Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Modern Player- recall (Part 1)

Back in 2011, Fender introduced (re-introduced?) the Marauder in the Modern Player series. The Modern Player, my friends, consist of idiosyncratic models which forged its identity by assuming an established Fender monicker only to fall victim to the manufacturer's creative license in making it 'different'. 

Fender also released the Jaguar in the same series, altering it significantly to manifest some Gibson-ish DNA in terms of tone- P-90s, tune-o-matic, 3-way toggle... these are definitely not Fender genetics.

On that note, they messed with the Jazzmaster as well, desecrating its signature tone by including humbuckers & a rather profane fretboard switch to maple. 

And while they're at it, why not include the Mustang into the mix. P-90 equipped Mustang instead of traditional single coils.

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Quayle in the city (TBC)

Something to look forward to come second half of 2017. Saw this at Davis GMC's homepage. More details to come. 👍

Fat singles

'Supp!? I'm still in single coil mode.

But these are fat single coils aka the P-90s, unlike the ones in Strats. These are the least likely candidates for shred as they hum excessively under lots of gain/ drive. I have them out for variety's sake- hearing too much traditional single coil tones lately so something has to give. 

On the topic of single coil pickups, can the P-90s pull off the twang? Answer: Not that apparent when used in isolation. However, you can hear that when both P-90s are used simultaneously. In guitar speak, it means leaving the pickup selector in that middle position. 

Confession- I used to like only humbuckers. Simple reason- I started off with humbuckers & I'd been hearing them in action for a very long time at the exclusion of others. I deem everything else as 'inferior' until Stevie Ray came into the picture. Then I told myself I must have single coil tones or I'd die unaccomplished (in some ways). Then Danny Gatton came into the picture & the Tele honk was haunting me till I bought my first Tele. So as you can see, opening yourselves to other people's music, the ones which are not your cup of tea especially, is key to embracing change. Change is good, my friends, as it forces you to step out of your comfort zone & understand many things from a different perspective. ★

Monday, May 22, 2017


Last weekend's noodling; Ibanez Talman & Schecter VE-TE.

The Talman is a wonderful Telecaster variant, not that it's close to the real deal, but it retains the Ibanez defiance in doing things the manufacturer's way. Pickguard semblance & pickups arrangement plus that metal surround all scream Tele. Tone-wise, it's closer to the Tele than the Strat but managed to avoid the former's honk. 

The Schecter VE-TE is a gem (to me). Tele in every way less the headstock. The Japanese has this penchant for outperforming originals & this was one of them but I had to Duncanized the pickups. Outcome- high gain single coil monster, not for those with a thing for cleans. But I have to give it to Seymour Duncan for packing some great cleans into these Quarter Pound pair, just not the vintage type. Also, this guitar was grounded, staying true to the vintage vibe but not that pleasant if you are into excessive drive.

Where do I go with these two? There will be times when I'm bothered by contemporary looks & tone,  these are my go-to 'substitutes' to keep things in check. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A new hope (?)

Saw this over at the BC Rich homepage. Really hope something good is in the works. Was kinda pissed the new owner reduced the lineup significantly but there is hope, it seems... 

Monarkh-y weekend

It took a while but a singlecut Jackson guitar finally made it into standard production. Debuting in 2016, the Monarkh was an obvious risk for the manufacturer as it was something not within the pointy Jackson DNA. As Marty Friedman is currently backing it following his return to the Jackson camp, it should be staying in the catalogs for some years to come. It's a commercial symbiosis, we see many models from other brand names dying without endorser support too many times.

The JS22 version of the singlecut Monarkh is an alright guitar in terms of tone. Nothing too enticing when it comes to clean, the default high output humbuckers were just not cut for that. Drive-wise, much clarity could be heard coming from both pickups but the treble dominance could be addressed. I somehow like this excess in the neck position but that's just my metal inclinations talking. On that note, this is nothing less than a shred machine or a heavy metal implement but do not expect a thin neck for manoeuvrability. You can still speed across the fretboard & such but the narrow nut cramped proceedings a little. Quite a Les Paul vibe going on here considering the 24.75" scale length, without neck stickiness which is a plus point. 

After 20min of test time, the thinner body made it feel like an SG in many ways. It's compounded by the fact that the neck had a diving tendency due to the acute cutaway but the chamfered body edges added to playing comfort, definitely.

The Monarkh is a Jackson by virtue of its drive-inclined tone. The most familiar reference here is that substantial (but a Gibson 50s neck it is not) but inviting neck. A worthy consideration for a good budget purchase but nothing unique in terms of offering. 

Rating: 70%