Author Topic: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....  (Read 1677 times)

RPIScotty

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Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« on: May 08, 2016, 02:15:18 PM »
So what you're saying is that homebrewing isn't the first hobby that hipsters have done their best to suck the fun out of?  :o

<should be moved to the pub>

Actually, there are multiple tiers of instruments, but neither manufacturers' pro-level instruments have ever been cheap. Gibson went through a bad patch when I was a teenager (1970s) due to Norlin's mismanagement.  Poor quality allowed a skinny bespeckled young Marylander named Paul Smith to set a completely different level of quality with Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Guitars.  Gibson was on its death bed in the eighties.  Had it not been for Slash recording Appetite for Destruction with a Kris Derig-built Les Paul copy, many believe that Gibson would have gone belly up. Gibson Historics are actually cheap when compared PRS Private Stock instruments.   A Private Stock Dragon runs $20K. 

</should be moved to the pub>

You can score original 80s PRS guitars on the used market for prices comparable to most of the Gibson R9s.

IMHO, as much as I love the feel and aesthetics of a good Gibson LP, I'd take a PRS all day. For the price it seems like a better instrument. I know the David Grissom model I played a few years back was stellar and cheaper than even a plain top R8.

As far as Original Kalamazoo Gibson DNA, Heritage crafts some stellar guitars as well, made on some of the original K'zoo factory equipment and with a lineage that dates back to original K'zoo employees. A fantastic book to read if your a fan of the history is Bacon's "Million Dollar Les Paul".

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2016, 06:49:37 PM »
Can I get my banged up Hondo strat rip off somewhere in this conversation?
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RPIScotty

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2016, 06:53:46 PM »
Can I get my banged up Hondo strat rip off somewhere in this conversation?

Of course! No snobs here! One of my favorite guitars I ever owned was a beat up white 80s squier strat that I hot fodder with Gibson Burstbuckers.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 12:53:12 AM »
The best guitar I own is probably my Yamaha acoustic/electric. Think I spent about $800 in 1996. I haven't been serious about playing guitar in probably 15 years.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 02:27:40 AM »
I miss guitar.

I have 6, and haven't touched even one in over a year now. Thankfully I'm on break from school, so that should change soon. I really only ever play 3 of the 6:

Chapman ML-2
If you know Rob Chapman from youtube, it's one of his guitars. From the second batch of ML-2s, black flame veneer on mahogany. Really high quality guitar shipped with budget hardware to keep the prices down. Swap out the cheap hardware, and it sounds as good as it plays.

Epiphone Zakk Wylde Les Paul.
One of the active EMG ones, bought as a scratch and dent item for a steal. Plays awesome. I've got giant hands, so thick necked guitars are really comfy for me. I want to swap the EMGs out for either the EMG Het Set or some low output Seymour Duncans. (Yes, two very different paths) Much better guitar than the graphics and price tag would have you believe.

Carvin Bolt
My first "good" guitar, way back when. Needs some better pickups, but will do a great "Number of the Beast" rendition in the meantime. Sad thing is as much as I love Iron Maiden, I'd rather the guitar did SRV. Plan is to turn it into a bluesier guitar.

Guitar amps are really what got me into electronics. I don't have the time to develop my playing enough to be what I'd consider good, but amps and pedals fascinate me. As a result, that's really where I've splurged. Mesa Mk. V Halfstack. Way more amp than I'll ever need. I've had several amps, and this is the only one so far that has been able to keep up with my tastes alternating between blues and metal.

Still GAS for a Marshall JVM 410, but I'd have to sell the Mk. V, and I'm sure I'd miss it...
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 03:56:40 AM »
I purchased my first PRS guitar in 1995. It was one of the last Standard 24s built in the old Annapolis shop before PRS moved to Stevensville, Maryland.  I was playing an Ibanez HSS S540FM at that point in time, and I could not adjust to a neck humbucker.  I held onto the Standard 24 for eight years before selling it in 2003.  I still own the Ibanez. 

I decided to give PRS another shot in 2010 when I purchased a 2009 model year Mira Korina because my Ibanez needed work.  I received a coupon for a free pickup swap and an artist-level setup at the PRS Tech Center (these guys are the best of the best at PRS). I had 57/08s installed in the guitar.  My Mira Korina was a good guitar before I sent it to the PTC.  It came back a great guitar. I replaced the black pickguard and truss rod cover with a white pearl pickguard and truss rod cover. 

The Mira Korina was only produced for one year.  The Mira was an attempt to manufacturer an affordable American-made PRS for those who wanted a Stevensville guitar at an affordable price.  The guitar was designed by Joe Knaggs before he left to found his own guitar company (Joe ran the Private Stock program at PRS). The Mira Korina listed for around $1800.00, but I purchase it for $1500 and change, which is still a lot of money for a hobby.   I have since purchased higher dollar PRS guitars, but my Mira is my most played PRS, ever.  Korina (technically limba) is the wood that was used to make the 1958 Gibson Flying V.  Korina has better top-end response than mahogany.

Here's my Mira Korina







My most played guitar, period, is still my '92 Ibanez S540FM.  I purchased this guitar for $600 and change in 1992.  I played it so much over the years that I had to level and crown the frets a few years ago.

The most worn frets before leveling and crowning






Fingerboard taped off and ready to go



Post-leveling, crowning, and polishing





Here's the body





Speaking of amps, I had four hobbies in the nineties: brewing beer, playing with yeast, playing guitar, and building tube amps.  I still have one of the amps that I built.  It has an EF86 front-end, a 12AX7A phase splitter (I believe that I currently have a 5751 in that stage), and a 2 x EL84 cathode-biased power section.  It is hand-wired using an eyelet board that I fabricated using Keystone eyelets and a piece of NEMA LE-grade linen phenolic sheet. The power supply is silicon-rectified with a four-diode bridge and a 47uF cap in the first section of the pi-filter (305VDC on the plates); therefore, it is much stiffer than the average EL84 amp.  It is a bad little amp for being such a simple circuit.  The treble control is in the AC bypass capacitor for the cathode resistor of the EF86.  It is not a treble cut filter as is implemented on many amps.  It is a treble boost filter because it shapes the gain stage's frequency response via local negative feedback.  The bass control is what is known as a cross line cut control.   It takes advantage of the fact that the outputs from the phase splitter (diff amp) are 180 degrees out of phase; therefore, they sum to zero.  It is setup such that frequencies above the RC cutoff frequency (f=1/ωRC) cancel each other increasingly as the potentiometer is turned to the right.  The EL84 is beautiful little tube. It has a lot of gain for a power pentode.  It does not take much in the way of drive voltage to drive the average EL84 circuit into saturation.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 02:49:27 AM by Saccharomyces »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2016, 04:30:30 AM »
I miss guitar.

I have 6, and haven't touched even one in over a year now. Thankfully I'm on break from school, so that should change soon. I really only ever play 3 of the 6:

Chapman ML-2
If you know Rob Chapman from youtube, it's one of his guitars. From the second batch of ML-2s, black flame veneer on mahogany. Really high quality guitar shipped with budget hardware to keep the prices down. Swap out the cheap hardware, and it sounds as good as it plays.

Epiphone Zakk Wylde Les Paul.
One of the active EMG ones, bought as a scratch and dent item for a steal. Plays awesome. I've got giant hands, so thick necked guitars are really comfy for me. I want to swap the EMGs out for either the EMG Het Set or some low output Seymour Duncans. (Yes, two very different paths) Much better guitar than the graphics and price tag would have you believe.

Carvin Bolt
My first "good" guitar, way back when. Needs some better pickups, but will do a great "Number of the Beast" rendition in the meantime. Sad thing is as much as I love Iron Maiden, I'd rather the guitar did SRV. Plan is to turn it into a bluesier guitar.

Guitar amps are really what got me into electronics. I don't have the time to develop my playing enough to be what I'd consider good, but amps and pedals fascinate me. As a result, that's really where I've splurged. Mesa Mk. V Halfstack. Way more amp than I'll ever need. I've had several amps, and this is the only one so far that has been able to keep up with my tastes alternating between blues and metal.

Still GAS for a Marshall JVM 410, but I'd have to sell the Mk. V, and I'm sure I'd miss it...
My main guitar right now is an Epiphone LP Prophecy with EMG 81/85s. $600 for a neck-through LP with EMGs was a deal that can't be beat.

It goes straight into my Orange Tiny Terror. Nothing like a 15 watt tube amp where you can play it wide open without destroying your ears. And I am in complete agreement about the EL84s - great power tube.

I also own a couple Carvins, a neck-through 7-string and a 5-string fretless bass. I love them both, but I really need to find a tech who knows how to set up a fretless bass properly. No one has gotten the action as low as I'd like it. With the right setup a couple mm is all the clearance you need.

Edit - damn phone
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 01:31:50 PM by erockrph »
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RPIScotty

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2016, 10:59:31 AM »
Before brewing I was very much into tube amplifiers as well. I was into using the Epiphone Valve Junior as a mod platform as they were cheap, plentiful and easy to work with before they were discontinued.

My favorite version I owned was the VJ Combo amp. I put an 8" Weber speaker in it that had a very large Alnico magnet and modded the circuit to more closely resemble (more than it already did stock) to the classic Fender 5F1A circuit. I very much agree that when tuned correctly in a small single ended circuit, the EL84 is a magical little tube.

I ran my modified Epi Les Paul standard into that amp for a few with isn't nothing but a power cord and a homemade Dallas Rangemaster clone. It was a wonderful tone. My guitar mods were pretty simple: bone nut, plugged holes re-drilled for long stainless steel studs and ABR-1, aluminum tailpiece and Gibson burstbucker II and III with magnet flip n the neck. I changed my potentiometers to a custom CTS set that had the 60/40 ratio like the old Centralabs.

Initially I favored Paper in Oil capacitors until my common sense got the better of me and I started to use yellow Mallorys.

It was a fun hobby.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 11:06:28 AM by RPIScotty »

RPIScotty

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2016, 11:33:57 AM »
The power supply is silicon-rectified with a four-diode bridge and a 47uF cap in the first section of the pi-filter (305VDC on the plates); therefore, it is much stiffer than the average EL84 amp. 

This surprises me Sacch because if my memory serves me right, this seems like a typical (if not lower than average) plate voltage value for most of the production EL84s. I know that the Russian Sovtek EL84s that used to ship stock with the Epi VJs were bland but more robust and generally had long life with the stock circuit, which kept the plates around 320vdc.

One of the first mods suggested on the SEwatt.com forums was to lower the plate voltage in the stock circuit to ~310vdc to accommodate the more toneful and popular JJ EL84, which did not tolerate more than 310vdc with extended life.

« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 11:36:12 AM by RPIScotty »

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2016, 03:38:08 PM »

It goes straight into my Orange Tiny Terror. Nothing like a 15 watt tube amp where you can play it wide open without destroying your ears. And I am in complete agreement about the EL84s - great power tube.


A Tiny Terror is on my short list of amps, if I ever buy something to complement the Mk.V/ gig with. Great amps.

I've long thought about putting EL34s in the Mk. V. I kinda feel like EL34s really don't come into their own unless they're driven pretty hard, and since I'm in a condo that's not wise. So the 6l6s stay put for now...

As for tube life, one mode I regularly run the Mk. V in is class A, and even after a couple years at condo levels one of the pairs of tubes ended up pretty dead sounding. Swapped the other pair into those slots and there's a noticeable improvement.

I've resigned myself to the fact that tubes are going to wear out, better to just make sure they sound good along the way. I helped a friend rebias his Marshall, ended up way hotter than Marshall had the amp set but was still within limits and sounded amazing.
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Offline denny

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2016, 03:55:04 PM »
Lemme see...I have a 1970 Framus acoustic 12 string, a 76 Fender P bass, a Strat knock off from the mid 80s, a 62 Les Paul Custom, a 1990 Washburn acoustic 6 string, a recent model Dean acoustic bass guitar, and concert and tenor size ukuleles.
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RPIScotty

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2016, 04:15:51 PM »

It goes straight into my Orange Tiny Terror. Nothing like a 15 watt tube amp where you can play it wide open without destroying your ears. And I am in complete agreement about the EL84s - great power tube.


A Tiny Terror is on my short list of amps, if I ever buy something to complement the Mk.V/ gig with. Great amps.

I've long thought about putting EL34s in the Mk. V. I kinda feel like EL34s really don't come into their own unless they're driven pretty hard, and since I'm in a condo that's not wise. So the 6l6s stay put for now...

As for tube life, one mode I regularly run the Mk. V in is class A, and even after a couple years at condo levels one of the pairs of tubes ended up pretty dead sounding. Swapped the other pair into those slots and there's a noticeable improvement.

I've resigned myself to the fact that tubes are going to wear out, better to just make sure they sound good along the way. I helped a friend rebias his Marshall, ended up way hotter than Marshall had the amp set but was still within limits and sounded amazing.

One amplifier I dabbled with years ago was the "Beast" Champ, which was essentially the Fender 5F1A Champ circuit outfitted with either a stressed 6V6 (or NOS 6V6) or EL34. The power rail and transformer set were upgraded but otherwise the circuit was Fender through and through with only minor circuit tweaks.

It was an incredibly toneful amplifier with the 6V6 but I never did get to try it with the EL34. My goal if I get back into playing is to build the "Beast" Champ with the EL34 into a nice 10" combo amp with a big magnet Weber. Also I would like to build a telecaster that captures some of the design aspects I love so much from the late 50s Les Pauls.

RPIScotty

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2016, 04:16:57 PM »
Lemme see...I have a 1970 Framus acoustic 12 string, a 76 Fender P bass, a Strat knock off from the mid 80s, a 62 Les Paul Custom, a 1990 Washburn acoustic 6 string, a recent model Dean acoustic bass guitar, and concert and tenor size ukuleles.

Is the 62 LP an SG?

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2016, 04:29:11 PM »
It was an incredibly toneful amplifier with the 6V6 but I never did get to try it with the EL34. My goal if I get back into playing is to build the "Beast" Champ with the EL34 into a nice 10" combo amp with a big magnet Weber. Also I would like to build a telecaster that captures some of the design aspects I love so much from the late 50s Les Pauls.

I've tried to get into speaker swapping, but whenever I try I always come back to Vintage 30's. I've got an old oversized Mesa 4x12 loaded with them, it it's the only thing that has "the sound" to me. Only reason I bought it was a friend was selling it for next to nothing-if I ever sell it he's got first dibs to buy it back.

Eric, I forgot to mention that I'm also a fan of the Prophecy line. I had a Prophecy SG, sold it to buy the Zakk Wylde LP. Probably never really gave that guitar a fair shake, it was loaded with EMGs, which combined with that SG tone sounded like crap.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

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Offline ethinson

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Re: Guitar talk moved over from main forum....
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2016, 06:30:53 PM »
Can I get my banged up Hondo strat rip off somewhere in this conversation?

Of course! No snobs here! One of my favorite guitars I ever owned was a beat up white 80s squier strat that I hot fodder with Gibson Burstbuckers.

I had a Peavey Predator (Fender Strat clone), red with white pick guard and a cheap Chinese acoustic of some brand I don't even remember.  Looked like crap but actually sounded decent.  I didn't play often enough or well enough to justify them both, but I didn't spend a lot on them.  I think the Peavey was $125 and the acoustic was like $50. 

I sold them both when times got tough.  I think I got $100 for the Peavey plus my small amp, and like 20 for the Acoustic. 

I wish I still had them, but honestly don't know if I would still play.   All my favorite artists play PRS and I'd love to have one (Especially a Mark Tremonti edition) but they are so expensive and if I wasn't going to play it, it's a lot of money for a wallhanger.  Oh well.  Dare to dream I suppose.  I can only have one "expensive" hobby at a time. 
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