Thursday, November 23, 2017

JEM up

This, ladies & gentlemen, is something you've seen before. It's the Ibanez JEM Jr.

Due to its colour 'upgrade', you'd think it's something new. Nothing else changed less the aesthetic feature as mentioned so this is how you propel the lesser models; you make it look like its other higher performance siblings & suddenly, you'd tell yourself you don't actually mind buying one. If you are a Vai fan, perhaps this entry level model with the colour make-over might be a worthy adventure. For the rest of us who know what the bridge & pickups have to offer in terms of performance, we believe in other models.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Back: Mustang

Fender fans will recall the American Special Mustang guitars which were offered not too long ago. They had been discontinued.

But their recent announcement mentions a return & we thank Fender for this. When Fender re-introduced the offset models in the 2017 line up, only the Jazzmaster & Jaguar made it into the Pro series. The Mustang & Duo Sonic were designated into the Standard (Mexico) make but they remain to be good guitars for the money. Hopefully, the AS Mustang would signal a firm production line for the model. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tumnus deluxe

OK, something to look forward to in terms of pedals. That small push button at the right- it's an option button for you to use it in either a buffered or true bypass mode. 👍

Monday, November 20, 2017

Crushing sale

This should  be on your considerations list if you are shopping for a new practice amp 👌

New horizon @ Grassroots

It's been quiet at the Edwards front. A major revision is in progress. In the mean time, the Grassroots division had announced these good looking Horizon models but we know how the Grassroots brand won't be readily available in the international market. Oh, well...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Give away (2)

Good Sunday evening my friends. This is my next give away, kindly sponsored by SV Guitars in conjunction with my 10th blog-versary come 2018 (Thanks, Mike & co!). I have a feeling that the noise gate is one pedal that has lower priorities in everybody's to-get list. We have our drive, distortion & delay being major distractions in our effects line up. So here it is, a spanking new Joyo JF-31 Noise Gate pedal:
  • E-mail me with the tittle: Bring the noise (gate)! to stand a chance in acquiring the JF-31 depicted above (box included). No contents please, just a blank entry will do
  • Do not disclose any personal details until you receive a reply mail stating you as the winner. Winner will self-collect this pedal
  • No time limit this time, come try your luck 😁

SE South

PRS had stated time & again they won't make left-handed guitars but this proved otherwise- the SE Custom 24. This instrument will be available soon so it's good news to you lefties especially so when the manufacturer had brought up the standards for their SE models come 2018.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

SA updates

Another Ibanez update- the revised SA360 is now offered in an ash body + binding.

There's also a mahogany version with a flamed maple top. Nice. 👍

Shorter yams

The Yamaha camp is also offering a 3/4 version of two popular acoustic models. The APX600 above...

... and the CPX600. Is it an in thing now to be owning smaller built guitars? Are we turning into dwarves or something? Of course, not! Manufacturers now realize that there is a market for such instruments & they are not a compromised manifestations of the standard sized version. Players out there embrace comfort & fit as opposed to compelling themselves to big, obnoxious instruments. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Duncan @ 35GA

Seymour Duncan promo/disct is back @ 35 Guitar Avenue. 

550's return

This must be the best news for the year- the Ibanez RG550 is making a come back in 2018. There are no official statements over at the Ibanez homepage (yet) but dealers are already conforming the delivery of these hotties by December 2017.

What I think:
  1. It's a bout time. If you are a hardcore Ibanez fan, the RG550 is that landmark guitar after the manufacturer decided the JEM might be out of reach for many enthusiasts. This isn't a major comeback as the RG550 was re-introduced in the Prestige Genesis selections in 2013 (CLICK) & as an anniversary model in 2007. 
  2. Really glad the headstock doesn't say Prestige. In any case, the current RG655 is indeed the RG550 with a Prestige label. This would effectively mean, the RG550 will displace the RG655 in its tier as they are both the same guitars with a slight difference in representation. However, the manufacturer might market the RG550 as a higher tier model despite the numerics. Let's see what changes will take place in the 2018 Ibanez catalog. 
  3. Prices- let's take a look at the following:

These were the RG550 prices when they were offered as the Genesis re-intro models. A mind boggling sub-$1K price tag, yes? Do note the instruments did not come with a hard case. Can we expect such prices in 2018? A firm negative. They are already listing for USD1.5K so if the RG550 ends up here next year (highly likely), be prepared to pay double (may be more) what you see above.

On that note, if you are trying to clear yours (like the one above), regardless of the year of manufacture or status, you'd do well to make it happen ASAP. Come next year, we can very well get an off-the-shelf model, a crispy new RG550.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Single fury

Had some playing time before dinner, so 🎸

Anyway, the usual convention- single coils are just 👎 for aggressive music, yes? Generally, that's the attitude towards anything not a humbucker & low output when it comes to distortion. However, you have to consider the other components in your line-up. After years of playing, I believe the amp plays a big part in sounding heavy/ aggressive, at least for someone who's not effects reliant like me. If you own an amp tailored for a certain delivery, say a MESA Boogie for heavy stuff, chances are, all your guitars could be made to sound heavy through it. The degree of that outcome varies, of course. For instance, if you plug in your semi-hollow guitar into the aforementioned MESA amp, it will sound heavy but it may sound less appealing compared to a solid body instrument. 

The pickups you see above are Seymour Duncan's SSL-1 (n) & SSL-5 (b). These are not aggressive pickups by any means despite the latter being more appealing for rock-esque music but they sound aggressive through my Blackstar HT Metal. So clearly the amp is hard at work here & not the pickups per se. This does not mean you can fit any pickups into your guitar just because your amp owns your tone, you have to be selective to make the entire tone consideration work your way. 

Kiesel to the metal

This was the set up yesterday. I had the opportunity to let loose for about 15min so it happened. Strictly no soloing or extended legato passages, just apocalyptic metal riffing from start to end. The Kiesel pickups here are quite devoid of FAT. There are low frequency servings in there but you need to keep your EQ checked for excessive hairy top end. It happened just by cranking the amp up- way more treble than I expected. It might also be the fact that the smaller amp driver contributed to the treble poke, I didn't rule this out. One thing for sure, these are my kind of metal mayhem pickups. Not for Gibson humbucker lovers, definitely.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ed sus Strat

Radiohead campers will know who Ed O'Brien is & Fender had collaborated with him for the guitar you see above. A Strat (duh!) with a Fernandes Sustainer pickup. Do check prices if you are interested because if it's less costly to buy a similar Strat & have an after market Sustainer in there- you know what to do.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Kiesel: DC

The new Kiesel is a humble DC (DC400H) devoid of flash & strictly functional. The plan was to try a ready made model to see if what the manufacturer has to offer is as appealing (to me) as my other Kiesel (Vader 6). This guitar, upon listing, was rather unpopular; it was spec'd to be very working grade with no particular visual attraction & stayed put till the Veteran's Day price cut took place. I had one other model in mind which 'disappeared' shortly after the Halloween discount went into effect- the price of hesitation. However, I'm kinda glad I went with this one because it proved to be 'different'. The usual custom shop QC is all over this guitar despite being very simple & down to earth. Kiesel is still the standard to beat if you intend to spend good money on some very high standards of production without that over-priced feeling. 

So this adventure very well proved that I could definitely get along with a ready spec'd guitar from Kiesel & not revel too much in their custom spec'd ones as being the superior discourse. I've told myself to never spend hard earned money on any more black guitars but this happened. At the back of my mind I know it's not about the colour, it's about believing what the brand name has to offer in terms of quality, first & foremost. Worth every single cent. This is my second Kiesel & it won't be my last (the next one to be a little different, of course). 

Monday, November 13, 2017


Oh, hi! We're letting this acclimatize before unboxing. See you soon 👍

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Little Joy(o)

We're in the midst of unboxing this- will get back to you in due time 👌

Unreal glow

Hello guitar dweebs- how's lunch coming along?

This here is my Peavey Piranha amp head seen from the back. The excessive glow here isn't tube attributable, there are actually extra LEDs in the circuit that lit up when the amp is in use. Why is this the case? Manufacturer tube amps sometimes lack the glow especially the models featuring only pre-amp tubes. Newbies & other ignorant players don't understand the fact that pre-amp tubes don't need a large amount of current to pass through them in order for them to function. We tend to expect a light bulb standard glow from our amp tubes which is a little misplaced. Those tubes in pedals- some of those hardly lit up as well. So no light = not working, yes? That's the misconception right there. 

Ibanez: AE205JR

Another AE model by Ibanez but it's a 3/4 version of their popular cutaway model. No compromise on the top, it's solid spruce. In action:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017

New: Ibanez SA160

Along with the newly spec'd pine fretboard, Ibanez now features an ash body for the SA160.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

PRS SE 2018

PRS has just announced its 2018 line up for the SE range. They look the works & seems like the manufacturer is offering good value for money for all models. Interesting 2 from this release would be the multi-foil (multi coloured) finish you see there at the right most of this pic. The other would be the SVN seven-string baritone (left most). Seven-string models by PRS had not been a hit throughout the years, we'll see where this is going come next year. Prices are going up as we speak, many SE models had crossed the $1K mark last September so for many of us, we'd scout for the older batches sporting the older prices before considering these 2018 ones.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Green signature

The dude from August Burns Red has a signature model. Basically an RGA given the green treatment. It's not a Japanese make so hopefully, it'll be available here/ everywhere in time to come. I still dislike EMGs.

Monday, November 6, 2017

New 8

We can look forward to 8 new pedals form TC Electronic soon. These are from their budget range & I own 2 from their previous batch (Cinders/ Grand Magus). 

I'm anticipating how the Eyemaster metal distortion will measure up to being the manufacturer's 'Swedish buzzsaw' unit. The colour scheme reminds me of a certain Death Metal pedal which wasn't as popular as it was touted to be. Even a second manifestation of that pedal failed to garner a more favourable reception. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Solo terminal

Good morning, folks. I just watched a documentary on the above black metal bands featuring only a single individual playing all instruments & singing their way through the dark recesses of life. I forgive you for not knowing any of them as you are not into the genre unlike yours truly here. 

There are factors driving people to do things beyond normal expectations. These are largely personal & significant enough to compel people into embracing their own way of life. Life in isolation. Life beyond reach & beyond rehabilitation at times. More importantly, life continues for them. The immediate concern when dealing with BM music is its affiliation to satanic philosophy. If you follow the genre's development, BM really stands for rebellion beyond the boundaries of religious retaliation. We can't blame the masses for limiting their understanding of the music to this strict definition because it started off as such. The people in the three bands depicted above aren't proponent of anti-religion. They are secluded individuals who consciously embrace isolation & its entailments. Isolation might be causal but as we dwell deeper into their background, we understand it becomes necessary instead. It's that one saving grace that prevents them from ending their own existence.

Music-wise, their embrace of isolation provided a rich reference to the theme they explore through music. As opposed to being a facade, these are real-life themes, a way of life for them. A life without social media and other forms of interaction and relationship, severe financial constraints and the need to get by being self-sufficient. This is where the need to play everything in lieu of what band members can fulfil, come in. More often than not, others simply cannot relate to what they embrace. Getting together as a unit simply fails in this aspect. You'd be surprised with the amount of time they put into their music on a daily basis & to think that they are not reliant on it to put food on the table is mind boggling. If you go on to listen to their music & refer to it as pathetic then you are clearly missing the point. There is this terrible honesty in making music this way as opposed to hiding behind commercial viability. This is not saying you shouldn't take advantage of what your music can do for you but do not interpret others' music as a bad way of doing things because everyone else (yourselves included) is doing it the right way. What is the right way, anyway? Is there a definite right?

Having witnessed what these people go through in life makes me realize that I do take things for granted at times. I am blessed. I get to buy gear every now & then when the finances permit but there are others out there who gave up meals just to buy a bass or get by with a battered pair of drum sticks for life. These are the equipment that graced their recordings & they don't complain. Life goes on for them. Whining about it won't solve issues. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Neon return

This is the latest by the Gibson camp but it's from the Custom range which isn't too pocket-friendly for many of us. The company has decided to offer LPs in neon colours which was hype in the 1980s. If you clicked with what happened then, it might click now for nostalgia's sake. Names like Ibanez, Jackson & BC Rich, among others, were there & done with this colour scheme.

Here's the full range of colours.

A gentle reminder that there's no wood at crucial areas of the instrument- nothing wrong if you find this acceptable. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Clear give away

Greetings, dear readers.

As promised, here's a give away in conjunction with my >2.75mil hits & a firm appreciation of your support. Two readers will each receive a pack of Cleartone 10s electric guitar strings. The drill:
  • Just e-mail me with the title LET'S BE CLEAR telling me why you frequent this blog site.
  • DO NOT include any personal details in your mail (just your name) until you receive a reply mail from me confirming your 'win'
  • Submissions after 2359hrs (with reference to the blog clock at the foot of this page), 3 Nov 2017 will not be considered.
There is a firm following of Elixir strings out there due to the brand's tried & trusted corrosion resistance technology. Cleartone does not tread the same path in this aspect but it's one of the best when it comes to dealing with moisture related deterioration. It's also less costly. I've been a fan of Cleartone since my initial encounter with the brand name when they were the default strings in ESP guitars. It's one of the lesser known names offering players a sensible price for the technology included. Since then, other brand names came into the picture presenting their own take on corrosion tolerance. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Following some pertinent updates here with regards to erroneous matters, the call from a Swee Lee upper echelon was inevitable. I do not wish to be specific but I just talked to someone who can fire people in the company at will.

Nothing nefarious took over, we had a good talk on how to make things work & cultivate a positive relationship between the company & buyers. It was made clear that the call was to assert the fact that the Swee Lee of today aspires to be a people company. There was an up front admission that things over at the company's end, with regards to online transactions & other commercial updates, needed a critical change ASAP. They are still trying & wish things could be revised quicker than expected because things are beginning to become a little too sensitive at both ends & it might go south if matters are not looked into, at the very least. Also, the scale of operations is now bigger & effecting change is not as easy as before. They are appealing for understanding as things unfold for the better.

I had stopped supporting the company recently for personal reasons suffice to say that it's related to the issue mentioned above. However, it's very difficult to sever ties with friends who are still working there & I know my support goes a long way in terms of their career prospects & general standing in the company so yes, I'm still in touch with them on this aspect. From the conversation that took place, there was a clear sensing that support from the customer end was critical in moving any company forward. I made it clear that Swee Lee, to many of us who had been 'with' the company for a good while, is flying the Singapore flag. As a small community here, we would want to affiliate ourselves with the country's flag bearer for a simple reason- we want a win-win situation. As the company continues to expand & become more successful, we hope that their success would trickle unto us in various ways. Yes, we become disgruntled along the way for an obvious reason- issues crop  up especially if there is a relationship involved. I think there are ample avenues for dialogue, listening & getting along especially in a more educated setting of today.

I'm very glad that the individual I talked to just moments ago, took ownership of the fact that he's responsible for the errors & other oversights which are currently taking place because he put the team there to act on the company's behalf (different from ministers who deflected blame for constant breakdown under his watch, yes?). I'm a very bad tempered person but this accounts for only 10% of my true character. The remaining 90%, I leave it to you to understand through the developments of this blog (I treat this more like a diary, really). 

In short, I'm glad what took place today, happened. I continue to support entities & individuals alike who make amends & strive for improvements more than anything else. On that note, 2018 will mark 10 years 😙 of theguitaraddict & I look forward to return to the community for the unwavering support as a firm form of thank you. 

EDIT: Another one

Here's another oversight worth noting. I'm not doing this for the sole purpose of bringing certain parties down. I would like to highlight the fact that it takes a team to move an organization to greater heights. The team members must consist of people who are passionate & exercise due caution when dispensing their duties for the organization. If it's within your means, hire people with relevant knowledge/ common interest for your company. 

Suppose Individual X ordered this guitar online. X relied on the product image to commit to his purchase. The company delivered an item based on their product description instead. X wish to terminate his purchase but the store has a no-refund policy for such circumstances. X was offered to replace his initial choice with a substitute of equal value. X does not wish to further his purchase, but the store has no other modes of compensation. This is just one possible scenario. Why put your organization through such an unnecessary predicament?

EDIT: The guitar in the preceding discussion is not from the American Professional series. An American Pro model sports 22 frets & has a truss rod access over at the headstock (21 frets + no truss rod access at the headstock in the above discussion). The correct Am Pro HSS model is depicted here, the latest version sports a zebra finish Shawbucker. Please note.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Standard price

The new batch of Fender Standard Strat/ Tele featuring pau ferro fretboards are listing for the same price as their rosewood fretboard counterparts. Of course, the rosewood version had undergone a price revision before it was discontinued but it's good to know that no further induced inflation took place along the way...

Hello, November 👍

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Jaguar picking

Had some playing time last weekend, the Jaguar was it. Looking forward to swap the pickups out in time to come. They are definitely alright but they aren't meeting my needs.

Put the Iron Age Bellona pick to some slower passages, mostly legato applications. When one employs such a playing technique, one would appreciate the gliding quality of one's pick so material plays a big part here. 

Goodbye October... ✋

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fools at the store

This was an incident at the local guitar store earlier today. It involved the Jackson JS22-7 you see above...

... and  a Gruv Gear Fret Wrap.

The guitar in question was sent to the store for a re-string. The owner's Mother (as accounted by the son), alleged that the store mishandled the instrument while doing so & scratched the fretboard area proximate to the nut. There was also damage done to the Fret Wrap after it was removed for the re-string to happen. The Fret Wrap manifested signs of fraying. 

The store personnel did not contest what took place. From start to end, efforts were made to address & compensate the alleged damages. While this was taking place the Mother referred to the responsible party as 'stupid' & wasn't happy with the services rendered which was understood to be $10. She claimed that her son could do a better job at it. She was also unhappy that the store started operations only at 1.00pm & reprimanded the personnels there accordingly.

As I was in the store & witnessed the incident, I would like to share some perspectives. 

1. Scratch probability

Ladies & gentlemen, we note the JS22-7 sports a non-locking nut. The chances of a hard implement scratching the fretboard area between the first fret & the nut is very low. The re-string process involves a direct placement of string material onto the nut slots. No insertion or pull-through is required. Should there be stray string material coming into contact with the fretboard, it would  unlikely be a sharp or pointed tip. As someone who appraises instrument for its QC, I note dry ends & glue marks resident in the aforementioned vicinity. The markings could have been inherent before the re-string took place & obscured by the strings themselves. Strings that come into contact with the fretboard could also scratch & dent the surface area, depending on the intensity of the player's fingering, the amount of vibrato action that took place & the frequency of such activities taking place during play.

2. Fret Wrap fraying

Fret Wrap (FW) is a string dampening/muting device. Upon fastening round the guitar neck, the fabric comes into contact with both the wood & metal elements of the instrument. Users remove the FW to tune the instrument at times & removal is mandatory for a re-string to take place. Players sometimes slide the FW across the guitar neck repeatedly (watch Greg Howe do it in many of his video clips) to increase the level of effectiveness with regards to proximate tension changes in attempts to increase muting efficiency. As an FW user myself (since 2015 when Sound Alchemy first brought it in), repeated removal & constant sliding did not result in any damage whatsoever. The chances of the implement's fabric being frayed by the guitar's neck is remote.

3. Time of operation

Please check the operation schedule of stores here before dismissing them as late or for that matter (it's just an internet check away), offering any form of opinion in terms of punctuality. If you are early, it does not equal to others being late. If you are early & have to wait for a business entity to start operations, take pride in your personal time etiquette. People queue at the doctor's all the time, they don't complain about the clinic not being mindful of their waiting considerations. Should this be any different with other businesses? 

4. Know what you are dealing with

I've noted time & again, parents trying to mitigate the circumstances on behalf of their offsprings only to utter rubbish in the presence of so many people. In this case for instance, if you don't know the mechanics of a guitar re-string & what a Fret Wrap is to begin with, watch what you are saying. It is definitely OK to represent your kids according to the circumstances especially when the law states that they are too young to represent themselves in a commercial transaction. You don't go to the car garage & tell the mechanic off for scratching your bolts & nuts when a flat tyre is being replaced, do you?

5. We are educated (aren't we?)

I still hear this low level engagement taking place when tempers flare. I understand the lack of control in bouts of anger but we do not stoop so low by engaging in name-calling & verbal disrespect in this regard. If issues need to be addressed, we stick to the matter so that an outcome could be reached. No amount of name-calling could settle disputes. In fact, it will further ferment the situation. If you continue to do so, nuisance & harassment are just two ambits of the law that could be used against you. If you wish to be escorted out of the premises in handcuffs in front of your kids, the choice is yours.

The store did well to address the matter accordingly & reimbursements took place with pleasant wishes- respect! However, I've lost respect for the family that chose to create a ruckus hoping things would get solved this way. Young man, if you are reading this, I hope you could re-think what took place & maybe ask yourself, if your Mother claimed you could do a better job, why send it to the store to begin with? I'm sounding like a broken record here but I urge guitar owners to educate yourselves in dealing with basic guitar maintenance. If you can't do it yourself, at least know how it's done so that disputes like this could be avoided. If you don't trust others to service or maintain your instruments on your behalf, then ask your Mother to do it.

Halloween @ Davis

Seasonal discount for online purchases @ Davis GMC as stated above: CLICK