On the modern electric guitar

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JD
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 16 May 2013, 11:15

I have now had my SG for almost 20 years. I figured 20 years was a good age for a bit of a refurb, so I made some cosmetic changes: a new pickguard, and pickup covers.

Before, with black pickguard and open coils; after, with white pickguard and chrome pickup covers.
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tr0g
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by tr0g » 16 May 2013, 11:23

Very nice, JD. Looks good.

I still have to do something with my old made in Korea disaster. But my free time has been whittled away considerably lately. Between the child and trying to sell the house, I don't think I've picked up a guitar in the last month.
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Highway » 16 May 2013, 11:23

My Charvel is 22 years old now, and I still think it looks about perfect. :)
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JD
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 14 Jun 2013, 09:53

Last night I went to a free-form jam session at a real rehearsal studio, which was pretty cool. The great majority of the guys there were good players and decent people, and I got to play through a Bogner Shiva (although I didn't really get to thoroughly exercise it).

The only problem was this one guy... He could play drums and keyboards, and he was actually technically decent. Unfortunately, he seemed to have no concept of playing with other people. He would play whatever the heck he felt like on keyboards, with apparently no regard to the key center, and even did stuff like triggering rhythm patterns on the keyboard while the drummer was playing something different. His drumming was maybe more technically competent, but he'd change up the tempo and the feel completely at random, throw in a ton of random fills, etc. It was so bad I had a brief conversation with the organizer about how best to deal with him - I thought maybe Dumbass should be on drums, since at least then he couldn't screw with the tonality, although the organizer pointed out that if he was on keyboards, at least we could drown him out and have somebody more reasonable keep a usable tempo.

How do you deal with somebody like that, short of saying, "You suck, here's your $10 back, now leave"?
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dhex
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by dhex » 14 Jun 2013, 10:31

that last line is exactly how you deal with someone like that.

or stinkeye. back when i used to do sunday synth jam at galapagos holy shitsnacks twelve years ago now it was pretty freeform as you'd imagine but the occasional joker was dealt with using glares and every so often a tapout. (as in tap you're out not some dude in a tapout t shirt choking the guy though that would also be ok)
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Highway » 14 Jun 2013, 10:37

I'd go with at least one warning "Hey, man, try to fit in with what everyone's playing." But eventually you gotta go with the "you know, you're ruining it for everyone, so we're asking you to leave."
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Taktix® » 12 Jul 2013, 14:56

JD wrote:Last night I went to a free-form jam session at a real rehearsal studio, which was pretty cool. The great majority of the guys there were good players and decent people, and I got to play through a Bogner Shiva (although I didn't really get to thoroughly exercise it).

The only problem was this one guy... He could play drums and keyboards, and he was actually technically decent. Unfortunately, he seemed to have no concept of playing with other people. He would play whatever the heck he felt like on keyboards, with apparently no regard to the key center, and even did stuff like triggering rhythm patterns on the keyboard while the drummer was playing something different. His drumming was maybe more technically competent, but he'd change up the tempo and the feel completely at random, throw in a ton of random fills, etc. It was so bad I had a brief conversation with the organizer about how best to deal with him - I thought maybe Dumbass should be on drums, since at least then he couldn't screw with the tonality, although the organizer pointed out that if he was on keyboards, at least we could drown him out and have somebody more reasonable keep a usable tempo.

How do you deal with somebody like that, short of saying, "You suck, here's your $10 back, now leave"?
If you get stuck with that situation in the future, have the Dumbass play keys. A drummer that can't keep a steady tempo is FAR worse for band cohesion than a drummer overplaying but at a steady beat. Plus, keyboards often have volume knobs.

Also, don't be afraid to be a dick, it's expected of guitarists...
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 13 Jul 2013, 09:38

Yesterday I dropped by the local Guitar Center, partly to look at ukuleles, partly to kill time. The Agile AL-3000 I'd been slightly tempted by before was gone. Just as well; those grapes were sour anyway.

First thing I noticed was they had a used Bogner Ecstasy 212 for $199. Considering those usually go for many hundreds more I immediately considered buying and immediately flipping it, even wandering away and casually pulling out my phone to look up prices on Ebay. Unfortunately when I went back I noticed that the tag included a mention of all the stuff that did not work. Oh well, that explains the price.

Then I found a weird used Flying V for sale. I mean, the V itself was perfectly normal, looked exactly like a Gibson Korina Flying V. But there was no name on it anywhere at all. There was a serial number (printed, not stamped in) but absolutely no indication of who made it. I wasn't sure what to make of it - the quality was fine, not like what you'd usually see on a no-name guitar. I didn't want a V before I went in, but now I kind of do. Damn it...
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 24 Jul 2013, 16:20

New Guitar Day! I bit the bullet and ordered an Agile AL-2000 in Honey Sunburst Flame, sight unseen, since they're on sale. I wanted a project guitar I could mess around with, since I'd like to keep my SG fairly stock and I don't care much for the Strat copy. It arrived yesterday, and is very handsome, and the workmanship is quite good. Not a single finish blem I can find, nothing off true, no rough edges bar a bit of sprue on the pickguard.

I remember that a big part of why I started this topic was a discussion of "can you get a decent guitar for $200" and I'm pleased to say the answer is yes. I am (just) old enough to remember when a cheap East Asian guitar was pretty well guaranteed to be junk, but this is seriously impressive for $160, would be impressive for $225, and if you told me it was $300 plus I wouldn't have balked at that either.

The pickups are fairly crappy (cheap ceramics, thin and hot and gritty), but I expected that and was planning on replacing them anyway. The flame of the maple top isn't great, but it's good, particularly considering the price. I was a little worried about the shipping, since I didn't order it with a case, but it arrived OK other than one of the strap buttons being broken; I'll probably just have the maker send me a replacement.

First order of business is to replace the pickups, then we'll see about the bridge and tailpiece, and maybe the nut and tuners if I feel like it...
"Millennials are lazy. They'd rather have avocado toast than cave in a man's skull with a tire iron!" -FFF

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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by tr0g » 24 Jul 2013, 17:46

JD wrote:New Guitar Day! I bit the bullet and ordered an Agile AL-2000 in Honey Sunburst Flame, sight unseen, since they're on sale. I wanted a project guitar I could mess around with, since I'd like to keep my SG fairly stock and I don't care much for the Strat copy. It arrived yesterday, and is very handsome, and the workmanship is quite good. Not a single finish blem I can find, nothing off true, no rough edges bar a bit of sprue on the pickguard.

I remember that a big part of why I started this topic was a discussion of "can you get a decent guitar for $200" and I'm pleased to say the answer is yes. I am (just) old enough to remember when a cheap East Asian guitar was pretty well guaranteed to be junk, but this is seriously impressive for $160, would be impressive for $225, and if you told me it was $300 plus I wouldn't have balked at that either.

The pickups are fairly crappy (cheap ceramics, thin and hot and gritty), but I expected that and was planning on replacing them anyway. The flame of the maple top isn't great, but it's good, particularly considering the price. I was a little worried about the shipping, since I didn't order it with a case, but it arrived OK other than one of the strap buttons being broken; I'll probably just have the maker send me a replacement.

First order of business is to replace the pickups, then we'll see about the bridge and tailpiece, and maybe the nut and tuners if I feel like it...
My original guitar was made in Korea. It falls into the pretty well guaranteed to be junk category. I still plan on trying to fix it into a decent playable guitar, though. I'm glad to se the quality has come up and the price gone down over the past mumble years.

I've already decided the next guitar I purchase will be a 6 string 30" scale that I can tune E-E an octave down. But I'm still learning to play in the copious free time having a 1 year old around the house affords one.
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 27 Jul 2013, 16:38

Picture of the new guitar. I have since replaced the cream plastic with black, which I think is sharper-looking. Now to replace the knobs, the pickups, rewire the internals, etc...
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Dangerman
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Dangerman » 27 Jul 2013, 18:38

Very nice, and I'm sure the black will look better. It'll warm up the look of the finish, make it look deeper.

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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by pistoffnick » 05 Aug 2013, 09:19

Always be suspicious of people who have, or crave, power. - Stanley Kubrick
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 05 Aug 2013, 22:42

Those guys should get together with the Badpiper:

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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Andrew » 06 Aug 2013, 00:06

Glenn Tipton was there years ago.

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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 06 Aug 2013, 11:07

Well, you could maybe say Ace Frehley was there before Glenn Tipton, too:
http://www.acefrehleylespaul.com/Smokers.html
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 19 Aug 2013, 20:13

New Amp Day! I picked up a used Blackheart Killer Ant off Ebay. It's cool - slightly larger than a lunchbox, two tubes, one knob - "Volume".

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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Stevo Darkly » 20 Aug 2013, 05:11

Unfortunately, I see that it only goes up to "10."

/obligatory
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 21 Aug 2013, 20:58

Stevo Darkly wrote:Unfortunately, I see that it only goes up to "10."

/obligatory
Heh. :-) The funny thing is, 10 is not even very loud on this amp, maybe about as loud as a loud TV. That's its raison d'etre, being an apartment-friendly amplifier, but sometimes you kind of do need that extra push over the cliff.

Oh, and they do make these for guitar...

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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by tr0g » 22 Aug 2013, 10:23

JD wrote:
Stevo Darkly wrote:Unfortunately, I see that it only goes up to "10."

/obligatory
Heh. :-) The funny thing is, 10 is not even very loud on this amp, maybe about as loud as a loud TV. That's its raison d'etre, being an apartment-friendly amplifier, but sometimes you kind of do need that extra push over the cliff.

Oh, and they do make these for guitar...

Image snipped
I might need those knobs.

What are you using with the Blackheart speaker-wise?
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 23 Aug 2013, 01:01

tr0g wrote:What are you using with the Blackheart speaker-wise?
I'm using the speaker from my Bugera V22 combo (which, thankfully, has a plug, and is not hard-wired in). I'm not really in love with the Blackheart, not yet anyway. It's not bad, exactly, but the overdrive character is not where I want it to be, and the lows are really boomy. This might be a function of the speaker, but I've read a couple reviews mentioning boomy lows. Or it might be the speaker. I'm tempted to go buy a Celestion Greenback in a cabinet.

I didn't even go into the whole story of what Hamfingers - as I call the previous owner - did to the amp. By design it had two 12AX7 tubes, one for preamp, one for driving the tone stack and the power stage. Hamfingers put a low-gain 12AY7 in the preamp stage: why, I cannot say. Some people apparently do that to try and get more headroom, but I think the tone kind of sucked. I moved the 12AY7 to the power amp, putting the 12AX7 back in the preamp, which is an improvement over the way it was before.

Anyway, I've ordered two Mullard 12AX7s and an Electro-Harmonix 12AT7 (which is supposed to be good in the power stage), so I'm going to try it with both the 12AX7s in both sockets and a 12AX7 in the preamp and 12AT7 in the power amp. If that doesn't improve things - or hell, probably even if it does - I'm likely to replace the fixed tone stack with potentiometers so I can change the tone, and possibly change the value of the grid resistors and maybe the volume pot bypass capacitor. This amp is really made for modding - the design is like a textbook design, the board layout is neat and nicely labeled, and there's even enough space in the chassis for a couple more pots, almost like the designer wanted you to mod it...see, if I'd known back in school that you could do useful things with electronics, I would have been much more into it. I think I've learned more about electronics in the last six months than in the previous twenty years.
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 21 Sep 2013, 08:00

New Cabinet Day! I dropped by the local Guitar Center a few days ago, and they had a used Vox Night Train 1x12 extension cabinet, with a Celestion greenback in it, for a pretty good price. I mulled it over for a couple days and then decided to go for it.

Of course by the time I went back it had already been sold. But an employee pointed out that they had a very similar Egnater 1x12 extension cabinet, which also had a Celestion in it, for slightly less than the Vox. (G12H Anniversary instead of the G12M greenback, but still, a good Celestion.) So I played through it briefly and got it.

I am pleased to find that the Killer Ant sounds better through the Celestion than it did through the Bugera. Despite the "strong, aggressive low-end and powerful low-mids" of the Celestion, it's not boomy. Of course, neither is the Bugera amp/speaker combo, which makes me think they're just very precisely tuned for each other.
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Highway » 21 Sep 2013, 10:01

Last night we were trying to get our singer / guitarist's fairly new Line6 M13 multi-effects pedal to work with his fairly new-to-him Marshall JCM2000 TSL60. Come to find that for whatever idiotic reason, the TSL 60 has only a parallel effects loop. What the hell good is an effects loop that can't go full wet? It effectively renders any volume pedal useless (you can't put a volume pedal in front of the preamp on a Marshall Tube amp, because all that does is desaturate the sound until it cuts off, not make it louder or softer), and makes all your effects sound like someone plugged them into another amp at the same time. I just can't believe this was designed this way as anything but punishment for "you bought our cheapest tube amp, haha!"
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by JD » 21 Sep 2013, 10:22

Highway wrote:I just can't believe this was designed this way as anything but punishment for "you bought our cheapest tube amp, haha!"
My (limited) experience with Marshalls suggests that the high end is good, but the cheaper ones are strictly to be avoided. With possible exceptions for the SL-5, Class 5, and the 50th Anniversary 1-watt amps - but then, none of those is what you'd call "cheap" for 5 watts or less.
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Re: On the modern electric guitar

Post by Highway » 21 Sep 2013, 11:38

JD wrote:
Highway wrote:I just can't believe this was designed this way as anything but punishment for "you bought our cheapest tube amp, haha!"
My (limited) experience with Marshalls suggests that the high end is good, but the cheaper ones are strictly to be avoided. With possible exceptions for the SL-5, Class 5, and the 50th Anniversary 1-watt amps - but then, none of those is what you'd call "cheap" for 5 watts or less.
What's more annoying is that even his cheaper Marshall MG100 solid state head had a parallel / serial FX loop. So it's just this particular one (which he bought from a friend). Of course, in a cover band where we play a lot of different stuff, I tend to feel that using a Les Paul / Marshall combination like he does is exceedingly limiting. *EVERYTHING* sounds like a Les Paul through a Marshall, no matter what effects you throw on it. But forethought is not exactly this guy's forte.
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