Thursday, January 31, 2013

Edwards: E-SG-90LT2/P

Edward's 2013 maiden offering; the E-SG models, offered in red & white. Darn, they look good! Those are Duncan's SP90s in there, I know how good they sound. Tempting, tempting...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ibanez: TAM100

Here's an official look at Tosin Abasi's signature 8-string; I am both attracted & repelled by it (honest truth). I know the FX Edge III is a good bridge (em, what's not to like about a bridge that doesn't wobble, he he...) & it deserves to be there. Well, the fact that it's there implies Mr. Abasi's preference for it. Also like the fact the pickups are passives & the body remains to be a basswood make.

However the gold hardware is kinda out of place... The finish is acquired taste as well, I'd rather it sports the natural basswood finish because that's what you'd see on the flip side.

But, hey- it's a signature preference, who are we to argue?

Ibanez: RG460

Glad to see this addition to the Ibanez 2013 fold; the SynchroniZR bridge is not exclusive to Prestige models any more. I have a preference for this 'simplified' version of the ZR as it is proof that the feature can go the ergonomic way without performance compromise. Thumbs up.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jackson: Pro DK2HT

OK, enough Ibanez shenanigans, here's a looker- Jackson's new Pro DK2HT featuring a Duncan JB/'59 pairing. I always believe that mindful manufacturers would somehow include that one or two less excessive models for those who wish to keep things simple. This new Pro Dinky is a simple model but it looks yummy nevertheless.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ibanez: RGR520

Ibanez's RGR520D is one of the new models offered this year. While I salute the manufacturer's inclusion of a Seymour Duncan set (JB/'59), it's a little baffling to see the Edge Pro bridge still marking its presence. I've nothing against this bridge, in fact, I revere it for its ability to include the strings' ball end while still being a locking unit. The Edge Pro definitely sits above the EZ-II in terms of performance, in my books.

What's that? There's too much Ibanez coverage here? Well, I've pretty much covered what Gibson has to offer this 2013 at the twilight if 2012, the Fender offerings are largely above mid-price & the ones more accessible to the man on the street (OK, ladies as well) are largely unconfirmed (applicable to this country) in terms availability here. I'm still waiting what the ESP chaps have to offer in addition to the LTD Elites but I know there are more good things from them at the tail end of the season :-)

JEM 7 (2013)

It's the new Ibanez JEM, this one. At a single glance, it's something that's done before but after counting the strings, you know it's a new one for 2013. Let us not kid ourselves in the understanding why the Lo-Pro Edge bridge was included. Also, the pickups there are DiMarzio's Blaze models, the very ones used in the new Premium Universe model.

Analog echo

This is an exciting release by Ibanez this year, an analog delay unit. I'm not a delay fan but I might just consider this pedal for days when I'm bored. More importantly, this pedal incorporates features which aren't delay per se, hopefully it'll precipitate some creativity.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ibanez 2013: Satch goes premium

These are the new Ibanez Satriani models for this 2013, please note that the JS2410 will only debut at the end of the first 2013 quarter- Spring time. We now have Premium manifestations of the Vai/ Timmons/ Satriani models. I'd say it's a wise move because it's a more worthy cause investing in them as opposed to some 'Jr' models that we've come across before where there were compromises in features in the name of cost-cutting.

Gibson: Les Paul Jr Special (3)

Well, what do we have here? Another Gibson anomaly? That's right, you are looking at the control cavity screw shaft. It wasn't drilled down but diagonally hence penetrating the side wall. Nothing was done about it & the guitar went on for sale. I'm still referring to my Gibson Les Paul Jr Special & it seems that there is a possibility of discovering a new oversight every time I take a closer look at this instrument.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gibson: Les Paul Jr Special (2)

Some friends looked at my previous Les Paul Jr Special strap button pic & wondered what was actually wrong. I believe this would show you why the strap button on the right is a defect; a properly installed strap button should have some leeway for the strap material like the one on the left. These buttons are from the same guitar, one at the neck vicinity (L), the other at the tail end (R).

As my guitar isn't a priceless vintage make & it wasn't destroyed by any airline baggage handling staff, I don't think I deserve any special treatments, right?

Wanna read article? CLICK

Ibanez 2013: The Iceman cometh

How's everyone's Saturday coming along? My Saturday is good (thusfar) with the knowledge that Ibanez still has the Iceman in production this year. It marks the return of its original headstock seen here & block inlays.

It's still offered in 2 finishes; black/ white. However, it now sports the Gibraltar bridge as seen here. Is this in any way inferior to its predecessor sporting a string-through body feature? You'd do well by asking why the typical Les Paul sounds very intriguing & it doesn't sport a string-through body implement. Ditto sustain.

Also new this year, the Iceman in a 7-string incarnation. This is on my want list :-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ibanez 2013: Proto 9

This is the talk of NAMM 2013- an Ibanez 9-string! But hold on, folks... it's only a prototype.

Button issue

Let's get this straight; this isn't a campaign to bring down any manufacturer brand name but it's a necessary highlight. At the end of it all, I'm alright with the anomaly as I value the instrument in whole more than the fault in part.

My recently received Gibson Les Paul Jr Special is an impressive guitar but one of its strap buttons seems to be the blight to perfection. As you can see here, the button caved into its cavity rendering it useless as hardly any strap material could reside in that space. But hey, this is easily fixed- just replace this puny button with a larger counterpart, especially one with a bigger screw diameter. No sweat.

But the real issue here is, how did this accident get past the Gibson QC chaps? We could all agree to the fact that a name like 'Gibson' would have paid more attention in this department, we all have very high expectations from Gibson, don't we? Maybe models in a certain offering don't get that much scrutiny in terms of QC, hope it's not the case with Gibson.

New Bosses

We see new Bosses this year namely in the distortion & modulation departments, certainly not the one in the office telling you what to do, when to do it & who to do it with... he he.The common denominator with all the 3 pedals you see above is the manufacturer's MDP tecnology- Multidimensional processing. Fundamentally, it means the pedal with the MDP feature processes signals more than once so that the output would bear a steeper accuracy in terms of intention. The extent of this accuracy remains to be heard. The DA-2 for instance, promises the user a more even distortion across frequencies. The MO-2 is a synth-type responder & the TE-2 is delay variation with a freeze function (nothing new, we've heard that from EHX before) in store. Do not expect the trio to be available soon as they will only make their debut at this week's NAMM.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

IQS strings

Trying IQS strings this weekend. Available at TYMC if you are interested.

Gibson: Les Paul Junior Special

The other Gibson in one of those boxes is my Les Paul Jr Special, humbucker version. I would say it's one of the least attractive Les Pauls in the manufacturer's catalog with no additional cap for the body & sporting a flat make. However, the neck binding there is a welcomed opulence; it's a bonus of sorts but this didn't make this guitar an upper tier consideration.

OK so those 490R/498T are very vintage inclined. If you wish for some warm crunch in the drive settings as well as a creamy, rounded neck voicing, these humbuckers are appealing. For someone like me, these pickups have to go, they are respectable but not my thing.

Be informed that the fretboard here is still the manufacturer's 'baked maple' version (since it's a 2012 model) which I do not mind at all. I have no particular reverence for a rosewood fretboard when it comes to Les Pauls (yes, it's sacrilegious), I'm game as long as it's superb in its entirety.

So there we have it, a new guitar for 2013. It's arguably a plain, boring Gibson but I'm one who tread the path of less appeal. At the end of the day, it's about ear candy & feel, aesthetics is an extravagant subject over a cup of tea.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I'm looking forward to try the new set of D'Addarios called the 'balanced tension'- as soon as they get here, of course (that would be post-NAMM). Look at the gauges used in the balanced set, majority of them are thinner & require some getting used to. So what we have here are 2 factors that affect feel:

  1. String tension
  2. String gauge
We could say that in terms of preference, one of the feel factors would determine our embrace of the new set. But let's not be too dismissive/ judgmental before trying them out.

Happy mid-week, everyone.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gibson SG lefty

One of the contents in the 2 boxes you see previously- a lefty Gibson SG, not mine. By the time you read this, it would already be in the hands of its rightful owner, brother Zahid. I believe he received a good one, meaning- this guitar = flawless, action was fantastic out of the box & the neck was ramrod straight (remember, straight doesn't equal good). My job was to do a secondary inspection, no further tweaking needed. 


Received last night. In good order, of course. Gotta give it to those DHL chaps, their work commitment is tops!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gibson 2013: Les Paul Standard bass

We love the Gibson Les Paul, even dweebs like me own one (after knowing it has no specific returns in terms of personal pleasure- we buy for the signature tone). However, are we that enthusiastic when it comes to the LP bass? This here, is the Les Paul Standard bass, conceived like its guitar counterpart; chambered body, same profiled neck- the works.

If you compare this year's version to its predecessor, you'd notice the bridge & headstock revisions.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Schecter 2013: Sixx

Schecter has a Nikki Sixx bass in its 2013 line-up. Looks simple & sleek. The body outline isn't that refreshing- that's right, it's Thunderbird-esque. It's quite a struggle to reach those 20+ frets, if only it has a cutaway there... What's that? He doesn't go that far up? Oh...

The yellow fellow (4)

After the finish make-over, I still kept the booster unit in tact. I was thinking of doing away with it because it's seldom utilized but it's a default feature which is unique to this guitar so it's for keeps. The split coil switch was also preserved.

However, the default strap button made way for the Planet Waves version. I like how this dig into the slits of my straps, they also complement the use of locking contraptions like this one: CLICK

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Spy experiment in the sun

In support of home-grown music & fellow professionals- catch The Great Spy Experiment's 'In The Sun' on local radio 98.7FM, Monday, 21st January 2013, after 9.00AM. Come on people, set your schedule alarm :-)

The yellow fellow (3)

It's pre-breakfast hours for many of us but I've just played my Jackson DKMGT. Someone wants to see the rear of this guitar so here it is. The stickers there are not my doing, of course.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fender 2013: Pawn Shop Mustang

How can I not like the Mustang bass? I own one, it's a shorter-scaled unit (30") so it's a likable bass for guitar dweebs like me. This 2013, the Mustang bass is still a Japanese make but it features a humbucker so it's something I am considering. I was gonna go with a full scale bass this year because I don't own any of such basses in the mean time. The last good one had a history with my dad but I'm trying to forget that episode... sheesh.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Billy goes pedal-ing

Here's a new one by EBS- it's a signature Billy Sheehan bass pedal, it's a drive unit with on-board compressor feature. There's a loop access there, that's the plus.

Aria strings

Aria strings are clearing at Davis GMC for less than $5. So cheap = bad, right? That's always the case isn't it? It's the case for people who don't bother to try, that's how it is. This set wasn't conceived with extras- coatings or cryo treatment; you won't find it here but it's a good set of strings, nothing repulsive.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Schecter 2013: The screaming demon

I like what I'm seeing from Schecter's 2013 range. This Banshee here is one of them- the works! Looks to be a promising shred machine (but we know it's more than just shred) with a pair of Duncan's JB/'59 & a Series 1000 Floyd Rose bridge. Thumbs up!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

TC Electronics: Economy looping

I want this one. Really. Here's why:
  • It's a true bypass unit
  • It loops & nothing else. I really don't need anything other than a looping feature in a loop pedal. So this is a no-frills unit, it'll serve my needs
  • It's small. The economical dimensions mean it won't take up prime space at the pedal board or in my guitar bag should I need to bring it out & about
  • Price? Bet you it won't be as excessive as any other quasi-boutique units out there offering a fundamental function

Schecter 2013: Raise hell and be heard

Schecter is now in the amp market with their Hellraiser 100 to debut at NAMM '13. This amp is offered both in the head & combo formats. What's the diff between this one & the rest, you ask? The manufacturer has this 'FOCUS' control to voice the amp for lower tunings, namely addressing your 7 & 8-string needs very much complementing the Schecter guitars of that description. The combo version features a pair of 12" Celestion V-30s so you know there's no compromise in features. Nice. Nicer if it's made available here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Schecter 2013: Hellraiser 006

This is great- Schecter had brought the 006 design back, this time as the Hellraiser 006. I was hoping it would make a comeback in this post : CLICK. Now that it's revived, maybe I should do something about it. Hmm...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Epiphone 2013: Hi ho silver!

Epiphone fans can now look forward to some mono chromatic attractions, I'm referring to the manufacturer's new TV Silver collection. These are fundamentally standard issue instruments finished in- you guessed it- silver. They're limited edition so: 1) They might not make it here, if you see them available online at your disposal- grab 'em 2) Prices might be slightly above the standard models.

PS: I'm leaving the 'brand acquisition poll' (Look: left column. Can't see it? Because you are reading the mobile version of this blog) active till after NAMM 2013 is over; you might just change your mind after reading breaking news :-)

The yellow fellow (2)

This was what happened to my Jackson DKMGT- cracks aplenty. It started with the ferrules at the tune-o-matic type bridge which contained the action adjustment studs. I couldn't raise the studs there due to extreme corrosion so out came a pair of pliers. The idea was to yank the studs out but it snapped, the pliers fell onto the body & dented it. Damage done, so I went for broke & chiseled out the bridge studs ferrules & that resulted in cracks similar to the ones you see above. However, the ones shown here are the string ball-end ferrules located at the body's flip-side. Those were showing signs of corrosion as well so out they went. I would've shown the broken stud piece here but that was thrown out of the window out of sheer frustration.

But everything's cured as seen above; all cracks were filled, leveled & the surface finished professionally.

Ditto the front side- restored to its glorious state. I had this done at a car garage- yes, you read that right, car garage. All the instrument shops & chaps doing air-brush restoration gave me unappealing quotes, the winner came from a friend who showed me his refinished guitar body & I was impressed with the workmanship- beyond my expectations for a non-instrument business entity but if you are professional, the subject doesn't matter.

Bro Fabian- kudos!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The yellow fellow (1)

This isn't a fresh catch, it's my Jackson DKMGT.

This isn't a new guitar either, it's the above DKMGT now in yellow. It was re-finished last year, towards the close of 2012 but was missing some spares. It's now completely revived a deserve a shot. What made me re-finish this one? To be cont'd...

Fender 2013: Super-sonic

Flashback '90s- Squier has this Super-sonic model in the Vista Series of instruments. That's right, it's based on a reverse Jaguar model with a modified cutaway to ensure the upper frets are accessible at the treble side.

Some 20 years later, the Super-sonic reappears in Fender's Pawn Shop range (new 2013). Evidently, they dug up & re-hashed the Squier design with a significant slant for the neck humbucker. I actually want one :-)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fender 2013: Select series

Fender's Select quintet for 2013, these are upper tier offerings so don't expect anything wallet-friendly.

Ibanez 2013: S8

Another attention grabbing release by Ibanez this year & it comes in the form of an 8-string model: S8. This isn't just another 8-string showcase, the bridge in there is a refined Gibraltar model. The current Gibraltar Standard bridge received negative feedback with regards to the depth of the item per se. Players are saying that the edges of the GS could be trimmed so it would feel more like a standard fixed bridge; if you own the first generation RG321, that bridge in there would be a good example. It's a gorgeous model, it's not a Prestige model so look forward to a very Standard-like price tag.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hamer guitars to close down

Hamer guitars will cease operations after 37 years of presence. Fender owns the Hamer brand name after its purchase from Kaman in 2007. The parent company cited declining sales as the cause.

My exposure to Hamer guitars was largely attributable to Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel) & Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick). Hamer guitars are available at City Music & I've played them to test the feel & tone which aren't too detached from the other guitar brands out there. The range available here are also limited & largely consist of the affordable models. This is the predicament of having a giant parent company overseeing the operations of small time players; they need the leverage but at the same time, are at the mercy of being axed at the first considerations should sales go wayward.