Leo fender


8/10/17: STRANGER THAN FICTION...Leo Fender Was the Last Guy You'd Expect

guitar case smell odor


7/20/17: THERE IN ONE PIECE...How to Pack a Guitar

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guitar case smell odor


7/11/17: SWEET SMELL...Remove Odor from a Guitar or Case
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7/8/17: LOCKED & LOADED...Which Are the Best Strap Locks?
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6/21/17: SHOP AROUND...Which Big Music Retailer Do You Use?
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ibanez iceman


12/15/16: COLD AS ICE...Ibanez Iceman
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ibanez iceman


12/10/16: LIGHT IS RIGHT...Fender '69 Telecaster Thinline
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gibson 60s tribute les paul sunburst relic


8/12//16: RELIC 101...Or How I Learned to Like Relicing

gibson 60s tribute les paul sunburst relic


6/1/16: I LOVE ROCK & ROLL...Gibson Joan Jett Melody Maker
As a used guitar seller I've found I end up looking for guitars I like myself more than anything else. Gibson's Joan Jett Melody Maker definitely qualifies. Since I came across one a couple years ago, it's become my main axe. Why? I love the pickup; it's very lightweight; the ebony fretboard is great; and the thin worn finish is actually pretty sweet. Gibson introduced the Melody Maker back in the day as a cheap student guitar. But they caught on with serious players, including one Ms Joan Jett. Gibson couldn't 100% re-create her guitar with this re-issue. Jett's guitar was modified with a Red Rhodes Velvet Hammer pickup, which aren't around anymore, so they substituted the Gibson Burstbucker 3. It's based on early PAF humbuckers with a modern twist of slightly overwound coils for more punch.

Also, they couldn't re-create the mish-mosh of stickers she plastered all over hers, but I guess we can forgive that. At least they got the major stuff right. Such as the very thin, light and resonant double cutaway mahogany body and the simple rock and roll one pickup setup with volume/tone and kill switch. (I guess Joan liked the kill switch for all the breaks in her songs calling for audience clapping, singing, etc.) I've heard lots of people saying they switched out the pickup. Me? I love it. It's very high output and very warm. For me it beats out the 500T pickup in my Gibson SG-X by a hair because I like the little added warmth. Both provide a wall of distortion and decent clarity.

If you're like me, you might not know much about ebony fretboards. Once you get your hands on one, you'll probably like it. I do. People say they tend to have little issues with temperature changes, such as expanding and contracting, but it feels great. The neck has a rounded profile, probably more suitable to rhythm players and power chords than lead shredding. These come outfitted with mini Grovers that do a decent job, but I thought it was worth throwing on some Planet Waves locking tuners, as well as a bridge with roller saddles. Other than that, not much I'd change, except perhaps changing the kill switch to a pickup splitter, but that can wait.

Many of the factory reliced guitars look like crap, but Gibson did a tasteful job on this one and the light coat of nitro finish means these will continue to relic quickly the more you play them. It also means there aren't 10 layers of finish impeding the guitar's resonance (or that's what the smart guys say anyway). After the initial release of the worn white version, Gibson released a "Blackheart" model with a black non-reliced satin finish. It does not have the same mojo as the white, and the black/white zebra pickup looks lame. The red dots and 12th fret hearts look ok….but nah, just get a white one. These come with a nice Gibson hard case. Expect to pay around a grand used, as they're out of production and a lot of people like them. Take it from me, you don't need to be a Joan Jett fan to love this guitar.

kurt cobain kurdt jaguar fender


12/10/16: SERVE THE SERVANTS ... Kurt Cobain Jaguar

In 2011 Fender introduced a Jaguar based on the guitar Kurt played during the Nevermind era, a highly modified 1965 Jag that Kurt acquired in 1991 through the LA Recycler (or so the story goes). Fender's commemorative model seeks to accurately reproduce Kurt's '65 with a gaggle of interesting mods. First off, it has two DiMarzio humbucking pickups--a PAF neck pickup and a Super Distortion bridge. Its alder body sports a nitrocellulose finish reliced to approximate the beating that Kurt inflicted on his. (Factory relicing has a bad rep, but Fender did a pretty good job this time around.)

Moving on, it's got a bound neck with a Strat size headstock and non-peroid correct Spaghetti Fender logo. Gotoh tuners, double bound neck, an Adjusto-Matic bridge, and volume/volume/tone knob configuration round out the features. These now command $1000+ on the used market. If you haven't had one of these in your hands, search one out. They feel great. For me, there's a certain amount of guilt associated with buying a guitar created by Fender to cash in on Kurt's fame.

Let face it, if Kurt were around to see it, he'd probably give Fender the middle finger, and then tell us all to go find our own cool guitar on Craigs List instead of buying a copy of his. On the other hand, Kurt's gone and if nothing else, Fender seems to have gone about this replica in a more respectful fashion than with the Jag-Stang (they didn't make the Jag-Stang quite how Kurt envisioned it--read: they wanted to save money). And who knows? Maybe Kurt would be happy that young (or old) punks are playing a guitar modeled on his. I don't think he hated success half as much as he let on--he just didn't know how to live with it.

Some of the websites used to research for this post are :

gibson joan jett melody maker les paul


8/15/16: BASIC & BOMBASTIC ... Fender Tom Delonge Stratocaster
Simple is better. Less is more. Those are the ideas behind the Fender Tom Delonge Stratocaster. As lead singer and guitarist for the pop/punk band, Blink 182, Delonge didn't need a huge range of guitar tones. He pretty much needed two: huge and ridiculously distorted and a mellower clean sound for a verse here and there. His signature guitar is your basic Strat body and incorporates a Seymour Duncan Invader humbucker pickup in the bridge. One knob for volume control. That's it. Nothing else to see here.

Yea, it sounds pretty boring, so why has the guitar been such a huge favorite with so many players? Well, for starters, it's a rare hardtail strat so it's been very poplular with players who like Strats, but don't want a tremolo. It's routed for 3 pickups (HSS configuration) so modders like it as a project guitar because you can add pickups without needing to do any routing. Next, the single pickup it has, the Invader, is a good one. It is one of your best bets if you want a face-melting, ear-destroying distortion sound. The Invader is a high-output machine with a ton of thickness and bottom end. Forget about the standard jangly sound most people associate with Strats. It's just not what this baby was made to do. It's all about turning the amp to 10 (or 11) and slogging through power chord after power chord. The Invader has some definition, but that's not where it excels. When you need to clean it up a bit, you can back down the volume on the guitar, but even then it won't give you your greatest clean sound. It's a great pickup for a rhythm guitarist, especially if he or she is the only guitar player in the band.

Plugged into a Marshall or old Fender tube amp, it's guaranteed to take up lots of space in the mix. Undoubtedly that's exactly what Delonge was looking for, and the Invader delivers. Due to the single pickup and single volume control, in some ways the guitar is a "one trick pony." I guess the reason it's been such a popular guitar is it does that one trick so well. And of course there's no shortage of guitar players who want a heavy sound and don't really need much else.

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