Wednesday, April 14, 2021


I'm just not that motivated when it comes to Strats but do own a few. Those that really speak to me, I will pay attention to them. It might just be down to the tone - the 5-way pickup options don't really get me going. I'm only a fan of the middle & neck pickup played in isolation. 

This Strat here is Fender's 50th Anniversary version marked by that neck plate. It has an ash body with a single ply pickguard which I really like. I bought this in 2005 at Swee Lee's BB branch. When the 50th Anniversary models were released, they came in three versions: American Vintage / American Deluxe/ American Series. I chose the American Series because at that point in time, I could only relate to contemporary Strats with 'normal' features. The Deluxe version had gold hardware which was a put off for me (till today, I don't fancy gold hardware on any guitars). The Vintage version cost more than the other two so it was out of my consideration. I find ash-bodied Fenders to be very prominent in its bottom end despite its more reduced midrange overall resonance. This is only obvious if one dabbles in excessive overdrive. In clean mode, the guitar sounds clear without being excessively trebly.

Ironically, the PRS Silver Sky re-kindled my interest in a 3-single coil guitar. Unlike the Strat, the Silver Sky offers a 5-way pickup combination that is attractive in all positions. I think it's down to the PRS-John Mayer philosophy of making the instrument likeable regardless of the pickup(s) in use. Oh, well.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Ramadan 2021

Wishing all Muslims out there a blessed Ramadan. It's the second COVID Ramadan but the situation is so much better this year with many restrictions lifted. Have a wonderful journey ahead 🙏 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Gold Glory - official specs

The official specs for Jared James Nicols' Gold Glory was released just about a week ago. The good stuff are kept in tact - ebony fretboard + Seymour Duncan P90 pickup. The rest of the specs are basically the same less the revised Epiphone headstock outline. More interestingly, let's see if the price will be retained at $999 or in many such instances, it's a classic case of bringing it up; it's a 'new' offering, they would say.

Pic: GW

Sunday, April 11, 2021


I think many of us are aware that for both Seymour Duncan & DiMarzio pickups, supplies had been hit by the COVID-19 situation. As such, we resort to cybershopping looking for whatever's available in the mean time. Someone asked me if the SH-1 above is a good deal considering it's less than USD50 per piece. The Seymour Duncan '59 (SH-1) comes in two versions; the 2-conductor, vintage type (has no brand label on it) & the contemporary 4-conductor version (bottom right in pic). In both cases, the pole pieces are the slug-slot combo. The budget SH-1 you see above is a pirated article; the black hex pole pieces are a dead giveaway. Folks, be careful buying from online re-sellers, some of whom are unauthorized entities, others are simply fake-mongers preying on the uninitiated. Before you commit to buying, it's best to ask around first unless it's your every intention to buy fake stuff - there are indeed people like that.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

SA Igno

Got this one out yesterday & fixed an appointment with Beez. This is my Ibanez SA1260, it's a rather heavy guitar but it's bright sounding.

Beez wired the DiMarzio Igno into this one. 

The thing about pickups, we can't hear them in action first before buying. I based my choice on the pickup's EQ performance as seen above. I try not to get swayed by the tones I hear from a video performance because the player's quirks & set up tend to influence tone. So the Igno is a clipped treble pickup, quite likely to complement the bright nature of the SA. However, I overlooked the fact that it has an Alnico 8 magnet that might just add to brightness but everything turned out well. Despite the touted reduced top end, the brightness is rather commanding. The pickup has a strong lower frequency response so if your music is largely based on that EQ focus, it will serve you well. 

Fresh set of strings - La Bella. Pickup & strings purchased from TY Music 👍🏾

EQ pic: DiMarzio

Friday, April 9, 2021


Someone's selling this Ibanez JS in the after-market.

This is how a JS looks like. Seen here is the JS100.

I tried to clarify & this was the reply.

Let's look at the disturbing details:
  1. Cutaways. These look wrong from the start. From the pic itself, we note that the edges are not rounded off like the JS design.
  2. Neck. Re-look at the first pic & then this one - noticed the seller had swapped necks. The first one features a 24-fret neck with no JS inlay, this one has it. However, if you look at the JS100 closely, for the discontinued 22-fret version, there's a gap between the fretboard & the neck pickup but this one has none. 
  3. Alignment. Bridge pickup is slanted. Volume & tone controls are in a straight line which is not the case as seen in the JS100 above.

Then again folks, let's give credit to the fact that it's a Santriani model, not Satriani. It's as original as it gets so it's $400 to the good. 

EDIT: Thanks to bro Hotaru for pointing out that all necks featured here are 22-fretted, not 24. It must be the chemo meds. I'm leaving the entry as it is.
On the way home today, I asked a friend to take a second look at this guitar. For $400, does the Santriani model actually have a genuine neck at least (consolation, perhaps). He highlighted some misalignments as indicated above (Right - JS100 headstock for comparison). Even the strings do not travel straight to the posts. Hmm...