writers should be paid for their work being used, venues such as coffee houses really don't make that much more by adding live music, so rather than pay the fees, they just shut down on the live music.
  14. Tough question. So many interpretations of the term "value" and all of them are legitimate meanings. First one that comes to mind would be my first good guitar, a Westbury Standard, I bought at a yard sale for $175 with a hardshell case. Came stock with DiMarzio PAF neck and Super Distortion bridge pickups, full size pots, really nice build quality, decent tuners, and low fast action. I used it for twenty plus years with no backup.
  15. It really is a serious problem. I currently have a few amps and a couple of guitars I'm GASsing over. I have a technique that helps or else I'd have many more guitars than I do (I have ~20). My technique when I start wanting a new one is to think of the old-time blues players who would travel around with just one guitar and an amp. That thought helps me realize that I have more than enough good gear for my level of playing and my frequency of playing out (two or three times a month). I've walked out of many a guitar shop empty handed by remembering that thought.
  16. I've had an Epiphone P90 guitar and was not pleased with the P90s output, I ended up selling it. The tone was fine, and it could have just been mine because I have played a few others such as a Casino, and some Kat series with P90s that sounded good to me. Epiphone semihollows are usually decent guitars. I have, and can recommend, a Gibson 60's Tribute like the one in the link. The feel is like a Studio LP and the P90's sound great to me. Personally, I like the satin finish like the Tributes have on the neck for playability. If you can afford it, the Gibson sounds like what you are looking for from your description. I edited this to add, that P90's are noisy as stated, but you can minimize the hum by setting it on both pickups and playing with the volume knobs for pickup selection.
  17. This is my current plan. I have 20 or so (lost count) I plan to place a bunch in a local shop on consignment to sell after the Christmas holiday (the shop owner buys new ones to sell for Christmas, but wants used ones for people to buy with their Christmas money afterwards). I plan to keep my best ones and possibly buy a nice high quality semihollow to take the place of the half a dozen cheaper ones I plan to sell off.
  18. Mine is the 3" wide version. No sliding at all that I've noticed.
  19. I've got one of the hard plastic things, and a few of the plastic locking rings, but the all around absolute best, easiest to use and secure strap locking systems I've tried are these: Lock-it straps Just slide the locking feature open and put it on like an ordinary strap then close it back down (it's spring loaded) Even if it fails open, the guitar is still in an ordinary strap. No hard plastic in contact with the guitar, no screwing around with the pins. Use it on any one of your guitars. Love mine. The link is to a narrow one, but I have a wider one. Great locking strap.
  20. I feel for you and I feel sorry for the girl too, but do her a favor and don't let her get away with this. I had a similar experience. A young guy maybe early 20's ran a stop sign and hit my wife's eight month old car that was parked in our driveway. He was spinning his wheels when I came out of the house trying to back out, but he was caught up on a stack of logs he had ran over. He had been drinking and was begging me to not call the police, saying he would pay for the damage. Too late for that, the neighbors had called them when they heard the crash. The cops showed up and took him away and towed the guy's truck out of our driveway. My wife's car was drive-able but badly damaged, about $5,000 worth. People who knew the guy told us he was a nice boy, just drank too much. We let the insurance company fight the court case and we just stayed out of it. We heard afterwards he cleaned up his act and gave up drinking. Looking at the crash site afterwards we realized that if his truck had been just one foot over to the right, a tree branch could have taken his head off. As it was, his truck roof scraped the branch, but the ground was lower where his wheels hit.
  21. My mom and dad could both play a couple of tunes on an electric organ we had growing up and my mom directed the choir at the church. One of my great granddads built a violin, but I'm not sure if he could play it or not. All of my brothers and sisters play instruments and sing. One sister has a masters degree in music education and is a classically trained operatic soprano and sings in local churches and for weddings, etc. One of my brothers has a degree in music education specializing in percussion. He teaches music in grammar schools and plays drums in several bands and percussion in local symphonies. My other brother plays the trumpet and learned a few chords on guitar. My younger sister plays flute and directs a choir at her church. I can play enough piano to write music, some bass, some cello and violin, rudimentary snare drum, and guitar.
  22. Has the OP responded to this portion of this comment? I have a friend who has played semi-professionally for years and yet he constantly tunes up AND down to find pitch and spends half his gigs tuning after every other song. I've told him as often as I can without overstepping our friendship that he needs to tune upwards only, but he just doesn't grasp the concept. He has a much better ear for tuning than I do, so he hears when it is out and tweaks it up or down. This can have a big effect on tuning stability. In addition to the gearing not being in position to hold, the strings can bind up in the nut and become looser above the nut shift out of tune when pressure is applied when bending.
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