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  • Guitars

    Anybody else play? Show off your shit! Guitars, amps, whatever. Or just talk about some shit you USED to own, don't anymore, and would kill a whole busload of nuns with a hatchet to be able to have it back in your hands again.

    My very first amp was a little Peavey Bravo 112 1x12" combo. I think it was about 25 or 35watts, loaded with two EL84 and three 12AX7 tubes, probably originally built sometime between 1985 and 1989, not sure. I think I paid around 300 or 350 for it back in 1995. From what I've seen online, if you can find one in a used music shop these days, they typically go for about 250 to 300. It's ALL TUBE! WTF! It was a terrific sounding little amp. Came loaded with a Eminence made 12inch speaker, I forget the exact model number/name though. Drawback to it was that it didn't have a headphone or line out jack. It had two outputs on the back, one to plug the speaker into, and one for an extra 4ohm extension speaker out. I ended up taking the thing back about a week or two after buying it though because the spring reverb tank on it was apparently bad. When I played it in the store, it was leaned back against a wall the whole time. When I got it home and set it flat on the floor, it began squealing like crazy any time I'd turn the reverb up. So I ended up taking it back and trading it in for a Crate GT80 DSP Tube/MosFET hybrid amp. It was a "decent" sounding amp I guess, but it wasn't pure tube (kinda close though). Without a doubt, THE MOST UNRELIABLE COMBO AMP EVER MADE! I had to take the damn thing in TWICE for service while it was still under warranty. And then about a month or two after the warranty was up, it broke down AGAIN. I never got it fixed.

    Had I known then what I know now, I would've KEPT that damned Peavey amp. A bad reverb tank? Pfft, so fucking what!!! An easy fix anyone can do themselves. There's probably no way I'll ever come across another one of those amps in a used store anywhere in Georgia ever again.

    If by some chance I ever did find another one in a local store, I'd wanna do some research first and see how hard it would be to mod the thing to add a line out jack to use it for direct out recording. I don't do live mic recording with guitars, it's just too expensive and complicated. I use mostly old rackmount gear which is perfect for stereo direct recording with something like Acid Pro.

  • #2
    Apologies for the image quality, these are pretty old pictures taken with a shitty webcam on my old Win98 machine back in probably 2008 I think.

    Probably the coolest pedal I own. An old circa 1970's Morley phaser pedal. My dad bought me this pedal for about 65 bucks for my 16th birthday. For a kinda rare vintage pedal like this, that was a total steal. I had played it on 2 or 3 prior occasions at a local music shop and fell in love with it. Nobody else had taken a 2nd look at it because it was huge, ugly, and has a 2prong AC cord - whereas most folks want a 9v powered simple stompbox I guess. Their loss.

    By the time I got to be college aged, I did a REALLY stupid thing and hocked it along with a Boss Super Chorus stompbox pedal for 25 bucks each, 50 bucks total. What did I need the money for? Beer and strippers. FUCKING STUPID! I hated myself for years afterwards. But by chance, about 5 or 6 years later I was in the same music store buying some rackmount gear and I asked the guy if he had the foot controller that went with it. He began looking through some drawers behind the counter filled with assorted pedals he didn't have room to display in the case... and there sat my old phaser pedal. I was amazed they still had it. Apparently some guy from the band Collective Soul had rolled through and tested it out a few weeks before and was getting ready to buy it before he found something else he liked better. Could've been a bullshit story to sell me on it, but it wasn't needed, I wasn't leaving without it. I ended up buying it back for 75 bucks. So it was kinda like a 6 year 200% interest loan with the pedal as collateral.

    This pedal is not as clean sounding as straight stompbox phasers, but it's an authentic 70's vintage phaser pedal, so the sometimes staticy hiss is actually a good thing in my opinion. This thing can do things no other phaser pedal can though. When it's bypassed, the expression pedal acts as a volume pedal. When it's engaged, it has switchable auto and manual modes. In auto mode, the pedal controls the speed of the phaser effect, but in manual, you can rock the pedal to control the sweep like a wah pedal, which gives a lot of options. It has 3 knobs on the side to tweak the sound. Phase Travel (aka intensity), Center (where the center peak of the effect appears in the overall sweep), and Harmonic Emphasis (aka feedback). If you dial the feedback and intensity way up and use it in auto mode, you can create some really wacky spaceship sounds. If you tweak the intensity and feedback just right and set the center towards the top end of the sweep, then put it in manual mode and use your foot to control the sweep, you can get some really weird broken wah pedal sounds with it. I've even used it in tandem with an old Vox wah while I sat in a chair and alternated the sweeps with both feet to create some crazy and unique sounds. You can also set the feedback pretty high, then rock the pedal into one position and leave it to use the pedal as a EQ filter, which can get some interesting Dire Straits tones or make it sound like your guitar is some kinda weird bastard child of a guitar and a glockenspiel.

    But alas, a few years back I left the thing plugged in for a few days with the power switch on and I guess something in it burned out. Hopefully one of these days I can get around to taking it somewhere to get it back in working order again.


    • #3
      Things I don't own, probably never will, but a boy can still dream...

      Probably my favorite amp of all time. The Marshall JCM900 100watt head. I've tested lots of amps, and this one is my favorite. I'd even personally rate this one above the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier simply because it's a simpler amp. They made these back in the 90's, and as far as I could tell, they were just hotrodded versions of the previous decades legendary JCM800 series, which in my opinion, didn't have quite enough growl and scream to them when played through the dirty channel. This one's perfect though. Not too little, not too much like Mesa Triple Rectifier, juuuuuuust right. Currently I'm using a Marshall JMP-1 rackmount preamp, which can really only achieve a sound "close" to the JCM900 head, and it gets even closer when I use the JMP-1 preamp into a massive Peavey classic series poweramp loaded with buttloads of 6L6's and 12AX7's, but it's still not exactly the same. Apparently a lot of the pros who use the JMP-1 as their preamp have the unit modded and hotrodded for more gain and more flexible EQ, but... I'm not about to spend the kinda money it takes to have that done to it.

      When I was a wee little fucker-plucker, I had a copy of the yearly Guitar Buyers Guide that one of those guitar mags put out every year. Among the pages, I saw one picture of a guitar that gave me an insta-boner and still does to this day.

      From what I've read recently, it's a one of a kind guitar built by some Russian luthier back in 1994 who now works in the Fender Custom Shop doing nothing but the most obscenely expensive custom work they ever have orders for.

      1994 Yuiry Angel.

      I mean... MY GAWD! It's not a guitar, it's a fucking work of art! You don't play it, you look at it and talk sweet to it and make blood offerings of spotless lambs to it every equinox. I mean... holy shit.

      And this beautiful piece of musical art can be yours for the low low price of about six thousand dollars once you factor in tax and shipping and whatever else (according to this webpage where the owner has it for sale). Which... that's actually not too terrible in my opinion. I've seen some of the brand new Gibson Les Paul 59 reissues that are selling for 10 grand. The Gibson BB King signature Lucille models are going for upwards of 6 grand now. And those are not one-of-a-kind.
      Last edited by Focalor; 01-17-2017, 07:12 AM.


      • #4
        I had a mini Marshall half stack that was about 6 inches tall and ran on batteries . It was pretty good for what it was.

        this thing

        I prefer Ampeg w/ boss metal zone pedal.

        I had a B.C.Rich Warlock once that weighed like 1006 lbs and would sustain forever. It was a really sweet guitar but, way too heavy.
        Last edited by MadGypsy; 01-18-2017, 08:15 AM.


        • #5
          Haha! I remember seeing those things years ago. Those and the a bit larger but still small little portable battery powered Pignose amps. Supposedly Randy Rhodes recorded a few things on one of the 2 Ozzy records using it. Never had a chance to try one myself although I would've liked to have had something small and portable like one of those 2 things. I used to have a little automotive cigarette lighter plug DC to AC converter that I'd use on camping trips in the mountains. I'd run my guitar into my rackmount Digitech preamp/FX unit then run a cable and an adapter into the aux jack on my aftermarket Aiwa stereo in the trucks dash and scare all the wildlife away. A ridiculous setup and it meant I had to stand by the truck with the door open, but it worked.

          I've got a Boss MT2 metal zone as well. All the Boss boxes are virtually indestructible, love em. I rarely use it though. Not a distortion box user anymore, I stick with distortion from my rack amp preamps for all that 100% of the time now. Had a DOD Death Metal for a while too, but it was garbage. Hated it. Cheapish housing, didn't sound tight and focused like you'd expect a solid state metal distortion pedal to sound. Had WAAAAAY TOO MUCH signal boost and gain to it to where it would feedback and squeal before you'd even dial it up to 7 or 8.

          BUT... if I was gonna get another distortion type of pedal, I'd kinda like one of those big ugly military green Big Muff Pi reissue fuzz pedals that made a comeback back in the 90's. Dunno if they still make them, haven't seen them anywhere for a long time. I think they were originally made the early 70s and then rereleased in a nearly 100% authentic version and then a cheaper plastic non-germanium transistor version, but both were AWESOME! It got some really nice buzzy classic Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper tones.

          Never had the same experience with BC Rich myself. My first electric was a used 1984 Mockingbird. One piece poplar body, bolt on poplar or maple neck, classic big R pearl logo on an angled headstock with 6-on-1-side chrome Grover tuners, Fender style 1way trem bridge, 2 hum pu's with 2 vol 1 tone and 3way toggle. HOT FUCKIN PINK. Oh yeah, gotta love those CC Deville looking 80's guitars. On the phone, the guy told me it was a wine red finish, but then I got there and was like "WHAT THE FUCK MAN, are you blind!?!" But I had been looking all over the entire state for a Mockingbird, and it was only one I could find. I figured I'd repaint it one day but never did. Anyway... HORRIBLE sounding guitar! No sustain at all, probably because of the horrible bridge and shitty polyplastic looking nut. Also has your typical overseas thick-as-fuck polyurethane finish which always completely DECIMATES the natural tone of any guitar. I ended up putting huge fat jazz flatwound .12 or .13 strings on it just because it's the only way it sounds even remotely musical. One day I want to completely strip the finish of the neck and body and leave it bare naked to hopefully add some life to the tone of it. I tried using sandpaper and my bare hands to take the finish off several years ago, but it was a major mistake. It took me 12 hours or more over 2 or 3 days just to do a small portion of the body back and it ended up rubbing spots into the wood.

          Thought I had some pics of it uploaded somewhere but I can't find them at the moment. Maybe I'll dig out a digicam and snap some more later. Ooooo she's ugly enough to stop a clock though.
          Last edited by Focalor; 01-19-2017, 01:56 AM.


          • #6
            Found it. See? Looks like shit. Once I used gentler chemicals to strip it down bare, I'd probably have to sand the entire back with a belt sander to make that look less awful.

            See? Wine red my ass! Dunno what kinda koolaid based toilet wine he'd been drinking, but that don't look like no red wine I've ever seen.


            • #7
              I can tell you 2 things for a fact

              1) that is wine red. I know what you expect it to be and I can't describe what makes that whine red, I just don't have good words to explain it but, that color is correct.

              2)get it dipped. Find some company near you that strips woodwork (doors, windows, etc) and pay them the 10 bucks to dip that thing. NOTE!! Dipping it MAY cause it to fur. You can just sand it once it completely dries to remove the furring. If you don't wait for it to completely dry before sanding it will fur worse.


              • #8

                wine red... painted it myself. Your wine red is basically identical. Mine is a little different because my pic was taken with a flash.


                • #9
                  Nah, it ain't wine red. I have a zillion different catalogs from lots of different guitar makers, and any of them who have any models available in what they'd call a "wine red" or something similar are always a dark red to maroon color. This is either hot pink or some kind of candy red. I can't even tell you what the name of the finish is because BC Rich doesn't even know. I've emailed them on 2 or 3 occasions trying to find out the year it was produced, and they apparently don't keep records of serial numbers. They've told me 1985 once, 1984 another time... and I'm gonna assume 1984 is correct since the serial starts with 84xxxxx.

                  Dunno what dipping is, but no, not gonna do that. If the neck joint were to take paint, the neck would sit higher in the joint and it would screw with the intonation. I've grown to be pretty anti-finish anyway. In my opinion, any solidbody electric guitar sounds better when the bare wood can breathe and vibrate without a shell of thick multi-layered paint and clear coat. The drawback is the wood gets zero protection from scratches and dings, and it has no shell over it to prevent the wood from splitting when it gets a few decades old, but I don't really care about that shit. As long as it sounds good NOW.

                  What I really had in mind was stripping it bare, then maybe staining it a dark mahogany brown, and using 2 strips of tape from the neck joint to the tail to do a slightly lighter brown racing stripe kinda thing like the old classic late 70s Mockingbirds. No gloss or clear top coat though. It probably still wouldn't sound great. And it's 25.5 scale 24fret neck anyway. I prefer a 24.75 22fret neck like a Les Paul. I have other projects planned for other better guitars that I actually bother playing.

                  Got a new Les Paul before xmas that needs all the cavities done up with shielding paint. I wish to fuck Gibson would pull their heads outta their asses and start shielding the damn things. PRS does it. Plenty of other high dollar US brands do. And every Les Paul I've ever picked up has always had that annoying hum to it when you arent touching any metal parts on it.

                  Still need to figure out what strings I'm gonna always use and then do some setup shit. They come hand setup from the factory, and it was super low action with almost no fret buzzing, but now that I've played all the newness off the strings and got them settled in, it's buzzing more and killing the sustain. I have a pretty hard attack, so I usually take a higher action anyway.


                  • #10
                    dipping is the reverse of what you seem to consider. Getting it dipped would remove all that coating. Hoeever, you brought up a good point... in reverse. If you dip it and it furs you will have no choice but to sand it and that could create a shit load of problems with the neck. If that neck saddle furred you would be very screwed. You would probably never get it back right. Actually I wouldn't even sand that part.


                    • #11
                      Didn't know this until recently, but Gibson is starting to use a new method for the controls and electronic connections in many of their Les Paul models, and probably in their SG's, Explorers, Firebirds, and Flying V's too. All 4 of the control knobs are on one single PC board, and the switch, pickups, and output jack connect to the board with little plugs. It's great for quick and easy removal of all the components without having to unsolder everything, but it makes customization a bit of a problem. I have the Gibson Burstbucker Pro's, and if I wanted to swap them out for 490's or 498's, Gibson sells them with those quickplugs. But let's say I wanted stick a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates in there, or a super hot ceramic DiMarzio,... I don't think it's doable without cutting the plug off the existing Gibson pickup and figuring out how to wire the pickup to the wires on the plug, IF it's even possible. Furthermore, if you want one or both pickups to have push/pull knobs for coil tap, I guess you'd just have to buy 4 all new pots and rewire everything. Not sure I appreciate this particular Gibson "innovation", especially since they've STILL neglected to shield everything properly to get rid of the ground hum.


                      • #12

                        Speaking of built-in...I had some version of the above POS. It was awesome and terrible all at the same time. It was actually pretty loud for what it is but, of course the sound was total shit for anything other than a Ramones style punk. At one point I came across a shitty DOD pedal*. I gutted it, duct taped the guts to the back of the guitar and hard wired it to the internal amp. It was still shitty but, it was a much more fun version of shitty.

                        *I think it was an American Metal pedal.


                        • #13
                          Don't really play anymore... but I have a Jackson Rhoads. I never really "learned"... just dabbled. Still, I got a killer deal on that guitar which I couldn't pass up at the time.


                          • #14
                            When I started playing electrics as a kid (early 90's), I was a huge fan of the more "metal" guitars, particularly BC Rich. I liked the wild evil body shapes they had like the Mockingbird, Rich Bich, Warlock, Stealth, etc. Not the Ironbird though. I think Trey Azagthoth from Morbid Angel has a couple of Ironbirds that he's played for years. Fucking UGLY guitar! Ugly as homemade shit-on sin. Looks like a drunk ninja throwing star.

                            Never got into the Jackson's though. Especially the Rhoads V's. That asymmetrical wing thing it had going on always kinda reminded me of the butt ugly BC Rich Ironbird. I sort of liked the look of the King V's because they were just an evil sharpened version of the Gibson V. But playing them? Hell nah. If you're standing, it's probably fine. But if you're sitting, it's impossible to play them comfortably.

                            Which is kinda like a cosmic karma kick in the balls, because one of my biggest complaints about my '84 BC Rich Mockingbird is the exact opposite problem: the fact that it's uncomfortable as fuck to play it standing. Sitting is fine. It has a nice long curve that sits firmly on your knee. But due to the larger kinda Fender Strat looking headstock and the poor placement for one (or both) of the strap buttons, the neck kinda has to be held up by your fretting hand rather than it just hovering there. That means your fretting hand is not as free to move quickly and effortlessly into different positions for chord or scale position changes and it makes your left hand tired after just one song.

                            That's probably something newer players or less knowledgeable players don't think about when shopping for a guitar, but absolutely SHOULD. Before laying down money for a guitar, ask for a strap or go grab one off the rack. Strap that thing on and then jump up and down and juke left and right. If the neck stays pointed up in the proper playing position without moving at all, it's balanced good and it's gonna play easy when standing. If the neck wants to shift to stay parallel to the floor or even point DOWN to the floor, put that piece of shit back where you found it and walk away.

                            Anyway, speaking of my old shitty BC Rich Mockingbird, I've decided to give the refinishing thing a 2nd shot. Spent some time this weekend getting everything off of it. The first time I attempted to remove the ugly pinkish finish from it, I just used some sand paper and my bare fucking hand, no sanding block (cuz I'm fucking insane I guess). And from what I've read all over the web, you... "can"... remove a polyurethane or polyester guitar finish with nothing but sandpaper, but you'd have to be fucking insane to do it that way. It'll take FOR-EV-UR. Apparently the proper way to do it is by using a heat gun (basically a really overpowered hairdryer that'll burn the fuck outta your head if you're dumb enough to use it as one) and some kind of flat blade to peel the softened polywhatever off in chunks when it heats up. So... hopefully I won't set the motherfucker on fire. Not like another 84 Mockingbird will be easy to come by if I fuck this up.

                            I haven't really firmly decided what I'm gonna do with it yet. It'll really depend on what the wood looks like underneath all that shit. If it's just a nice one or two piece body, I'm gonna sand the whole thing down to bare wood, then stain it a dark brown walnut color, and then seal it with a minimal number of coats of some type of non-poly lacquer. I don't want 10 or 12 coats of clear that'll buff to a gloss shine, just something that'll be barely thick enough to protect the stain job and seal out sweat and oil and whatever from playing it. But if it's one of those cheapy Japanese puzzle-piece jobs where they glued 8 different gnarly scraps together to make the original body blank before carving, then it's gonna look like shit if I leave the wood showing, so I'm just gonna say fuck it and paint it a plain black.


                            • #15
                              I've used heat guns plenty, you aren't going to "accidentally" set your guitar on fire. Just heat up the coat til it starts to bubble and scrape it off while it's hot. You could probably do it without even putting a burn mark on the wood, much less setting the entire thing on fire.

                              Personally, I would start by getting a pretty big area heated up and then focusing all the heat on a smaller area while scraping it. If you get your temps and timing right it could be like "mowing the lawn".

                              I used to refurbish vehicle headlights. After sanding the factory coat off I would heat the headlights up to some completely ridiculous temperature* before spraying it with xylene. In the hundreds of headlights I resurfaced I only melted one.

                              *I forget the actual temp but, I want to say it was 160. It might have even been 190. I want to say this is correct cause I remember heating old impala headlights to 210. You have to get the plastic super hot before spraying it with xylene or it wont properly smooth out the micro-scratches from sanding off the factory coat.

                              Anyway, the point was actually that getting those temperatures required a sufficient amount of time. You would have to hold the heat gun pointed at one spot for a hell of a lot of minutes before the wood combusted. Just scrape the coat before the coat starts to burn and that shit will come out perfect.

                              Mix the stain in with the lacquer. It will make your job a hell of a lot easier and it will look more consistent. Thin the lacquer for the first coat and use a brush.
                              Last edited by MadGypsy; 01-30-2017, 02:06 PM.