I've always wanted a strat and I think I came across a winning formula this morning. I'm thinking I will start with a plain-jane, basic fat strat, Arctic white with maple fretboard.
Pickups will be an SD Stag mag in the bridge position, and an SD Vintage rails in the neck position. I figure I'll order a custom pickguard from Warmoth or another supplier to eliminate the middle pickup altogether.
The 5-way selector will be replaced with a 3-way, and the tone knobs will be replaced with dual 5-way rotary switches. I never use tone knobs and the added output will be enjoyed.
The 5-way rotaries will give me 5 different options per pickup and when they're both on, I count 25 possible combinations. Sure its not 100% practical but it should be a helluva lot of fun.
I could probably finance the whole project by trading in my SC and M-II too. That would kill 2 birds with one stone though it would still leave me looking for money to pay off the Donais, though I hear we may get a second round of stimulus this year...
So I tuned the Donais up to standard a week or two ago and have been loving it. I can once again play along with my favorite music and the stars were right again. Since I enjoyed it so much on the Donais, I figured it only logical to bring my baby, my H2 back to Standard as well.
So I take it down to the fretboard, swapped the EMG S for an EMG SA I had on hand (Just for a change), cleaned it up, re-strung it, stretched the strings, intonated and let'er rip.
...It was like I was home again...
That guitar is absolutely staggering. It never ceases to amaze me with its tight, articulate tone. When I went back to the Donais (Without touching the amp) I'd go so far as to say it almost sounded muddy. Going back to the H2, the neck felt "right", the action perfect, and even the warn frets produced no discernable buzz. I don't think I'm ever going to find another guitar that will be able to stir me the way that thing does.
Thats when I realized, my dream formula for a custom (All the specs of my H2 plus a reverse M-II headstock and marker-less ebony fingerboard) from so many years ago, would still probably be my best bet for a custom. Even then, could I possibly be happy with it? The neck won't be beaten in, and no matter how great it is, I'm almost certain it will never live up to the expectations set by my original.
And to think, all this joy for a $300 initial investment, $180 worth of pickups, and 10+ years worth of setup experimentation. Hopefully, I'll have this guitar for a long, long time to come. I couldn't imagine life without her.
"Work in progress" is just that. It was a simple note based idea I had that seemed to work well with an ebow (Unbelievable how hard it is to finger notes without using a pick, evident by some of my sloppiness). My buddy and I just kinda put it together in one take and it needs lots of work. Hopefully we'll get it in better shape in the coming weeks.
"b flat" is also kind of rough around the edges, but is much more of a complete idea than WIP. This was just a doodle coerced by my buddy Rob that turned into something pretty cool. Its nothing complicated but I find it to be rather effective. Pretty cool 5-string bass work at the end.
I did all of the guitar and bass on both (Save for one part in b flat that Rob added) and Rob added loops, sample and effects. The amp (A Stiletto Combo) was not mine and I did NOT adjust any of the settings on said amp.
So I thought it would be a hoot to play a Squier mini the other day at Guitar Center. Call me crazy but it was actually a lot of fun. A bit too little for what I'd consider usable (Mainly due to the lack of frets) but pretty cool nonetheless. Upon a visit to a 2nd GC that day (Long story), I came across a Mikro RG.
24 frets, dual humbuckers, fixed bridge, and this tiny RG shape...I was mesmerized. So I picked it up and for $130, I'm sold. I'm hoping to pick one up this weekend and plans are as follows...
Black Tuners (The factory tuners are a fairly common gripe on the Mikro) Black Dome knobs Black Bridge (This might be a bit tricky) Black String retainers Black Schaller strap locks Black Pickguard screws D'addario 11-49s tuned standard
The kicker...I have a spare set of EMG 81s floating around. A good once over and a good setup later and this guitar will be completely gig ready. I'll be able to carry it on a plane, put it in my pocket when I go to a party, and it will cost less than $200 all said and done.
I swapped the pickups around on the Donais this weekend. The 81 to the bridge, the 85 to the neck. SOOO much better than the stock arrangement (For my purposes at least). The 85 is buttery and robust while the 81 is tight and crisp. Ugh...stop me...
After playing it exclusively for roughly 2 weeks, it is very close to taking over the number 1 spot. It has a near perfect balance of highs, mids, and lows, sustain out the wazoo, plenty of definition and good god is it punchy and loud. I love my H2 (My baby, my first love, my EVO) but the Donais does nearly everything she does...better. The H2 is still more comfortable to play, but the perks of the Donais are epic by comparison.
I know the day is coming where I'm going to pick it up and be utterly displeased with it (Its just how I am) but for now, I am so in love...
Local bar with my old band, nothing major I suppose. There were about 150 people there and it was a farewell show for their current guitar player, who just so happened to be a former bass player of the same band when I was a part of it.
So, they asked me to come play some old tunes and covers. It was great, the SC607 got a proper live break-in. I only brought my guitar and played through my buddy Rob's (Said band's singer/guitar) Stiletto Ace Combo. That thing is mean. So simple but what a great sound.
I don't know why, but I'm so much more focused and just better when I play live. Maybe its adrenaline, but I played for about 45 minutes, in a 100+ degree bar, at midnight after being awake for 18 hours, and my practice routine these days is pretty minimal.
I should've been a mess but I didn't miss a beat or a note and a lot of the songs we played weren't meant to be played on a 7-string (For whom the bell tolls, We Die Young, etc... Most of the originals were in drop-D to boot).
It was a good night but boy do I wish I was a solid member of that band again. So fun to play with those guys