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Everything posted by Mike_L

  1. The IRS said hello today via the U.S. Mail. They said I owe $38k on my 2013 Tax Return. From what I can glean from the paperwork, it would appear Guam never reported my W-2 even though I filed... and paid, my taxes. Of course, now its up to me to prove the IRS wrong. They are already charging interest and I see forking out for a good tax lawyer. Freaking out a little bit in the balmy western pacific...
  2. Congrats! The first time I quite cold turkey and went 3 years smoke free; but due to personal circumstances at the time 9 (my ex) I fell off the wagon. I didn't think it was possible to want to start smoking again after so long without. I think in times of crisis it is human nature to revert back to behavior that helps you cope. After 3 years I quite again cold turkey and this Sept I'll be 9 years smoke free. No cravings, desires or whatever. I see people smoking now and wonder what the attraction is. Quitting was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
  3. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on an OEM Truss Rod Cover for a Les Paul Traditional that says "Traditional"? Can't seem to find anything but blank, "Standard" or "Custom". Thanks
  4. Black Ebony is on the way of the Dodo Bird thanks to the quest for all black fretboards. I've seen several Taylors with multi-color Ebony fretboards and they are beautiful. Taylor is on my wishlist because of so. I also have an ES-355 with Richlite. She looks, feels, plays, and sounds beautiful. Looks just as nice as ebony. No black fingers. Call it paper and glue, call it whatever makes some of you on this board feel superior. To each his own.
  5. As an Osaka resident I will vouch for Japanese Guitar retailers. Straight up people. Japan Post provides superior service. Just keep in mind that Japan is a long ways away should you need some customer service. Should you need to return the guitar, FedEx will run you about $300.
  6. They had already had their fun before I got there. No, I would not have allowed them anywhere near my guitar.
  7. I would think it's the luthier's job to return the guitar in the same condition received, minus the discrepancies, not looking like it just went on a five year tour.
  8. Except for major repairs. Last year I took my brand new Les Paul Traditional to a local luthier for some serious string buzzing. Turns out the nut was cut too low. He replaces the nut... with the exact same dimensions as the original nut. Buzz remains. It gets better. I go to pick the guitar up and he is just finishing the set up. A couple of local wannabes are in the store too. One volunteers to mention what a sweet guitar I have as the luthier let him 'try it out'. WTF??? I get the guitar home and notice a few new minor dings in the finish as icing on the cake. I wonder if it was him or the wannabe that added the icing to the cake. I ended up teaching myself how to replace a nut (thanks StewMac.com). Now she sounds and plays perfect. Two months ago, I found a luthier in Osaka, a custom guitar builder, to fix the neck crack in my ES-355. He did a beautiful job on the neck repair. But somehow the guitar looks like it aged five years. Spots in the finish, sawdust from his shop everywhere. Even a few light scratches in the new lacquer on the neck probably from a ring. A few new dings in the finish of an otherwise brand new guitar. I'm pissed. I've now decided other than major structural repair, I'm doing my own setups and component swaps. If a luthier can't treat guitars as their own, they aren't getting my business. Rant off.
  9. There's one in the Mikki Gakki showroom in Osaka. Popped up the day after BB passed away. It's still there ;-)
  10. IMHO your 'fretting' (sorry, couldn't help myself) way too much over which you have no control of. Who can say what the resell value of the new -355s will be? That's something my heirs can worry about. When I buy a guitar, it's to enjoy the aesthetics as much as the play and sound.. and to keep. Should I run into hard times and need to sell, I'll take what I can get. Bottom line, quite 'what-iffing' and buy what you truly desire. Otherwise you'll be forever longing for that 'other' guitar.
  11. That makes sense, but... I recently installed a bone nut on one of my LPs and the tones coming out of her are phenomenally better than with the Tusq nut I replaced. Not just the open notes, everything. Maybe its just me.
  12. I have an ES-355 (2014) with Richlite. It is the best sounding (and best looking) guitar I own when compared to my two LPs with rosewood boards. It is my opinion that nut material will affect tone more than fingerboard material. Hence, my -355 is currently in the shop for neck repair and I'm having a bone nut installed. I'm curious what the Ebony aficionados on this board have for nut material on their axes? Plastic?
  13. PRS, Fender, whatever. I hardly listen to his music anymore as I'm still in disbelief over his duet with Babs. WTF?
  14. Mike_L

    ES335 Pics

    Gorgeous! Congrats!
  15. Their warranty is just so much Swiss Cheese carefully crafted by the accountants and lawyers. I received a brand new guitar with a hidden defect that Gibson labels 'shipping damage'. I'm now left holding the bag on a $300 repair. 'nuff said.
  16. Thanks for sharing Steve. Makes so much sense now.
  17. Funny you should ask Steve. Yes I did change the strings right before I noticed this. No there aren't any small marks or indents outside the case. Can you fill us in please?
  18. Having only had my ES-355 for about 6 weeks, one night during the wipe down after play I discovered this: And this: I'm at a loss as to how this happened as I've never dropped it or banged it against anything. The dealer I purchased it from thinks it was shipping damage I overlooked. I'm sure it isn't. Either way, 6 weeks after shipping, shipping damage can't be claimed. Gibson won't touch it as they think it is shipping damage. I guess honesty doesn't count for much these days and their warranty is just so much Swiss Cheese. Kudos to the dealer, he offered to repair in his shop for free if I can ship it back. Ha! I'm done dealing with shipping guitars. Since I fly for an airline, hand carrying to him is an option, just not practical with my schedule in Guam. There is one luthier on the island if you want to call him that. I have other titles for him. So today I'm visiting a custom guitar shop in Osaka that has an extensive repair capability. It's my dime whether I pay for the repair or pay shipping or travel cost. This way I can face to face with the luthier which I think is the better option.
  19. If someone has their face planted in their phone or tablet, they are too busy to provide any level of customer service. Period. I would've taken my business elsewhere. One of the many things I love here in Japan. Public cell conversations and phone beeps, rings, and chimes are extremely rare (unless your Korean or Chinese). People use their isolated time on trains and buses to get electronically absorbed. The philosophy is one of total attention to those around you and leave your cell in pocket or purse until an appropriate time. Something I learned from my Japanese wife and should be taught elsewhere.
  20. Customs fee come into play depending on the value of the instrument. There is typically a base value below which there is no fee. I got nailed here on Guam for my ES-355 coming from Arizona. Also I've had two guitars shipped via FedEx. Both arrived in perfect condition in there original Gibson cases. Tho on the last shipment the shipper added some extra bubble wrap inside the case.
  21. Correction: the one I saw had sunburst on the back... as it should be ;-)
  22. I've seen one.. a hard tail.. back in Dec on the Rainbow Guitars website.... marked 'sold'.
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