Pros: Fantastic well made straps made to order. Very personalized and great attention to detail!
After contacting Brad, I was pleasantly surprised at how interested he was in making me a custom strap to my liking. We talked and decided to make my strap using patches from my 26-year career. All of the patches have some significant meaning to me. The 83rd patch was my first unit, the 95th patch was my final unit. The 13th Air Force patch was where I spent a lot of my career. The Master Sergeant patch was the highest rank I attained. The patch from Osan AB was significant because I met my wife there in 1982. And the Saudi Arabia patch was where I was deployed for three separate 120-day tours to the desert!
After Brad received my patches, he immediately went to work on a few different layouts so I could decide what order I wanted them in. I was amazed at his enthusiasm and excitement over my project. He had the strap made incredibly quick and on its way to me!
But, let’s get to the good part. The Well-Hung Shock and Awe strap is THE BEST strap I’ve ever owned. It has a nice amount of padding so it’s super comfortable. The back has a very nice suede that keeps the guitar in place and never allows it to slip around. The D-Ring set up is super easy to adjust! I just could not be happier!
Pros: Extremely convincing Mid to High Gain amp tones. Has a complete and wide range of tonal capabilities (just like an amp would) with Volume, Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, and Presence controls. Has an easily programmable Boost or Gain function. Also has Toggle Switching allowing for even more EQ possibilities. Only $129 for a Two Channel functioning pedal.
Cons: Only uses a A/C powered 9v Power supply (not included). Must choose between being able to use the pre programmable Boost or Gain during two channel function.
Two things: 1) I don't need to say a lot about this pedal. That's because Sinvertek figured out how to make a compact pedal with more features thatn any other pedal I've come across in a long time.
2) I was not familiar with Sinvertek. So far, with some minor tweaks, I can get this pedal to sound just how Pete promised; I could make it sound like his signature PT 100. I could also make it sound like a Victory VX Kracken amp.
Using a Grosh SSH Retro Custom into a Bogner ATMA, I could literally have two very unique Marshall DVA style of modded amps. I prefer using the preprogrammed Boost as it adds about 3dB of Volume so my leads just leapt out of the mix. Rather than bore you anymore, here's a Demo by Pete Thorn that just does this pedal justice:
Pros: Great neck profile, looks and plays fantastic. love the 2 and 4 position, Not really a 1 3 5 guy. Workable knobs to get a good sound out of any position though. Has the Strat quack. Feels real solid. Comparing it to other Strats i have owned, this one sounds better, feels better, and plays better. I've had some nice made in USA ones, but they never did it for me (well, maybe one did, but this still feels better)
Cons: Fret edges are a little sharp, my tech thinks it is not so bad, and will get better as the wood spreads out. Not a real issue, as i really never notice it, but it is the first thing i check for. Really wish it had the big headstock. Main issue, is no case. or gig bag. At this price point, i would expect a case. If it came with a bag at least, it is a 5 star guitar.
They always seem to ask......So yes, if someone stole this, i would buy another. Unless i could find the person that stole it, and beat them senseless with it. This seems well built enough to take the beating.
I would recommend this to anyone, who, like myself, isn't really a Strat guy, but would like one in their arsenal to play around with. At this price point, you can't go wrong. I love the wood grain. It is damn near perfect.
Pros: Great finish, fit, weight and tone. Comes with a killer pink lined Gibson Harshell Case and built in dust cover. Comfy neck size and the Mahogany wood used for the body has beautiful grain.
Cons: The Mini-Humbuckers are not for everyone, but you can easily swap out the Mini's for P-90s to get that vintage rock sound that Marshall Stacks love. Some may not like Weight Relief bodies.
I've owned two of these in my lifetime (both Gold Tops). The first one I bought was when they first came out in 2000. I loved the tone of Johnny Winter's Mini Humbucker Thunderbird, but I lalso loved the look of a Gold Top. So I bought and gigged the Deluxe for 2 years. But then I had to sell it to a super happy kid a few years later since after our first child was born the missus asked me to start reducing my collection But then I was forutnate enough to find a second one recently that was in immaculate condition, 8.7 lbs and had absolutely no wear or scratches on it as it was a Closet Queen. And for $2100, these guitars have seemed to keep increaing in value as more players realize they are a great value, build, that they have a unique yet familiar sound and they are just top notch guitars.
I personally think these are "sleeper" guitars. First, everyone I've either seen with one or based on the two I'vwe owned has been built with such detail. For example, all the binding was perfectly smooth around the edges. The frets were dressed, the buffing left no "Orange Peel" signs, the Rosewood Fretboards were moderately dark with very nice grain patterns and the Mohagany bodies (with Gloss Finish) had some of the best grain patterns of any Gibson's of any era IMO.
The best part is that I can use the Deluxe in a band with another guitar player that uses a Standard LP as the Mini Humbuckers stand out just enough (especially in the Bridge position) as it has more "bite" to the tone, and when set in the middle position, you get more of a Tele type sparkle. And using my Tone Control, I can roll off the high frequencies of the Neck Pickup and get a nice Jazz Tone and excellent lead tones when used in conjunction with a Fuzz.
Pros: - Phenomenal sound when played gentle
- Looks great
- It's a Les Paul
Cons: - Miserable out of the box setup
- Fretbuzz when played hard
- Ugly fretjob
The finish beside the fretboard itself is marvelous. Fretwork quality is questionable, had polish residue around the frets and has fret buzz when played hard. Out of the box setup has way too high action and still does buzz when played hard.
Pros: Great feeling, sounding, lasting and playing strings. They make standard sets for Guitar (Acoustic too) and Bass, or they will make you custom sets at no extra charge. They have 6,7,8,9 & 12 string guitar sets as well as Baritone, single and bulk sets. Their Customer Service is AWESOME.
Cons: Expensive ($11.99 per 6 string set of "Signatures", and $14.90 for the "Broadway" strings).
Today I'm reviewing Stringjoy's 9.5-46 gauge "Superlight Plus" strings (Gauges: .0095 – .013 – .016 – .026w – .034 – .046) that I use on all of my Telecasters. Now a quick note before I start; Belonging to a few musician's forums, I am always looking for the "small details" that can impact and improve my overall tone. Of course strings (and picks) have shown to play a big role for me in that category. But over the years, I also learned that this industry is full of big promises only to find that the price tag has nothing to do either with the quality (or lack thereof) of a string or with how a business is actually run. Subsequently, my string choices have occasionally let me down (physically or ethically) just when I needed them most. But not with Stringjoy.
It was about 2 years ago when I found my supplier of strings to have fizzled out (story for another day). I was beginning to worry as it was clear I needed to find another source that was (list not in any order):
2) Felt good to the touch
3) Held tuning after bends
4) Sounded great
6) Lasted more than a few hours of heavy playing.
(And I was willing to pay a bit more if I could find something that lasted longer).
So I searched "The Gear Page" and I found out about Stringjoy. The reviews were glowing (almost to a fault) but I figured that a company that's been in business for some 6 years had to have it together. And if you were not a good music company making strings in Nashville......everyone would know. So, I went on the website, found what I wanted and a few days later these arrived.
I noticed a few things right off the bat. First, they came in great packaging. Second, they came sealed in plastic . Third, there was a "Rewards" card inside that I would soon find out would reward me if I continued to use Stringjoy strings. Now the first guitar I put them on was my '63 Fender CS Telecaster (Ocean Turquoise). Note: In my younger days, I'd run 10's on my Tele's, but some mild arthritis has set in so I had to drop down to 9.5's so I could play with a lot less pain during a gig. Here's a shot of my Tele.
The Stringjoy website says this about the 9.5 set:
"These are going to be perfect for anyone who wants the fullness of a set of .010s, but with the flexibility of a set of .009s. With this set, you can bump the size up just a little bit without having to commit to a full leap. And if you think about it, your shoes come in half sizes, so why shouldn’t your guitar strings?" And they were right. The first thing I noticed after I strung up my Tele was that the strings felt as though I had sprayed them with some Finger Ease. My fingers glided up and down the E, A & D strings with such comfort. Then I noticed that after playing some double stops, whole step bends and other classic Tele licks that the strings held tune beautifully. I usually play my guitars for about a half hour before gigging with a new set. With the Stringjoy's, I didn't have to put nearly as much effort into pre-streching since they held tune so well within a very short period of time aftet I strung them up. After a while of using these strings, here's the actual review I posted on their website:
"Been playing/touring in working bands (original & cover), doing session work and teaching for a long time now. Over the years I've used a lot of different strings. While a lot of string companies make some real good products, Stringjoy Strings have such a great tactile feel, they stay in-tune (especially after major glisses/bends/dives/vibrato movements) and they seem to have a longer lifespan than other strings I've used while maintaining a great balance of lows, mids & highs. They sound great on P90's, Humbuckers and Single Coils. And if you look you'll see that here's just too many 5 Star ratings to ignore the fact that everyone else trying them loves them as much as I do. Do yourself a favor and just buy one pack of Stringjoy Signatures. Then use your own ears & fingers to see how your guitar & amp reacts and notice just how easier they are to play versus other strings".
Now I'm using the Nickel Wound "Signatures" that are $11.90 per set, (and I know that can buy you two sets of Ernie Ball Nickel strings). But EB's are not for me just like Strat's are not for some; it's a personal choice. Stringjoy also offers Pure Nickel strings called "Broadways" for about $3 more per set. Some may find paying $14.90 for a set of Pure Nickel Strings is not worth it and I have yet to try them as they are a relatively new offering from Stringjoy. But I plan on ordering a set and adding a review in the near future. I highly recommend you giv e them a try too!
Pros: Most powerful pedalboard 10 Band EQ on the market, super user friendly, upgradable software, programable, multiple routing options, AC or DC operation, easy to see on a dark stage and sturdy build.
Cons: At $250, it's a bit spendy for an EQ pedal. Not as many pre-sets as the Boss EQ-20. That's all I got in this category.
If the Boss EQ-200 looks a bit familiar, that because it takes on the same type of "look" as their "EQ-20" style pedal. That said, this Boss EQ is in a much smaller housing, with a ton of powerful options & features. It covers a nice wide band of frequencies at 30k, 60k, 120k, 200k, 400k, 800k, 1.6k, 3.2k, 6.4k, and 12.8 (That includes 11 positions per slider). It also has a total SPL output range from -15 to + 15 dB.
As mentioned in the "Con's", there are only 4 presets. But I've got to be honest here and admit that I only use 2 of the 4 presets right now, and I can use a 3rd pre-set to get a "Cocked Wah" sound for one or two lead/rhythm parts from songs on our setlists. So for me, I still have one extra "preset" that once I have a chanch to gig this thing, I may finally figure out what to do with it.
So this thing is EASY to use, and with the adjustable LED display you can really set this on the fly so long as you have a gppd grasp on what frequencies you want to bring out in your guitar, as well as what frequencies you don't want as accented. There's two push buttons for switching channels or storing presets into the memory (all with corresponding lights to differentiate between the functions). The two footswitches also activate the bypass function and can be used for cycling through presets. It's very easy to save settings:
1) Press and hold the memory button.
2) Use the memory footswitch to scroll to one of the open preset locations.
3) When you reach the EQ you want, press and hold the memory button again.
*Confirmation of the preset being saved comes via a red light that will blink).
Now the sliders are not Motorized, so they don't move when you change presets. It's the display screen that indicates the preset EQ curve and that is very important when you’re onstage and don't have more than a second or two to look at the preset. The preset changes are very smooth and immediate. Note that the display screen first shows the name of the memory location; M-1, M-2, M-3, M-4.) before displaying the EQ image. This requires you to have to remember the preset names. (I plan on using a Label Maker to for that). It might have been nice if they gave the option to see the EQ Curve first as that seems a bit more intuitive when you know what type of preset you need. But that's just me.
The early verdict: After using thre EQ-200 with a '66 Fender Princeton Reverb and my '62 CS Fender Strat, I found this EQ to be able to shape my tone in a way that far exceeded my formerly "always on Xotic EP V2 Boost (set a noon). With the EQ-200 I could highlight the sparkle of my Strat for Rhythm parts or really beef up the bottom end and mids of my Bridge pickup. And when I hit the Bypass switch, I certainly noticed that the overall tone of my Strat sounded like a blanket had been thrown over my amp. With places like Amazon or Sweetwater Sound (both have great retun policies) I highly recommend this tone shaping pedal as the worst that can happen is that it's not for you and you can return it. OTOH, this pedal could replace a couple existing pedals on your board depending on how you use it.
Pros: She's well worn, and feels wonderful in the hands
Between the 6-way toggle switch and various push/pull switches, the tonal possibilities are endless
She has a "shred" and "chug" mode rather than a "rhythm" and "treble" mode
She goes to 11!!!
Cons: She has definitely been dinged up over the years, which isn't everyone's cup of tea
This guitar is my baby, and as you can tell, I've put a lot of time into customizing her
Pros: Incredible take on the "Tweed" iconic sound. Very flexible with included Boost and the "Soul" channel just nails that Extra that you want. Most beautiful and authentic Tweed covering possible.
Cons: Not enough people can have / experience this amp. But those that do get the additional blessing of dealing with Don, who is just the nicest guy.
I came to MLP initially because of the Squawk Box sub-forum. I was interested in the builders, and wanted to learn to build an amp for myself. Don provided valuable support and encouragement on my path to successful building. But I wanted something that I was not quite ready / able to do for myself.
This Tweed 12 was exactly what I was wanting. A vintage-looking and sounding lower-powered combo, with a perfect mix of features and sounds. His Soul channel is a beautiful sound, all on it's own.
I didn't just jump off the cliff, sight-unseen, into a purchase from "someone on the internet". I had met @Malikon and seen / heard his Soul Tramp custom made amp head in person. While that steam-punk beauty was not "my" sound, it was a fabulous example of amp building and more than enough proof to me that Don could provide what I was looking for.
And it was a perfect fit with his Tweed 12 product. I really like the character of 6V6 power tubes, and with the Soul channel, Bite and Boost switches it has more sounds and more flexibility than any strictly "vintage" amp available.
I'm a hack guitarist. But I want my gear to not be the reason if I sound "less than stellar". This Tweed 12 makes the sounds I make incredible, even if the musicality is "dubious". It actually encourages me to play more, because I can get lost in the tones (and finding them), and I hope that leads me to more practice / eventually improving as a player. Let me say that a different way : this is gear that Makes ME Better than I am on my own.
And the vanity of it all. I want stuff to "look the part" - and this just DOES. Don puts so much effort into his builds. The Combo is better constructed than what you find on the shelf anywhere. And his Tweed covering ? There is only one way to describe it : "Yummy". The extra effort he puts into the Shellac job just screams "this is a serious piece of "Vintage" gear" - but built for today. Honestly, I'd buy it on cosmetics alone (I'm that shallow ?).
Don is a great asset to MLP. Very easy to deal with as a Vendor, and his product just excels in quality. Buying something that you can't go out and try first requires a certain "leap of faith". Don gets around that by providing good pictures and demos that really gave me confidence that I was making the right choice. But really, even the unboxing exceeded my expectations. Packed impeccably, and shipped quickly, it arrived perfectly. And included a wonderful custom Cover to keep this beauty protected.
I can honestly say, if a "boutique" amp experience is what you are looking for, this is it.
Pros: Perfect. Sounds great and has a nice weight balance. Plays like butter.
Cons: No neck pickup....... but I knew that going in!
I was searching for a Gibson from my birth-year 1960. It wasn't going to be a LP Standard $$ so I opted for an affordable Gibson. I was searching for a '60 with a '59 neck profile but they are rare and I would've had to import without playing the instrument. I settled for a slim neck carve and it's not too small. Same timbers used on the 'bursts' except for the maple cap ofcourse. Tremendous value for money.
Pros: Sounds fantastic. Plays brilliantly now it's been re-fretted.
This is the only Les Paul that I own (discounting a LP Jr) and there's a reason for that - I'm a 'Strat guy'. I have ten of them and several PRSi. This guitar however is amazing. The luthier who performed the re-fret was amazed by the rare rosewood in the fretboard.
Pros: Gorgeous Italian Leather, beautifully crafted with tons of custom options. Super responsive staff and great customer service. They have sales every once in a while offering up to 45% off and they have a Loyalty Member Club that earns you discounts on future purchases.
Cons: Because of Ethos' popularity and the fact that each strap is handmade, it can take about 4-5 weeks lead time until delivery. Some guitar strap prices (depending on strap, style and custom touches) can exceed $250+ but they do have straps starting at just $70 (with the current 45% discount).
I've got to admit that I have a bit of a Guitar Strap problem; I believe that each guitar I own requires its own "special" strap. Of course that would be OK if I didn't own over two dozen guitars as I'm too attached to each and every one of them. At first (and in the imortal words of Don McLean "A long, long, time ago") a guitar strap in my opinion was just a means to an end.
I didn't care anything about a guitar strap as long as it kept my guitar on my body. Getting paid at the end of a gig was my ONLY priority in those days. Then after several years of being in a pretty popular band in my area, (the early 80's) two things occured; I saw one of my Guitar Heroes with a strap that made me rethink my outlook on straps (Stevie Ray Vaughn's musical note guitar strap) and I had a strap come off at the botton of an LP Standard and a big dent resulted. That did it for me. And that's where my journey started. Fast forward to today, and my "go-to" strap company is Ethos.
Here's a shot of some of the Ethos straps I purchased:
When I received my first Ethos strap last year, it was that smell of fine high quality leather that first caught my attention (it's akin to the smell of the interior of a new Gibson Les Paul's case in that the LP's Nitro finished goodness that's been trapped in the case oozes out and overwhelms the senses). The next thing you notice is the quality of the feel of the strap; it's soft, pliable and stitched perfectly. They are almost to the point that they feel "broken in" making it so easy to gig with brand new. Ever had a cheap leather strap edge cut into the side of your neck during a gig? I have.
Then (and this is a biggie in my book) the hole to accomodate the strap locks (or end pins) are cut just right so you don't have to struggle by tugging, twisting or using a screwdriver to push the edges down so the strap lock or strap pins fit nicely. They're firm enough for those that don't use locks and only use the straps pins on the guitar. *I highly recommend strap locks though, especially if you gig a lot, as no matter what strap you use, (save from Eddie Van Halen's contraption), the strap pin openings will eventually wear and you might just drop your guitar.
The dyes Ethos uses are all so vivid in color that the straps really catch the eye and the final waxing just give them a beautiful luster. Also, the website is set up so you can check out all their straps close up from multiple angles, as well as add customization (your name, band name, initials, symbols, etcetera) when you find the strap that you want. I also love the adjustable option as I have certain guitars that require longer or shorter strap lenghts. They come in 2.5", 3" and 3.5" widths and adjust from 45" to 56". In all they currently offer 82 different strap styles, so you'll have a lot of fun finding the perfect strap for your guitar.
Even if you think a strap costing more than say $30 is a waste, I'd like to counter that opinion with this one thought: There's something about having a "special strap" for that one guitar you have that you love. And whether you have a vintage '59 LP, or a '54 Strat or a Norlin era or new SG Standard, Ethos Straps has a "legacy" strap that will add that final touch of pizzaz to your current #1 or future NGD that will have you showing off in no time. It's like adding a beautiful tie to the new suit you bought
Pros: A variety of possible sounds via push pull knobs, stunning finish that works well with the quilt top, neck size is a 60 style that feels nice to play on. Locking tuners, light for long playing, the naturalahogony finish on back is lovely, caramel and blue go well together
Cons: Not traditional, light af, heavy gloss finish, sticky neck, easy to scratch, mine doesn't like lighter gauge strings, included case main strip is rather shit compared to old gibson cases, ability to swap pickups is gonna be costly and need most likely complete rewiring
Its bright and has a nice bright bite to it when you have a bit of gain and rip that g string down into a bend.
The neck is rather sticky to me, but im coming from fender finishes and esp satin finishes, its not terrible, but took some getting used to.
The finish is stunning both front and back, and itl hold tune
All in all if you come into this guitar expecting a classic Gibson Les Paul, you will be somewhat disappointed, if you come into it like me not having ever owned a classic Gibson, youl probably love it.
Its not a "Classic" its its own breed, and if yoir willing to give it a fair shake like i did you'll find its a rather fun instrument
Pros: Fantastic, usable amp, cab and effects simulations
Extremely flexible/configurable design
Easy to use software
Cons: Steep learning curve
I've been using the AX8 with great results since the fall of 2018. I found the initial learning curve steep as the product is so deep and the design so flexible. I also has some bumps getting comfortable with the live sound but once I discovered the Atomic CLR (with Neo speaker), I was very, very happy with the overall sound, feel and performance.
The AX8 comes with a huge variety of amp models, cab simulations, awesome effects. You can configure it for use with any kind of music for country to jazz to classic rock, funk/r&b, death metal, hell, Lithuanian Yak chants, if that's your thing It can also be used in a wide variety of setups from recording to live performance into FOH, monitors, or even guitar amps.
It also provides interfaces for up to 4 expression pedals, two sets of stereo outputs, MIDI and S/PDIF interfaces too.
The hardware's user interface is rather deep and can be intimidating. It's a bit clunky, IMO but with the free software that Fractal provides, you'll be working on your sounds in no time.
I highly recommend the AX8 for overall realism, utility, flexibility, power and a very stunning array of effects. I would caution people who are easily frustrated with technology; there may be other modelers more suited to them.
Here's a little video I did using the AX8 on four guitar tracks (Strat, Les Paul and Danelectro guitars were used).