Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EMG: 77/66

This is a new pair from EMG: 77 (bridge)/ 66 (neck) model. They are still active units but the magnets in there are Alnico Vs & those pole-pieces are steel. Doubt if they are here yet but they will make a good year-end acquisition. Video reference here:

It's the final day of October folks, 2 more months before we say goodbye to the year...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Selling: Agile Interceptor Pro 830

This is a cool Agile Interceptor Pro 830, one to acquire if you are into 8-string guitars but would want to whammy as well. This isn't my guitar, if you are interested, please get back to Mr. Fabian at the following number: 82-82-2390 (text/ whatsapp)
  • Selling: Agile Interceptor Pro 830 (bag not included)
  • Featuring: Kahler whammy bridge for 8-string guitar/ Seymour Duncan Blackout active pickups/ 30" scale length/ through-body construction/ ebony fretboard
  • Condition: 9/10
  • Price: $800
GUITAR SOLD as at 17th Nov. Thanks.

Runaway Fender

We don't see Fender making pedals too often, so this recent release- it's a feedback generator- is indeed a rare feat. If you are keen on feedback, you know you'll need a rude amount of volume to trigger it but the Runaway pedal here lets you have your feedback-ing moments at lower volumes. Watch this:

Ibanez RG331M: Pickups cavity

The Ibanez RG331M is a dual humbucking guitar as documented in the manufacturer's catalogue but beneath its cover, the guitar was routed for an HSH pickup combination.

Monday, October 29, 2012

ESP: Horizon NT-II

Because I am boring & do not stray from the things I believe in, my new ESP is a Horizon NT-II. Despite being repulsive to black, I've chosen this one for a reason...

Thanks to Janet & Edmund @ Davis GMC for the assistance.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


This is another wonderful LTD 7-string currently available at Davis GMC. It's a signature series- Zack Householder (Whitechapel) ZH-7. Absolutely shredable maple neck, with lots of strong bottom end on offer. The signature series are LTD's top of the line offering without being excessive in price, of course. Personally, I find this guitar an absolute value-for-money, it's a Horizon with someone's name at the headstock- a Horizon by some other variation is still a Horizon :-)

Ibanez RG331M: DiMarzio

I have run out of Duncans to try, sounds ridiculous but that's the case in the mean time. My Ibanez RG331M received a pair of DiMarzios recently:
  • Neck: Air Zone
  • Bridge: Super Distortion
The Air Zone should be your pick if you wish for a good neck response for both clean & distortion applications. It was created to the PAF specs but with a little more kick. This pickup is somehow less preferred for those of us who have tried the Air Norton but I've heard the Air Norton in use, I must say the Air Zone is less rounded at the top end & has a stronger midrange response- my kind of pickup, especially so when it needs to see some solo mileage for me. Also, it's one of the most appealing split coil voicing if you think you need this application coming from a humbucker. The Air Zone drops its output to emulate a real-sized single coil pickup & the clarity + twang are present for the taking. I think this peculiarity got Beez baffled after he wired it to my guitar, he heard a 'broken' sound, a pickup sounding much lesser in its split incarnation as compared to its full humbucking mode. He rewired it to make sure I wasn't short-changed but there's really nothing wrong with the pickup :-) In fact, I think this peculiarity made the Air Zone special & it's appealing to me.

The Super Distortion had been my go-to DiMarzio, it used to serve me well & it's serving me well here in this guitar. It's a monster with distortion & doesn't wimp out in clean mode unlike other 'distortion' pickups. It's got nothing extra, really. Just a good ol' PAF voicing with lots of boost so it works for everything. Due to its name, the pickup is shunned by those looking for a tamed output-type of pickup.

Thanks Beez, for the thorough pickup inspection- thumbs up!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dark Funeral not playing here. Pffftttttt.

Bummed. Dark Funeral plays everywhere this year end but not here.

New guitar: ESP

I am on an ESP quest of sort...

Selling: Charvel DS3 (SOLD)

Selling away my Charvel DS3 (another Charvel coming my way). Be informed that it's NOT a comprehensive Les Paul alternative, main differences being: 1) 2 more frets 2)25.5" scale 3) Bolt-on construction
  • Selling: Charvel DS3 (no mods/ bag included)
  • Condition: 9/10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • No reservations/ No trades
  • Query/ confirmation:
  • Price: $280/ RM695 (final)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Poll: Humbucker ouput preference

Thanks everyone, for participating in this poll. Many of us prefer an in-between output pickup; something neither too wimpy nor too hot. The fallacy here had always been the belief that the higher output pickups are more adept for distortion application. In general, this is true- higher ouput units are there for monstrous distortion roar but the lesser output units are fantastic as well. In fact, the lesser output models manifest more desirable clarity & definition than many higher output ones when it comes to putting forth those individual notes. We must also keep in mind the fact that higher output humbuckers usually feature stronger magnets & this isn't healthy for sustain.

There's also this belief that active pickups are menacing because of their higher output but you need to know that they are essentially low output units which feature a pre-amp in the circuit so the sum of their performance makes the output higher. The formula for distortion success is actually a curbed pickup output + a booster unit. How many of us have actually tried this formula?

Eid Ul-Adha

Greetings of Eid to all Muslim friends & blog visitors, for the rest of us- enjoy the deserving long weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adam Rafferty @ Scape

Fingerstyle guitarist Adam Rafferty will be performing here in December. All net proceeds of the show would benefit the Children's Society. Details of ticket sales as stated above. In the mean time, enjoy this:

DV Greg

Greg Howe has just received his latest amp- a DV Mark Triple 6. This is basically a hybrid amp featuring a tube pre-amp section. I respect Greg Howe for sticking to his personal preference & not jumping into the current hype. It's all about what works for us, regardless of the implements.

 But the personal model has Greg's name on it, as well as his band's: Maragold

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The anatomy of futility

This is a pair of JVC Xtreme Xplosives earphones. As depicted above, the main driver enclosure is larger than the average earphone's because- you guessed it- it houses a larger driver for some incredible audio experience. The manufacturer also claims the XX has some of the best bass on board. Not quite.

The bigger enclosure there means if you don't have them sitting in your ears snugly, they'll fall out due to the lash of gravity (yes, it's that dramatic). The bigger drivers are laid to waste simply because they aren't enclosed. Behind the XX brace there, the drivers are actually exposed so this means your earphones are leaking music while in use. It cuts both ways too- extraneous noise would leak into your music so you could still hear the outside world when you are supposed to be shut out entirely in your music haven. This also affects the bass response severely. In fact, there's hardly any extra bass to be heard. Come to think of it, it's akin to an open back amp with a small driver- lots of clarity but lacking in depth, everything sounds too treble-inclined.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Selling: Danelectro Cool Cat Distortion

Misplaced, rediscovered, now for sale...
  • Selling: Danelectro Cool Cat Distortion (box included)
  • Condition: 9/10
  • Self-collect: CCK MRT station
  • Query/ confirmation:
  • No trades/ no reservations
  • Price: $28/ RM69 (final)

Swinging set-up

Met up with YC last night after work, his Swing needed some looking into after he tweaked it a tad during re-stringing the day before & something was a miss thereafter. What's done:
  • Reduced neck back bow
  • Revised action for a set of .010 strings
  • Lubricated nut slots
After a year's worth of ownership, I must say that YC had taken good care of his baby, more so when he's a definite Swing fan.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Ibanez departure

Oli Herbert- respectable guitarist, you might know his band- All That Remains. I'm a fan of his playing (not quite the band's music, though...), once you watch him play, you know he's a very knowledgeable shredder. He used to be an Ibanez chap...

He's now with Jackson. It's rather ironic that a player who used to embrace an Ibanez which is a Jackson Warrior knock-off, is now wielding the Warrior (please don't start that 'but the Warrior is a BC Rich Stealth knock-off', let's reserve that for another episode...). But hey, if this makes Mr. Herbert happy...

I'm an Ibanez fan through & through. We Ibanez dweebs, pick the guitar up by choice, we know it's good for us, there's no coercion, it's free embrace. However, Ibanez has this knack for depriving some of the most talented guitar players in this planet, of a signature model- you can talk to Gambale/ Petrucci/ Broderick, among others, on the matter, they definitely have lots to say. I'm not rubbing salt in the wound but it goes to show the principles embraced by a guitar manufacturer pertaining to talent management. At the end of the equation, it's about... you know what it's about :-)

Semi-hollow Mustang

This is an interesting release by Fender (Japan)- see that F-hole in the Mustang body?

It indicates a hollow section & with reference to the x-ray version here, we can see the hollowed wings of the body, it's not an entirely airy piece. It's not readily available here but we know who to go to for an order.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gibson: EB bass

This is a new one by Gibson, the EB bass. It has moved away from the manufacturer's traditional designs so now you have something very un-Gibson but still bearing the name at the headstock. I believe Gibson doesn't possess the bass lure unlike its guitars, personally, this one reeks of desperation. But we shouldn't dismiss the instrument before feeling & hearing it in action.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ibanez: AS73 12-string

This is one of the new Ibanez guitars to debut this Fall a 12-string AS73. But it's not available in this region, sadly.

Recent acquisition (CDs)

Recent CDs purchased from INOKII:
  • Kiko Loureiro: Sounds of Innocence 
  • Merrimack: The Acausal Mass
Kiko's SOI is brilliant but don't expect anything too refreshing. This guy has the chops & he arpeggiated his phrases well. I'm not too inclined towards technicalities, really, it's about making an impact & SOI has it.

Well, well, well, Merrimack dropped a notch in terms of tempo here but the remain a foce to be reckoned with in the black metal circle. Yes, you'd hear some Watain in there, that's the best parallel I could refer to but the melodies could have been more focused.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ibanez RT

This wonderful guitar is a revived Ibanez RT, it belongs to Mr. Keith. I met him at Beez's recently, the electronics were thoroughly checked, looked into & the unnecessary stickers on the body were removed. All unfinished wood surfaces were reconditioned.

I'd appreciate the RT's resurrection today, this series of guitars sports a different neck profile, closer to the Strat, not as skinny & shred-tastic as the typical RG but still very playable.

Thanks to Mr. Keith for sharing this pic! :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

LTD signatures @ Davis GMC

These LTD signature 7-string models are now available at Davis GMC: Alex Wade signature (top, $1,600 $1,250)/ Ben Savage signature (bottom, $1,800). You know how it is with signature series- top notch QC.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gretsch: G5422TDCG

I was at Swee Lee after work yesterday to try the new Gretsch Electromatic series (made in Korea), I spent the most time with the G5422TDCG. Are you doubting the QC here because it's not the $3K+ Japanese Gretsch you revere? Please save the narrow perspective; the standards are plain to see. The Electromatic series are great mid-price (not entry-level, keep this in mind) guitars to own if you are into the hollow tone- lots of twang without the single coil snap. If you want a good serving of low-end, this is clearly the wrong guitar for that application.

That licensed B60G Bigsby-type bridge is a wobble implement, please do not expect too much in terms of whammy-induced vibrato. I find it more responsive for pitch-raising rather than pitch-lowering. Do you see Filter Tron pickups in there? Do note they are blacktop version, conceived to manifest incredible twang & more punch. However, do consider the drive/ distortion source you would use with this guitar. Some intense/ metal type units are simply unsuitable for it; the tone turns fuzzy at higher settings. You aren't gonna buy this guitar for death metal are you? Then you are using guns to kill mosquitoes.

PS: Thank you- Faizal @ Swee Lee's BB showroom for the assistance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Set-up: Ibanez SR bass

I usually don't do bass, I lack the exposure time to be able to do one well. But after seeing this bass, I know it's a do-able situation:

  • Re-string: 45 - 105 set
  • Re-adjust neck tilt.
  • Re-set action
  • Re-condition fretboard
  • Bridge- not screwed into the body well. Thought someone did a botched job but it's one of the screws there; it's just too rusty so the grip was affected. I don't have spares lying around here but here's a neat trick if you are facing the same situation- try removing as much rust from the culprit screw as possible, a chemical approach is recommended. Swap this screw's position with one from the opposite/ diagonal location.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Poll: Made-in-China Fender

We know where this is going, don't we? When it comes to 'Fender' only an American matters, the rest are second fiddle. But relegating the non-American Fenders to the dumps was a passing phase. The Mexican proved that the 'Fender' monicker is colossal enough to withstand the country of manufacture stigma. The Japanese showed us some resilience in this matter, not too long ago it was the Korean, now we have the Chinese. Players/ buyers value QC more than anything else but when we put them to task by measuring it up against the brand name, some beliefs wavered, the rest still embrace QC. Although the result of this poll isn't quite conclusive but sellers out there would be interested to know the fact that there is a market for Chinese Fenders despite it not being as rooted as the Japanese take. On a personal note, I've tried those Chinese Fender guitars & basses recently- not bad at all. But one thing is for sure; when it comes to non-American Fenders, it's a dichotomized embrace.

Screws issue... or is it? (RG3XXV)

In the midst of replacing my RG3XXV's default 5-way selector with a 3-way version, there was a problem screwing the new unit to the guitar. Upon probing into the rear cavity, it's discovered that the body surface at that area wasn't leveled accordingly; so one of the screws could very well fit into the cavity & into the switch's housing but the other couldn't due to excess wood there. The default selector screws were long enough so there wasn't such an issue until this mod took place. Beez had some replacement screws lying around so the matter was settled in no time.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Set-up: Ibanez MTM 2

Did a set-up for this Ibanez MTM2, some other stuff done:
  • Set up for a Drop C tuning- Low E string is a .052 to counter the slack from the detune, so the action had to be revised (current tuning E-B-G-D-A-C, high to low)
  • Truss rod adjustment to reduce neck's bow
  • Re-conditioned fretboard
  • Re-positioned bridge- one side of it was sitting way off the body
This was a rather quick job, the guitar in question here sports a fixed bridge so the drop C adaptation was a breeze.

Ibanez: RG3XXV... mods

Was at Beez's yesterday, had the push-pull coil split done in my Ibanez RG3XXV.

More importantly, Beez helped me re-organize the mess in the cavity & covered all bare wires. If you read in other forums, the down factor (in terms of QC) for this guitar is that the tech over at the factory left bare wires unattended to. I have no idea if doing so saved the manufacturer a significant amount of money at the end of it all *sigh*. Also had the orange cap installed, barely visible in the above pic.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nitrous LP

OK, so this is the latest from Gibson- their Nitrous Les Paul Studio. Any special features highlight? None (you were expecting something, seriously?). The primary talking point is of course the instrument's more metallic & outgoing finish. Also, Gibson decided to non-maple-ized the fretboard, opting for Granadillo this time- it's a good rosewood substitute, in terms of tonal properties.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sold: Killer Ant stack (1W)

Greetings everyone :-) I have some amplifier revision in the works, I am clearing away my Black Heart Killer Ant stack. Don't let the 'stack' overwhelm you, it's a mere 1W amp, strictly clean channel only, featuring a solitary volume knob- that's it. There's nothing wrong with the amp (duh!), in fact, it's in mint condition. The picture above shows how big the stack is, in perspective (compared to the 'standard' half stack like the Marshall there). Remember, it's the whole stack, I'm not selling the head/ cab individually). My Malaysian friends, you know what to do if you are interested, yes?
  • Selling: Black Heart Killer Ant stack (all tube 1W head + 1x12" cab- Eminence driver)
  • Condition: 9/10
  • No box provided
  • No reservations/ No trades
  • Strictly self-collect (collection addr to be disclosd upon confirmation)
  • Further queries/ confirmation:
  • Final price: $350/ RM874
APOLOGIES: No testing... so sorry.

You will be ignored if you ask the following questions:
  • Is the amp working?
  • Any last price?
  • Why are you selling it off?
Amp SOLD as at 11 Oct 2012- thanks to all interested parties

SNARK- Pedal tuner

Had been using my new SNARK pedal tuner (SN 10) a lot lately. The SNARK name simply conjures this nifty & fast response reputation to mind. But I (sincerely) thought the clip-on version was faster but this isn't a second-rated performance- of course not. The display is just very bright, this is a spill-over reputation from the clip-on counterpart; it doesn't wimp out when it comes to notes display. The on-off button is also click-free so it's a silence performance if you intend to line it up for recording purposes. However, despite it's adorable dimensions, the pedal is not a light unit; it's slightly heavier than the KORG Pitch Black pedal I own.

This is how the pedal's innards look like for interested parties. The SN10 is available at Davis GMC, listing for $45.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Set up: Ibanez SR bass

This is an Ibanez SR bass, passed to me for some looking into. The primary instruction was to address the default action which was a little too high, made playing difficult. My first diagnosis- the bass sports the wrong neck tilt. Upon removal, the neck had a shim to address this concern, I had no idea if it was factory-default or inserted by the previous owner.

Since this was insufficient to address the situation, the neck pocket in the body was shimmed as well.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Batman- The Dark Knight Returns (1)

I remember I was still in school when I got this comic- Batman Returns. It came in 4 episodes, so I bought all 4 & subsequently sold them off after reading because the Batman in this interpretation was a senior figure who puffed & panted along the way. I wasn't into that kind of hero but the plot was awesome, to say the least. A futuristic setting & final showdown between the all-powerful Superman & the powerless Batman. But the earthling came out victorious, the Kryptonian should have known better; Batman always has a plan because he knows he has nothing in terms of extraordinary strength. 

Anyway, I was moved to buy the animated interpretation of this comic because it came to me that I am quickly heading into senior citizenship. According to human geography, I am past the mid-way mark of the average life expectancy here (in this country). When you age, whatever extras you have in you (strength, wisdom, mobility, etc...) will be eclipsed by degeneration. The fact that the aging Bruce Wayne had to come out of retirement & fight his incapacity to answer a calling speaks a lot about the human will. I am trying to muster enough courage now to answer a personal calling- to leave this profession & move on.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Set-up Jackson: PS-37

My recent set-up/ re-string adventure: Jackson PS-37
  • Re-shimmed neck pocket
  • Straightened neck
  • Re-moisturized fretboard
  • Rear springs- recalibrated
  • Re-string: SIT Steels .009 set
On-the-spot affair, as depicted above, work done at void deck.

 Guitar in question is a proven workhorse, scratches & dings but still very playable. So to brother Jeff- hope you like the revival.

Jackson: Pro series

Jackson has some new models under the Pro Series offerings, the Dinky you see above is a selection from that camp. Looks totally enticing, but I don't need another Floyd-equipped model.

DM Helix: 3 weeks later...

Dean Markley's Helix strings- it's been 3 weeks & they are still holding out. Some parts are beginning to look stained (llain strings, mostly) but no rust detected. A friend of mine tried them the other day, according to him, the wound strings, due to the compressed winding technology, makes them feel smoother. So is this a good or bad thing? Good if you have this need for constant movements. Bad if you tend to peddle some bass notes & you want a firm grip there, it feels 'slippery' but it's not excessively so, of course.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Spares poll

Thanks everyone for taking part in this poll. We indeed need a spares specialist of sorts but this business per se isn't as enticing as having the instruments in store as well. This is the reason why the instrument stores here double up as spares dealer. But you'd agree that for many of us, getting the spares for our instruments isn't easy. Most of the time, we couldn't get what we want & bringing them in from overseas sources wouldn't guarantee the procurement of the correct items.

Steve Vai: The Story of Light

This is Steve Vai's latest release, The Story of Light. What do you expect from Commander Vai's album- loads of guitar? They're here alright but this is NOT Passion & Warfare, mid you. It's a celestial journey through music wonderland perhaps one inhibited by Alice & company.

Because this is my personal reflections on The Story of Light, I must say that it's the least likable Vai offering in my collection. I have this uploaded in my phone but have deleted all vocal tracks- I'm just just not into them. The remaining instrumental tracks aren't exactly what I had hoped for either, I understand Vai has this musical emphasis over his songs but they are somewhat unappealing to me this time round but hey, who am I to tell Mr. Steve Vai what to do. 

There is a strong parallel between TSOL & Vai's Ultra Zone, I find the latter more tasteful in terms of guitars, maybe it was intentionally dished out that way, lots of guitars with numbered eccentricity but this one's just off-focus. The guitars tones here are also very fuzzy, a departure form Passion & Warfare.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

EHX: Tone Tattoo

EHX’s Tone Tattoo is essentially a very fundamental multi-effects unit. Unlike its counterparts, the TT is an analogue gadget. It’s a combination of the Metal Muff (distortion), Nano Clone (chorus) & Memory Boy (delay). If you’ve tried these pedals individually, you know what to expect but the fact that they are all fused in this single unit, the sum of their performances is a wonderful experience, to say the least.

The Metal Muff component- well you’ve heard that before- but the noise gate addition is a thoughtful feature especially so when the high gain settings are combined with the delay’s gain output. What? Did I say gain from the delay? You bet I did. Hence this presents itself to be a different distortion experience compared to the Muff in isolated use. The Nano Clone has 2 channels despite the 1-knob affair; you get a mild or deep chorus to work with, both sound commanding with clean & driven tones. Moving on to the delay module- this gets a thumbs-up from me. I could easily dial up a slap-back, ping-pong & modern-type delay just by messing with the DELAY knob. The blend there is virtually the volume of the delayed output, how loud it is at the background- up to you to decide.

I’d recommend this to beginners who are too clouded by the excessive features of other multi-effects units out there, the TT helps you settle down by presenting to you the essentials, nothing excessive. I believe if you are starting out, you need to be acquainted with these 3 basic effects units- drive/ modulation/ delay which are what this pedal offers. Absolute top marks for ease-of-use. But seasoned players might like if for its no-frills affair, adding to that, all the warm analog voicings on board.

Price: $250 (Davis GMC)

PDSM in Singapore

If you are interested in this show, tickets areavaiable @ INOKII. How do you get to the store? Here: CLICK