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Everything posted by Wondo

  1. The CHEVRON sticker is contained in the volute along with some other items. It is like an easter egg on the R30 DVD. If you play La Villa Strangiato flawlessly three times and then YYZ flawlessly three times and then play one other undisclosed Rush song, it will open and you can claim you prize. After you empty the contents you can then store your wallet and keys in there.
  2. Howabout doing a "Consumer Inspired By" series, where we get the guitar we ask for. If that was done with the AL, I bet we would have gotten the correct guitar.
  3. Here is how I see it: Alex got presented the prototype. He did not notice the volute, just as many of us did not at first either. (However, he should know better than anyone, since he has been playing the original for over 30 years). He was probably impressed as were all of us as to how beautiful the guitar looks, plays and sounds. He gave his endorsement and that was that. Gibson goes back to production and says, make it so. They quickly put the guitars together and sent them out. One of us gets ahold of it and says whoa wait a minute this is not correct. Gibson says, well the Artist endorsed it, not much we can do. The guitars are made, the production is over. End of story. There is nothing that can be done. Gibson screwed up big time and they will not admit it. Don't ever expect anything other than that kind of treatment from Gibson. This is why I was trying my hardest here on this forum and through other channels to have them investigate the trem arm before they went into full-scale production. Because by the photos I knew it was wrong. But, why would they listen to me, I'm just a chump customer right? How could I possibly know anything about guitars? If you don't stop them before they do something stupid they will never admit it when they do.
  4. As mentioned above, what you have here is a problem regardless of why it is happening. You should take it back and have it fixed. It is not a big deal and happens quite frequently with these guitars. The upsetting thing is we pay so much for these guitars and Gibson could care less, if they did care they wouldn't keep doing it. The problem is either the posts are bent or the thumbwheel and post are not lining up correctly. I tend to think the former. Because of how drastic the lean is probabaly indicates bent posts or worse incorrectly drilled holes for the posts. If the thumbwheel is the problem, that can be fixed in most cases by just making sure the bridge is straight when putting on new strings, once the strings are at full tension, then it usually stays put. The other scenarios however, will need a repair.
  5. I would say more than 3 or 4. But, point well taken.
  6. I think most owners of the AL had to order theirs ahead of time if they were going to be assured they would get one. We went on faith that the description that the Gibson Custom Shop provided of a "painstaking recreation of this iconic isntrument" was true. The history of the Custom Shop so far has been that they usually deliver. Some of us were not too shocked at the price tag, because we knew that if we were getting a guitar built to the specs of Alex's original that would be what we paid. We did not get a guitar built to those specs as was promised. Now, I am not one to unload my AL. I like it and I get quite a lot out of it, but I will not accept that it is anything like they promised. That was the big let down as far as I am concerned.
  7. Well Turkey T, you said the same thing I was saying but in much less words. Right on dude! And to add to it. If the guitar was such a failure, why was Alex playing it every night on the S&A tour?? He played it and seemed to do just fine with it. Yes, the exact same guitar we AL owners have.
  8. Yeah, I think he is aware. I certainly don't want him to stop playing Gibsons. I think he sounds best when he does so. At least on the older and more recent stuff. The stuff from Power Windows through Hold Your Fire sounded great with thinner sounding guitars. He used quite a few really cool effects during that period and created fantastic textures with his guitars. But, I like the heavier punchier sound of old and of recent. As much as Alex really obviously knows about gear, I wonder how much he really knows about particulars. Let me give you some case and point. He has played Greenbacks for many years but in interviews for the longest time he has said he plays Marshalls with the stock speakers. (That could mean alot of different speakers). He said a few years back he plays Marshalls with the 25 watt speakers in them (we know that he is referring to Greenbacks) He said recently that he plays Hughes and Kettner cabinets with the Greenbacks in them (now he has it right) However, his signature cabinet from Hughes and Kettner come with Vintage 30s. It is advertised that way on Hughes and Kettner websites. However, type Alex Lifeson CC412 in google and you will find that most places advertise them with Greenbacks. They come with V30s. Big mistake there. But not as bad as the volute! Also, in a 1996 article in Guitar World he is quoted as saying that his ES 355 never stayed in tune very well, so he removed the Vibrola and replaced it with a "Schaller" He did not. He replaced it with a Kahler. In a recent Guitar World magazine interview when talking of the Axcess type guitars he said he had Gibson put Kahlers on them. He did not. He had Floyd Rose trems put on them. It could be possible that most of the ingenious things Alex has done over the years for his tone has been the work of fantastic guitar techs. He knows what he wants and they produce it for him. But, that is okay. He does not seem to really care. He just plays the guitar and no matter what he plays, he makes it sound like a million bucks. I don't know that I could have a little stack of Dean Markley combos and have them sound anywhere as good as Alex did. I am still perplexed as to how the hell he did that. My point is, we all love Alex. He is one of Rocks best and unfortunately under-rated guitar players. He has always had fantastic tone with all the configurations of gear he has used over the years, but maybe he does not get into it at the level as some of us do. He has even joked about it in some of his gear lists: "The amp came with wheels and a small thirty-horsepower motor, so after I paid Yuri and we got the motor started, I said goodbye and he reminded me to fill in the warranty card for the ten-day warranty. I drove the amp back to the airport and headed home. I arrived home and was excited to get the amp plugged in and hear it. I got out the soldering gun, soldered the wires into the receptacle, stood back for one minute...and my house burned down." "I was totally lost as to what to do. I went to see the Pope and he liked the idea of the fish guitar. I also told him about the donut pick and he said "My son, that's stupid." Big help! So I made a trip to England and talked to my pal Queen Elizabeth. She said: "Al, why don't you try these Crown amps I use in my rig." I said; "Hey, great idea, Liz." So we finished our beers and she took me down to the Royal Rehearsal Studio. She cranked up these amps and smacked the longest E sus chord I've ever heard. She looked at me with this great big smile and yelled over the decaying chord: "Six hundred watts! It's really rather super don't you think?" So she sold them to me at cost. "Well, I had the amp scene together and now I just needed to work out the guitar situation. The fish guitar idea was not going to fly, so I gave George Bush a call. He asked me: "What do you know about P.R.S.?" I told him I thought a couple of Tylenol, maybe a few Valium, and avoiding any confrontations was the best way to deal with it. He said: "No you idiot! PRS guitars. You know, Paul Reed Smith? I got mine around the corner at the factory. They stay the line and have a kindler, gentler tone." So he sold me his at cost plus ten percent. "Cost plus ten?" I asked. He said, "Yeah well we're in a deficit you know." I'm still working on a donut pick. Maybe a fish-flavored donut. Yeah that's the ticket." "Just the other day a long time ago, J.J. and I were talking about what we needed to do to change the look and sound of my equipment rig. We made a list of all the important items that needed to be considered for such a change. Here are some of these: 1. Get stuff that has a lot of flashing lights. 2. Get stuff that's bigger than it needs to be. 3. Get stuff that's really expensive. 4. Get a bunch of extra flashing lights. 5. Make sure you have a total of at least 50 knobs you can turn. 6. Get a tractor to haul all the stuff you've got but don't really need. " "didn't know if I should write some sort of story, or tell a joke, or list my equipment like Ged and Neil did, but in the end, I chose to go the gear route. It's like two weeks before the tour and, as always, we're down to the wire. I did ask my wife to help me with it, though, and she was a terrific help, as usual. She's always been into amps and delay units and string gauges, and never lacks giving some sort of helpful advice. The conversation went something like this: "So honey, I'm thinking of using the Hughes & Kettner Zentera modeling amps and the Triamps again this year, as I was very happy with them on the last tour." "Huh?" "It's just that the Audio Technica AEW R5200 wireless system sounds so good through the Behringer MX602 mixers. It helps make the T.C. Electronics G Force sound great and really widens the T.C. Electronics Spatial Expander." "The spatula what?" "Now, if it wasn't for the Custom Audio Japan power supply and VCA units connected with the Ground Control Audio Switcher, I don't know what I'd do. I'd have no Cry Baby Wah Wah." "Wah what? That's how a grown man talks, wah wah? Where are my cigarettes?" "I'm also taking out a bunch of guitars again. Four Paul Reed Smith CE Bolt Ons, 3 Gibson Les Pauls, 2 Fender Telecasters, a Gibson double-neck, ES 355 and SG, Taylor and Gibson J150 acoustics and my trusty Ovation Nylon." "You wear nylons now? Where's that stupid corkscrew when I need it?" "Here it is. So where was I? Oh yeah, here's the schematic layout Rick drew of the routing, post radio via Axces splitter pre effects, and if you notice here at the…Honey? Honey?" "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…"
  9. Hey Mike, First off, I appologize. It seems my comment about the Lifeson has hijacked your thread. I did not intend that, I was just a little jealous perhaps that you got what you wanted and we Lifeson owners did not. What is wrong with the Lifeson? Well, mine is actually quite superb. All of the issues I am about to mention are issues many have had with this guitar, but the volute is a real problem. First and foremost the volute is not in the same spot as it should be on a 1976 ES-355. When looking at the Lifeson it seems they paid attention to almost every other detail, even leaving the dot off over the i which was done on these 70's models. But, then they put the volute 1" lower than it should be. Why is this a problem? Well, many players complained about the volute in the 70s because it was a bit crampy around the first fret. So, Gibson stopped doing it since it did not really reinforce the neck that much anyway. Now, they made the cramping even worse by putting the volute where it is. Some chords played on the first fret are a bit cramped because of the volute. Now me personally, I have gotten used to it and it does not really present that much of a problem, but it is there. I think the most upsetting thing about this is that Gibson refuses to admit the mistake and are probably glad the production is over and they don't have to deal with it. Other problems with the model from some users include: Wrong horn size, black spots bleeding through the paint, binding separating from the neck, large binding ridge in spots on some and the entire length of the neck on others, inproperly aligned tuning keys, wrong length trem arm, wrong angled trem arm, misaligned tailpiece, misaligned strap button on butt of guitar, Japanese bridge, electricall problems with some, poor etching on tailpiece on some, cheap pickguards on some. I think that covers it.
  10. No problem. Thanks for the kind words. I am just sad that you have to let yours go. But, I do not blame you if you have had any of the many forementioned problems with the guitar.
  11. Congrats!! Too bad most of us Lifeson owners cannot feel the same elation and joy over a Artist Model.
  12. Wondo

    Les Paul Axcess

    Well, not sure why the neck on the Lifeson would be that different from a 1960 Reissue Les Paul. They are both 60's necks and I find both to be very similar. A 59 is a bigger neck. A Les Paul Custom has a rounded neck profile which is not as fat as a 59 but a bit more rounder than a 60 neck. If you want a bigger neck than the 60, yes I would go with a 59. But, it will be bigger than the Lifeson. Also, do not underestimate the 1960 as being "just a plaintop." I have two 1960 Reissues and one is a flametop and one is a plaintop. Both look awesome and both have their own vibe. I like them both for different things and looks is only a small percentage of the entire equation.
  13. Wondo

    Les Paul Axcess

    Yeah, Freewill has been done on many different guitars over the years. Many think that in the lead, the bends with the harmonic in the beginning is done with a trem. But, it was done purely with the hands. I have done it that way before but when I have seen Alex do it recently he is doing the bends with the trem. I like that way as well. It gives it a unique tone. The original was done with the 355 with no trem. To each his own. As has been said, Alex has used so many guitars over the years, it really does not matter. However, for 2112, I think a Les Paul is in order IMHO. For Caress of Steel a 335 is a great guitar to play on that stuff. Although, I got rid of my 335 years ago and replaced it with a 356. The 356 is a fantastic guitar, but sounds more like a Les Paul than an ES in my opinion. Now, that I have the Lifeson the 356 is going to be sold so that I can afford the Axcess. One of my 1960 Reissue Les Pauls is so open and airy while maintaining that Les Paul punch that it makes the 356 obsolete. I truly think that after the Axcess, I may not need to buy any more guitars. The only one I might like is to get a EDS 1275 Double Neck in White. I had one. It was an 80's model that looked like Alex's original. But, I sold it. That is how I was able to get the Lifeson Triamp. But, I miss that one and would like to get another double neck like the one that Alex is playing now with the gold hardware! Might sell my Frampton for that. Somebody stop me.
  14. Wondo

    Les Paul Axcess

    Are you kidding?? Les Pauls rule! They are my favorite guitar. Many here on the forum have seen clips of me playing La Villa with the Lifeson. From that clip alone someone might get the impression that would be all I play Rush tunes on. Not at all. I play Les Pauls pretty much most of the time and always have. I was pleased to see that Alex is now doing this, but I was doing this before he did in a Rush tribute band mind you. And when he started playing several Les Pauls on recent tours I remember saying, "It is about time." Even Geddy in a Guitar World article said he likes Alex's tone best when he is playing a Les Paul. I too own a 1960 Reissue Plaintop as well as a 1960 Reissue Flametop and a Peter Frampton Signature Les Paul Custom (One of the best Les Pauls for Progressive Rock!) Now, I plan on adding the Axcess to the collection. I expect, like Alex, I will play the Axcess alot. Now, that being said, the Lifeson is one fantastic guitar (all complaints about the volute aside). My brother-in-law came over last night and we were trying his new Fender Strat (Historic) through my Triamp Lifeson sig. in which he just dropped some Dimarzios which sounded fantastic by the way and when we broke out the Lifeson we both commented on how huge the Lifeson sounds. I had been playing both the 1960 reissues which both kick and have tremendous tone, but the Lifeson stands in a league all its own. Still, for me the Les Paul is what is most comfortable for me and a Les Paul with a Floyd Rose is what I have been waiting for. I have been playing Free Will on an Ibanez with a Floyd. But, the Axcess with take me right where I have wanted to go with that song. Life is good that we have so many wonderful options!!
  15. Wondo

    Les Paul Axcess

    Stax, How does the neck feel compared to the Lifeson?
  16. I wouldn't blame them, if they got no response from Gibson. I might be tempted to return it after that. The guys on the customer service line don't know crap! You have to get stern with them. Don't let them give the corporate line. It should go something like this: "I am having a problem with the trem arm. It does not fit properly on the guitar. I have called before and have not gotten anywhere with this. (in a stern but controlled tone) Now look, I am a returning customer. I have bought many guitars from you guys. I own several Custom Shop guitars and probably own over $20,000.00 in Gibson guitars. Shouldn't I be treated as a valued customer? Shouldn't I be given the benefit of the doubt? (wait for an answer, don't let them run the line -if they run the line, ask them again - you want a yes for each question before moving on) I am not going to send a $4,000.00 guitar back just to get a new trem arm. Isn't there someone at the Memphis Custom Shop I can talk to? Better yet, why don't you contact them, explain the situation and get back to me. I will leave you with my number and my email address if that will be easier and expect a response in two business days, or I will follow up with another phone call. That should give you plenty of time to find a sollution."
  17. Look, if you can live with the volute and there are no other major defects besides the trem arm. Go buy another one at guitarpartsresource.com or Allparts.com This way you can get the arm and enjoy the guitar. Keep the packaging. In the mean time however, hound Gibson for the trem arm. Don't take no for an answer. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Tell them you are a long time customer and deserve to be treated with respect. If Gibson sends you a new one then you can return the other one or sell it on eBay. Don't expect Gibson to jump. But, don't give up. All things considered, I like the guitar. I don't know why some have gotten rid of theirs. I can understand with some, the guitar had too many problems and that is justifiable, but the volute alone is no major deal unless you cannot play it like that or the idea of Gibson being such jerks about it has you refusing to play the thing. I was fortunate, mine is in really good shape. I have learned to live with the volute. So, I am playing it pretty regularly.
  18. Wondo

    Les Paul Axcess

    Where's The Volute??:D
  19. AL 120. Congratulations. With all the negative talk around here, I still love my AL wrong volute and all. So, I am glad you are enjoying it. Check out me playing La Villa. It is posted somewhere in these threads. It demonstrates that the guitar is still a good one despite the negatives. You can mount your trem arm upside down, but you can make the handle the correct direction. Just put a screwdriver through the screw hole on the trem arm. Put on a rubber glove to get a good grip on the handle and twist it 180 degrees and you will have it pointing in the right direction. It will take you all of 1 minute. It is safe to do with the rubber glove and screw driver. If you don't like it you can put it back the way it was.
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