Posted by: kubiakl | March 14, 2012

Been A Long Time

Man, it’s been a while.  Things have been hectic with school and trying to gear the students up for state testing, so in my free time I’m either resting or playing guitar and haven’t found time to write.

New things: a Boss RC-3 Loop Station.  I bought it on a whim, and was actually searching for a reverse delay pedal (just for weird noises) when I came across a few with a short loop function.  One was the Digitech Hardwire Delay/Looper, the other was the TC Electronics Flashback.  The Digitech has a 20 second loop function and first sparked my interest, but then I realized that 20 seconds was pretty short.  The TC Electronics has a 40 second loop, which is better, but by that time I had stopped caring about the delay and just wanted the loop.  Which of course led to the Boss RC-3, a Loop Station in a stompbox sized pedal.

The rhythms are good and helpful – it can keep you on beat – and the tap tempo is a handy feature.  When I want to start a loop with drums, I’ll tap my foot to what I’m playing with the drum patterned turned down to silent.  Then I just tap the tempo button in time with my foot, turn the drums back up, and go.

So far it’s been helpful as a tool to work on my solo improvisation skills and even helped me come up with a few song ideas.  It’s nice to be able to work out an idea without having to teach it to another guitarist first – I can back myself up.  It may also come in handy eventually on a song I wrote but needs more guitars than we have band members – that’s a little down the pipeline though.

Other new things: a “wall hanger” (def. – a guitar that is unplayable and only good for decoration) vintage Framus Texan 5/296.  It was another impulsive buy off of Ebay.  No tuners were installed but for the price it seemed like a steal.  Since then I’ve taken it to North Loop Musical Exchange to see what they could do and the verdict came back “don’t bother”.  The neck block (these had bolt on necks) had separated and it just wasn’t worth putting money/effort into fixing.  So I’m back on the hunt for a 12-string.

And on that note, we went to a few different guitar shops today to look around.  12-strings are hard to find, but Austin Vintage Guitars had a few.  Nothing really sparked my interest so right now the main contender is the Martin D12X1AE.  It’s the best I’ve played yet, and I compared it to vintage and new 12s of all brands.

One guitar that did spark my interest was a Nash T-style 52.  Aside from being well built it sounded absolutely beautiful.  The pickups were Lollars… might have to look into those for my own Tele.  As nice as the Nash was I don’t want a relic style guitar, but if you’re in that market Bill does make some incredible instruments.

And on a sad note – one of my Callaham saddles on the Stratocaster got bent while I was stretching the low E string.  A new set is on it’s way from Specialty Guitars (very fast shipping, by the way).  In the meantime my old block saddles are back on and it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes.  Though they are more functional as far as mechanics go (the height adjustment screws hold better), the sound is denser and louder.  It’s not a good thing for the style I like.  If you haven’t tried bent steel saddles for your Stratocaster you might want to.

And that’s about all.  I’m still hoping to do a video review for the Rene Martinez pickups but just haven’t had the time or energy.  The Ibanez Tube Screamer and Catalinbread Formula No. 5 are working out extremely well for me, and for now the search for overdrives is ended.  Keep playing!

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