Posts Tagged ‘guitar’

The younger version of me was very much into hard rock, alt-rock, and metal.  The types of amps and guitars I used all went to 11 and stayed there.  As I got older, I branched off into other directions.  In my mid-20s, I ditched electric altogether and played acoustic for 4 or 5 years, only to return to it with a Big Muff.  In my early-30s I explored more classic rock, but with modern tones.  Now, in my late-30s, I’ve gone from being an acrobatic, outside soloing, masturbator to being limited in my playing and learning about economy of notes and action. (more…)

This week, I’ve come across two great sources of information, ideas, and inspiration: (more…)

I have a LTD AX-2E, which was a model available for only one year.  Despite the funky body shape, it’s a beautiful guitar and the U shaped neck profile is nice.  The jumbo fret size makes the strings appear to stand at a gargantuan height from the ebony fretboard, but the point of tall frets is to enable very little pressure to fret a note.  It’s almost a scalloped sort of feel.  Kung-Fu action grip will make notes sharp. (more…)

Awhile back, I found this page while doing research for building effects pedals or amplifiers.  Jack Orman has some really great information and ideas on his site for many different circuits, modifications, and adaptations.  I’ve found it to be quite inspiring and I encourage anyone who is interested in guitar or effects technology to check out his site. (more…)

Searching For Good Fretwork

Posted: December 27, 2015 in DIY, Guitar
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday, I wrote about searching for inexpensive guitars with good fretwork to upgrade into higher performing instruments.  I didn’t really go into detail about what good fretwork is.  The reason was that there are literally thousands of articles, posts, and instructions about fretwork that can be found by using Google.  There are a few basic things to look for, though.  So, I pulled up the El Cheapo, Microsoft Paint to illustrate the basics.  For greater detail, Google is your friend.

Different companies do different things with the fret ends and there are other considerations, like binding.  However there are some warning signs to look for when inspecting an instrument. (more…)

I have never had a lot of money.  My only major investment toward playing music has been my Dual Rectifier.  Guitars costing over $800 have been out of my budget and I figure the same thing holds true for many other people.  Fortunately, mid-priced, mass produced guitars are made with higher quality than just about ever before.

When it comes to upgrading inexpensive guitars, the most important thing is to make sure the neck is well made and the frets are properly installed.  Any hardware or electronics can be easily replaced, but the cost of a major fret job or replacement defeats the purpose of upgrading an otherwise good guitar to be great.

For many years now, I’ve preferred Gibson-style guitars, or at least humbucker equipped guitars, at a more affordable price.  Epiphone G Series, LTD, Schecter C Series, and the like are along the lines of what I could afford and like.  I’m going to speak mainly about these types of guitars, since that’s where my most recent experience is.

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I already covered the input stage and clean channel.  I’m not going to repeat the information about the input, except for applications to the dirty tones.

The input stage is followed by a coupling cap and a 2.2 M load resistor.  Most amps made prior to the Recto place the grid resistor between the coupling cap and the load.  The load is usually a potentiometer to control gain.  Mesa eschewed this and it’s one of the innovative ideas that distinguishes the amp from others like it.  I can only speculate the exact reason they made this change, but I suspect stability is the main one.  The resistor to ground also gives a path for stray electrons to prevent popping when changing mode relays. (more…)

ACDCPlexi VintageCleanThese settings are for an approach to getting some vintage tones from a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.  The Clean uses the ideas I’ve been developing about a higher gain setting against a lower Volume setting.  It also has less Bass dialed in.  This made the moderate use of Mid and Treble possible to control sizzle and distortion.  The Presence is just an extra treble control, because Channel 1 has no negative feedback in the power amp.  This setting is very full through the mids and has enough bass and treble to sound good, without either dominating.

The Dirty setting is copping a nice late-70s AC/DC tone.  It sounded really good for many Classic Rock tunes that aren’t fuzzed up.  Raw has a lot of top and bottom rolled off.  It only needs a little nudge to move into Plexi territory, though it could take some more Mid if a person wished to do so.  The Solo is engaged and dialed-in just enough to change the top frequency response.   (more…)

Disclaimer

Guitar amplifiers contain lethal levels of electricity.  If you work on your amp, it is at your own risk.  This site doesn’t recommend anyone without the necessary training and/or experience to perform work on an amplifier.  Even trained, experienced people can receive electric shocks from time to time and I don’t wish for anyone to injure themselves.  Additionally, soldering on PCBs can damage traces if care is not used.  Any potential damage or wear is the fault of the person performing the work and warpedmusician is not liable for any limitations of the materials or skill of the person performing modifications.

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I am very ill.  In January of 2014, I began having pain in my shoulder.  By the next week, both shoulders, my wrists and hands were affected, more significantly on the right side.  By the end of February, I couldn’t walk very well and I felt very sick.  Since that time, I have had periods of being restricted to bed, short periods of relative wellness, and situations in between, but the pain and arthritis continue.  I was diagnosed with Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic pain (Edit June 2016: this was misdiagnosed Lupus).  Among the things it affected was my ability to play music. (more…)