Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Esquire

Last year I decided that if I was going to have another Telecaster, I would have to build one because it seemed that every store bought one I had, I sold for one reason or another. I had a neck laying around, tuners, neck plate and screws, Tele control plate.  I just needed the body, pickup and a few other bits.

So I ordered Mighty Mite Ash Telecaster body in Butterscotch, a Seymour Duncan Broadcaster pickup, Wilkinson bridge and any other hardware needed.  The neck I already had is a Warmoth Strat neck with the boat contour, 1" the entire length, just like my Frankenstrat. 

Once everything arrived, assembly and soldering began. For the wiring, I went with the usual Esquire syle wiring with the Eldred mod in position 3.  This gives it a slight cocked wah sound.  It works well to cut through the mixed and makes it sound a little fatter.

Now that it's dialed in after a good setup, it plays and sounds great.  The fat neck is definitely a feature I enjoy.  With my rather large hands, it's more comfortable to play.  The Broadcaster is a nice vintage style Tele pickup with a good amount of snarl and bark in addition to that Tele twang.  I'll be enjoying this one for a long time.

Update 12/2015: The pickup has been changed out for a Rumpelstiltskin 1950 Black Rope wound to 10-10.5k. While the Broadcaster is a great pickup, I needed more output and warmth but still have that Tele sound. This fit the bill. Check out Rumpelstiltskin Pickups for more information on the 1950 Black Rope as well as other offerings.

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Iron Maiden - Speed of Light

Iron Maiden Fans, the wait for a new album is over.  Their new single, Speed of Light, was released on August 14. To me, this sounds like the classic Maiden we all love. I really like the guitar tone on this song. Some will say it's the same old rehash, some will say they expected more. Well, they can't please everyone. In my opinion, they've earned their right to do what they want, how they want. This is Iron Maiden. This song is on the upcoming double-album, Book of Souls, set for release September 4th. Up the irons!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Is Less More?

Many times, some of us guitar players may ask ourselves this question, "Is less more?". What do we mean by that? In a player's world, for some, it means being able to achieve more expression, more attention to playing, and more enjoyment, but with less "stuff" (aka. gear) to fiddle with.

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There's a lot of players out there with pedalboards that rival those used by the pro's. And for every one like them, there's an equal number who prefer what I call the "Angus" approach; plug it in and play. Is one way better than the other? Not in the least. For some, having a variety of pedals and amps to switch between works for them and allows them to achieve their tone and expression. For others, the simpler approach works just as well. 

I've gone from one end of the spectrum to the other throughout my playing career. I've had large pedal boards, nothing but a foot switch for the amp in front of me, and various little setups and configurations in between. After a time, I've come to discover what works best for me overall. I could have saved A LOT of money had I figured this out years ago. :-) 

Pedalboard Variation 1

These days, I'm using a Crybaby and Delay out front with a tuner (must have) in there, maybe a booster or overdrive if necessary, and the amp foot switch. The more I use this setup, the more I enjoy it. There's also these nifty controls on the guitar called volume and tone (where I allow one to exist) and just with some fine adjustments, can get different tones. 

Pedalboard Variation 2

Even though I like the simple approach, every time I go to a show, I like to see what's on the guitar player's (players') pedalboard(s). Every so often, something sticks out that makes me curious what that little box is and what it does. However, just having a large pedal board doesn't automatically guarantee good tone. That takes a good ear and knowing how to dial things in. But there-in lies the saying, tone is subjective. This is true but bad tone is bad tone, no matter how you slice it.

So, what is the way to go? Well, look at your style, the type of music you play and what you want to accomplish. From there, you can decided what you need to have on the floor and what you don't. It doesn't hurt to try a bunch just to get a taste of what is there. Something may spark some ideas. In the end, every player is different. For some, less is more. For others, more is perfect. Do what works for you.