Monday, October 26, 2009

Hodad menace

Ah, yes... yet another mini-amp menace, this time my Danelectro HODAD amp. The amp is as loud as my Marshall MS2 but has more lower midrange due to its twin speaker feature.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Infernal Jackson

Gorgoroth's Infernus, traditionally a Gibson player...

... is now an official endorser of Jackson guitars. It is interesting to see how manufacturers are slowly getting interested in the hard music players to propel their wares...

Squier: Deluxe Strat

This, my friends, is one of the best Squier Strat I've come across. It's haunting me ever since I tried it 2 days ago...

Unlike the Squiers of yesterday, the current cohort are much well constructed & pieced together, the overall QC is also more reputable. As such, I've no issues with physical anomalies with this one; the 'Deluxe' tag here also implies more accomplishments in this department. The action on board is a fair one; neither too low nor too high, just nice for shred/ bluesy bends. The neck is one of the straightest I've spotted- well done Squier!

The highlight here is absolutely those Duncan Designed Hot Rails (HR 101) pickups, the trio is just menacing for high drive/distortion work. They don't muddle up notes which is good news indeed, especially for us dweebs who are neck pickup inclined for solos.

How about those abominable, protruding screws vintage string saddle bridge? None here, look carefully, it's the Synchronus Twin-Pivot type which won't stab your hands; very pleasant encounter.

For those of us looking for a magnificent backup or that elusive first guitar which won't break the piggy, this is highly recommended. Forgive the Blackmore aura, yes?

PS: Darling, this is proof enough, yes? That good things need not cost us a bomb... :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mini menace

This is a loud set-up; no kidding. Marshall's MS2 is a diminutive amp but used in an enclosed venue, it could get you going in terms of volume. My mini amps continue to manifest a great relationship with digital FX units, the only set back with these small players is the fact that they are only good up to a certain volume threshold, beyond which, there would be internal buzzing- a sign of driver intolerance (it's expected of speakers this size). Also, tone definition suffers with battery deterioaration- the reson I'm powering up mine with Biyang's noiseless adaptor.

Vesica Strat

Do you still recall that peculiar expanded fretboard/neck by the chaps @ Vesica guitars? Well, they're offering replacement necks for your Strat if you embrace their philosophy.

Exploring 7...

Gibson jumps into the 7 bandwagon; the Explorer is now offered with an extra string for your consideration. Wise move: EMG pickups. I strongly urge fellow 7 string players to consider active pickups when you peddle lower notes for your music; these do wonders for single notes definition, especially so for detuned stuff.

Marshall: MA series

We recall how productive the situation had been for Marshall amps of late with the (rather) recent introduction of the Haze/ Class 5 models. Well, the MA series are now the latest in the manufacturer's catalogue.

It's also offered in the head format. So what's the big deal, really? The MA series promise to be the most affordable Marshall amp Marshall has to offer so there're no reasons why everyone out there shouldn't own an all tube Marshall tone at home. Now that's a good thought.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marduk: Wormwood

Marduk has just released their 11th studio album, Wormwood which also firmed up the inclusion of new drummer Lars Broddesson.

The guitar-playing circle simply detests black metal bands due to their inept technicalities- some bands simply can't play that well. I make it a point to listen to Marduk because Morgan Hakansson plays well & he's not afraid to use a Fender Strat to propel this monsterous music.

Wormwood showcases Marduk in their usual top form; an institution with a penchant for speed & unquestionable intensity. However, there are numbers here which preserve the band's natural cast despite being slower, this is the majesty of a band in total control, they stand out regardless of their methods. I also hear Morgan's efforts in the inclusion of guitar overdubs for variety's sake; it's clever & effective. I'm especially thankful that Marduk is out there flying the black metal flag firmly, with substance.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


The above guitar is my Ibanez RGR08, a great mid-priced player. The real reason I bought it is due to......Seymour Duncan's Blackout pickup which was equipped as the default unit. I'm not a fan of active electronics but after plugging in this guitar, the Blackout really appealed in terms of distortion. Seymour Duncan's forte here is keeping the definition in tact while manifesting lots of distortion. For those of us playing heavy music & solo-inclined, this is rather crucial.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The simple effort in making one's guitar-playing more enjoyable: Changing strings...

I had a fresh set of Dr. Duck strings (.009 set) in my LTD M-53 & that fresh, crunchy feel under the fingers made me play for hours... Feels good = Play more :-)


Here's my Gibson BFG- you've seen it before, the most uncelebrated guitar in its pedigree...

My latest tinkering:

  1. CUSTOM 5: The Bare Knuckles War Pig humbucker was replaced by Seymour Duncan's Custom 5 for a lesser bass emphasis (adequate nevertheless...) & more top end definition.
  2. Mounting bracket: The BFG features a direct mount bridge pickup fixture; I got very sick of having to add/ remove the humbucker's sponge base padding (in lieu of pickup height adjustment springs) so in goes the mounting bracket...
THANKS Beez! For the superb re-wiring!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Immortal: All shall fall

This is perhaps the most anticipated release this year after knowing the band has resurrected its form & ready to release new music. Note the new member in the line-up; Aura Noir's Apollyon.

All Shall Fall saw the return of Immortal. The band went on where Sons of Northern Darkness left off, so there's nothing new, really. If you enjoyed the aforementioned prior release, All Shall Fall would be an extension of your enjoyment. The music presented here is very palatable, even non-black metal fans would have no qualms listening to this album & ignoring the vocals, deeming it as superb after the initial spin. The hardest number here would be Hordes to War, a blast from start to finish quite close to some of the most aggressive materials offered in Blizzard Beasts. We can all agree that Abbath & Horgh are two of the most capable players in this music genre & this album proves just that. Abbath's guitar works in particular are attuned to hooks; he's one of those players who would carefully churn out materials which are tasteful in context. It had been so since At the Heart of Winter, all very impressive to say the least.
Nevertheless, the purists would resign in the acknowledgment that the palatable music offered here would attract pretenders of the genre.
But music is for general enjoyment, we all know that.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hey, dad! (Part 9)

Hey, dad! If you are about to discard your dilapidated Gibson hard case, it'd make a great bed for me...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vesica guitar

This is quite beyond peculiar, abnormal more like it... but that's what the folks at Vesica guitars have in store for us bored dweebs.

The guitar above, as evident, features an expanded fretboard beyond the 9th fret. According to the manufacturer, it promotes upper frets manoeuverability. Also, one would no longer be limited to the inward movements of the treble-side strings (meaning: you can bend out, towards the neck edge rather than inwards towards the bass strings).

I am not bent to agree with the Vesica people but having owned/ played a 7/8-string guitar, it seems that (psychologically) the fretting hand is opiated to believe that the more neck material available is an assurance that things won't go wrong when you speed up. Strange but true; I keep going back to my Ibanez RG7/ RG8 for this very reason...

Looks-wise, it's not that refreshing, haven't we seen some of those quirks with Parker & Tyler instruments? Hmmm...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Suffocation: Blood Oath

This was one of my anticipated releases this 2009; their come-back album in 2007 was fantastic. In general, Blood Oath was rated by many fans a step below the said come-back, self-titled, release. After hearing Blood Oath many times, I feel there's nothing averse, just that the band slowed down on some tracks; maybe this was a little off-tangent to many followers hence breeding rejection. I personally think the slower paced material are some of the heaviest Suffocation has to offer & it's rather addictive.

Guitar dweebs in particular, will appreciate Suffocation's twin guitar attack; each guitarist varies his verses & we don't hear the same riffs repeated in the left/ right channel all the time.

Starter amp

Are you in need of a starter amp? Or a back-up, even? The Ibanez IBZ10 is clearing for $80 at Swee Lee. It's not a fantastic amplifier to pair with your $5,000++ guitar but it gets the job done. More importantly, it has a 3-band EQ section for you to mess with, unlike many of its peers in this price bracket.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Goodbye Jackson

Ex-Emperor mainman, Ihsahn, is auctioning off his Jackson- reason being: His guitar collection is growing since he's in the Ibanez camp...