Saturday, December 31, 2011

Opeth: Tix on sale now

Opeth tickets are on sale now at Inokii...

Plush Scarlett

Did a mix-N-match yesterday & settled down with the above pedals for the rest of the day's guitar playing episodes. The Scarlett has this sweet transparency that prevents itself from being too vintage voiced while retaining that typical smooth drive nuance. I usually don't assign such a pedal to be my primary drive unit. The Cream behaves likewise but it has a whole lot more in terms of saturation (not intensity, mind you) so it became my primary reference with the Scarlett being its reinforcement, set as a post-drive/ boost application. I went on to play with just these two pedals for the rest of the day till night time when a little chorus was introduced. Guitars used:

  • Jackson JS20 (TESLA)
  • Ibanez RG471 (Seymour Duncan)
  • LTD H-351 (EMG)
The LTD saw the least duration because I 'm not too keen in hearing active pickups in action with mild drivers but the neck '85 was in action most of the time- great legato licks with those pedals. The Duncans in the Ibanez blended well with the pedals but I couldn't slow down with this guitar despite the great tones. This led to the Jackson occupation for the rest of the day/ evening, those TESLAs in there just sounded sweet & they benefitted the most from such drive laden settings (nothing metal in any way). I especially enjoyed the Plasma 1 in this application- sounded awesome with saturation or with the guitar volume dipped.

Worthy quote: John Petrucci

Someone told me I am a collector but I disagree; otherwise I'd be busy hunting collectibles not the potentially abject instruments which I hold dear. But I'm not alone in this, John Petrucci has this to say:

I'm not a guitar collector... I don't have old Les Pauls & Strats or any of that stuff, I just have some Ibanezes & my Music Man guitars. I never went down the road of picking up old guitars. I'm into playing them... 

Why play something else just because it's old? Being old doesn't mean it' great. It might be, it could be awesome - but what I'm playing is perfect for me. It's like having a really perfect glove & someone tells you, 'No, you've got to wear this glove, because it was made in 1960!' But it doesn't fit me & it has holes in it!

When we talk to senior players (especially), they tend to opine that older guitars are better, more appealing & true treasures unlike the compromised production units of today. I believe, those guitars were magical. Something happened to them (referring to production magic of course, not a spell cast in any way). They ended up being appealing more than paltry survivors over time. Some of us would be drawn to this charm while the rest prefer to embrace the contemporary. It's OK to stand by our preferences, yes? But it gets chauvinistic & myopic if we tell people off because they don't align themselves to our liking.

Friday, December 30, 2011

LTD: H-351 (Part 2)

This is the rear view of my LTD H-351; look at that sumptuous rib cage contour.The effect of this feature is rather marked when I played it strapped on; it gave a certain inclination towards your body, like it moved closer to you, that kinda feeling.

Underneath that control cavity cover is a whole lot of tidiness- Bro Yus, if you are reading this, you gave the Indonesian LTD a thumbs-up remember? Well this is another proof to that.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moving up

If you are thinking Davis' Pedal Store had ceased operations then be informed that they are still active. WEF 2012, they will operate in another unit at Level 1 of Peninsula Hotel, will update details here.

Selling: Ibanez RG350EX (not mine)

Here's a pre-owned Ibanez RG350EX for sale, pickups in the guitars are:
  • Neck: DiMarzio D'Activator
    Middle: DiMarzio Virtual Vintage
    Bridge: DiMarzio X2N
 Some wear & tear marks for you to take note of at the rear bridge springs cavity cover...

...& at the pickguard area.

Also a minor dent there at the treble side cutaway. If you are interested it's going for $530(neg), confirmation/ queries to be done here:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ibanez: Halberd (Part 6)

This tune-o-matic type bridge belongs to my Ibanez Halberd; proof that even hardware for Chinese production models are out-sourced wares.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gibson: ES335-S

Gibson's 'new' ES model is actually a solid body model; ES335-S. If it's a solid body model, then what's the point? The whole objective of getting an ES is really to embrace the non-solid nature of the body construction, that's what I believe.

Monday, December 26, 2011

All guitars played today

I took the opportunity to clean some (moldy) bags & cases today because of the fine weather. I gave them a good wipe-down & left them to dry in the sun; what little sunlight was available today, actually. 

While waiting for them to dry, the instruments were played. First was the Grassroots G-LP-50S; felt like playing a singlecut but not a Gibson so this was the natural pick. The neck profile made this playing experience enjoyable. When I play a Les Paul, it's like OK, I'll play for 15min tops then switch guitars but not with this Grassroots.

Then there was this urge to hear some low & heavy riffing so I moved on to Schecter's Omen 7. The treble strings are dead by now, the guitar needs a re-string. OK, that will happen this weekend.

Finally, before my evening jog, the ESP M-II took over- simply love a single coil  tone which isn't coming from a Strat. This one's in need of a re-string as well. So 2 guitars to attend to this weekend... which would make an awesome New Year weekend engagement. At least to me...

Goodnight. Retiring early after a warm cup of tea & some reading. Bothered by that sinking feeling of having to start work. Wish my office disintegrates by the time I wake up.

Red Witch: Scarlett

I purchased this Red Witch Scarlett overdrive before X-mas, didn't try it then; was rather busy. Also, the pedal wasn't ready for use as it required some charging. Be informed that the Sister series pedals are all rechargeable units. Just plug in a 9V adaptor & let it charge for 12hrs (mine didn't take that long...).

When it's done, the light turns yellow as seen here & you are good to rock.

Ibanez: Halberd (Part 5)

I've talked about shimming & neck tilt recently & my Ibanez Halberd here obviously has a tilted neck. The evidence is rather clear from the pic above. Will check for any shimming done to this guitar on its next string change.

2012 wish list

The government says, 2012 will be an economic downturn for many of us. But I don't find it sensible pegging my gear acquisition to what the government says, they shouldn't dictate what I wish to acquire. Nevertheless, I shall take heed because I don't run this country, just a mere passenger in the economic ferry. Chances are, I'll get hit by the occurrences, Mr. Govt can only offer me limited help in this aspect. Anyway, I have a simple plan for 2012 gear-wise. Firstly, I'm anticipating what Marshall has to offer simply because they are celebrating their 30th year running come 2012. It seems that they will be offering affordable stuff to the masses & I'm waiting to see what's in store.

Secondly, investing in another Special Order ESP makes much sense. I'm very happy with what ESP manifested for me this year so this is a thumbs up of sorts to them. I'm not into a full custom option, I have never had that desire to tell others to make me what I strictly want, regardless of people reminding me about the money spent on whatever I have acquired thusfar being capable of getting me a personal-spec instrument.

There. Simple wants for 2012.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Selling: Little Brute Drive (EWS)

This little ditty here is the EWS Little Brute Drive. It's for sale. You can check out the specs & sound clips here: CLICK Space-saver for your pedal board, definitely.
  • Selling: EWS Little Brute Drive (box included)
  • Condition: 9.5/10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • No reservations/ trades
  • Confirmation/ queries:
  • Price: $99 (final)
**Sorry, I have no Paypal account...
Other items for sale:
  • Kustom 10W bass amp
  • Gibson pickups: 490R/ 498T
  • Modtone Mini CHORUS

    Dr. Duck's neck support

    This is a neat product by Dr. Duck- a guitar neck rest. There aren't too many shops selling guitar DIY accessories/ tools here so if this could be made available to us, we'd definitely be grateful. Wonder if SV Guitars can make this available here...

    Happy holidays!

    Wishing all friends, blog visitors & fellow guitar/ music enthusiasts Happy Holidays! While some of us are taking this opportunity to stretch their celebrations from X-mas Day till the year's end, the rest of us are actually starting work after Boxing Day. *BUMMER*

    PS: By the time you read this, I'm watching one of the Die Hard movies- it has a Christmas ending...

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Ibanez: TSA15H

    Got this from the X-mas Eve Swee Lee sale earlier today: Ibanez TSA15H. It's an Ibanez tube amp featuring an in-built Tube Screamer section. This one's on my to-get list since I was aware of it here: CLICK I feel pathetic because it had been a terrible wait.

    I had been updating stuff via Twitter lately- thank you to those who followed. Salute!

    LTD: H-351... slight difference

    Just pointing out the slight difference- the above pic was taken off ESP's website. Note: No fretboard binding.

    What you get in stores here are H-351s with fretboard binding. Maybe the people back at the factory did this by accident it remains a mystery but we don't mind a little 'bonus' do we? He he...

    DEG: Boss, if you have the H-351 there with you, which version is yours?

    LTD: H-351

    Ho, ho, ho! As mentioned in my Twitter entry, this is  my new guitar: LTD H-351.

    The lizard

    A few days ago, while I was updating this blog with some down-tempo music playing softly in the background, this little fella crept out of hiding (behind some toys) & attempted to flee to the kitchen. It dashed across the living room floor but my residence is such that there are limited cracks/ gaps here so looking for cover behind doors or corner openings was not the learned thing to do. So I caught it without too much effort as it was big & rather clumsy. As you can see in this pic, the house gecko isn't entirely beige, there are some pale green patches running down from head to tail. What happened to it? I let it go at the common corridor & it scurried to the neighbour's potted plants.

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Ibanez RGD320: Back in action

    Ibanez RGD320- not mine, belongs to my friend, Fabian. I'm helping him with the action settings.

    The Edge III bridge was lowered but the tension wasn't compensated so it led to the bridge reclining itself into the cavity.

    OK, done. Bridge was re-adjusted & guitar is ready for collection. I only agreed to do this because I had some prior encounters with the Edge III.

    Swee Lee sale: X-mas eve 2011

    If you are not too busy with the festive preparations this X-mas eve (or you choose not to be busy...), maybe you can grab yourselves something deserving. See you tomorrow.


    To us guitar dweebs, the name Grover Jackson is all too familiar; Jackson guitars, that's right. Mr. Jackson is back with a range of brand new range of electric guitars under his helm- the GJ2- all to be showcased at the upcoming Winter NAMM 2012. The above model is a glimpse of what's to come.

    Here's a worthy quote from Mr. Jackson himself pertaining to the manufactured aging of guitars (that's relic to the rest of us):

    If you would like one of our guitars to look like it has been used for years we have the following advice. Buy one of our guitars and play it for years. Guitars are beautiful objects for sure, but they should be played with fire, passion and intensity. Don’t pet it, play the hell out of it. You will have a lovingly aged guitar in no time, a guitar that reflects what you have put into it. Enjoy.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Opeth's deliverance

    Opeth's Deliverance performance here: 9th Feb 2012, Blackwater Fort Canning Park. Tickets available @ Inokii.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Sisters are here

    At the start of 2011, you read about the Red Witch's 7 Sisters here: CLICK Maybe some of you are waiting for them to be available because they are slimmer than the average pedal you own (Remember: They have internal rechargeable batteries in them...) & you deem this rather crucial for your pedal board's spatial considerations. They are now available at Davis GMC, it's like 4 days to X-mas & it'll be the perfect gift- for yourselves, especially.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Ibanez: Halberd (Part 4)

    There's no hiding the fact that the Halberd's headstock is the defunct Iceman's, beveled at the tip to make it arguably 'different' but there's no escaping the history.

    Over on the flip-side, the serial number wasn't pasted immaculately on its spatial allocation but that's the least of my concern. Yes, I have yet to remove those plastic lining on the tuner's machine covers, might do that on the next string change. 

    I've shown the front, this is the body's rear. Just have to say that things are really neat so it gave a sense of victory upon purchase knowing this isn't a higher tier offering. The Halberd's entire outline is a little excessive so it isn't an optimum option for a small-bodied person, I won't recommend this for your kids. That said, the Halberd sits well on your lap & has great balance but the upper horn, extends a little higher than the average guitar of similar make (eg: RG/ S-Series). I kept checking my posture while playing, preventing it from getting too up there; it's threatening to jab my shoulder blades. No such irritation when playing it strapped on, though.

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Ibanez: Halberd (Part 3)

    This was what became of the Halberd's innards after the active circuitry was removed. The scratches you see at the input jack area were present when I snipped the wires off. The battery compartment was also removed (tell-tale sings: 2 screw holes there) but it wouldn't get in the way should it be left in tact. Sparse controls? Definitely, there's only a 3-way pickup selector in the middle of the cavity & a push-pull coil split switch which doubles as the volume control. No Orange Drop cap needed here as there are no tone control for its application. Do note that the wood at this part of the instrument is rather porous, no amount of white paint could quite cover & level the surface.

    The push-pull coil tap switch- since there is no tone control here, this switch proved useful in keeping some tonal variations in check.

    But I am enjoying my pickups' very open tone in the mean time, good to hear something different at work. The pickups in there: Duncan's Distortion (bridge) & Jazz (neck). I could dial in much bass for both pickups & still obtain note clarity. I would say it's partly attributable to the pickups' default voicings as well as the absence of any capacitors in the circuitry. I get the 'right' results having Duncans in my guitars, this is no exception.

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Ibanez: Halberd- the real finish

    This is the Ibanez Halberd- pic's taken off the manufacturer's homepage. You'd thought that the darker hue surrounding the body bevel was a lighting effect.

    But it's actually a shade of grey, not quite apparent from the manufacturer's online snapshot. You didn't see wrong, I swapped the default pickups to Duncans.

    Laney: Ironheart 60W head (Wattage variant)

    I'm giving the (Laney) Ironheart's wattage variant control a thumbs-up for matters pertaining to practicality. This means you can tame the Ironheart down to the lower wattage range for smaller performance venues (which includes your bedroom) if you wish to keep the volume in check without losing the power tubes saturation. However, there is a need to re-tweak your EQ once you do just that (not a drastic change, yes?); the amp's voicing would be affected by the different wattage levels. This is a mark of a good amp, one which responds to power (supply).
    A belated thanks to the good people @ Sound Alchemy for the acquisition of this amp.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Animal drive (Way Huge content)

    This is a new one by Way Huge; the Red Llama overdrive. The RL pedal was already in existence some time back (that point in time when we were not into guitars YET). If you have bought the Green Rhino but felt that you are in need of a more up-front, less EQ-tampered drive, the RL might be it. Wait till it's here, of course. No, there's no Camel Distortion in the works.

    UNO: Warzone 2 (Part 5)

    This is how the WZ2 body looks like flip-side:
    1. Generous upper fret access
    2. Extended chest area bevel
    The standards set by this simple guitar are admittedly very high. The manufacturer chose to focus on not letting owners down by focusing on the instrument's fantastic QC. At the very least, after walking away with this guitar, you'd feel that it's money well spent.

    I would reiterate the fact that I'm not into guitars featuring locking whammy bridges these days. This contraption get in my way of playing enjoyment more than anything else but this purchase proved that I'm not averse to good instruments regardless of the features (colour & brand name too) on board. A good instrument is a good instrument, this is the way it should be appreciated.

    Thanks to Mike @ SV Guitars for making this purchase a very pleasant episode (beyond pleasant actually). He knew I prefer a set of .009s in there & made my day by substituting the default .010s with my preferred string gauge. Kudos, Mike!

    Your pick...? (LTD content)

    What have I been up to lately? I've been bothering Janet & company at Davis GMC by returning to the store premises to try LTD guitars. The model you see above is the manufacturer's top of the line Horizon offering, the Deluxe H1001.

    I've been pitting the Deluxe against its little brother, the H-351. As you would have observed, the instruments, at a single glance, are identical but let me just highlight to you the differences because there is a $250 gap between them:
    • the H-1001 features a more defined flamed maple top
    • the Deluxe's neck binding spills over to the fretboard
    • locking tuners (ESP brand) in the Deluxe
    • locking TOM-type bridge in the Deluxe
    • Deluxe- made in Korea, H-351- made in Indonesia
    The remaining features are identical. Feel wise, there are hardly any marked differences to highlight. You'd thought the Deluxe would be a little heftier due to the locking tuners over at the headstock but those tuners were careful selections so as not to make the situation a little too complicated in this category. They are also equally responsive, hence likeable. Both models are incredibly light, in fact, my Schecter Omen 6 would be considered heavy after handling these babies. 

    Tone? These guitars are equipped with a pair of EMG (active) pickups; the 81 in the bridge, 85 in the neck. You know how it is when you have actives in an instrument; you'd hear the pickups' performance more than what the guitar itself has to offer; akin to spreading very sweet honey on 2 different slices of bread brands only to taste the honey more than anything else. So my friends, the H-1001 & H-351 performed on like terms in this category.

    What would your pick be in view of the perspectives presented above?