New Arrivals: December 2020

I had a plan for December: keep an eye out for outright bargains or ultra-rare pedals on the second-hand market, and spend more time enjoying what arrived last month.

Then, when writing up my Annual Review blog posts, that all changed. Looking back over the last 12 months made me realise that there was an obvious problem, and I needed to sort it out. So, I have.

I hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. We filled our house with music, and it’s what gets us through these historic times.

DR Strings ‘Rare’ For Acoustic Guitar

I dug out the Auden – my gigging guitar – for the first time in months, and boy did the strings sound dead. Seeing as I’m not going to be gigging any time soon, I figured that this is a good time to experiment with some different strings.

Kristi’s recently been on a journey through different strings of her own this year, and DR Strings’ ‘Rare’ pack have become a firm favourite of hers. They sound really balanced on her acoustic guitar.

Will they suit the Auden, and my picking & fingering technique, or will I be swiftly returning to my strings of choice, Optima Bronze 11s? I’ll let you know in the First Impressions post.

Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive with Fat Bee Mod Overdrive Pedal

Regular readers will know that Mad Professor’s Sweet Honey Overdrive (SHOD for short) is the pedal I keep coming back to. It’s the pedal that gives me the sound that I’m looking for.

So when I saw that Mad Professor had released their own modded SHOD, as part of this summer’s Custom range, I was in two minds about getting one. Then one turned up on the second-hand market for an absolute bargain.

Have Mad Professor managed to improve on an already legendary pedal, or does the mod rob the SHOD of the qualities that make it so great? First impressions to follow 🙂

Lovepedal Purple Plex Drive Pedal

When I first saw this crop up on eBay, I honestly thought I’d already tried one. Apparently I haven’t, so what the hell, why not?

As far as I can tell, Lovepedal have put out several different ‘Purple Plexi’ pedals over the years. I think this is one is one of the earliest designs, but the history is somewhat muddy, and I could well be wrong on that one.

Either way, despite buying it Christmas week, it turned up with plenty of time to spare to make it into my December round-up. Was it worth a punt? I’ll let you know in the First Impressions post.

Focal Shape Twin Studio Monitors

This one’s a frustration purchase, plain and simple. The Tannoy Gold 5 monitors haven’t worked out for me, and were one of the reasons why I haven’t been doing any recording this year. (They’re not the main reason, it’s important to acknowledge!)

I had two solutions: either add a sub-woofer (and hope that solves things) or go for monitors that don’t need a sub-woofer. I didn’t fancy kicking my shins against a sub-woofer, so I did what I wish I’d been able to do first time around, and bought a set of pro-level studio monitors.

I’m not going to tease here: within minutes, I felt I’d made the right decision. Let me get them burned in a bit, and then I’ll tell you more about them.

Fender Player Stratocaster In HSS Configuration

This was a Christmas present from Kristi. She wanted to get me a guitar for Christmas, and I love my green Player Strat so much, it was an easy choice. Especially as this one’s orange, a colour I just can’t escape in my day-job career.

This one’s HSS (humbucker bridge pickup, single-coil neck and middle pickups), which will give me something different. I don’t think I’ve ever had an HSS Strat before; I’m very curious about how well the humbucker balances against the two single coils.

I’ve modded my green Player Strat quite a bit since I got it. How does it compare to a stock model? And are there any surprises between the two? I’ll let you know when I write up my First Impressions.

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