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Posts posted by SteinbergerHack


    I'm glad you used the words "rough" and "functionally" here. It would be more accurate to say that Steve Vai is the equivalent of Paganini but in a highly degraded cultural context. :0



    Really? I would say not!




    Paganini consciously cultivated an eccentric image, which combined with his almost “demonic” ability to play the violin to make him famous. As his renown spread, box-office receipts from his concerts grew. He wore his wavy blackhair long and invariably performed in a black coat, long trousers, and a colored waistcoat.


    As the virtuoso pianist and composer Franz Liszt (1811–1886) later observed, “The excitement he created was so unusual, the magic that he practiced upon the imagination of his hearers so powerful, that they would not be satisfied with a natural explanation. Old tales of witches and ghost stories came into their minds; they attempted to explain the miracle of his playing by delving into his past, to interpret the wonder of his genius in a supernatural way; they even hinted that he had devoted his spirit to the Evil One, and that the fourth string of his violin was made from his wife’s intestines, which he himself had cut out.” Paganini’s sinister reputation was further secured in 1816, when he was accused of impregnating a woman half his age and then trying to convince her to abort the fetus. Paganini claimed he was innocent and being framed because he was rich and famous, but nonetheless he was fined and sentenced to a brief term in prison.


    In 1833 he returned to Italy, and in 1836—suffering from ill health and exhaustion—he ceased performing altogether. He then embarked on an entertainment business venture in Paris, the Casino Paganini, where he and his partners hoped to combine gambling, musical performances, and dancing in one venue.


    Which one were you suggesting operated in a "degraded cultural context", again? Paganini sounds like the prototypical rockstar to me....:idk:

  2. If you had wasted your college education on a music degree, then you'd understand!


    I got the first two years of a music degree, and qualified for a minor but didn't request it on my diploma.


    FWIW, in my current playing, I ride the border between the two. Both my horn bands and my theater gigs have some degreed players who have studied performance, and many of them (not all, but most) cannot improvise to save their lives. We also have "untrained" players who always think in terms of making music, rather than in terms of following the chart/score. Players with both are rare and incredibly valuable.


    Anecdote - about a year ago I was directing a theater gig, and I gave the instruction that we would do a playoff based on one of the "rock" numbers from the show, play the head, then two verses through with soloists each 12 bars, then the last 4 bars of the score as an "outro". The drums, bass, guitar and keyboard played it perfectly as described without even looking at the score; the concertmaster (lead violin), asked me if I would chart the playoff so that the string section could follow it. Different ways of approaching music - not good or bad, just different.

  3. That music has become like classical music where we go to the symphony to hear the works of the masters being performed, as written, by highly skilled musicians.


    I have always failed to see the difference between "classical" and pop music as the stark line that so many people seem to envision. From my perspective, the only substantive differences are the "born on" date and the fact that the only old music that we still losten to is the 10% that isn't garbage.


    For example, I see Paganini as the rough equivalent of a Steve Vai or Miles Davis; Mozart is a bit like a Michael Jackson. How are Strauss' waltzes functionally different from modern dance music, or a Mussourgsky work terribly different from a Steely Dan album?


    On second thought, there is a third difference - the performers. "Classically trained" players focus on very precise execution of existing works, while most people who perform contemporary material focus on stylistic authenticity and creativity/improvisation. The truly top players can do both, but most of us are specialists in one or the other.


    In short, the stuff that still gets covered by high level players 20 years or more after release is generally just the best of breed from a given period, and this is completely independent of when it was written.


    JMO, YMMV.

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  4. I'm on a half acre in a semi-rural area. Just close enough that I can get into the city fairly fast (an hour or two, depending on exactly where I need to go, and the traffic) but away from a lot of the noise, traffic and light pollution. And a half acre lot (with all of the neighbors having similar or larger sized lots) is big enough that it puts me far enough away from the neighbors that the inverse square law works in my favor... I can blast away as much as I want, whenever I want, and not disturb anyone.


    With 30 acres, I doubt anyone would hear you, even if you had Deep Purple playing a house party at your place... ;)


    Well, the neighbors might be able to hear it, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as bad as a dog barking next door in an average subdivision.


    In general, I don't worry much about what anyone else thinks - we can do as we like and when we like it. It's not for everyone, as the maintenance isn't minor, but there are a lot of advantages.

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  5. I already have the guitars I want for the most part.


    The most coveted music-related thing you could have where I live is a space where you can keep all your gear and play it as loud as you want, whenever you want.


    I solved that by living on a 30- acre farm. Screw the city - I drive in every day to work, and am happy every time I leave it behind.

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    Yeah, bridge single coil almost useless. But position 2 is pretty much what a strat is for..or position 4.


    With you on that - those two positions are the iconic strat sound that you can't get from other configurations. Honestly, I find that I'm either using bridge-only HB, neck-only HB, or one of those two in single-coil. I rarely ever use a single-coil by itself, nor do I use mixed HBs. JMO, YMMV, etc.

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    Back in those days (early 70s) my friends and I would peel the Made In Japan stickers off our copies.


    Now I seek out Japanese guitars - it's one of those "if I knew then what I know now" situations.


    Yes. I have a Japanese-built Westone (Pantera?) from the early 80s that I bought new, sold, then bought back a year later. Through-neck, HSH pickups, pull-pots to select about any configuration, and plays incredibly smoothly. I did a LOT of performing and recording with that guitar over the years, and it's going out with me tonight to a club gig. It's the one that almost got away.


    When I bought it, it was a hideous metal-flake blue burst - it looked exactly like this:




    Now, it is a hideous yellow-green neon finish that was really trendy in the late 80s. C'est la vie.

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  8. Hard to say which was the worst loss - there have been a few.


    Probably my first Les Paul - an early 70s clownburst Deluxe. I got it when I was 16, then let it go when I was 19, because I started playing with a band that had an endorsement deal. Not smart. :facepalm:


    A very close second was the '60s Epiphone Casino that I traded to get the LP. :facepalm: :facepalm: I worked for two years delivering newspapers to get that guitar.


    I've never had a pedal that I missed after it was gone, and there's only one amp that got away that I would like to play through again today....but given the collection I have now it's probably more about nostalgia for the gigs I played with it than actual good sound.


    Now, the best sounding amp I ever got to play through was probably the house amp at a theme park gig I had for a year - an old Super Reverb that was just magical. I tried to buy it from them....no chance. It probably went in the dumpster when they stopped using live music.:facepalm:

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  9. Honestly, I may be the odd man out on this view, but I absolutely DETEST hearing a recording that has been sped up or slowed down. It's like fingernails on a chall board for me.


    The poster child for worst of this was a particular chain of radio stations back in the late 80s that sped up nearly everything they played and cut down the intros and outtros to get "more songs per hour" while keeping just as much ad time.


    I remember hearing Aerosmith's "Rag Doll" played about 15% faster than normal and wanting to throw the radio across the room.... angry02:angry47::barf:

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  10. Seems like "an Ovation" isn't a single unique animal. Mine doesn't have that hole in the back and appears to be a bolt-on neck (as we discussed), whereas some apparently have a backdoor (so to speak) and some have a glued-on neck.


    Right. The Adamas-style tops get the service port on the back, because they don't have a single large soundhole to work through.


    In the meantime, It's probably about the best sounding guitar that I've got (from among Ric, Gibson, PRS... but all apples to oranges



    Set up properly, they can sound very good, particularly amplified. Here's a quick direct-to-board recording that shows the sound of mine (pardon the weak playing....). No, it doesn't sound like an old Martin or J-200, but it sounds really good for certain things, IMO.




    Mine's also in a non-cataloged color (as far as I know), and I don't know what exactly to make of that...


    It seems that they did a lot of small-batch builds back in the day. In fact, I believe that they at one time did an annual short run of oddballs that they called a "collector's series" or something like that. Just because it isn't in the catalog today doesn't mean it isn't a "real" instrument - and it might mean that it was one of their top-tier hand-built specials.

  11. The action moved, but mainly from the top bowing outward where it cracked, thus lifting the back of the bridge. I don't see any of the other humidity tell-tales, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the cause (and I suspect that it was - I live in Wisconsin in a 150 year old farmhouse, so winters are unavoidably dry).


    I'll probably take it by Denny Rauen's shop and see what he says about it. Everything of mine he has touched has come back better than before, so I trust his judgment.



    I happened to be reading a book on guitar technology last night and there was a picture of the back of some model of Ovation with a big circular cover in the center. It looked like it might be held on with a single screw in the middle. My guess is that it is access to the insides of a guitar for the electronics . It might be possible to do something like that which would allow the crack to be glued, clamped and cleated.


    Yes. The single screw is attached to a round 4-prong clamp that is loosely attached to the round plate with compressible foam. By loosening the screw, you let off the pressure on the clamp which allows you to slide the whole contraption to the side and open the access port. If you loosen it enough, you can wrangle the whole thing out, leaving a large round hole that would appear to be easy to work from.


    And it is almost impossible for me to repair finishes like I see on yours - I usually tell my customers that a repair will be structurally sound but might not be cosmetically perfect,


    That's what I would expect. Trying to re-do a complete finish would likely change the instrument fairly comprehensively.



    Too bad about the damage. Plus those extra issues be a lot to solve on an old piece... but I was just looking at that old parts catalog...


    The top isn't listed as a separable part... but there's a "top and bowl assembly". I wonder if Ovation could do an "off with the old, on with the new" top and at the same time deal with electronics and frets. If they even still do repair work of various sorts.


    Can't guess whether cost would be worth it.... but I'd guess if you like the sound and setup as is, a new top of the same material and (Adamas) design would maybe preserve that. First compare to the cost (including effort) of an exact replacement, I guess...





    Good thoughts - thanks.


    My shopping trip yesterday showed me that a new replacement I would be happy with is going to cost more than I thought, so the likely cost of trying to get it fully restored is looking more reasonable in comparison. I can say, though, that the new parts for the "Elite" series are not the same as what was on mine. This is one of the very earliest super-shallow Elites from the '80s, when the series was intended as a spruce-top Adamas, not an entry-level bedroom beater. It's certainly worth calling them up, though, to see if they would have any interest in a restoration project.


    Like most players, I have some fairly specific specs in terms of neck, sound, playability, etc., and the basic entry-level boxes just don't do it for me. Interestingly, when I really started working my way through a bunch of guitars, the ones that seemed to get me to where I want to be all cost about the same, and it's almost exactly what the old one cost new, inflation adjusted (go figure). I was also very surprised at which guitars worked well for me - a Maton and a Breedlove came the closest to what I like.


    There is some work ahead to figure out how to move forward. Thanks for the input, it's very helpful.

  14. That is the classic low humidity winter top crack - unfortunately I get to fix a few each year. Usually it can be fixed, however I'm guessing that is an Ovation with the little holes in the upper bout and no sound hole - in that case it can't. Even if I could get inside to clamp and cleat it would be almost impossible to repair it cosmetically.


    The guitar will probably still play and sound fine, but I'll bet you have other issues.


    Probably all correct, including the little secondary issues with the electronics and needing a fret job. All in all, trying to get everything done properly by the luthier whom I trust is going to be more than it's worth. I may eventually fix her up anyway for sentimental reasons, but I think that last weekend was her last gig.

  15. Well, it looks like my shopping will be for a replacement 6, not a 12. I opened my case this morning to find this:




    The crack runs from bridge to binding, and is only on the seam anout 2/3 of the way. Looks terminal, and I guess after 35 years of heavy playing I got my money's worth out of it....but it still sucks.

  16. If it helps, I've got an Ovation LEGEND 12-string that sounds really good.


    It's in the queue for a setup, now that I've learned a bit more about how that works (thanks to Freeman)... but it plays pretty well off the shelf anyway. And it sounds really good (did I mention that?). Dunno what, if anything, Ovation makes now (got this one used several years ago) but the LEGEND line is a bolt-on neck, apparently unlike some of the other models with glued-on necks. Might be similar to the Elite models. Round soundhole, not the "buckshot" look. Old catalog suggest it was pretty expensive when new, in the $1800 range (MSRP) at the time, circa 2007 or so I think...


    I'm not a fan of the round back; can't play the thing, even sitting down, without a strap.


    Yeah, they sound really nice once you learn to EQ them. I have a similar feeling about the larger bowls - the only one that feels right to me is the super-shallow bowl. Trouble is, they don't make a super-shallow 12 anymore.


    Tried a guy's new Taylor 12-string recently. Don't know what model, but it was pretty grim... strings seemed to be about an inch and a half off the neck... so difficult to play I didn't even pay much attention to the sound.


    I wonder about setups. I found the ones at GC were all over the map - including a $2,500 model that was truly unplayable - the strings were literally laying on the frets. How can ANY business have that sitting on the floor as a "high end" model? :facepalm:



    I've just about given up on my desired price range. I can't find anything in stock anywhere to play that isn't either the low-range models or a lot more than I want to spend.


    FWIW, I have zero interest in buying an instrument sight unseen. If' I can't go play it in a local store to see how it sounds and feels, I am not interested. "Local" for me includes Chicago, so it's not like I'm expecting the local reed-and-string shop to carry a wide range of guitars just for me to play.....:idk:


    The B side - the "live side" - is amazing. The title track in particular, as well as "Envelopes" contain some astonishing writing and arrangement.


    Agreed. Whenever I think of that album, I hear the "game show" xylophone runs from the title track run through my head......:lol: That song puts a grin on my face every time!

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  18. When it comes to "rock" music, I think this is the longest run of consecutive great albums of all.


    The Grand Wazoo


    Joe's Garage Acts 2 & 3


    By the mighty Frank Zappa!




    You left out Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch. Yes, Valley Girl was a shameless sell-out by Zappa standards, but the rest of the album was pretty good.

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