New Arrivals: July 2021

This month has been a very special month. A couple of purchases I’ve been working towards unexpectedly all came together at the same time. And then I learned that you really do need to be careful what you wish for!

The second-hand market remains pretty flat. I did miss out on one of my bucket-list pedals though. It’s going to take me a while before I stop kicking myself over that one. I managed to pickup another great BJFe-designed pedal instead, so it wasn’t all bad 🙂

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First Impressions: Fryette Power Station PS-100

My new Tweed Deluxe amp is a bit of a dream come true. Being a vintage amp circuit, it’s also a bit too loud for regular use at home. If I’m going to enjoy it, I need a way to turn it down.

My tool of choice for the job? Fryette’s Power Station PS-100. Why did I pick this over the considerable competition? And does it actually do the job? Read on for my research notes and First Impressions.

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First Impressions: Fender 57 Custom Deluxe Amp

I’ve finally done it. I’ve gone and bought an actual 5e3 circuit tweed amp. I wasn’t planning on getting one, but when a different planned purchase didn’t happen, I went for it. And then, by an amazing stroke of luck, the amp arrived months earlier than expected – right when I’ve got a short break from work between jobs.

This is going to be one of the longer First Impression posts. I’ve got a lot of notes to share with you, even though I’ve only had the amp a couple of days.

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Second Bite: NABLA Custom Black Tweed Overdrive Pedal

This photo shows my Marshall DSL20HR amp head on a shelf, and my pedal board on a second shelf below.

The Marshall DSL20HR is on the clean channel, and the controls can be seen as follows:

* reverb: off
* resonance: about 8 o'clock
* presence: about 12 noon
* bass: just below 10 o'clock
* mids: about 10:30
* treble: about 1:30
* volume: about 10 o'clock
* gain: about 11 o'clock

On the pedal board, we can see three pedals: the NABLA Custom Black Tweed, the MXR Sugar Drive, and the JRAD Archer Ikon.
My rig for exploring the Black Tweed, second time around.

First time around, the NABLA Custom Black Tweed overdrive pedal just fell a little bit short of what I was hoping for. While I loved the feel of playing the pedal (honestly, it’s like playing an amp), I struggled with the EQ controls and the lack of top-end presence in the overall tone.

That was last year. Six months or so later, do I still feel the same?

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New Arrivals: June 2021

I’m still recovering from surgery in April, which really limited how much time I could spend with my guitar this month. On top of that, the medical bills came due.

And then I ended up having a second (completely unrelated and unplanned) procedure this month too. I’m still recovering from that at the time of writing.

But I did get about a week in between all of this to try something new (to me).

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New Arrivals: May 2021

Regular readers are probably bored with me talking about the state of the second hand market here, so I’ll keep that brief. Anecdotally, there still isn’t a lot of second hand gear turning up, and (again anecdotally) it’s becoming more and more common for sellers to list second-hand guitars at above-retail prices. eBay has really cut back on its offers this month too, which probably isn’t helping the situation.

This month, though, there has been a number of interesting (to me) items crop up. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to even think about bidding on them because I’ve been into hospital for an operation, and it’ll be July before I’m fully recovered and able to lift amps and guitars again.

I was able to pick up a couple of pedals off my wish list, thankfully. And this month saw the release of a new guitar that’s completely blown me away. Read on to learn more!

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#CoffeeAndKlon 30: My “Last Day On Earth” Rig

#CoffeeAndKlon is my occasional Sunday magazine-style series, where I talk about whatever’s on my mind about guitars, gear, music and yes, sometimes my love of both coffee and the Klon pedal.

If tomorrow was going to be your last day on Earth, and you could spend it playing just one guitar rig (that you already own), what would you be playing?

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Studio Diary #26: Rehearse, Rehearse, REHEARSE!

This year, I’m aiming to record four pieces of original music that I wrote in the early 1990s. They’ll be performed on acoustic guitar, and I’ll be doing the engineering, production and mixing myself.

Four songs on an acoustic guitar doesn’t sound like much, does it? After all, your average guitar YouTuber probably has to bang out at least one piece a week, every week. And this awesome chap is on track to record and upload 100 songs.

So why am I only aiming for just the four songs? And how is it going? The clue’s in the title.

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