The 2017 ReWind Electric Summer Gear Giveaway is ON now! (FREE PICKUPS & MORE)

Discussion in 'Vendor Classifieds' started by cooljuk, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    You guys are putting up some fantastic entries, so far! I'm really impressed and I'm honestly very very excited for the oprotuni


    It's not a talent contest. The real purpose of the video is because it will make my job of building a system to bring your guitar's voicing in line with your sonic goals more effective. I'm not a wonderful player myself. I'm just an ok hack. Beyond that, I have a GREAT deal of respect for ANYONE who is willing to play publicly, regardless of their level of skill. It takes guts and sometimes guts is enough.


    You guys are all doing great so far!
     
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  2. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    I'll decide how long I want to let it run in a week or two. I want to get a feel for the volume of entries. Most likely 60 days, like last year, but I'll make an official announcement of the closing date for entries in this thread and I'll make it in a big bold font so it's obvious.
     
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  3. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Bump because it's dead around here lately.
     
  4. DotStudio

    DotStudio Senior Member

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  5. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Member

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    I figure I might try my hand at entering. Try not to judge my playing too harshly; this certainly wasn't my best since I was just noodling around trying to give some sounds out of the guitar. Also I don't have access to very good recording equipment, so the audio quality certainly isn't anything to write home about, but I did the best I could with what I had. Link to the video:



    ---- A list of your basic signal chain gear (pickups, guitar, gain stages, amp, speakers, cab)

    Right now I'm using a 1988 Gibson B.B. King Lucille that's been converted into a more traditional ES-355 (the f-holes, a refinish in a thin transparent nitro cherry, and a few other things). It is, however, a bit different from a standard 335 style guitar because it has a roasted maple neck and ebony fretboard, meaning it's going to sound naturally brighter and snappier overall. All the electronics are stock in it, with the pickups being a set of Bill Lawrence Originals from around that time. I was using a set of Wolfetone pickups for a while (Marshallhead MKII bridge and Dr. Vintage neck, both with sandcast A4's I put in) that sounded quite good in this guitar, but they currently reside in a Les Paul Custom and suit it pretty much perfectly, so that's where they'll stay. I'm using an Orange Crush 35 from around 2010 with stock Warehouse speaker (I believe it's their take on the Vintage 30) and no pedals, but I normally gig with a Handwired Vox AC15 combo with a Celestion Alnico Gold that's far too loud for bedroom playing along with a Bearfoot Arctic White Fuzz, Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver, and a Wampler Tumnus.

    ---- A brief description of what you like and don't like about your sound
    Things I like:
    - These pickups have a lot of harmonics to them, which is a must have for me.
    - They probably have the best (and one of the few) sets of A5 magnets I've ever really loved. They're not near as scooped as most others I've used.
    - When I play in the middle position at just the right level of gain and volume, especially through my Vox, these pickups get this wonderful sound that has the perfect balance of woody and vocal. It basically sounds like it goes quack inside an old empty whiskey barrel.

    Things I don't like:
    - Both pickups are woolly sounding once I get beyond light gain. This can be problematic, as I really need a lot of individual string separation because when I'm playing with my band (a power trio setup) I have to play a lot of big chords, so I really need to hear every note in them.
    - The neck pickup in particular gets pretty boomy, and no matter how much I've messed around with the height of the pickup or screws nothing has seemed to fix that.
    - Even with the Wolfetones rolling down the volume didn't do much in the way of cleaning up my sound, which is bothersome because I much prefer to do as much of the work at my guitar as possible.
    - Not a whole lot of touch responsiveness from these, which I think is because they're potted.
    - I can't go to 10 on the volume knob with the bridge pickup because it gets very shrill and hurts my ears quite a lot.

    Basically what I'm after in my sound is a very crisp, woody neck pickup and a similar bridge pickup tone but with just the teeny tinniest bit of "umph" behind it to give it a bit of a figurative sing. Lots of string definition is a must for me, because like I said I play a lot of big chords with a respectable amount of gain from time to time. Harmonic content is another big thing I'm after, though from everything I've seen of your pickups that certainly won't be anything to worry about. The last thing I'm definitely after is A4 magnets, as I've found after trying a few different pickups with those, A2's, A5's, and one A3 bridge, the A4's were my favorite in all pickups.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  6. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Just a quick note, though I'm best known for my Gibson style work, I work on ALL guitars and electric string instruments. Feel free to enter with any guitar type.

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    So, go ahead and challenge me with a tough project. I welcome those with enthusiasm!
     
  7. kboman

    kboman Senior Member

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    Planning what to play and keeping my fingers crossed for the baby to allow me to actually play it :D
     
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  8. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Member

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    Just a quick question: you said the winners won't be picked based on quality of playing, but does audio quality play into effect? I know my entry's audio and video wasn't very high quality, but I was wondering whether or not that's a total deal breaker for me.
     
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  9. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Good question. Your submission is just fine, man.

    Though I'm not going to specifically hold A/V quality against anyone's entry, there must be a minimum level of sound quality for me to accurately hear what's going on and do my job as best as I can. Your entry, Dr. Strangelove, I would say is just above the minimum sound quality level needed for me to hear what's happening with your rig and interpret that, along with your descriptions, into a product package that will give you what you want. Yours is fine, Dr., but everyone else should aim for at least this level of sound quality, if not better. :cheers:

    If the signal to noise ratio, camera mic compression, or audio/video file compression of the upload was any more severe, than I would have a very hard time hearing what's what with a useful level of detail.

    Phone camera videos are just fine. Here's a few tips from me on making phone camera videos sound as good as possible:

    Make sure the recording settings on your phone are set to the highest possible setting. I checked with a couple friends in the phone industry and they tell me that any phone with a camera on it sold in the last 3 or 4 years should be able to record 720p video, if not better. If you don't have separate settings for audio and video quality, the audio quality is likely tied to the video quality settings (just like in YouTube) so recording at higher video resolutions, in that case, will result in higher sound quality, as well.

    Make sure your audio isn't clipping. Record a quick test file, using the loudest playing volume that you expect to play in the actual recording. Play it back and make sure it's not distorted (by the phone mic), and also make sure it's not half as loud as other professional commercial files you play back on your phone. If your phone/camera has an audio "limiter" or "compressor" or "sound leveling" feature, turn that off for the best dynamic range. If you need to move your phone further from the amp, that's better than using the phone's compressor, as long as the phone isn't so far away it sounds washed out like the music outside a concert hall before you get inside. A little natural room sound is fine but if you have to move your phone too far, it's probably better to just turn down your amp a bit.

    Set your phone/camera on something stable, rather than having a friend hold it, if possible. People have a tendency to put their thumb over the mic on the phone, not knowing where the mic physically is. Also, as you move the phone around (even a little) in relation to the amp, you'll get a phasing or comb filtering effect that can be distracting (this happens on Norman's Rare Guitars videos all the time).

    When you are doing the work of getting the file off your phone and onto your computer and uploaded to YouTube or whatever, make sure you don't degrade the quality with file compression along the way. If you send the video to yourself in an email or message, it may compromise the quality with automatic file compression that you don't have any options to disable. Best to use a USB cable, transfer directly, and avoid any editing, if possible. When uploading the file to your host of choice, be sure you select the highest video quality possible, as it will likely alter the audio quality along with it, otherwise. YouTube is notorious for taking a phone video and compressing the heck out of it during conversion to their site, so pay attention to the video quality settings. Recording in a YouTube native file format can help, in the same way, if that's your host of choice.

    That's all I got for phone camera recording tips, I think. The cool thing is that most consumer gear, even phones, from the last few years has pretty decent quality, even when compared to pro equipment from 10 or 15 years ago. If someone's video is such bad quality that it causes trouble for me hearing what I need to hear, I will let them know and not just silently rule them out. You have my word.

    James
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  10. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    I didn't know you were pregnant. Congratulations! Maybe a guitar with a belly cut would make it easier? :rofl::fingersx: :cheers2:



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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  11. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Member

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    Thanks for letting me know! I used my computer to record (I believe it's around 6 years old now), but I probably would've gotten a bit better results if I'd tried my phone instead, because I imagine by this point it has higher quality audio and video recording. I'll keep that in mind for future recording purposes, though hopefully I'll at least have a basic recording setup soon.
     
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  12. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    Okay, figured I'd take a crack at making a video. I submitted this PRS last time there was a contest and I've maybe played it once or twice since then. This is the best PRS I've ever had my hands on, plus it's something I inherited after my father died -- I want to love it, but there's just something a little dull/sterile about it. I'd been thinking about someday finding some honking, low-output, microphonic PAF-style replacements and ditching the 5-way for a blend pot, but James laid out some really cool suggestions last time around. I made a video, comparing the PRS with my wife's SG, which is loaded with Wolfetone Marshallhead MKIIs and sounds a lot closer to what I'd like:

     
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  13. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Your Silverface is the perfect complimentary amp to your wife's SG with the Marshallheads, Krakerlak. That sounded great!

    I hail from the land of PRS, Maryland, so I've had maybe a thousand of them pass through my hands over the years. They all have some quirks in common and that neck pickup placement on the 24 fret versions is one of them. I have a little trick for that and SGs (for the same reason) that makes them sound more like they have a neck pickup, instead of a bridge and middle. I have another trick for fixing the volume/bass drop when you split coils. Basically, I've got some great ideas for yours. Should you win, we'll talk more about that.

    In fact, if I can, I'll give everyone who enters my advice for their guitars like last year, whether they win or not. So, in a way, everyone who enters gets something. :cheers:
     
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  14. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Member

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    That's a gorgeous PRS you've got there! My dream guitar is actually a plain maple top semi-hollow Custom 24 with a DGT style knob setup, coil splits on each tone knob, a 3 way selector, 2 f-holes, and a swamp ash body. I absolutely love every guitar they make; they sit very well on me because I'm such a small guy and every single one I've ever played has been flawless. I especially love the current trem system they use on their regular Custom 24s, and I've never liked most trem systems.
     
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  15. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    Thanks, man! I haven't had a chance to try any of the newer PRS models, but I've played a lot of '80s-'90s ones. I like your Lucille/355!
     
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  16. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Member

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    Thank you! I definitely recommend trying some of the new ones out, especially ones with their 59/09 and 58/15 pickups. Those are actually some of my favorite PAF clones around, especially the 58/15s. The 5-way blade system is also really nice and ergonomic, but my only gripe about it is that they use the inside coil for the neck pickup for the split in position 2 and it sounds a bit too similar to the inside coil from the bridge just because of closeness-- basically like 2 middle pickups on a Strat, whereas the outside coil on the neck would be more like a neck pickup on a Strat. That's just a personal gripe though; they're absolutely flawlessly guitars in terms of fit and finish. I have a lot of respect for Paul and the work he does.
     
  17. kboman

    kboman Senior Member

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    :D

    Nah, it was done the usual way with my wife doing the pregnancy thing. It seems the baby has inherited my day/night cycle tendencies so when she finally goes to sleep I'm way too tired to play guitar in any meaningful capacity. I'll just have to persevere anyway one night!
     
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  18. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    I think, if you put a low output PAF in the neck, that Teisco pickup would work well in the middle position.
     
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  19. Xrun Morzov

    Xrun Morzov Senior Member

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    That's really nice when wife understands your hobby! Mine is a professional musician and besides playing domra (Russian national instrument she is pictured on my avatar with) also plays bass (she has a monster 6-string Yamaha). We actually met in the cover band I was playing at that time)))
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  20. Xrun Morzov

    Xrun Morzov Senior Member

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    That Alnico 5! Can it be made in humbucker housing?
     
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