Sunday, November 13, 2005

How to build your own Effect Pedals

effect pedal, originally uploaded by url1.

A cool how - to i ran into while surfing.

  • There's not a lot out there that deals with the subject of building your own effects. I know a lot of guitarists just grab a digital do-it-all - and i'm one of them - but, it's very cool to go old school and roll your own, using transistors and real analog pieces. This book looks cool.



    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    Steven Seagal's Guitars

    Steven Seagal - star of numerous kick ass movies, most notably from the 80's - loves and collects guitars? Yes, it's true; and
  • Vintage Guitar
  • magazine has a cover story on Mr. Seagal's guitar perpundities and his collection. Who knew? But why not; guitar nuts come in all flavours, and, besides, his movies have always been a guilty pleasure of mine.

    Friday, August 19, 2005

    Cats Eye ESP Hop Hed Fuzztone

    Jimmy Page's tone back in the Led Zep days was partly shaped by the MK111 Tonebender. The Hop Hed Fuzztone is designed to help you create that the Led Zep tone. True Bypass switching, an intenal trimpot for adjusting the gain/output level, and heavy construction make for a cool pedal.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    John Mayer Strat

    When first heard John Mayer's acoustic based pop, i thought that he wrote OK pop songs; then I was watching TV late one night and i saw him in concert playing a strat-and playing it well! i thought the guy was one heck of a guitarist, and i've since heard more of his electric playing and i was impressed. Fender has released a signature strat in his name, and i think it's well deserved. Alder body, maple C shaped neck and new Big Dipper single coils.

    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    Quasar Phaser Pedal

    This stompbox was created to produce the full gamut from "leslie" style swirling sounds, to 'bouncing" filter effects. This pedal has true bypass switching, noiseless opto based circuitry, and operates on a 9 volt or AC adapter.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Audiotech PD-1 Pro-Verdrive Pedal

    PD-1-Pro-Verdrive, originally uploaded by url1.

    The PD-1 Pro-Verdrive from Audiotech is another pedal designed to add overdrive to your sound, but not to colour or alter your tone. Manufactures of overdrive and distortion pedals have been developing guitar pedals which don't "tread" on a guitarist's carefully worked out tone. Audiotech has built the PD-1 to work this way; when stepped on, the pedal adds an overdrive boost, but it doesn't significantly change the basic tone.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Ibanez AK75DGD

    AK75DGD, originally uploaded by url1.

    Here are two new addition to Ibanez's Artcore series of large body, full hollow guitars. The AK75DGD is sports a cutaway, a beautiful gold finish, and two set in the body pickups.
    The AF84EDVS sports a floating pickup and has the traditional, full body design.

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    Martin M3M George Martin model

    M3M George Martin_f, originally uploaded by url1.

    Martin has developed a guitar with Sir George Martin (yeah, that one; the Beatle's producer). It's a beautiful guitar, and a bit pricey, but it was designed to be the ultimate recording guitar and all the features fulfill that mandate. The top is an extremely rare Italian alpine spuce, the sides and back are mahogany, and the guitar is built of an M body. The neck is also mahogany, and is 1 and 3/4" at the nut. Martin is accepting orders for this guitar until Sep23rd.

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    Planet Waves Pedal Board Kit

    Pedal-Board-Kit-sm, originally uploaded by url1.

    Most guitarists I know carry their pedals -and the connecting cables they need for them- around in a snake pile of mess. Planet Waves has come out with a solderless cable-making system. You get 10 ft of instrument cable, 10 right angled plugs, and a mini cable cutter; all so you can create your own lengths of connecting cables for you pedal board, of stand alone pedals. Good idea.

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Music Man Steve Morse Y2d signature model

    smy2d_forum2, originally uploaded by url1.

    Steve Morse and Music Man have been partnered now for 20 years, and to celebrate the occasion, Music Man has released the new Steve Morse Y2d signature model. Did you check out Morse on Live 8 this past year on stage with Deep Purple?
    I thought it was one of the better performances, and Morse rocked out hard on his Music Man. Decent sound; considering it was live, recorded, and played back through my tv's speakers. Even in this setting the Music Man sounded great.
    The Y2d builds on that original guitar design that Morse has been playing since '85; this guitar is fashioned out of a Poplar body with a maple top and a clear pickguard to show off the quilted or flamed maple. The back is solid black. Loaded with three Di-Marzio's; a humbucker in the neck and bridge, and a custom wound single coil in the middle position. One small detail that screams Morse is the placement of the volume control; Steve likes to wrap his little finger around it as he plays.
    This is a cool guitar.
    Steve Morse Y2d link.


    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Moog MF-104Z Analog Delay

    MF-104Z-Analog-Delay, originally uploaded by url1.

    Man, this is one blast from the past...I remember when all electronic equipment was built this way; the silver topped black dials, the script and print on the user face, and the built-like-a-tank, wooden sided construction. Most home entertainment systems, and radio shack mixers looked like this- and the sounds they all made were groovy. Dig this, then; Moog has the longest Analogue, stand alone, delay module on the market with this puppy. There is a full one secound delay sandwiched between those wood sides, and this Moogerfooger is built to handle most inputs, from low level guitars and vocals, to high output drum machines and the like. Far out.
    Moog link.


    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Epiphone Custom Chrome Les Paul

    epicustomchrome, originally uploaded by url1.

    This is one hip new offering from Epiphone. Epiphone models of classic Gibson offerings are a great alternative to laying down the major bread needed to purchase the real mccoy from Gibson. This Les Paul is a unique twist on the Les Paul format; the Epiphone Custom Chrome Les Paul comes with chrome pickup mounting rings, hardware, inset knobs, and a chrome pickguard. Loaded with Alnico classic himbuckers. A great looking guitar.
    Epiphone Guitars link.


    Saturday, July 30, 2005

    Epiphone Paul McCartney 1964 Texan

    texan, originally uploaded by url1.

    Paul McCartney worked with Gibson (who owns Epiphone) to develop an recreation of his own '64 Epiphone Texan, which he had used in both the Beatles and Wings.
    The first run of 40 were very unique, special guitars; the run was overseen by Macca himself, and the serial #001 and #002 were donated to the Adopt a minefield organization, and were signed by Paul himself.

    Friday, July 29, 2005

    Line 6 Variax Bass 705

    varbass705, originally uploaded by url1.

    Line 6 has a new addition to thier "modeling" instrument line. I've played around a bit with the original Variax- the 6 six string electric multi voiced guitar- and i was impressed with the overall feel and build of the guitar. I thought at first that Line 6 would place all the stress of the instrument in the actual sound generating of the guitar, but i found the physical feel of the guitar surprisingly well done. The sounds were impressive, and i thought, now here's a cool idea to the usual offerings of guitar builders. If the bass version is as cool and useable in terms of build and sound, then this bass is a welcome addition.
    Line 6 Variax Bass link.


    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    Morley Pedal Model SCV

    Morley Pedal, originally uploaded by url1.

    Morley has a new pedal; the SCV. It combines a volume pedal with an analog chorus, and can be used in stereo of mono setups. Morley is well known for it's great volume pedals, and they've been de rigeur for quite some time as the volume pedal. In this pedal, Morley has combined an analog chorus with a volume pedal.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Martin Clapton's Choice Strings

    Martin Clapton's Choice Strings, originally uploaded by url1.

    Martin's new Clapton's Choice Strings will hit the stores by October, and will be offered in both light and medium guages in 92/8 Phosphor Bronze. The light set runs from 0.12 to 0.54, and the medium's from 0.13 to 0.56.
    Martin Custom Light 80:20 Strings
    Martin also offers the Martin Custom Light 80/20 Bronze and the Martin Custom Light 92/8 Phosphor Bronze.
    Martin Clatpton's Choice Strings link.


    Monday, July 25, 2005

    Boss Rotary Pedal

    Boss_rotary_pedal, originally uploaded by url1.

    Rotary sounds have been popular for a long time; it's one of those classic sounds that people (guitarists) just don't seem to get too much of. Stevie Ray Vaughn used the swirling sounds of a spinning Leslie to great effect; Leslie's were the original generator of the effect. They were these huge speaker cabinets that actually spun the speakers in a circle inside the cabs, and made this great "swirling" sound. Leslie's were as big as refrigerators, and pretty unwieldly, so it didn't take too long before someone invented a pedal version. Boss's newest addition is the RT-20, and it accurately creates the classic rotary sounds. Cool pedal.
    BOSS link.


    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    Sunday's Guitar Site; OLGA

    olgalogo-medium, originally uploaded by url1.

    OLGA - the On Line Guitar Archive - is the web's oldest (OLGA's own claim) guitar TAB site. i don't know if they are indeed the oldest on the web, but i do know that they've been around a long time; web wise, that is. i've used OLGA for quite a time now, and - all in all - i've found the site to be great. Now when i say great, it's a subjective term. The tabs on the site have been written by contributing writers who have made the effort to transcribe guitar based parts, and the results are varied, but i like that; the way i learned guitar was through hanging out with other guitar playing friends, and sharing anything you'd worked out or tried to at least. it was a great way to learn, as it made you use your own ear and adopt your friend's efforts to match what you thought was correct. What this all led to was all of us played most things a little differently, maybe not perfectly, but certainly our personalities were in the mix. That's kind of what i get out of OLGA; think of it as a bunch of friends who think they've worked something out; it might not be accurate, but you'll all have fun.
    OLGA link.


    Saturday, July 23, 2005

    The Pixies's Joey Santiago

    pixies_203, originally uploaded by url1.

    One of the great guitarists of the Nineties (and in my opinion; of all time) was The Pixies's Joey Santiago. His tone and approach was always fresh and inventive. Joey supplied as unique a voice to The Pixies's sound as did Black Francis/Francis Black and was integral in making their band one of the most influential bands of their time, and even now, the sound and attitude they infused into the music scene with ground shaking albums like Surfer Rosa in the 1990's is still resounding through many of artist's sounds today.
    The Pixies reunited last and year, and have been touring, and now they've announced a new album! The last Pixies's albun was 91's Trompe Le Monde; i for one, am waiting for this one.

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    VOX AD30VT and AD15VT

    ad30vt_ad15vt, originally uploaded by url1.

    When I think of VOX I always think of those black and white photos from the 60's of "super beatles" on stage with the Beatles or the Edge's backline. You can't beat the sound of a Vox for chime and ring; they are supreme when it comes to that great, clean sound. Now VOX has released an affordable series in their great tradition; and if I want that VOX ring, i'd like it to come out of VOX, not a faximile. As you suspected the AD100VT is capable of cranking out 100 watts (and the AD50VT, 50 watts, etc), but what is unique with the AD100VT, AD50VT, and the AD30VT is that the output wattage can be adjusted from 1 to the maximum watts available. That is; the AD100VT can be set to output 1-100 watts. This allows you to wind the output down, but still get the tube sounds you want. VOX has updated these amps with modeling so that you can get a AC30 sound all the way to a hi gain amp. VOX amps have sounds which are so classic - these amps give you the classic sounds, and add some variations- all a lower price point.


    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Yamaha AES620-HB

    AES620HB_Main, originally uploaded by url1.

    Yamaha has released the AES620-HB; a semi-hollowbody guitar made of mahogany with a maple top and also equipped with a mahogany neck. The AES620-HB comes in blonde or old violin sunburst finishes, and is loaded with a Yamaha humbucker in the front and a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker in the back. This guitar is based on Yamaha's AES620, which did well for itself. i dig semi and hollowbody guitars myself. i've always had a love for that sound, and this guitar is a new twist on the design. Link

    Eric Johnson Stratocaster

    EJ Strat, originally uploaded by url1.

    Eric Johnson's tone on Cliffs of Dover is incredible. I've long been a fan of his style and finess; and of course his great tone. Fender has released another Strat in their Artist series, and the Eric Johnson Strat is their latest. This Stratocaster has an Alder body, 12" radius, and a soft V neck profile. An added feature that i personally love is the use of a Nitro Cellulose finish; i personally don't like the feel of the Polymer finishes. A great guitar.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    super slinky

    super slinky, originally uploaded by url1.

    acoustic super slinky
    Ernie Ball passed away recently, I have to admit it kind of made me pause. Ernie Ball Super Slinky's were the rock string when i was coming up and i felt a small sense of loss with his passing.
    A friend of mine who plays a lot of acoustic guitar was spinning about how he could now string up his acoustic with Slinky's; checking it out, Ernie Ball offers 12 string sets, also. very cool.

    Washburn Pilsen Idol P170

    pi70rb, originally uploaded by url1.

    Like some motorcycle enthusiasts, there is without a doubt a group of guitarists who want to own guitars manufactured in America. For many it's a bit of a pipedream; American guitars are high ticket items, and the prices put them out of reach for many weekend warrior guitarists. But, now the fortunes of these guitarists has changed; Washburn has just released the Pilsen Idol P170, and it's built in the USA and is priced below the all important thousand dollar mark. A carved top mahogany body, a mahogany neck, Grover tuners, Jumbo frets, Seymour Duncan Custom Custom and "59 pickups, and the Buzz Feiten tuning system. Dig it.

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Hipshot ORing knobs

    ORING KNOB_small, originally uploaded by url1.

    These new replacement knobs from Hipshot are a great idea. Many has been the time that i've tried to make quick on-the-fly volume changes or played around with volume swells, but i couldn't get traction on the volume knob. I guess this opens up tone swells too - you never know who's cooking up what in the woodshed.

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    ESP Axxion

    axxion_esp, originally uploaded by url1.

    Guitarists that feel the need for a change from the proliferation of Strat and Paul aesthetics which permeate the guitar marketplace don't have to look too far for guitars that play up on the differences rather than the commonalities of these two design stalwarts; what they're greater challenge lies is in weeding through the many "alternative" designs to find guitars that offer both uniqueness/coolness and real functionality. ESP guitars have release another guitar in the Dave Mustaine Signature Series; the Axxion (pronounced "Action"), hot on the heals of last year's DV8.
    Both of these guitars feature Seymour Duncan. JB/Jazz pickups (which kick ***) and feature 25.5" scales, mahogany bodys and necks, and jumbo frets - can you spell "Heavy"?


    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Seymour Duncan Tweak Fuzz

    Originally uploaded by url1.
    I was fortunate a few years back to meet Seymour Duncan; in fact I was incredibly lucky enough to join in on a conversation between the late, great Danny Gatton and Seymour. They were both incredibly gracious gentlemen, and I warmly remember our talk. We sat off to the side during a music conference and spoke. It was an amazing moment.
    This is Seymour Duncan's latest release. It was designed in collaboration with Blues Saraceno's father, and on the site there are video and audio samples. It's a pedal which "tweaks" the sound of your own current amp-allowing you to change the sound of your rig pretty easily. It captures that Hendrix sound well, and that alone is worth the price of admission.


    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Do it yourself Fuzzface Guitar Pedal

    Originally uploaded by url1.
    Wow, i guess the world is big - there are so many other people out there who share my great enthusiasm for guitars and guitar related stuff. This is a website I came across where someone has spent a lot of time and effort in building a cool site that shows off a few guitar pedals/projects to build. Above is a schematic for a Fuzzface, below is a schematic for an AB box.
    I have no idea if they work, but the effort spent making such great, clear diagrams is pretty commedable. rock and roll Juan Carlos, wherever you are!


    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Fender G-DEC Amplifier

    Fender G-DEC Amplifier
    Originally uploaded by url1.
    I tried out the new Fender G-DEC Amplifier lately, and I have to say I was impressed with; a) the sound of the amp itself, b) the built in "band" c) the doggone coolness of this thing! Fender has really filled a niche with this amp. The acronym G-DEC stands for the Guitar Digital Entertainment Center, and this compact amp definitely lives up to the handle. The amp has built in drum loops, bass lines, and other padding instrumentation - all courtesy of an onboard fully functional MIDI synthesizer. What this all creates is a great, fun soundscape for you to practice your Slipknot/Hendrix/Urban licks (i'm not really kidding; the amp has 50 Fender designed presets, and it covers a lot of soundground), and it makes running that lydian scale you've been meaning to practice almost enjoyable. This is the guitar amplifier equivalant of a 40 inch, surround sound in the living room; it's just a heck of a lot louder, and way more fun.



    Originally uploaded by url1.
    With all the recent interest in Texas Hold 'em, I started scouring the web for my own set of cards; preferably guitar oriented- so, little blind up and flop 'em!


    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    T.C. Electronic VPD1

    Originally uploaded by url1.
    T.C. Electronics has released the VPD1, a pre-drive pedal designed to create a vintage flavored, warm overdrive from your current set up, but not to impart a lot of extra colouring of your sound. A geat idea in an overdrive pedal; i've used many OD/Distortion/Drive pedals, and most significantly impart thier footprint on your sound. This pedal overdrives, but does not colour. T.C. made their name with thier excellent non-colouring chorus pedal; this pedal takes the same slant on only giving you what you want - not what you don't;


    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Pacman Guitar

    Pacman Guitar
    Originally uploaded by url1.
    What better way of reliving my misspent youth than by combining the two biggest time using activities i partook in; Guitar playing and Pacman.


    Most of the time spent playing Pacman was spent while i waited for the drummer to finish checking his snare sound (full blast through the PA system of an empty bar). The beeping and blurping of Pacman and the endless cracking of a snare through the bass bins are forever welded together in my head. It was how i warmed up.



    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Sunday's Guitar Site - Calder Originals Guitar Case Design

    Calder Originals Guitar Case Design
    Originally uploaded by url1.
    This Sunday - as for all Sundays - i'm featuring a great site i found in my travels on the web. This is a really interesting site; Calder Original's web site portrays a great string of photos and text which show the development of their Guitar case design.
    carved foam
    Makes for great reading, and i really like the look of the final product.
    You can check them out at;

    Saturday, July 09, 2005

    The Crazy J- guitar playing machine

    crazy j plucker
    Originally uploaded by url1.
    Ever had one of those of days when it was way too cold to busk in front of the liquor store 'cause your hands were just too cold to finger another rendition of 'stairway to heaven'? Well, the good students at the Georgia Tech graduate Mechatronics class have created a mechanical, electronic component and software controlled guitar playing machine to answer the call for humanless guitar playing. This is the "plucker" (equipped with Teflon picks},

    crazy j fingertips
    these are the solenoid "fingertips",

    crazy j guitar top
    and this is what the whole crazy (well named guys) contraption looks like!
    Now, that's something to show dear old Dad when he asks how you spent another incredibly expensive year at school.

    Gretsch G6128TCG Duo Jet

    G6128TCG Gretsch Duo Jet
    Originally uploaded by url1.
    This is one of Gretsch's new offerings; a Duo Jet in a beautiful, fetching Cadillac Green. This is a re-issue of the Cadillac Green Duo Jet, and the finish is stunning. A semi-hollow body design, equipped with a Bigsby Vibrato, and loaded with a pair of DynaSonic single-coil pickups makes this a pure bred Rebel Rouser.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Peterson VS-S Strobostomp

    Originally uploaded by url1.
    I remember when i was a kid; everytime i saw a stage photo of one of my guitar heros, there - on top of a Marshall Stack or a Fender Twin in the background - would be a large, rectangular box. Looking closer, i could always make out the Peterson logo; Peterson had always been the professional standard for guitar tuning, and i started to associate the Peterson name with being professional. I always wanted one, but instead bought and used the much more accessible (and affordable) portable tuners that all my friends had.
    Well, now i can get a real Peterson tuner in a pedal format, and it's too cool. The VS-S is accurate to 0.1 cent, which far acceeds the capabilities of a digital tuner; in fact, this pedal is accurate enough to set your intonation by, yet is still built to withstand the punishment of a steel toe-ed guitarist stompin' around on a darkened stage. very cool.

    lp clapton

    lp clapton
    Originally uploaded by url1.
    Eric Clapton with his late 50's or 1960 Les Paul Standard. The guitar was finished in cherry Sunburst, and was loaded with a black PAF humbucker in the bridge position, and a cream PAF in the neck position. The guitar originally was outfitted with nickel-plated pickup covers, which were removed.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    John Mayall Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton

    Originally uploaded by url1.
    This is the sound of Eric Clapton in full "Clapton is God" mode (spraypainted around London at the time), and the sound heard is Clapton's late 50's Sunburst Les Paul Standard coupled with a Marshall combo amp. John Mayall's Blues Breakers album (sometimes refered to as the "Beano" album due to the comic book on the cover) was released in 1966, and was really the start of the huge reverance and popularity of the Les Paul Standards.

    Freddie King

    Clapton purchased his Les Paul after seeing Freddie King's album cover "Let's Hide Away And Dance Away With Freddie King". On the album cover, King is holding a Gold Top Les Paul equipped with P-90 soapbar pickups, which were single coil pickups. Clapton's Les Paul Standard featured Seth lover's PAF (patent applied for; these pickups had a small black decal on the bottom) humbucking pickups. By the time this album was released, Gibson had halted production of the Sunburst Les Paul's - the guitar had been made up until the early part of 1961.
    The black and white photo of Clapton from my last post shows him in the studio with his Les Paul Standard; unfortunately, the guitar was stolen during rehersals for the first Cream concert.