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Messages - VikingBlues

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Guitar Talk In General / Re: Input Time!
« on: January 17, 2014, 02:33:23 AM »
Also another factor maybe.

Combine :-

1) a raw material with supply issues and restrictions on supply - ie wood
2) a huge increase in the number of guitars made - for example 2008 has 3 times as many units made as 1999 according to Music Trades Online and  1999 was double 1992. Keep going with that sort of increase in figures back to the last 50s.

Poorer quality raw materials = poorer quality finished product. Garbage in, garbage out. Cuts of wood that would be better suited to making a park bench.

Electric Guitars / Vintage V100 Lemon Drop
« on: October 03, 2013, 09:54:04 AM »
Last time I had a NGD I jumped the gun and posted all about it before I'd had a chance of trying it out and getting to know it properly. As that ended in disaster and egg on face I've waited a bit this time. So now it's a couple of weeks or so since purchase ....

I've considered on quite a few occasions over the last 6 years to get one of these Lemon Drops. I'd hoped one day they'd bring out a non-relic version, but as it hadn't happened in the 7 years since their release I 'd reckoned it was unlikely. The relic job is not great and I'm afraid the relic job on the back of the guitar is awful and I hesitate to upload a picture of that!

At least the relic work on the front isn't hugely noticeable - just not very realistic when you do notice. There are screw holes for where a scratch plate used to be supposedly fixed and screw holes on the back of the headstock where different style tuners were once supposed to be. A plus from the relic aspect though is that there is not much finishing job on the back of the neck and it's very smooth for running the thumb along. It also means I'm not having to worry about dings and knocks which is quite nice. I have also found I've stopped noticing what it looks like already.

Pretty well coinciding with my purchase, but I hadn't seen anything about it until a few days ago - Vintage are bringing out a non relic version! What wonderful timing.  ::)  Thankfully I'm glad I am OK with the relic finish after all.  :)

The hardware including the (out of phase wired) pickups is Trev Wilkinson made. The pickups are his premium make - type of wire, coil size, type and size of magnets etc all from his detailed discussions with Seth Lover, and the covers are solid nickel silver. What I can say for sure is that they have a clarity about them that is not something I've come to expect from modern Humbuckers especially when they're on a huge slab of mahogany like this (10 lbs (4.5 kg) and a thick padded bass guitar strap to save my back!). A sound much more to my liking than the humbucker pickups on the Vintage SG I had for a while a year or so ago - the neck feels better than that Vintage SG too - it's more of a skinny 60s that fat 50s neck and I prefer that.

Things done on taking it out of the box .... changed strings for ones without touches of rust, gave the fretboard some conditioner, turned the screws on the bridge about half a turn to raise the action just a tad. Intonation is fine! I then checked the measurements for strings regarding action, Nut, and Neck Relief. All measurements are within the range I have on my Hagstrom, Strat and PRS - which have all had me do some work on them to improve the measurements. I raise my hat to Vintage for this standard of set up out of the box. Pretty good job on fret ends too - only very slight hints of a bit of sharpness anywhere. I haven't yet checked out pickup heights - but they do seem pretty well balanced - and I like the sound as they are.

The wiring looks very neat and tidy. Pots labelled JS A500 and JS B500, which at least means 500k pots this guitar. Also the Vintage is refreshingly free of PCBs in the wiring cavity. I think JS stand budget in terms of quality but given the overall price I'll not complain anyway.

Whatever, at 275 (325 Euros) I reckon so far that it's astoundingly good value for money.  8)

The other impressive thing:-

Seems like the neck angle coming into the body is around the 4 degree angle that Les Pauls had from 1954 till the late 60s. This means there is only about 1/16" clearance below the treble height thumbwheel on my Tune-O-Matic bridge. The break angle of the strings down to the tailpiece is not too steep. I believe by the time Gibson relocated to Nashville the angle had increased to 5 or even as high as 6 degrees. Just a 1 degree increase in the angle can mean the bridge needs to be 1/4" higher. My Japanese made Tokai Les Paul Custom had that sort of higher angle and I recall having to top-wrap the strings to get the tailpiece flat on the body.

Just seems like this guitar has been put together well with some attention to detail. Which at this price level is unexpected and hugely welcome.

https://soundcloud.com/vikingblues/ballad61-with-a-lemon-drop - Ballad/Rock Blues - with a bit of overdrive. Neck Pickup.
https://soundcloud.com/vikingblues/hard-time-to-drop-a-lemon - Blues Rock - way more than my usual overdrive. Mainly Bridge Pickup which is something I usually avoid. Using the heavy O/D Tweed voice on the Super Champ XD which I also usually avoid.
https://soundcloud.com/vikingblues/aint-no-love-so-have-a-lemon - Mellow Bluesy - more my "trademark" sound - which it seems I can do with this guitar.

I think the Lemon Drop has got the range to suit me.  8)

Guitar Talk In General / Re: Robert is a finalist in Truefire contest!!
« on: October 02, 2013, 06:17:41 PM »
Congratulations Robert - well deserved. Good luck.  :)

Amplifiers / Re: New Amp Day
« on: September 25, 2013, 02:11:56 PM »
Nice looker and very impressive sound.  8)

Seems to be the recipe for an amp getting discontinued!  :(

Amplifiers / Re: Fender Mustang 1
« on: September 25, 2013, 02:09:38 PM »
I've seen good things said on various forums about the Mustang I and very little criticism ... but I haven't used one - I've been rather unimpressed with the Fender / FUSE software when I've had to use it - not necessarily complicated to use but can be to set up, and I'm really not convinced by a lot of the sounds when I've tried it on other amps.

Body of opinion seems good : Amazon 4.7/5, Ultimate Guitar 8.6/10, Musicians Friend 4.5/5.

I know what you mean about the Fender G-Dec 30 - I still have one and use it mainly for playing backing tracks. Trying to get to grips with it at first was not fun, and I didn't find the computer connectivity side of things very user friendly at all. Or bug free. I'm not convinced I like the computer to be involved in playing my amps at all. Used to play guitar through it when I first got it, but the sounds didn't really do it for me.

I'm currently using a Fender Super Champ XD which is good for sound (clean tube channel and tube + DSP voicing channel) and is very simple to use - I'm a bit behind you in age at 58 years old ... BUT I'm struggling more and more with new technology. My previous Super Champ XD developed a fault which Fender found difficult to fix and, as the XD was inexplicably discontinued, they offered me the "upgraded" new Super Champ X2 amp .. that had the "benefit" of FUSE software which for me turned out to be a useless extra function for a very unsatisfactory amp which was soon sold.

You did damn well getting the hang of the GT-6 - I had the Boss GT-8 and, despite purchasing an instructional DVD, it not only destroyed my remaining brain cells but very nearly destroyed my will to live.

Recording Studio / Re: Back to reality!
« on: August 26, 2013, 01:59:06 PM »
Good base to build the song on there. Be interesting to hear the "real" recording when it's complete.  8)

Pub Talk / Re: Japan, sorry to sound like I'm a worry bird here
« on: August 21, 2013, 03:42:26 PM »
Not available for me either (in the UK).

Pub Talk / Re: my friend is going senile
« on: August 19, 2013, 02:05:31 AM »
Horribly difficult - my father suffered from dementia - around 9 months of gradual decline then a very sharp decline and 9 months of hell culminating in 3 months in hospital with a total loss of self and no dignity whatsoever in the situation. We had wandering off, we had going to neighbours to say he was kidnapped, we had multiple versions of close family members in his head - there were at least three versions in there of my Mum who really took the brunt of it in becoming a 24/7 carer at just short of 80 years old herself. We also had him desperate to get home to see his parents - long gone for well over 30 years.

You're so right - it is really hard to lose a friend or anyone close to you with this illness. You do actually feel you've lost them a long time before they die too. The shell that is the body seems to contain a stranger. Very difficult to know how much to humour the person with their incorrect perceptions of reality - I believe trying to distract them is supposed to be best. It all finished about 6 months ago and I still feel mentally drained from it all. If you can find the strength to stick with it - embrace it as Reb says - it is at least the best you can do for your friend.

Electric Guitars / Re: 1956 LP Jr!
« on: August 10, 2013, 10:07:41 AM »
Sounds like a great playing experience!  8)

I'd be worried playing a guitar in that league in case it damaged my love of my own cheap-o guitars.

Electric Guitars / Re: NGD!
« on: August 10, 2013, 10:04:01 AM »
Nice choice - P90s are good and black suits it well.  8)

Most important - it sounds good - enjoy!

Guitar Talk In General / Re: Is it all worth it?
« on: August 07, 2013, 04:03:43 PM »
@Viking Blues: There was not much work. I start selecting different patterns and find one that suits my main riff. In this case the drums are a little bit "off" my picking pattern if you understand what I mean. I just copied the pattern repeatedly for the first part. I did the same for the second part with the soloing, there you hear a much straighter pattern. Afterwards I listen amd insert little fills - not too much just where it suits, for example if the part id like 12x4 long I insert one short fill in the middle and one at the end. Hope this helps... You always have to try out, make mistakes, and then xou get better (-:

Cheers, Johannes
Well - not wanting to waste money on something that doesn't work on my sytem or I can't understand I got hold of an electronic version of EZ Drummer Lite for 1. After struggling with the steps of ordering on the website, setting up an account, getting confirmation e-mails, downloading the software, installing, jumping through the hoops of registration and authorisation with Toontrack, and struggling with getting all my various DAWs to see the program .... it's installed and working. I also, on a roll, got GuitarRig to work with my DAW for the first time.

My nerves by then were jangling somewhat. I quickly did a drag and drop of a few basic rock patterns onto a MIDI track. Did a rhythm guitar part using GuitarRig - immediately forgot what chords I'd used but tried putting some lead and (on the last half) some bass - both through GuitarRig. It's a shambles, partly because it's so long since I played any rhythm and bass!

I take it that if I drag and drop to a MIDI track I could then edit, add a cymbal crash or whatever using the MIDI editing in the DAW.

I'll have a more relaxed play around with EZ Drummer Lite at the weekend. Obviously if it goes well I can then think of an upgrade - with more confidence that a full version will work with my system.

Recording Studio / Re: +++ Strictly Instrumental +++
« on: August 07, 2013, 03:19:10 AM »
Great backing for your lead playing there. The EZ drums do work well and nice work on the rhythm guitar parts. The contrast where the singing lead tone comes in at around 40 seconds is musically very satisfying.  8) Good work making the lead so musical with that amount of overdrive.

No blues isn't always bad news!

Electric Guitars / 1959 Les Paul ( Peter Green / Gary Moore) video
« on: August 07, 2013, 03:14:23 AM »
Video review of THAT famous guitar.

Guitar Talk In General / Re: Is it all worth it?
« on: August 07, 2013, 02:28:26 AM »
Here is a recording made in reaper.


Guitar is a Schecter Hellraiser c-1 Extreme
(Metall Axe - but killer playability and very nice tone - has coil split for neck pu)

DAW: Reaper (Freeware!!)
Drums: EZ Drummer by Toontracks

AMP Sounds: POD HD 500
Post Effects: Guitar Rig (Delay & Reverb for Sololines) - all other rythm guitar parts are just played through the ampmodell: ENGL Fireball without effects
Thanks for posting up this excellent sounding demo Johannes.  8)

You gave yourself a great backing for your lead playing there. The drums do work well - was there a lot of work to set up the patterns they used and was there much needed in knowing how drum patterns work best?

Nice work on the rhythm guitar parts - the contrast where the singing lead tone comes in at around 40 seconds is musically very satisfying. Good work making the lead so musical with that amount of overdrive - that's a brick wall I keep crashing badly into - think it's nearly a year since my last halfway acceptable overdriven guitar sound appeared on a recording.

You're doing well to be able to use a multi-fx unit and get a good sound "out of the box". I've found frustration with pretty well all the multi units I've ever tried with the continual tweaking and adjustments I've had to keep making to make the presets acceptable. The worst offender for that was one of the more pricey Boss units - ended up needing an instructional DVD to work out how to use it best - the best involved a LOT of tweaking ... good sounds at the end of the process but too much like hard work (and too complicated in all the multi function buttons and cascading menu things.  :(

I am tempted by EZ Drummer - though I've years of a lack of much rhythm guitar playing to overcome - I'll need oil with all that rust on my technique.  ::)

Guitar Talk In General / Re: Is it all worth it?
« on: August 06, 2013, 03:16:25 PM »
I suggest you try out Reaper as a DAW and give also ez drummer a try.

you will be able to get good results out of this combo...

I will post some stuff produced with that setup later.
Thank you - it'll be interesting to hear that - I was going to ask you tonight what you used. I did have a wander round a few of your Soundcloud recordings earlier today - I noticed very quickly that you do a good job with clean tones and I'm always glad to find someone else that does some clean playing.  :)

I have had a couple of goes at Reaper - each time for several weeks. I feel I should take to it more given it has a very big enthusiastic fanbase - but I've found both times I drifted back to my usual DAW. Reaper was often giving me far too many choices in set up - and a lot of these choices demanded knowledge I didn't have - I'm afraid I need as near plug'n'play as it's possible to get. To illustrate my dense quality I even got stuck on the opening screen of Reaper - trying to find how to start recording and not realising I needed to create a track to record on first! ... I'm used to everything being there that I need on the opening screen. Unfortunately I've used in three versions effectively the same DAW for the past 6 years or so and it makes hardly any demands on me at all to get it to work well. My ideal DAW is as simple to use as a 4 track cassette recorder but with the bonus of good sound quality.  ;D  My only negative about the DAW I use is that it seems to have a blind spot for seeing Native Instrument software - but having got Reaper to work with the NI software I realised it didn't matter as I didn't like it.

Oddly enough I have an EZ Drummer in my watch list on E-Bay at the moment, but no funds.  :(  Any drum software that I might use would need to have the facility that someone (i.e. me) with no idea of what a drummer does can still put together a decent drum part. When I first started trying to play electric guitar again for a couple of years around the year 2000 my recording method (on a 4 track cassette recorder) was to play a drum pattern from a Zoom machine and play a rhythm part with it. I'd then add "bass" (guitar through an octave down effect back then) and I'd then add what was massively poor quality lead playing. I had no sort of musical stamp to my playing that was my own back then, and could not play what I heard in my head - so it was all vary mechanical and lacking proper melody. I do love using backing tracks as a good one has a musical structure that suggests what a lead line should do and will make that lead sound even better - it should sound like a whole group playing together. If I do my own backing it puts a lot of pressure on the lead guitar part carrying all the interest of the recording which is a tough ask. Doing my own backing track also means it has to be me that decides on the structure of the piece too and I'm not very skilled at that.  Wow - starting to sound like I'm very lazy and unambitious!  :-[

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