New Arrivals: November 2021

You know the old joke about how you wait ages for a bus, and then three turn up at once? It’s been a bit like that with second-hand gear.

Five of my bucket-list items turned up on the second-hand market this month. I could only snag one of them. The three guitars and the amplifier were well outside my budget atm, and the only sensible thing to do was to hope that they bring joy to the people who have bought them. It just isn’t worth going into debt for a hobby, not to me anyway.

What was the one bucket-list item that I did get this month? And what else found its way to the Hermit’s Cave? Read on to find out 🙂

Apple HomePod mini Stereo Pair

I love listening to music while I work. I also love being untethered while I work. If I want both, I need to find a set of affordable but (at least) tolerable wireless speakers to beam music to while I work.

Apple advertise the HomePod mini as having “room-filling” sound. They’re small, and a pair of them costs about as much as a brand-new pedal. On paper, they seem to fit the bill.

Do they live up to the marketing, or do the laws of physics apply even to Apple? Here’s my First Impressions.

VS Audio Royal Flush Dual Overdrive Pedal

This is one of my bucket-list pedals. It always sounds great in every video I’ve seen about it, no matter the guitar used or the amp it’s gone into.

Unfortunately, they’re also pretty rare here. It’s taken months of waiting, and then two turned up on the second-hand market at once. Yay!

Now that I’ve got one, was it worth the wait? Or is it just another King of Tone? Here are my First Impressions.

Schaller M6 180 3×2 Locking Tuners In Black

Back in 2013, when I bought the replacement Warmoth neck for my Charvel, I put a set of Gotoh tuners on. While they worked, I never enjoyed using them. Seeing as the guitar was going into the shop to have the Polymath fitted, I figured that I might as well upgrade the tuners at the same time.

Why did I go with Schaller? Reportedly, they make the Fender-branded locking tuners, and I’ve been very happy with those. This time around, though, I needed a 3×2 arrangement, and I wanted black tuners to match the rest of the guitar.

So far, so good. I’m finding them much nicer to turn than the old Gotohs that I’ve had for the last 8 years. The real test of these will come over the coming months and years, as I use them both for tuning and when it’s time to change the strings on the Charvel.

Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Telecaster Bridge Pickup

Last month, I dropped an Antiquity into my blackguard Squier Esquire. That was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year. It transformed my fun little go kart of a guitar into a great sounding instrument.

So much so, that I’ve decided to do the same to my other Squier Esquire. That one’s a 60’s vibe (3 tone sunburst, laurel fingerboard). Thankfully, Seymour Duncan make another version of the Antiquity that’s aimed at that the 60s era.

Is this going to be 2 for 2 with the Antiquities? Here are my First Impressions.

Gravity Vari-Tilt Studio Monitor Speaker Stand

Late last year, I got myself a pair of Focal Shape Twin studio monitors. Since then, I’ve been struggling with the amount of desk space that they’ve taken up. It’s become a real problem for me because my music gear is in my home office, and I can’t really have it spilling over like this.

I’ve grabbed myself a dedicated speaker monitor stand, to see if I can get one of the speakers to stand beside my desk. Will it work out? Here are my First Impressions.

More Universal Audio Plugins

UAD plugins are like DFS sofas: only Theresa May pays full price for either. (For those of you who don’t follow UK politics, Theresa May is a former British Prime Minister known for her horribly-racist Hostile Environment and for being an absolutely awful negotiator.)

UAD make a Fender Tweed plugin, and I just happen to now own an actual Fender Tweed Deluxe amp. So I’m curious: does the plugin sound anything like the real thing? I’ve heard opinions either way, so I figured that I should really hear it for myself.

While I was there, I took advantage of the sale to pickup a noise gate that I’ve had my eye on for some time, plus both Neve and API console emulation plugins. I’ll write a lot more about these soon. (I’ve promised Andrew I’d write about UAD, so I’d better get it done!)

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