(2 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Hi 06sc500,
I have an original Crybaby also, and can tell you in all honesty that there much better wah-pedals. Without any means of adjustment, you indeed only get one wah-sound (that's not even very useful or pleasing). Most higher-end wahs have a frequency range potentiometer where you can experiment to get some useful tones, but yes Wah-Wah --that's all you get. Every ten years or so, I must have one... But unless you shell out over $200 it's not worth monkeying with, unless you're a devout Hendrix fan.  In my case, Jimi is the only reason why I'm using a wah pedal.


(3 replies, posted in Electric)

Royce is right: the FERRULES should fit snug. If they're loose, you might get some gel (thick) superglue (I prefer the Loctite brand). Remove the strings and the ferrules, then put a small amount of superglue into each hole (just a little) -perhaps on two opposite sides of each hole. Press the ferrules in, and immediately clean any glue with a cotton cloth! If you put too much glue in each hole, it will squeeze out and ruin your guitar finish!

If this method doesn't work, your holes are drilled too wide. I would use a tiny amount of wood putty and carefully smear it into each hole. Use a toothpick to remove excess. While the woodputty is still soft, press the ferrules in, then clean up around them so that the finish doesn't suffer. Also use the same toothpick to clear the tiny hole where the string enters the ferrule -just in case putty obstructs the string hole -a short cutoff from a low E-String will do a nice job of clearing the string holes.

Carry on FiveO!


(4 replies, posted in Electric)

The Line 6 Variax guitars come as different models (300, 400, 500, 600,700). The electric 300 was the very first Variax to be released. I bought one, because it was a dinged-up instrument at a large store, and super-cheap...

Playability is excellent gentlemen! The neck has a rosewood fingerboard and is very well made. The guitar actually plays like a high-end Fender, whereas the looks are East-Asia... The sounds are not great, but ultimately usable even in a live situation. For example the acoustic models, the resonator, the sitar and even the banjo are great because I don't own those instruments. Comparing the Tele and Strat models to the real thing shows the shortcomings of this guitar. I still think that it's worthwhile to at least experience the Variax, so you can tell for sure if this is your cup of tea.

P.S. I have owned a POD, and a Roland VG88 system + a VGA modeling amp for many years -the Variax technology is just about as versatile as the Roland modeling approach, but Line6 squeezes all this techno stuff into the instrument itself. Since I only paid $150 for mine (new with a few dings), I can't complain.


(5 replies, posted in Electric)

I recognize your message title: You're talking about a Behringer V-Amp..effects device? There is also a Behringer amp, called the V-Amp...it has effects built in

A friend of mine has a blue, funny-shaped Behringer V-Amp multi-effects device, and I've played with it a little. It sounds mostly good (not every setting), is cheap, and seems reliable. I say, you can't go wrong with a V-Amp, but you might want to read a few more reviews. You're asking about a cable: yes you will need another guitar cable: One cable goes from the guitar into the V-Amp, and a second cable from the V-Amp into your amp. A simple, short guitar cable will do.

In my opinion, Behringer products are affordable and have a tendency to break easy, but the V-Amp has been on the market for years. Their mixers suck -I have bought three of them, two broke, then I got a nice large Behringer mixer that seems to have a lot more reliable electronics. The V-Amp effects box should give you tons of fun at a small price...

Play On!

changing from plastic to just about any other nut material will usually make a nice, noticeable difference -but don't expect a radical change. I changed the plastic nut on a Sigma DR41 acoustic dreadnaught to bone -probably cow...  With the bone nut, this guitar sounded a little more refined, clearer, but only after I made my second nut. The first one got too low, with all my happy filing and sanding...

Now being encouraged, I replaced the plastic saddle with a bone saddle -even better. The final touch came from new brass pins. I believe these pins made the biggest difference. Of course, the guitar hasn't become a genuine Martin either, just a little better sounding, more fun to play. It was worth learning how to do it, and at least I didn't disfigure the guitar, or ruin it.

Play on!


(6 replies, posted in Electric)

you'll most likely have to try a few different brands -I share your opinion of Elixirs for acoustics. My own favorite strings for electrics depend a little on the guitar. My Tele and Strats only get Ernie Ball Slinkys -they come in various gauges. I personally like the Ernie Ball "Skinny Top-Heavy Bottom" variety (10-52), or "Hybrid Slinkys" (9-46) for a little lighter touch. Overall these are my favorite Tele and Strat strings.

But I wouldn't put them on my hollowbody Gretsch -it's all how you perceive the playability and tone of course. I've even changed my mind over the years, occasionally...

Play On!


(1 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

here is my humble assessment of the Zoom H4: I got it about six months ago and I have used it a few times. Why not a lot? First, it has exceptional sound, even with the built-in microphones. It records live performances truthfully, and I mean EVERYTHING as if you were there. The microphones really work like human ears: When I first tried to record a live gig, I couldn't find a place to put the unit and placed it onto my amp head, pressed the (two) recording buttons... My own guitar and the bass right next to me were plenjty loud, as were all my little "f&%$*- ups during playing. Like I indicated before, the unit performs like two ears with memory in between, to record everything truthfully. Great quality, no hum, no errors.

The recording capabilities are top notch, but the USABILITY is not. Second: The overall quality of the hardware is toy-like. Plastic. The controls are tiny and the legend (printed labels) are very hard to read. There is a main latch, concealing the memory card (I got a 2 Gig SD card). This latch is very delicate and made of thin plastic. You got to be super careful not to break it, just under normal use. The batteries are stored under this latched cover as well. The sliding switches and the multi-function control are also tiny and feel flimsy. I rather have something sturdy when I'm out on a stage, recording our band. The H4 comes with a funny Velcro strap and micstand adapter (you guessed it, made of plastic again). It looks like the engineer discovered too late that people wouldn't hold this thing in their hands during recording, and asked his Mom in the kitchen if she could come up with something in a hurry. She did, just in time before the first ship date, she rummaged through the sewing bin and found the Velcro. Holy Moses, what engineering minds were at work at ZOOM?

The unit has a "slick" shape meaning that it never really comes in contact fully with whatever you lay it on. A flat housing would have taken care of this issue. If you do decide to hold it in your hand, you get pronounced handling noise. So don't.

Features I never use: the manual is nice and explains everything, but I actually never have used the 4-track (multitrack) feature, because the control menus are spartan and I fear that multitracking is going to be a nightmare. Most functions involve multi-function button pushes, multiple-layer menus, cursor moves, and in my case also reading glasses. Summing it all up: Great Recording, a flimsy toy, Usability testing was never performed, or if so, by nimble midgets who invented the unit and were familiar with it to begin with. If the newer unit (H2) was available back then, I would have bought it instead, even with only two tracks (stereo). The entire unit costs less and at least looks a little more robust.

Yes, I admit it, I am a Usabilty professional for an electronics company -but we do not manufacture recording equipment -just so you know that I'm not trying to put ZOOM down. I also own a ZOOM MRS 1044 multitrack recorder, for several years. These low price gadgets are sometimes just too tempting. I should have known better.

Play On!


(4 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Hi Old Doll,
good to know that you're still hanging out here.
Tennessee is in the middle of Spring, our pear tree is in full bloom, and we survived St.Patricks Day without a scratch.

Top of the morning to you!


(7 replies, posted in Electric)

FiveO, I'm glad to be of a little help.

Currently I'm building an ES175 look-alike. I've always liked that guitar, but wasn't real happy with Gibsons pricing/quality, so I'm building my own. Since I'm using the moveable bridge type for hollowbodies (together with a tailpiece), lining up these bridges is a lot less problematic, since they're not screwed down... what a relief! But of course every type of guitar has its own challenges. Glued-in (or set) necks are tricky to line up vertically with the bridge: once you glue that neck in its cavity you don't ever want it to come unglued again -and the neck better be vertically angled and lined up correctly with the nut+bridge, or you just made a nice doorstop.

Play on!


(6 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

I own two Shure SM58s, two AKG Condensers, a GrooveTube large diaphragm for recording + a few others -and I know that almost everybody in the US swears by the SM58 for rock/blues live performances. But why? I can only come up with one reason: They seem to be indestructable.

Since you're asking for a GOOD vocal mic, here is my favorite, but it's not cheap: Sennheiser MD421. I've been around these mics all my life, and in my opinion, it's the best (and also the most versatile mic) for just about anything, especially vocals. I use it for my own vocal mic in a band, but it performs equally well for guitar and drums. This mic ALWAYS seems perfectly tailored to my voice, picks up every nuance, has great feedback resistance, a warm pleasing character and never needs Phantom power. It's the cream of the crop of dynamic mics -try one out, and you will not need any other mics until you're really famous and only use Neumann mics.

I've seen so many live top-notch performances (in Europe) over the past 40 years where the MD421 is always up front: Jimi Hendrix, The Who come to mind... This mic used to be everywhere, because it's been the workhorse in Radio, TV and live performances all over the world -just not in America, where we're used to inferior technology that's cheap and yes, rugged like the Shure SM58. Treat yourself to a test-drive!


(7 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Dunlop is a good company, but there are sooo many wah models to choose from: I have the Classic Wah and don't like it. You really have to listen to them in order to decide which one is right for you. Mine is noisy and the range is somewhat limited. The more knobs a wah has, the more control you'll have dialing in just the tone you like...

Play on!


(5 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

For the past ten years, I've been playing through combos -Vox AC30, now Fender Bassman Reissue LTD, but:  When you get the stack fever, there is no cure. And the symptoms are always the same: You have a hard time getting that stack in the van (forget a station wagon), your buddies always scream at you to turn that damn thing down, and you're frustrated. Here you have the super weapon of rock, and it just doesn't sound right on 2, or 3...

Yes, I'm guilty for having owned a stack+head for a few years, but I guess you have to eventually bite the bullet and find a roaring combo... Actually musically speaking, it's classier to not just play full throttle all the time. My back is getting better, but there are still the PA speakers to lug around. I never had a roadie, rats!

Play on!


(26 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

I've got a friend who's got a Martin D-18 from the 1970s -he loves it. Now get this: he also has a 70s Les Paul that has seen some abuse and has a cherry-burst top. It plays like butter! He hates that one, doesn't like the flashy top... but doesn't want to sell it, because someone told him that old LesPauls are worth a bunch of money. DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU? I believe Martin puts something in the guitar that makes you a little wacko...

Play On!

You're lucky! Because I have stripped guitars (Epi's and Squiers) to discover the ugly materials they are made of.
I bought an Epiphone LP Junior for very little money, it sounded awful. So I proceeded to take it apart, neck, pckups, bridge, pickguard and all... I discovered that the real nice sunburst was literally only skin-deep. The body was made of nothing else but plywood. It looked like good plywood though...

A Squier Jagmaster looks and sounds like a nice guitar, so I bought two. I stripped one of its black poly coat and underneath showed the real "wood" body: A substance that doesn't even look like wood. It's more like pressed shit or some industrial waste product resembling wood. I was disgusted and gave it good coat of saealer and a professional nitro-lacquer paintjob in surf-green. Don't ever remind me of this experience. All this means that you got a lucky break! Get some info on properly finishing it, maybe with clear lacquer if you like the wood so much!

Play On!


(19 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

We are having a hard time deciding on a name that suits all of us. It seems impossible. Since we play mostly blues and are a bunch of above middle-age players, we're having a hard time deciding. But we just got a nice gig (meaning a paying gig...) and have to have a name. I suggested "Tennessee Pharm Boys": They thought it sounded too "country"...and it's true that we are from Tennessee.
Now I've just made the decision to name us "Howlin' Earl & The Comfort Waist Band", because when I put my pants on, I found this label inside: "Comfort Waist Band".

Play On!


(26 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Hey, I wasn't going to chime in with the Martin brand debate, but since we're now BMW bashing, I need to step in. I've had a BMW  convertible for the past ten years. Still have it. The car never broke down, although I'm always buying tires for it. I'm no snob, but if you have ever driven a BMW, you know that they are fun to drive and are damn reliable machines. I can't wait for the new BMW model One to come out this year!
I have also owned (and still do) American cars and Japanese ones. And please don't remind me of the Pacer I once drove (it was a loaner, ouch!).
These cheesy boxes don't even compare when it comes to driving fun, quality and chick appeal. There is something about BMWs that attracts women just like my Fender American Strat. Both the Fenders and the BMW are quality instruments. Now go back in the garage and kick your Chrysler K car (or the plastic Mustang and Corvette.)
Play on!


(8 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

jaygordon75 and bootleger,
I have built Mahogany necks with angled headstocks. The angle is up to the builder: 13 degree is fine and may be standard, but I'm using 15 degrees. This is mainly due to the tension required where the string runs over the nut. Fender necks have a lowered top section for the tuners, achieving this tension through the downward angle from nut to tuners. Fender necks also require either graduated height tuners (the tuners have different heights), or a pair of "string tree" gizmos to hold the D,G,B,E strings down enough to create this angle just behind the nut.

Bootleger, you're right as well: the connection between the headstock and the neck better be solid. I've actually built several necks and learned the neckbuilding by trial and error, actually broke off a few headstocks with my bare hands, until I read William Cumpiano's book on building guitars. "Guitarmaking" is a book mainly for acoustic builders, but the neck building technique applies for certain electrics as well.

Play On!


(9 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

I don't have a set of Kent Armstrong Strat pickups, but I use a single Kent Armstrong P-90 in my home-built LP-Junior-style guitar. That is the best P-90 I have ever heard, it makes the guitar sound awesome. I can only encourage you to spend a little extra on the Kent Armstrongs and you will be a happy camper!

Check out my custom modified and home-builts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/23752184@N04/

The WD wiring kit is probably going to do the trick. I also bought my above mentioned pickup from them here in the U.S.
It seems you'll like to upgrade your kit, maybe you can also invest in a new pre-cut Strat nut -not one made of plastic. You will hear the difference!

Play On!


(8 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

You guys are absolutely correct, forgery is a problem. Today, it's relatively easy to "re-engineer" just about anything. I work for an electronics manufacturer, and we found a whole line of expensive equipment (that we have invented and engineered) for sale in China - except that every one of these devices were total rip-offs. Our company is suing. It seems very easy to rip-off unsuspecting buyers. 

I personally have made decals of a Fender logo, that looks stunningly like the real thing. But: I would never pretend that my $245 Squier Jagmasters (I got two) are actually Fenders, and I can also safely tell you that I have never ever sold anything under false pretense. I love guitars so much that I couldn't do that. Besides the logo, there are other easy things to identify real from fake: The serial number for example. I once walked into a pawn shop that had a "Fender" Strat for sale, where I could see the scuff marks on the headstock from sanding off the Sqier logo. Even the "Made in Indonesia" imprint was scratched of with what could have been a dull butter knife - When I pointed that out to the store, they kicked me out! (Most of them also deal in guns, so I responded quickly.)

Yeah, pawn shops and Ebay are the playgrounds of desperate people, taking advantage of other desperate souls, who think everything on the net is for real -grow up! I even think that mass-merchandisers (here in the US it's Target and Walmar**) misrepresent the stuff they sell for around a hundred bucks. Anyone with a painbucket and some woodworking tools can build something that looks like a guitar, smells like a guitar -but is not a musical instrument.

Unfortunately the days of an honest handshake and vintage guitars for what they are really worth -are over. If you think you found a good deal on the Internet, do your homework researching and talk with people (like the folks here on Chordie).

Since I've already spent so much money on crap that looked great in the store, I decided to build my own guitars -it's not cheaper, but at least I know that my instruments are made with care, dedication, and a great love for music.

Play on!


(8 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Yes they are important for the sound of a guitar:
Necks made of maple are more stabile and don't break easily. It's easier to snap off, or break a Mahogany neck and headstock. The neck consists of the basic neck material, the headstock section and the fingerboard. They do affect the tone of the guitar.

You want a neck that is stabile, doesn't warp and can be adjusted with the help of an embedded trussrod.
As gitaardocphil mentions in his post, there are several ways to attach the neck: using woodscrews and a counter-metal plate on the back of the body, glueing the neck into the neck-cavity, or attaching the neck with the help of a fitting and machine screws (Ingwie Malmsteen Fender guitar uses that neck attachment method).

They are all good ways to attach the neck. Glued-in necks are rumored to give more sustain, because the glueing really joins the neck and body into one piece.

Screwed-in necks are easy to replace and to adjust -I find that is a strong point for the Fender method. Gibson glues most of their guitar necks and that makes sense to me on a high-quality guitar, like an archtop for example. You just don't go through the trouble of constructing a high-priced guitar and then slap (screw) the neck on...maybe in China, where they're not interested in durability anyway.

Fingerboard: I personally prefer the maple fingerboards and maple necks. But I also own mahogany-neck guitars with Rosewood or Ebony fingerboards. I do seem to hear the difference in tone: Maple sounds snappy, mahogany warm, but Ebony seems just right (and is pricey...)

The thickness of the neck also influences the sound: I believe that a fat, stiff neck doesn't flex much, and the result is a dull sounding instrument. So, a little flexibility seems good for a neck. What do you think?

Play on!


(1 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Hey gazza7,
I googled it and it seems still alive: http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar_world_acoustic
Welcome to this forum of unpretentious souls from around the globe. G'day!

Play on!


(9 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Ahhh, a bargain! You'll get this to work with a little patience.
Maybe you could check this site for wiring diagrams first: http://www.guitarelectronics.com/catego … rdiagrams/

Make sure that you actually are switching between the pickups, and that both are not on all the time. There should be a noticeable difference between neck and bridge pickup... Or you could at first lower the neck pickup and raise the bridge -so that they are at two distinct heights, and then they really should sound different.

Play on!


(6 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Is this a new guitar as well, or just a new tuner? If just the tuner is new, and you're having this problem just now, maybe the tuner is bad. Or the batteries?

If the guitar is new as well, you could be describing a problem with a nut slot that's cut a little too high. Meaning, the slot that the E string sits in is too far off the fretboard (millimeters...) .

What could happen is this: You tune the guitar, everything is fine. Played open , all strings are in tune. Then you press the low E on the 5th fret and it's out of tune: you might be "bending " that string down onto the fretboard too much, so it touches the fret (as you should). But this bending action stretches the string out of tune.

Let us know what you find out! Play on!


(9 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Fixed the login bug!
Looks like my above post came through anyway...


(6 replies, posted in Electric)

You do have a selector switch...I guess?
That would be the first thing to check. The switch contacts could be slightly oxydized, or corroded. I'm sure you have a harsh winter in Gander! The temp changes between day and night, heated and cold again might have led to oxydation on your SG.

Contact spray (also called Tuner spray, from RadioShack or auto parts store) might do the trick. If that does not seem to eliminate the problem, it's on to the pickup wires... maybe a bad connection. Since it's cutting in and out, I don't think it's a bad pickup, because when those are gone, they are usually dead -no more cutting in and out.

Good Luck!