Just a day or two prior to my posting of this blog I managed to find someone willing to trade their amp for my ebony colored 2006 Korean made Epiphone Sheraton II. As the title of today's blog states, I received a 2011 Fender Mustang IV modeling amplifier. Sometimes simply asking for what we want will get us what we want. I love it when that happens. Similarly, putting stuff up to offer can work its mojo and lead to favorable results.
For example, the last three times I found myself with a guitar in my collection that wasn't seeing much use anymore I put up listings for them on the sites I like to frequent and drool over gear to see what offers may come my way. And, since I am not desperate to sell I can take my time waiting around for the gear I'm looking for, or an offer I cannot refuse. 1) I traded an Epiphone Les Paul Standard for an Epiphone Sheraton II. 2) Could not refuse the offer I received involving my Hagstrom Swede for a Yamaha SG1000X (the SG1000X is ultra rare and worth twice as much as the Swede, and the gentleman I was trading with was fully aware of the fact). 3) See the title of this blog.
After my wife got me my dream guitar (Gibson Custom Shop Standard Historic Les Paul 1957 Reissue VOS) this last Father's Day (2017), it just didn't feel right playing a guitar of this caliber through a practice amp (Fender Mustang I v.2). Don't get me wrong, it's a fine amp in my opinion. Hell, as you can see, I kept it in the family by graduating up to the IV, which has 2x12 Celestion speakers by the way. Moving on up, I get to keep the tones I love from the I model (Twin Reverb Surf and clean tones, metal tones with Peavey heaviness, and those Marshall high gain tones) while discovering new presets the IV is loaded with. But when it's all said and done at the end of the day, I have to admit to myself and anyone who endured reading this far, that this was a case of "size matters." And it's all good, I'm ok with that. Because now I feel all nice and secure with my big boy amp.
NGD: Gibson Standard Historic 1957 Les Paul Goldto
I have just about given up on writing a blog that nobody but the NSA reads, but what the hell, here I go. This past Father's Day I received my dream guitar a Gibson Standard Historic 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Reissue VOS. My wife had saved up and made payments to American Musical Supply and now I am the proud owner of a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. It is everything I had hoped it would be. It has a nice neck that is fat and round. It has reissue Klusson deluxe green tuning keys and Custom Bucker pickups. It looks and sounds beautiful.
I spent my New Year's Eve fixated on my latest guitar acquisition an ultra rare 1984 Japanese made Yamaha SG1000X! However, truth be told, I was out shopping for some elusive kitty litter when the ball dropped at midnight. I had to visit three inconvenient stores before I found any litter! Shit was happening I suppose.
Anyway, back to the main attraction my Yamaha SG1000X. As I mentioned this is a rare guitar. There is very little information to be found about the guitar online and Yamaha's customer support was limited in what they could dig up for me when I picked their collective brain.
"Thank you for contacting Yamaha Support. Regarding your SG1000X inquiry, it was made for one year only (1984). It has an Agathis wood body and a mahogany neck. This guitar was associated with the Kanto Koshinetsu Area of Japan and is very limited even in Japan. I have no other info on this guitar."
I don't feel like typing so I'll let Yamaha SG Geek share the following details.
"First introduced in 1983 or 1984 and finished in black only the SG1000X was a break from the norm having a Floyd Rose locking trem and nut as standard as opposed to the usual stoptail and tune-o-matic style bridge. The one piece mahogany set neck came with a rosewood fingerboard and the body was made from Agathis, a wood similar to alder. The hardware was finished in gold, speed knobs replaced the normal Top Hat style ones and the tuners resembled Schaller machineheads instead of the usual Gotoh types. A rare model seldom seen outside of Japan."
Neck- One piece mahogany set neck, rosewood fingerboard, 22 frets 24 3/4 scale length, 13" radius
Neck markers- Mother of pearl split markers
Hardware- Gold plated, Floyd Rose style locking trem and nut.
Pickups-Twin humbucker pickups, tri mounted to allow for parallel adjustment.
The previous owner installed Mastodon's Brent Hinds' signature set of Lace Sensor Hammer Claw pickups. The original pickups were also included along with it's original hard shell case and non-original tremolo bar.
I'll write a review of the SG1000X come February once the novelty has worn off and hopefully I can give an honest assessment.
Yes indeed, July 7th (my father's birthday RIP) was a much celebrated New Guitar Day welcoming a Hagstrom Swede Gold Top into the family. Interestingly enough, the Hagstrom and I have a Swedish lineage in common. My grandmother (father's side) immigrated to the States in the early 1900's straight out of Sweden with a maiden name of Holmquist. Therefore, in honor of my father and grandmother I dub the Hagstrom Swede's new name as Hernik Holmquist (Henry was my father's middle name, he hated it).
I scored a killer deal through eBay around the 4th of July holiday weekend. Originally priced $480, the seller suddenly dropped the price down to $299! The purchase included a complimentary setup with new strings; I requested low action set for 9-42 gauge strings and the seller obliged. If that wasn't sweet enough, dude threw in a Hagstrom Hard case (usually $110) for free! I don't know if this guy was drunk, on a good one, or what but he has quickly become my favorite online music retailer.
I received the guitar via Fed Ex yesterday and overall, this has been a dream come true. Although used, the Hagstrom is in phenomenal condition (very good). A little dusty but I haven't found any significant blemishes aside from your usual superficial pick scratches. All the electronics and controls function properly and I am really liking the Hagstrom tuners. Time will tell, but they seem to be outperforming the Grover and Planet Waves tuners on my other guitars.
I'm at a loss for words when it come to describing the sound the Swede emits but I'll give it a shot. In general the sound ranges from a hot bridge to a dark mellow and warm neck. Perhaps in a few weeks to a month I will ready to write a review on the Swede. Until next time, stick it to the man!
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, I am now on the hunt for a Hagstrom Swede in either Champagne Sparkle finish or Gold Top. Chasing after a Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold Top, my dream guitar, is just that; a dream. Married, with four children, I cannot justify spending the small fortune of what it cost to posses the finely crafted instrument. I know deep down in my core that wanting one is purely for the sake of owning such a status symbol. And what good is it to have a status symbol if you are not going to go about flaunting it?
While looking over the various Gold Tops there are available on the market I came the beautiful Hagstrom Swede Gold Top that looks similar to the style of Gold Top that I prefer (top hat control knobs with metal disk inserts) and, like most of us, I'm a mutt. I am of Finnish, Polish, and Swedish decent, making the Hagstrom brand look ever more appealing this time around. Plus, I am sucker for a good advertisement. I saw one that read "be different, play a Hagstrom Les Paul styled Swede," or something to that effect.
My quest for a Gibson Les Paul continues. This past weekend I journeyed out to a couple of local music retailers and spent a fair amount of time test driving a number of Gibson Les Pauls while cross referencing them with an Epiphone Les Paul Standard for comparison since I currently own an Epiphone Les Paul Custom and used to have an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. After the trial runs were over, and since I don't get out much, I played a few other guitars that caught my interest for the pure fun of it.
I have had my eye on the Gibson Les Paul 50s Tribute Gold Top for a while so that was the first guitar I sat down and played in order to get a feel for the model. Looking at the 50s Tribute Gold Top online it appears to have the features I want: vintage style "tulip" shaped tuners, and gold top-hat control knobs with silver inserts. The missing body & neck binding appears to be the only thing separating this model from a Les Paul Standard. However, in the end I found myself disappointed with the 50s Tribute Gold Top overall.
To cut cost Gibson applies less Nitrocellulose lacquer to the 50s Tribute model line. This leaves the guitar with a matte finish rather than a high gloss, and creates a different feel along the guitar's neck. Numerous natural grooves in the wood are noticeably felt, where the usual amount of lacquer would have filled them in. Interestingly, the Gibson claimed to have a beefy 50s profile neck, but it felt flatter and thinner compared to the Epiphone Les Paul Standard that was labeled as having a 60s slim profile neck. Before I left store number 1 I gave a Fender Telecaster a quick little test run to remind myself how a Fender felt since it has been a number of years since I have owned or even played a Fender (RIP '95 MIJ Fender Strat).
At store #2 I put my grubby little hands on a 2006 Gibson Les Paul Studio, 2014 Les Paul Standard, 2008 Les Paul Special and then an Epiphone Les Paul Standard once again for comparison. After that I messed around with a Charvel DS1 Gold Top, Gretsch G5256 Baritone, Gretsch G5655, and an Epiphone Dot to compare to my Epiphone Sheraton II. When it was all said and done I found myself pleased with my Sheraton, and preferring my Epiphone Les Paul Custom over any of the Gibson models I tried out that day.
Although I have yet to find a Gibson Les Paul that meets or exceeds the comfort, playability, and performance of my Epiphone Les Paul Custom, the quest for such a guitar goes on. I am sure my desire to own a Gibson is purely for the sake of having a Gibson. It's a status thing I suppose, similar to owning a Mercedes. All I can say to that is good job Gibson marketing team.
Anybody else get separation anxiety when you have to leave a guitar behind at home, or the office, studio and brave being out in public guitar-less? I know I am afflicted, the thought of being stranded at work without a guitar near by to kill some idle down time is always accompanied with symptoms of an anxiety attack. As a matter of fact, having a guitar constantly at my side has become my security blanket.
Playing guitar at work? I am one of the lucky few who has a job where I work in an office that I have all to myself during graveyard hours. I'm a security supervisor and perform a number routine office admin task. Once the bulk of work has been accomplished and my assistance is not otherwise in demand, I grab my guitar, plug in to my amp, and bump the music I love strumming along to Rancid, The Cramps, Misfits, etc.
Being a broke ass punk and staying true to my roots I take public transit to and from work. Let me tell you, it's real nice having a guitar take up the seat next to me ensuring I have adequate personal space as it prevents any random goo goo muck from sitting next to me. If you have ever been on public transit anywhere you know exactly what I mean. There is hardly ever a dull moment riding around town with a group of rejects like us!
Ok, I am totally aware that this is way off subject. And no, I am not arachnid phobic. Here's what's up. I work the graveyard shift Sunday - Thursday and I no longer have a vehicle of my own. Don't worry it's not due to DUI's or anything like that, I'm just poor. You're poor Kenny! (In Eric Cartman voice). So I walk from my home to either the bus stop 10 minutes away or the light rail station that is another 10 minutes down the road. And I'll be damned if I don't walk into a shit load of fuckin' spider webs along the way. Remember, I'm not arachnid phobic, those webs just plain out feel gross! I'm 6 ft tall, I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but the weather! Once it warms up enough for these little silk shitting bastards to wake the fuck up out of hibernation they are shooting their money shot from the trees like the little fucks they are. So it must be some site to watch me walk down the street frantically rubbing my head and wiping away spider webs like a mad man cursing all the way.
The following is a review I wrote for Reverb.com about the Epiphone Les Paul Standard with potential buyers considering the model as the target audience. What do you think? Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.
An Epiphone Les Paul Standard is the perfect fit for guitarist at any skill level, from the beginner who is learning how to play, to the seasoned pro looking for a stand-in to avoid theft or damage to their ridiculously expensive Gibson when performing live. Epiphone’s Les Paul Standard reproduces the same classic sound and feel of a Gibson Les Paul for a fraction of the price. Both models are nearly identical to each other. Each have glued set-in bound mahogany necks, rosewood fretboards with trapezoid mother-of-pearl inlays, and bound mahogany bodies with maple tops. The only difference is headstock design, electronics, and where each was built.
Epiphone’s Gibson-licensed glued set-in neck forms a strong body-to-neck connection that makes the guitar feel and act like one solid piece of wood that provides greater sustain than a bolt-on neck. The stock Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups produce warm lows and bright highs although they fall short of glistening like a Fender Stratocaster. However, when played on overdrive the Alnico pickups sound beefy, tight and focused; not thin like a Strat. Outfitted with Epiphone's highly acclaimed hardware including tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, as well as Grover tuners, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard is built to last.
I usually do not give 5 stars. (The website ask you to rate the instrument you are reviewing with 5 stars being the maximum. I love my Epiphone Sheraton II and only gave it 4 stars when I reviewed it).
It's up to you security team, keep my Black Beauty safe. For the first time, I have allowed my guitar to spend the night away from home. She is at the office where I work. I thought it would be better to leave a guitar there to play during my down time rather than lug one around to and from work. I should probably mention I don't have transportation aside from public transit and my wife's scooter. Also, it has been raining this week, and I don't want to get my case or gig bag soaking wet.
It felt a bit odd the first couple of days with one of my guitars away from home, but I feel secure enough that it will be safe at work locked up in the supply closet. Plus, I have two other guitars here with me at home to keep me company. The Black Beauty (Epiphone) is my only solid body guitar. My Gretsch G5120 is a hollowbody and the Sheraton II is a semi-hollowbody. I don't know why I felt compelled to mention that, but there you go.
Funny thing, although the Black Beauty is the heaviest of the three guitars, it ends up being the lightest and easier to commute with when in its gig bag. The Gretsch and Sheraton both have heavy hard cases. Each hard case is not all that cumbersome to carry, but carrying a solid body in a gig bag is a breeze by comparison.
I had intended on bringing my Black Beauty home with me for the weekend, but my wife decided to swing on by and give me a ride home today instead of my usual light-rail and bus commute home. Yeah, I admit to riding on the back of a scooter while my wife drives. But she lets me drive sometimes too. Anywho, I didn't want to risk soaking my gig bag in a potential downpour of rain. And I don't want to risk dropping my guitar from a moving vehicle, so my Black Beauty will be enjoying a weekend long sleepover away from home.
Alright, there you have it for this installment of randomness. I'll be sure to let you know if I make a mad dash to go spring my Black Beauty from work before the weekend is over. So, until the next time I feel compelled to write something, I'll see you later.