This month is a tale of two eras: before land war in Europe, and after the war started.
My plan was to get Hedgehog back in action, and (if they came into stock) pick up a couple of things I felt I needed for some planned recording. And that’s how the month started.
Then Putin launched his invasion of a democratic European nation, while willy-waving his nuclear arsenal at the rest of the world. While we’re almost certainly safe from major consequences ourselves, I decided to bring forward my major planned purchase of the year anyway.
Bare Knuckle True Grit Telecaster Bridge Pickup
There’s no easy way to put this. I’ve barely played Hedgehog since I dropped the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II picking in it. It’s a well-made pickup, it’s just not for me. So it had to go.
I went with the Bare Knuckle True Grit simply because it was the only Telecaster bridge pickup that was actually in stock at my local shop. They had several pickup sets, but this was the only one available on its own.
Am I going to be happier with this pickup, or is the search going to continue? And what’s the True Grit like? There isn’t a lot of information about it online. Here are my First Impressions. There’ll be several more blog posts soon, comparing it to some popular Telecaster bridge pickups.
MXR Timmy Overdrive Pedal
Although I’ve had a Timmy v2 pedal for years, it’s not one that I use regularly. Thanks to the True Grit bridge pickup, that’s about to change. Only thing is, my pedal’s developed a fault, and no longer works reliably.
Second hand Timmy’s have become both rare and highly sought-after, as they’re no longer made. It simply made much more sense to pickup a second-hand MXR Timmy instead.
How does it compare to the original pedal? And will it fulfil the role that I need it to? My First Impressions post is coming soon.
Fender The Bends Compressor
Did you see my recent blog post taking a second look at the Wampler Paisley Deluxe pedal? While writing that post, I realised that my beloved Forest Green Compressor is far from being tonally transparent. Useful at times, but not for every situation.
So I took the opportunity to grab what might just be the most boring compressor pedal on the market, Fender’s The Bends. I’m good with boring, for what I need. But is it too boring?
The short answer, sadly, is ‘yes’. For the long answer, you’ll have to wait for my First Impressions blog post.
Assorted Two Notes DynIR Cabs
When it comes to impulse responses, I’m very sorted for tweed tones. But if I want to record a more Marshall-like amp, I’m not quite there with those yet. I decided to take advantage of a Two Notes sale, to try out some 4×12 virtual cabs.
I went with the Friedman Collection on the strength of this demo by Michael Nielsen of Big Hairy Guitars. I loved the sounds he got from them. If they sound crap here, the problem is clearly going to be how I’m using them.
Phil X Signature Collection
While I was there, I decided to pick up Phil X’s set of cabs too. He’s a professional musician who I admire a lot. He comes across as this larger than life character, and then when you see interviews where he’s talking about the craft, you get to see how much he respects it. And he sounds awesome, thanks (in part) to the small collection of cabs he’s built up over the years.
(Some) Pete Thorn Cabs
Pete Thorn is another professional musician who I admire. He’s one of those rare YouTube product demonstrators who can make everything sound great. I decided to pick up a few of his cabs while I was at it.
BHG Alien Set
This set of DynIRs intrigued me. They’re captures of different speakers fitted to one of Steve Vai’s touring guitar cabs. I liked the demo, and I liked how they’d give me something a little different, maybe even a little quirky.
At this point, I’d qualified for a free Two Notes cab. The BDeluxe isn’t a tweed-tone cab, but it is a Two Notes cab that’s used by Paul Drew from The Studio Rats. I figured it was worth adding to the collection.
PRS Paul’s Guitar (2020 Model)
I’ve a milestone birthday coming up next year. To celebrate it, I wanted to get a very special guitar. The plan was to wait until nearer the time, but then land war broke out in Europe, and I decided to act now.
I went with this particular Paul’s Guitar mostly on the strength of this YouTube demo by Peach Guitars. Jack made it sound fantastic … and it was still available to buy. I couldn’t believe my luck.
From the very first note, I’ve felt that I’ve found something that’s special to me. There’ll be a First Impressions post soon, and it’ll be a long one.
Synergy OS Preamp Module
Seeing as I was already ordering the Paul’s Guitar from Peach Guitars, I decided to throw the OS module into the same order while I was at it. It’s the one Synergy module I don’t have that I’m curious enough about.
The Synergy OS preamp module is Synergy’s take on the Dumble Overdrive Special amp circuit. It’s not like any other amp I’ve ever played.
It’s certainly been a challenge to get sounds that I enjoy out of the amp, and at the time of writing, I’m not sure whether it’s staying, or whether it’s going back for a refund.