Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Budget 7s (Schecter/ Jackson)

Schecter: SGR C7

Jackson JS22-7

We end September with these awesome 7-string guitars. I personally recommend them to you if you wish for one on a budget. The SGR C7 is a basswood make with those gain-friendly Diamond Plus pickups. Equally appealing (pickups-wise) would be Jackson's JS22-7; also a basswood beast with a pair of in-house Jackson HO 7 humbuckers.

Both possess clarity across frequencies with the Jackson edging the Schecter in terms of a top end poke. The SGR on the other hand has a less trebly top end. The marked difference here would be the neck profiles; the SGR would appeal to those wanting a more rounder feel while the Jackson feels significantly flatter & a little wider. Also, if you are more at home with a right hand placement away from the body top (ala Les Paul), the Schecter would be it. All in all, both guitars are highly recommended in terms of QC as well- sturdy without being costly.

Schecter: SGR C7- SGD299 (Davis GMC)
Jackson: JS22-7- SGD309 (Swee Lee Co)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Out to dry

What's this all about? It's one of my guitar bags being hung out to dry. I gave it a good wipe down due to fungal infection. It's not chronic but it's substantial enough to warrant this move. A healthy time in the sun always cures fungal infection. It's a practice shared by my friend & this blog reader, Mr. Steve.

This is the extent I go to oversee a good upkeep of my instruments & accessories. This is proof enough that I take good care of my belongings so if you buy stuff from me, rest assured, they have been in my good hands.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My ratings

I've been selling things away recently & people are wondering what makes me label my item 8/10 for instance, because when they see what I have in store for them, it could've easily been a 10/10. So here's what I have to say:

Despite being the initial owner, I won't rate my stuff 10/10 for a simple reason; my item bears a pre-owned status. Suppose I have tested it at the store but have kept it aside & unplayed even at home, then I decided to sell it away for some reason, it gets a 9.5/10 rating at most. I have handled the product & it's downright disrespectful to tag it as a 10/10.

If I have treated an item in terms of maintenance & parts replacement, I'd move into an 8/10 or 8.5/10 rating. Along the way, these instruments received much handling, there might be scratches/ dents which are undiscovered despite due diligence. I don't believe the fact that just because some well-known or reputable parts made their way into my instruments, it would alleviate my item into a 'better' status- no. Parts swapping or 'upgrading' as it's referred to loosely, do not imply an upward value of the instrument. The final value of it belongs to the buyer. He/ she might not like what I have done to my instrument, maybe he/ she prefers it in an all-original condition instead so that's how I see things. This is true with names like Fender/ Gibson because the after market prefers untouched Strats/ Les Pauls- dirt, grime, dings & all. 

Finally, a 7 or 7.5/10 rating means the item has an anomaly: Dysfunctional pots, missing pickups, cracked pickguard, dents, stuff like that. In any case, it won't render the instrument defective, it just needs some attention & involves some spending on your part- just like a car sold with worn tires or seasoned upholstery. I won't rate anything below the above-mentioned conditions. I personally feel that such items should be considered/ viewed on a personal, case-by-case basis. It usually involves many pictures exchange over e-mail/ text messages over conditional agreements.

I keep all buy-sell e-mails in tact, I screen capture stuff as well. Maybe one of these days, I should list them all down, especially all the low-ball, below the belt offers which are downright juvenile & disrespectful. It's utterly rotten to appraise myself as being too kind to others because that's what I become once a deal goes through, I respect the buyer's decision to part with his/her cash for my items. More often than not, I would offer an alternative meeting point to the buyers' convenience (less those monstrous items like amps for instance)- it's my way of seeing the deal through pleasantly, my indirect way of saying thanks to the buyers. I have ever travelled to Sengkang to deliver a $30 pickup before & it took me at least an hour to get there- all for $30, you think it's worth the sweat, crowd & untimely buyer arrival?

In any case, my ratings are my personal references. It's not marked against any other standards of evaluation but my own. I hope I have put smiles on you faces after you bought stuff from me, otherwise, please let me know :-)

Selling: Ibanez GARTB20 (SOLD)

Saying goodbye to my GARTB...

Bought as a back-up, served its time well. Just had a fresh set of strings in there :-)
  • Selling: Ibanez GARTB20 bass (30.3")
  • Bag included
  • Condition: 8/10
  • No reservations/ trades
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt stn
  • Queries/ confirmation: subversion.sg@gmail.com
  • Price: $155 (final)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Merrow 6

There is a sizable Schecter Keith Merrow 7 fans out there & it only makes sense that the manufacturer has the 6-string version for the taking. It's every bit a KM model but the Seymour Duncan Black Winter humbuckers in there will feature black pole pieces- if that's not metal enough for you...

Friday, September 26, 2014


I must say this is rather irresistible :-) Unboxing soon...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Selling: ENO TC-16 Trouble Over Drive

It's the mini pedal type, only works with adapter :-)

  • Selling: ENO TC-16 Trouble Over Drive
  • Condition: 9/10 (box included)
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt stn
  • Confirmation/ queries: subversion.sg@gmail.com
  • No reservations/ trades
  • Price: $49 (final)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kaoss brothers

These Ibanez Kaoss padd equipped instruments debuted back in Winter NAMM '14, they are now official production models. If you wish for some alien blips & blurps, these are the way to go. Was featured here: CLICK

Monday, September 22, 2014

Electro Harmonix: Turnip Greens

It's new but not new. New- because it's not been done before by EHX. Not new- because the Soul Food overdrive & Holy Grail pedals can be purchased separately. Before you jump on this one, ask yourselves if you need reverb. That reverb control in your amp- are you fond of it? Ever used it at all? Why are some big names in amps do not feature a reverb function? I'm not down-playing the usefulness of a reverb but it's acquired taste. Nevertheless, the pairing featured here is attractive if you keep an open mind how depth adds value to your tone.I'll be checking this one out to understand why EHX decided on this twinning, it can't quite possibly be a random production, yes?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nachtmystium: The World We Left Behind

This is Blake Judd's farewell gift to the world. To begin with, I'd say it's a deserving conclusion. After his latest conviction, he's spending time with family. On a personal note, this implies the coming of age- when you hit rock bottom in life, family time is the way to go. 

I'm not one to glorify substance abuse & hedonism but The World We Left Behind is, upon close listening, a reflection of an individual's life journey; an an honest account quite devoid of material worship. I was expecting an Instinct: Decay conclusion because The Silencing Machine went that way despite the successful psychedelia of Assasins & Addicts. To put it simply, TWWLB is an intelligent brew of the traditional & psychedelic, perhaps it's Judd's best effort in terms of musicianship. I'm also giving it a thumbs up in terms of production. There is ample gloss to mark quality & that signature lo-fi black metal livery is present but in trickle amounts. While tracks such as Fireheart & Voyager invokes the essence of Darkthrone & Burzum respectively, the rest of TWWLB are Nachtmystium's own. Yes, they sound familiar because they are treading the black metal path, just like jazz album sounding jazzy- there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

It is fair to hope that Blake Judd would muster enough sense along the way to revive Nachtmystium should the situations permit. I consider them to be an essential USBM establishment, people with enough courage to look away from the hype while dwelling on grounds that do not pave way for fertile development.

Selling: Pearl Fun box (junior size cajon) SOLD :-)

Clearing percussion, this is one of them:
  • Selling: Pearl Fun Box (Jr size cajon)
  • No bag
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt stn
  • No reservations/ trades
  • Queries/ confirmation: subversion.sg@gmail.com
  • Condition: 8/10
  • Price: $69 (final)
Thanks :-)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Selling: ENO TC-31 (Analog Delay) SOLD

Slightly more than a month old, it's a mini pedal so works with an adapter only.
  • Selling: ENO TC-31 (analog delay)
  • Box included)
  • Condition: 9/10
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt stn
  • Confirmation/ queries: subversion.sg@gmail.com
  • Price: $49 (final)
Thanks :-)

Mesa/ Boogie: MARK V 25W

Naturally, if you are a high gain fan, you'd like that crushing drive tones coming from a Mesa Boogie Dual/ Triple rectifier. The amp simply offers another perspective to the ferocious American-type aggression. After a personal audition, the Dual/ Triple rectifiers were more hype than impressive (to me). I wasn't into what these amps had to offer; they sound like something wasn't turned up right, it lacks the terrifying bite of a VHT/ Peavey 5150 (those were the standards back then). Upon close listening, the only Mesa/ Boogie tone I liked was that of John Petrucci's early Dream Theater releases but those were not Dual/ Triple rectifiers doing the job, it's the bigger brother of the amp you see here.

The Mark IV/ V had always been the definitive Mesa Boogie drive tone but it wasn't in the limelight. Everyone who's been with the Mark V kept it their little secret; it's a worthy discovery & shouldn't be something to shout about. The prices were arguably prohibitive anyway. This fall, the Mark V is re-introduced as a little menace (25W + 10W option available) by the manufacturer with some extras to boot. For instance, it has its siblings tone gutters in there to make it a worthy value-for-money purchase- you get the amazing cleans from the Mark IIC as well as the tasty crunch from a Mark IV. The Mark V channel completes the amp in terms of aggression (the most extreme coming from the amp). The key attraction to the 'Mark's is its slider EQ section which was lifted off the bigger brother unadulterated (go ahead & measure the dimensions). Hear this one in action & understand why the Mesa/ Boogie drive is one of the most sought after in terms of amp overdrive:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fender: Classic Player HH Strat

Yet another freshie by Fender: Classic Player HH Strat. It's, em... another Strat but deliciously equipped with a pair of Wide Range humbucker. Pair with that alder body, how would it sound like? Here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


We know that the SE range by PRS is the manufacturer's more affordable take on its USA range. We may adore the PRS guitars out there but ownership will be a hindrance to many of us & it's all about the price. We also know that the SE standard of production is not a compromise by any means. It's not about putting that 'PRS' tag at stake & that's the quality assurance we get which is why getting a PRS SE is a pleasant experience for many of us. The SE range had just seen a mahogany addition, a gorgeous solid top instrument to say the least. We do not quite look up to PRS for a distinguished acoustic experience unlike some Martin, Taylor or Takamine instruments with tremendous history backing them up but I've played some SE acoustics & I must say that the accounts are as intriguing as the solid body counterparts. PRS has joined the mahogany camp so it gives variety to the range & it's a wise move.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Selling: Seymour Duncan Telecaster pickups

Selling these Tele pickups:
  • Left: STR-1 Vintage Rhythm
  • Right: STL-1b Vintage Lead
 Flip-side for your reference.
  • Selling: Seymour Duncan STL-1b/ STR-1 pickups for Telecaster (mounting screws included)
  • Condition: 9/10
  • Selling as a set (individual offers considered)
  • No reservations/ trades
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt stn
  • Queries/ confirmation: subversion.sg@gmail.com
  • Price: $110 (final)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Just admit it (authenticity discussion)

Ladies & gentlemen, the Ibanez Fireman (shown above: FRM100).

Ladies & gentlemen, the Ibanez Fireman, custom version going for an unbelievable price. What's that? You are saying it's fake? Hell, no. It's custom made in Indonesia, it's original. Would you even present a glimmer of belief to this seller?

Just moments ago, I was talking to this seller. As you can see here, despite being firm, I am a nice guy :-) I don't even know him so I wouldn't expose his i/d to you for a simple reason- he's not here to defend himself. Evidently, we can tell it's not an authentic item. The seller insisted otherwise saying it's a custom deal. In my attempt to understand this seller, I would interpret it as such; it was indeed made in the likeness of an established model by an unauthorized individual & not issued or commissioned by the manufacturer. I think that's a fair interpretation to it.

In this day & age, open info enables us to realize this situation. If you are trying to pass off something as authentic, please re-think. Heed the advice of people around you who have your legal interest in mind instead of opposing them as intruders. For goodness sake, it's an open platform!

If you wish to sell pirated products, tell your buyers the nature of your wares. At best, we will leave you alone but it doesn't equal us NOT telling others about you.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ibanez: Artist Genesis

You recall Ibanez had the Genesis models going last year (2013) featuring the RGs? They were basically re-hashed models featuring period-correct features of a particular model, absolutely made in Japan. The extension of that idea is seen here, the Artist/ AR models (T-B):

  • AR1- Flame top + binding
  • AR2- solid finish + binding
  • AR3- solid finish + no binding
Despite the name suggestion, the Artist isn't a signature model. It's one of the more authentic designs of the 70s where Ibanez had their 'lawsuit' models threatening the sale of original Gibson models. The Artist wasn't slated to see through the times because it was only appealing to some players, the rest of whom prefer the set-neck & singlecut popularity of Gibson. In the mean time, the Artists Genesis series are slated for a Japan-only release but with the RG experience in 2013, they made their way to the (selected) Asian markets under an arguably hushed condition. 

On a personal note, I'm glad the Genesis experience wasn't a one-time commercial take. We now know that Ibanez is honouring its past by re-introducing their then popular/ landmark models slowly but surely. Let's hope the range would see those Rocket Roll Vs & Destroyers coming back to life. Not to mention the very much overlooked Radius models. Bring them back, please!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

KORG: Rim & Slim

This is an official release- KORG takes pride in the intro of its Rimpitch, a soundhole mount tuner for acoustic players. It's especially useful for those guitars devoid of electronics.

The Slimpitch here is the other newbie. A seemingly normal tuner with direct tuning capability, a clip-on detection, a plug-in option and...

... it has enough magnetic feature to stick itself onto your music stand! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dawner Prince: Diktator

Only the boutique geeks would know the name Dawner Prince; a small time effects builder from Croatia. This one here doesn't sound serious, compounded by the fact that there's a caricature of a uniformed Diktator there with LED eyes- you'd pass this off as desperation. That prejudice aside, the Diktator delivers overdrive as prescribed- a preamp, an overdrive & a hotter overdrive prescription, I wouldn't deem it as distortion. 
The preamp section is a straight performer; it pumps more volume into the signal, leaving your default tone unscathed so it fulfills its task as a booster. Moving on to the OD section, mess with the EQ & you'd be able to acquire an arguably wide range of tone definition; from very boomy to very prickly. The dark & bright switches messes with the midrange. Once you activate both, you'd understand why the manufacturer thinks there's some distortion mojo taking place. I hear more saturation in the mix, it doesn't quite churn out distortion per se, even when hard clipping is involved- that's when the LED eyes come into action. Yes, intensity increases somewhat but it's nothing too different from what a (Wampler) Dual Fusion or an Alan Holdsworth pedal has to offer (Rockett pedals). With that said, the Diktator is well in the same league as the aforementioned pedals. I hold this one in high regard, the reason I mention it here despite the arguably prohibitive price. You can check it out at Davis GMC.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ibanez: Fan fretting

Ever since Ibanez set up the Bass Workshop series, ideas have been bold & inviting. This fall, the SRF4405 gives us the wonderful fan fret design (the idea here is to keep intonation in check while having the longer scale option for you to consider those detuned stuff) while keeping good tones in tact (Nordstrand pickups). You'd say that this idea isn't new, the boutique basses have been there & done that but the boutique prices would dent your coffers. The SRFF4505 is from the Prestige range but it won't retail for more than a typical boutique bass albeit in the upper price bracket. Let's just hope it gets here, that's more important.

Mayhem: Esoteric Warfare

I've been wanting to talk about this album but I held back. I gave it more listening time to fully appreciate the contents & presentation. Mayhem releases are sublime & largely oblivious to trend & what the world thinks black metal should be.

Before I proceed, this is the currne tMayhem line-up L-R (live guitarist included):
  • Necrobutcher- bass
  • Hellhammer- drums
  • Charles Hedger- live guitars
  • Atilla- Vocals
  • Teloch- guitars
The highlight here would be how Mayhem deals with the departure of guitarist, Blasphemer considering he was the spine of the band, the reason for Mayhem sounding like they are for the past decade or so. It's downright difficult to emulate someone who is equally adept to guitar & song-writing but Teloch was the right pick. A close listen to Esoteric Warfare reveals a proper continuation to the Mayhem legacy, not a departure in terms of music. The music in question is very much where Ordo Ad Chao left off, meaning- Mayhem is oblivious to songwriting structure. The music just kills from the start, it's one huge cloud of sonic assault, speed isn't obligatory but a necessary punctuation most of the time. The other marked talking point here is the drumming. No, Hellhammer didn't forgo his mercenary drumming but you would here some purposeful passages where he took his time to deliver. There is not a trace of De Mysterii... to be discovered, I think we can move on with the band in this aspect. That was a done formula, still potent, but not one to be dwelling in for the sake of being true.

Charles Hedger is an accomplished guitarist. Despite not hearing him in the album, you'd do well to know him by trawling cyberspace. He's a respectable teacher to say the least & it is hoped that he adds much to the current state of Mayhem music as well as doing some for the subsequent album.

Right now, what the world termed as 'Djent' (there is no such thing, really) is taking over the metal scene & the commercial entities behind this propagation are more than happy to see the music through (while it lasts- remember Nu Metal?). Mayhem stays relevant in essence of what black metal is & should be- haunting, apocalyptic rebellion. They are there to mark the existence of a necessary metal spin-off for those who live the music would be around longer to re-tell musical chapters than those who are hitching rides in bandwagons.

Monday, September 8, 2014

CD saving

So you know/ have heard of INOKII record store. This is a spin-off store dealing with the same stuff you've always enjoyed buying- CDs/ Vinyls/ T-shirts/ Concert tickets; they are all now a click away. Do check them out: http://letssavethecd.com/

Electro Harmonix: Nano Looper 360

So going mini with looping technology is the in thing now. Electro-harmonix is running the race, here's the Nano Looper 360. As the name implies, there's 360min worth of total recording time assignable to 11 banks for your recall pleasure. A single footswitch here means it's a record-dub-stop affair, a standard feature in many other looping pedals of this nature. So the manufacturer says it's able to run on a 9V battery but the pedal comes with its own adapter. Something to check out before the year ends, yes?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Selling: Guyatone OD2+

Selling this away: Guyatone OD2+, quite the Tubescreamer competitor as it incorporated a JRC 9449G chip, a good alternative to what the TS9s are featuring. Some scratches here as I used to bring this one out often to guitar stores when trying out instruments/ amps.
  • Selling: Guyatone OD2+ (box included)
  • Condition: 7.5/10
  • No reservations/ trades
  • Self-collect: CCK MRT station
  • E-mail for queries/ confirmation: subversion.sg@gmail.com
  • Price: $69 (final)

Fender: The shorties...

Fender's Modern Player series consist of the manufacturer's modern (sometimes estranged) take on its traditional models. Fender released a trio of short scale models (24" guitar/ 30" bass) in its MP series as seen above. Everything is as Fender as you'd expect but that shorter scale offering. However, we know, Fender has a short scale forte manifested in its Jaguar model & hardly anyone complained (maybe the Strat purists were noisy). That Guild Filtertron-type humbuckers in the guitars are reaosns enough to check the instruments out. As for me, if these ever make their way here, the J-bass would be on my to-check-out list.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Digitech: Jam Man Express XT

The most fundamental of Digitech's Jam Man series- the Jam Man Express XT. I like no-frills looping units, anything more intricate, it has to be on the mixing desk manned by someone else. A simple pedal like this makes the player focus more on the guitar playing, e verything else should supplement, not interfere.

Friday, September 5, 2014


Spent some time with these darlings (L-R):
  1. Seymour Duncan 805 OD
  2. Digitech DOD OD/Preamp 250
  3. Maxxon OD808
There is very little to separate them in terms of fundamentals; all overdrives & we know there's not much intensity to be had here. 

The 805 is a surprise in this aspect for its ability to manifest some proto-intensity with all controls maxed out. There's not much to be had in terms of tone tailoring but the in-your-face drive is there for your considerations. 

The OD250 on the other hand is the senior citizen here, but the fact that it's a repro of its ancestor disqualified it from being one. The GAIN control has some pre-determined EQ as you dial it up. At lower settings, it's a mild dirt with a little hint of touch sensitivity (only when you play loud!). Midway, it's a crunch monster retaining much bottom end inclination. Maxed out, the 250 adds fuzz into the mix & it's rather apparent, please take note. Also, at max gain, you'd hear more top end so the overall voicing is a raspy fuzz-induced drive with lots of top end definition.

The 808 will always be my little darling. It's not quite the Ibanez manifestation albeit the obvious association (& Maxxon manufacturing the Ibanez at a point in history), it's a sweet sounding overdrive with loads of clarity. No midrange bump at upper gain settings but more saturation instead, fantastic for someone with a light touch & need for speed most of the time. The 808 is the most outstanding member used with an already driven amp so that's the reason it's my gem. :-)

Thursday, September 4, 2014


It's BOSS' RC-1, it's the most fundamental in the family & it took them this long to have something like it. But as they say, better late than never. The thing with BOSS, when it comes to a looping unit, they work backwards. Meaning- the more fundamental models came later. 

What's new here? Nothing much, it's really not a fresh intro, a looping pedal has already been done & revisited by many other brand names. You'd do well to check them all out & make do with the one that serves you well. I am kinda looking forward to this one because it does NOT feature a button switch. This rocker type activation is kinder to the foot- try playing barefoot at home with a button-type model (eg: TC Electronics Ditto pedal).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ibanez: AVNK14 price update

As mentioned earlier, the Ibanez AVNK14 is available here for your considerations. How much? SGD1,299...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fender: Black Top Jazzmaster HH (ltd edn)

Another fresh entry by Fender- the HH Jazzmaster from the Black Top series. Despite being limited edition, this is something worthy to check out as it features an alder body; the other HH Jazzmaster is the Moden Player version but that has a mahogany body so it sort of moves away from what a traditional Jazzmaster should be. OK so the humbuckers shouldn't be there at all if 'traditional' is the case. Interesting addition, nevertheless.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The koa camp

Just heard that the Ibanez AVNK14LTD koa model is now available at Swee Lee. I should be checking this out since the AVN standard model is a spruce top take.

Over at the Taylor camp, the GS Mini-E is currently being offered in koa as well (albeit a limited edition offering). 

Martin has its own LXK2 koa baby as well, featuring its own HPL technology.