Thursday, July 30, 2009

Middle frequency, anyone?

I got excited after hearing the good people of TC Electronic have a drive/distortion based pedal in store for dweebs like me. However, after seeing the conception, I was wondering if the middle frequency is of any relevance to many drive-type pedals today. I personally feel this frequency is of crucial importance for the guitar as it propels aural warmth. The bass & treble ends per se, often fail to provide the electric guitar with that necessary definition of being non-synthetic. It's either that or me getting old & in need of eardrum tweaking...

Andy Timmons clinic @ Swee Lee

A little delayed but a necessary entry nevertheless; Andy Timmons was here, 21st July. This was his second clinic.

I enjoy clinics more than concerts/ performances per se; it's more interactive, more educational. There were questions asked during the Q&A slot but majority were queries pertaining to his music background & his achievements. There was only 1 product-related question, someone wanted to know why he chose Ibanez over other guitar brand names.

I only asked him during the autograph session- what happened to his pickguard (refer to pic above)? It was warp-related, according to Andy. Being a single-ply unit, it warped over time & some vigorous handling saw it snapped off...

Among other things that surfaced during our conversation, Andy said he was glad he was still not in Indonesia when the hotel bombings happened. We're glad this was the case, too.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Emperor: Live at Wacken 2006 (Part 2)

If you still recall the Emperor LIVE DVD featured here not too long ago, it also features the clips Samoth & Ihsahn did for Guitar World magazine. The were playing ESP & Ibanez respectively.

It's interesting to note the Ibanez Ihsahn played in those clips; it's a custom made RG 6-string conceived by the manufacturer for him.

Apparently, he also owns a custom RG 8-string...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seymour Duncan: Triple Shot


If you're venturing into some other pickup splitting/ combination for your pickups (other than relying on the default 5-way/ 3-way switch), know that the Seymour Duncan Triple shots are now available at Davis GMC. Please note the following variation for the respective guitars you own:

  • TS-1 (for flat top guitars eg: Ibanez)
  • TS-2 (for curved top guitars eg: Gibson Les Paul)
List: $60 for a set (neck + bridge)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Edwards!

This is a rare embrace; one of Mayhem's current live guitarist (Silmaeth) actually prefers an Edwards...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Case for SZ

You own an Ibanez SZ (discont'd) series & wish to invest a hard case for your beloved instrument...
You can't make do with the M100C model which perfectly houses the RG/S model but NOT the SZ/SZR series. The case you see above is the Ibanez W50SZ/ W50SZR which provides the correct depth for the thicker bodied instrument. The interior padding is simply impressive to say the least. However, unlike the M100C, this one's much heavier, not recommended if you are going to lug around your instrument.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Engangsgrill

Since half of Dark Throne is currently engaged in a SARKE, you'd wonder what the other half is up to... The pic above is evident of this engagement. Fenriz has teamed up with Nattefrost (Carpathian Forest) to issue a split recording: Red Planet/ Engangsgrill.

...& perhaps you are expecting some distinctive black metal from these luminaries? You won't get any from Fenriz because it's all doom here. You get 3 tracks of bohemian, head spins which are done tastefully, rest assured. Nattefrost, on the other hand, stuck to his BM guns, with that signature gallop rhythm on tow; some of us refer to this as 'black-n-roll', yes? Not for folks looking for fresh inspiration but absolutely great aural pleasure for extreme music fans.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

LTD: Graphic series



The LTD Graphic Series guitars are in at Davis. I managed to get a closer look yesterday but there was no trying as the packed premises permits no such opportunities. Next time, I guess...
  • LTD Graphic series
  • Davis GMC
  • $1,250 (List for all models)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ibanez: RG2620


I came across this guitar yesterday at Swee Lee (BB showroom). It's a very fresh offering from the manufacturer, if you refer to the online Ibanez Singapore page, it has yet to be updated there. What interested me particularly was that:
  • this year, Ibanez pays more attention to the headstock-body finish matching for selected models
  • the pickups equipped in selected Prestige models are DiMarzio units, not the DiMarzio IBZ models. For the above-featured guitar, the Tone Zone (B) & Air Norton (N) take care of tonal proceedings
I managed to plug it in to hear the tonal offerings & those DiMarzios in there are quite the works for fans of smooth, driven tones.

What: Ibanez RG2620 (revived with revisions after being removed from the catalogues in 2008)
How much: $2,570 (list)
Where: Swee Lee Co.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NDP theme song 2009

WHAT DO YOU SEE (Electrico)

video

Here's this year's National Day theme song; I have my utmost dedication to my country but this number's rather forgetable... More importantly, this year, the song feature s a band (finally, we get to see some instruments being played...), as oppossed to some hyped up individual putting up a brave front to propel patriotism.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No chaining allowed!!

I was recently asked if it was true some pedals do not accommodate daisy-chain powering. A simple answer would be reading the label above. The pedal featured here is EHX's NANO Muff.

In addition to case-by-case considerations, pedals of different voltage requirements also do not accept this power source as well, for instance: Ibanez Tube King (12V)+ BOSS CS9 (9V) = NO!

Before some irreversible frying takes place on your pedal board, do check your pedals' voltage specs, ya?

Sarke: Vorunah

Sarke, is the drummer of TULUS/ KHOLD. Tulus, especially, is the forerunner of mid-paced black metal; no rushing necessary. Of late, the latter bands have been rather inactive & as it is with musicians in general, they possess this reservoir of ideas waiting to over-flow should the containment be unchecked. With the assistance of Dark Throne's Nocturno Culto, Vorunah was incarnated.

What can you expect from two of the most formidable minds in black metal? Nothing that refreshing, really, it's another serving of grizzly guitar-laden music with lots of doom overtones. This, to the BM purists, is essential listening. To the rest of us, we are glad this filler is there
as proof of the purist BM blood still flowing thick.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Emperor: Live at Wacken 2006

Emperor fans (or should I say, cult followers) would jump at every chance in owning the band's post-humous materials & I've gotten myself here the live coverage of the band's 2006 performance at Wacken.

Samoth was still toting his Jackson RR-V, if you need to hear how good the Duncan JB pickup is for distortion work, all you have to do is acquire any post-IX Equilibrium material to hear the tone in action. This also includes Samoth's coverage with Zyklon.

Back then, Ihsahn had already gotten his Ibanez endorsement, in this footage, he's seen playing his Prestige RGT model. I'm still amazed at his ability to sing & grind out the songs' riffs which were not elementary to say the least.

Monday, July 6, 2009

XX Good

The Peavey XXL amp is definitely one of the most outstanding solidstate amplifier in guitar universe. If you've heard it in use, you'd wonder how the manufacturer pulled it off without having any tube in there; it sounds very organic with lots of definition. I only had a chance to hear this head's performance in a sample soundclip & wanted one badly...

Unfortunately, the head version of the amp didn't make it here, I had to make do with the 2X12 combo version which is absolutely unregrettable. The good Peavey people are not keen in incorporating imposing drivers in their cabs, instead, the ones in this one is a pair of unglamourous Blue Marvel, in-house units which are excellent, to say the least.

To date, the XXL series are unfortunately discontinued...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sound block

Guitar fans would know the fabled tone coming out from Yamaha's SBG models, this is in part, attributable to a brass plate contraption included in its construction (as arrowed in the pic above). The manufacturer refers to it as a 'sustain plate' & believes its contribution in tonal definition. I've personally played the SBG2000 on several occasions & the bit of clarity coming out from the guitar's overall voicing (from both pickups) is rather marked.

The idea of having such an additional mechanism would only be a mere gimmick if it doesn't prove itself effective, we take the cue from Ibanez on this fulfillment as this manufacturer employed a similar mechanical application in their Prestige SZ (discont'd) models. The massive block you see above occupies the gaping hole in the guitar to provide both bridge anchoring as well as tonal enhancements.

Pestilence: Resurrection Macabre

Ardent fans would find this release an anti-climax because largely, they are bent on believing the band would pull-off another Spheres. However, that release was a reflection of its time- it's the moment of capacity where aggressive music proved itself worthy by showcasing technical proficiency, hence the existence of bands like Cynic & Atheist, among others.

However, I like Resurrection Macabre for its bona fide good offering; it still showcases four people who can play very well & there's some very good arrangement & intriguing musicianship in the mix. I particularly like the guitar tones here; very cutting without losing the aggressive edge. Tony Choy is still the very much sought after death metal bassist with lots of technical prowess to exhibit.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Starla

The only thing that stops me from really admiring the PRS Starla is its Bigsby vibrato bridge...

But the good people at PRS know there are fans of the tune-o-matic & stoptail combo bridge for this kinda guitar so this summer, that incarnation just happened... & it got my Starla preoccupation going again... If only I can source some funds for it *sigh*

1349: Revelations

This is a very difficult release to digest from 1349, for some of us, it's unacceptable. This happens because we tend to peg subsequent releases to Liberation (debut) & that this one especially, is a detractor, to say the least.

For those of us BM purists, Revelations of the Black Flame is a tired manifestation from the band, Frost's blastbeats are definitely limited here. What you get are hiss-laden atmospherics not quite an indication of the band's real ferocity. On hindsight, 1349 has moved on, choosing instead to propel feel more than the mere obligation to ignite anger.

However one chooses to see this release, the sure thing here is that the band's black metal roosts are in tact; just a different offering this time round.