Saturday, June 30, 2012

Edwards: E-MA-100SD/QM (Part 3)

The pickups in the Edwards E-MA-100SD is a pair of Duncans: JB (bridge) + '59 (neck). I'm totally happy with this pair so they will remain residents in this guitar. As the guitar per se is light, both pickups benefited from good body resonance, much clarity could be heard when intense distortion/ drive is in use. I'm gonna visit Beez soon to have the volume pot swapped; currently, the one nearest the bridge pickup controls the bridge volume, while its farther sibling does the neck. I'm not used to this arrangement, so I would have it swapped to a nearer-neck-further-bridge configuration.

Today is the final day of June, we bid farewell to the mid-year... Hope the later half of 2012 would be promising to many of us.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ibanez: RG7320 ver 2012

Ibanez's RG7320 is still alive & kickin' but it's not available here; regional exclusive to the American market. It's a very decent guitar especially so when it's featuring the 7-string version of the EZII locking whammy bridge.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New? Really?

Yes, new guitar. Yes, triangular guitar bag...

Separated at birth (Regional exclusive... *sigh*)

Siblings separated at birth... (Guitar: Ibanez S5420 in tiger eye finish, Japan only *SIGH*)

It's core time!

This is new @ SV Guitars; it's a Nux CORE series pedal, the orange darling you see here is the delay unit.

What the Time Core offers is 7 delay modules ranging from vintage to a very contemporary voicing with tap tempo editing. Plus point? It has a locking switch so that your delay's decay won't be truncated upon deactivation. You won't need a pilot's manual for this so it leaves ample opportunity for experimentation. Tones? There is a good spread of warmth & contemporary ear candy to be heard but nothing too polished. The tape-echo emulation for instance sounds lo-fi & warm, a very convincing take of that vintage accent. I certainly enjoyed hearing the slap-back voicing in action, Nux didn't forsake the reverb  quality here so thumbs up to that.

I only wish it has a looping capacity because if that happens, the Time Core would be a rather comprehensive delay unit for a modest asking price: $89

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Edwards: E-MA-100SD/QM (Part 2)

The hardware for the Edwards E-MA-100SD: Gotoh. I have utmost respect for Gotoh parts because they are no-frills stuff & they have proven their worth time & again. That's the tune-o-matic + hard tail type bridge assembly you see there.

There are Gotohs over at the headstock as well. These aren't heavy tuners so they keep the tone in check. Great.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

May the force be with you

These are new arrivals @ SV Guitars- NUX's modelling pedals. They have what I consider to be mindful features in making a device player-centered & tone worthy: 1) Noise gate 2) Bulit-in Boost. I will be checking them out soon, very soon I think :-) To top it all off, it's very affordable: $120 each; thumbs up to that.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lesser top

You recently read that Swee Lee is retailing the Fender Blacktop for $725? SV Guitars' price: $715... :-o

PS: Inflation is easing (Reuters: Singapore May 2012 inflation eases to 5.0%), hope this manifests in many purchase opportunities for us, not just for musical instruments, but in many other commodities as well...

Accelerate cleaning & preservation

I've just coated a fresh set of strings in one of my guitars with PW's XLR8 formula (got mine from TYMC) . It's an alternative to GHS' Fast Fret which I don't fancy. The XLR8 it's NOT wax-based so that's the sheer attraction for me. As soon as you apply, it'll dry up after a few minutes. 

This is how you apply the XLR8- simple & it's not bulky either. I'll have a performance update in time to come. Please +1 this post if you've tried the XLR8 (never mind if you don't fancy its performance)- thanks in advance.

Have a great Monday, everyone :-) (well, try your best...).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vacation: Krabi

I was at Krabi (Thailand) last week, to enjoy some sun, sand & sea. It's a laid back town, even the weekend didn't feel like a weekend, it felt like another Krabi, beach-town day. Nobody rushed to be somewhere in order to chill out so the tourists didn't rush either. It's also not a shopping town so the stuff on sale were souvenirs & food. If you bring your spouse/GFs here, chances are, you won't spend a bomb because there's not much to spend on.

I didn't see Elvis or aliens at Krabi but I did see some cute & lovely cats there. The daughter managed to pet some of them, the rest were too quick to flee excited tourists. There were no guitar shops to be seen as well & that should be the way because the ocean breeze would corrode them in no time. I simply enjoyed the seaside serenity... bliss.

Edwards: E-MA-100SD (Part 1)

The new darling is an Edwards E-MA-100SD quilted maple top version. When I was at Davis to test them, I chose the blue version, I thought they were both identical save for the finish- I went with the blue version, I didn't handle the red darling. It was definitely an above-average guitar but it didn't 'speak' to me so I went home empty handed. Days later, I told Janet I wish to try the E-MA-110 as it features a pair of Duncan Blackouts. I was at Davis after work & tested the aforementioned guitar & was rather surprised with the lighter being, the blue E-MA-100SD I tried previously was more massive than the 110. My gut feeling told me to check the red 100SD to see if there are any weight variation & true enough, it was the lightest & the most 'singing' among them- the reason it went home with me :-)

My thanks to:
  • Janet (@ Davis GMC) for letting me try the guitars with a simple Marshall amp to hear the true worth of the Edwards in terms of tone
  • Edmund for setting up the simple Marshall amp despite attending to another customer- thumbs up, bro!!


Ibanez had teamed up with clothing mammoth, Uniqlo, for the RG-UT2012 you see here. Attractive? Yes. Special? Not really. Available? Japan only. Pffttt...

Saturday, June 23, 2012


There is an ESP Eclipse in Silver Sparkle finish in the manufacturer's catalogue in the mean time but those don't come close to a Les Paul resemblance. The Edwards E-LP range offers a more accurate regurgitation & now you can get one in that Silver Sparkle finish you've always wanted. The guitar you see here: E-LP-98SD SPSI.

New. Yes, new...

New guitar. Not a Les Paul, definitely.

So much Cream

I'm not a pedal fan; I'm into amps. However, there will be those days when some pedals come my way to impress. I already own Plush's Cream pedal which is definitely addictive but the Extreme version here sounds hotter, very appealing to those looking for that extra sensitivity but unwilling to employ a booster unit in the name of tone preservation. The WARM channel there retains the original Cream tone but I hear a tampered EQ voicing after a brief A-B comparison. Tasty cream- my kinda pedal.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Of Becker & Ihsahn

Yesterday's day-out acquisitions:
  • Guitar Player magazine: I've stopped buying guitar magzines a long time ago since there were online versions to refer to but with Jason Becker on the cover, it's a must-buy...
  • Got my Ihsahn CD as well, was expecting a July collection but sometimes, the good things do come early :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DiMarzio: Price revision @ Swee Lee

DiMarzio pickups- price revision @ Swee Lee, lots more in store + fresh intake soon :-)

Bacchus guitars

You've seen Bacchus basses at TYMC, now Bacchus guitars are available in store.

Yes, largely Strat/Tele style models & they are in the $500 - $750 price bracket, crafted in the Philippines. Do visit TYMC to see the range on offer, the ones you see here are just 2 sample models (there are some equipped with locking bridges as well), I was in a hurry, I have not tried any so I can't share any tone-related insights. However, I managed to handle some of them & through my initial inspection, I'd deem them as upper end entry level units- reasonably priced + good QC for the money.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Just received my new John 5 & Marduk... weekend listening, it seems.

Blades @ Davis GMC

Blade guitars are now available @ Davis GMC.

These are not the boutique Levinson Blade models we know, instead, they are part of the standard production models which are very affordable.

Indeed, they are very much in the Strat/Tele range...

... but the X-Fire range (XF-120 above) offers a no-frills, dual humbucking model. There are no locking hardware to get in the way so you know what you are in for.

So how affordable are they? The Classic RH-2 you see here is the costliest amongst them as it features a set of higher end electronics/ hardware. It's listing for $1.2K but the rest of the models you see are listing for $480 :-)

I've managed to try some of the in-store models, appraisals are on the way, so watch this space :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Crying without moving

Many years ago when Electro Harmonix designed the Crying Tone wah pedal, this was how it looked like; it's nothing too different from the rest of the wah designs out there- bulky & typically pot-maneuvered. This was in the 1960s...

This is how the Crying Tone looks like today- a complete re-design and please don't go looking for any moving parts because there are none. I'm definitely checking this out when it's finally released this summer (so please don't ask if it's here yet *duh*) in the mean time, watch it in action:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

GRGR010: Back to life

My Ibanez GRGR010 is finally back to life.

This is the culprit- a dead pot. It's also a a push-pull coil split switch, I couldn't even pull it up to activate the split mode, let alone turn the knob at all. The crust you see at the base of the shaft thread is actually extreme corrosion, too extreme to be remedied by contact spray. The freaky thing here is that, it died almost exactly a year after it was installed. Since I take good care of my guitars, how did this happen? Answer: Sweat. I sweat too much while playing guitar, some of the sweat from my picking hand might have dripped under the control knob and into the pot's gap/crevices. Every time I wipe this guitar down after play, those inaccessible area under the knob got over-looked hence the corrosion.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Black Top lure

This is a good deal/ promo by Swee Lee; Fender Black Top guitars are now on a $725 offer + free delivery. Promo price means it's one of the most affordable Fender to own. Free delivery means, after trying the guitar at the showroom & liking it but they don't have the colour you fancy in store, you can tell them to deliver your fav selection to your doorstep. Happy?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Burzum: Umskiptar

Varg Vickernes had repeatedly reminded the world that he had ceased writing black metal music. His current creativity involves atmospheric music. But that's according to Varg, according to our ears, it's black metal. However, black metal enjoys this broad variation, a diverse fray at its edges I'd say, to be classified otherwise. Do not blame the masses if they don't hear the differences though, how varied it might be. But it all boils down to this- music is an art form open to various interpretations, do not reject any interpretation if it's propelled as such adequately. 

Back to Umskiptar, it's not sung in English so be warned. The music is a Burzum signature, coarse guitar undercurrent propelled by other necessary accompaniments deemed fit by Varg. This time, things get a little testing for music lovers in general, many songs here fall into a dirge structure only fit for the consumption of those who have real respect for the artist's creation. There are some blank moments, save for a solo vocal performance, as well. If you are looking for some angst-fodder to define the current mood swing you are in, it's not the type of black metal/ atmospheric music you'd like to refer to. Credit goes to Varg for sticking to his formula of doing things.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Taxed & pissed

It's mid-year, it's tax season. It's that time of the year when some people out there check your income in the name of nation building. I'm paying more taxes this year, in fact, it's the largest sum I'm about to surrender to the authorities (unwillingly) ever. I'm ticked off because my annual increment is about 50% lesser than the annual taxes I'm paying. I'm also given some mid-year bonus but I have to double that bonus amount just to clear this round of taxation.

What's that? I've spent way more on guitars & stuff yet I'm whining about this nominal contribution for the betterment of my country? But my gear expenditure is a willing surrender; it's a very different affair.

For the record, I'm not a willing contributor to the inland revenue. I'd rather finance the treatment of some injured animals rather than believe my contribution towards nation building would have any real returns for me. FOAD indeed.

Seymour Duncan: TB-16 (59/ Custom hybrid)

This is the flavour of the moment for many Seymour Duncan fans; the 59/Custom hybrid (SH-16/ TB-16). It's only the second standard production model following a cult following of a fan-tinkered product which made it big online. Thanks to the receptive nature of the Seymour Duncan brigade & fan persistence, the 59/Custom hybrid is now a standard production model.

The 59/Custom hybrid, or the trembucker version you see here (TB-16) is a mix-and-match end product of Duncan's '59 & Custom models. However, I don't hear a distinct contribution coming from the '59 because the polite, warm, PAF-type responses were limited in attendance. On the contrary, the Custom's fat bottom end was present & commanding. The result isn't exactly a 50-50 fusion from both models but in my opinion, a perfect derivative for fans looking for some traditional warmth & sturdy bass response to cure their wimpy guitars featuring locking whammy bridges- the reason I have it in my Ibanez S970.

I had initially wanted to fix the TB-16 into a fixed bridge guitar but I went with my gut feelings & have it in this Ibanez instead. So my first take on this guitar, after listening to its performance having my S970 plugged straight through to my Laney Ironheart, is that of great satisfaction. But that may just be me.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Selling: Hardwire CM-2 Tube Overdrive

I've tucked this away accidentally & uncovered it recently while looking for some pickups. It's for sale, in pristine condition & comes with all the accessories you see above.

Yes, that's where it's made in.

That's how much it was originally but I'm not asking you to match that, of course.

  • Selling: Hardwire CM-2 Tube Overdrive (2-modes)
  • Condition: 9/10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt stn
  • No reservations/ No trades
  • Query/ confirmation:
  • Asking price: Open to good offers $95
Thanks for reading :-)

Ibanez S970: Duncanized

These are the default pickups in my Ibanez S970; they are the manufacturer's CAP models. I don't hear what I want from them so...

... out they go. The fresh set of Duncans in there are:
  • Neck: Jazz
  • Mid: Quarter Pound (staggered)
  • Bridge: '59/Custom Hybrid
More on the '59/Custom hybrid soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

As I was reading

I seldom read these days. The free time I had at home (& at work) was all guitar time. Even when I'm not playing, I will invest in maintenance time for selected darlings; I have many, yes?

However, I do enjoy a good read but I steer clear from fiction literature unless it's something by Jeffrey Deaver. This is a contemporary favourite, before Deaver, I was hooked an Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes adventures as well as Thomas Harris' Hannibal chronicles. I happened to be at MPH yesterday & saw this book by Adibah Amin, As I was Passing (Part 1). It's actually a compilation of her newspaper columns by the same title in the 1970s. The documented accounts are all anecdotal, a simple re-telling of everyday occurrences which we all could relate to. It's this honest-to-goodness accounts that I find captivating & was rather hooked last night reading it while sipping coffee in Monday's late tranquility. Bliss. 

I wonder if I could muster enough recollection in time to come & churn out a guitar version of it, maybe I'd call it As I Was GUITARing.

PS: If you have As I Was Passing II & you wish to let it go, I'll be glad to give you good money for it :-)

Played them

All guitars played last night/ this morning (L-R):
  • Ibanez: RGD321
  • Yamaha: RGX A2
  • Ibanez: GRGR010
  • Charvel: DS3
  • Grassroots: G-LP-50S
  • Ibanez: S970

Selling: Vox Pathfinder Bass 10 combo (SOLD)

Yes- selling away this VOX Pathfinder Bass 10 combo, not even 3 weeks old. As seen in the picture, the plug had been swapped to a 3-pin version :-)
  • Selling: VOX Pathfinder Bass 10 combo amplifier
  • Condition: 9.5/10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • No reservations/ No trades
  • Query/ confirmation:
  • Price: $90 (final)
Thanks for reading :-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Baron's Cort

This lefty Cort belongs to my friend, Zahid. It's still as shiny as the day when I first saw it- 8 years ago. He'd been keeping it in tip-top condition because he knows that, being a south paw, lefty guitars are hard to come by. I'll be seeing this guitar in action come July. Watch this space :-)

Yamaha: RGX A2 (Part 3)

The RGX A2 sports a curved body top for maximum playing comfort. How important is this to the average player? I deem it rather crucial for any player to be at ease & in total control of his/her playing. A comfortable picking hand means the player has more playing focus & less lethargy setting in to affect play. This, of course, induces mistakes. These days, the curved top design isn't exclusive to upper tier models, those in the economy bracket are also manifesting this look.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Yamaha RGX A2 (Part 2)

The RGX A2 features are eccentric to say the least. The tuners you see here are definitely unconventional but they fit into the theme of 'departure'; almost every appointment in this guitar is a move-away from the traditional. These barrel-type tuners are not exclusive to this instrument, when Jackson had the Roswell Rhoads guitar in manufacture years ago, these were the standard fittings but they were exclusively manufactured by Sperzel. The A2's tuners are definitely not a named brand, at best, they might be a Sperzel OEM unit.

In use, the tuners are surprisingly responsive, well, they have to be, otherwise they would be a futile inclusion. The pinching needs a little getting used to because it doesn't feel as conventional as the standard tuners but these are definitely functional.