Monday, October 31, 2005

She is mine!

This is one sweet Tele.

I'll repeat the ad copy from their site, since the link will disappear in the near future: "Liscensed Fender All Parts body / Mike Spicer neck / Seymour Duncan Antiquity P/U's /plays and sounds great / gig bag"

I was a bit concerned about the pups. The Harmonic Design bridge one I had was way rockin - a solid growl, barely any of the trademark Tele twang left. But these are sharp and bright - and clean. I'm really taking to them. And with a twist of the Gain knob on the FD2 she can bust out the RAWK. And a little surprisingly, I'm actually digging the chrome covered neck pup. I couldn't stand the original Tokai in Doro Mizu, too muddy, but this is thick and sweet.

All she needs now is a name.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And now for something completely different ...

Yeah, I know I'm looking at Telecasters. And this is about as different as you can be and still be an electric guitar. But damn, she's sweet. Plays great, too. I've read some reviews, and it seems if you want a MIJ wannabe 335, this is your girl. And she's actually more of a burgandy wine red, than the picture shows. Sure is purdy.

But I also played the Bigsby Tele this morning, through a little Blues Jr. without the zoo of weekend shoppers. Dang. Beatiful twang. Slow strum a minor chord and ever so gently wang on the trem: instant country ballad.

So my initial plan of buying one great guitar to replace the three stolen last week is shot to hell. I may have to get a few.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Shopping for a new guitar is hardly a painful process for me, but I am torn between waiting til I find the perfect axe and wanting something to play right freaking now.

The G&Ls are beautiful but I'm not sure I can wait 14 weeks to have one made to spec, and nothing I've seen locally has the setup or cosmetics I desire. I'm pretty particular - sunburst Bluesboy, rosewood gloss neck. They always come in either satin/rosewood or maple/gloss, never rosewood/gloss. Yes, I know I'm being anal.

But I've found a couple curious options:
1. MIJ Fender Tele, rosewood/gloss neck, sunburst, binding and a Bigsby
2. MIJ Tokai from the 80s - black on black with rosewood (could be a nice backup beater if I decide to wait for a G&L)
3. Custom Allparts Tele - sunburst with binding, and a rosewood Mike Spicer neck (you can be forgiven for not knowing he's the Guitar Clinic luthier - and yeah, I haven't played it yet 'cuz its in TO but I'm leaning this way)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

M.I.A. Doro Mizu

Yesterday, some industrious crackheads broke in to my apartment and ransacked the place. They didn't get much, nearly all my DVDs and a camcorder, but sadly all three of my electric guitars, especially my Tele: MIJ Tokai Breezysound flake metallic red with white binding and rosewood fretboard and white pickguard, notable pickup change to Harmonic Design with a white plastic cover on the neck pickup to match the pickguard, instead of the typical chrome.

I miss you girl.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Welcome back

A while back I stumbled upon the blog of a Seattle based guitar instructor. A little out of my way, but a great instructional online read. Especially his list of tabs. Considering how sketchy so many tabs you find at the big database sites can be, and his very agreeable taste, I was taken.

But shortly after finding the site he stopped posting, so I didn't bother mentioning it. But he's back, with a vengeance.

DCFC last night

Still overwhelmed by the show at le Spectrum. I wouldn't know where to begin. The energy. The songs. I finally got to see my favorite band - and they failed to disappoint.

OK, some hi-lights:
* first song of the encore "I will follow you into the dark" just Ben Gibbard and an acoustic guitar and the entire room singing along to the entire song, with cheers at the mention of Calgary (and one boo - its Montreal, they're supposed to hate Alberta)
* with a giddy flourish Ben runs the keys of the piano after a keyboard solo, then guiltily smiles at Chris Walla with a look "What? I'm havin' fun"
* the guitars - they seem to have eliminated the Fender Telecasters and gone to G&L ASATs - Specials with P90s, semi hollows and Blues Boys with the neck humbucker - and Chris also had a solid body Rickenbacker
* the amps - Ben had two Maz Jr's and Chris a Maz Sr. and the Route 66

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mayfly ending production

Ottawa's pre-eminent boutique amp builder (also the only Ottawa boutique amp builder that I know of - at least for now) has closed its doors.

They only made Vox AC30 and AC15 clones, but damn good ones apparently.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Peter Elkas

The show Saturday was incredible. His skills with his beat up Telecaster make me very envious, although, and this might just be my gear fetishizing snobbery, but I was a little tentative about his setup.

Slo Tom was running around getting everything done last minute, as per usual, and never could get rid of a nasty 60Hz hum, but it was the choice of a pair of small Fenders: Silverface Princeton and Blues Jr. that had me a bit surprized. Surely he has access to illusory boutique brands I've never heard of - to get that creamy woman tone which I only dream of - not these rudimentary workhorse practice amps.

But then he played - and the echo chimed in stereo through his Line 6 DL6 (and yeah, thats a purchase I haven't regretted for a second).
So maybe his road gear is basic. Maybe he's got a Roland
Space Echo
and a pair of Mazerati's in his studio. But he sounds fine on stage. Especially in a slow croon cover of Springsteen's Street's of Fire.

They're coming!

Carr amps will be at Lauzon this week!

And yeah, that's Neko Case in their factory shop. Note Megadeath cover story on the guitar mag.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Malibu Stacy has a new hat

Now Fuller is on this MOSFET thing too? What, I gotta replace my Custom Shop Fulldrive II already?

Blackstone Appliances

In researching the Matchless Hotbox I came across this little beauty. An alternative approach to producing overdriven sounds with MOSFETS instead of tubes or typical diodes. And it sounds pretty sweet, although a bit compressed in the samples.
I wouldn't mind playing around with it if I had a Twin Reverb or some amp with lots of clean headroom.

eBay of the Day

Jim Frenzel, the retired engineer that built the custom modified Tweed Princeton head I had built into a sweet 10" combo has something new.

The design is from a Matchless Hotbox - a tube pre-amp stombox; but he's built it into a rack unit and made some improvements.

I'm drooling over getting a couple other rack units like a tube power amp and maybe some reverb and giving it all to Lee to build into a sweet head unit.

Amazing Slow Downer

OK, granted, worst name ever. But this app is sweet. You want to learn to play guitar? If you got a Mac this is your tool.

And I was just looking for a Mac software app that does AB repeat to loop a section ad nauseum to practice. Simple enough function that every DVD player has done since the dawn of, well, not time - but DVD players. And it seems many portable mp3 devices are coming out with it too. But iTunes? WinAmp?

But this goes one better. Slow down tracks with out changing the pitch to make it easier, or even change the pitch if you want to transpose to a different key.

The price is steeper than free: $45US. But its perfectly designed to my needs and the demo seems to work without glitch.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Attention to detail

Amplitube version 2.0 has been announced. And it looks pretty sweet, if you go in for all that computer modelling. I'm a bit tentative, myself. Not so much that tubes hold magic audio fairy dust, but the models I've tried before just don't seem as touch sensitive as a cranked tube amp.

Add on top of that flaky device drivers, and apps that will be ravenous for memory and processor time, I'm thinking its operation would be problematic at best. It does look delicious though. The list of amps and pedals all in one ethereal box, all drawn up to look like a mockery of the real thing. I don't have an MXR Phasor and one could cost, well not quite as much as Amplitube ...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

40 Part Motet

40 speakers in a 19th century chapel for an auditory sculpture. Yeah, sign me up.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


While Analog Industries posts an entry on the Wunder Audio recording consoles I'll note the considerably more entry level M-Audio iControl.

OK, so its a glorified mouse, application built for what is ostensibly free entry level software, but shit, it has slider controls!