Monday, April 27, 2015

What the POG?

Once upon a time, the adventurous people at EHX did an alien audio generator otherwise known as the POG- Polyphonic Octave Generator.

In keeping up with the times, the POG evolved to include contemporary features, for instance, a bank option so you could recall your favourite settings at will. By this time, the POG was an interesting FX unit to own but those dimensions were still a put off.

Fast forward 2013, the POG sports a Big Muff foot print. Features were reduced to a pair of octave options because those were the most utilized amongst the rest.

But this year, the POG had been further shrunk into the NANO dimension retaining its 2-octave controls. This spells good news for many pedal board geek among us but what does a POG do? It is an octave generator, churning output that sounds lower/ higher than the tuning you are in. What's the benefit of sounding like that? It benefits those who are interested in having some synth-like tones or simply churning out very cosmic sounding passages in one's playing. On some days, sounding a little queer is an inspiration per se. The POG is akin to BOSS' Octave pedal but dare I say, it's a little more adventurous in its extensive format.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fender: TL-Rose

I would like to end the Sunday on this note- my real birthday present is the Fender TL-Rose seen here.

No, I'm not a George Harrison fan who insist on owning an inaccurate repro for nostalgia's sake. The Beatles were singing the tunes of my father's time. I grew up on a healthy dose of Depeche Mode. Yes, the Japanese Fender you see here is an inaccurate reproduction of the original model, instead of rosewood engulfing the guitar in its entirety, the body sports a rosewood front & rear; the sandwiched wood in question is basswood. No, I'm not a fan of a very arched fretboard radius as well but this guitar plays well in my hands. In fact, the rather thin neck was what drove me to bring it home despite not being a fan.

I'm taking this opportunity to announce the demise of Fender Japan. That's right, Fender Japan is history. FMIC had bought over whatever Japanese stake there was to offer & they are now running the show. They have removed many duplicate models in the Japanese catalog & those which are too similar to the international offerings will suffer the same fate. Many former Japanese models have been renamed & tweaked (in terms of specs) to show the world that these are 'new' instruments emerging from the acquisition. Do you think they will sport a 'new' price tag? We very well know the answer to this question.

All in all, today is still not my birthday.

D'Addario NYXL

The D'Addario brand name was on my dislike list when I first started out. The poor string life was the chief cause, they virtually deteriorated the moment one handles them. I have to say that the D'Addario string back then had the most pleasant, non-gimmick feel but lack the durability to avoid constant re-string. That was a NO for many of us.

Along the way, the D'Addario people did a re-think & personally, I'd say this brand name became more likable. The NYXL version you see here is the souped up version of their standard set which proved to be more attractive in terms of feel & more durable in terms of string life (more notable if you play daily). 

Despite the notable progress, I'm not too agreeable with the price. A set of NYXL costs more than $10, today, we have other brand names that offer a similar standard in performance which cost less. I'm a fan of D'Addario but I won't make the NYXL a standard affair for all my guitars. I do make it a point to re-visit the NYXL set occasionally because after playing them, you can feel the difference. That is the reason.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kyser: String cleaner

The Kyser brand name was the first string cleaner I tried (that was like more than a decade ago...). I still remember that strong camphor odour, very similar to our Axe Oil. It was a put off & the very fact that an elderly in my residence mistook it for medication so it was promptly discarded. The manufacturer revised the formula along the way & what we have today, the KDS 100 version, is an improvement in terms of odour (almost odourless) & feel (less oily). Regardless of these changes, the fluid picks up dirt well. This should be the foremost consideration & I give it a thumbs-up.

Friday, April 24, 2015

EHX: Bass Soul Food

This EHX Soul Food is meant for bass (as indicated). However, if you refer to the manufacturer's demo clip, it's equally effective with guitars. I'm interested because it has a gain reduction function there which is rather useful if it's cascaded into another gain type pedal. This means, your signal keeps the Soul Food in check in terms of gain so that it won't be over-bearing to such an extent that it overpowers the other pedal in use. Splendid.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gravity chicken

Was at Davis GMC to get these picks.

  1. Gravity's Sunrise model is something I've been waiting for. It's not a shred-type pick exclusively but that shape there is simply awesome for fast passages. The overall grip is good despite a marked engraving or the likes.
  2. The Chicken Pick is something I embraced recently. In use, it's not as clunky as the gravity but you can virtually hear the difference- it has that lethal zing that makes playing rather addictive. I bought this to be kept permanently in my bag. In addition to acting as a spare, it provides an alternative playing experience based on feel & tones.