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flats750

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  1. I wish I could give a higher rating, but since I had to do all the work to get it where I needed it to be, they get a 6. I am not overly disappointed since I only paid $300 for it, but the tube thing just shouldn't happen on a brand new amp. One of the power tubes I pulled out didn't even have the silver coating inside the top of the tube. While I don't mind replacing tubes to tweak an amp to get the "perfect tone" (hell I've done it on $2000 amps), I shouldn't have to do it to get ANY tone. Now that it does have good tubes it is a really good sounding amp, especially the clean channel. Channel 2 has a Led Zeppelin II tone to it, but don't turn the gain past 3 o'clock or notes become indistinguishable. So overall, for $300 for the amp and $50 worth of tubes I have a head I can gig with (if something else doesn't go wrong with). I can see where tweakers would go crazy with an amp like this. It's like a Boss DS1, cheap enough you can tinker with it without worrying about blowing it up. Kinda like the Sovtek Mig 50's.
  2. flats750

    Dean Guitars V79

    I have to say that I love these guitars, enough so that I had to have 2. They fit my playing style and they sit well hung from a strap. I looked at a lot of V's and this one beats everything but the Dean USA version V. I found the Gibsons are hard to play above the 14 fret because of the way the neck attaches. The Epiphones have good access to the upper frets, but at the cost of being headstock heavy which makes them hard to play. Hamer makes a decent V, but they don't sound or feel quite like these Deans. I am a convert, LONG LIVE DEAN Z! I own a lot of gear and at all price points. Everthing from PRS to OLP and a bunch of stuff in between. I know my way around an instrument and have built or worked on guitars for a good part of my life. I've been playing for nearly 40 years now and know good gear from crap, and have found that price doesn't always go hand in hand with a great instrument. These Deans are made in Korea, but play and sound amazing. I immediately feel in love with the feel of the necks and can say (at least for now) that these 2 V's will see a lot of action in my lineup. I have never taken so quickly to a guitars feel then with these twoV's. They balance perfectly and play and sound great. I paid $349 for one and $299 for the other and it was money well spent for guitars that play well beyond what those prices would suggest. If you are looking at V's you won't go wrong with one (or 2) of these...
  3. I have been playing since 1973. I am a certified gear junkie and I am always searching for something to improve my tone. I have more guitars than I can play and 5 different amps, both solidstate and tube. I have effects of all kinds and they get switched around fairly often. I had my Mesa Recto-Verb for about 7 years and was never completely satisfied with the clean channel. I tried putting EL34 power tubes in it and swapped out the first 2 preamp tubes for 12AT's to give it more headroom, and it was still a compromise. I even changed the Celestions in my cab for 100watt Eminence to get rid of any distortion in the cab. Nothing worked. About a year ago I went on a mission to find a new head. I tried everything available, and most amps today, I found, are geared to the gain channel and most have crappy cleans. I found a couple that had nice cleans, the Fender Super sonic in particular, but then the distortion channel is a compromise. I kinda overlooked the ValveKing because of the price, but then sat down one day at GC and played through it for about an hour. I knew it was what I was looking for. Good gain channel and great clean. I traded the Mesa in and got this head. I have used it at a couple practices so far and it will play its first gig this weekend. I hope it sounds as good at the club as it does in our practice room, and I will be happy (for now lol). I think this amp is real hidden treasure. For the price, there is nothing that comes close. All tube at a $549 price point! and they use good tubes from the factory?! It will stand up to amps costing twice as much in both tone and features. So if you put away your tone snob hat and want a good amp at a great price, go ValveKing! Just because it doesn't cost as much as your car, doesn't mean it doesn't sound good.
  4. I've been playing damn near 40 years and building guitars for over 20. I like guitars in this price range, because I love to tinker with them and hotrod them. Unfortunately, I should not have had to put so much effort into this guitar. A PRS SE model would not have taken this much work to be playable and thay are in the same price range. I can only hope I got a guitar setup on a Friday at closing time. I hope they come out with other color options and a maple fingerboard version of the AX20. I would still buy this guitar again even with the trouble I had with it. I love the AXIS shape and this is a much better made version than the OLP's (which I also have, hotrodded of course). I also have a "real" Petrucci model, and love Music Man products. I just didn't want to spend $1400 for a real AXIS at this time and this is a good compromise. Now that it is all setup the way I want it, it is a player. The neck feels right, the tone is good and I love the look/shape. It will definitely be in the rotation for gigs so I can leave the expensive stuff safe at home. My one final bit of advise if you are a novice player and want one of these. Take along a friand that knows how to play and have him evaluate the guitar. I may have just gotten a bad one, but than again, so may you. Make sure there are no fret buzzes and what not, unless you want to pay for a professional setup. But, who knows, there may be ones that are setup spot on.
  5. So far so good, but I am leary because of the complaints I've read online about units just stop working. That would be a bummer, because so far of the ones I've used and seen, this has been the easiest to use and smoothest to install. All the others I've tried or researched required jumping through hoops to get working on a Vista machine. This unit I had up and running in 5 mins. and that was just waiting for the software to load. No updates required and the Monkey program from Line 6 will keep it up to date if you install it.
  6. flats750

    Godin SDxt

    I've been playing for about 35 years now. I have all kinds of gear at all price points. I was looking for a maple neck guitar to keep in my home studio to replace a guitar I gave to my son. I was kind of stuck on what to get (I didn't want another Strat), and I saw this on the used wall at GC. I picked it up and played it for a while, and was sold. I couldn't believe how solid it felt in my hands. I was never a Godin guy. I've looked at them and never really cared for most of their body shapes, so I never actually picked one up and played it. Stupid me. Godin makes a great guitar! And most of them are under a grand! I am an amatuer luthier and have built quite a few guitars for myself and others, so I know a little bit about build quality. This SDxt is on Godin low end and it is built as well as my 1991 PRS CE24. It may not be as fancy (carved top or natural binding), but it is built just as solid. My only complaint is the pickups being a little microphonic. They probably aren't potted very well, or at all. But for less then $200 I'll deal with it....
  7. I have been playing for over 30 years now. I own all kinds of gear at all price points. I have a PRS and I have an OLP MM1, so I'm not a gear snob. I like things that work and think of my guitars as tools not prized possesions. All my guitars get gigged regularly and if they get nicked or scratched, hey it adds character. I also build my own guitars and I have done setups for other, so I speak from some experience. One of my favorite things to do is find guitars like this one (budget) and hot rod them. I really would like a '61 Gibson reissue SG, but I refuse to pay $2000 for one. I've owned 3 "real" SG's in my time and never paid more than $350 for one NEW. Of course that was in the '70's and 80's, but hey, $2000 for an SG?! Never... Anyways, point is I still wanted an SG. I've played the regular G-400's and I don't like them at all. The neck is to thick and wide (very un-SG like) and I never picked one up that I liked the tone of. I like SG standards over the Special's, so I really wanted a bound neck. I saw the "vintage" on the internet when it came out, and it caught my eye, but the local Guitar Centers didn't have any in stock until recently. When I finally picked one up though, I was amazed at how much it felt like a "real" SG (again, I've owned 3 Gibson's). I sat and played it for over an hour in the store and couldn't believe they are actually cheaper than the G-400. It took me going back and playing it , and comparing it with Gibson's, about a half dozen times before I decided to buy it, and I'm glad I did. I will swap out the pots and input jack, put some T strap buttons on it and possible change the bridge p/u. After a full setup I think it will play as good as a Gibson. Blindfolded I doubt anyone could tell the difference. I used to recomend Mexi Strats as a good starter guitars, but for less money and more versatility, the "vintage" is my new pick. It is extremely playable and sounds decent out of the box. One negative though if you are unfamiliar with SG's is they are neck heavy. The head will dive on you if you don't rest your arm on the body. This is typical of SG's so I don't hold it against this model. Once you get used to it though, it becomes a non-issue. Just use a leather strap and it helps by gripping your shirt a little.
  8. I bought this on a whim cuz it was $11 bucks at Guitar Center. Figured I could use it in my practice rig to add a little more echo/reverb. It is horrible, but I guess you get what you pay for. Danelectro's old mini pedal were much better than this current bunch. I still use an old "fish and chips" EQ on my board and it's held up for a good 5 or 6 years and sounds great. Tis one however will never see a spot on my pedalboard.
  9. I've been playing a long time and have more gear than sense I guess. I am a distortion pedal junky and have about 6 right now. The one I always go back to is the Line 6 MM4. It is also a modeling pedal, but is very fluid and organic sounding. Plus, it has a built in noise gate which rules for live playing and recording. This pedal though, will go into the blackhole of spare gear in my garage until I sell it or maybe use it in my practice rig.
  10. This board is what I needed for my stage rig. I made my own board to velcro my pedals to, but the ease of the power section of the Furman and being able to plug in one cord to get everything working is a Godsend. If lst or stolen I would probably get the newer Furman with the hard case and the additional power outlet.
  11. When Guitar Center was blowing these out for $70 I couldn't resist geting one. I had looked at them before and thought it would be good for the 2nd channel of a stereo rig instead off hauling around a whole other head etc.... But, it was way over priced initially. At $70 who cares if it is the be all end all amp! After getting it home, I found it works great through the line-in with my RP2000 and works even better with my pedal board going thru the front end. One thing that would have made it an even better amp, would be an on/off switch for the gain knob. Most people buying this head will be using it with somekind of effects board (thats how they marketed it), and will want it loud and clean.
  12. It does everything I need it to do in a fairly small floorboard footprint. I have yet to find a distortion that sounds as good AND is as versatile as this pedal. There are better distortions, but I need to keep it compact and to have that many on my board is out of the question. It has become irreplacible on my board and would buy another in a heartbeat. My favorite feature is the noise gate. Playing live, you can't have hum and buzz going on all over the place. The gate works great without getting in the way. Other than the volume differences between models, my only gripe is that if you touch the volume control to tweak it and the default is louder than your setting, you will get blasted by volume. Makes for a lot of stunned faces....
  13. flats750

    Parker Guitars P-44

    I've been playing forever and own alot of high quality gear. I needed a guitar with a piezo for acoustic simulation for playing live and looked at others, but thought that price to quality for this axe was good, so I took a chance. Glad I did! I got acoustic tones AND an outstanding electric to boot. This guitar is very easy to play and with a tweak here and there, is an outstanding axe. I can easily see it becoming one of my main live axes. I will put locking tuners on it and swap the bridge pickup for a DiMarzio Tone Zone. I would recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a fast playing neck with a lot of sound versatility.
  14. I've been playing for 33 years and have or have had all kinds of guitars. I currently have a couple Strats, a Gibson and an Epiphone Les Pauls, An Ernie Ball Petrucci, an Ibanez JS1000 and RG350 dlx, a custom made 2 Humbucker Tele and std Fender Tele, Parker...... The list is long. The point is, with all the high end gear I have sitting around, this is still my #1 axe. It is my sound, my tone, my feel...
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