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Luc The Tinkerer

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  1. I like modifying my guitars, but I want to keep my last 2 acquisitions (Epiphone Les Paul Standard and Squier Affinity Telecaster) stock...they have a personality of their own, removing the mud from the Les Paul's neck pickup and the hum from the Tele is a great accomplishment!
  2. I'm 50-50 on those pickups, I love the tone - loud and warm in neck position, aggressive, middly and crunchy in bridge position, but that hum is crazy. My Dano with lipstick pickups hums a lot less, so for those who expect 0 hum with those pickups, look again, sorry. Regardless of price, I expected better from stacked humbuckers. Now props to Mr. Warman who kindly shipped me a pair of replacement pickups as we believed that the pair I'd originally gotten was defective...but the replacements perform the exact same way! Love the tone, hate the hum, and I'm pretty much fed up with swapping pickups on the SG, so the Soapy Joe's are staying in. The hum is kept under control with the help of a (used) Boss-NS-2, so I enjoy the great tone minus the hum.It's all in the individual perspective, if 50-60% hum reduction is good enough for you, then go for it. If you expect 0 hum, keep looking...
  3. Ok, here's a bit of minor criticism, this isn't intended as a put-down. As expected, the organic "quack" sound I'm so fond of in positions 2 and 4 plain isn't there; but that comes with active pickups, I accept that. The kit was incomplete. Agreed, missing knobs and selector switch tip isn't a huge deal in the greater scheme of things; but the fact remains that I shouldn't have had to get those parts separately. In their defense, they did respond to my first e-mail and apologized; saying that it was a "rare occurrence" and that they would "fix it"...then nothing. No small parcel with the missing parts came in through the mail. Granted, I should have followed up and pressed the issue, but it was ultimately quicker to buy the missing parts locally, my decision. Other than those few minor points, it is a good product and I would buy again from Dragonfire.
  4. I was dissatisfied with the way my former Line 6 Spider amp's line out sounded and had read good things about the J-Station. It was cheaper than a POD so I went for it. It has to be the one piece of gear I use the most frequently. For the price I paid, the bang-for-the-buck factor is off the charts!
  5. Incredible bang for the buck. I must however point out a slight oversight from the fine people at Dragonfire: the control knobs and switch tip were missing from the parcel. I immediately emailed them to report it. The reply I got was that it was an "unusual occurrence" but that they would fix it. Afterwards, nothing. I realize that some emails can slip through the cracks when you're swamped with work, but it would have been nice if they had followed through. Rather than being a pest, I went to a local store and purchased a set of knobs and a switch tip. In the greater scheme of things missing knobs isn't a huge deal, but it doesn't change the fact that those parts should have been included in the parcel and I shouldn't have had to get them out of pocket. Otherwise, wonderful product and I strongly recommend them. BTW, this is my third or fourth attempt at posting a review (due to a PC glitch my reviews came out blank and were posted empty?), hopefully it posts properly this time around.
  6. Since my first low powered tube combo (a Fender Blues Junior) I'd gone through a revolving-door of amps - tube, solid state, modelling, modelling with tube preamp, tube preamp solid state power amp etc, etc... This is the first amp I have no inclination of trading in in hopes of something better. I've owned amps from Peavey, Fender, Ross, Marshall, Traynor/Yorkville Sound, Line 6 and Crate. The V3112 is by far (and bar none) my favorite. It does clean, it does dirty and the Boost function adds a nice smokey lead sound to the guitar. Seeing that it was used and discontinued, I really, really lucked out!
  7. In the right guitar, that pickup is magic!
  8. Guitarists on a tight budget will enjoy this. No soldering involved; just make sure there's enough space for the battery (or have a battery cavity routed) and you're cooking. The only minor annoyance (other than the crackling noise and "lack of quack") I've found was with Customer support after the purchase. The DFDG I ordered was a "tuxedo" set: white pickups, control knobs & switch tip on a black pickguard. When I received the parcel, the control knobs and switch tip were missing; which I reported immediately to Dragonfire via email. In their reply, I was told that this was an unusual occurrence and that they would try and fix it (I am assuming by shipping me the missing parts). Weeks, passed, then months, then I finally gave up and installed Ivory control knob and switch tip I purchased from a local store. It's a great product and in the greater scheme of things, missing knobs isn't a huge deal; but it would have been nice if Dragonfire had followed through. Agreed, parcels can get lost through the mail, but I didn't even get a "the parcel with the missing parts has been shipped" e-mail... So I'm docking two points. Minor annoyance or not, as a paying customer I shouldn't have had to pay for parts that were supposed to be included in the first place.
  9. Make no mistake about it, while it's the "affordable" version of the JangleBox it is a fine pedal! It can compress, it can limit, it can add to your tone in a wonderful way. I own three pedal compressors (Boss, Danelectro and the JB) but the only compressor on my pedalboard is the JangleBox...it's one sweet pedal!
  10. I love it. I may sound like a broken record, but the quality factor of entry-level electric guitars has really improved over the years. I love the fact that the neck feels great, the guitar is light in weight and comfortable to play standing (a bonus for dudes like me with occasional neck/back pain). I have three electrics with different personalities and they bring a different sonic palette to the plate. All three are light in weight (PRS SE Custom semi hollow body and MIM Fender Stratocaster) and a pleasure to play.
  11. It was the first "brand name" guitar I was able to afford, so I hold a bit of emotional attachment to it. I have three wonderful electrics; the MIM Strat, the PRS SE Custom and Squier Bullet. I love them all for similar reasons: light in weight, playable, sound great and heck, they look good!
  12. Distortion sounds best with a piece of glowing glass...it's so true. Like I always say I might have bad ears, but the latest entry in my "Bat-Cave of pedals" has quickly become one of my favorites, second only to the Bad Monkey. This is one time that my curiosity paid off!
  13. I may sound cliché, but the quality of entry-level guitars has really improved over the years. Crafstmanship (good assembly, no sharp fret edges, smooth mirror-like finish, basswood body rather than plywood which used to be common in entry-level guitars) and attention to details such as shielding are quite impressive in my humble opinion. I'm not going to make the bold statement that it smokes guitars costing hundreds or thousands of dollars more (that's the job of sales people - sorry John, I'm kidding! ), it doesn't. It is what it is: an entry-level students model. But it's well built and has a "wow" factor all its own. Or to paraphrase Darryl Stuermer: "you can get a lot of personality and character out of a cheaper guitar." Like most Strats, it's very modifiable; but other than replacing the stock pickups with noise cancelling ones (which I happened to have lying around from a prior project), I'd like to avoid massive mods and keep it as is. Maybe a graphite nut or better machine heads are in the future, but I like it's character as it currently is, now that the hum is gone. Cool little guitar, nice and light weight, at a price that's hard to say no to.
  14. Awesome bang for the buck factor. It smooths out a harsh, "ice-pick" sound quite nicely and simulates that "clean but on the verge of breakup" sound quite nicely. I own three overdrive pedals, Boss Turbo Overdrive, Danelectro Cool Cat Transparent Overdrive and the Bad Monkey. I like them all, but the Bad Monkey is my pet favorite, no pun intended!
  15. Stratocasters in general are a modder's delight (I'm Luc the Tinkerer for a reason ) but in this particular case I wanted to mod this one as little as possible. I happened to have noise cancelling strat pickups handy so I used them. Some may argue (and I used to be one) that swapping the pickups, machine heads and nut will still get you a great guitar without the large price tag of the top of the line models...this may hold true, but as I mature; I find it a bit silly to spend more cash on a set of pickups that costs more than the guitar itself. In my case, the money had already been spent on pickups for my Mexican Fender, and after trying several pickups, most of them used, I was left with unused pickups with no resale value; so I might as well use them. I slapped those old pickups in the Squier and they sound fine. If I could find a sweet spot in the action so playing chords is easier, but not so low that the bends choke; it would be a truly unbeatable bang-for-the-buck guitar.
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