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James ODonnell

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About James ODonnell

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  1. I bought a $289 MIC Xaviere XV900 from Guitar Fetish. Its what started this whole persuit into semi-hollow territory for me. Not a bad guitar. Scarf joint neck, its biggest detractor, and solid maple make it heavy. If you buy one of these, it is implied that you will be working on it. Nothing is tight. Nothing. But that's a plus, because every part should be replaced. I didn't know that at first. After this one a real 335 came home and it has none of the same concerns. To compare them was unfair because the 335 was professional and the XV900 was a little leaguer. That wasn't going to stop me from improving upon the XV9. Tuners were upped to Schaller locking 18:1, and these remain the nicest tuners I have. There is no string wrap with them, maybe 1/2 wrapped, and they are sensitive and respond well. The nut was too high as well, the truss rod loose, these two areas helped bring the guitar around to playable. Frets are the itty bitty ones, very playable. Once the neck was straight this eliminated the sharp notes at 1-5. The cheap plastic nut is hollow, when the shim is removed underneath it, gives it that extra 1 mil less space between string and fret, less sharps. I would complain about the nut, but strings glide though it SO well, I kept it. No pinching. Moving down to the bridge, I had rattle issues with retention springs at the saddles, so I ordered a piezo LRBaggs and CtrlX, which meant drilling some new holes. That's OK, it was $289. Wiring in all new parts was interesting, at first I enjoyed all the fishing... but soon became frustrating. I let the battery rattle around for a few weeks and it ended up taking out some solder joints, oops. For round 2 I found all the crap solder joints and clipped the 9V battery to the pick guard with a bread tie. Simple, household McGyvering. And then it was down to the mag pickups. Fat Pats were driving me nuts because any C note played anywhere around the neck was honking. I now realize pole pieces are adjustable, but the move to Gibson prompted me to add 57 classic pups in both positions. Now, it is all tight, been through a lengthy remodel, and has piezo on tap. The action was set to compare with a Gibson, but is not as low. I would have had to fill the maple bridge holes and redrill them to get my bridge lower, but instead have the barrel plugged into the existing barrel... double barrel. I don't recommend it. ;). I dropped the stop bar down tight to the body... you know where I'm going with this. Now that everything is overhauled, now how do they compare? I tried to level the playing field. The XV9 sounds really cool, decent pickups helped this thing handle cranked amps and produce wonderful high gain sounds. And I would have never guessed that piezo bridges could enhance grind, when the feedback is controllable. Learning 'The Confessor', by Joe Walsh it was the first guitar I reached for, and it nailed it. The 335 remains in original state. It is a wonderful charmer, bodacious is what I called it, probably not even a real word, but it is so loud and outspoken, low action, big frets, lotsa vibrato... and stunning. Gibsons controls are much better, silent switches, "Memphis Tone Circuit" that fine tunes mixing. Mahogany neck, priceless playablilty, and did I say stunning? Overall diameter of the XV9 is larger than a 335. Horns are shaped a bit diff, pick guard is diff style. But these F holes are bound on a MIC, most every one I see is also detailed with 5 ply perimeter. But not the case with 335s, which are unbound at the F Holes. On mine, the wood is raw unfinished. I have no splintering. I have had no issues with my 335, compared to all of the operations the XV9 underwent. There is no comparison. With all of that said, this Govt series 335 is a unique one, a keeper or a collector, because of its butt ugly appeals, surely wondrous tone, and of noted history, the right buyer will be enamored enough to remedy that F Hole. Or appreciate it as natural. Flaws can sometimes be admired as a signature from the factory. Wood grains are full of them.
  2. Don't forget to register for warranty within 15 days... Sweet looking guitar. I would love to play a 335 with 57s, they're highly sought after and gone by the time I get there. The finish is tough to photo, but you've done some nice photos here. Receiving gifts such as this, I also got a 335 for my BDay, came with an IOU so big I don't know if I'll ever get squared up with her. Almost like going down to the crossroads and signing with the devil. Thanks? ;)
  3. Somewhere in this video mentions between 12 and 14 thousand. Not sure how, or why, this tour informs viewers of more details, all with a smile. You gotta love it. And what kind of beauty is that "surprise"?
  4. I was complimenting you on the great job helping a concerned owner. In that post I also suggested how 'Nice' we (by we, I refer to all of the forum users) can be to provide the good word or advice to those who may seem disgruntled, troubled with their guitar, setup difficulties, failures, or otherwise. This was in reply to Steve, above mine, and the preceding posts questioning whether the OP was still around. Also, I mentioned the new Memphis section, which did not exist only months ago. Not only that, there was no forum for semi-hollow users, aside from 'all other'. It is good to have the Memphis section, good to finally have a chat section for semi and hollow owners. Good to be able to help others with similar interests. If that's too much 'positives' let me know. I'll lay off the sugar coating...
  5. Wildwood is certainly a destination. They're professionals. If I was going to purchase over the net, Wildwood was where I was headed. But I found what I wanted thru my local salesman. We talked about it two weeks in advance and I left without making a commitment but when I returned we set the deal in motion. Felt like I was making good on my word to him. It is nice to hear what an 'In Person' experience is like at Wildwood. Enjoy your guitar. Love to see pictures and sound clips anytime. Congrats.
  6. I am pleased the person reached out to us, a forum of Gibson fans can only be of great use and support. And Memphis is actually quite new with a mere 159 entries as of today. We are here for you. Great job guys.
  7. Everyone has their own style. I respect your determination to get a low price. I expect to pay retail and do. This gives full commission to my salesman, that's how he pays his bills and dates his girlfriend. Plus it reflects on his sales charts, when management looks down the list and sees that he sold a 3699 guitar he gets credit for being someone who can toe the line. I went back for another 1399 guitar, same guy, wanted no discounts. I wanted him to have the full credit, and any income from the sale. A month later I received my discount by way of a gift card at 5 or 10% of my purchase. Bought new mics. Its my local store, which is phenominal. I want to support them, and their staff, in any way possible. I want to make sure that corporate looks at the spreadsheets and sees my store is safe, turning a profit. Send MORE beautiful guitar to this location, they'll sell. This whole brick and mortar concept is definitely threatened. I can count out dozens of distributors that have gone out of business in the last 10 years... and I try to do my part. Its only money, I am on the downhill slope, I can't take it with me... etc.
  8. Yes, still shocking them with George Lynch tween all that rockabilly bwang twanging.
  9. One of the random flicks my girl puts on after dinner was 'The Giver'. Great movie. Relevant because generations pass, and info is either lost or given down to the next. Onerepublic does a closing #, in my opinion representing new music and so I searched them out and whistled their tune the whole day Friday. The industry is well aware of the artist, Onerepublic and their musical endeavors but whether there is a hit that is catchy enough for the next gen to look back upon remains to be seen. Another one of her 'random flicks' closed out with Alanis Morrisette and believe it or not, enough time has passed where Thank You is becoming a classic. I hummed along like it was an old friend. And its not THAT old. I cannot understand how MTV could change their programming so radically, lose millions of viewers to VH1, then push the self destruct button on that one too. And that another giant hasn't come along to replace them. Music, as a TV channel greatly interests me. Gibson should have one. Fender should have one, and stay true to the business. Artists need the exposure, now more than ever.
  10. I agree, my satisfaction led from a Gibson Les Paul Traditional to the ES-335 Lemonburst and then on to the Explorer 120. My playing style changes with each, I must be emulating... after the 335 I wanted more metal head so the Explorer came into the picture. Beware, for when you gaze into the Gibson, the Gibson also gazes into you.
  11. He is right that the record company doesn't pay for a years studio time in an English countryside, where musicians can trip out, and put out masterpiece anthems, big enough to endure 50 years of scrutiny. Nowadays without that investment, we do it ourselves, in our own homes, at our leisure, tripping when possible. Plenty of mistakes are kept in my recordings. But I am all about spontaneous music, notes jotted down could be refined to perfection, but aren't. Retro. In relevance, we went back to 1968, 1959 with almost all of our equipment. The recordings are done using digital interfaces. Somewhat of a hybrid? Yeah the dream job of getting high all year, face planted in your favorite crack, waiting for Kashmir to evolve into something magnificent, are gone. As are most of those musicians who overindulged. Not sure what to be thankful for, fewer needless deaths or less financial support. Would Joe survive his next big endorsement? Its questionable.
  12. Hayden, this is exactly the video I used to convince the Mrs that an Explorer is an artists instrument. There's no heavy metal about it. Should be here Tuesday.
  13. This guitar was 'made for you'! I am totally into the banner guitars, and although it has taken 2 years I finally ordered my Ebony Explorer 120 today! First I had to get a very special LP Trad Ocean Blue and then fell for the Lemon Burst ES-335 (which really took the wind out of my sails) but thankfully the demand on the Ebony Explorer 120 was low enough, I found a NIB one for sale, discounted since June. Since the pickups are $200ea, I cannot complain about a single thing, the price is damn near Gov Series. I haven't seen it yet, but if its anything like the other 2014's, other Banner Year production guitars I am sure to be pleased. My first set of Burst Bucker Pros... one of many reasons I am so excited. Yours is nice, don't get me wrong. Jam it, and any YouTube clips be sure to link us, I will be doing exactly that myself. I think this one will pair with my Dual Recs like fine wine.
  14. Get well soon Sparquelito. I find my most original material happens in the first 60 seconds of playing that day. Its a good idea to record it, sample it. Time signatures are out the window, I play odd modes that never resolve on 1. As far as fluidity and scales and flow, of course this comes later in the day. I would rather not force this occurance with 'practice' anymore. It just wears out the welcome mat. If I'm going to push the speed limit, I will force the upbeat pace along with an up tempo drum beat, and some triplicated pentatonics leading into natural diatonic scales... it just doesn't impress me like it used to. BBKing's vibrato on his bends, that's the hard part for me. Nailing all of those bends and getting a vocal feel to them. Its an every day endeavor.
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