You might have seen a similar set up to the one depicted above; guitar- pedal- pocket/ desk top amp. I'm an advocate of simple set ups especially when focus is the order of the day, not a flashy display of possession. Despite the fundamental line up of gear here, it's actually a display of discrete quality & certainly not a boutique affair:
- LTD ST-213 I refer to my LTD instruments as 'LTD' & not ESP LTD because it's not an ESP to begin with. No doubt, the LTD label is a sub company of the ESP name, I do not wish to ride on the safety of a higher brand name & let the reference be; it is as it should be referred to, not something else. With that said, I am totally happy with the Series 200 LTD instruments & it's unfortunate that the manufacturer had decided to do away with these models early this year. Unfortunate because the ST-213 is a quality instrument from head to toe, much overlooked by people who are too busy chasing after a Fender-backed alternative when hunting for instruments in this price bracket.
- Tesla Plasma 1 Tesla is one of Korea's pride & joy in terms of quality manufacturing. Despite the different ingredients used for pickup concoction unlike its American counterparts, this brand name still deliver the goods. Totally happy with these pickups in this guitar.
- Graphtech Tusq I'm totally happy with Graphtech products as well, the Tusq range included. They are affordable. They are reliable. They are fuss-free. The reason why I have them here- to replace the default set of vintage-type saddles with protruding screws that kept jabbing my hand. While at it, why not invest in something with a little extra in terms of delivery? So, there.
- Amphenol plugs Beez introduced me to this brand of cable plugs when he was still operating at Roxy Square. I remember bringing him a crackling cable for a re-solder job. The soldering came off at the plug end simply because the default rubber/ plastic plugs were not meant to last. He mentioned the Amphenol brand as a personal recommendation & I gave it a try. They lasted till today. Eight years & counting.
- CMATmods I first bought a CMATmods pedal from SV Guitars at its Marsiling branch. I don't look up to boutique brand names because they are costly. Not all boutique pedals out there are pleasant sounding in terms of tones, the cost to satisfaction ratio is bordering on the ridiculous. The availability of affordable alternatives just proves the fact that boutique brand names are selling you subjectivity more than anything else. However, the CMATmods people know what they are doing & they don't promise you something they can't deliver. I own three CMATmods pedals in the mean time, the Brownie here is one of them.
- Blackstar I must say the Blackstar brand had gained positive momentum over the years not just based on reputation per se but on delivery. I will give my backing to their non-digital amps any time & these amps are worthy drive-wise as well as cleans. The FLY 3 desk top amp here is in my opinion, a break through; something this small yet pleasant sounding for a quick grab-&-play application. Highly recommended.