Bit quiet...

It has been a bit quiet in here lately.

Everyone okay?!

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Comments

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,530Member, Moderator
    edited August 21
    I'm okay and also guilty for contributing to the quietness around here. Now that Photobucket has messed the internet up I need to find a new image host as most of my tales are better told with pictures.

    Having spent July in the UK I have a few things to show and tell, including a visit to Richard's Guitars, selling seven guitars, DIY electrifying my classical guitar and making a pedalboard.

    This week I will be re-recording one song for a children's CD my wife and I have been working on (because the people we are doing it for now want the one song in a different key).
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Hey Lester, wow, you have been busy!
    So how was your visit to Richards? I haven't been yet, but will aim to if I head that way. Did you bring any goodies home?
    Love to see you DIY projects!

    Your recording project sounds interesting too. Do you do much pro recording?
    Good to hear from you, Lester :-)
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,636Member
    I need to sell some guitars, too :-) Give it a couple of years, I keep saying, but I can see a time in the not too distant future when I might off-load the electrics, save for the old Strat. Just not enjoying the electric anymore and when the latest bands have all run their course, as they do, who knows?
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    We'll be watching for those great deals, Derek :D
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,636Member
    Hah. Just a couple of beaten up old Telecaster copies !
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,530Member, Moderator
    edited August 22

    Hey Lester, wow, you have been busy!

    My wife, a piano teacher, finished teaching (for the summer) at the end of June so we took the opportunity of coming to England for all of July. We drove as I had 7 guitars to bring as all but one were sold through ebay, the other sold through this forum. Driving meant we had a car and so were free to travel to visit friends further afield and to a few gigs - Larry Carlton, Endellion string quartet and Half a Sixpence, a musical in a London theatre.

    So how was your visit to Richards? Did you bring any goodies home?

    It was great. It was good to see Richard again. Having sold the 7 guitars (plus a banjo, mandolin and low whistle) I wasn't buying on this occasion but there was a lovely Patrick Eggle guitar there that I would have been keen to try, along with trying out his extensive range of acoustic guitars - Faith, Furch, Eastman, Lowden and more.

    I haven't been yet, but will aim to if I head that way.

    I can recommend it.

    Love to see you DIY projects!

    I will do, once I get a new image host sorted.

    Your recording project sounds interesting too. Do you do much pro recording?

    Through the years I have sometimes described myself as semi-pro, and at others I have called it a self-funding hobby. I have never managed to earn enough to make it my only job.

    Good to hear from you, Lester :-)

    Thanks.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    Megi reporting in - yes, it has been quiet, and it does seem to be us few souls who keep the forum going, I wish we could get a few more involved.

    What have I been up to lately? - glad you asked, I'm still playing in few bands/projects - my jazz duo with singer Beryl has a lunchtime gig this coming Sunday, so we're practicing up a few songs. Also another band that now has a two vocalist front line, male and female - we have a gig early next month, and I'm having to come up with chords and arrangements for a lot of the songs we're doing. Still doing the jazz band gigs as well - a "trad jazz" one every week (not really my thing, but it's nice to be useful) and a more modern jazz band that has a regular gig every 2 weeks, plus one at a restaurant once a month, and occasional other gigs.

    Also, I've been spending a bit of time getting "my sounds" programmed into my new Boss MS-3 multi effects unit/switcher. I can now say I really really like this thing - to my ears, the sound quality is very high indeed, and it is a pleasure to use, and to be able to switch patches super fast, but also be able to easily switch on/off individual effects within a patch. I've been very struck by how good, flexible, and useful the built in compressor is for one thing, also the autowah is superb, and I'm sure I'll discover other good stuff. The only thing I'm not quite so keen on is the built in tuner - which is still decent, but I missed my Digitech Hardwire HT-6 polyphonic tuner, so am now rigging things to have that on my pedal board also, in always on configuration (I just back off the volume/expression) pedal if I want to tune silently.

    Still have various guitar project/maintenance jobs to do - my red Shine seems to need new pots for one thing. Also I bought some cold-rolled steel blocks to fit to the Wilkinson trem units on my strat partscasters - have done one, still have the other to do - FWIW, I think these do give an improvement, as the guitar I've done now seems to have an extra crispness to the tone, and a notably long and even ringing sustain. Vanson guitars on ebay sell the replacement blocks if anyone is interested. And I still have that telecaster project to get on with... :D
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Wow Lester you have been busy. I'm sure it feels good, in a funny way, to be rid of the excess baggage of all those guitars. Hope you enjoyed our fair land on your travels!

    Graham, blimey, had no idea you were in so many bands! How do you keep track?! That's very cool. Guitarist magazine had a review of the MS3 recently. They seemed impressed too. Sounds like there's nothing not to love really, except the tuner perhaps. It's good to have kit you enjoy using.
    I've thought about those steel trem blocks. How much of a change do you think they make? As much as new strings, or more subtle?
    Ah the Tele...hows that going?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    I've thought of downsizing the guitar collection like Lester - past a certain point it does get cumbersome. But I just love guitars! and can find good reasons to keep all of mine, even if I don't need them all. I took a pic a couple of months ago:

    image

    - just out of interest. There is one other acoustic guitar not pictured, that I'd like taken into consideration, but really I just need to find a good home for that one, as it was given to me, and I never use it.

    Re the bands - it seems to work out generally. I actually was in one more until recently, but that one seems to have petered out for the time being. Very occasionally, I have to find a dep when two gigs fall on the same evening (or one of the bands does).

    I haven't seen the Guitarist review of the MS-3, though I'd be interested in their impressions. Glad they liked it anyhow. It does have it's limitations, like anything - I could wish it had a couple more external effect loops, and maybe they could have a stereo option, and perhaps it would be nice to have 5 or 6 presets per bank - for example. But then you're looking at a bigger unit, and part of the MS-3's charm is that it has a small footprint, and works for a portable, but very capable pedalboard setup, I guess the sort of thing a lot of hobby/semi-pro guitarists like me would want to have. If I was thinking of the bigger kind of unit, then I might be considering a Line 6 Helix or whatever anyway. But the MS-3 works for me - really there is some amazing gear out there these days.

    As to the steel block - if honest, I'd say the improvement is probably less than a new set of strings, but that would depend how long you'd had the old strings on for. :D The strat I've already swapped the block on is my swamp ash one, and I changed the strings at the same time, so a bit of an unscientific test. But having had the new strings on a week, and got rid of the initial new strings zing, I do think it's a better guitar than it was, and it was good before. There just seems to be an extended top end, and a notably even, long sustain - I really notice this playing chords. Just to add that previously, the trem had the Wilkinson steel block, and I always have the trem unit decked to the guitar body, with 5 springs, using 11-48 gauge strings. It was already a good sounding guitar, but could perhaps be just a little "soft" tonally (for my taste) - I wouldn't want to overstate this, but now it seems to have a full sound as before, but with an added bell-like, crisp definition there also. And having said all that, it is still a subtle change, perhaps more the sort of thing the player, rather than any audience, would notice. And this is just how I've found it, your mileage may vary! :D
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    Just to add re trem blocks - I read this thing somewhere, where Eric Johnson recommended removing the trem block, and carefully sanding/filing flat any protruding burrs on the bottom of the bridge plate or top of the trem block, so that the two make the fullest possible contact. I've done this, maybe I'm being OTT, but it makes sense to me, and maybe makes a worthwhile improvement also. :)
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,231Member
    The fact that I've taken 6 days to respond to even this thread shows how much I'm an infrequent poster here at the moment. My apologies! :(

    But it's not just this guitar forum that's currently quiet - another forum I keep tabs (no pun meant) on has only had one post in the last 14 days.

    I just don't seem to have anything worth saying and only stories of failure and stalled projects regarding guitar. An attempt to rekindle an earlier interest in flamenco has fizzled out (shortly after forking out some hard earned for books). An upgrade of nylon string guitar that failed and had the guitar back to the shop the next day. An intention to do Skype lessons once I upgraded my webcam which has failed to happen even after I did upgrade.

    The improv idea of recording three tracks based on a particular scale but with no planning has produce some interesting music that I could not have otherwise done, and that I could not have played were it on tab. But it has also shown how cack-handed my sense of timing and keeping three parts together can be. It is a good idea for musical experimentation though - all you need to avoid is known chords and often used runs of notes. A bass track of notes within the scale but avoiding patterns and avoiding notes that fit chord progression is followed by random 3 to four note clusters and arpeggios of notes in the scale but ones that do not form chords that you know. Then try and improv a lead line of melodic ideas / motifs.

    At least my new Vintage Giltrap Mahogany acoustic guitar has proved to be a good purchase. It is away getting a set-up done at the moment, so I'm back to playing the cedar top Giltrap and I'm enjoying returning to that a lot too. Damn good instruments regardless of price point.

    My hobby in guitars seems very amateur up against what members like Lester and Graham have got up to and done guitar-wise in their time, whether building and modding or playing at a higher level. As to having several bands on the go at once - wow! I couldn't even manage one.

    I did have the feeling back when I did these electric guitar things that the better the block on a Strat arrangement and the better the quality of the steel then the sounds clearly benefited. Particularly clean sounds. A plus side of playing 99% acoustic stuff is that I don't have to worry any more about hardware and electronic upgrades. I suppose I could upgrade things like tuners and bridge pins - but I think I'd need much more expensive microphones to pick up the difference on a recording, and I'd need to play a damn sight better to hear any improvement in the first place.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,862Member
    Sorry. I've been away for a week. Camping in Cornwall. Glorious weather.

    I've kind of given up on guitar but my boy has taken up where I've left off and can play instrumental style impressively now. He just seems to learn pieces that took me months/years in a day !

    That said - he did no work at school/university and turns in top results somehow.

    Proud and dismayed at the same time.
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,303Member
    Hello. I'm not dead yet. :neutral:

    Dave
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Nice little collection you've got there. I see a few familiar faces - familiar from other posts, that is.
    It's good to hear that you're still enjoying the MS3. I'll try to dig up that review. You're right about there being some amazing gear around. It's almost mind boggling.

    The steel block does sound interesting. With £20 burning a hole, I'll probably get one. Or two! Or two. And then come back and blame you for draining my bank account.
    Ok not really.

    Interesting thing about EJ too. A friend of mine and I used to have a thing where we would every once in a while exchange EJ stories. His latest was someone walking past his dressing room hearing 'A little bit more... ok little bit more... ok stop', walking in, and seeing Eric with his tech who had a pedal upside down and screwdriver in hand, screwing the backplate screws in and out while Eric played, and telling him to adjust the screws to adjust the tone. Honestly. The guy is nuts!
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,636Member
    Did a gig yesterday with the band and because of parking restrictions had to carry the gear a fair way. So I took just the strat, a bag of leads, and the little Compact 60 which is small enough to be swung over a shoulder. DI'd the Compact 60 and it was awesome. No need for a big and heavy guitar amp and cab. So now seriously considering selling the valve amp and the extension cab and just using the little AER from here on in. I bought it for acoustic gigs, but it worked fine with the clean single coil sound that I like. Could be an idea, anyway.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member

    Nice little collection you've got there. I see a few familiar faces - familiar from other posts, that is.
    It's good to hear that you're still enjoying the MS3. I'll try to dig up that review. You're right about there being some amazing gear around. It's almost mind boggling.

    The steel block does sound interesting. With £20 burning a hole, I'll probably get one. Or two! Or two. And then come back and blame you for draining my bank account.
    Ok not really.

    Interesting thing about EJ too. A friend of mine and I used to have a thing where we would every once in a while exchange EJ stories. His latest was someone walking past his dressing room hearing 'A little bit more... ok little bit more... ok stop', walking in, and seeing Eric with his tech who had a pedal upside down and screwdriver in hand, screwing the backplate screws in and out while Eric played, and telling him to adjust the screws to adjust the tone. Honestly. The guy is nuts!

    I took the risk and bought two of the steel blocks at once - still not sure that was wise. I think it's worked out OK for the swamp ash strat I've done, but the walnut one naturally has a bit more top end to the tone, and with the heavy-ish walnut body, does not seem to want for sustain either. So I really wonder what the new steel block will bring to the table for this guitar - only one way to find out of course!

    Probably EJ is a bit nuts with some of the tone geek stuff, I won't deny it, but I think it all seems to have a bit of a life of it's own now, and the stories seem to circulate and get taken a bit out of context perhaps. There's the famous one about different batteries in pedals sounding different for example - I read something on that one, where he explained that he felt some brands lose power quite quickly, affecting the tone, so he got some Duracells which seemed to maintain their output better - actually quite a reasonable explanation, but the "tone geek going on about batteries" thing had already got momentum. He is one of my favourite guitarists anyhow, and his thoughts about the trem block needing to make the best contact with the base plate seemed well reasoned to me - and when I examined the Wilkinson trem base plate, there were some protruding burrs at the edges of the drilled holes, that I sanded flush.

    Cheers for liking the collection - I know there quite a few of those guitars that have already been paraded on the forum in the past. I really am at the "no more guitars" stage now, although somehow the current tele project will squeeze in one more. Perhaps I will have to sell a few before long, but they're all different, and do their own nice things - it's difficult! :D




  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Let us know if the tremblock makes any difference. I'd love to know. Hey, if it's only in your imagination then that's good enough for me. If you think there's a difference there is.

    As for Eric, I totally believe the trem thing has merit. I'll give that a shot too. He likes to have contact at all points, like the neck pocket, which he has sanded to the wood. I try to do that where I can too. But draining batteries for tone? Preferring one kind of glue over another for fretwork? Mhmm, probably not.
    Mind you, his playing is so impeccable - it's like the other side of perfect - that he's looking for the smallest things to get that extra benefit, and I can't honestly fault him for that. He does have the chops to back it up. I mean, once you play perfectly, what else can you improve?
    I love his playing too. I don't have any of his albums, though. Perhaps I should fix that. Before he dies, that is.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Maybe guitars are like dessert.
    "Just one more? "
    "Well...oh alright then. I probably can't walk as it is, but what harm can one more slice of Black Forest gateaux do?"
    Or maybe like Mr Creosote and the wafer thin mint!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    I'm shocked that you haven't experimented with different glues for the frets Nick! :open_mouth: ;) - you're just not trying mate, pull your socks up.

    I took my ash strat to a band rehearsal today, and it certainly sounded great (is fitted with red/silver/blue Lace pickups) - most of the time used with a few effects going. I was using the MS-3 in earnest for the first time, and I'm happy to say the four patches I'd devised worked well, although I have some slight tweaks to make in the light of experience.

    And for the first time I have a sustained lead tone I'm really happy with (it's only taken a few decades) - that's not using built in drives from the MS-3, but rather a Turbo RAT (clone) pedal going into a DopeFX Black Lotus (modified Zendrive type) pedal - but it is great that I can now access that sound with one footswitch on the MS-3. But other band members were struck by my improved sound - I think down to the MS-3 rather than the steel trem block... :D
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member

    Maybe guitars are like dessert.
    "Just one more? "
    "Well...oh alright then. I probably can't walk as it is, but what harm can one more slice of Black Forest gateaux do?"
    Or maybe like Mr Creosote and the wafer thin mint!

    :D There are so many designs and variations with electric guitars (not to mention acoustics) and then there is the internet, full of examples of people using all these different guitars, and showcasing their individual delights - it's a powerful selling device if one is at all susceptible. I get enthused and think "it would be so lovely to be able to get x kind of sound, if only I had y type of guitar, like player z" and that starts it. For example, I got keen on Larry Carlton's playing a while back, and now own a lovely Ibanez AS103 semi acoustic...

    Plus I just find guitars to be beautiful things (most of them anyhow) and they are just nice to have around and gaze at sometimes, yes I am that shallow :D
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    And you really have to listen to some EJ albums Nick! I can recommend Ah Via Musicom as a good place to start, and Venus Isle is gorgeous, and the first one, Tones, is terrific, but they're all great really.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Megi said:

    I'm shocked that you haven't experimented with different glues for the frets Nick! :open_mouth: ;) - you're just not trying mate, pull your socks up.

    Funny you should say that... I did try superglue and wood glue, but not for sonic reasons :) Superglue dried too quickly and made a mess if I spilled it on the fingerboard. Wood glue seemed to work well as it didn't need to secure the frets from vertical pressure, more keep them in place and the expanded plastic like dry glue seemed to do just that. I'm not sure it would adhere to the metal so much as make the slot more 'grippy' than just wood.
    Now, do I prefer playing the woodglued-in-fret guitars more because they are more recent and potentially have better fret jobs anyway, or does the superglue suck tone? Hmmmm……! :wink:

    Sounds like (!) the MS-3 is doing it's job - nice one! And if others can tell the difference, all is not in vain. That has to be pretty rewarding :)
    Did you A/B test the MS-3 with bandmates - with and without the steel block?!!



    :D There are so many designs and variations with electric guitars (not to mention acoustics) and then there is the internet, full of examples of people using all these different guitars, and showcasing their individual delights - it's a powerful selling device if one is at all susceptible. I get enthused and think "it would be so lovely to be able to get x kind of sound, if only I had y type of guitar, like player z" and that starts it. For example, I got keen on Larry Carlton's playing a while back, and now own a lovely Ibanez AS103 semi acoustic...

    Hmmm. Yes, I've been a willing victim too. I built a 24" scale neck just because of Brain May, even though I'd never played one. Good job I like it!
    Megi said:

    Plus I just find guitars to be beautiful things (most of them anyhow) and they are just nice to have around and gaze at sometimes, yes I am that shallow :D

    Nothing to be ashamed of!

    Okey dokey, I'm off to find some EJ. Thanks for the tips :smiley:
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member



    Did you A/B test the MS-3 with bandmates - with and without the steel block?!!

    Actually yes - I've tried them with all 4 combinations, under strict laboratory conditions to ensure consistent air humidity and temperature:

    1. no MS-3, no steel block
    2. no MS-3, steel block
    3. MS-3, no steel block
    4. MS-3, steel block

    I then asked them to fill in a 20 question multiple choice questionnaire, and intend to carry out statistical analysis of the results, which I will present in a report with graphs and everything...

    Well... OK, no I didn't mention the steel block, and no one said "hmm, have you changed that guitar somehow, it just seems to have extra definition and crispness, with a little extra sustain and even response when you play chords?". It would have been nice, but... The MS-3 was obvious, sitting there on the pedal board with lit up screen and blue/red LEDS and everything, so they'd noticed that before I started playing - but it honestly does sound lovely. :D
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 823Member
    Ah yes, I've been on a bit of leave so just getting back into action (and work has piled up in my absence of course).
    Gig wise the funk unit played a gig Friday 18th and have one more in the afternoon at a beer festival on 9th Sept. Then nothing booked until next year at present, next year has a half a dozon or so.
    Country band nothing for a few weeks and nothing in the pipe line, it's a loose affair and could spring into action anytime but just might not.
    Outside of that I haven't even attended a Jam session for ages, I always feel tired or otherwise engaged when I fancy one of the regular sessions. Must make more effort.

  • BryBry Posts: 651Member
    I've been struggling to do anything guitar related for most of this year. I think I said on another thread how I nearly lost all of my guitars, music gear and workshop and it's been hard to get back into it having more or less moved into my 6 yr olds bedroom ever since. I did manage to finish this Telemaster though.
    imageDSC0027_1

    Then after watching a kit online for over a year I finally went and bought it...
    imageDSC0366_1

    Was slightly disappointed to find it came with the neck already glued but only slightly as it's made the scraping of binding a bit more difficult than it could have been. Then after realising I had enough spares to finish another Tele or Telemaster I allowed myself to start looking for another body but something went wrong. I have four Tele bridges and pickups going spare but I fell for this body...
    images_l1600

    Awaiting delivery of a blowtorch to do a bit of a scorched sunburst thing.
    I decided to take a chance on a very cheap Chinese neck and have been very pleasantly surprised as not only did it arrive within a week but at first inspection it seems a lot better quality than you'd ever expect for the grand sum of £27 inc.postage. HB sized P90s for this one, really looking forward to how it looks and sounds. Will post a few pics when work begins.
  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 123Member
    edited September 2
    I'm still around - although I have to say I have no idea where time has been evaporating to in recent months. I changed cars last year and it's just gone for it's first service, yet it only feels like I've been driving it a couple of months, let alone 12.

    In August I received a well earned injection of inspiration at our local festival - The Ramblin' Man Fair, held in the metropolis of Maidstone. After too many years I finally saw ZZ Top and also discovered Extreme are not Mr Big and quite enjoyed their set. Other highlights of that weekend were Black Star Riders, Dokken (who genuinely surprised me), Focus, Glenn Hughes and a chamber prog duo from St Petersburg called Iamthemorning.

    Since then I have been playing a lot more - mainly on my old strat, which I have had for 30 years this year, think I have been taking the time to learn all things I meant to, but never got around to.

    I sold a couple of guitars too - I'm not down to single figures yet and I think it will take a few years before that happens, but I'm kind of honing in on my keepers and my nice to have, but not essential ones.

    Aside from music I think time has disappeared on writing projects, I dropped my first book on Amazon in march and started my second soon after. Since then weekends have been split between promoting book 1 and writing book 2. It's fun thing to do, but does make hours vanish.

    I always try and check the forum at least once a week and it's great to see familiar names popping up and sharing stuff.

  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Megi said:



    Did you A/B test the MS-3 with bandmates - with and without the steel block?!!

    Actually yes - I've tried them with all 4 combinations, under strict laboratory conditions to ensure consistent air humidity and temperature:

    1. no MS-3, no steel block
    2. no MS-3, steel block
    3. MS-3, no steel block
    4. MS-3, steel block

    I then asked them to fill in a 20 question multiple choice questionnaire, and intend to carry out statistical analysis of the results, which I will present in a report with graphs and everything...

    Well... OK, no I didn't mention the steel block, and no one said "hmm, have you changed that guitar somehow, it just seems to have extra definition and crispness, with a little extra sustain and even response when you play chords?". It would have been nice, but... The MS-3 was obvious, sitting there on the pedal board with lit up screen and blue/red LEDS and everything, so they'd noticed that before I started playing - but it honestly does sound lovely. :D
    Nice thorough job. I look forward to seeing the charts and accompanying spreadsheets
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    ESBlonde said:

    Ah yes, I've been on a bit of leave so just getting back into action (and work has piled up in my absence of course).
    Gig wise the funk unit played a gig Friday 18th and have one more in the afternoon at a beer festival on 9th Sept. Then nothing booked until next year at present, next year has a half a dozon or so.
    Country band nothing for a few weeks and nothing in the pipe line, it's a loose affair and could spring into action anytime but just might not.
    Outside of that I haven't even attended a Jam session for ages, I always feel tired or otherwise engaged when I fancy one of the regular sessions. Must make more effort.

    Cool. Looks like being in several bands is the thing to do. I'd find one band too much lol That's great that you're getting gigs. Nice!

    Mhmm. Must make more time to jam too. I'm with ya. Too much effort sometimes.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member


    Hey Ninja, lots of selling and buying going on here. Why on earth do you want to get down to single figures :) ?
    What kind of stuff do you write? Anything music related?

    Hey Bry, cool, more partscasters! Love that telemaster. Can we watch this space for pics as the new one develops?
  • BryBry Posts: 651Member



    Can we watch this space for pics as the new one develops?

    Can do. I've just been out and attacked it with a blowtorch but no pics yet.
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