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Thread: [Way Off-Topic] The Music Gear Thread

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    [Way Off-Topic] The Music Gear Thread

    Mod note: As per my proposition earlier regarding a thread about music gear and so as to not derail the All That Jazz! thread, the first two posts of this thread here were split off from the "All That Jazz!" thread..






    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Those Les Paul guitars look great and sound amazing too, I always wanted one. They're a bit pricy though.

    Here's mine. I took this picture last night, and it was the first time ever that I took a picture with my current phone, so it's a bit out of focus and the lighting is not exactly correct either. But it should give you an idea.


    Name:  Frank's 2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard Mahogany 3PU.jpg
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    It is a 2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard Mahogany. That was the official name on Gibson's website, but what the name does not reflect is that it came with three pickups. Also, the pickups are not the Gibson Burstbucker Pro pickups that were en vogue on the Les Paul Standards of that era, but instead Gibson opted to put three uncovered Seymour Duncan SH-6 "Duncan Distortion" pickups in this model. They are scatterwound ceramic magnet pickups, and they sound very bright and articulate, as well as that they hit the front of the amplifier quite hard if you don't back off on the volume controls. Hence the "Distortion" moniker, of course ─ they were intended for hard rock and heavy metal sounds. As the name of the model says, it also has a top made of mahogany ─ like the rest of the guitar ─ instead of the maple used on other Les Paul Standards, resulting in a somewhat sweeter and warmer attack.

    I bought this guitar in February 2003, but the serial number indicates that it was built in January of 2002; it is not uncommon for Gibson guitars to be laying around at the distributor's warehouse for a year or longer ─ my Firebird VII came straight out of Gibson Europe's warehouse in 2005, while its serial number indicates that it was built in 2003.

    To this very day, my Les Paul is my most expensive guitar. I seem to remember that I paid €3'163 for it, and that amount does not cover the significant discount I got from the music shop because I had just bought another Gibson only three months earlier. But back at the time, the Euro was still new as a currency, and it still stood very weak opposite the US Dollar. As the matter of fact, the exchange rate was about the exact opposite of what it is now, which may explain the high retail price. But at the same time, Gibsons were very expensive in those days. It is only under the new ownership ─ since about 2017/2018 ─ that the prices were significantly lowered again.

    Lastly and to top it all off, I'm also pretty convinced that I'm the only one in Belgium who owns one of these. When I put in the order, I was literally told that the importer had one of them in stock, and he was the importer for the whole of Europe at the time, before Gibson established its own European distribution center in the Netherlands ─ which is where my Firebird came from. This particular Les Paul Standard Mahogany model was only in production for about two years ─ from the fall of 2001 until the middle of 2003 ─ and only in small numbers, even though it wasn't officially listed on Gibson's website as a limited edition model. But three-pickup Gibsons never seem to sell too well, and so they never last for very long in the catalog ─ barring the three-pickup version of the 1957 "Black Beauty" Les Paul Custom Reissue from the Custom Shop of course, but that one's part of the Historic Collection, and given that it's a Custom Shop guitar, it'll cost you approximately an arm and a leg. Maybe an eye too.

    Now, a mahogany top on a Les Paul is certainly nothing new. The Les Paul Customs made between 1954 and late 1960 all had a mahogany top as well, and it was only when Gibson brought back the Les Paul in 1968 ─ the original models had been discontinued between 1961 and 1967 in favor of a "new" Les Paul model, which later on got renamed and which is the guitar we know today as the Gibson SG ─ that the Les Paul Custom begot a maple top cap. And back in 1994, there was a very limited Custom Shop run of Les Paul Standards with a mahogany top and dual P-90 pickups, finished in Heritage Cherry, which is the same color as on my Les Paul.

    Also, around 2016, Gibson issued another (and this time officially limited) run of Les Paul Standards with a mahogany top, but those were two-pickup guitars only, finished in a natural gloss finish, and they were chambered ─ mine is not. Earlier there was also a limited run of Les Paul Traditionals ─ i.e. the non-chambered 1980s-spec versions of the Les Paul Standard that were made between 2008 and 2018 ─ with a mahogany top and a satin finish (in different color options).

    Yet, to the best of my knowledge, there had never been a three-pickup version of the Les Paul Standard before. There was a limited run of three-pickup 1959 Les Paul Standards from the Gibson Custom Shop a few years ago, but that was presumably a dealer-ordered model, because they were never listed on Gibson's website, and a Les Paul Standard normally never has three pickups, so it certainly won't have had three pickups in 1959 either. But Gibson does allow its major American dealers to order limited runs with custom specifications, both as Custom Shop models and as normal production models from the Gibson USA production plant. As such, there was apparently also a limited run of three-pickup versions of the Les Paul Classic around the same time that I bought my Les Paul, but this was a limited series exclusive to Sam Ash, one of Gibson's major American dealers.

    As for what my Lester sounds like, well, it's a real Les Paul in that it has all the sustain, warmth and depth of tone that you would expect from a Les Paul, but the attack is a little sweeter due to the mahogany top, and the Duncan Distortion pickups don't exactly sound vintage-correct ─ it's a much more modern sound. Not that this would be a bad thing, because the Duncans work really beautifully with the natural sound of a Les Paul ─ they are very articulate, and I absolutely love them for it, because some Les Pauls do sound quite muddy. Also, with the stock wiring, the middle position of the pickup selector switch does not select the usual combination of the neck and bridge pickups, but rather of the middle and bridge pickups, which happens to be my favorite sound on any three-pickup guitar. It's a warmer and thicker version of Mark Knopfler's "Sultans Of Swing" sound, and it's a characterful sound that really sings, and that you can literally use in any musical genre ─ no matter what style of music you play, it'll always be right at home.
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    Perhaps you could some day demonstrate how that sounds like.

    My brother as a musician is a guitar guy, but I don't think he has owned a Les Paul. Fenders yes. I actually should ask him about that.

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    Cool

    So, now that we've got the ball rolling, as I explained earlier on the Silly Idea thread, most of the videos I'll be posting will be from the Andertons YouTube channel. Andertons is a musical instrument store in Guildford in the UK, and I monitor their guitar-oriented YouTube channel, but I am not in any way affiliated with them, nor is it my intent to promote their business. Just getting that out of the way.

    The videos are usually hosted by Lee Anderton, the current owner of the shop and grandson of the shop's founder ─ Andertons was founded in 1964. In earlier videos, Lee would often co-host with Rob Chapman, and Rob still makes an occasional appearance in the Andertons videos every once in a while, but he has in the meantime relocated to Malta, the home country of his wife.

    So most of the time, Lee ─ who continues to use the nickname "The Captain", which Rob Chapman gave to him ─ is now co-hosting the videos with Peter "Danish Pete" Honoré, an experienced session musician who has toured with (among many others) Atomic Kitten, Aqua and Tom Jones. Although Pete is originally Danish, he met his wife ─ who is British ─ while touring the UK, and as such he decided to stay in Britain, where he initially found a daytime job as a representative for Mesa Boogie, but he was then hired by Andertons a while later. Another recurring co-host on the Andertons guitar channel is Rabea Massaad, a guitar virtuoso who primarily plays progressive metal and who used to be the lead guitarist in Rob Chapman's former band Dorje, but who also covers a lot of other ground and has also worked with many other bands and artists.

    One of the reasons why I like the Andertons YouTube channel is that it's not just informative, but at times also outright hilarious. All of the hosts have a very good sense of humor, and the same is true for the guy doing the video editing.

    To kick off the first batch, we'll stay with the theme of the Gibson Les Paul guitar from the opening post, so the four videos below home in on the single-cutaway carved-top Les Paul models. I'm not going to be posting the videos about the slab-bodied Les Paul Juniors and Specials, because although they are historically related and do carry the Les Paul name, they are actually a different kind of guitar ─ they feel different and they sound different, somewhat in between a Les Paul and an SG.

    Lastly ─ and as I also said on the Silly Idea thread ─ by all means, feel free to discuss, because the whole forum is already filled with videos that either lead to no discussion at all or that are meant to sell you onto something.


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    There is no way I cannot participate in this thread. Anderton videos are always a fun way to experience the new gear.

    I am not a "gear head" but, I use gear and know what I like for my sound.

    Yes, tone starts with hands. Then, there is the signal chain before it comes out of the speaker. There is a lot of room for some tonal magic there, and the gear between the player and the speaker is a lot of fun to work with.

    And, what Fender has done with digital is impressive. Using Class D transistor amplifiers helps enormously. Class D has warmth and some play within it. My old Galien Kruger bass amp at 400 watts was a lot of cold volume. Have two Class D bass amps now and they sound great. Both Fender bass amps I have are now no longer available. Glad I got them.

    Fender Bronco 40 (10" speaker) modulation amp and The Rumble 350 head.

    I prefer the Rumble I have because it does not use the standard low mid and hi mid tone controls. It lets me select the frequency and then boost or cut it. More of a thinking person kind of tone control. Fender Rumble's now use the low mid/hi mid tone controls. I am sure that is more popular.

    Both of my bass amps have XLR line outs. My Bronco 40 will work in club situation and my amp becomes a monitor with the sound person working the signal given to them.

    This thread might have few contributors, LOL. But, we will see the views.

    Might be a good thread.

    Here is a video of me playing outdoors with my 40 watt Bronco and going through the sound system. Butch Robins on banjo.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butch_Robins

    Last edited by modwiz, 6th September 2021 at 04:04.
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    I'm going to post a few comments of my own with the above videos for clarification. And by all means, if anyone has any questions about what is being spoken about in the videos, or about any specific aspect of the guitar, then please just post about it here on the thread ─ that's what it's here for.





    On the subject of weight relief

    Here's the historical context... Before 1974, Gibson and other manufacturers who built their guitars out of mahogany were using the so-called Honduras mahogany, which is a very light and porous wood. However, as of 1974, Honduras mahogany could no longer be legally exported for commercial purposes, and thus every guitar maker had to look for a different source of mahogany, Gibson included. This newer mahogany came from trees that had stood in soil that was very rich in minerals, and these minerals thus got absorbed into the wood, rendering the wood much heavier than was the case with the Honduras variety.

    Initially, guitar manufacturers didn't really concern themselves with the extra weight, which is why some of the Gibson Les Paul Customs from the late 1970s ended up weighing in at over 12 and sometimes even over 13 lbs. But then in the early 1980s, there was a sufficient amount of competition from reasonably priced and predominantly Japanese-made high-quality guitars that had begun entering the market, which cost Gibson (and even Fender) quite a bit of market share. This is when the Gibson management of the time ─ Gibson was then still owned by the Norlin Corporation ─ finally decided to do something about the weight, and specifically, with regard to the Les Paul model.

    Initially in 1982, Gibson drilled 9 holes into the backs of the guitars before the top was glued on, and then they filled up those holes again with balsa. However, balsa, even though it is officially classified as a hardwood, is actually a very soft type of wood. In fact, it is so soft that you can easily push a dent in it by just using your fingernail. And as a result of this, the balsa was absorbing the vibrations in the mahogany body of the Les Paul, thereby ruining the sustain and running away with the deep, woody tone of the instrument.

    This is why by 1983, Gibson decided to still drill the 9 holes, but to not fill them up with balsa anymore, instead just leaving them open. This is thus known as the "9-hole weight relief", "traditional weight relief" or "Swiss cheese weight relief" ─ all different names for the same thing. The weight reduction yielded by the 9-hole weight relief isn't actually all that big ─ not a lot of wood is being removed from the guitar ─ but what it does do is make the guitar a lot more comfortable to play while seated. Non-weight-relieved Les Pauls are quite tail-heavy, and this was especially the case with the late-1970s Les Paul Customs. Those guitars were virtually impossible to play while sitting down, because they were constantly fighting you, wanting to throw their necks into the air and slide off the outside of your leg, onto the ground. And it is primarily this specific aspect of the guitar's ergonomics that the 9-hole weight relief remedies.




    What's important to note here however is that the 9-hole weight relief does not have any effect on the sound whatsoever. It is literally what the name says ─ weight relief. Those 9 holes are not functionally resonating cavities ─ they are too small, they are perfectly round, they are separated from one another by a sufficiently thick amount of wood, and most of them sit under the thickest part of the top of the guitar, where the top wood is least likely to flex and generate its own secondary vibrations.

    All non-historic carved-top single-cutaway Les Pauls from the regular Gibson USA production plant that were made between 1983 and the middle of 2006 have the 9-hole weight relief ─ one exception being the Les Paul Supreme, which has a very special and fully chambered construction. However, by the middle of 2006, Gibson suddenly and without prior announcement decided to start manufacturing all Gibson USA Les Pauls ─ including the Les Paul Standard and Les Paul Classic ─ as fully chambered guitars, similar to how the Gretsch Jet models are constructed.




    This angered a lot of people, because the Gibson Les Paul, and most specifically the Les Paul Standard, had always been Gibson's iconic solid-body guitar ─ the guitar that carried Les Paul's legacy and that had helped write musical history ─ and now this iconic solid-body guitar was not a solid-body anymore. Because unlike with the 9-hole weight relief, chambering really does affect the sound, causing the guitar to sound more akin to a semi-hollow-body guitar ─ it's not the same yet as with a genuine semi-hollow (like e.g. a Gibson ES-335) because a semi-hollow is essentially a box, made of laminated wood that is glued together like on an acoustic guitar, but with a solid block running through the center from the neck joint to the tail end of the body.

    Gibson would however not be swayed by the negative reaction from the audience, and in order to appease the die-hard fans, they simply introduced a new model to the line in 2008, called the Les Paul Traditional. The Traditional was essentially a Les Paul Standard as they were made and sold in the 1980s and early 1990s, i.e. with the 9-hole weight relief, chrome-plated hardware and Gibson '57 Classic pickups. But the Les Paul Standard proper remained a chambered guitar, and was fitted with all kinds of new and experimental features, such as the Gibson Robot Tuning system, which later on evolved into the more compact Min-E-Tune system.

    Ultimately, by late 2011 ─ for model year 2012 ─ Gibson decided to abandon the full-body chambering on the Les Paul Standard and adopted a new kind of chambering which they called "Modern Weight Relief", and which has in the meantime evolved into the so-called "Ultra-Modern Weight Relief".




    Unlike what its name suggests, the Ultra-Modern Weight Relief is not just weight relief. It too is a form of chambering, because it also comprises tone chambers that distinctly affect the resonant characteristics of the body. You can hear the difference in sound in the above video of the Les Paul Tribute and Les Paul Studio, and the video of the Les Paul Modern, whereas you'll also be able to hear that the Les Paul Classic ─ which has the 9-hole weight relief ─ sounds identical to the non-weight-relieved Les Paul Standard.

    Gibson's erratic management decisions ─ which included both the wildly experimental stuff they were putting out and the fact that they were changing the specifications all the time for each successive model year ─ in combination with some unforeseen circumstances that Gibson itself was not responsible for ─ e.g. damage to their wood supply by Hurricane Katrina ─ ultimately brought the company on the verge of bankruptcy around 2016, and its owners put the company up for sale.

    The company was then sold to its new owners in 2017, and efforts were made to centralize and consolidate the production capacity of Gibson's electric guitars in Nashville, whereas earlier, the hollow-body and semi-hollow-body guitars were being produced in Memphis, at a facility that was way too big and too expensive to maintain ─ Gibson's acoustic guitars are all still being produced in Bozeman, Montana. Once all of the legal and financial concerns had been dealt with, the specifications of the guitars were revised with attention for what the customers and fans were demanding, and then ultimately in 2019, this resulted in the current catalog of Gibson guitars.



    Mark Agnesi

    Mark Agnesi is the head of Marketing at Gibson under the new ownership structure. He's not unknown to the die-hard fans of vintage guitars, because he used to work at Norm's Rare Guitars in California, and there are many videos on YouTube of him demoing various rare and/or vintage guitars at Norm's. And, he's also known for always wearing a black leather jacket.

    Not everyone likes him, though, and I have my own opinion about him. Some people consider him arrogant. I don't know about that, but I do think he's a macho with an ostensibly fake attitude, and he's not quite as knowledgeable about Gibson guitars as the head of Gibson's Marketing division should be. But hey, your mileage may vary.



    #BringBackTheBlanket

    This is a pseudo-campaign, supposedly on Twitter, whereby people would be asking for the return of what Gibson itself used to call "the shroud" ─ a protective folding cloth that was attached to the pink lining of the brown hard-shell guitar cases with three leather straps, and that you would fold over the guitar once the guitar was snugly placed into the form-fitting case.

    The hard-shell case of my own Les Paul does indeed have such a shroud ─ or "blanket", as Lee and Pete call it ─ as do the cases of my Firebird VII and my 2002 "Pete Townshend Signature" SG Special, albeit that in the latter case, both the shroud and the lining are black, and the shroud has Pete Townshend's signature on it in silver.

    Modern Gibson hard-shell cases no longer come with a shroud. The feature was discontinued around 2005, presumably as a cost-saving measure ─ Gibson hard-shell cases are manufactured by TKL and are themselves not exactly inexpensive either.





    Again, if there are any questions with regard to anything that's being mentioned or alluded to in the videos, or with regard to anything I've talked about here in this post, then feel free to ask.
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    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    There is no way I cannot participate in this thread. Anderton videos are always a fun way to experience the new gear.
    I'll second that.

    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    I am not a "gear head" but, I use gear and know what I like for my sound.

    Yes, tone starts with hands. Then, there is the signal chain before it comes out of the speaker. There is a lot of room for some tonal magic there, and the gear between the player and the speaker is a lot of fun to work with.

    And, what Fender has done with digital is impressive. Using Class D transistor amplifiers helps enormously. Class D has warmth and some play within it. My old Galien Kruger bass amp at 400 watts was a lot of cold volume. Have two Class D bass amps now and they sound great. Both Fender bass amps I have are now no longer available. Glad I got them.
    I was going to post the videos about the new Fender Tone Master amps next.

    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    Fender Bronco 40 (10" speaker) modulation amp and The Rumble 350 head.

    I prefer the Rumble I have because it does not use the standard low mid and hi mid tone controls. It lets me select the frequency and then boost or cut it. More of a thinking person kind of tone control. Fender Rumble's now use the low mid/hi mid tone controls. I am sure that is more popular.
    Ah, the parametric EQ, also known as a "contour control". I think I saw that recently on an Ampeg bass head. Interesting.

    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    Both of my bass amps have XLR line outs. My Bronco 40 will work in club situation and my amp becomes a monitor with the sound person working the signal given to them.
    XLR is superior to actual miking, in my humble opinion. A microphone in front of the speaker can always pick up ambient noise, while with XLR, your sound is as pure as in the wiring between the amplifier and the speaker. And, it's noise-canceling, by using the same principle as used in a humbucking pickup.

    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    This thread might have few contributors, LOL. But, we will see the views.

    Might be a good thread.
    I hope so.

    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    Here is a video of me playing outdoors with my 40 watt Bronco and going through the sound system. Butch Robins on banjo.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butch_Robins


    It might be a coincidence, but that particular song of yours actually popped into my head again about two weeks ago. Perhaps it was a noospheric thing?
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    I was going to post the videos about the new Fender ToneMaster amps next.
    I would like your take on them. My favorite amp is the Fender Super Champ X-2. In another post I will say why and mention the mods/upgrades I did to make it better for my tastes.

    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Ah, the parametric EQ, also known as a "contour control". I think I saw that recently on an Ampeg bass head. Interesting.
    Yes, that is the correct term, thank you.

    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    XLR is superior to actual miking, in my humble opinion. A microphone in front of the speaker can always pick up ambient noise, while with XLR, your sound is as pure as in the wiring between the amplifier and the speaker. And, it's noise-canceling, by using the same principle as used in a humbucking pickup.
    Love the XLR outputs.

    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    It might be a coincidence, but that particular song of yours actually popped into my head again about two weeks ago. Perhaps it was a noospheric thing?


    EDIT: Thanks to Aragorn for cleaning up the mess of editing with the original post.
    Last edited by modwiz, 7th September 2021 at 00:50. Reason: corrected the quoting
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    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    I was going to post the videos about the new Fender Tone Master amps next.
    I would like your take on them. My favorite amp is the Fender Super Champ X-2. In another post I will say why and mention the mods/upgrades I did to make it better for my tastes.
    Well, ask and ye shall receive.

    My take on them is very simple: it's brilliant, and if I had the money, then I'd definitely be in the market for either the Tone Master Super Reverb or the Tone Master Twin Reverb. I haven't decided yet which of the two I like best, because at 85 Watts (tube/valve power), the Twin Reverb is the more powerful one of the two, but it comes with two 12" speakers, whereas the Super Reverb is only 45 Watts (tube/valve power) and comes with four 10" speakers. They both do actually have a 200 Watt class D power stage, but the cited power levels are those of their tube-/valve-powered siblings, because tube/valve amplifiers always sound more than twice as loud as a solid-state amplifier of the same power.

    The power levels would either way be more than adequate for my needs ─ after all, I do still have my 100 Watt Marshall JCM-2000 TSL-100 half stack for all those occasions where I'm playing at football stadions and arenas with 50'000 visitors (Yeah, right, like that is ever going to happen. I wouldn't even want that. I prefer small venues where I can maintain eye contact with the audience and interact with them ─ I'll choose human contact over the industrial approach every time.)

    But anyway, so far, I have always used 12" speakers and I have no experience with 10" speakers. So I don't know what to expect from a 4 x 10" setup, but at the same time, I also have no idea what a 2 x 12" setup would sound like in comparison to my Marshall 4 x 12".

    What I either way will say is that I'm absolutely in love with the sound of these Fender Tone Master amplifiers, and the digital implementation is a gift from the gods if you're going to be taking your amp out on the road, because there's nothing in there that can break. In addition to that, tubes/valves are unreliable, and that's a given. You can buy a set of new tubes/valves and they can last you ten years, but by the same token, they can also already break down after only one week of usage ─ just as with an incandescent light bulb. But even if they stay fine for a long time, they will and do break down over time, and then they need to be replaced. There's no escape from that.

    So by comparison, a digital amplifier is completely maintenance-free, and it's also a lot lighter, because tube/valve amps contain a heavy steel chassis and a heavy transformer, while the digital ones do not. And with my four herniated disks ─ and by now possibly five already ─ the weight is an important consideration.

    Also, the way Fender deploys the digital modeling is brilliant in and of itself; instead of using digital technology to model just about every amplifier and/or effect in existence ─ as what you get with for instance Kemper, Axe FX and similar offerings ─ Fender is using all of the processing power in the quad-core CPU to do one thing only, but to do it really, really well. As you'll be able to hear in the videos below, it is impossible to tell which one is the real tube/valve amplifier and which one is the modeling amplifier.

    So, here's Aragorn's opinion: I'm all for it, and I wish I could buy one of these babies. Nobody does a clean sound better than Fender, and a really crisp clean sound with lots of headroom, warmth and dynamics is all I want from an amplifier ─ I always get my distortion effects from external devices anyway.


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    Keeping the vibe going ─ with a little shout-out to Radagast, because he's a Fender guy ─ these are the new G&L Tribute guitars. Personally I would really, really like to own the translucent black Comanche model that Lee is playing in this video.


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    Since we're on a roll ─ too bad for those who still need to catch up ─ let's move onto Gretsch guitars. As a brand, the Gretsch name still remains with a member of the Gretsch family, but the production and marketing of Gretsch guitars has for a number of years already been in the hands of Fender ─ once a competitor to Gretsch. Gretsch Custom Shop models are built at the Fender Custom Shop in California, but the Pro line is manufactured in Japan, while the more affordable Electromatic and Streamliner model ranges are manufactured in Indonesia ─ possibly also in South Korea, which is pretty much a hot spot in the guitar-making industry.

    Gretsch guitars have always been popular and have been enjoying prestige ever since the company started making electric guitars in the 1950s. The legendary Chet Atkins was Gretsch's first official endorser, but Gretsch guitars have been (and are still being) used in all kinds of styles: from jazz, blues and country, via rockabilly and rock & roll, all the way up to hard rock, grunge, and similar genres. The late Malcolm Young ─ the rhythm guitarist and co-founder of AC/DC, and brother to Angus Young ─ was known for exclusively playing Gretsch Jet guitars. Brian Setzer ─ formerly the front man of Stray Cats ─ even has his own signature Gretsch model.

    At one point in history, the Gretsch White Falcon was the world's most expensive electric guitar, and it is difficult to mistake the full, bright and sparkly sound of a Gretsch for anything other than, indeed, a Gretsch ─ no other guitar sounds like it. Gretsches are also known for their luxurious appointments and glamorous metallic finishes. They are the ultimate old-school rock & roll guitars.


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    I love the Fender sound. Much of that tone comes from USA style tubes. That is the 6V6 and 6L6 power tubes. Engish tone is produced by EL34 and EL84 tubes.

    Funnily, I prefer English tone speakers, derivative of the classic Celestion Blue Bell, an alnico magnet speaker, a specific cone shape and other tweaks.

    Fender tone is warm and English speakers are more 'sparkly'. Especially the alnico ones. They compliment each other. Brightening the Fender tone at the output. Works great for my ears.

    Anyway, The Fender Super-Champ X-2 is my favorite amp for personal use.

    All digital effects and tone processing that passes through an AX7, a phase inverter, and then on to amplification through two 6V6 power tubes. The amp is set up as though a bunch of digital effects are sent to a tube amplifier. It is a brilliant design. At 15 watts with a line out it is all I could ever need in the venues I play.

    I will get into how I modified/modded the amp further in another post. For now, the review by 'intheblues' Youtube channel. He does not name the different amp voices or how the effects can be set up by a USB hook up to a computer with the Fender Fuse software. Guess that will left to me, at some point.

    Last edited by modwiz, 7th September 2021 at 04:53.
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    My last video for tonight...

    This one is about Heritage guitars. Not many people know about Heritage, but it is a brand of guitars that came into life back in 1985, when Gibson decided to relocate their production from Kalamazoo, Michigan ─ where Orville Gibson had begun his stringed-instrument-building company in the late 1800s ─ over to Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson offered its Kalamazoo employees a chance to relocate along with the production facility, but of course, for many of their employees, that was a very long way from home. Most of them couldn't just leave Kalamazoo for Nashville, because they had families, with kids going to school there and/or spouses that worked elsewhere in town, and so on.

    This is why four of Gibson's higher-level and soon-to-be-former employees decided to buy the old factory building from Gibson, as well as some of the older machinery, allowing their colleagues to remain at work at the Kalamazoo plant, doing what they knew how to do best. As such, the Heritage brand was born, and to this very day, they are still making Gibson-like guitars at that very same factory, using hand-operated routers and traditional production techniques ─ they do not have any CNC machinery ─ producing guitars in much smaller volumes than Gibson, but quality-wise definitely on par with them, if not better.

    Heritage does also have a Custom Shop division where they build guitars per customer order, and their Custom Shop guitars are fitted with Heritage's own hand-wound pickups, but for their normal production guitars, Heritage is ─ depending on the model ─ using either Seymour Duncan '59 humbuckers or Jason Lollar P-90s.

    The red H-530 model Pete is playing in this video is the same guitar as he was using in the video of the Fender Tone Master Super Reverb that I posted higher up in this thread. Pete seems to really be bonding with that guitar, because he has in the meantime also been using it in many other videos, including when playing rhythm guitar off-camera for Nathan and (another guy called) Lee, the two presenters of the Andertons' "All About The Bass" videos.


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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    My last video for tonight...

    This one is about Heritage guitars. Not many people know about Heritage, but it is a brand of guitars that came into life back in 1985, when Gibson decided to relocate their production from Kalamazoo, Michigan ─ where Orville Gibson had begun his stringed-instrument-building company in the late 1800s ─ over to Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson offered its Kalamazoo employees a chance to relocate along with the production facility, but of course, for many of their employees, that was a very long way from home. Most of them couldn't just leave Kalamazoo for Nashville, because they had families, with kids going to school there and/or spouses that worked elsewhere in town, and so on.

    This is why four of Gibson's higher-level and soon-to-be-former employees decided to buy the old factory building from Gibson, as well as some of the older machinery, allowing their colleagues to remain at work at the Kalamazoo plant, doing what they knew how to do best. As such, the Heritage brand was born, and to this very day, they are still making Gibson-like guitars at that very same factory, using hand-operated routers and traditional production techniques ─ they do not have any CNC machinery ─ producing guitars in much smaller volumes than Gibson, but quality-wise definitely on par with them, if not better.

    Heritage does also have a Custom Shop division where they build guitars per customer order, and their Custom Shop guitars are fitted with Heritage's own hand-wound pickups, but for their normal production guitars, Heritage is ─ depending on the model ─ using either Seymour Duncan '59 humbuckers or Jason Lollar P-90s.

    The red H-530 model Pete is playing in this video is the same guitar as he was using in the video of the Fender Tone Master Super Reverb that I posted higher up in this thread. Pete seems to really be bonding with that guitar, because he has in the meantime also been using it in many other videos, including when playing rhythm guitar off-camera for Nathan and (another guy called) Lee, the two presenters of the Andertons' "All About The Bass" videos.


    I love P-90 pickups. Hotter than Fender single coils and with an 'attitude'.

    Versatile in how one uses it, but wide open it is pure rock n' roll. Especially the earlier stuff.
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    Quote Originally posted by modwiz View Post
    I love P-90 pickups. Hotter than Fender single coils and with an 'attitude'.

    Versatile in how one uses it, but wide open it is pure rock n' roll. Especially the earlier stuff.
    My 2002 Gibson "Pete Townshend Signature" SG Special has dual P-90s in it. They are single-coil pickups, but they are wound quite "hot" and they have two magnet bars sitting underneath the bobbin. The attack is dry, like with any single coil ─ a humbucker sounds "creamier" ─ but they sound very "fat". Lots of midrange and low end. Lots of output too ─ it is very easy to kick your preamp into overdrive with them.

    Rock & roll pickups, indeed.
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    I will post a music video of mine with me using the Fender Super Champ X-2. Have posted it previously in my video thread but now we have a reason for demonstration.

    Using a microphone with the custom cab I built with four 8" Weber speakers. I have placed the mic over one of my English voiced speakers. I have four different voices in that cab. All for another gear discussion.

    Using a pre-recorded drum and bass track as back-up 'band'. Drums from an EZ-Drummer program and my own bass playing.

    Playing with the Tele in the middle position. (Both pick-ups). Amp is using the natural/clean channel. Using a chorus and reverb mix, part of onboard effects, with the effects level turned down. Chorus adds some shimmer and reverb adds depth. I try to use them in a not obvious manner. More color than 'effect'.

    Last edited by modwiz, 7th September 2021 at 06:42.
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