Saturday, 21 February 2015

Break Even, Hopeless and Endless Heights at the Red Rattler - February 2015

Schecter USA Custom Shop CET

Another new one!? You haven't even posted any videos with your last new one!

Yes... it is pretty ridiculous. This total shredder just arrived after being in the making for about 6 months. It's a total "Californian Style" super strat, complete with low-profile Floyd Rose Pro trem system and high output USA made Schecter "Supercharger" humbuckers.

I'm going to keep this one in fairly standard tuning, maybe half a step down - so it'll likely feature often in future demo videos because some people don't like me using my super tuned down guitars (pretty much everything else I have). It's also going to be my token Van Halen worship guitar, which I'm very excited about.

More specs:

  • Optional upgrade - Quilt Maple top, Swamp Ash back, Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bolt-on Maple neck
  • Vintage Burst finish
  • Coil-splittable pickups
  • Lovely G&G hard case with Schecter USA plate on the front, really nice finishing touches all-round with these instruments...

I actually visited the factory not long after my guitar would have been built and shipped off back in January while I was visiting for NAMM. Everyone there was really great, and they were showing off some killer instruments at the show. Personally I'm absolutely drooling over the new Dream Machine II (check it out on their site). Some photos from the trip are just below.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Jackson B7 Deluxe - Walnut Stain

It's my favourite time, new guitar time. This one was something I've contemplated for well over a year now in my general search for my first seven string. I knew that I wanted it to be baritone scale for tuning down - based off my ESP Custom Shop STEF-B8, and that narrowed down my choices quite a lot.

The Jackson drew me because I'm well aware that USA made versions are extremely well made - my SL2H Soloist amazes me every time I pull it out and I've seen a few amazing guitars come through our shop. It rather uncommonly combines stunning exotic timber looks with really simplistic design. The hand rubbed oil finish is really fantastic, it looks and feels different to any of my other guitars and I really love it - also smells fantastic.

The neck is very thin, the jet black blank ebony fretboard feels great and the extra jumbo frets definitely give it a signature Jackson feel, like my Soloist. The shape is super comfortable like my other strat shaped guitars, even though it's slightly pushed forward, like a subtle version of an ESP Horizon III.

I haven't made up my mind about the DiMarzio D-Activators yet. They do sound good, but it's always hard to tell whether a different set will sound better. Bare Knuckle Black Hawks would be my first choice if I can ever afford another set after paying this baby off. Jackson USA guitars come at a price, probably slightly higher than most people will be accustomed to when compared to something like an ESP E-II series guitar - but it is worth it.

The hard case is a G&G instead of the old plastic moulded ones SKB were making for Jackson. It's definitely a nice hard case, but I did prefer the SKB one that my other Jackson came with.

I'll try to post an actual video soon so it's easier to see and hear the whole thing, but long story short - I love it and it's worth every cent.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Earthquaker Devices Pedal Demos - Part 1 of hopefully many...

I just orchestrated the arrival of this wonderful brand (made in Akron, Ohio U.S.A) at the shop and while I haven't had a chance to properly sample even a fraction of the range, here are my first two videos (basically just me filming my first interactions with them, you won't find any scripted demos here...). I had a Grand Orbiter V3 demo but I discovered the camera on the pedal stopped filming half way so I'll have to revisit that one.

I'm heading to NAMM this week to overload on gear excitement. I'll be touring the Schecter U.S.A Custom Shop and hopefully visiting the lovely folks at AEA Ribbon Microphones too! I'll try to post some photos up here as I go along but if I don't manage to, it'll all be up as soon as I get back.

Hoof - Fuzz

Disaster Transport Jr - Analog-voiced Digital Delay

Monday, 22 December 2014

Hmm.... Upgrades

Hmm... Upgrades.

This week I did a little modifying on my beloved ESP 6 string workhorses. Both went from the standard "self locking" Gotoh tuners (which I despise) to the lovely, MUCH easier and faster to work with Gotoh MGT traditional locking tuners. 

Secondly, I finally got my hands on some Bare Knuckle Pickups Black Hawks to go into my Horizon NT-2 in place of the stock Seymour Duncan set (which wasn't even bad, I've just heard a lot of good things about the Black Hawks and my curiosity would never have let it go. Only quickly tested them but I definitely like the direction they've moved the sound in. Can't wait to extensively get used to them.

To get the Gotoh tuners for yourself, try Australian Luthier Suppliers or G-Jax 

To get any Bare Knuckle Pickups, hit me up at Guitar Factory Parramatta. We keep a good range in stock and anything else can be made to order at a competitive price.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

TC Electronic - T2 & Alter Ego 2 Demo Videos

T2 (Trinity) Reverb

Alter Ego 2 Delay

Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt

Today marks my first day without my beloved Symphony I/O and the first with my new Ensemble Thunderbolt. I regard this as a step down, but not in quality - only I/O needs. I originally purchased the Symphony because I knew I wanted the sheer quality of that conversion but I also wanted eight of their super clean mic preamps. At the time the original Ensemble was on the way out and only had four, so if this new one had been out that would have been perfect for me.

I made the decision to sell the Symphony to someone who would make proper use of it and I just grabbed the first Ensemble Thunderbolt to hit Australia. It's a super sleek, and having everything crammed into 1U is nothing short of amazing. The OLED screen is amazing, very similar to the ones on the Quartet and Duet models. I can't wait to try the guitar reamp outputs, I'll report back soon regarding those as I have been critical of various external boxes that do this in the past.