First Impressions: D’Addario XT Strings For Electric Guitar

Every now and then, I like to try some different strings. Just because I’m happy with my current choices, that doesn’t mean that other strings won’t be great too. I always preach about having options, and sometimes that can just be from how a different set of strings changes a guitar.

I grabbed a set of D’Addario XT 9s and a set of XT 10s (both for electric), and put them onto a couple of guitars to try for the very first time. How did I get on? Read on to find out.

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New Arrivals For May 2020

It’s been the second full month of lockdown. eBay remains quiet, partly because sensible folks are reluctant to head out to post parcels, and partly because eBay has been limiting their discount sales fees to once a month.

The blog’s been quiet too. I’ve had some other things in life to deal with. So many basic, run-of-the-mill things are difficult-to-impossible to resolve when most of society has shut down. It’s one thing to know it, it’s quite another thing to experience it first hand.

Here’s what’s arrived this month. Spoiler alert: it’s all really good stuff, and there’ll be full First Impressions blog posts for each of them soon.

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Studio Diary #20: How Am I Going To Hear All Of This?

With the home studio revamp,

  • I’ve addressed my lack of preamps
  • My Synergy rig is now back up and running
  • I can easily patch in any of my affordable pedal platform amps
  • I’ve got a way to play (rather than just program) drums
  • The signal chain’s now in a sensible order
  • I’ve bought so, so many cables

… and I’ve revamped the layout of the space, as part of improving the vibe. It feels like the end is in sight, at last.

I’m not quite finished yet though. I need to add a set of studio monitors to my setup.

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New Arrivals: April 2020

I wasn’t planning on making any purchases this month.

With the UK firmly in pandemic lockdown, the second-hand market has massively shrunk. There’s not a lot of gear on sale right now, and some sellers are going to find it difficult to ship gear out to buyers.

The plan was to concentrate on actually putting my gear to use. When I tried, it was clear that a couple of things needed sorting. That, and conversations about gear helped convince me to pickup a very special indeed.

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New Arrivals: March 2020

This will be the last regular “New Arrivals” for the time being.

Partly thanks to the UK Government following scientific advice that was based on an outdated model of the wrong disease, Britain has failed to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus before it became widespread. We’re heading for a lengthy social lockdown (at best), with the serious economic hardship that inevitably follows.

Don’t worry, the blog’s not going anywhere. It’s just that there’s more important things right now than buying guitar gear.

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Choosing A Gibson Les Paul

Yes, Gibson the company has a knack for bringing bad publicity on itself (to put it mildly). If you want to boycott them, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a Les Paul. There’s still plenty of great second hand Les Pauls out there to choose from.

Either way, there’s a lot more to buying a Les Paul than simply clicking ‘Buy Now’ on an online store, or buying one from your friendly local guitar store. And, in my experience, the same advice applies to Les Paul-like guitars made by other companies too.

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