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Everything posted by onelife

  1. An easy way to remember which way to turn the screw is "always compensate for the fretted note." In other words, if the fretted note at the 12th fret is sharp compared to the harmonic, make the string longer - if the fretted note is flat then make the string shorter. I also suggest releasing the tension on the string before turning the screw. In the case of a three saddle telecaster bridge, release the tension on both of the strings that use that saddle - it takes a bit longer to do it that way but it avoids damage to the mechanism.
  2. It certainly was. Reading the circuit description about how the tone controls worked was what inspired me to go to electronics school.
  3. my dad had an old May Bell archtop acoustic that I started playing when I was a wee lad... he had records by Les Paul, Chet Atkins and a host of acoustic players that I tried to emulate we watched The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and I remember him making a comment about the Gretsch guitar - after that I wanted to play electric so i got one of these and my dad helped me build a Heathkit 25 Watt solid state amp...
  4. onelife

    Amp question

    just to add a bit to my above post... The DG series included the DG1000 which is just the preamp section with a balanced line out in a rack mount. The amplifiers also have a balanced line out with its own level control and a separate level control for the power amp. With the exception of the DG60 (economy version) the series has eight different amp types and 128 memory locations that can be called up via MIDI. I use the Yamaha MF-10 MIDI Foot Controller with mine and set it up to recall patches and to independently turn whatever effects are saved in the patch on or off.
  5. onelife

    Amp question

    Back in 1999 I discovered Line6 AmpFarm in a recording studio. Bythat time, I had been lugging 100lbs of Twin Reverb/EVM12L around for fifteen years. The Twin setting in AmpFarm was surprisingly realistic and the 'look alike' Fender knobs behaved in a way that was similar to the real thing. I began to think about going digital so, after reading about the Line6 Flextone, I decided to rent one and try it out. I was playing around with the different settings when my wife came in and, in no uncertain terms, said "that sounds like a synthesizer, you're not selling your Twin." A couple of weeks later I went to an afternoon jam at the local pub. There were three guitarists playing and one of them was the regional Yamaha rep who is an excellent guitarist. His sound was phenomenal and really stood out over the other players who were both using 4x12 tube amp combos. When they took a break, I asked what he was playing through and he immediately took me up on stage to show me the new Yamaha DG80-1x12 he was using. I was impressed. On my next trip to the music store I tried the DG100-2x12 (which weighed about as much as a Twin Reverb) but was a bit disappointed after hearing my friend play through his amp. I called him up and he told me that the Yamaha presets were designed to show off what the amp could do as a selling point and that he had come up with a set of presets for the working guitarist and that Yamaha had put them online for download. I rented a DG80-1x12, took it home and loaded his patches and began running through them. I understood what he meant with his 'working guitarist' comment but what sealed the deal was when my wife came in and said "now that sounds like you." To this day, the Yamaha DG80 is still the best amplifier I have ever had and for twenty years it has been 100% reliable and has required zero maintenance. To make a long story short, my advice would be to get together with someone who knows the amplifier you are interested in and knows how to get the sounds out of it. Spend some time with it yourself - do some recording with it so you cal listen to it objectively while you are not playing.
  6. I looked at the schematic. The negative grid bias to the power tubes is supplied from a separate tap of the power transformer. You can help isolate the problem by using the Pre Amp Out and Power Amp In jacks. Try plugging a guitar into the Power Amp In jack (you may need to boost the signal with an effects pedal that has some gain) and see if you get the same type of distortion. You can also take the Pre Amp Out and run it into another amp (be careful, the signal may be quite high) or take a look at it with your oscilloscope.
  7. I also suggest looking at (and listening to) the Boss Katana. I bought the inexpensive 50 Watt model for practice and portability but now I use it for almost everything. It has several amplifier 'types' including one for acoustic and the settings can be dialed in then stored in multiple memory locations for easy recall when you switch guitars.
  8. Based on the symptoms you describe, the first place I would look would be the grid bias on the output tubes. The grid bias may have its own power supply or it may be achieved by means of resistors from cathode to ground. What make and model is the amp and what does it use for power tubes?
  9. I sometimes compare playing music with surfing - the difference being that the musicians create the wave as well as ride on it. A live drummer will ride and react to the wave along with the rest of the band whereas the drum machine will do its thing without listening.
  10. LOL, I didn't see your post until after I posted mine.
  11. My brother is an accomplished drummer - when he had knee surgery on his kick drum leg he was able to use the RX11 and his healthy limbs to shorten his down time. I believe the reason he was able to effectively program and use a drum machine is because he thinks like a drummer.
  12. I've had a few hardware units over the years - including Yamaha RX11 and Roland TR-707 I currently have several apps for iPad (mostly just for fun) but the ones I use regularly are DrumJam, iTablaPro and FunkBox I use them mainly for recording ideas - somewhat more inspirational than a basic click track
  13. I first heard Larry Carlton in the early '70s with The Crusaders. I had been playing the electric guitar for several years and it was mostly heavy blues like Cream, Hendrix and Zeppelin. I was also listening to Randy Bachman, who was a student of the great Lenney Breau. Bachman was bringing elements of jazz into songs by the rock bands The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive. I liked the sounds of some of the chords and the way Bachman's Leads 'fit' over those chords. When I heard Carlton, I thought "that guy knows everything about the guitar but he just closes his eyes and plays." That was my inspiration for learning the 'math.' I had taken a music history/theory class in high school and was also learning to play piano. I began to apply the theory to the guitar and because I had difficulty copying guitar solos off the records I started making up my own solos that 'fit' based on the bits of theory that I had learned. I was into Guitar Player Magazine (when it was about playing the guitar) and reading columns by Tommy Tedesco, Howard Roberts and Larry Coryell. My dad, who played guitar, was intrigued and amused by what Tommy Tedesco was writing and one day he came home with Tedesco's book "For Guitar Players Only." "For Guitar Players Only" is a great book (I highly recommend it) full of stories about his studio days and very practical ways to learn the guitar and read music. One thing that really helped me, and I pass this on to all of my students, was his approach to learning the fingerboard. Pick one note and play it everywhere you can find it on every string. The open strings and the 12th fret are easy ones to find. Most rock guitarists know the names of the notes on the sixth and fifth strings so there are already reference points. The note D, for example, is always two frets lower than the note E. Once you find a note, the next time you look for it it will still be in the same place. Do that for all twelve notes, rinse and repeat several times and you'll be well on your way. As you learn more notes they become reference points for other notes. For example, B is always one fret lower than C and two frets higher than A. Something I picked up from watching Kieth Richards was playing simple triads on the second, third and forth strings. Take the open A chord, for example, and just pluck the afore mentioned three strings. The root note is on the third string. The note E on the third string is on the 9th fret. Putting you finger on the three strings at the 9th fret gives you an E Major chord. If you play a C Major 'cowboy chord' the root note is on the second string. If you only play the second, third and fourth strings it is a simple grip and can be moved up and down the neck. The note A on the second string is on the 10th fret. If you play the F Major cowboy chord and only focus on the three strings the root note will be on the fourth string. The note B on the fourth string is on the 9th fret. Putting this all together you can easily play E, A, and B triads with a minimal amount of movement. These grips are easy to move up and down the fingerboard (transpose) and they also give you an opportunity to expand the comfortable pentatonic scale by showing you where the 'in between' notes are and how to target notes, when you are playing lead, that are in the chords as the chords are changing. After learning these and other similar concepts I began to get closer to my goal of just closing my eyes and playing the guitar. As Anton mentioned earlier " the beauty of music and math resides in two concepts - symmetry and elegance." It is my belief that learning the names of the notes on the guitar using the Tommy Tedesco method, and learning the simple Kieth Richards style triads can give the player a bigger vocabulary and help answer gp2112's query "When I would watch another do a lead riff I would wonder how they could go from one part of the fretboard to the other and make it sound so natural." Symmetry and Elegance.
  14. Ritchie Blackmore's intro to "Still I'm Sad" from the first Rainbow album...
  15. it sounds to me like a tube issue - tubes can become microphonic and, in cases of extreme gain, sometime cause acoustic feedback within the amp itself your best bet would be to replace all of the tubes and, if that doesn't solve the problem, take it to an experienced tube amp repair person
  16. it looks like the Send and Return jacks on that diagram have been mis-labelled.
  17. I played through a Subway Blues for a while and, although I really liked the sound of it (and FOH loved it - especially on the half power setting of ten watts), it ate EL84s (cooked of course) and started making sounds that had nothing to do with my guitar. The PCB is very similar to the Studio 22 with the tube sockets mounted right on the board. The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, which I often see in my shop, has the tube sockets mounted on separate smaller PCBs connected to the board with ribbon cables.
  18. In the mid '70s I was enamoured by that album ("Wired") and George Benson's "Weekend In L.A." - then I met Ed Bickert. I'm still trying to get a handle on what I learned from those experiences. I'm in three bands right now so I'm learning a bunch of covers and a few originals in an effort to earn a living as a guitarist. I'm also working on learning to use the new Allen and Heath SQ6 after spending last year with the Midas M32.
  19. It's different when you are the one playing. The player is trying to reach level 10 but only gets to 8.5. The player dwells on the 1.5 space between 8.5 and 10 while the audience, sitting at level 0, only sees the 8.5 and are wowed by it. A couple of weeks ago my bands played on opening night at our local music festival. We were well prepared and I was reasonably happy with the ways things went but I didn't think it was anything special. Later in the evening, there was a very good guitar band from the other side of the country onstage and after their set I complimented one of the guitar players. He surprised me by saying "coming from you, that means a lot." I was surprised because I thought they were way better than we were. It was only the next day when some of my friends told me how much they enjoyed the stellar performances of my bands the night before that I realized what we had accomplished - because, again, I had been dwelling on the bits that we missed. Clapton was a big influence on me too. One very significant part of that was when he said "why listen to me when you can listen to BB King?" so I went out and bought some BB King records. I didn't know who BB King was at the time but listening to those records changed my life and made me the guitar player that I am today.
  20. thanks for that - i see what you mean about the tilt yeah, the string gauge thing - it's always been an issue for me 13-56 sounds so much better but does put a lot of strain on the structure - sometimes i'll tune down a full step or even a step and a half and use a capo just so i can use the bigger strings my 'cheap' Yamaha F-310 handles 13-56 well and sounds fantastic for such an inexpensive guitar
  21. Thanks for that Freeman. I actually have a Yamaha CPX900 from the local high school that I'm cleaning up and re-stringing for the next semester coming up. I strung it with 13-56 (which I use on my acoustics) and am having the same issues. I just picked up a second hand Epiphone DR90 (low end made in china) to have for my students who don't bring their own guitars. It has the same issue with 13-56 but it sounds much better with the heavier strings. I will make use of your setup tips. One question though... you mention that acoustics should have a "dome top." How do you determine whether it is the proper dome or a problem with the bridge being pulled up?
  22. I've been playing the guitar for a very long time. People tell me I make it look easy and it actually is easy at this point - it just tok me a long time to figure that out. My Yoga teacher is the same age as me and has been doing Yoga for approximately the same length of time that I have been playing the guitar. She makes it look easy and is able to do the poses with the minimum effort required - for her it is easy. A forty hour work week is about 2,000 hours so it would take five years to reach 10,000 hours - ten years if you only practiced four hours a day - twenty years at two hours a day etc. I got serious about the guitar fifty years ago and I practiced a lot more than two hours a day. When I look back on it I agree with the 10,000 hours theory, although the actual number would be different for each individual and I also agree with the OP that looking ahead to climbing the mountain that is 10,000 hours might influence someone to give up.
  23. When you adjust the bias are you actually measuring current flow or are you determining current flow by measuring the voltage drop across a given resistance? Do you measure each tube individually or is their just one adjustment for the quartet? Your amp definitely looks like it was modified or experienced a makeshift repair so it is difficult to diagnose without being in the same room and getting an up close look.
  24. I too have been a tube guy for 50 years. I hauled around 100lbs of Twin Reverb/EVM12L for 15 of those years because nothing else would do it for me. I also paid for the amp a second time replacing tubes during those years. I used a Mesa Boogie Subway Blues for a while. A great sounding tube amp that devoured EL84s which went down spitting and hissing and generally disrupting the show. The very thing that makes tube amps great is also their weakness. The first solid state amp that really worked for me was and early digital amp, the Yamaha DG80. I still have it and it's still the best amp I've ever had. Twenty years of regular use with the DG80 and not a single stitch of maintenance required. Last year I sold the last of my tube amps and my arsenal now consists of the DG80, a Fender Mustang IV and a Boss Katana-50. I like the consistency in sound and overall operation of the modern amps compared to the effects of the slow deterioration of the sound that happens with tube amps. I recall one incident with my Twin where I was playing a six night gig in the same room. After three nights I replaced all the tubes in the amp and, with everything else being the same, the change was so drastic it felt like my guitar strings were made out of different material.
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