Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
However, in use, the Stylus is able to focus much of the string contact at the tip thus promoting precision picking- good news for all you speed mongers out there...
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
- Alice: I usually avoid thin picks but this is a metal pick from the manufacturer who I suspect is an OEM for other brand name picks.
- Stylus: That pentagon-shape is quite unmistakable, note the diamond tip; yes, it's a diamond shaped tip, quite a protrusion from the main shape & it makes the pick very uneven. The reason it was made like this is to promore precision picking.
- Grover Allman: The one with the skull; no I didn't buy it for this reaosn but the brand name itself on the flip-side is grooved to promote better grip- Made in Australia.
All picks available @ Davis GMC
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
- Morning View
- Child's Play
- If you need ot know what Greg Howe is about these days, these 3 would be more than sufficient proof of technical wizardry as well as the master's touch for great melodies.
Monday, July 21, 2008
- Locking Grover tuners
- Strap lock buttons
- Tone-Pros bridge + hardtail
Personally, I feel these upgrades are grossly overdue. Many other guitar manufacturers managed to include such wise details into their instruments without losing intrinsic appeal. I understand that Gibson has a staunch tradition in keeping things true to their origin but there's no harm really, in making things better (especially for the player who's paying that much money for an LP Std). Yield! And ye shall be adored.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
On the contrary, the Roadhouse Strat offers you the sizzle courtesy of a trio of Texas Special single coils. I've put them through very high gain/ drive settings (amp in use: Peavey Bandit + the drive booster in maximum overkill!) & the twang remains prominent, so if you are into this kinda tone, the Roudhouse rocks.
An approval by its Alien guardian...
... my LP Std is alive once more. It also marks the end of the Gotoh hardware overhaul- tuners (locking Magnum locks), tune-o-matic + hard tail; I'm happy with how things works out. Of course, LP purists would consider this desecration but I'm not obliged to retain parts which don't serve my needs. For owners of nickel plated hardware; be informed that the tarnish won't go away upon polishing; yes it'll shine but the tarnish remains resident. If you are after the relic look then nickel plating is best.
In use, the LP's overall tone is much richer in the midrage which is a good thing for me because I am in need of definition when plugging this guitar in (it's a PRS tip actually: keep your hardware light & your guitar will sing- how true). The rightful solution here would be to swap the pickups out for something richer in the aforementioned frequency but the Burstbuckers here are for keeps.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The new 2008 American Standards have debuted @ Swee Lee, managed to try selected models:
- American Standard rosewood/ maple fretboard: Both the guitars manifest a lighter overall mass, so the thinner body finish does account substantially for this
- The vintage-type bridge saddles are devoid of those annoying action adjustment screws, makes the guitar more addictive
- The rosewood fretboard model has this very SRVesque midrange honk once you kick your amp overdrive into action, got me playing for quite a while
Greg Howe is still ga-ga over his humbucking (bridge) Strats, comprehensively so because it's made to accomodate high gain/ drive settings very well. The HSS American Standard doesn't differentiate itself substantially from its SSS sibling feel/ weight wise which is a good thing because players won't account this difference for any substantial differences in the single coil tones.
The prices of these great guitars are not available (yet) at this time but the SSS model won't be anywhere near the $2K mark once you enjoy the usual dealer discount... that's definitely good news for the buyer because it's almost the kinda of money we'd splurge on a Japanese unit in the mean time.
Not so good news for the Highway 1 series in general...
PS: Thanks, Adam @ BB Showroom for the heads-up!!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
GH continues his jazz/ rock expletives to excellent effect. The overall guitar tones are great & he cites Cornford as his new squeeze in the amp department in this release. There's not much clues as to which guitars were really employed though despite GH thanking Parkwood in his album's cover sleeve. We could only make a calculated guess as to whether his ESPs/ Fenders had any share here as many of the tunes are whammy laden. Regardless of the brand names he favour, this album is simply guitar education for those in need of inspiration.
Guitarist Kevin Shields approach to playing in Loveless was reflective of an obsession, rather than giving the flavour of the time a chance to prove his worth- I can still remember reading the extent of effort he put into, in churning out Loveless; covering a mic-up VOX amp with a blanket just to capture that claustrophobic tone. This is quite impressionable to youngsters back then who simply wish to be different but I chose to listen to the whole Loveless offering before believing the heretical grandeur & it was worth it. As such, I remember Kevin & Loveless till today.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This band makes no apologies for being quite singular in their black metal approach- one which is rather excessive in war relations & brazen guitar with very little opportunity to showcase
Sunday, July 13, 2008
- The Edwards was used for majority of my clean tones, especially those chord works; the P-90 in the neck is still my fav for those jazz-like moments...
- The ST72 took up all my technical employment, it's one of those guitars which would not let me down when I need to play something in repetition. The scale length & maple fretboard are major accounts for this. It goes to show that if you have your preferred specs in the guitar, you'd be induced to play better, regardless of the brand name. This guitar is also currently serving as my platform for the K Garage strings test (more updates soon)
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Product availability: Tymusic Center
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
- As visually evident, the pedal has 3 modes, all addressing tones in the lower frequencies more than anything else.
- Normal: The mildest distortion, but more girth than the infamous BOSS DS-1 Max: A boosted response on the lower midrange, more compression in overall output Turbo: The fattest sounding of them all, the most compressed tone in use, some would say it's crossing into fuzz territory
- Great alternative to the Pro-CO but not a comprehensive substitute. To me it has more clarity & less nasal honk of the Pro-CO but traditionalists love that tone
- Impressive as a rhythm unit, for solos, it suppresses pinch harmonics if used as a stand alone unit at high pedal volume settings. Employ a mild overdrive with it & it's cured
Product availability: Standard Value (Pre-order now to enjoy a 10% disct)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Tell you what took place: Gorgoroth's date in Krakow saw the employment of 4 naked models, hooded & knotted to 4 crosses respectively. The authorities saw this as erotica extravaganza, not to mention sheer blasphemy, so the band had to bear the legal brunt.
If you have access to this footage, you'd realize, even after only the opening number, visual sexual gratification is a remote occurrence; it's more tormenting than stimulating, seeing a quartet of restrained individuals tied to wooden poles throughout the set. The blasphemous elements here are, of course, expected- it's a darn black metal act for goodness sake, not some pious superstar making an atheistic renouncement. Those 4 people were paid individuals, mind you, not some geek kidnapped & made to perform at gun-point.
Moving on to the music, the materials here are a tight performance by the band, who would've guessed there was a storm brewing over the ownership of the 'Gorgoroth' legalities following the strained relationship between frontman Ghaal & guitarist Infernus- the ommission of Infernus on the cover is implication itself. We also witness how a strict vegetarian, in his true black metal philosophy, is able to front a sacriligious delivery but Ghaal is one stiff performer. He didn't swirl his locks or beckoned & gestured to the masses; it's lacklustre showmanship, there's no hiding this. A close scrutiny of the instrument wielding/ pounding chaps prove their great musicianship, especially drummer Kvitrafn, pity his departure (to date, Mayhem's Hellhammer is bashing skins for the band). Also, Gibson (Les Paul & Flying V employed here) continue to be a potent tone generator for this music genre, it's undeniable.
This is a great documentation for fans of the music, other distractions aside. But not if you're easily offended, whatever the reasons may be.
Monday, July 7, 2008
- The pedal in general is a very well thought out distortion unit; the wide distortion sweep + active EQ section do wonders to tone tinkering but it's a trade off- you can sit down from dawn to dusk to experiment with incremental differences which translate to an elaborate palette of tones but getting immediate results isn't gonna be easy. Guitar players enjoy doing nothing but tinker with tone so it doesn't matter...
- The manufacturer was careful not to let the upper/ more intense distortion voicing to cross over into metal territorty. What you get in the upper reaches are great saturation & still sounding distortion-like.
- The pedal sounds wonderful with humbucking guitars but if you play single coils, watch the treble control, even at noon position, the tone generated sounds quite piercing.
- It does well pushing a tube amp's overdrive into saturation but it's not as impressive being a driver of another distortion pedal. I feel that it has excessive raunchiness to act as a restrained unit for this intention; you are better off with a Tubescreamer type, smooth overdrive instead. In this light (as depicted above), the Power Grid enjoys being boosted, choose a very mild drive drive unit to enjoy maximum satisfaction (I had my Austin Gold fulfilling this task).
- Battery access is a chore though, it's a complete base plate removal as the manufacturer continues to ommit a battery flip hatch cover.
The Power Grid would definitely give the Land Mine distortion a good run for the money in terms of distortion but this one has a more dynamic voicing range so it's a winner in terms of versatility. In comparison to the BOSS DS-1/ MXR Distortion +, it has more aggression in whole (yes, you can still do a restrained employment in the distortion's lower levels), what the (Visual Sound) Son of Hyde has in store but a little bit more raunchiness at the distortion's maximum end.
For sale: Seymour Duncan STK-P1 (neck unit + coverless, of course...)
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Product avaiability: Davis Guitar
Other Duncan pedals re-stocked @ Davis: Twin Tube Mayhem/ Lava Box
Friday, July 4, 2008
This is one of the later incarnations in Biyang's Tonefancier pedals, the DS-9. Managed to try it today:
- Overall tone mimics a modded BOSS DS-1 pedal (Monte Allum mod)
- Lots of distortion girth, substantial differences in tone compared to an aggressive overdrive in general
- A healthy distortion sweep from vintage blues to a punk bark
- Would have been better with a TONE knob included
Product availability: Standard Value
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Anyway, I do own a Strat with such headstock- ST72 (Jap) not that I finally forgive it for its sheer repulsion but the ST-72 proves to be a good playing & sweet sounding instrument regardless of how it looks like; I'm not too picky with looks these days. We should regard looks as secondary in terms of acquisition priority but too many people do not mind owning a good-looking guitar even if it's unplayable & croaking.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
But that should be the least of worries because band chief, Obsidian C, is virtually the heartbeat of this quartet, proven again in their latest release, Kolossus. This collection of songs are more intricate & necessitate slower tempo which fans of Armada (prior release) would cite as the chink in KOK's very structured armour. Despite black metal being synonymous with speed, we need to keep in mind the formula that works, regardless of the general consensus; bands like Carpathian Forest, Burzum, Dark Throne & Xasthur (among others) are proof enough. The technicalities in this album are quite the reason why Obsidian C is the hired hand for Satyricon live shows. Also, Vyl (drummer) displays a schooled technical performance throughout, to match the Nick Barker, Frost, Hellhammer, Emil Draguinovich in the industry.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The aforementioned Enthroned guitarist did well to incorporate riffing variance, particularly some punctuated bass note chugging (employed sparingly by guitarists of this music genre) in general. There were some catchy drumming in the works as well with very tasteful splash play. The only ingredient needing a refinement would be the solos; the guitarists of this ilk usually execute stacatto picking with loads of repetition hoping to get away with things but the guitar-inclined among us would know this is simply boring material in action. Nevertheless, PTNC is one of the better recordings Belgium has to offer, akin to giving a nudge to the Norwegian acts.