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Archive for December, 2010

I was answering a comment on one of my videos this morning on YouTube, when I came across a great series on understanding tube amps posted by Old Tone Zone (http://www.oldtonezone.com). It’s a 7-part series, and goes through various features of tube amps. Here’s the first video in the series. If you want to view it with the playlist, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc-78AKIo5A&feature=BF&list=PL2D0A1CC3FC96F1CA&index=1.

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I finally got some time to post my very first full video review (the Dumble series doesn’t really count because it wasn’t really a review, but more of a demo). So here, I present to you the Sebago Sound Double Trouble 100, an 100 Watt amplifier from a newcomer to the amp business and another entry in the very popular Dumble-style amp genre.

Intro and Feature Walkthrough

Dirty Tone (Master Volume)

Clean Tone and Wrapup

Overall Impression

As I mentioned in the last video segment, I’m giving the amp a 4.5. Tone-wise, it’s a fantastic amp, but personally, I’m just not in pre-amp-only distortion, and like to have the power amp side working in conjunction with the pre-amp side. It’s just a lot beefier and dramatic to me. Cranked up like this, the amp performs wonderfully; and I especially dig using the boost as it seems to add even more clarity and note separation.

For more information on these great amps, check out the Sebago Sound website!

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I swear by my Aracom attenuator as do many others, and it’s great to see people demonstrating it. This demo comes from a guy in Italy who can cop Angus Young like no other. This dude rocks the house and has several vintage amps and guitars. He’s not just a collector, he’s a bonafide player!

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My church bandmates were a bit tired of this bluegrass-style “Joy to the World” that we’ve done for the past few years at Christmas Mass, and they asked if we could do a new song. Well… in keeping with our much more straight-ahead rock style, I came up with an 80’s punk version of Angels We Have Heard On High. 🙂 That’ll wake everyone up!

By the way, the guitar (my R8 Les Paul) was recorded in the bridge position through the AWESOME VHT Special 6. I used a 1 X 12 external speaker cab loaded with a Jensen Jet Falcon. The amp was cranked, in the high input, high output, with the booster engaged! HA! It has a much bigger sound than its 6 Watts! It was actually pretty loud in my studio!

Also, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

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A couple of weeks ago, I did a gear find announcement about the new EH Freeze pedal that essentially takes what you’re playing such as a chord or note and freezes it. The video demonstration was particularly awesome, and very intriguing. Intriguing enough to where I needed to check it out. So I did, and…

I’d rather use a looper. 🙂 The premise is great: Strum a chord, or pick a note, press and hold the button, and what you just strummed is held in place.

When I first saw the video, I was thinking that it would be great for my solo acoustic gigs where I could solo over the frozen chord. But after playing around with the pedal, I realized that I like soloing over live loops than just a single chord. No doubt, the pedal offers some interesting possibilities.

One thing that I found was really cool was using the latch mode while playing chord progressions. In latch, freeze is always on, and each time you press the button the pedal freezes what you’re playing at the time. With chord progressions, it’s cool because it really helps fill the space, but the problem for me – and probably  most players – is that I don’t do just a straight strum. I palm mute, I tap the strings, I pick out bass lines and such, and this is where it’s really tough to use this pedal.

Interestingly enough, lots of bass players have picked up this pedal. For bass, it makes lots of sense because you’re mostly playing single notes at a time. But if you slap or play two- or three- note chords like my bassist does, I think the pedal would get limited usage.

I suppose you could use it to get infinite sustain, but for that, I’d rather use something like the Pigtronix compressor/sustainer. While it won’t give me infinite sustain, it’ll give me enough for my needs. 🙂

So the verdict? I like the pedal, but not enough to actually put it in my chain. Quality-wise, it’s built solidly and that’s not an issue. I think for me, it would get very limited usage, and while I can get it for around $100, there are other things I’d rather use $100 for…

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Slash Appetite for Destruction Limited Edition Les PaulI subscribe to Gibson tweets and Facebook postings, and yesterday I got an update about three new Gibson Custom Shop Les Pauls that Gibson is releasing. One of these is yet another Slash Appetite for Destruction. Gibson came out with one of these earlier this year that retails for around $4000. It’s a nice guitar in honey finish. This latest addition comes in two flavors – VOS and Aged – and is signed by Slash, with only 100 being made by the Custom Shop. Here’s Gibson’s blurb:

Slash Appetite For Destruction
Working hard to record Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 debut, Appetite for Destruction, Slash was experiencing nothing but frustration trying to achieve the tones he was seeking with a range of contemporary electric guitars he was using. Then someone handed him a reissue-style Les Paul Standard, and that was all she wrote. With this legendary rock machine in hand, Slash laid down the deadliest rock riffs of the decade—propelling songs like “Paradise City”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, and “Welcome to the Jungle”—and fired up the biggest-selling debut album of all time in the process.

Slash has been a devoted Les Paul player ever since, throughout his years with Guns N’ Roses and later with Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver. He has taken a number of Gibson Signature models on the road, and owned and recorded with near-priceless vintage late ’50s ’Bursts. To honor his achievements on the instrument, Gibson’s Custom Shop introduces the Slash “Appetite for Destruction” Les Paul, a guitar made in the image of the axe that launched a thousand riffs.

This one has an MSRP of $9,174 for the VOS and $12,468 for the Aged edition. You can read the details here, in the article entitled “The Guitar That Saved Rock N’ Roll;” hence the title of this article.

I’m sure collectors will get excited by this, and having a couple of Custom Shop guitars myself, I don’t doubt the quality of workmanship that went into producing the guitar. But I am scratching my chin about any of the Appetite for Destruction guitars, and also mildly chuckling. Why? The AFD guitar is a replica of a replica!!! Again, that is not to say that the guitar is bad; in fact, it apparently most closely matches the specs and more importantly the tone of the original guitar as Slash remembers it. Plus, if people are big enough fans to buy the guitar, I say definitely go for it!

By the way, for a more detailed article describing that original replica, you can read it at Premier Guitar! It’s definitely worth the read.

I don’t see these guitars as a real negative against Gibson. I think the fact that Slash played a replica on the album (and subsequent tours), is the ultimate compliment to Gibson. Be that as it may, I still find it amusing that it’s a replica of a replica, and that it took a replica to drive Gibson produce a guitar of this caliber.

As for the AFD guitar “saving rock n’ roll,” let’s be honest: That original replica probably saved Gibson’s ass, as the company’s sales at the time were apparently languishing with all the hair metal and glam rockers turning to Strats, Charvels and Jacksons. Plus, it is well-noted that Les Pauls of the era had some huge quality issues; all serving to draw players away. That Slash found his tone in a Les Paul, and in turn drew in a huge fan base not just to the music, but to Les Paul guitars was a major coup for Gibson.

It’s great that Gibson recognized the importance of that guitar by creating its own replica of it. It’s the implied gratitude of “Thank you for saving our asses!”

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My 2 G’s…

I’m fairly obsessive about my hobbies, and besides guitar (which is one “G”), I have a passion for golf (the other “G”). In the Goofydawg “BC” years – before children – I was an avid golfer, but with all my commitments to kids’ things, I gave the game up for many years. I’ve finally returned to the game after a 20 year hiatus, and to commemorate my return, I started another blog appropriately named, “The Lateral Hazard.” If you’re also into golf, I invite you to read my golf blog, and also share your own thoughts!

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