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Can gear lose its mojo?

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  • #16
    There is no mojo in a piece of gear. there are some pieces of gear / instruments that are exceptional over others (in our opinions) I also don't look at mojo as some voodoo hex or incantation from the devil. his only power is what you give him. Mojo comes from within. Its the spirit and soul of who you are and what and how you've learned to express through your instrument /Talent. The most mojo I've ever heard came through the human voice, what a instrument!
    Guitars, pedals & Amps

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    • #17
      "Some say mojo is just like a wheel. Once you bend it, you can't mend it" to paraphrase the song. Lucky for me being a geezer as hearing is going and playing was never all that hot. Some days guitar & amp and next day not. Such is life. Did make me think of this article about Ric fixing Paul McCartney's Ric bass. Interesting read to me....
      I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
      Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

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      • #18
        i hope my strat will not lose its mojo once i install the kinmans in it, hopefully it gains some mojo...
        but first 2 weeks vacation and than online ordering timeand we will see mid of august i guess

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        • #19
          BTW - I don't think Phil meant mojo in the supernatural way. I took mojo to mean general awesomeness.

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          • Phil O'Keefe
            Phil O'Keefe commented
            Editing a comment
            You are correct sir!

        • #20
          Originally posted by koiwoi View Post
          BTW - I don't think Phil meant mojo in the supernatural way. I took mojo to mean general awesomeness.
          Exactly. Some undefinable overall quality about the instrument that makes it special from a sonic or playing standpoint. Or if you prefer, call it a connection between musician and instrument. Some guitars just speak to you, or feel / play / sound fantastic, with a certain je ne sais quoi that is hard to describe. I'm not talking about magic or voodoo.
          **********

          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

          - George Carlin

          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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          • bluesmann
            bluesmann commented
            Editing a comment
            MO-JO
            a magic charm, talisman, or spell:
            "someone must have their mojo working over at the record company"

            I guess we all have our own definitions and metaphors we use to describe things. its all good!

        • #21
          Originally posted by koiwoi View Post
          BTW - I don't think Phil meant mojo in the supernatural way. I took mojo to mean general awesomeness.

          Actually here is his definition from the article. " Is there some kind of unexplained mojo - some indescribable essence that makes some individual pieces of equipment superior to similar pieces of gear made in the same way by the same company?"

          My point is that I don't think most of us use "mojo" in that sense - for me at least it implies a certain magic that comes from age, experience, maybe who owned it or what was played on it. In my humble opinion a new guitar might be incredible (or not) but it doesn't have mojo - it has to earn it.

          However, back to the original article, if you want to define "mojo" in the way Phil does, then yes, some guitars within a brand and model are better than others and yes, a botched repair or modification can take it away.
          Last edited by Freeman Keller; 07-19-2016, 09:40 AM.

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          • Grant Harding
            Grant Harding commented
            Editing a comment
            The term mojo has developed an alternate colloquial meaning amongst guitarists. My understanding is that it means a thing (or person) that has it together in a way that's hard to quantify.

          • Phil O'Keefe
            Phil O'Keefe commented
            Editing a comment
            That's a good way to describe what I was referring to koiwoi.

        • #22
          How often you play the instrument definitely comes into the picture too. I know when I play one particular instrument allot, others can loose some of their "Mojo" I account for this in a number of ways. Your hands becomes acclimated with where the strings are, Your ears are accustomed to the tone, You usually have the instrument tuned and tweaked to perfection, you feel the vibrations against your chest and when you play the instrument there's no readjustment or compensation to make.

          It may not even be the best player nor set up as good as it can be yet you're just so used to it and because everything is predictable, you completely forget its in your hands and just play music as though the instrument was simply an extension of your own body.

          You pick up another instrument and you have to go through this complete readjustment period, getting used to the string flex, the tone, the way the electronics work etc. That guitar lost its mojo simply because it hasn't been played in awhile.

          To me its like trying to drive someone else's car. All the basics are the same but you have allot of mental distractions going on because of the differences. You may not even feel the road for awhile till you get used to the changes. Then when you go back to driving your own vehicle you appreciate the way the seat feels and the way you can take a corner. Your Mojo has gone up because you had a change introduced that reflected on everything you were overly accustomed to.

          Beyond that however I think its simply a mind set. The "most" critical element is when you pick up an instrument you do so with a positive attitude and say this gear will sound great. Funny thing is the chances of it making great music is exponentially better.

          If you're worried about it staying in tune, you'll focus too much on getting it in tune. If you're overly focused on its tone you'll wind up spending half the night finding a comfortable tone. If you use positive mind over matter and you just play the hell out of it making great music, it will happen. After all that's "All" that matters when you boil it all down.

          I cant count the times where I picked up an instrument and just waited for inspiration to strike. I did that this weekend in fact. I had finished up all my old projects and thought to myself, I have all that business cleaned up and I can start new projects with a clean slate.

          Well the inspiration never did strike, and the most I could get was to scratch up a few rough ideas that really weren't so hot. I knew the problem want the instrument or the gear. I had tweaked those up to be as good as ever. It was purely my mindset.

          When I saw I was going no place, I finally decided to just to work out doing some normal hand exercises. I hate having time go to waste so I figured I may as well keep my hands in top shape. .

          Next day it was a whole different ball game. My hands were feeling great because of the workout the day before and were doing anything my mind wanted them to do effortlessly to the point where they were playing things on auto piolet and I was back to writing all kinds of cool stuff. I must have recorded 20 chord patterns on the cell phone within an hour which I can simply play back in the studio to get some decent projects going.

          Inspiration "Mojo" are simply triggers which take many forms and sometimes It can be extremely elusive, hiding in places where you don't expect it. Sometimes its just a trickle and sometimes its like a firehose when you finally manage to find the tap and turn it on. The thing is, you can wait for it forever doing nothing to deserve it, and blaming the lack of it on an instrument is immature.

          Most of the time you have to pursue it with some of that 99% perspiration they talk always about and then it meets you some place in the middle. I don't think music would be half as much fun if it happened otherwise.
          Last edited by WRGKMC; 07-19-2016, 11:00 AM.

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          • #23
            I watched a video of the Fender factory in the '50s. I noticed how much hands were on the wood while it was being shaped.

            It reminded me of the longevity in the old children's toys that were carved and built by hand. Perhaps mojo is a product of the energy that get put into the wood. Maybe the strats from the '50s really are better.
            As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
            from the deepest hell to the highest states.

            It is up to you which one you choose to explore
            .

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            • Freeman Keller
              Freeman Keller commented
              Editing a comment
              You're saying that a cnc can't make mojo?
              Last edited by Freeman Keller; 07-19-2016, 08:03 PM.

            • bluesmann
              bluesmann commented
              Editing a comment
              You know what CNC stands for right? CUTS NEW CRAP (smiles) then plek Plenty low enough k?

          • #24
            In the colloquial sense, yes I think there are a number of things that can happen to take away that aural "magic". I believe that a break can adversely effect the sound of an instrument, particularly if it's not repaired properly. I suppose it could work conversely as well as Onelife referred to, but I would be more inclined to consider another factor personally. But I suppose it's no more far-fetched (headstock repair imparted aural mojo) than my suspicion that my 89 Strat Plus sounds so amazing because it was inundated with cigarette smoke when I acquired it. I've never played another Strat that has such 3D chime. Figured all that smoke must have dried out the wood or something. But a better explanation is that like a custom shop model, better wood was possibly used, or maybe it has something to do with the swimming pool route. In any event, it has major mojo AND leaving it out of it's original case has completely cured the cigarette smell.
            "Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when you're listening. Playing the piano ['guitar'] allows you to do both at the same time." -Kelsey Grammer

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            • #25
              Something that can help with a smoky smelling case is to spray Fabreeze in it, and put a couple of dryer sheets in there - without the guitar - for a day or two. I've also sprinkled baking soda on the case lining, then vacuumed it up a couple of days later, which also seemed to help.
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • wankdeplank
                wankdeplank commented
                Editing a comment
                Thx Phil, been there, done that, but the case is still a smarmy black hole that can overwhelm a guitar left in it too long. It's OK though, I've got a few better Fender cases layin around. The main thing is that the guitar itself (89 Strat Plus) is now completely free of any residual fumes and my overall favorite fiddle (for now anyway - I have some good'uns).

              • Phil O'Keefe
                Phil O'Keefe commented
                Editing a comment
                Another thing that can help a great deal is fresh air and sunshine. Leave it sitting open outside for a few sunny days and that may help reduce the smell. I am glad you have other cases, but it would be nice if that one could be redeemed too, right? At least IMHO - but I never have enough cases!

              • AJ6stringsting
                AJ6stringsting commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow, thanks Phil !!!!
                My daughter's late / beloved cat , Evie, sprayed on the case of my 1971 Gibson Flying V , your advice worked like a charm !!!!

            • #26
              I don't think price point, repair, or age has much to do with it. I think the mojo connotation comes from the individual, and time spent with or away from a piece of gear, and also from evolving tastes and preferences, more than anything.
              My Beast was under a grand new, it's nowhere near stock, its a Platinum Pro, so nothing close to an End Roman custom, but it has a Butt ton of mojo. I'm superstitious about over cleaning it - almost afraid I'll remove some, lol. I never got around to routing out a larger battery compartment to accommodate the twin nine volts for the 18v mod,, so I tape them together and tuck them in a curve on a vampire tip. It's got Nick's and dings from gigging, a dead switch from a botched kill switch attempt, and a custom DVD case pickup ring, lol. But again, Tons of mojo.
              I've had a bunch of other guitars that just never did it for me.
              I think a lot of guitar players may fall into this category with me, idk.
              Proud member: BC Rich Brigade
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              Gear Used:
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              EG

              Originally Posted by J-E-M
              Use a wah pedal so you can fully express the cry-baby inside

              Good Deal with: Twisty571

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              • AJ6stringsting
                AJ6stringsting commented
                Editing a comment
                So true, I had a Strat that was lifeless ( tone wise ) , then I watched a video Robin Tower made. He had a his action very high to produce some huge monster tone, I tried it and the guitar came to life.
                A few months ago, I had to replace a volume pot in my Jackson guitars that I use to play Speed / Thrash Metal, I had to go through 4 pots to get it close to what it had.
                Another Start needed some major tonal make over, the pickups were too powerful for my needs and under the recommendations of M.r. Wankdaplank.
                Blamo !!!!, the guitar now has that Mark Knopfler tone that I was looking for.
                I guess, my mojo must be good, because most of the mods I've done were for the better.
                Last edited by AJ6stringsting; 08-26-2016, 02:01 PM.

            • #27
              There have been times when I've thought my gear has lost it's mojo - put it down to hearing fatigue most of the time.

              If I haven't played for several days or so, the magic comes back when I play again. But the climate comes into play as well - sound waves travel differently depending on the weather/humidity/temperature when travelling out from the amp speaker. A little tweak here and there on the knobs - pedals or guitar - usually rectifies the situation.
              Last edited by Juicy Elk Man; 07-25-2016, 10:34 PM.
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              • #28
                Numerous stories in here about guitar's having refinishes that to the owner makes it a lesser guitar, change in necks, pickups, rewires, tuners, all kinds of stuff have had the effect of lessening or losing what to many people would be termed "mojo".

                So yes, I think guitar and valve amps can lose that indeterminate value, ditto cars, motorcycles and numerous other things
                Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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                • #29

                  I've had an electric geetar to lose its mojo just by changing strings with equivalent gauge and NPS construction. In the end, I would go back to whatever string brand / model it had on it before.

                  I would expect behaviour like this more so with an acoustic guitar, but, this was with a solid body Strato-clone.

                  A friend of mine once complained of his electric geetar losing its mojo after he did a shielding job. About all I can say for that one is that it may have somehow introduced capacitance to the audio circuit or a bit of earthing resistance that wasn't there before.


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                  • #30
                    Hi guys. Still moejed as ever. HDD died.
                    Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...







                    Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

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                    • Phil O'Keefe
                      Phil O'Keefe commented
                      Editing a comment
                      That so sux. Mojo sent.












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