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Verne Andru

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Everything posted by Verne Andru

  1. I wired my strat so the bridge, a SD Lil 59 humbucker, goes through it's own Volume (second tone) then the main circuit so it can be "blended" with the others. It's not a blend like on my Les Paul, which is a pot with a center detent, but since the bridge is hotter, it controls the overall mix with the original Vol becoming a master Vol. To do this I changed the second tone pot to a push-pull volume for the bridge - the push-pull engages the bridge to be always-on/off so it's always available when needed - but this can be whatever pickup you choose. To get around any tone suckage I added an "11 switch" which takes the pickup selections directly to the output jack, bypassing all tone/volume controls for zero-load on the signal.
  2. I'm with you Phil. I have a deal with my tech where I take it as far as I can and he finishes up. When I decided to put P-Rails with custom wiring - master blend with humbucker/p-90/SC switching on push-pulls - in my Hagstrom Viking he got the parts and my wiring diagram. He just about killed me when I came to pick it up, but it came out great. That stuff's akin to building ships in bottles.
  3. I'm a comic book artist, animator and filmmaker that plays guitar, bass and mandolin. My first taste of GAS was the Silvertone Amp-in-case when it showed up in the 1964 Sears holiday catalog and it hasn't let up since. Along the way I've done record album jacket art, art directed record companies, animated Lou Reed and Debbie Harry songs, designed effects pedals and co-launched the Pigtronix brand. While I've done some gigging and even had one of my songs written up in Guitar Player Magazine, my audio focus has been on recording for film and video. As I'm deep in the throws of artwork for a new comic book release and seldom see the light of day anyway, the quarantine hasn't had much effect on my day-to-day yet but its still early. Best wishes to all in these challenging times. Think safe.
  4. I hear what you're saying. The neat thing about strats is you can build a custom pickguard and move it between guitars so I see it as a long-term tone investment. My strat is a parts-caster that wouldn't get much on resale but sounds killer. I keep upgrading the parts so it not only gets better, but it's custom configured. I always get my stuff on sale so I think my pickups actually cost under $150 when the dust settles. Soldering isn't that hard - look at youtube as there should be basic tutorials there.
  5. I like Kent's pickups. I have 2 - 1 Korean made floating humbucker and 1 Kent Armstrong made 7-string humbucker - both neck pickups on jazz boxes. Both sound great. The Korean is a bit quieter because it is in a metal case that provides shielding but it's not noticeable; he makes his custom pickups by encasing them in epoxy. As for strat pickups, there's wealth of choices. I went with a set of Mojotone 50s Custom Wounds for neck and middle with a SD Lil 59 in the bridge. The Mojo's are fabulous and sound every bit as good or better than the best vintage Fenders. There's a choice of raised or flat pole-pieces and since I don't use a wound G-string the flat version avoids string-to-string imbalances endemic to a raised G pole-piece with unwound strings (raising the pole-piece was to compensate for the wound G strings prevalent in the vintage era). The Lil 59 split is a bit hotter than the Mojotone bridge so I put it on a separate volume control which gives out all the vintage strat tones plus a vintage sounding PAF humbucker tone when the situation calls for it.
  6. I remember them being difficult to play (poorly setup) and "thin" sounding when I started out. But that was in the 60s/70s, which wasn't Gibson's finest hour when it came to acoustic instruments. Kays had neck joint issues and Harmonys were pressed arches which never sounded very good, so the choices were limited and expensive. I decided to try again with a The Loar when the opportunity arose, which are built to 1920s specs. When I first got it I must admit to feeling a bit disappointed with tone and playability. I gave it a good setup and made sure the bridge fit the top properly, which made a huge difference to both. Now that I've had it a few years the tone has mellowed and, more importantly, I've adjusted my playing to it. Unlike a flattop, archtops aren't nearly as forgiving as to string attack and where you pick, so it took a bit to find the sweet spots but it was time well spent. Not sure I'll toss my flattop, but having both around gives me a much broader sound palette to draw on. My archtop also records much better than the flat - as said above, it isn't "boomy" which makes recording and EQ so much easier.
  7. I have both - an archtop The Loar LH-300VS (based on 1920s Gibson L5 specs) and a flattop Silver Creek OM (based on Martin OM specs) - and find they are the same but quite different. Specs are similar - body size is about the same and both have solid spruce tops, laminate hog back/sides, 14-frets to the body and 1 3/4" bone nut. Main difference is the tops and bridges. I find the L5 to be louder and much more dynamic and responsive than the OM. The biggest difference is in the high strings - after playing the L5 the OM sounds like there is a blanket over the high strings. Which makes me wonder why the flattop remains so popular when the archtop design seems to have some significant advantages. Price differences used to be an issue, but new archtops are quite competitively priced. Anybody else ponder the differences?
  8. Nice guit and happy NGD! One of the highlights of being a kid in the 60s was the Sears annual christmas catalog, yes things were different then. I fell in love with the original amp-in-case set [including the Silvertone Mik is known for using] when it first appeared. I remember the $99 price tag seemed like a fortune at the time and I couldn't ever imagine having enough money to afford one. I was quite disappointed when Sears changed to Teisco built gear and discontinued the Dano stuff a few years later. When the chance came up to snag a re-issue for cheap I couldn't help myself. Mine doesn't have the sparkles like yours as they did a "vintage" treatment to the first re-issues, but it certainly captures the vibe of the originals without the problems associated with early Danos. I made the mistake of letting my son try it out and I've not seen it since!
  9. Choosing the wrong or inappropriate practice schedule. For years I would promise I'd practice after dinner [and a long day] only to be too tired to either do it or do it well. Then I decided to switch it up - now I get up early, spend an hour or so waking up and an hour practicing for before hitting the shower and starting my day. While this does require getting up early, the benefits are that I'm wide awake and fresh when I practice so I get far more out of my time. At the end of my day I'm able to unwind without the stress of not practicing because I'm too tired.
  10. Happy new guitar day. That model was sold under Dano's Coral brand - they even used a Coral shaped headstock on this one. I admit to having a soft-spot for Dano's. That one looks very nice and I hope it brings you years of fun!
  11. Kent Armstrong will make a hex pickup to order. SD's P-Rail comes closest to the OP's question, although it's a P-90 and a SC-Rail. The trick I found to making these sound great is to remember to switch tone capacitors when switching between bucker and SC. The other "close" option is to get a guitar with 2 P-90s and make one of them RWRP to the other - something that's very easy to do on a P-90 as you can physically flip the magnet - and wire them in series. They won't be sitting side-by-side, but gets close enough for rock and roll.
  12. I second the Vox Amplug. I have 2- I use the Lead for rock and Twin for jazz. Lead has a digital delay with gobs of high gain so it goes from fairly clean through rock to screaming. The Twin is like a Roland Jazz Chorus amp - it has a built-in chorus that works well enough for mellow stuff. When I get creative I go through a looper pedal, so it is possible to work with pedals if needed.
  13. Around 11 lbs - less than an Les Paul.
  14. I've seen your stuff at Eastwood. Would be very cool to see a tenor version of this or something close.
  15. Bravo Phil. Next best thing to being there - perhaps a bit better as I didn't wake up with sore feet and a hangover!
  16. Wow - a ton of pics for 1 day on the floor. You were a busy boy. Anything stand out? Best of show? Looks evolutionary not revolutionary so far.
  17. I left when they started changing the software, as did most others. It never ran well and made the experience here very frustrating. Management's excuses that they had to change because of the hacks were disingenuous at best as the Mandolin Cafe, where I've been hiding out, still uses the same forum software without issue. I did find it interesting to watch as forum managers seemed to purposefully destroy the community - this used to be the largest online music forum that got reduced to crickets in a matter of months. It seemed like they were purposefully doing everything to alienate the community and were extremely successful at it. But enough whining - it's nice to see software that actually works (after how many years?) and I hope the community comes back in some form or another. Music has changed in the decade or so since the melt-down and instrument choices have changed, so we'll see.
  18. I would posit a number of reasons: 1) As noted, because of costs and scheduling, etc. musicians were expected to come in, record and leave. There was a lot of Adrenalin in the equation that gets lost with multiple takes over multiple days in multiple locations that added spark to the performance. 2) Engineers knew how to mic and record instruments. Again with a nod to #1, they knew how to get the sound the first time because they knew the mics, the room and what they needed to get on tape. 3) Analog signal path. While digital is arguably "better" it is the impurities in analog that adds to the flavor. 4) Engineers with "golden ears." I spent many many hours in an analog studio and saw numerous recordings go to pressing. Because of the limitations of vinyl playback devices (record players) engineers had to create a pre-master tape that, to the uninitiated, sounds awful but once pressed into a record plays back magic. Today's engineers can pretty much record and mix how the final is expected to sound, so by "improving" the recording chain, we've inadvertently ended up losing the key ingredient to making a great sounding recording - a great engineer who knows what they're doing. Phil: you folks covering NAMM this year?
  19. Broke a bunch of strings of all brands tuning my Les Paul PeeWee in 5ths - Eb Bb F C G D. Ended up with an 8 on the high D and that's a semi-tone from snapping. Here's a string story - when I started playing acoustic in the early 70s I used Larrivee strings. I would always keep the old set whenever I changed strings just in case something broke and I needed a replacement in a hurry. I kept the tradition going and ended up with quite a stack of old guitar strings over the years. Fast forward to a few years back - it's the end of a NAMM show with everyone loading-out. I ended up walking out with one of the younger Larrivees and mentioned I had a bunch of their old strings still in packages. He didn't even know Larrivee sold strings and asked if I would donate them to the Larrivee museum, which I gladly did. Moral of the story is even junky old guitar strings can have value if you hold on to them long enough 😙.
  20. Tursers are fine. If the body wood isn't listed it's usually basswood. For their higher-end they will list the wood they use but I've never seen a Turser made from plywood. I have a Turser 7 string and, electronics aside, it's fine. My Frankenstrat uses a Hondo body which is plywood. Aside from it being a bit on the heavy side there's nothing wrong with it either.
  21. I've kept up the cheap git tradition. Still have my cheap First Act Sheena, Frankenstrat, etc. Added a couple Les Paul PeeWee's in the mix - first was $70 and the Zack Wylde was $99 (even came with the mini Marshall amp). Pics of the PeeWees and some of my other cheap gits.
  22. Not surprising. They drove everybody away what, 10 years ago? I hope someone has been documenting what management did because it should go down in history as the definitive example of how to purposefully destroy the most vibrant forum on the internet. Goodness, you could do a university program around it, it was done so well. Last week someone was asking about a good guitar forum over on Mandolin Cafe, which is where I've taken refuge. I suggested HC seems to have finally fixed their forum and the response was that they tried it back in the day but found the place to be so hostile they didn't want to come back. I suggested that the one good thing about the mess HC made was the the trouble-makers are probably long gone now, so we'll see.
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