Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fractal SV

An announcement by SV that you might like :-)

ND: Explosive

The Brummies were here & they delivered loads. It was such a competent performance by Mr. Greenway & company, committing such presence to memory was rather easy. I was also very glad to hear some of the clearest guitar tones (despite the heavyweight presence of the lower frequencies) by arguably one of the most intense music performers this side of aggressive music. The down-side of it all was the delayed entry; the ticket clearly stated a 7.00pm entrance but we only managed to tread the performance ground some 90min later. I last heard it was an equipment-related issue, somehting to do with the drums.

Knowing Mitch Harris (& the late Jesse Pintado) to be a minimalistic player when it comes to gear, the use of Peavey amps (Triple XXX/ 5150) was the right pick; great note separation throughout the performance.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The GSS at Swee Lee (BB Complex) is coming to an end, thought I snap this up- it's a Hercules guitar stand.

The Hercules stand out of its pack.

Once flipped open, you need to flick out the brackets you see there to hold the guitar in place. There are also rear legs to draw out as well in order to stabilize the back of this stand.

Here's the Hercules in action, holding my Schecter in place.

Side view...

Rear view. The Hercules will fit into your guitar bag's accessories' pocket & it features no pointed ends to scratch/ rip the bag's surface. Neat.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


A few days ago, my hand cramped up while playing the bass. Was it a case of no warm up before playing? That's not it; I was playing guitar for at least 30min before switching to bass. My take here is that my hand is simply not used to the extended scale of the bass; I'm more accustomed to the guitar. Someone also said that I'm playing the bass like a guitar, sometimes I just go too fast which might contribute to the painful experience. Oh, well...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Barbers' innards

The good thing about many Barber pedals is that they feature more tone controls under the chassis. The above pic is how the COOL pedal looks like with 4 trimmers (arrowed) available for the user to further refine his tone.

The SUPER SPORT has more trimmers as seen here & note the chip used for the pedal.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Eillek 500

I was at Eillekoet today to get the above Gibson pickup. The 500T is one furious Gibson pickup & I like it for its clarity; it actually made me like a Gibson guitar (at least for the tone...)! . I've heard it in use many times in Gibson's Les Paul Classic so I know what to expect.

Separated at birth... Episode III

Do you remember Jackson's Warrior model? Yes, it's the one which ignited a character clash of sorts with Ibanez's Xiphos. But we learnt that both guitars was inspired by a certain BC Rich model. But Jackson's discontinued Demon (pic above)...

...& Ibanez's 540P (also discontinued) looked very similar, yes? So maybe the Xiphos episode wasn't the first design bout between the manufacturers.

Edward's jazzer

Edwards has this stunning, jazz-type guitar fresh for summer; the E-FA-200. It reeks of Gibson, no doubt, but the Japanese are not afraid of refining their wares to make them more appealing.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

COOL is in

This is another Barber pedal on the discount list at TYmusic (which is attractive to me). It's fundamentally a very mild drive unit, milder than the average overdrive pedals out there (eg: Modtone MINI Drive) but offers some of the smoothest drive voicings I've come across. The TONE & DYNAMICS controls has a push-pull function to activate the raunchy sides in terms of EQ & gain. Cool indeed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Eillek SALE

If you are looking for some Ibanez (such as the ZR bridge assembly seen above)/ Fender/ Gibson spares, among others, be informed that Eillekoet is currently having a SALE. You have till 27th June to check them out. Also, get to hear your favourite song being played in-store while you shop- no kidding.

Cheap & cheerful (5): Washburn WIN14

You are looking for an affordable singlecut guitar with above average tones but something definitely affordable, Washburn's WMI14 should be on your checklist. When I played it yesterday, the thinner-than-Les Paul body gave it a different voicing plus the fact that it's a basswood unit, the guitar was definitely something not of the Les Paul type when it comes to tones. The maple neck was of a wider profile, again moving away from the LP expectations. If you solo in the neck, the in-house neck pickup has lots of definition for your widdling pleasure.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


If you insist on Gibson parts for your em... Gibson guitar, Davis GMC has Gibson pots for you... at affordable prices, of course.

Red rocking 2

Sammy Hagar had a Gibson Les Paul done for him in conjunction with his involvements in the 'super band' Chicken Foot: CLICK. This time round, the Explorer gets the Red Rocker treatment.

Epiphone Casino '61 re-issue

Epiphone is re-issuing the '61 Casino models, the above model is one of them. I've tried whatever Casino models which are available here throughout the years; they are great-sounding guitars but the upper fret reaches are limited.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kahler the 8

This Ibanez 8-string was featured in Tony MacAlpine's new album. We can tell it's not a stock option by virtue of its bridge- it's a Kahler.

Hate Eternal: Phoenix Among the Ashes

Erik Rutan is Hate Eternal. The ex-Ripping Corpse guitarist had been at the helm of HE the moment it was put together. Despite having other band commitments along the way- Morbid Angel was one of them- Erik Rutan kept HE going till this day. This 5th full length studio release pretty much established the musical signature of HE- incessant rapid fire drumming coupled with furious guitar riffing. It's rather difficult to single out moments when the band slowed their music down because the aforementioned formula was ingrained into the band's DNA right from the start. In Phoenix, as I had anticipated, there were no deviations from playing music the HE way but it's a curbed ferocity this time round perhaps due to the absence of Shaun Kelly (aslo Erik Rutan's former co-guitarist in Ripping corpse) & it sounded like Mr. Rutan had some active pickups going in this recording. If that's not the case, then it sounded very convincing. I believe it's another day in the office for him, nothing but a great death metal release with lots of instrument competency on offer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Ladies & gentlemen, Beez has a Celestion V-30 12" driver if you are interested. I think you know how to reach him by now... :-)

Epiphone: EM-2 Prophecy Custom EX

I was at Swee Lee a few days ago- I just had to try this Epiphone after noting its generous upper fret access. This EX version features a non-whammy bridge & that pair of active humbuckers specially manufactured by EMG for Epiphone. There is a wonderful non-Les Paul feel here, not that Epiphone is exclusively synonymous with that guitar make but I've tried countless Epiphones which were not LPs & somehow, those instruments were down-right unappealing. However, the EpiActive pickups were not as bold as the average EMG units, in fact, they sounded very much like Ibanez CAP-LZ pickups. The manufacturer included a passive switch for them in case you are not in the active frame of mind when playing but the voicings on offer were just too bland for any liking. I won't dismiss this guitar for that, in fact, the feel here was arguably great for the money.

Swine tone

So the Bare Knuckle pickups went into my Ibanez SZ520FM. It's a pair of Warpigs.

FACT: The bridge Warpig features a distressed metal cover salvaged from WWI. It was alleged to be coming from a Mark V tank which was disintegrating in a trench. The neck Warpig includes parts dipped in toxic sludge believed to be the ingredients in making Agent Orange fluid. 

MYTH: The Warpigs are ordinary high output humbuckers with a tweaked bass response for some smooth jazz/ fusion overdrive responses or grinding low-end notes in an extreme metal distortion setting. No pigs were slaughtered to manufacture these pickups.

Obiter dictum: A decomposing torso was discovered floating in Bedok Reservoir yesterday. In the recent wake of an uproar by Woodlands residents, when a dead body was discovered in their apartment block's roof top water tank, there might be furious demands by citizens in asking the authorities to replace the entire reservoir with a fresh water body just like the eventual replacement of the aforementioned water tank. He, he...

Monday, June 20, 2011


Got my Bare Knuckle... :-)

Ibanez: SZ520FM

Remember the Ibanez ISG35 bag I mentioned a few days ago? Well, that was bought for this guitar; the discontinued Ibanez SZ520FM.

When the SZ520 was released, it was a 'first' in the SZ range to feature a flame maple top & a new fretboard inlay, the 'cardiac heartbeat' indicator. But I didn't buy this guitar for those reasons, I have always admired how the S-series fundamentals were manifested to become this set-neck model. The feel of the instrument was a departure from the typical RG/S shredder affair. It was a bold move by Ibanez back then, I had my reservations but after trying one at Swee Lee (I tried & bought the SZ320 first) I knew this guitar was a success.

The body's flip-side...

... but more importantly, the pickups. The SZ series will be remembered by Ibanez fans as the Seymour Duncan-Ibanez collaboration. However, these pickups were not a made-in-USA affair (the ones in the Prestige SZ models, were), they were Korean & differentiated from the Duncan Designed models featured in many budget guitars like some Squiers. 

Instead of the 6-in-line Ibanez headstock designs of the S-series, the SZ featured a 3-by-3 design instead. I can't stand looking at this headstock for long because it reminds me (all the time) of the S-Classic models which I really wanted but not available here. *SIGH*

The headstock's flip-side view with the Korean i/d numbers. By virtue of this identification, we know it originated from the same factory which currently handles PRS' SE models.

Obiter dictum: I was watching late night news while doing this entry; it seems that the MRT's North-Eastern Woodleigh station will be officially opened later today. According to the authorities, the station remained close for years because the neighbouring population was insufficient to supplement the station's operational costs. But many of us would see this as a poor excuse to deprive the opposition ward of good service amenities. Now that the Potong Pasir constituency had been recaptured by the ruling party, we would expect such things to happen. But if the authorities choose to say that the population is now in good numbers to trigger the stations operations, are there any statistics to back this up?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Wishing all guitar-wielding Dads a Happy Fathers' Day!

Ibanez: RGA42T

I saw this Ibanez RGA42T (new for 2011- look at the new bridge in there...) at Swee Lee's Sims Drive warehouse during the last sale (5th June '11). Have been wanting to try it because I handled it during the sale day & it was one heavy guitar. I managed to try it yesterday at the Bras Basah showroom instead & I was right about the tone- it features a pair of active pickups so any hope of the instrument's weight contributing to the tone was diminished by the circuitry.

Playing in time

John Scofield is one of the most respected players in my books, his is this rare superstar personality who is willing to incorporate contemporary technology into his set up- the Boomerang PS is proof (among others). However, as a mark of a disciplined performer, Mr. Scofield had incorporated a digital clock into his pedal board. This speaks volume about himself, the need to keep some accomplishments & tasks within the prescribed time frame & observing minimal disruption at that. Respect!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A trademark good amp

I've been trying pedals at TYmusic through this amp lately; it's a TECH 21 Trademark 30.

If we take a look at the control panel above, the character section gives the user a fair selection of voicings to work with.

If you are a GT2 user, you'd be familiar with that range of tweaking options.

Lost bass: Info needed

The bass you see in this pic (Bacchus J-type) was stolen from owner lost/ misplaced by Nur Hakim. It's a workingman's bass, nothing excessive in terms of worth but if you have a personal attachment to any of your instruments, you know it's worth everything. If you have any info of its whereabouts, please get back to Mr. Nur Hakim:
  • Mobile: 8-2-6-8-9-0-8-6
  • E-mail:
Thank you for your kind assistance.

The 340

This Ibanez RG340 is a new model for 2011 but only offered to the Japanese market.

The idea might trickle down from the RG2560, we need not be surprised if it did, yes?

But the 'RG340' isn't a fresh conception. Ibanez has an RG340 in the 1980s under the Roadstar offerings. I remember this one after flipping through my cousin's Ibanez catalogue. The cutaways were not as pronounced as the current RG models, in fact, it looks very much like the S-series.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ibanez @ TY

This is a regional exclusive Ibanez RG350QMZ; it's only offered in Japan. However you can see it in store at TYmusic- that's right you can now acquire Japan-only standard Ibanez models from TY. If you wish to acquire any (non-Prestige/ Premium) models featured on the Japanese website but not available in-store, you can order them through TY. That's good news isn't it?

Now blue

This is my support for something that works (for me). I already own the Ibanez ISG35 bag, it was a grey version. This bag was purchased during the 2nd day of the Swee Lee SALE (5th June- the day rain wrecked havoc @ Tanglin Shopping Center, how could I forget this?).

The up-side of this bag is definitely its gloss surface which is waterproof & it makes cleaning easy as well.

The down-side of it is that it's easily scratched but I don't think any owner would be giving it a reckless handling, would they?

Barber: Super Sport

Another great clearance from TYmusic; Barber's Super Sport. I am perpetually in search of great overdrives to push my amp's inherent drive voicing. The Super Sport here is a great pedal to do just that & it's also a wonderful stand-alone unit. Barber has these internal trim pots to further the user's experimentation. The Super Sport can be set to sound smooth as well as being a little raunchy so that's how dynamic it is but do not expect heavy metal, of course

I've asked the good people at TY when the sale will end- as long as the item is in stock.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Worthy quote: Guthrie Govan

What GG said in a recent interview: I'm also very into avoiding any situation where I become known as 'the guy who can sound like other people.'

This is a reminder that there are like-minded people like me out there. I strive not to sound like others in terms of tone or playing style. I get put off by people who ask me if I can play like someone else, "Hey, can you play Vai stuff?" Yes, we all started out by emulating our heroes but along the way, we have to disown this phase in life where we can't generate our own music & simply replicate others' ideas. I am a proponent of music, the guitar is my tool. It shouldn't overwhelm me, I should be in control.


This is something I am definitely willing to try- Luxe repro caps. These are now available (including the Bumblebee version for Les Pauls) at Davis GMC, do contact them for price quotes.

The manufacturer aims to offer the user a very close manifestation of the original item so please do not expect an 'upgrade' of any kind but it should be your attempt to experience what Fender/ Gibson went through in their tone history. Also, do look forward to hear a marked difference as these minor components in your guitar only serve to differentiate your current experience.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Black Light Syndrome

Before there was Liquid Tension Experiment, the was Black Light Syndrome. However, the material compositions manifested by Tony Levin, Steve Stevens & Terry Bozzio were mostly off-the-cuff recordings. I am more intrigued by improvisations as opposed to planned recordings for the spontaneity & showcases of the thinking musician; someone who can adapt to the playing style of others without a prior need to study their methods. To me, this is how we spot gifted people. The instrumentals in BLS are lengthy & very artistic, so if you are after some technical highlight exclusively, be informed that this aspect of playing is only a peppered inclusion here. This is  also your opportunity to hear the players' deviation from their traditional, professional commitments, for instance, Steve Steven's flamenco guitar works in addition to his more established signature ray-gun guitar effects.

This is actually a re-purchase for me, the original CD I own is now beyond saving; it will skip in the middle of play, giving off a rude, high-pitch click. *SIGH*