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 8 reviews
by Admin on Guitar Musician News
Takamine Acoustic EF508C

A sleek guitar I bought in 1992.  I don't think takamine makes it anymore and it's too bad.  It has a spanish look to it with a beautiful redish brown finish.

Price Paid - $1350

The model is EF508C and it has a volume control as well as tone control.  Its a cutaway style with mahogany finish and rosewood fret board.  The action is excellent with light strings but a bit more difficult with a medium gauge or heavy gauge string set.

It was ready to go when I bought it and I also bought a Fender Acoustasonic Amp to use with it.  The sound is rich and full.  Overall its easy to play.  I don't think Takamine is making this model anymore so if you can find a used one, I would recommend it.

by Admin on Guitar Musician News
2005 Fender Japan 1957 Reissue Stratocaster

2005 Fender Japan 1957 Reissue Stratocaster. 21 vintage frets, 1 piece D-shape maple neck with a 7 1/2" radius.

Price Paid - $805

Features: 2005 Fender Japan 1957 Reissue Stratocaster. 21 Vintage frets, 1 piece D-shape maple neck with a 7 1/2" radius. 3 piece alder body finished in tobbaco burst (2-tone sunburst). 1 ply white 8-screw pickguard. Fender Vintage 6 point non-locking tremelo. 3 single coil US Fender Vintage pickups. 1 volume control, 2 tone. 5-way Switch. Kulson tuners, 1 string tree.

Purchased from Rockers, London in August 2005. Currently fitted with Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky strings, originally a set of Fender 9's. No official accessories, but I got a fitted flight case thrown in for another £40. A small ding on the body (hardly visible) reduced the retail price by £10 from £450.

Sound: I mainly play blues, modern rock/indie, and jazz through a Peavey Bandit Transtube 112 (an equally versatile amp) with various effects (delay, compression, Big Muff, wah). This is a very versatile guitar, the strength of the Stratocaster. The neck pickup is mellow and warm, perfect for those slow Gilmour-esque blues leads. The 2nd and 4th positions are funky and tight, with the middle setting producing a nice rhythm sound. The bridge pickup is brighter, with more treble, less bass and suits crunchy distortion very well.

These are Vintage style pickups so they are not high output, not that this guitar can't be loud. This is definately not a metal player's ideal choice, it is more suitable for blues, country, jazz and rock (it is after all a 1957 design). The tone is most impressive clean, or with just a hint of distortion. You can get spot on Hendrix, Gilmour, Knopfler and many other famous player's sounds depending on your amplifier.

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came set up well, although the tremolo was flush with the body. I personally wanted to have a two way trem so I raised it, and reset the guitar, but it plays very well indeed and the 7 1/2 radius neck is very comfortable.

The pickups were set far too low. I'm not sure on the ideal height but having checked Fender's recommendations they are now much higher and the tone and volume has improved considerably. The tremolo action is incredibly smooth, using 3 springs. The fit and finish is extremely high quality. People often mistake Japanese Fenders as the middle ground between Mexican and American models, but this is not the case.

This uses the same hardware and pickups as US Strat and has equal if not better finish quality. Fender ceased officially selling Japanese models in Europe due to their being too competitive in terms of quality with the US models. You really are getting the same quality for half the price because the USA are having to increase their labour effort to produce the same quality as the more efficient Japanese manufacture, and this cost is then passed on to you. Everything else is fine and will last longer than I will.

The finish is tough enough, but look after it and there will be minimal scratches, mine are barely visible hairlines on the back from play, only visible under light.

Reliability & Durability: 

I have gigged with this without back-up and it was fine. I haven't broken a string and it stays in tune very well for a Vintage style guitar. I've fitted strap-locks for added security (even though I don't hurl it around or anything) but the standard strap buttons were very solid.

The hardware is fine, no problems, the fit of the knobs, pickguard and switching is good and the Switch is smooth with no noise between shifts. The pickups are quite noisy but this is the case with all single coil instruments, hence the invention of humbuckers and Lace sensors. As long as you roll off the volume when you need to then it's not a problem.

 

by Admin on Guitar Musician News
Peavey Studio Pro 112

Great for metal, even clean. You can't get as warm as a tube like a Fender, but its awesome.

Price Paid - $100

Features: 2 Channels, foot switchable if you have it. Its trans tube, no idea what that means, go look it up. High gain input and low gain input, FX send return. Speaker out, as if this wasn't loud enough already.


Sound: Clean channel has a button for bright, it sounds good, especially on single coil. Great reverb, crank it all the way up and you get an awesome sound on the clean channel. On the lead channel, you have a gain button, and thrash button.

Thrash is more fuzzy, gain has a lot of crunch. Keep both buttons off and you get a lighter gain, press them both you get well, a really muddy sound. I use a cheap strat with a bridge humbucker, clean sounds great on the single coils, lead is awesome with the humbucker.

Reliability & Durability: 

Just got it, so I don't know. It was used, and it works. Its built like a tank, no BS on this sucker.

 

by Admin on Guitar Musician News
Boss DS1 Pedal

Very Easy Pedal To Work With. Its easy to get a good sound if you know where the 'sweet spot' settings are.

Price Paid - $41.00

Ease of Use: Very Easy Pedal To Work with. Its Easy To Get A Good Sound If You Know Where The 'Sweet Spot' Settings Are. It's Dark Orange, 3 Knobs: Tone, Level, Distortion. And There Is Also a 9v AC Adapter Input.(adapter not included)Entirely Made Outta Metal.

Its Gonna Take A Couple Of Armegedons To Break This Baby. There Is A Manual. You don't need it though. A monkey could figure it all out. Lol. But it basically just shows you a couple sample settings. I suggest you find your own sound though. My unit has not been upgraded and I don't look forward to doing that.

Sound: I'm Using A Fender Squier Strat, And A Pretty Big Silvertone 26w Amp. Its Very Noisy. It Gets A Buzz & Fuzz Everytime I Mess with the pickup on my strat. The Effects Are GREAT. They Always Sound Great If You Know What Your Doing With The Settings.

I Can Get The Great Sound Of My Fav Artist Kurt CobainNirvana Is My All Time Fav Band. Distortion Is Superb. I Don't Really Like Too Much Tone On It Though. It Makes It Sound Sorta Weird. Idk, Can't Explain It. Haha. (Note: when the 9v battery starts to ware out, the sound is very poor and sour.) 

Reliability & Durability: I Can most definitely depend on this bad boy. It hasn't Failed Me Yet. I Can Always Depend On This Baby. I would Most definitely take it to a gig. Although it wont fail me, I'd take an extra 9v battery just in case. Other Than that, you can take to gigs and stomp on it all day without worrying about it breaking. JUST REMEMBER! EXTRA 9v BATTERY.

 

by Admin on Guitar Musician News
Epiphone EB3 Bass Guitar

The EB-3 is a solidbody electric bass that features a full 34" scale length and adds a sidewinder humbucker and 1 mini humbucker.

Price Paid -

Features: Mine's a 2005 model, made in Japan (I believe), and features 22 frets, all very big. Frets 1-5 so big in fact that low end soloing is only available to people with big hands. The bass body is all one piece, and is surprisingly thin for the overall size of the bass, which in all angles strikes you as a big bass.

Don't know off the top of my head what woods make it, and it's finished in classic SG Cherry Red (the only SG colour if you ask me). It's a very strong SG looking thing, unlike the LP bass which doesnt't really look like a LP. It's the big beefed up Gibson bass bridge, found only on EB's and LP's and the semis such as the rivioli and jack cassady. It's extremely stable and based on the Tune-O-Matic, as also found on Gibson SGs/LPs/Semis. (and others).

All the electronics are passive, which is good because the sidewinder humbucker at neck sounds mighty already! You get Gibson Standard control layout of 2 volumes 2 tones, as well as a rotary pickup knob. I find this a downfall of the bass, whilst looking nice is hard to change as quickly as a flick Switch. I leave it on position 2 anyway.

Pickups wise you get a Gibson Sidewinder Humbucker (massive in both size and sound) and a Gibson Mini Humbucker, which basically is totally useless if you want your SG bass to sound like an SG bass. Using only the minihumbucker sounds like using a cheap jazz bass, though combined with the sidewinder adds a scent of highs, which is necessary as the sidewinder is all bass and lo mid.

Tuners are standard Gibbo tuners, and included in the box you get a bass, though a specially designed EB-3 case is available, though I prefer the "coffin case" you can buy for about £80.


Sound: I play in a sabbathy, zep-esque, hendrix-y, cream etc classic rock band, and the heavy thunder this produces is absolutely necessary for blowing peoples minds and moving the floor! I find it superb for giving the guitar plenty of backing as we are only a 3-piece, though I still use my Fender P-Bass in the studio, as I find it easier to play and the tone of the pickups is more natural, so we can use the studio to make it sound like the SG with much more ease. Live though, the SG rocks over the P-Bass every day of the week! 

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set up is good, though the shop gave it a checkover and small fixes to get it perfect. It's always played superbly, and the strings have last well, and I've never had to make any repairs to it, so I; ll leave this one as perfect! The pickups are good heights as recieved, and the strings included are very good quality.


Reliability & Durability: 

It's a very solid bass, and everything on it seems very sturdy, though I often have to tighten the strap buttons. They are also very small, I changed them for some bigger ones. Because of it's very tight fit in the case I can't use strap locks as they are too much hassle, I just carry a screwdriver about to tighten before gigs, and sometimes if we're doing a long one I tighten it halfway through. It's all rugged otherwise, and the finish is fine, it has also put up with belt buckle rash very well, only a small few scratches and small paint dents, nothing else. However, I still carry it in it's hard case to be sure.

by Admin on Guitar Musician News
Maxwatt B-20 - 20 Watt 10" Hiwatt high performance speaker

Maxwatt B-20 - 20 Watt 10" Hiwatt high performance speaker, high & low inputs, 3 band EQ & presence control, ext speaker jack, headphone jack, limiter.

Price Paid - $366

Features: The Hiwatt Maxwatt comes in many shapes and sizes. I happen to have the English 25 watt combo. I've had it for 3 years and it never fails to impress. It's good looks and beautiful tones are a credit to Hiwatt and I will never get rid of it.

It's the best 'bedroom' amp I have ever played for bass as I manage to get solid rock sounds to mellow jazz and blues and have even had a cheap 'Mark King' slap and pop tone. I would not use this at a gig if I could help it. Saying that, I certainly have in the past done smaller venues with it and volume output aside you can adapt it to the vicinity very easily. The amplifier also boasts a headphone jack which has come in very handy indeed.


Sound: Well it is mainly played through with a F.S Passive Bass which isn't the best axe in the world but with a bit of modification, doesn't sound too bad. One thing I will "pick up" on is the fact that the bass I am using does not allow me to change from tone to tone very quickly.

It only takes three seconds to do it via the Hiwatt but this can be distressing on a dark stage. I am not a user of bass distortion but just for this review I have tried it out and no. It's crap. I just got a load of feedback and when I did calm it down, I got a terrible fuzzy sound which did disappear when I played but is not ideal at all. 

Reliability & Durability: I will always rely upon this amp because it is soo durable. It's been kicked and shoved about and has tumbled around in Mum's Nissan Micra but it still looks Brand New. I have never had a problem with it and am sure I never will. Trace Elliot hold the title for durability but this (for the money) is ace. I can honestly say that if you did buy this, you would be very careful not to let your baby get damaged anyway.

 

by Admin on Guitar Musician News
DOD FX72 Stereo flanger for electric bass guitar

A DOD FX72 Stereo flanger for electric bass guitar.

Price Paid - $45

Ease of Use: Not rocket science. The only somewhat tricky knobs would be delay and regeneration, not hard if you know anything about flangers. As mentioned earlier, the funky power supply is a pain.

Sound: I have an Ibanez Soundgear 405 (soon to get an ergodyne edc705) and various other Boss and Ibanez and DOD pedals (don't want to give away my secrets) into a Roland DB 500 Amp. This pedal sounded WAY too thin. The actual flange sound was good, but when you're playing heavy fat sounding bass, this puppy ruins your tone you've worked so hard to define.

I have never used the Boss BF2 on bass, since it was designed for guitar, which is probably why someone said earlier that DOD beats Boss on modulation (which is bullcrap). The Boss Bass Chorus was too subtle for me, but it sounded much better than any DOD Chorus, and the new Boss BF3 is now my flanger of choice. It's so thick, fat warm and gooey. I love it.

Anyway. Maybe when it came out was good, and i'm sure it's ok for the price you'd find it for, but if you want serious flange sounds, go BF-3. You won't regret it, or even the difference in $. // 8 Reliability & Durability: After a week one of the lids fell off a knob (regen knob i think). Footswitch seems a little shoddy...it's probably spent a few years in the store though. FX72 Bass Stereo Flanger

by Admin on Guitar Musician News
EMG ALX W ABQ Pickups

This is the new signature pickup that Alexi Laiho designed with EMG. It is basically a passive HZ-H2, but it has a ceramic and steel magnets.

Price Paid -

Content Richness: This is the new signature pickup that Alexi Laiho designed with EMG. It is basically a passive HZ-H2, but it has a ceramic and steel magnets.The ABQ Pre-amp has a Push-Pull Pot with an adjustable boost in the down positon. The ABQ Pre-amp has a 3-position dip Switch that allows the resonance of the pickup to be altered to a variety of fixed frequencies. The out put with this is adjustable because of the adjustable boost. I believe you can max it out at 20db. Which IMO is alot more than you will ever need. I keep mine at like 4db(lowest setting)

I put this PU in my Jackson RR24M and it screams. I replaced the EMG 81 it had as I am just not too fond of the sound they produce. More dynamics can be heard with it as it is a passive PU.

The clean sound with this PU is very dull....it's not bad, but don't expect single coil chime with it. But I didn't buy it for clean. It is a metal PU by all means.


Style: It has been reliable and durable so far. I mean as long as you know how to wire it up right you shouldn't have any issues. It has also been as durable as I need it to be. I just play at home and with friends for fun and it hasn't let me down once.

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