Sunday, July 31, 2016

Chapman LBX

This morning's EVH 5150 III LBX episode saw my Chapman ML3 churning out some heavy tones. It's due to the guitar's hefty nature; it excels at manifesting low notes to such an extent that I had to lower the LOW setting at the amp (if you could see that) & dial up a little more presence. It's also important to have the 'right' pickups for the job, in this case, a pair of Seymour Duncan Distortions. Not saying they are the best but they are well suited for the task so that the tone won't get muddy over at the tone. I find that this is the reason why Les Pauls lack definition for heavy settings- the Gibson pickups aren't quite spec'd for the job.

Alrighty! Enjoy the final day of July & have a good Sunday (what's left of it).

Rosewood neck

Fender is unveiling its American Standard rosewood neck in a limited run of 100 units world-wide. Bummer.

For those of you who had been using the term 'rosewood neck' loosely, this is how a rosewood neck looks like- that's right, it's the entire neck.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Talman LBX

I'm plugging as many guitars as I could into the EVH 5150 III LBX. I'm interested to know how the amp sounds like during each guitar episode. If this wasn't the case, the amp itself might just be a one trick pony & I would never know. The Ibanez Talman TM302 had its LBX adventure this morning. The bridge pickup in use was a Duncan 'Lil 59 (Tele version) so the scorching tone heard was from the amp. The CMATmods Brownie in there was thrown in for good measure, the LBX is very competent in dishing out distortion without such supplements but it added more harmonics sensitivity.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Flea bass

You know that Flea guy from RHCP? He finally got his Fender signature bass. With due respect, they should have given him an American model.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The cat & the son of beast

Ah, yes. My Fender Jaguar received the EVH 5150 III LBX treatment as well. I currently love this guitar for its shorter scale length; makes fast playing even faster but investing in this instrument purely on that account is delusional. Why? Simple reason- you can play fast with any guitar, it's a matter of familiarity & adaptation. Malmsteen does that with his Strat (25.5"), ever seen Dweezil Zappa shred with a Gibson SG (24.75")? 

A good amp will make a puny guitar sound outstanding. In this case, the Jaguar isn't puny by any measure of consideration. The LBX was able to make those single coils there sound ferocious because its an amp for this specific assignment & it's proving its worth. However, the amp isn't transformational; it doesn't change the nature of those single coils radically. They remain to be a preferred choice for clean settings more than anything else. The harmonic content for instance, isn't as rich or sensitive. Also, lower notes don't sound thumping enough for heavy metal; single coils would remain as such, they don't cross over into humbucker territory just because they receive some sonic supplements while in use. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

EVH & friends

Last weekend's preoccupation- EVH 5150III LBX. I guess I have not heard it in action enough. The Jackson here is equipped with A Seymour Duncan Sentient in the neck. I've come to believe that this neck pickup is a great complement to all things high gain in terms of tone. Not referring to cleans, of course. If you wish for something that speaks when extra drive is served, this pickup will serve you well.

My Yamaha Pacifica here is a focus tool. I'd play this one to enhance some concentration when it comes to technicalities but this guitar with this pickup (Duncan's P-Rails) sounds impressive with high gain, angry amps in its full glory & then some split coil performance- mind the hum, of course. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Spending some quality time with my DAW Shred Line picks. However, there was very little shredding involved, putting in extra effort on 4 notes per string exercises- gotta work on that muting.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Darkness descends

I was anticipating this release. I knew the guitar limitations, I was looking forward to the drumming. It was awesome as always. After weeks if listening, I'm still wondering if they actually needed two guitarists to pull this off (no pun intended). 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Cygnus test

I'm sure you have come across the new Schecter Jeff Loomis Cygnus model (2016). Mr. Loomis wrote this tune just to test the guitar out:

Sonic East

Aw, darn! It's kinda long overdue, an Akira Takasaki signature Seymour Duncan pickups

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Regurgitating voodoo

I believe this is a 2003/ 2004 version- Gibson Voodoo Les Paul. Back then, they did an SG version as well.

This is the 2016 version & why the non-wood fretboard, Gibson? There's no rosewood acquisition issue in the mean time & I believe (despite being a Gibson heretic) this instrument should be given more respect. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

New faded

A lethargic Monday but work's over for now... :-)

Was looking at these Gibsons online- the manufacturer did some faded models prior to these releases, if you have no reference to what I just stated, it goes to show how significant those guitars were. I remember them because I ever owned a faded SG before & it was one of the most affordable Gibsons which didn't compromise quality or tone. Why were those faded models unpopular? The average Gibson fan is a traditionalist, any variation from the initial design, they would deem it as deviation. In my opinion, Gibson need more of such affordable interpretations on the popular models. These will draw newbies into the fold. We also need some Gibsons to nail the tone but we can live without the flashy bits. Then again, the Gibson camp is all about the flash; sounding good SHOULD be coupled with looking good. I'm sure some purists out there would deem these models depicted here as not so true Gibson guitars. In any case, these faded models are limited edition so seeing them here is rather remote.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Managed to grab this JHS little ditty on the final day of SV Guitar's festive sale last week. I had the Morning Glory as the initial consideration but after hearing it it action, it was a no. I managed to try this one out & was happy with the tone as well as what it has to offer in terms of dynamics. It's actually a 4-in-1 pedal; at the initial stages it's a clean buffer, past 25% it turns into a volume boost, past noon, it's a drive unit which eventually fuzzes out beyond 3 o'clock. Too bad it's not battery compatible, otherwise it'd become my pedal of choice when I head down to guitar stores. Free Gravity guitar pick with the later batch of JHS pedals but I'm through with this brand name.

JHS: Prestige
Availability: SV Guitars
List: $189

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Keeley @ Swee Lee

PIC: Swee Lee FB

News here- Keeley is now under Swee Lee's distribution so it adds to the increasing number of effects brand name under the company's umbrella. If you've been in the scene for a while, being in any Swee Lee outlet would mean looking at guitars (& bass) more than anything else. The only major effects brand name here was BOSS. There was a DOD stint which saw Digitech into the fold. Ibanez was there due to its instruments presence & remained as such for a while. Zvex & TC Electronics came in much later & I must say the former brand name has prices beyond reach of many lay players. I'm not much of an effects person; I still can't hold on to a Tremolo, Vibrato or any modulation type effects to have a good perspective of what's in store but these days, I'm more into amps & effects for sure.

Sonic/ Shadow

Flashback childhood- if you grew up playing SEGA games, you'd know who these characters are. It's an ESP-SEGA collaboration here featuring 2 of the game's most notable protagonists. The Edwards version (first 2 from the top) has no 'ESP' label at the headstock but still feature awesome hardware & electronics for the money. The ESP versions are quite a revelation. The Sonic model features a Schecter single coil pickup which brings this to mind: CLICK. Also, the Shadow version has that quirky gap at the headstock which is acquired taste. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cat scratched (2)

The objective of getting this one was to embrace a short scale Fender guitar- a 24" Jaguar is my preference. While I was at it, black & sunburst finishes were out of the question. I also needed to come to terms with the fact that Fenders sporting rosewood fretboards sound awesome as well. Adding to that- acknowledging good-sounding, non-Strat type single coils. I didn't acquire this for a particular music genre despite the fact that it's a preferred tool for surf & indie manifestations. I'm neither. I'm just me.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wah shoes

If you've missed it, Converse has a pair of wah shoes to offer us guitar dweebs. You read that right- wah shoes. How practical this is remains contentious but it's a definite head turner. Dinosaur Jr's J. Mascis tested it out:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ability & sweat

Very inspired by this quote today. How many times do we see talent go to waste because of its lazy owner? I'm telling myself, in today's rat race, the smarter rats will leverage on talent over time. That comes with much sweat for sure, peppered with resilience at times. It applies to non-talent inclined industry as well with an emphasis on niche capacity. Most of the time, organizations with niche excellence tend to get lazy because nobody else is running the race with them. One fine day, should an alternative surface, offering better all round performance, then our existence will be under threat. We should not be lulled into fulfilment because we know not what lies ahead. It's no longer enough to be talented, we should be proving our worth at all times. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

The maple fb version

In another earth-moving, concrete-shattering & mind-blowing Ibanez development, the RG655 is now offered in a maple fretboard version this summer. Oh, this is a new finish for the season as well. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Beast & Page encounter

Despite the festive season, I managed to squeeze in some playing time. It's called determination. Anyway, I paired the John Page Ashburn guitar with my EVH 5150III LBX head today. I have to reiterate the fact that a 5150 amp in any manifestation doesn't go down well with clean intentions. It doesn't help that the single coils here are of the vintage output type; it's driven every time I pick hard. All this while I'm on the clean channel with the gain at less than 25%. You have been warned. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Iron FR

More Iron Label in the catalog- this time, the FR (seen here: FRFRIX6). I'm still not into Ibanez guitars having EMGs in their system. Also, that kill switch is unnecessary. Nevertheless, the ash cap & ebony fretboard are awesome inclusions.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Iron S

Awesome releases by Ibanez this summer.

These are from the Iron Label series, featuring DiMarzio's Fusion Edge pickups which are currently in the RGD range of this series. 

That reverse headstock- it's a welcomed change. Looking forward to their availability here.

Seen on this page, top-bottom:
  • SIX6D- 6 string, EZII bridge
  • SIX6FD- 6 string, fixed bridge
  • SIX7FD- 7 string fixed bridge

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Eid 2016

Blessed greetings of Eid to all my Muslim friends & readers. Another year had just zipped by. It seems that time is dashing across instead of passing by. We only realize this upon reflecting on our missed opportunities; how we wish we could turn back time. Please forgive all offensive taunts & jests along the way- those were unintentional but I cannot assume everyone out there wouldn't mind. Have a jolly good time with families & friends, everyone- Eid Mubarak!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Angry Tuesday

This arrived yesterday, unboxed just hours ago. I just stopped playing. Managed to squeeze out some of the angriest tones, pedal-free. Every guitar plugged into this little beast just brings out the anger in them, I had 3 going: 1) Ibanez RGD321 2) Yamaha Pacifica 510V 3) John Page Ashburn. That's right, even single coils sounded plain angry here. Will be the weekend before I further appraise its capacity. Awesome.

Swee Lee had updated their EVH listing at their web page. I used to get a 'There are no products in this category' message every time I clicked the link. Despite the void, the EVH section was not removed so I was hoping something good might appear in time to come & the wait paid off, so to speak.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Special Monday

I bought this one to embrace the fact that a flat top Les Paul is as much a Les Paul as its carved top counterpart. In fact, Les Paul himself preferred a flat top version as the instrument delivers the required tone independent of how the body's top surface was constructed. This Special was a later model that featured a non-rosewood fretboard. Yes, it's that down year when Gibson was having issues with its acquired timber. As such, many instruments at his point in time feature an alternative fretboard material, some were synthetic replacements. I'm just glad this one has real wood in there. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Yammy weekend

Managed to squeeze in some time early yesterday morning to play my Yamaha. I've been playing guitars with a more rounded fretboard radius. My picking hand is rejecting flatter radius, there were uncharacteristic mistakes while playing this guitar. The fretting hand had no issues adapting but the picking hand is simply awful. So I've made up my mind to keep playing guitars with flatter radius to see if something needs to be done.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Mick J

Another jump-ship episode- Mick Thomson is now in the Jackson camp. A sad turn of events really, Thomson picked up an Ibanez RG560 way back in his career on his own accord; he was a true blue Ibanez fan. A brief BC Rich turn then to Ibanez & now Jackson.

Mick should talk to his guitar tech to check if he's 1) Dyslexic or 2) Drunk when re-stringing this Jackson (when you see it). Bottom line: Fender is smiling. Let's see if the stores here are wise enough in handling the discontinued Ibanez models. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Deluxe

Summer NAMM 2016- Fender did some upgrades to its Mexican Deluxe models: 22 frets, 2-point vibrato bridge, upper fret access 4-bolt neck joint, the works.

For this Roadhouse option, it comes with a trio of Vintage Noiseless pickups. What all this means- it gets increasingly difficult to spot a non-American Fender out there. If these get a positive reception from buyers, it would give Fender all the reasons to focus on their souped up Mexican makes slapping higher price tags on them, definitely.