Friday, October 31, 2014

PRS: S2 Standards

We end October with the above newbies- PRS' S2 Standards.

Yes, these are new S2s with the 'Standard' monicker. The manufacturer had decided to introduce them at the twilight of 2014 instead of making them 2015's freshies- interesting. It seems that these S2s are merely ones with pickguards as everything else remains the same. Those push-pull switching options were there in the S2 semis so they are nothing new. Let's hope there are some differences in tone (because those are still PRS' No. 7 humbuckers in there) to be heard.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Charity re-string

For some kid. Non-chargeable. I left my string winder at home, darn...

Ibanez: Grooveline 6

Ibanez's Grooveline bass has gone 6-string. It's massive unlike the Soundgear series but it will have its applications, especially for jazz cats looking for a deep, thumping tone. It seems that bass chaps get less flak for having more strings in their instruments, unlike guitar players.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ibanez: RG421RW

Just taking note of what we won't be seeing here- the regional exclusive Ibanez RG420RW/ RG421RW. That rosewood laminate top is a real looker. OK maybe not as stunning as a flame maple top but it makes the instruments look flushed from one end to the other.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Greenchild: Tribus drive

My kind of pedal- all 3 drive inducing effects in a single serving. I'm a distortion person, anything clean & I'd be easily put off especially when my playing style demands utmost sensitivity. Overdrive means I am assured of some top end polish across the frequencies & the boost section ensures the distortion & drive would bite when the need arises. All 3 activated simultaneously- it helps define the type of player you are. One more time- the Green Child Tribus Drive is my kind of pedal! Question: Will it ever appear in stores here? Hmmm...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gibson: Les Paul Jr (2014)

Gibson's Les Paul Jr has more than 50 years of alluring history to back its existence. It was conceived to be an affordable alternative back then but it stood its own along the way, thanks to the no-frills livery of its single pickup, slab body & binding-free approach. The LP Jr today retained its identity as a simple menace but the bridge was upgraded to a 'lightning bar' model, specifically, it features intonation ridges to aid just that- intonation ills (notice the bridge requires no slanted placements to address intonation issues). Also, the recent issues Gibson had with fretboard woods saw this guitar sporting a baked maple fretboard instead of a traditional rosewood make.

Whatever permutations the LP Jr. went through, the essence of a good-sounding & attractive instrument are present. The instrument was well made & showed more urgency in finishing less some scratch marks on the fretboard of my test model. Upon handling, it feels right by manifesting a good balance in both sitting down & strapped on positions. The balance was incredible. 

Then comes the tone- how many of us really understood where a P-90 pickup would take us? Is it supposed to conjure a little kick in single coil territory or is it meant to be a disguised manifestation of a proto-humbucker voicing? If you are still confused then the P-90 did its job; it's neither here nor there, it's living in its own turf. The P-90 or the soap bar pickup has a raunchy, gnarly tone which is unmistakably single coil-ish. If you turn the volume up, you can hear the rounder top end reminiscent of a full-fledged humbucker. In this guitar, the dog-ear P-90 dished out a balanced serving of protrusive top end as well as a deep thumping only a jazz purist would truly appreciate. The only limitation, tone-wise, is that the Jr sports only a single pickup so any variety you'd wish to concoct, it has to be in the form of a volume/ tone play. There are times we need a singular voicing to see us through & this is one of those tools out there to help us achieve that. The LP Jr is perhaps one of the go-to guitar for cleans you must try out in your lifetime. In the distortion realm, due to the P-90 nature, this guitar would be more appealing to punks but I had put it through some black metal & shred moments & it proved to be worthy. Do mind the hum, yes?

All in all, the LP Jr is one of the coolest to own for days when you stopped thinking too much & just want to get some ideas through. I must say that it's a costly one-trick pony but it won't be a costly mistake having one in your tone arsenal. Recommended.

Gibson: Les Paul Jr (ver 2014)
Availability: Swee Lee Co.
Price: $1,199 (bag included)