Saturday, August 31, 2013

Selling: Douglas (by Agile) Grendel 725

I have a 7-string coming in so this one's up for grabs :-) It's about 2 months old, bag included.
  • Selling: Douglas (by Agile) Grendel 725 (7-string, 25.5" scale length)
  • Condition: 9/10
  • Pickups: TESLA Plasma 7-1 in both positions
  • Push-pull coil split (tone knob)
  • Capacitor: Sprague Orange Drop
  • No reservations/ No trades
  • Queries/ confirmation:
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station/ Sengkang mrt station (after 8.00PM)
  • Price: $399 (final)

Project subtraction (3)

This plank of wood serves as a filler/ insert provider. Of course, there is a need to saw the correct bits sizes. I've not used my hand saw for a long time but it's still good as ever.

The first bit were pasted here to block the 5-way selector slot.

This is how it looks like in front. The purpose of this is the provision of a base to hold the wood filler.

The S570 neck pickup pocket has a missing cavity wall since Ibanez revised the S-Series to hold a 24-fret neck. I plugged it with wooden pieces & the excess depth filled up with wood filler.

This is how it looks like with both cavities filled up. It need not be a neat job, the re-finish process will see the surface leveled & buffered. So everything looks good & on schedule :-)

Friday, August 30, 2013

O'Neill oh yeah...

Can you get reputable ear phones for under $30? Rather tough but the O'Neill here is a fantastic pair for $20 (OK so it's on clearance). No extras in terms of bass/ remote features but fantastic clarity, impressive to say the least. Absolutely thumbs up when it comes to sound isolation- kept the noise out, hear it in action while you are in a moving bus.

Project subtraction (2)

Some stuff to supplement my subtraction process, first up is this wooden plank. Nothing costly, $2.00 at Daiso. Carrot dude not included, of course.

The other is this wood filler. I especially hunted for this one, bought it at Parkway Parade because the other hardware shops elsewhere are offering an alternative which I won't recommend. I hope to complete everything (re-assembly + re-wiring) by Sunday because it's the start of a new month, I need a fresh start to my guitar adventure... em, without spending too much. :-)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Selling: TESLA Plasma 3 humbucker set (SOLD)

Selling: Tesla PLASMA 3 humbuckers (F-Spaced/ Trembucker spacing for bridge model):

  • TESLA Plasma 3 humbuckers (no screws/ springs)
  • Condition: 8.5/10 (rust-free)
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station or Sengkang MRT station after 8.00PM
  • No reservations/ No trades
  • Queries/ confirmation:
  • Price: $39 each or $70 both (final)

Project subtraction

Well this is an Ibanez S570 body. It was an Ibanez S570 body, now that it's stripped off its hardware & electronics, it's not one any more.

OK, you'd say it's still an S570 body due to its pickup cavities & stuff like that but hey, would there be the same number of cavities left once this make-over is done? :-)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hot alternative

I remember myself looking at this pedal not too long ago. I contemplated on buying but it needed its own adapter so if I had bought it back then, I would be using 2 adapters for my effects line-up which is a NO for me. Adapters induce hum especially if you employ high gain in your set up.

But this year, EHX does a reinterpretation of the Hot Tubes, this time in a non-tube format & it accepts the regular power feed from your pedal board's power source. Neat. And it got me thinking again. Hmmm...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fender: MG-77

The new guitar is an animal- Fender's Mustang model, precisely, this is an MG-77. It's on my acquisition list because it features a maple fretboard. Dig out Fender's history & check which other Mustang features a maple 'board. :-)

Also, it's an ash bodied Fender which I really dig. It does some good to the pickups- '50s Fender... you get the drift.

But this one's different. Never mind the body wood, weight plays a part in it too so you are not gonna hear the good 'ol '50s here. Not quite. The pickups also do not do justice to tone appeal. They are, at best, acceptable & largely to blame for many non-eventful playing time . No Strat twang, no Tele honk but hold it just there- this guitar is neither, it's a Mustang for goodness sake. So how does a signature Mustang tone sound like? That's a tricky one isn't it? The Mustang tone I'm well acquainted with is the Teen Spirit kind but that's a glorious humbucker singing its way through pop-music history, not single coils like the ones here. What's that? Swap pickups, you say?

To be continued...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Selling: Tesla Plasma 1 (middle)

Selling: Tesla single coil for middle position (as indicated on pickup's base plate). Staggered pole pieces for vintage goodness :-)
  • Selling: Tesla Plasma 1 single coil pickup for middle position (staggered pole-pieces)
  • Condition: 8/10 (pole-pieces are rust-free). NOTE: pickup cover is a replacement unit hence no 'TESLA' sticker there
  • No reservations/ no trades
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • Queries/ conformation:
  • Price: $30 (final)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Re-string Sunday: Ibanez RGR08

OK this week, it seems that I hate all guitars with more than one pickups (ha!), or maybe I am on a restrictive journey to manifest creativity. More importantly, I gave my Ibanez RGR08 a re-string, an overdue re-string, in fact.

Previously, I had a set of DR colour coated strings in there which lasted forever so a re-string for this guitar was never on the agenda but those strings aren't really immortal, the colour coat flaked off & those exposed portions rust and they must go.Lots of gunk on my fretboard as well so a little cleaning up should go a long way (to playing enjoyment).

Many of you might not be familiar with the non-round wound strings unless you play bass as well. These are basically windings which are flattened & the immediate effect is that you feel the smoothness upon handling. Jazz dweebs might be having flat-wounds in their guitars which are a more extreme interpretation to this technicality, so they don't feel that gap there between the windings. Any other differences to note? Definitely:
  1. Flat-wound strings aren't as bright-sounding, this is the reason why jazz players love them for their warmth. Engage your neck pickup & you have some of the smoothest, rounded, warm tones out there.
  2. The flatter the winding, the longer your string life. Why? Lesser dirt (or virtually no dirt at all) trapped between the windings.
  3. Not as noisy- obviously due to the flatter surface so you won't hear that noise resulting from dragging your fingertips along the string length.
As for me, I'm taming the active pickup's top end by using a less bright set of strings, maybe this might work for you, no harm trying, yes? :-)

Anyone going to Beez's later?

LTD: Lynchcoustic

George Lynch has a new signature model, this time it's an acoustic- GL-J1ES. Concert-size, soild spruce top & maple sides/back, this should sound good & to top it off aesthetically, look at that bridge :-)

Ibanez: RG2717

New from Ibanez for this fall- RG2717. My kinda guitar: single humbucker/ non-locking hardware/ mahogany body. In the mean time, it's a Japan-only model but we know how these things can be acquired. It seems that all the good stuff are elsewhere but here. Hmm...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sigma: 000M-15

It started out as a promising day but my Thursday took a turn for the turd. So the only consolation for me yesterday was a trip down to 'guitar central' aka Peninsula-Excelsior vicinity in town, to enjoy some eye candy as funds for any more possible gear splurge had all vanished after buying a new TV- yes, the TV broke down yesterday & the situation had to be attended to promptly. Anyway, I managed to try Sigma's 000M-15 seen here at Davis GMC & it was a pleasant episode.

Firstly, it's the price- all the goodness for under $300. OK, so it's devoid of a pre-amp hence the very affordable price tag. Also, it features a solid mahogany top implying the fact that it doesn't take too much to feature a sound top (forgive the pun). 

Secondly, the tone is as warm & sweet as it gets. This is a wonderful mahogany moment, for those of us who are at ease with more lower midrange as opposed to a bright top end.

Thirdly, the overall construction, fit & finish is simply top notch. You'd argue that this is a Martin inheritance but Sigma is now Martin-free; just look at the headstock. Purists would dismiss this as a very impressive copy & it ends there, just a duplicate, a wanna-be which falls short of emulating the real goodness. Buy hey, why are we evaluating a Sigma in light of a Martin? Historical obligations? Why not just accept the fact that this 000M-15 is a wonderful player albeit living in the Martin shadow?

PS: I've been trying out many acoustics lately & the more appealing ones are 100% acoustic, no pre-amp interference. Also, the standard, non-cutaway models are just more impressive in terms of resonance & projection.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why, oh why?

I had a conversation with a friend not too long ago, he was whining about the domestic after-market; how he put up a guitar for sale but attracted no offers at all. It's compounded by the fact that the guitar in question is a 'rare' commodity & souped up with 'upgraded' appointments in terms of hardware & electronics. But my understanding of the situation is this:

  1. Discontinued = rare? I blame Gibson & Fender, mostly. They started this trend but it is a deserving phenomenon- the Fenders & Gibsons of yesterday are indeed tone treasures, worthy of their exorbitant price tags. But people out there have the understanding applied to other brand names which is sadly not that applicable. A discontinued 5-year old Ibanez is worth lesser than a Fender/ Gibson of the same age, fundamentally. It's the power of brand name goodwill (which Gibson is currently extending to other non-guitar products). Yes, discontinued stuff are rare in the current context but it doesn't automatically appreciate in value, this we have to understand. It's all down to demand & supply. Yes, you have a very precious 10-year old Ibanez (no offence, I'm a big Ibanez fan) but are there people out there who wants one (demand) & are you the only dweeb who own it (supply)?
  2. Upgraded features = value appreciation? This is perhaps the one manifesting the most misconception- putting in after-market replacements, especially the branded, big name stuff, won't yield a higher value for your instrument. You can try this with your Gibson/ Fender- 'upgrade' the hardware & see if it attracts buyers- you know what I'm driving at. You'd argue that some appointments really improve the instrument's overall performance (eg: locking tuners for Les Pauls) but this remains subjective as the subsequent owner may/ may not agree with your 'upgrade'. So the moral of the story is, things are best left as they are when you want to sell them off. Putting in 'upgrades' in them is a hit-miss affair in this aspect because you are not the final authority in this price determination, it's a mutual agreement between buyers & sellers.
  3. No deal = blame the market? When it comes to business, everything plays a part. Just because you put up an ad doesn't mean you get offers automatically. Also, there might not be fans of what you are selling here. This brings to mind my encounter with the Gibson nighthawk which is a hit in Europe but not in this part of the world. Selling a Nighthawk here is a great hurdle, never mind if it has that 'Gibson' label there.
Last but not least- it's about the price. Some of us won't budge with our pricing when we know we won't move our products unless we swallow some pride & revise our prices downward. We believe our Fenders & Gibsons should be priced according to our valuation but that's not always the case, yes? Fenders & Gibsons are indeed the benchmark in value retention- this is the reason why they command a good 70% of their original price tag in the after-market & not an immediate appreciation unless it's a special case. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Selling: Ibanez Talman acoustic SOLD

Up for grabs- my Ibanez Talman acoustic-electric guitar. If you are looking for a neck profile of a solidbody electric rather than the traditional beefy type & a deserving performer plugged in. Bag included, of course :-)

  • Selling: Ibanez Talman acoustic
  • Condition: 8.5/10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • No reservation/ No trade
  • Queries/ confirmation:
  • Price: $199 (final)
Guitar SOLD :-) 31 Oct 2013

Selling: RC-50

If you are in need of some serious looping technicalities, this might be of use to you. All queries here, please: Arigato :-)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Everyone gets older, I think I'm realizing this a little later than many people out there. OK maybe it's a perceived realization. Whatever. More importantly, the older I get, the more difficult it is to appease my tone ideals. All this while, I've been working on the notion that saturation is best served with a pinch of drive. Naturally, cascading drive ad nauseam seems to work for me but let's face it, there's more to drive saturation than adding more of the obvious. Going the compressor way is one of them.

Compression, in a layman's nutshell, is the taming of protrusive peaks while beefing up the limp other end. It's putting a stop to whatever excess in your signal which are clearly not useful (like they say, too much of something is bad) & pumping up those which are necessary but not served adequately. This is the reason why you hear the leveling of peaks & thickening of bottom end, so the end product, more often than not, is a smoothing & thickening effect. This is what I hear lately & liking not because it's something revolutionary- it's been there all this while- it's a different approach to what I prefer & it works for me.

So the MXR Super Comp you see here is what I bought recently & I'm applying it in the following context:
  1. Adding it to a mild drive/ distortion pedal
  2. Adding it to an intense drive/ distortion pedal with the gain not at maximum
  3. Adding it to an amp's drive channel at reduced gain/ maximum gain setting
More to this after a more comprehensive application :-)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Maestro Jr: Protege

Here's another travel-size/ Junior-size guitar I truly appreciate- Maestro's Jr Protege. I was recently invited to have a look-see at Maestro's Excelsior branch. The highlight was Maestro's revamped designs across the board (the elbow rest bevel is brilliant!) which are all a put off for me (serious!) because I'm not an acoustic person. However, this is a homage to fine craftsmanship, playability & tone which are totally born & bred in Singapore so it's definitely something to be proud of. They actually made me sit down & try all the different models there representing the different range & price points. 

The Protege you see above hails from a more affordable range which isn't short of quality despite the manufacturer's intention to entice would be buyers, price-wise. The immediate attraction is its neck- incredible feel especially for non-acoustic fans like yours truly who would very much want a sleek feel for those fast moments without sacrificing tone- we all know too well how shred-profiled necks just failed to invoke acoustic warmth.

I'm still in the midst of detailing this guitar as it's not featured in the manufacturer's homepage but I get good product knowledge from the sales people at Maestro & my special thanks to Mr. Saiful for spilling all the specs to me.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Selling: Ibanez V50NJP (SOLD)

Selling away my Ibanez V50NJP acoustic guitar (junior size, please take note). Bag included.
  • Selling: Ibanez V50NJP (junior size, dreadnought type acoustic guitar)
  • Condition: 8/10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • No reservations/ No trade
  • Queries/ confirmation:
  • Price: $59 (final)
Guitar SOLD as at 8.45PM. Thanks for reading :-)

Sigma: TM-15

I'm not an acoustic guitar fan- I find acoustics difficult to play as I am used to the much slimmer solid body electrics. Also, acoustics tend to sound more appealing with higher action which I find detestable but there are some out there which are well-made & sound incredible. The Sigma TM-15 here is not exactly the most enticing guitar for me but I love it for what it is & accept the build quality at this price point. It's a solid top, 23" scale length guitar (travel size, they call it) with a sub-$300 price tag (Davis GMC).

To be continued...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Selling: Guitar body (B-grade) SOLD :-)

I have decided to go the Telecaster way so this blank Strat-type body is up for grabs. It's a B-grade (meaning: NOT a perfect piece but definitely not defective) poplar, very light-weight. Some screw holes had been filled, there are some pencil marks there as well.
  • Selling: Poplar B-grade Strat-type body 
  • Strictly self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • No reservations/ No trades
  • Queries/ reservations:
  • Price: $49

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Selling: Metallica concert tix (SOLD)

No... these are not mine. Here're the details:

  • Section A tix, 1 pair
  • $150 each
  • Text: Mr. Brandon, 98413800

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

ES Studio

Gibson added 2 more models under its 'Studio' moniker. This ES-335 here...

... and the ES-339 (standard tune-o-matic + stop tail instead of the trapeze tailpiece). I like simple, quirky stuff especially from big name manufacturers because they are likely to be unpopular & would undergo some major price slash along the way. Let's see how much this one would go for come December :-)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Squier: Cabronitas

The Cabronita fever has infected the Squier range. If you think the Mexican Cabronitas are still too much to pay for a simple guitar, then these might prove to be a reasonable affair. How much? Non-Bigsby: USD299, Bigsby: USD399

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Selling: CNB guitar bag

I have recently bought a hard case for the guitar kept in this bag so it's now up for sale. It's in mint condition, didn't bring it out of the house, bought it for storage purpose only. This is CNB's top tier model in its gig bag range, the EGB 1600 (check it out: CLICK).
  • Selling: CNB EGB 1600 guitar bag
  • Condition: 8.5/ 10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt station
  • No reservations/ no trades
  • Queries/ confirmation:
  • Price: $65 $45(final)
Thank you for reading :-)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Duncanized: LTD TE-212

My LTD TE-212...

Recent make-over: Seymour Duncan '59 in both neck & bridge positions. The neck humbucker is a used pickup in zebra finish- the reason I covered it up. This added to the black aesthetics of the guitar body. I tried covering the bridge pickup as well but that slot would not accommodate this addition & the fact that it's metal, it would mean much hassle should filing take place.

This exercise is a timely reminder that:
  • lower output pickups could be as menacing as higher output ones in terms of distortion- you just have to know what to use given the guitar's characteristics
  • heavy guitars (weight-wise) do wonders in terms of shaping the lower frequencies. This LTD is one of my heavier guitars & I just went with my gut feelings (which is arguably quite well-honed in terms of the number of guitars I own & the number of pickup swaps done- not showing off but it's a fact...) in terms of which pickups should be in there. I somehow knew it won't benefit from high output models considering the weight & acoustic resonance. 
Thanks Master Beez for the master touches (as always).

Friday, August 9, 2013

Special morning

Managed to squeeze some juice out of my Gibson LP Special before I left the house this morning. I'm definitely not an LP fan but let's not get there. I like this guitar because it's a little wayward compared to its other LP siblings; a flat top LP... that's repulsive if you worship the LP for its aesthetics. 

Also, I have DiMarzios in there instead of retaining the default Gibson humbuckers. I have no obligations to like those so out they went in favour of my preferred substitutes (well, DiMarzios not exactly my cup of tea but I apreciate what they have to offer). More importantly, any guitar I acquire should serve my needs, not comply to the flavour of the moment.

Alright, enjoy the holiday moments & lots of memorable merry-making to those of you heading out for house visits. Me- I'm heading to Beez's :-)

Happy birthday!

It's Singapore's 48th birthday. The primary reason why I enjoy living here is that the guitar stores are within reach (muaha ha ha!!). It's not exactly a stone's throw away but I won't take hours getting there. Will be watching the parade at home later :-)


This is a light make-over...

... the default string retainer replaced with a roller version. For guitars with non-locking appointments, tuning stability could be stabilized if one addresses the instrument's points of contact with the strings, namely the bridge saddles, nut, string retainer & machine heads. In addition to lubricating my string saddles & nut slots, I make it a point to reduce friction at the string retainer so this is a simple improvement that works (for me). Guitar in this pic: LTD TE-212.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eid 2013

It's that time of the year- Eid greetings to all Muslim friends & blog readers, forgive & forget, yes? To rest of you- enjoy the long break :-)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Darn affordable

They've just released the price of the Modern Player Strat HSH: USD399- I definitely want one!


I have this strange attraction to ESP's Ultratone (CLICK) but they did away with it quite recently. However, all's not lost, it is now offered as an Edwards model & it still looks attractive because the design remains in tact, just that label on the headstock that's different. The urge is strong. Hmm...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Selling: Epiphone Les Paul Custom (silverburst)

Epiphone LP Custom for sale- helping a friend clear this instrument (asking: $500 neg).

Further queries- best to talk to owner:

The Russian menace (1)

Maybe I'm a sucker for minor mods but I got excited when TYMC announced they are carrying the Russian K40Y-9 capacitor. That's how big it is compared to a 2mm guitar pick. The K40Y-9 is a highly acclaimed cap amongst audiophiles, they get to hear the performance rather immediately as opposed to us guitar dweebs, a large majority of whom couldn't quite differentiate tonal difference from pickups let alone a capacitor whose good life needs some 'breaking-in' time very much like tubes in amps.

So here it is, the K40Y-9 in my Jackson DK2 orange guitar. I sent this guitar to Beez for a push-pull coil split switch replacement so the opportunity was there to try this cap out.

To be continued...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Swirl it

Not too long ago, Fender dabbled in art- guitar body art, that is. The Standard series Strat has a splatter-type design on the body & this was a limited run. 

This year, the artistic dabbling returns; it's now a swirl body. If you are an Ibanez JEM fan, this isn't new.

Selling: Marshall MG15 MSII ver red (Beez mod) (2)

Remember Beez is clearing his Marshall MG15 MSII (red version)? What's so special about this one, you ask? It's a limited edition run of 25, Beez owns number 10 as seen in the label above. Remember you can check this amp out at Beez's: Excelsior Shopping Center (basement), #B1-34.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The copper kind (2)

This is perhaps my fav Ibanez GIO model. Em, actually, it's the only GIO model left in my possession, the limited release GRGR010LTD. Nothing special, this one, less the fact that it's a single humbucker guitar which Ibanez doesn't do much.

Here it is after the make-over. As mentioned before, the finish is a copper-ish hue which isn't quite apparent in pics. I gave up the pickguard as well, it's a pointless inclusion from the start since the pickup is ring mounted. The guy who did the paint job helped me cover up the screw holes & it was a superb touch-up. Also, since the humbucker is white (Duncan CC), a simple cover helped blend the looks. Ha! :-)

What's the point of spending money on a cheapo? I like my guitars to appeal to me so any money spent on making them look the way I want them to be isn't a wasted effort. All this make-over... it's becoming addictive :-o