Megi's Jazz Odyssey - the return

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Comments

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    Put my name down for a CD.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,504Member, Moderator
    It was listening to Barney Kessel and Howard Roberts (separately) backing Julie London that made me want to explore jazz guitar so I appreciated every track, Megi. You have a good feel for the music and know it well enough to be accomplished in your playing.

    I'd be up for a CD too. I'd also invite you two to come and record it at my place as my heart would be in getting the recording and mixing just right.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    please have a listen if you're in the mood for something like that, cheers! smile

    I'm in the mood for that ... but in a rush I'm afraid. Had enough time to listen to Summertime and it's a beautiful cosy intimate sort of sound and of high musical quality. Lovely singing and guitar. cool

    I will go back and hear the others later. So you'll find you're being followed by a Viking now! grin

    Warts and all can be very good. The best recordings are often "live" and pretty much unplanned. The more the planning and editing the more the soul often ebbs away from the music - or at least that's the case with a hack like me.
    Thanks for listening and your kind words Mark - I have followers already - how nice! smile I don't have much (barely any in fact) recording experience, but I do agree with you about too much planning or re-recording spoiling the spontaneity. Beryl had the wisdom to say we would just record each track a maximum of 3 times (some we did less than that in fact) and them pick the best version. None of the takes were flawless, but I do think we managed to capture the right feeling. The challenge for the future will be to keep that, but with more professional recording standards. But cheers for listening and the nice comments! smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Jocko
    Put my name down for a CD.
    Thanks Jocko, your name is at the top of the list! smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Lester
    It was listening to Barney Kessel and Howard Roberts (separately) backing Julie London that made me want to explore jazz guitar so I appreciated every track, Megi. You have a good feel for the music and know it well enough to be accomplished in your playing.

    I'd be up for a CD too. I'd also invite you two to come and record it at my place as my heart would be in getting the recording and mixing just right.
    Ah - in which case you know where much of my inspiration came from! Both wonderful guitarists, and one can learn a lot just trying to figure out what they are doing. As you will have heard, a couple of the songs are ones that Julie London did record, and we also do a few others, including the famous "Cry Me A River". Many thanks for listening Lester, and the invitation also - I don't know if that would be possible, it would depend on where your recording facility is - perhaps if you could PM me? But it is an extremely kind offer, I'm sure you would do a superb job, and I do have to admit I myself am a bit "all at sea" when it comes to doing good recordings. There is a small commercial studio near us who we could use, but I fear it might be a case of going in, wizzing through the songs, and then just having to take what we are given - perhaps not the best scenario.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,504Member, Moderator
    I could send you a PM but I think what I have to say should be up for public debate as I don't claim to be Mr. Know-it-all.

    I think of the sound quality in recording a CD in 3 stages: the recording, the mixing and the mastering.

    The recording of a lady's solo vocal is worthy of as good a studio as you can afford as not every voice sounds its best being recorded through the same mic. Any decent studio will have a library of microphones, so one quick check would be to ask for a list of the studio's mics. Maybe your local studio is up to doing this well.

    The mixing is where the recording is subtly enhanced with EQ, compression, reverb or delay and possibly other effects (limiters, de-essers, exciters and so on). This is usually done by an engineer at the recording studio but doesn't have to be.

    The mastering is where the final mix gets sent to a professional mixing engineer to check and tweak the tracks so that they will sound right together. He will also do the first step towards CD duplication by entering the PQ coding and CD text. Domestic recordings usually skip this step and this is probably half of the reason (the other half being the quality of the recording and mixing) why the recordings us amateurs post on fora do not sound like they were ripped from a CD. The only thing to check is that you use a mastering studio, not a recording studio that has bought mastering software; they are usually different studios with different gear.

    My suggestion yould be to check out your local studio for kit, services and prices and also talk with Trevor at Circle Studios in Birmingham. Have a look at his Downtime Deals. I have no connection with Trevor other than I know he knows his stuff.

    Coming over to Slovakia to record (at £12/hour) would probably not be the best use of your time or money (although you are welcome to a free holiday and accommodation). I would do a job that is clearly better than any domestic recording but not comparable with a studio that has a good selection of mics and an engineer that knows how to use them. I would be happy to mix the recordings (for free) in addition to the in-house mixing engineer - but not if Trevor at Circle Studios does it as I am no competition for him! That would give you a second mix to compare. You should be able to ask for a copy of the recordings.

    You two need to work out what budget you want (or can afford) to work to, what quality you are aiming for and how many CDs you want. These will help suggest a selling price for the CDs.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Lester
    I could send you a PM but I think what I have to say should be up for public debate as I don't claim to be Mr. Know-it-all.

    I think of the sound quality in recording a CD in 3 stages: the recording, the mixing and the mastering.

    The recording of a lady's solo vocal is worthy of as good a studio as you can afford as not every voice sounds its best being recorded through the same mic. Any decent studio will have a library of microphones, so one quick check would be to ask for a list of the studio's mics. Maybe your local studio is up to doing this well.

    The mixing is where the recording is subtly enhanced with EQ, compression, reverb or delay and possibly other effects (limiters, de-essers, exciters and so on). This is usually done by an engineer at the recording studio but doesn't have to be.

    The mastering is where the final mix gets sent to a professional mixing engineer to check and tweak the tracks so that they will sound right together. He will also do the first step towards CD duplication by entering the PQ coding and CD text. Domestic recordings usually skip this step and this is probably half of the reason (the other half being the quality of the recording and mixing) why the recordings us amateurs post on fora do not sound like they were ripped from a CD. The only thing to check is that you use a mastering studio, not a recording studio that has bought mastering software; they are usually different studios with different gear.

    My suggestion yould be to check out your local studio for kit, services and prices and also talk with Trevor at Circle Studios in Birmingham. Have a look at his Downtime Deals. I have no connection with Trevor other than I know he knows his stuff.

    Coming over to Slovakia to record (at £12/hour) would probably not be the best use of your time or money (although you are welcome to a free holiday and accommodation). I would do a job that is clearly better than any domestic recording but not comparable with a studio that has a good selection of mics and an engineer that knows how to use them. I would be happy to mix the recordings (for free) in addition to the in-house mixing engineer - but not if Trevor at Circle Studios does it as I am no competition for him! That would give you a second mix to compare. You should be able to ask for a copy of the recordings.

    You two need to work out what budget you want (or can afford) to work to, what quality you are aiming for and how many CDs you want. These will help suggest a selling price for the CDs.
    Thanks for replying Lester, as you say, Slovakia would be well out of our budget lol, although an interesting place to visit I'm sure. I just thought maybe you had some sort of recording setup in the UK, and perhaps spent some time over here occasionally. It was just a thought really - worth exploring all possible avenues as they say.

    Your other comments, and obvious knowledge and know-how, do reinforce the impression that, although having the right recording setup and equipment is important, the person doing the recording makes the biggest difference to the end result. So I am keen to secure the services of the right person for the job. Our recording is likely to be simple I suppose, with just bass, guitar and vocal to record, but still, these things matter I think. Beryl is very fussy about things like microphones I know, probably justifiably so - she has years of gigging experience, and I suppose knows only too well how things can be less than perfect.

    Thank you also for your summary of the recording to CD process - that is very helpful for me. I will consider Circle Studios, not least because I value your recommendation, but even that far away might prove too expensive for us to be honest. I wonder if you have time, could you have a look at this website http://www.twangmeisterstudios.co.uk/ and let me know your impressions? Don't worry if too busy though! And cheers again for your helpful thoughts.
  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    What's all this? Megi got to grips with recording? Boom Boom!!!
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,504Member, Moderator
    I looked for some other local studios. My comments are purely personal thoughts based on what I can see on each studio's web site:

    Studio Shed, Gainsborough, £15/hour - I would make this my budget choice. The owner-engineer appears to have more experience of other genres and beginners than Twangmeister, eg. listen to Leah Nolan's recording.

    Twangmeister Studios, Grimsby, £20/hour - There is enough old and budget gear (that do things that are done nowadays in a DAW) and lack of clarity regarding mics and acoustic treatment, plus the tracking room looks like a very small booth that I would look elsewhere. On the plus side, the studio has a presence in the UK country scene so if you were doing country music I'd say this studio would be worth considering. To my ears, jazz needs a different approach.

    Element Recording, Hull, £25/hour or £200/day - Personally I would try here first as it mentions, "... a variety of modern and vintage microphones gives a modern yet warm and organic sound and feel. There are three acoustically treated live rooms to give plenty of options ...," which attract me when thinking of live sounding jazz.

    Richard Davidson is Blue Lizard Studio, Cleethorpes, £25/hour (studio 1) or £240/day (studio 2) - I'd call this low end pro with very decent equipment and experience of a range of genres. You should get quality that you will be really pleased with here.

    Chapel Studios, South Thoresby, £1,000/day - High end pro studio.

    And two final thoughts:

    The Beatles recorded their first album in 2 days after gigging the songs for 18 months. I have found that recording 2-3 songs per day is the norm. Mixing usually takes about as long again so as a ballpark figure, think of 5 hours per song for budgeting. As a 3 piece you may get things done a bit quicker, especially if you all know the songs really well.

    Some of these studios also offer mastering services. The general vibe I have picked up from reading the internet is that mastering requires a fresh pair of ears so unless they have a separate mastering engineer, which is unlikely (apart from Chapel Studios) it may be better to take your mastering elsewhere, subject to your budget and what combined package deal each studio can offer.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,504Member, Moderator
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    Slovakia would be well out of our budget

    If we use the ballpark figure of 5 hours per song for recording and mixing, Twangmeister Studios at £20/hour for recording and £15/hour for mixing = £87.50/song. An average CD has about 15 songs so recording and mixing would be about £1,312.50. (Then there is mastering, duplication and printing so maybe the whole project would be around £2,500 for 500 CDs; £5 each to make, selling for £10 each.)

    I have been charging bands here £12/hour for recording and £6/hour for mixing. That would be £45/song or £675 for 15 songs. I usually pay about £120 return for flight, train and coach when travelling to the UK and back. 3 x £120 plus extra for instruments would come to around £500, making a grand total of about £1,175, cheaper than Twangmeister Studios. Not that I am trying to persuade you, I am just trying to show you that things are not always how we imagine them.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Lester, cheers for the studios review - that is going above and beyond, but very much appreciated. Thank you also for the dose of realism re the possible costs involved, that is an eye opener I must say. Things are indeed not always how we might think at first. I do have to say we will be looking to very much the budget end of the spectrum lol, but trying to maximise the quality given that restriction. We will aim to have all our material super-well rehearsed before going in, perhaps with the aim of more than 3 songs per day. Also worth noting there are only two of us, as Beryl plays bass and sings. I'm tending to agree with you re Twangmeister - perhaps not the best choice, for us at least. We had them recommended by some friends, but they are Country type performers, perhaps with limited appreciation what's needed for jazz. Actually I do quite like the sound of the studio in Gainsborough - they did a nice job with Leah Nolan's song. Probably they haven't done much jazz stuff in the past, but then I don't think many local studios have. We are a fairly simple setup in many ways, and I think they might have the right sort of flexible attitude for us. But some serious thinking to do! Thanks again smile
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,198Member
    Certainly well worth hearing as much as you can of the results from a particular studio / engineer. There's so many variables in what an individual likes as a finished sound.

    You certainly want to avoid anyone that's keen on the crushed high average level of sound that has ruined so many recordings in the "loudness wars" by eliminating so much dynamic range and contrasts in musicians performances. eek

    You'll be well used to playing in public which will help make the studio experience less intimidating and being well rehearsed in the way you say will help hugely.

    I've heard the results of a very much amateur musician who had the chance of getting a professional recording done in a studio of one of his songs, but at short notice. So there was the intimidation factor, and the lack of rehearsal for him. The resulting recording was a much higher quality of sound than his original home made recording, including the use of some higher quality instruments, but there was an almost total lack of the spark and a lack of his own personality in the playing that both marked out his own recording as being so damn good. Great shame. frown

    I have a feeling I would fall into the same problem as my friend, but I'm sure from what I've heard of you and Beryl and from what you've said about your experience, that you both can make a damn good job of it if you decide to go ahead. cool
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Thanks for the kind words Mark! I do have to say I am a bit intimidated by the recording process, and in fact I still get nervous when playing live too, though to a variable extent. One thought I have is that jazz is so much of a "live" kind of music (even for amateurs like me), and I guess most top jazz bands that improvise a lot do in fact record all at the same time, rather than track by track, because the music needs to have that interaction. Just to mention one of the UK's amazing and under-appreciated jazz musicians - I recently went to a concert where the pianist Tim Lapthorn was playing in a band accompanying a vocalist (the wonderful Trudy Kerr). I liked his playing so much I bought a couple of his CDs (for a bargain £5 each). Just to give an example of one of tracks (a fairly laid-back one):





    Not only really great music, but the way that the recording has captured the interaction in the trio, and that the playing is so free and unhindered, is very impressive I think.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Took my strat to a band rehearsal today, along with Roland Cube 80XL amp. This is a jazz band - I was really wanting to test what I've often said, which is that I can't get a very good tone for jazz from the strat. I was thinking that maybe I could find something usable and interesting tone-wise, if I had a flexible attitude, and prepared to use something different than my usual warm-ish sounds with humbucker or P90 equipped guitars. And guess what - I really couldn't find anything very useable... frown Now, this guitar does sound great - gorgeous classic strat tones, if that's what you want, it certainly does it beautifully. But I can't seem to find a way to use this guitar in any of the bands I play in (they are all jazz). In terms of how it feels to play I absolutely love this guitar to bits - in fact I would say it has about the nicest feeling neck of any guitar I own. It's really just a lovely guitar to play - and I'm wishing I could use it more really. So I find myself contemplating (gulp) a change of pickups, something I didn't think I'd ever want to do. I already have a Fender Lace Blue pickup, currently unused, which I know from experience gives a great jazz tone in the neck position - very PAF-like, but with just the subtlest hint of stratty single coil in there as well. I'm thinking also I could put a rails-type thing in the bridge position, and maybe keep a strat single coil in the middle. One option would be to keep the current pickups and wiring intact on their pickguard, and buy a new pickguard to put the alternative pickups in. This would make it relatively easy to swap between the two setups.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,504Member, Moderator
    I agree with your findings even though my route to the same conclusion has been a different one. And yes, Strats are so comfy and playable. When my Strat was my only electric the neck pickup with the tone down a bit sounded jazzy. That was until I bought the Burny archtop with one humbucker; now I know what a real, warm, seductive jazz sound should sound like. Obviously, swapping pickups will give you further options, something you have become very good at.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Lester
    I agree with your findings even though my route to the same conclusion has been a different one. And yes, Strats are so comfy and playable. When my Strat was my only electric the neck pickup with the tone down a bit sounded jazzy. That was until I bought the Burny archtop with one humbucker; now I know what a real, warm, seductive jazz sound should sound like. Obviously, swapping pickups will give you further options, something you have become very good at.


    Cheers Lester. What I find is that, for me at least, playing jazz with a strat involves trying to remove from the sound those very elements that make a strat sound like a strat. If you see what I mean lol - which unfortunately means taking elements away from the sound, i.e. a negative thing to do. And then what I'm left with is a kind of insipid, characterless tone which just about works, but in a very uninspiring way. That's just no good really! The guitar sounds glorious as a strat, but I'm just not finding I need that sound, much as I do like it. As you say, the strat design is very comfy and playable. So the pickup change idea does make a lot of sense from that angle. On the other hand, I have enough guitars that are naturally good for jazz already, so I don't need to convert the strat. I have some thinking to do really! smile
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    Sounds like your best option is to keep the Strat for when you want a Strat and play one of the other guitars when it is a "jazz" sound you need.
    However, since you love the neck and, I assume, the body shape of the Strat, why not build another. Specifically designed for that "jazz" sound. Single humbucker neck pickup, tone circuit optimised for the sound you want, coil tap, whatever you think you can use.
    Shoot, I'm giving myself the urge to build something similar!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Having slept on it, I can see you are correct Jocko - at least in respect of keeping the strat in it's pure state. Sometimes, maybe not often but... I'm going to want a strat. I'm not so sure about the new build proposal lol! I really have plenty of guitars already. I suppose where my thoughts lead me in this regard is to my currently in bits Starfield Altair guitar:



    - which did have installed the Lace Blue in the neck, an old Seymour Duncan Classic Strat Stack pickup in the middle, and Artec rails type thing in the bridge. And that was a great combo - the Lace p'up great for jazz as already said, and the combination of that plus the middle p'up was rather nice also. Unfortunately there was an issue with the resonance of the guitar, especially on the bass strings, which were rather plummy and dry sounding, with poor sustain. I think the body may well have been at fault - I was going to try to re-finish it, but kind of wrecked it instead! blush ...but I think it was crap anyhow frankly. The neck was nice though - so perhaps a new body from guitarbuild made to spec - I could pick the wood type with jazz in mind, and would probably go for a fixed bridge also. Perhaps some sort of chambering to give a more open kind of tone... Might not work out too pricey, since I already have the neck and suitable pickups and stuff... Hmm, a bad thought! grin
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,198Member
    Oooh .... possible germination of a project. wink

    Would be a shame to change your existing Strat to do something your other guitars can already do.

    Also seems a shame to have a neck lying around that you liked. So much of how good a guitar is for you is in the neck.

    We shall wait and see!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    Oooh .... possible germination of a project. wink

    Would be a shame to change your existing Strat to do something your other guitars can already do.

    Also seems a shame to have a neck lying around that you liked. So much of how good a guitar is for you is in the neck.

    We shall wait and see!
    Well, hmm possible... bum, how do I manage to talk myself in to these things? grin We will see, but not promising... I may send an email to Phil at guitarbuild.co.uk (made the bodies for my strat and tele) and see what he could do and the likely cost - it would have to be a custom made-to-order job to fit the neck, probably I would go for a different type of wood to the strat and tele, which are both swamp ash. I've never been, but he is actually not based too far away from me, so I could take the guitar neck and existing body over to him to explain what I'd like.

    A shame I agree to lose the classic strat sounds from the strat - it does that perfectly, which of course is what I originally intended, and those
    Hernandez p'ups are rather lovely. In fact my first idea was to convert the Starfield pictured above back to strat type pickups, and re-finish the body in tru-oil. But the body was not good to start with, and made of 6 or 7 strips of naff looking wood, so that never happened. I don't think it would have worked well trying to do the strat thing with that guitar anyhow - it's not a proper strat and just not the right base to start from. So I made the strat partscaster instead, which turned out great.

    The Lace Blue/SD Classic Strat Stack/Rails combination was really good though I remember - versatile, and in fact did do some things that none of my existing (intact) guitars can - the Lace Blue plus middle strat stack was a nice-sounding and unique combination, also the bridge rails had a nice smooth kind of sound, and blended well with the other pickups. So it would be good to get that back.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Still not promising ( "yeah right" I hear you thinking... wink lol) but have been in touch with Phil at www.guitarbuild.co.uk about possibilities... grin My idea is to go for my own design of body shape and make the guitar quite individual and unique. From talking to Phil, it might be an option to use CAD for me to achieve this - but that's probably getting too far ahead of things at this stage. We will see what develops though! smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    I have been playing both my modded Shine 510-SILs a fair bit lately, both in jazz bands with a clean tone. Findings:

    The black-burst one: this has a P90 (Alnico 5, about 7.3K) in the neck, the original humbucker (AFAIK Alnico 5, 13.7K) in the bridge. Basically I really like the P90 - it's like a humbucker in some ways, very responsive to changes on the tone control, and you get the feeling it really transmits a lot of detail from the strings (I've heard someone say such pickups "hear the string windings" - I think that would apply). Slight possible minus - it depends on the setting re acoustics of the room, but sometimes it's just a pinch too... ...well, a bit brash-sounding somehow - I wouldn't say "brittle", but still, if I'm being fussy... So I'm thinking of buying a couple of Alnico 2 bar magnets and putting them in instead of the current Alnico 5's in case that helps (Axesrus sell them, would cost me a tenner).

    The other surprising thing with this guitar is that in terms of perceived output, the (supposedly fairly high-output) bridge humbucker is just not competing - it's just not loud enough! I don't use the bridge pickup much, and rarely on it's own, but this is still a niggle that bugs me. Yes I have played about with pickup heights, lowering the neck, and raising the bridge, but I've still got an appreciable imbalance. I have the guitar strung with a set of 12s - I do wonder if the heavy gauge has an effect to make the neck p'up relatively louder compared to the bridge p'up. But anyway, as a result, I'm thinking about buying an Entwistle HDN bridge humbucker, neodymium magnet, 16.9K! (I already have a set of these in another guitar, very good pickups IMO, with a kind of full range, even frequency response, and very high output). That should do the trick... grin BTW, the Entwistle HDN has 12 adjustable poles - does anyone know where I can get a 12-hole, nickel-silver pickup cover to use with this pickup? Otherwise, I'll probably buy a black-cream "zebra" one and use it without a cover - would look OK, but perhaps not as good as with a cover.

    The red-burst Shine: this has a set of Alnico 2 "Bourbon City" PAF-type pickups (roughly 7.3K neck, 8.5K bridge) - the issue is less obvious, but again I'm finding the bridge could do with a bit more beef. I admit I haven't tried doing stuff with p'up heights on this one. The neck p'up is a lovely thing for clean jazz, smooth and warm, but with good detail. Just a bit of edge if you dig in, which helps for soloing, but can get some lovely soft textures with chordal accompaniment too. Not sure if I'll do anything with the bridge p'up on this one, but I might. Will have to think. I think I might see what effect the Entwistle HDN has on the black-burst, and make a decision after that.

    Oh well, pretty boring stuff really laugh but hope it might be of interest to someone.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    So that's what's going on with the Shines. I'm also still thinking about my developing (and almost certainly going to happen now... grin ) plot to build a new project guitar, with an existing neck I have (from a Japanese Starfield Altair guitar made in the early 90s) and a new body which I hope to design, to be made by www.guitarbuild.co.uk . So currently thinking about ideas for the body design - it's probably going to have 3 strat size pickups (I already have these too) and a fixed bridge. I like the idea of something a bit futuristic, but which also "respects" the history of the electric guitar, and not too out-there or wacky. I found this webpage with an interesting Parker Fly model which seems to have the vibe I'm after - I don't think I'd want the tele type bridge or control panel, and I won't be directly copying the body shape, though I may be influenced by it somewhat. Have a look and see what you think - I've not seen a Parker Fly like this before, has anyone else? Also the writing on the page seems to be in Latin?? confused Anyone able to translate? grin

    http://www.stevesvintageguitars.com/guitar-three/
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,504Member, Moderator
    The Latin is easily explained: it is the default text provided in the web site template.

    A friend has a dark green and extremely light Parker Fly. He loves it. I think I would be disappointed if your design matched an already known body shape. By all means gain inspiraton and ideas from existing shapes and design your own. Don't forget to make sure that the upper bout (if that's the right name) is the right length so that the guitar ends up being neither head nor tail heavy.

    PS. Keep thinking out loud about pickups as I am learning from your adventures.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Lester
    The Latin is easily explained: it is the default text provided in the web site template.

    A friend has a dark green and extremely light Parker Fly. He loves it. I think I would be disappointed if your design matched an already known body shape. By all means gain inspiraton and ideas from existing shapes and design your own. Don't forget to make sure that the upper bout (if that's the right name) is the right length so that the guitar ends up being neither head nor tail heavy.

    PS. Keep thinking out loud about pickups as I am learning from your adventures.
    Thank you Lester - so not some mysterious arcane knowledge re that Latin then... laugh

    Be assured I intend this to be very much a unique body design, though as you suggest, I will indeed be taking inspiration from various guitar designs. When building my partscaster strat and tele (although being less creative) I did adopt a similar approach of being influenced by guitars I saw on the web which I liked the look of (including Jocko's tele, and Mark P's strat) - it's a general approach that seems to work well for me. It's nice to have some idea of how a planned project may look too. I do find the internet is incredibly useful for all this kind of thing - I just do image searches using Google or Yahoo, and take note of pictures I especially like.

    The pickups is interesting - I think there is a danger of getting too concerned with them, after all, they are far from the only influence on the guitar tone. But I do find that the wrong pickup can really hinder me, and I'm just not happy with the bridge pickup on my trans-black Shine. Besides the apparent lack of output relative to the neck P90, the tone just seems a bit limp and lifeless too. Possibly the brass/chrome-plated cover is not helping either, but I still think I'm going to change the pickup. Have you ever had a similar issue with the bridge pickup output not being strong enough out of interest?
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,198Member
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    I found this webpage with an interesting Parker Fly model which seems to have the vibe I'm after - I don't think I'd want the tele type bridge or control panel, and I won't be directly copying the body shape, though I may be influenced by it somewhat. Have a look and see what you think - I've not seen a Parker Fly like this before, has anyone else?

    The only regular user I've seen in the last couple of years of a Parker guitar has had the Nitefly - that was David Wallimann - but it's a more "normal" looking one. Like on this video:-
    Parker Nitelfly and Axe FX II Slow Modal Fusion
    FWIW the one you've found looks much better as far as the body / neck goes. But then you'll know I do like to see a wood grain on a guitar if possible, so I'm biased on this one. I couldn't see any Parker guitars on their site that have the Tele style controls or pickups but they don't help the look I'd agree.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    I found this webpage with an interesting Parker Fly model which seems to have the vibe I'm after - I don't think I'd want the tele type bridge or control panel, and I won't be directly copying the body shape, though I may be influenced by it somewhat. Have a look and see what you think - I've not seen a Parker Fly like this before, has anyone else?

    The only regular user I've seen in the last couple of years of a Parker guitar has had the Nitefly - that was David Wallimann - but it's a more "normal" looking one. Like on this video:-
    Parker Nitelfly and Axe FX II Slow Modal Fusion
    FWIW the one you've found looks much better as far as the body / neck goes. But then you'll know I do like to see a wood grain on a guitar if possible, so I'm biased on this one. I couldn't see any Parker guitars on their site that have the Tele style controls or pickups but they don't help the look I'd agree.
    He uses it very well I must say - in that kind of prog/fusion area, I think he's one guitarist I particularly like - somehow his playing has lots of personality and is very listenable - he tells a story... Some others in the same kind of style come over a bit shallow and self-indulgent to me (I will mention no names though). And also re Walliman, I like his humble approach and sense of humour, both of which are apparent on his Youtube instruction videos.

    As to the Parker Fly type of guitar - I think it is a very successful design - it looks great and of it's time, plus it has substance - not just futuristic for the sake of it, but well thought out and ergonomic. So style and substance well combined - I'll be very happy if I can achieve something similar, as Lester says - without copying!

    I do like the idea of combining modern streamlined looks with the warmth and organic feel of a natural wood finish too. So I think these thoughts definitely give me an angle for this project. I'm wondering about different body woods now... grin
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    Mahogany with a Tru-oil finish.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Originally Posted By: Jocko
    Mahogany with a Tru-oil finish.
    Certainly a viable option! I am thinking a darker wood would be good, but maybe something like walnut... As to the finish, Tru-oil could never be wrong and I do know how to use it already. Early days though, all speculation at this stage! Fun Though.. grin
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Walnut can look very nice with a Danish Oil finish: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f57/watco-danish-oil-410991/ - scroll down for a pic of a 5 string bass which illustrates.
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