The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #251  
Old 03-26-2010, 04:21 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
Does one need to re-intonate after a neck adjust?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #252  
Old 03-26-2010, 06:13 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Hm. Local store is having a show.
http://www.rosehillmusic.net/wordpress/?p=250
Maybe there'll be something decent used.
Reply With Quote
  #253  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:03 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Hey! Look what I found, when checking what intonation was.
http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/intonate.htm

This is great. I probably won't get it right, but that's what the Starcaster is for, making all my mistakes on. It's a very clear guide on setting up guitars. Truss, intonation, neck, string height, pickups, everything!
Reply With Quote
  #254  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:07 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Hey! Look what I found, when checking what intonation was.
http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/intonate.htm

This is great. I probably won't get it right, but that's what the Starcaster is for, making all my mistakes on. It's a very clear guide on setting up guitars. Truss, intonation, neck, string height, pickups, everything!
Yeah, that's a good page; I've intonated following those instructions, no sweat.
Reply With Quote
  #255  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:23 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Okay, WOW. Had to turn it a half turn. Got to retune the whole guitar now, but what a difference! The whole guitar feels more responsive. Feels like the neck was just screwed down as hard as possible. Now it's not buzzing, but more than that, the guitar feels responsive in my hands.

Man, I can imagine all the people who got one of these things and got turned off playing from the frets alone. (The edges were sharp and cut my fingers when I played it at first.)

By the end of this, this starcaster's going to probably be the equal of a '68. Of course, I'll have changed the neck twice, the body three times (at least one handmade one), and swapped out all of the electronics as I experiment. But it'll be the same guitar! Just like my revolutionary war era axe!
Reply With Quote
  #256  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:28 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
... I can _feel_ the tremolo springs as I play now. And the guitar has sustain! I kept trying to figure out how people were getting sustain, cause every note I played died in a second.

Well, hot damn.
Reply With Quote
  #257  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:45 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Okay, wow. Tried tuning it. My god, it just falls naturally into notes and they _stay_ instead of me trying to catch it at the peak.

http://www.thefenderforum.com/forum/...d.php?p=549934
Also, it seems my starcaster is better than I thought it was. Anyone want to translate this?
My S/N is CXS 100891183, so I'm guessing I bought the SE pack, as it sure wasn't the Affinity strat. If CXS means AXL, then did I luck out on the factory?

The machine heads still have flat spots, though. Gonna try to find replacements at the show.

Hee hee hee. My high-E no longer tries to clip over the side of the guitar and get tangled on the frets. This is AWESOME!

Last edited by E-Sabbath; 03-26-2010 at 07:49 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #258  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:27 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
... I can _feel_ the tremolo springs as I play now. And the guitar has sustain! I kept trying to figure out how people were getting sustain, cause every note I played died in a second.

Well, hot damn.
This all sounds wonderful. It is why I can't stress enough: MAKE SURE YOUR GUITAR IS PROPERLY SET UP! Sorry for yelling.

Little crap like that just throws the whole system off in deceptive ways. And if you adjust your playing enough, you deceive yourself into accepting it or maybe just tweaking the wrong thing for a while. I hate that.

but it is so cool when the guitar system is aligned. Enjoy!
Reply With Quote
  #259  
Old 03-27-2010, 11:09 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
I'm still very happy with my guitar, but all this talk of setup and intonation makes me kind of suspicious. Maybe mine's not right, and I'm still too new at this to notice. I almost want to screw it up to see what a bad guitar feels like, as a way to find out what a good guitar feels like.

I won't do that, though. My current plan is to keep practicing until I think I need new strings again, then take it to a luthier and have him check the setup and find out if I'm doing the string change correctly. And I'll know what string gauge I've got, too.
Reply With Quote
  #260  
Old 03-27-2010, 12:29 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
Does one need to re-intonate after a neck adjust?
Never hurts to check - and if you give it more than one or two quarter-turns, its a safe bet something shifted a bit...

ETA: oh, and Robot Arm? Sounds like a plan...

Last edited by WordMan; 03-27-2010 at 12:30 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #261  
Old 03-27-2010, 02:43 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 56,417
My background, once again...

I took Beginning Folk Guitar at a community college in the '80s. I bought my Takamine then, and amused myself strumming and singing songs in privacy. A friend needed money, so he sold me his American-made Fender Telecaster and a Hondo II Les Pau copy in the early-'90s. I played with those a bit, but I never progressed beyond chords. My friend wanted his Tele back years later, so I sold it to him. After several years I really began to miss it. A couple of years ago I bought a duplicate of it. Shortly thereafter, I found a Squier (note spelling) in the same colour. I switched out the maple neck for a rosewood one so that it would be a cheap-ass clone to my '93 Fender.

Now I had an extra, brand-new, neck. What to do with it? Build another guitar, of course! I sourced a bunch of parts from American-made 2008 Fenders, SCN pickups, and a console with upgraded pots and a four-way switch. My burgundy beauty turned out very nicely and plays well. But I got tired of the 'joke' of having a Squier neck on a guitar made of Fender parts; so I bought an unsued maple Tele neck. And then I just had to have another Les Paul. I bought an Epiphone one in cherry sunburst.

I took some instruction, but haven't had the time to continue with it. But I do have some tablature, and have learned to find instruction on YouTube. I just need to find some time.

Anyway, I got to looking at that Squier. Wouldn't it be fun to make it not such a POS? I had plenty of copper shielding tape left over from the Fender build, so I took the Squier apart and shielded the cavities. I found the same SCN pickups and upgraded console I used on the project Fender. 'In for a penny, in for a pound', right? Can't do all this work and still have the top-loading bridge! So I bought a new Fender string-through bridge. I drilled holes through the body for the strings, bought some ferrules, and put everything back together including replacing the Squier pick guard with a new tri-ply Fender one. I left the neck off because there was just one... more... thing... that needed to be done: I needed to countersink the holes on the back of the body for the ferrules. And that's where I stalled. I didn't have the proper drill bits, and by the time I got them the holidays were upon me. So the Squier sat. And sat. And sat. More than a year later I decided to finish it. I countersunk the holes and installed the ferrules. But by this time I'd lost interest in opening it up and figuring out where all of the wires went and soldering them together. Last week I took it to The Guitar Doctor. He did the soldering for me. He also 'set up' the guitar, including replacing three screws and springs on the bridge so that it would tune correctly. (The ones supplied were too short.)

At long last, my Squier is finished, and it sounds as good as a Fender. And well it should, since the only Squier parts on it are the body, the neck, and the knobs!

Of course now I have leftover, 'brand-new' parts: The Squier maple neck, original, Squier pickups and console, the top-loader bridge, and the pick guard. Say... All I need is a new body! (I think I'd better nip this in the bud, and just sell the parts on eBay. )
Reply With Quote
  #262  
Old 03-27-2010, 10:02 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
This all sounds wonderful. It is why I can't stress enough: MAKE SURE YOUR GUITAR IS PROPERLY SET UP! Sorry for yelling.
I asked the guy at the store to set it up! He said it was normally fifty bucks, but since he didn't have to restring it, it was twenty.

I'm still learning, man. (One of my tremolo springs is vibrating in tune with my A string in weird ways. Further adjustment may be necessary.)
Reply With Quote
  #263  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:56 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
In this thread, I asked WordMan for his thoughts about guitar amp speakers. I thought his reply was really well done, and something that should be posted in this thread for other players. For context, I had asked why I preferred a Jensen speaker vs a stock speaker in a Fender amp, and what his thoughts were about guitar speakers in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan
Here are some basic points of "conventional wisdom" about speakers -

- There are American Voiced and British Voiced - i.e., Fender-style, traditionally Jensen, Weber, etc. and Marshall/Vox style, typically Celestion. One is not better than the other but people have clear preferences. Dialing in your tone involves making a choice and from the sound of it, you picked Jensen - now, that may be because the speaker model is a step up vs. the Celestion in terms of speaker quality, not due to a preference in the voicing, but we'd have to geek a bit harder if we wanted to go that far.

But Jensens contribute to the overall Fender / American voice - i.e., more open bell-like cleans and an overdrive that comes on more smoothly, with a steady increase in warmth and grit until you end up in crunchland. The speakers aren't as "tight" - typically because they are part of a Fender open-back cabinet design (because the cab is open, sound pours out the back, adding more sound in a slight delay from the sound in front - so it is thickened up with that slight delay and tight lows get blurred a bit...).

British-voiced speakers are heavier built as a rule and break up earlier and with a more aggressive crunch. They are part of a closed-cab system, so the sound is more focused out of the front, and the speakers have a tighter travel, because the air stays in the back, providing a bit of resistance to the cone. All of this contributes to the tighter lows, even gained up, of a guitar through a Marshall stack.

- Magnet size matters - as a rule, the bigger the magnet, the more responsive the speaker is. I am not sure why.

- Obviously - cabinet design matters; see above. With amp circuit, speaker type and cab type, geeks like me mess around. I like Fender circuits coupled with Marshall speakers. I really like closed-back cabs, especially in a 2x12 or a 4x12, but for my small rig, I use an open-backed Tweed design (i.e., based on Fender's "Tweed" amps from the 50's) fitted with a Celestion Blue...

- Celestion Alnico Blues rock - they are a small-watt speaker (I think they can handle 15 watts vs. 30 for the Vintage 30's, but there is a new Celestion Gold which is supposed to be like a Blue but rated at 50w). They were originally in Vox amps and so have that clear articulate tone that crunches up really smoothly and nicely.
Reply With Quote
  #264  
Old 03-30-2010, 07:44 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
In this thread, I asked WordMan for his thoughts about guitar amp speakers. I thought his reply was really well done, and something that should be posted in this thread for other players. For context, I had asked why I preferred a Jensen speaker vs a stock speaker in a Fender amp, and what his thoughts were about guitar speakers in general.
Thanks, sir. I'd be interested in hearing other folks' "speaker conventional wisdom"...

Last edited by WordMan; 03-30-2010 at 07:44 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #265  
Old 04-01-2010, 09:07 PM
kevlaw kevlaw is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
If I had known how easy Sunshine of Your Love is, I would've learned it a long time ago!

My wife thinks I am suddenly a genius!
Reply With Quote
  #266  
Old 04-02-2010, 06:55 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevlaw View Post
If I had known how easy Sunshine of Your Love is, I would've learned it a long time ago!

My wife thinks I am suddenly a genius!
Oh yeah - fun riff. I still pull it out a couple of times a year; one of those rock guitar DNA things...

...have you gotten to the point where you can play the riff and alternate between the full riff and that little lick he does at the end of some of them? That is the beginning of developing "flow" - where you get a groove going, throw in a quick fill lick, and then go back to the groove...
Reply With Quote
  #267  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:40 AM
kevlaw kevlaw is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Oh yeah - fun riff. I still pull it out a couple of times a year; one of those rock guitar DNA things...

...have you gotten to the point where you can play the riff and alternate between the full riff and that little lick he does at the end of some of them? That is the beginning of developing "flow" - where you get a groove going, throw in a quick fill lick, and then go back to the groove...
Not yet

I've also noticed that, although Clapton's guitar looks exactly like mine, it sounds much better! I wonder how he does that?
Reply With Quote
  #268  
Old 04-02-2010, 10:02 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
For one thing, it's made out of three different guitars! Of course it sounds better!

Hey, found a nice sale, but I know nothing about the company.
http://store.guitarfetish.com/spclblblsa.html
Is this actually a deal or not?
I'm looking at this one.
http://store.guitarfetish.com/xaxvvisurofi.html
Reply With Quote
  #269  
Old 04-02-2010, 10:50 AM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
For one thing, it's made out of three different guitars! Of course it sounds better!

Hey, found a nice sale, but I know nothing about the company.
http://store.guitarfetish.com/spclblblsa.html
Is this actually a deal or not?
I'm looking at this one.
http://store.guitarfetish.com/xaxvvisurofi.html
$154?!? Wow. Too rich for me

Seriously, it violates the Prime Directive: don't buy a guitar you haven't played. But you knew that. And, wow, that is tempting.
Reply With Quote
  #270  
Old 04-02-2010, 10:59 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
http://store.guitarfetish.com/xaxvchmacobl.html Went for this instead. It looks so good. And it has upgraded tuners. The strat-copy is only $10 more _not_ blemished.
Reply With Quote
  #271  
Old 04-02-2010, 11:16 AM
BigShooter BigShooter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Xaviers have a decent name around the guitar geek circles as good cheap imports. Alot of people buy them just to relic them. I personally have never played one. You'll have to let us know how it turns out.

I'm with squeegee - I don't think I'd ever buy a mass produced guitar brand without playing it first...
Reply With Quote
  #272  
Old 04-02-2010, 11:20 AM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
http://store.guitarfetish.com/xaxvchmacobl.html Went for this instead. It looks so good. And it has upgraded tuners. The strat-copy is only $10 more _not_ blemished.
Let us know what you think of it! I'm skeptical of the quality, but willing to learn otherwise. Good luck!

ETA: that is a weird layout -- a soap bar and a humbucker?

Last edited by squeegee; 04-02-2010 at 11:22 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #273  
Old 04-02-2010, 01:30 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Well, the thing of it is, my tax return just came in... and there's that fair on the 11th so I can look about, and maybe this way I won't be so hungry.

and it's so pretty. And it did get good reviews. And it has good machine heads, looks like. Now, I know what a humbucker is, but what does the soap bar bit mean? If anyone wants to break down what the specs on the stats on the guitar actually translate to, I'd be appreciative.
Reply With Quote
  #274  
Old 04-02-2010, 01:58 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Well, the thing of it is, my tax return just came in... and there's that fair on the 11th so I can look about, and maybe this way I won't be so hungry.

and it's so pretty. And it did get good reviews. And it has good machine heads, looks like. Now, I know what a humbucker is, but what does the soap bar bit mean? If anyone wants to break down what the specs on the stats on the guitar actually translate to, I'd be appreciative.
A soapbar is a P-90 single coil pickup. The classic version of the pickup is a rounded-ish rectangle, like a bar of soap. P-90's have quite a following. I've just never seen a P-90 paired with a humbucker, but I'm no expert on it.

I don't know that there's much else to characterize about the guitar specs. The scale length is the same as a Les Paul. At 6.2 lbs it's a fairly light guitar, hopefully its not neck-heavy. Ask questions if you need more.
Reply With Quote
  #275  
Old 04-02-2010, 02:43 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Okay, it's made of mahogany. Does that make the sound darker, generally? Alnico isn't a brand name, is it? It's aluminum - nickle - cobalt magnets in the pickup, right? So are those pickups higher quality than, say, ones that aren't advertised as alnico, or are all pickups alnico these days?

You know, I guess that sort of thing. Sorry, I'm a little nervous. It looks pretty righteous, and I think buying it was a good move, but... well, you know, after you buy something you get nervous.
Reply With Quote
  #276  
Old 04-02-2010, 03:41 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Okay, it's made of mahogany. Does that make the sound darker, generally? Alnico isn't a brand name, is it? It's aluminum - nickle - cobalt magnets in the pickup, right? So are those pickups higher quality than, say, ones that aren't advertised as alnico, or are all pickups alnico these days?

You know, I guess that sort of thing. Sorry, I'm a little nervous. It looks pretty righteous, and I think buying it was a good move, but... well, you know, after you buy something you get nervous.
Mahogany is my favorite body wood and also Gibson's - it is known for being warm and midrangey and is capable of nice, tight lows with a lot of gain. Bad mahogany sounds thunky and choked, and with a tight, waspy midrange.

Soapbars are a favorite pickup - they pair well with mahogany (what is this? a fancy restaurant? "The salmon pairs well with a chardonnay" sorry). P-90's are an articulate pickup that sound best with a playing style where you play a lot with the Volume and Tone knobs. The Volume knob is NOT a "loudness" knob - it is a "dial up or dial down the amount of gain to clean up or dirty up the tone" knob, and the Tone knob is like a fine tuner on top of that. Old school, and really fun if you get the hang of it. If you play a humbucker and just leave the V and T on 10, a soapbar sounds way to grindy - that's only for wide-open lead playing...

I can't speak to Xavier's more than BigShooter did. I see the ads....
Reply With Quote
  #277  
Old 04-02-2010, 03:49 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Seems the Beatles were big on them. I think I'm gonna have fun with this.
Reply With Quote
  #278  
Old 04-02-2010, 03:56 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Seems the Beatles were big on them. I think I'm gonna have fun with this.
Dogears - P-90's fastened with flanges of plastic on either side - were stock on the Beatles-ubiquitous Epiphone Casinos, yes. That's the same pickup, on a hollow-bodied thinline and mounted to the wood. Given the responsiveness of P-90's, they yield a somewhat different tone vs. a solidbody.
Reply With Quote
  #279  
Old 04-02-2010, 05:02 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
Do be aware that the pickups on that particular guitar aren't necessarily good P-90s and/or humbuckers. They're somebody's knock-off of the classic design. They may sound really good, or not-so-much. The beauty of pickups is that they're (usually easily, but it depends on the guitar) replaceable with better models. So don't sweat it, and take time to get used to the sound of the instrument before deciding what might be better about it.
Reply With Quote
  #280  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:26 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
And that's the other reason I need a new guitar. I'm takin' the strat into little pieces and rebuildin' it from the inside out. Well, tuners first, then inside out. Got a good book on it. The Complete Guide to Guitar and Amp Maintenance, Ritchie Fliegler. Also the Strat Handbook. Apparently, the GFS aren't that bad, though.

Last edited by E-Sabbath; 04-02-2010 at 09:28 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #281  
Old 04-07-2010, 08:18 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
My god. It's so light. And the neck is thinner. It's like a miata. The place where you plug the cord in is a little rough, but hey. And the case is lockable and it came with a free cord. And it's so. freaking. rich and shiny looking. Well, off to set it up.

But it's half the weight of the Fender. That thing's like a V-8 Mustang and this is a Miata. On the other hand, I've been reading this book...
http://www.amazon.com/Please-Kill-Me.../dp/0140266909
Please Kill Me, the Uncensored History of Punk Rock. Transcribed oral history by one of the guys from Punk Magazine. Everyone's in it. Lou Reed, Iggy, William S. Burroughs, Sid, Nancy... Patti Smith, Television, Dead Boys, everyone. (Yes, the Ramones are part of everyone)

And I see why they used Fenders. Fenders don't break when you hit people with them.
Reply With Quote
  #282  
Old 04-07-2010, 09:21 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
My god. It's so light. And the neck is thinner. It's like a miata. The place where you plug the cord in is a little rough, but hey. And the case is lockable and it came with a free cord. And it's so. freaking. rich and shiny looking. Well, off to set it up.
Shiny n New is a great feeling, congrats! Did you plug it in and get a feel for the tone? Or was it just in urgent need of Doctor Setup, so off to the clinic (which would be unsurprising for a web-shipped axe) ?

Quote:
And I see why they used Fenders. Fenders don't break when you hit people with them.
*snerk*
Reply With Quote
  #283  
Old 04-08-2010, 04:56 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
It's... rich, and responsive, and there's a lot of sustain in it, and my god, the tuners are fantastic. But yeah, it needs Dr. Setup real bad, so off to the clinic tomorrow or Saturday.
Reply With Quote
  #284  
Old 04-08-2010, 06:32 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
My god. It's so light. And the neck is thinner. It's like a miata. The place where you plug the cord in is a little rough, but hey. And the case is lockable and it came with a free cord. And it's so. freaking. rich and shiny looking. Well, off to set it up.

But it's half the weight of the Fender. That thing's like a V-8 Mustang and this is a Miata. On the other hand, I've been reading this book...
http://www.amazon.com/Please-Kill-Me.../dp/0140266909
Please Kill Me, the Uncensored History of Punk Rock. Transcribed oral history by one of the guys from Punk Magazine. Everyone's in it. Lou Reed, Iggy, William S. Burroughs, Sid, Nancy... Patti Smith, Television, Dead Boys, everyone. (Yes, the Ramones are part of everyone)

And I see why they used Fenders. Fenders don't break when you hit people with them.

I assume you've seen my plug that book aggressively in many threads - essential reading and incredibly fun to read, too...

So this is basically an LP Special type of guitar with a chambered mahogany body and P-90's? What are you playing it through again?
Reply With Quote
  #285  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:05 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Danelectro Honeytone 1watt pocket amp mostly. I'm very pleasantly surprised by it.

It's a great book, because during that period I was _just_ outside all of it. I had a great radio station growing up... Howard Stern was the program director/dj at the time. WRNW. And I listened to all that music at a young age.

And now I finally hooked all the songs up with the people. My god, there was a lot of gay sex in that book.
Reply With Quote
  #286  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:15 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Danelectro Honeytone 1watt pocket amp mostly. I'm very pleasantly surprised by it.

It's a great book, because during that period I was _just_ outside all of it. I had a great radio station growing up... Howard Stern was the program director/dj at the time. WRNW. And I listened to all that music at a young age.

And now I finally hooked all the songs up with the people. My god, there was a lot of gay sex in that book.
I don't remember the gay sex standing out any more in the Punk scene as the Beatnik scene or other outsider/artistic scene's - I think of it as a signifier of folks trying to find themselves outside the rules of the system...YMMV and no need to get all deep in a guitar thread. I'm done.

As for the guitar and amp - all I can say is that you should enjoy what you've got and play with it for a while. That particular guitar design is really good for a simple, responsive tone - if you haven't already, when it comes back from Dr. Setup, try playing it with a crunchy tone and the Volume set to about 8.5 and the Tone on about 6. Play some rock and blues, and see if you can find the sweet spot on the Volume control by tweaking down to 7 and up to about 9 - do you hear a marked transition point where it goes from being tame to really beefed up, especially if you are hitting the strings pretty hard? But not so beefed up that it just sounds like fuzzy noise...good beef, like a thicker, Gibson-y tone...

...if the guitar can do that, and if you find the result cool and inspiring, it is pointing you towards certain choices. If you like it, but don't find anything remarkable about that approach vs. dialing up your tone with stompboxes or other approaches, then that points you towards other choices. Neither is better - I am just trying to articulate the process one can go through if you really want to listen to what you are doing and tune your gear to better suit your style over time. LP Specials are a specific kind of knife - they do one type of thing really well vs. Jack of all Trades. Learning if you like that one thing can be insightful...

Last edited by WordMan; 04-08-2010 at 09:16 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #287  
Old 04-08-2010, 03:17 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Oh! Now I remember why the gay sex stood out in my mind. It wasn't that there was a lot of it. There was an amount, and the people who were gay or bi, well, they were gay or bi and we pretty much knew about them. I mean, hell, it's New York, they talk about Christopher Street and, c'mon, David Bowie's in it.

What stood out to me was that there were a lot of guys making money by standing out at 53rd and 3rd. Nominally straight guys just trying to score some money for dope or blow.

It was the attitude towards gay sex. It mirrored what I read in Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels, which was a little earlier and on the other side of the country. It's not gay if someone does it to you.

Amazing how different attitudes towards sex are these days.

Thanks, WordMan. Yeah, you're anticipating where I'm heading with my next set of questions, how to mess around with the Volume and Tone and the knobs on the amp. But not yet.

Last edited by E-Sabbath; 04-08-2010 at 03:21 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #288  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:31 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=559102
A thread on portable mini-amps, in which the Danelectro Honeytone winds up being the _first_ answer.
The point is made that, you know, searching Youtube for the amp you're looking at is probably a good idea. I never thought of that and I don't know why.

Hm. No videos of the Xaviere XV-585. Odd.
Reply With Quote
  #289  
Old 04-13-2010, 02:23 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
E-Sabs, according to this thread on The Gear Page, the 70's-era Fender Starcaster is being reissued. Is that a good thing?
Reply With Quote
  #290  
Old 04-13-2010, 06:45 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
I don't know! It was pretty cheap to start with, and a CBS model to boot. It's an okay design, and the guy from Radiohead uses it, but...

Well, I'm not against it any, but there are a lot of semi-hollows these days.
Reply With Quote
  #291  
Old 04-14-2010, 04:05 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath
Well, I'm not against it any, but there are a lot of semi-hollows these days.
I don't think I'd use a 70s Starcaster as a cricket bat, one of these on the other hand. Warning, possibly NSFW
Reply With Quote
  #292  
Old 04-14-2010, 09:39 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
I see those in books and online Small Clanger, but haven't played one...

Okay - I just finished a big deadline and the document is getting reviewed and I am trying to clear my head before a couple of meetings. I need a break and geek out before I have to be all Mr. Business Guy again.

So - what is going on with guitars in my life?

- I played with my band for the first time in a while; between a recent life event for one member and work stuff all around, we have found it hard to take on gigs and get together. This time we are even having to use a sub drummer - it was fun because this sub is a GREAT drummer who I played with previously. Just very different vs. our normal drummer - doesn't rock as hard, but navigates the changes really cleanly, selling the transitions well - nice fills. Either way, it was nice to find the groove and have some fun.

- I continue to focus on expanding my use of Hybrid picking - i.e., holding a normal guitar flatpick between thumb+index, and using my middle and ring fingers to fingerpick as well. Using more fingers just feels more natural to me - I am a multi-tasking kinda guy, I guess. For some reason, even though I am using more fingers, I feel more secure in my playing because I am less likely to play myself into a corner - if my pick can't reach the place I want to go, one of my fingers can. As a result, I find myself playing far more horizontally than I ever have - I am less likely to stay in the same scale-box - I can trust that if I move my fretting hand to a new position, my pick or fingers can be there to sound the note. And even though I am using more fingers and moving more, I feel like I am playing less - holding notes and focusing on saying something melodic when I lead. I think that is a byproduct of being a bit more confident. I still get stuck in minor blues soloing and also with an alternating, same-groove rhythm because it is easy to alternate between flat-pick and fingers, but I am trying to figure out how to move past those...

- I just finished a draft of my next Teemings column. Unlike the first two where I featured obscure-but-important rock n' roll progenitors, this time I am featuring an obscure punk band that has just been rediscovered. We'll see how it makes it through an editing pass with twickster

- I am stuck in GAS land. I have found a couple of vintage acoustic guitars that I would love to own - but, yeah - kinda pricey. I have been trying to build a war chest to go after one of them, but no joy so far - I try to generate funds from selling off some first edition books I collected over the years that have appreciated in value, but my normal buyer just bought two estates - sigh...I have reached out to another dealer, but they are coming across like amateurs so I don't think I can get a deal to go down. And the big annual vintage guitar show is happening in Texas this weekend and I am not going - so no new GAS and there is a chance that one or both guitars will get sold if the dealers go to the show (which they almost certainly will)...

There - I feel better. Back to work.
Reply With Quote
  #293  
Old 04-14-2010, 12:50 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gilroy CA
Posts: 8,520
I'm trying to make a decent run at Bach Bouree in E minor BWV996. Man, that's a challenging piece, no forgiveness at all. I haven't done classical guitar in ages, my hat is off to you guys that are good at this stuff. I found a Segovia recording of the song, and he belts out the whole thing in 91 seconds, holy cow! I think I like the piece at somewhat slower speed than that, but still not slow. But jeez, keeping my performance clean is tough, and the piece doesn't sound difficult at all to play. Damn you, JSB!
Reply With Quote
  #294  
Old 04-15-2010, 12:12 AM
kevlaw kevlaw is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
And I am stuck on the last two measures of clapton's solo in sunshine of your love. I have the whole thing recorded in garage band but I just cannot make all those notes fit into two measures.

I am about ready to give up and ad lib my own ending.

I really don't understand why they call him slow hand.
Reply With Quote
  #295  
Old 04-15-2010, 07:17 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevlaw View Post
And I am stuck on the last two measures of clapton's solo in sunshine of your love. I have the whole thing recorded in garage band but I just cannot make all those notes fit into two measures.

I am about ready to give up and ad lib my own ending.

I really don't understand why they call him slow hand.
Yup - learning stuff slowly is a bitch.

He has his fast moments - I know you are just kidding, but his nickname is more about his fluid motion - he looks slow even while he is playing fast - but he only uses that in bursts and tends to play melodically...
Reply With Quote
  #296  
Old 04-15-2010, 08:18 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
IIRC the Slowhand nickname came about (when he was in the Yardbirds) because he was using really light strings* and would break them all the time, stopping the set while he changed strings - pissing off the crowd leading to a slow hand clap. It's clearly a play on his style too, he was considered fast. If he was American he'd have been Fast Eric or something, but we're more sarcastic over here I guess.





* As in lighter than you could actually buy back then, a standard set was probably 012 or 013. The ahead of the game guys at the time** used a banjo string for the top E and shifted all the other strings down a notch. Using the A for bottom E, D for A etc.

** Somewhere or other I have an old interview with Jimmy Page where he's asked if he has any advice*** for young players he said "Use lighter strings".

*** Ricky Nelson (Cheap Trick guy) asked the same question answered "Give me your guitars". Not quite as helpful.
Reply With Quote
  #297  
Old 04-15-2010, 10:59 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 9,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Clanger View Post
*** Ricky Nelson (Cheap Trick guy) asked the same question answered "Give me your guitars". Not quite as helpful.
That'd be Rick Nielsen (and that certainly sounds like something he'd say). Ricky Nelson would be Ozzie's kid.
Reply With Quote
  #298  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:03 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 20,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
That'd be Rick Nielsen (and that certainly sounds like something he'd say). Ricky Nelson would be Ozzie's kid.
Nice catch.

Yeah - the lighter-gauge string thing was revolutionary at the time - it enabled the Brits to realize how bending could happen. And the strings, coupled with big overdriven Marshall stacks, sounded really thick.

Then the pendulum swung the other direction when Stevie Ray Vaughn came on the scene - he was all Fender amps and heavy, heavy gauged strings.

Both approaches can work - you just have to know what works for you. I can't imagine playing with 8's or 9's like Pagey does - freakin' rubber bands. And yet I love his playing and would say my sound is much closer to his than, say, SRV's. But I get to it via a different route that includes 11's not 9's
Reply With Quote
  #299  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:46 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65
That'd be Rick Nielsen (and that certainly sounds like something he'd say).
Doh! Well I'm not a fan but he's obviously a bit of a wag*. I got his name mixed up with the B52s' Ricky Wilson (who I am a fan of**)





*A great guitar thread needs a link to this... thing.


** Or, of whom I am an admirer. Something like that.
Reply With Quote
  #300  
Old 04-15-2010, 12:33 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 9,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Clanger View Post
*A great guitar thread needs a link to this... thing.
I'd read a bit about that custom five-necked guitar of Nielsen's. From that picture, it looks like the "bottom" neck is fretless, and the "top" neck is a twelve-string...does anyone know the rest of the story behind it?

(And, yeah, he's a nut. Heckuva guitarist, though. Local Illinois boy. )
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.