New Arrivals: September 2020

I think this month is mostly going to be defined by what doesn’t arrive.

  • I’ve cancelled the PRS S2 McCarty 594 SC that I ordered back in January. It’s probably not going to arrive until 2021 now, and I can’t be confident that I’ll have the money to pay for it when it does finally turn up.
  • After months of insisting that it would ship on schedule, Neural DSP has finally admitted that the Quad Cortex is going to be delayed after all. Given the current state of the world, it’s not a surprise. Delivery dates have slipped twice in the last two weeks alone. If this arrives for Christmas, it’ll be quite an achievement.

It’s a good job really, because the car needs some repairs. Whether or not those parts arrive this month or not remains to be seen. [They did not – Ed.] Right now, it’s a really bad time to be repairing or replacing pretty much anything.

Callahan Vintage T Model Bridge Assembly

I’ve been delighted with the sound of the Squier Esquire that I bought last month. This is a budget guitar (even cheaper than Fender’s Mexican-made Player series) that can quite happily hang with any Telecaster I’ve got.

It’s certainly worth spending a bit of money on some (necessary!) upgrades, so I decided to go full hog and grab one of the best aftermarket bridges around.

ProAnalog Devices Manticore v2 Overdrive Pedal

When it comes to notable Klon klones, there aren’t many left that I haven’t tried. ProAnalog Devices Manticore is one of those remaining few. And it just so happened that the Manticore was one of the few interesting (to me) pedals to popup on the second hand market this month.

I managed to snag the Manticore v2 in a very hard to photograph drab green. It arrived very quickly (thank you!) and I’ve had about a week with it so far.

I’ll link to the First Impressions once I’ve written them up. If you can’t wait, the tl;dr is that the Manticore v2 is not a viable klone, but it is a very good tweedy / borderline fuzzy drive pedal that works really well with every guitar I’ve thrown at it.

New Arrivals: August 2020

Going into August, it was shaping up to be another quiet month for new (to me) gear.

While the second hand market on eBay UK has picked up (a bit) in the last couple of weeks, I’m just not willing to pay what’s being asked. There’s a growing trend of sellers listing second hand gear for more than it originally sold for brand new. I’m still seeing buyers piling onto the same items that I’m interested in, too.

Did I get anything at all? Read on to find out.

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First Impressions: Websmufer’s Champ Drive Pedal

Long-time readers might well remember me raving over a pedal I called the Little Pink Wonder (LPW for short) over on my personal Twitter feed. (As far as I know, it doesn’t have an official name). That’s a high-quality clone of a boutique boost pedal, and the clone is made by a local pedal builder and sold directly on eBay UK.

Ever since I bought the LPW, I’ve kept an eye out for his stuff on eBay, and tried to win as many of his pedals as possible. Well, except for the fuzz pedals, because fuzz isn’t my thing, and traditional fuzz pedals don’t go well with the dirty power supply we have here in the Welsh valleys.

The Champ Drive is the latest of his pedals that I picked up. From the name and control layout, I was expecting a Lovepedal Champ clone. How did I get on with it? Read on for my First Impressions.

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Tone Stacking: Using Another Pedal To Shape The Fender MTG:LA’s Sound

In my opinion, Fender’s MTG:LA pedal is a bit of a conundrum. I think it’s got just the one sound, and if that sound doesn’t work for you or your rig, the pedal’s EQ controls can’t save the situation.

I love it with my Strat and my Tele. I don’t like it anywhere near as much with my Les Paul.

Thankfully, we’re not limited to what the MTG:LA can do on its own. We can give it some help, in the form of a second pedal to shape the tone a bit more. And I’m really liking the results.

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Studio Diary #21: Homemade Shelving For My Amps

In February, I decided to change the layout of the room at home that doubles as my home office and home studio. It was a good decision. Now I just have to work through the consequences.

There isn’t the same amount of space for my amps as there was before. I needed new furniture to put them on. In a world of metric measurements and largely imported furniture, amps and their dinosaur imperial measurements are a very awkward fit. I wasn’t able to find anything in the shops that would suit.

I had to make my own. And, partway through, the pandemic lockdown started.

This one’s a bit of a long read, as much about the story as step-by-step instructions. If you’re interested in making your own, I hope you find it useful!

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