Sunday, December 11, 2016

New gain

Mesa has a new baby. For gain junkies? For clean mongers? For both, actually. The TC-50 is touted to be both headroom-friendly for cleans & a gain monster once you switch channels. Add to that the ease of swapping power tubes for some voicing variety (bias select switch at your fingertips). I'm sure many amp geeks out there are good with their Mark V 25 but in my opinion this is worth checking out. Something to look forward to in 2017 😉

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Strat set up (3)

These days, I don't whammy. I would usually tighten the whammy screws into the body so the bridge won't pivot up when string bends are employed. Remember to protect the guitar body if you use extensive screw drivers like mine here. I would usually lay a cloth down there but this is a suggestion of what you can do if you are in a hurry. Since the cavity cover is there, use it. 😙

Friday, December 9, 2016

Strat set up (2)

Usually, I would re-condition the rosewood fretboard of a new guitar on its first re-string. This is what I have been using- wood conditioner from the hardware store & it's not a guitar product. Usually, guitar-related manufacturers would alleviate product desirability by adding scent to the formula & this would more often than not increase the acidity to the content (eg: lemon or other citrus ingredients). Acidic fluid, when applied frequently to fretboards, would soften the wood & it becomes less resistant to scratches or dents. It might eventually weaken the neck strength altogether.

I'm easily bothered by nut choke (& how it affects tuning) so I make it a point to address this by lubricating the slots. I'm using commercial vaseline (bought this one at Mustaffa Center) & again, it's not a guitar related product. Use a pointed implement to apply the vaseline into the slots, in this case, a satay stick does the job. 

No vaseline in the house? Vicks Vapo Rub works as well.

If you are particular about what goes into those slots & would want a safe bet, look for slot lubricants in the stores such as this GHS product. The reason why I stopped using them- they cost more & don't necessarily work better. Some guitar techs would tell you just rub pencil lead into the slots, that's the least costly way to do it but that stains the lighter coloured nut & might prove to be a point of contention during re-sale situations.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Strat set up

I set up all my guitars since day one. That's right, I went through the dark, misinformed times without internet reference. It was mostly magazine reference from the library. I would spend hours at the Geylang East branch browsing through back issues of Guitar Player & Guitar World. I also worked with sub-par tools. Today, we are fortunate to have stores selling player-friendly tools & implements to keep our treasured possessions in check. The internet access opened up a whole new range of tool acquisition possibilities. But the large part to this advancement was the credit card; this increased my purchasing power somewhat. Anyway, I recently re-set up the Fender American Special Strat you see above which was purchased from Swee Lee's end of year warehouse sale.

Despite being playable, this was how the string saddles look like when I brought it home. It's evident that someone lowered/raised the strings without due consideration of the fretboard radius. It was a crude attempt, almost a noob level effort at best. Let's not rule out the fact that this could be done back at the factory. What do you think?

I was very happy with how straight this guitar's neck is. There were no traces of shimming & upon removal of the neck (to satisfy my curiosity), I was right. 👍 This could only mean that they got it right back at the factory. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cat scratch fever

I used to dislike the Fender Jaguar. The electronics are downright confusing & that headstock is simply obnoxious. The first Jaguar I came across was a double humbucker version at Swee Lee which I duly bought. It's about the shorter scale length primarily, it made me play differently. Dare I say it- faster 😙

The situation today- I'm gravitating towards the Fender single coil tone & the Jaguar has something different to offer compared to its Strat sibling. Those excessive switches- it's something to overcome. 

The red Jaguar sporting block inlays is an older model (but a recent acquisition) lying in wait at the Swee Lee warehouse. As it is, Fender offset models are somewhat second fiddle to the Strats & Teles. Currently, there seems to be a revival with the Duo-sonic, Mustang, Jaguar & Jazzmaster going through a rebound which will see its full swing in 2017. The white Jaguar was a difficult decision. I was holding back to fund a new phone but through partial funding by way of gear sale, of course, that one was one of my best purchase at mid year. 

I had a chance to put them side by side today & was happy to observe QC consistency despite at least 3 years difference between them. They both weigh 3.5kg & sport identical neck carve. The difference lies in tone. The red Jaguar sounds warmer & has more clarity in the neck pickup. On that note, both guitars need a new set of tone capacitors to boost that rather narrow tone range. This adventure will continue as soon as the tone caps get here 😊

From Satch to you

The great Satch has this freebie for fans (salute!). Click here to proceed to the relevant download page: GET SATCH's FREE EP!