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Verne Andru

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Everything posted by Verne Andru

  1. FWIW I'm always putting high-end pickups and stuff in low-end guitars. Unlike the "old days," the basic construction of most modern guitars tends to be solid (without regard to setup and etc.) so manufacturers add "bling" and upgraded hardware to justify higher prices. A well made "beginner" grade instrument with pro-level hardware and electronics will rock just as well as a more expensive custom-shop - the rest is marketing mumbo-jumbo.
  2. I modded the heck out of my V8. After getting some girth out of it by removing the excess parts I gave it the tone stack from a Train Wreck and added a spring reverb and an optical tremolo (with the reverb and trem between the pre and power amps like on old Fenders). Had a long running thread here until the forum melted down. Rebuilt it on my website here: Supercharging a V8 Also did the Bogner high-gain mods to my V33. Combined with a matching quad set of Mesa EL84s it totally rips. There was a mod thread for that one as well but it seems to have vanished with the forum changes. I met Obied, the designer behind Crate's Vintage Club and V series of tube amps at NAMM. He is also the guy who did the Bambino and the Magnatone. Super nice guy.
  3. Crate V8 and V33 here. Great amps with a bit of tinkering.
  4. The current rounds of litigation are not about patents - which relate to a new invention - but trademarks, which relate to the look and source of the goods. The first trademark law (ever) was the US Lanham Act, which is celebrating it's 75th anniversary on Thursday. If you do the math you'll note that the parent company has been doing business since 1894, which pre-dates trademark law; these issues were previously covered under copyright. All jurisdictions have their own trademark laws that only relate to their nation-state jurisdictions so [technically] a US trademark only works in the US. Trademark laws have been changing, with the biggest wave of changes coming on the tail of the global adoption of the internet, with companies often finding themselves caught in the cross-fire as what worked yesterday suddenly changes tomorrow. That said, Gibson has a ton of registered trademarks in the US and abroad and while they are often vilified for enforcing their IP rights, there is a bunch of litigation going on behind the scenes with people like Collings trying to get those registrations cancelled. There's much more going on here than meets the eye.
  5. FWIW I took trip through the USPTO trademark files and discovered: - Valco used the Supro name on cheap department-store guitars and amps back in the day but the Supro name and "Supro" graphic with the lightening-bolt were never registered by Valco. The Lanham Act, which governs US trademark law, didn't come into effect until the late 1940s and Valco had a pre-existing business-model (as did Gibson and the others) that likely didn't account for the then new IP regime. - In 2004 Bruce Zinky registered "Supro" as a wordmark for use on his re-branded Zinky amps. The wordmark is also for guitars, a couple of prototypes of which Bruce brought to NAMMs circa 2005+. He tried registering Supro for swag like shirts and caps but was denied because of a pre-existing "S.U.P.R.O." registration owned by a footwear company IIRC. - The "Supro" trademark - the graphic with the lightning bolt - has never been registered by anyone anywhere and is probably in the public domain and can't be registered. - Around 2006 Absara/Pigtronix moved from NAMM Hall E up to the main floor taking over Zinky's prime booth-location right between PRS and Seymour Duncan. It quickly became a Pigtronix booth with Supro relegated to the backline. - Around 2013 Abasra/Pigtronix bought "Supro" from Zinky and embarked on an ill-advised rapid expansion that started hitting the wall a few years later. They started using the ® mark with the Supro trademark even though it isn't registered. They also started using the ® with "Pigtronix" and that had never been registered as a trademark or wordmark. - In 2020 Absara sold Pigtronix and Supro to BOND who also own the D'angelico line. To summarize, the Supro stuff selling today has nothing to do with the Valco Supro stuff either by legal registration or guitar DNA. The OP's guitar is vintage Valco.
  6. Any competent tech should have no problem doing the rewiring. The problem is they run a wire from the switch on the upper horn down to the tone pot then back to the upper horn and over to the master volume on the lower horn then back to the output jack. You can eliminate about 2 feet of wire by going from the switch on the upper bout to the master volume on the lower bout then to the output jack and tone pot and doing a 50's tone pot wiring. Basically you want to rewire your Wildkat using the Gretch wiring scheme.
  7. Yup. And here I thought I was special... I first ran across Glarry over at Talkbass - peeps were gassing over their super cheap basses - so they are somewhat legit. Contrary to my normal inclination I did visit the site and it shows a bunch of sub $100 teles, strats, p and j basses, etc. They sell on ebay. I think it's a clever way to get people to talk about their stuff. Just like we're doing here.
  8. I have a Viking. Killer neck. Love the fretboard. Feels like real ebony but is easier to maintain - doesn't need oiling.
  9. I had a Wildkat and it was a wonderful guitar. Looks like this is the same with different electronics and no bigsby. Top quality build, authentic electronics, superb hardware for little money is hard to beat.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Around 11 lbs - less than an Les Paul.
  23. I've seen your stuff at Eastwood. Would be very cool to see a tenor version of this or something close.
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