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Verne Andru

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About Verne Andru

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  1. My folks 68 Merc wagon had an 8-track. Played the heck out of Black Sabbath Paranoid! They definitely didn't like 40 below winters.
  2. Loved their stuff as a kid. Used my hard-earned money to buy a ticket to the first time Aerosmith was coming through town. Band came on about an hour late, riffed for 5 or 10 minutes before Tyler stumbled on stage. He was so drunk and out of it the mic stand wouldn't hold him up. Audience started booing, Tyler started swearing, yelling "{censored} you" before stumbling back stage. Band finished the "tune" a few minutes later and that was the end of the show. No re-runs, no refunds, just a big "{censored} you" for supporting them through buying their albums and paying for a concert ticket. Then I heard Perry doesn't really play - he's just a poser boi - so, ya, any rating would be over-rated IME.
  3. Without telling tales I don't believe there is much difference between the 2. There's this very blurry line between what is technically considered "made" versus "assembled" and that's about all I'll say on that subject. This whole "made in the USA" thing is, respectfully, a real big crock. Having grown up in Canada I have been exposed to product from around the world and much of what was made in the US was garbage. So much so that the US government spent a considerable amount of money and effort to try and convince the world, and Americans, otherwise. Look into the history of the "Robertson" screwdriver head vs the "Phillips" for some idea of what's gone on. The US auto industry as another example. There's a reason Japanese and European cars are considered a premium and that is they are generally much better made. For the $1,000 difference between the two, you can buy a lot of effects and pedals that will more than make up for any short-comings. Other examples are the VHT amps - inexpensive, well made and use turret boards consistent with vintage builds for easy mods and etc. Heck, I took a Crate V8 ($279 and also sold as MIA - uses same type of Chinese sourced PCB/parts as the Supro) and added a spring reverb and tremolo for the cost of the tank and a handful of parts. Granted those are done on hand-made PCBs and the trem is optical, but it is a far sight cheaper than $1,200 for something very similar. And my V8 sounds great! Those get very good reviews on Harmony Central and elsewhere. At the end of the day they are pretty much the same PCB manufacturing used on the new Supro's selling at a fraction of the cost. I see Supros latest amp is priced around the $600 mark so it's nice to see them being a bit more realistic about what they're selling. I have no doubt the stuff sounds good, but that doesn't matter if people aren't buying them because they are priced out of the market.
  4. No tremolo, but for $199 it gets pretty darn close. https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=611815
  5. I understand exactly what you're talking about! Those bluegrassers live in a world apart. The absolutely most awesome mandolin I've ever played was an Ovation Adamas limited edtion at NAMM a number of years back. Huge tone and volume and a pleasure to play. I think it was selling for around $40K or something silly like that.
  6. Phil - if you can get a message to Fender perhaps let them know that they put one of the fret markers in the wrong spot. On tenor, which is usually tuned in 5ths, the marker should be at the 10th, not the 9th fret. Would be a shame if they shipped their first tenor making such a newb mistake!
  7. Here's a couple I found over at the Mandolin Cafe. Fender introduced their Fender Alternate Reality Tenor Tele which is the very first production tenor guitar Fender has ever released IIRC. https://www.gearnews.com/namm-2019-fender-alternate-reality-tenor-tele-completes-the-series/ And Eastman is releasing an electric 8-string mandolin based on their El Ray guitar body shape: https://themandolinstore.com/product/eastman-erm-el-rey-mando-acoustic-electric/
  8. Unlike guitars, amps come with a ton of logistics baggage. While I don't have an inside track into what Gibson is doing or why, here's my best guesses: #1 - they are very heavy and expensive to ship. #2 - anything that plugs into a wall socket requires an expensive and time-consuming process to get certification in all countries (which all have different standards) they will be marketed in. #3 - sub-components like tubes and speakers are usually purchased from a 3rd party adding significant additional costs. #4 - guitar players are cheap and won't pay what the product is worth/costs. #5 - because of the electricity issue, there are legal liability problems. #6 - the current wave of "players," which are far fewer than just a few years ago, are fine with using plug-ins on their smart-phones. #7 - if it doesn't say "Fender" it's a tough sell. Even if it is a Fender, it's still a tough sell for a new amp when places like eBay and Craigslist provide perfectly good used product (which is usually preferred over new) at a significant discount. #8 - and etc. When one of my associates was considering relaunching a vintage amp brand the foregoing was basically the advice I gave for why I thought it was a bad idea. They ignored me and went ahead anyway. Last year they grudgingly admitted that everything I had said was right.
  9. The V8 is a true tube-amp circuit with an opamp between the input jack and the preamp tube. You could easily bypass it altogether if you want to be a purist about it, but the opamp (which is analog) gives you a nice clean signal boost (controlled by the gain knob) that's hard to get any other way. Once you put a high-end Excalibur in there, it's going to be the cleanest pre-pre boost you'll get as tubes are inherently noisy and pedals require cable and all the implies. The side benefit is the opamp requires a bipolar power supply (AC to drive the opamp), which came in very handy when I added the tremolo and reverb circuits. As for speakers - it's a tough one. The V8 cabinet is pretty compact, which I like, but it limits your speaker options based on size. Mine is configured as a 2x10 with a Lil Buddy in an empty V8 as an extension cabinet, and the Alnico Weber Silver Bell front loaded in the main V8. Weber also makes a Silver Bell variant with a ceramic mag that's probably small enough to back load if you want to look into that route. I like Weber - great products and people. I have no experience with the new Jensens but the WGS do tend to get very good reviews. Here's an example of the tone I'm getting out of mine these days. It's recorded on a Zoom H4 (built-in mics) that's just dropped in the middle of the room so it's picking up the V8 speaker tone. I'm using 3 amps - a low-watt 6V6 variant for bass and mandolin, a Marantz stereo for the drums and the V8 for the lead: [video=youtube;BCVT7id-ArU] I used my Les Paul Pee Wee (my avatar) for the riff and the lead section, Paris Swing for the acoustic mandolin and a p-bass. The Pee Wee is tuned in 5ths like a mandolin (Eb Bb F C G D) which makes for some interesting tonalities. I made this up on the fly with my looper pedal.
  10. I have a Hagstrom Viking wth a harp tailpiece like that. It came with 10's but I found I kept pulling the high-E string off the fb while playing. My tech said for some reason that is a common problem on guitars with that type of tailpiece and suggested heavier strings to compensate. I put on 12's and the problem went away. I normally don't go that heavy but it works on that guitar so all is good.
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