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Kiwi

My motley collection

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Here are the instruments in my collection:
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1987 Chandler Strat:  This one is a triggers broom.  Bought in 2006, I had the muddy green finish stripped back to bare wood and everything else was replaced.  Jon Shuker finished the body for me and I did the neck in tru-oil. 

Because I wanted this to make 80's session noises, it was fitted a prewired HSS pickgard with EMG 85 in the bridge and two EMG SA in the mid and neck positions. The electronics feature a mid boost control and the EMG85 is tapped by pulling on the vol control.  Tuners are no brand locking type and work well enough.  Unusually, the body is solid two piece quilted maple so the notes ring clear and unmuddied.  

The bridge is a Wilkinson VS100CV, these haven't been made for many, many years and offer the benefits of both vibrato and hardtail.  The trem arm locks the bridge in place when not in use.  I have another three VS100CV bridges stashed away for future use, one in gold and two in chrome.

Finally, I got the chance to briefly meet Nile Rodgers on my birthday back in 2013 and he signed it for me before being whisked off by Acoustic Guitar mag staff.  I tried protecting it with coat of acrylic but the acrylic has started flaking off and it made the signature a little smudgey. :(

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Speaking which, Nile Rodgers was the reason I decided to take up guitar.  This is a replica of his Hitmaker strat made by Al Knight - made with Fender licensed parts apart from the body.  The wear isn't quite the same these days but it features a thin alder body, Sperzels, Gibson speed knobs and a hard to find Kahler brass pickguard finished in chrome just like the original.  Electronics are standard wiring with Fender Noiseless Vintage pickups. I'm pleased to say it gets satisfyingly close to the sound of the original!

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Being a big Al Murphy fan and needing something with humbuckers led me to this, a Yamaha MSG/Image Deluxe.  I have two, one of them is the Mk1 and this one is MkII where the vol pot is slightly further from the bridge.  All mahogany construction with a maple cap, I have since installed Armstrong PAF humbuckers so can extract some nicely jazzy sounds as well as a fat crunch.  The pickups can be coil split and while I was aiming for a tele twang, the mahogany construction kind of gets in the way of achieving that.  Still, the sounds are funky enough.  Otherwise both are still stock, with a Yammie RM-Pro vibrato bridge.  These are great guitars, seriously underrated.

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Finally - a Klein replica.  I made the body with help, from NZ beech with a redwood top and the neck is an old Music Yo Steinberger jobbie.  Bridge is a Steinberger R trem and a Fernandes Sustainer kit is fitted for infinite yowling.  I'm not totally sold on the beech body, it seems to dampen the attack a little without reducing harshness so I may yet look for a replacement from mahogany or limba.

Still gassing for an Ibanez Artcore AWD82-ATF for semi hollow sounds.  Was going to make one but with this being nearly identical spec to what I planned, it's a no brainer.  Assuming I can find one. 

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3 hours ago, Kiwi said:

It is worth throwing the amps and pedal board up as well?

If they’re causing you nausea, then yes. 😉

Ooh, is that my coat? It’s ok, I’ll get it myself.

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Well slight problem I have is that the amps are spread across two countries.  So I'll have to improvise a little. 

First up the pedal board.  After getting a Zoom G3X, I actually found myself falling back on a handful of sounds.  Mainly overdrive, chorus, reverb and delay.  The signal chain starts with the Xotic Q wah, then straight into a Nux Chorus for trichorus.  Then the signal goes into an Amptweaker Tight Rock Pro which is one of the best distortion pedals I have ever played.

The TR has a side chain and effects loop intended mainly for running clean and dirty signal chains.  So the Effectrode PC2A valve compressor and Empress Para EQ (for added sparkle) are on the clean side.  In the effects loop are a Joyo JF14 American Sound and a Digitech Freq Out for low volume feedback.  The Joyo is wonderful, I crank the mids for a thick, fat and searing lead sound in conjunction with the Tight Rock - it's basically Alan Murphy in a box.  After the Tight Rock, the signal goes into a Mooer Ocean Sound for delay and reverb and then into the two Ibanez combos.

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One note about the Effectrode PC2A, it's fabulous sounding (good enough for Mr Gilmour it seems too) but it needs a 12v 1500mA supply.  So not much good for gigging really unless it stays with the amp and then there's no point in having it in pedal format...sigh.  

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The two Ibanez TSA5 combos are fine sounding amps, reliable, clean sounding and plenty loud enough for playing in an apartment.   I discovered them at a Basschat bash, one of the other members bought a TSA15 along and I was impressed by how good it sounded but I didn't need 15w.  

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In storage however I have an ex-Lindisfarne Burman Pro501 1x12 50w combo which is great for cleans.  I got it back about 10 years or so ago, thanks to a contact on BC who knew Ray Laidlaw, the band's drummer.  The overdrive needs careful tweaking or else it can sound woofy.  Luckily Simon Cowe [who sadly passed in 2015] left his settings on in white grease pencil.  A cat either owned by Ray or Simon left it's marks as well. lol

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You can see it here in an old shot at my place in NZ.

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Also, there is a 1984 Fender Concert II (complete with footswitch).  I've always loved the sweet sound of Fenders.  A Super Champ was on the bucket list but couldn't afford it and I mistakenly thought the Concert II would be the next best thing.  As it turns out the Princeton Reverb II was the one to go for.  Ah well, it's hard enough to find these things in the UK as it is, let alone at a reasonable price, so should still count myself lucky.  I haven't actually played it yet even though it was bought about three years ago because I had already left the country.   It'll probably need a service before it gets shipped out here to make sure the caps are fresh.

Extra stuff: 


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Burman GX3 preamp - haven't actually tried this with the Pro501 yet but want to see how they both sound with one driving the other.  I've tried recording with it but it tends to pick up the sound of the PC power supply and fans too easily.
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Lexicon MPXG2 - an oldie but a goodie.  A real swiss army knife of an effects unit.  Lush reverbs, infinitely configurable (almost) and connectable.  Currently in storage. (Not my photo BTW because I don't have any good ones on my hard drive).

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THat Joyo American Sound pedal is interesting; I've heard of folks successfully gigging thorugh one of those for an amp sound, straight into the PA...(!)

I'm surprised that these days nobody has yet come up with an amp-in-a-stompbox that connects to a Blutooth earpiece for IEM. That would be quite the kit (especially popular with roadies!).

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On 25/02/2020 at 04:55, EdwardMarlowe said:

THat Joyo American Sound pedal is interesting; I've heard of folks successfully gigging thorugh one of those for an amp sound, straight into the PA...(!)

I'm surprised that these days nobody has yet come up with an amp-in-a-stompbox that connects to a Blutooth earpiece for IEM. That would be quite the kit (especially popular with roadies!).

It's a great pedal, I'm seriously thinking about getting two and rehousing them into 1 pedal.  The way they boost midrange is really nice.  I don't know about bluetooth but I remember a discussion on BC about it being too laggy to be useable.

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Good pointg re BT.... radio, I guess it would have to be.... course, that's already done for wireless connections between guitar and amp, seems no reason that couldn't be adapted to incorporate an earpiece?

By twinning them, are you essentially looking at making it 'two channel'? I've been very impressed by what I've seen from Joyo et al. Sure, a lot of it is copied, but so is most guitar stuff by this point.

 

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On 28/02/2020 at 01:42, EdwardMarlowe said:

By twinning them, are you essentially looking at making it 'two channel'? I've been very impressed by what I've seen from Joyo et al. Sure, a lot of it is copied, but so is most guitar stuff by this point.

 

I was just thinking about gain structure and whether twinning them might mean more of what the pedal does well.  That boosted midrange is lovely and thick, the eq centres are spot on too.  But I guess it might be possible to do a series/parallel switch  where two buttons go from individual on/off for each to A/B and on/off.  The only thing missing would be feedback but I have the EHX Freq Out for that anyway which can be set up to give some pretty natural sounding howls.

Joyo do a Mesa MkIV sim pedal too but reviewers have been less impressed by it than the American sound.  Over here it's a twenty quid pedal so almost nothing to lose but I can't pay for it on Taobao so would have to convince The Wife.

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Ha, I hear you: I too have a Higher Power who has decreed that I need to play more and sell off everything I'm not using beofre I can buy more.... makes sense, really. The first pedal I bought - my green Sovtek-EH Big Muff Pi is staying - it's in great nick and still has the original wooden box; I think it's the only thing I have which has turned out to be an "investment", though I see my old 94 US Std Strat, at 26 now has a used value notionally more than I paid for it (though without adjusting for inflation!).

I've beocme a huge fan of cheap mini-pedals, it's amazing how much fun they can be. I'd adore a Hendrix model fuzz face, but it's hard to justify that when cracking soundscan be had for twenty quid. I still fantasise about one day playing out again, just for fun.... the Joyo American Sound I've heasrd of folks using in place of an amp, as a basic tone....  I'm downsizing my home amp (a Vox AD120VT with the VC12 footboard and an extra 2x12"!) cause it's just too much now.... I'll probably buy a couple of cheapie 5watt tube amps now (got my eye onthe Harley Benton Tube 5, and the little 5 watt Joyo based on the Fender Champ) for home use - my sound desires have.... I was going to say simplified over the years, but I think the truth problably is more like they have focussed more on a specific sound rather than wanting "all the options". (I've gone the same with guitars.... better another Strat I'll play than the LP I don't...). When I clear out some gear, I'll buy at least one of those tube amps first, acouple of mini pedals (I still "need" a spring reverb and a tape echo sim, and I'd like one of the Joyo ones that can flick between a TS9 and a TS808 spec), but then it'll be all about the guitars. And some lessons....(!)

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There's one clip on youtube of someone using a JF14 with a bass and it sounds quite decent! 


I haven't really had an inclination to dabble much with pedals beyond what I already have as I'm pretty satisfied with what is on the pedal board now.  I've seen Tim Pierce championing the Nobels ODR pedal but I really don't want to end up with a box of pedals that I'm not entertained by.

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New amp day, Rivera-era Princeton Reverb II on the way in.  Concert II out as it's going to be way too loud for my needs.  Hit me up if any of you might be interested in it.

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So,    from the left,     Les Paul HP ,       Simnett custom wide neck, (9mm string spacing ),     D'Angelico deluxe.   Being an arthritic bass player I had Jon create the wide neck for me,  it's my go-to guitar now,  the other two have defaulted to wall hangers,  something I won't do with my basses !

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I have one of these Godin 5th Avenue jazz guitars incoming in about a month but without the fancy maple top.  I've found a company here who claims to ghost build them and Godin make some great kit.

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