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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Current Gear and History

Current mood: peaceful

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-Fender Acoustic (pic):

This was my first guitar. It was bought for my older brother many moons ago, and remained in our bedroom gathering dust for many more moons. It wasn't until the end of the summer holidays 2004 that I randomly decided to pick it up, clean off the dirt and have a tinker. I had no idea what to do; I just played. To this day I firmly believe it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. Nothing else since, even love has came close to the shear honest thrill of playing and creating music. For three hours every day, for almost two years, I wrote endless days of music, happily.

-Fender Squier Strat (pic):

This was my first electric guitar, bought from my cousin for a whole 100, including a cheap little Kustom amp that sounded like a tin of pissed of bees, typical for a beginner. My tastes in music started to change when the Squier came into my life. I began listening to joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Metallica, Slipknot, all the classics. I learned how to tap, shred, sweep, all the mods and scales; everything. I wasn't particularly great at them, but I could do them. I spent hours learning Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold solos from Total Guitar magazine, playing everything super-slow and carefully, gradually building up speed and confidence. I became the best young guitarist in my entire town and school.
This guitar is currently going through a complete revamping. I have replaced the stock pick-ups with excellent Rock Monkey Hot Texans. The tuners and hardware, excluding the bridge, are all now top-of-the-line in quality. The neck has been cleaned up, straightened and all fret buzz has been removed. It plays and sounds beautifully now. I'm trying to save up for a complete refinishing as well. But that's not a necessity right now. It still is a great guitar no matter how it looks.

-Epiphone Les Paul Custom (pic):

This is a pretty banged-up, shitty guitar. I've had it for a long time now and treated it very badly. It hasn't had a proper servicing in years. In fact, I've never serviced it. The frets are popping off, the pick-ups are caving in, the volume pots and pick-up selectors are scratchy, the action is buzzy. You name it, it's got it. But for some reason
I still play it. In drop-D through my Soldano it roars. It's not worth selling either. I'll probably get it fixed up properly one of these days so that it plays and sounds as well as a Gibson - an easy feat, to be honest. I regret buying this guitar in many ways, but it's my baby. I can't change that now.

Telecaster made by my brother (pic):

My brother made this all Mahogany Telecaster for a school exam in around 2005. He received very high marks - the best in his class, in fact - and it cost our parents quite a bit of money for the parts. When it was finally finished, I thought, because Tom, my brother, had already 'given' me his acoustic, he'd also give me the Telecaster. Well, I was right, he did. But it wasn't playable. The neck was so narrow, the high e and low E strings kept falling off either side, making it very frustrating to play. I also regularly cut myself on the frets, as they were sharper than a razor blade. It was very disappointing to me. I don't think Tom cared.
I decided, years later, to have it fixed up. The frets were filed down, the electronics were re-wired and the action issue was fixed. But the most troublesome issue could obviously not be resolved. To do that we would have to attach a completely new neck, something I wasn't willing to do. This was Tom's guitar. He built it. Whether it played well or not wasn't as relavent as the fact that my brother built a guitar at the age of 16. It doesn't get played anymore.

-Maverick F-1 (pic):

I don't really use this guitar these days. It is a good instrument, but I didn't really take very good care of it. Frankly, I never do. I bought it because I had read some amazing reviews regarding the company and their guitars, and because I wanted a Floyd Rose bridge for the dive-bombz and elephant noises. A year after owning the guitar, I grew out of it. I might block off the bridge one of these days, or wait until it grows in price, get it fixed up and sell it. Maverick have 'gone under', so to speak, so their instruments are gradually becoming more and more rare. However, this was a treasured instrument when I was learning my chops. I have endless videos of me sweep picking as fast as I could with the Maverick wrapped around me. It was a shredders dream guitar. It's just a shame my dreams of shredding were gradually fading into sludge and doom.

-Ibanez Apex 2 (pic):

I bought this on-the-cheap from a guitar store in York in the April of 2009. It had a few problems with it, but felt smooth and comfortable in my hands. The amp they let me play through was super hot and saturated (can't remember what it was), so it gave me an inaccurate audio description of the pick-ups, as, when I returned home, I found them to be incredibly weak in comparison through my Soldano and Vox. I soon found out that they were PAF pick-ups, models that are renowned for blues and vintage tones, NOT heavy rock. It has treated me relatively well so far since then. The tuners suck hairy ballz, and I don't like the scale length (25.5"), but unless I can find a replacement set of tuners in the right colour (metallica satin), they'll remain as they are. I'm thinking of putting a ceramic Warpig in the bridge and an alnico Warpig in the neck, both from Bareknuckle. That should give me the grunt I need. It, along with my Epiphone, is my main guitar. I've owned a number of seven strings throughout my time, but so far, this is the only one that has stuck with me. Because of that I might never sell it. We'll see.

-Amplifiers to come-

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