Guitars, basses and other noisemakers


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It's funny how a logo can put you off something. I could never get behind anything Peavy because of that logo. And when I was a kid those were mainly used by country music players.

But logos, yeah, Joe Strummer used Music Man amps, but he said that he didn't like "the picture of the guys wearing flares" on the front.


It's really more of a wide-legged trouser or Palazzo pant, but I get his point.
I totally get the label thing. I hate to admit it, but in my younger days, and up til recently, I was a label snob. If it wasn't Fender, Gibson, Martin, I was not interested.

But now, older and wiser, I know I've missed a lot of non-big name cool/quality gear.

Re Peavey amp:
Back in the day, the fact that it was solid state would have trumped its name. TUBE ONLY was my mantra. Again, now older and wiser, I realize it's all in the fingers (mostly). When I debuted the amp at a jam, everyone was impressed by the little amp's tone, and how my fingers coaxed it out.... that is, I sounded the same as I do on my tube amps (maybe a touch less dynamics due to no tube sag.)

Its look: I personally like the amp's look. I suppose because it reminds me of my youth, where these things were everywhere. Would I have bought one new? No way, baby, it was Fender tube all the way.

The thing is built like a tank, and its Made in USA. These things are sleepers, as other gear forums agree. They're so cheap. I don't need more amps, but now I want to collect them...and trade'em with my friends.

Side note: I had a 70s Music Man HD130. A beastly, bulging amp. (2) 12"s, 130 w. I wasn't man enough for it. Let it go after a couple years.


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I'm not talking so much about brand snobbery as much as aesthetics (but I have brand snobbery too). The Peavy logo is just ugly to me, so I wouldn't want to stand in front of it. I would never know if it was decent gear because I wouldn't have ever tried it. It's not logical, it's just a weird aesthetic brain tick. When I was young, I bought almost exclusively Panasonic electronics because I liked they way they were designed. Not for any logical, rational reason.

It's not hard to make a decent logo though. Or an unoffensive one. I don't imagine millions of dollars or months of market research went into the Fender, Marshall, or Gibson logos (or the AMERICAN STYLE IPA?). They were probably sketched on napkins.


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I should have seen that, but I'm reading the new posts in reverse chronological order (is that reverse chronological, oldest first? I don't know) and I've been in bed for 36 hours with some kind of roller coaster body temperature disease, so I plead incompetence. I just plead incompetence in general.
Now I see what you mean, mjp. I was conflating logo aesthetics with brand snobbery. I totally agree with you. You've got to feel good brandishing or standing in front of your gear.

I wish I could put sentimentality away. That's why that Peavey logo looks good to me now. It's horsey, and jaggedy. I didn't love it then, but darn it, I do now....

New topic re Les Paul Juniors: One of my wife's best childhood girlfriend's dad has a '50s LPJr and Gibson amp of same year. Been under his bed for decades. He's had it since he was a kid (he's in his 70s now).
Over the years, during the infrequent instances I'd see him, I'd ask about it. I think if I had $5K, he'd sell both. Morbidly, I'm waiting for my wife's friend to just give them to me. But I suspect the other siblings wouldn't sanction that at all...

Another thing I agree with: LPJrs or Specials are Rock 'n' Roll machines!


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You'd have to see the condition. Sometimes being under a bed for 50 years is good for a guitar, sometimes it's not. For some reason those old Gibson amps don't have much value. No one really wants them. It's always cool to see a guitar/amp pair that started life together though.
You know it. That bedridden LPJr could need a hell of a lot of set-up work. Not that that is unsurmountable...but in my fantasies, it's in supreme playable condition right out of the case.

I'll try to get a pic and post it.

I forgot to mention: he took like one or 2 lessons, then quit. To my knowledge, no one has used it since. Something sad about an unplayed, lonely classic guitar...


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Some interesting stuff, but overall kind of a weird auction. That Ray Davies Flying V will probably get the highest bids. But buying something like that at an auction...with the 25% or whatever tacked on...ouch.
I could watch/listen to Joe all day. One of my guitar player friends and I get inspired and occasionally try to tackle the Hotel California solo played by Walsh and Felder. We usually don't get too far and move on to other things...disgusted with ourselves for quitting yet again...

I just picked up a Les Paul Studio in white with gold hardware/ebony board for a song on C-list.

To me, ebony boards on white LPs are a must.
I thought this was a decent shoot out...

Guitar Shootout: Gibson, Fender, and Rickenbacker. Guitars are as follows:
-1995 Gibson Les Paul Studio - 490R & 498T
-1992 Gibson Les Paul Standard - 490R & 498T
-2000 Gibson SG '61 Reissue - '57 classic & '57 classic
-1999 Fender American Standard Telecaster - Stock pickups
-1990 Rickenbacker 620/6 - Stock high gain single coils
-1999 Rickenbacker 360/6 - high gain & toaster

I dabbled in the boutique pedal arena, but turns out, the audience doesn't care/can't differentiate from a $250 (insert pedal type) or a $75 (insert pedal type) back to Boss...



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Danelectro, Joyo, and Behringer put out cheap pedal lines, sometimes in plastic cases and packaged in blister-packs like they were meant to be sold at WalMart. There are a lot of YouTube videos showing that you can't really hear any difference between them and "boutique" pedals. Which isn't surprising since a circuit is a circuit (for the most part). You might hear differences when you're recording, but in a live band situation, those differences don't matter at all.

I wouldn't say BOSS is cheap though. Some of them may be inexpensive, but they will survive life on the road, which you can't say about a pedal in a plastic enclosure. I have 40-year-old BOSS pedals that still work perfectly. I'll take a BOSS over almost anything else any day. As long as they make the same noise.

And don't forget that 99% of "boutique" pedals are based on old BOSS circuits. There's that.

The only time "a circuit is a circuit" doesn't hold true is when you're talking about pedals that use certain components that either vary wildly in their values and effects (like germanium transistors) or change when the manufacturing changes (like inductors in wah pedals). But when people say an old BOSS whatever is better because it uses a different IC chip, I don't know about that. It's debatable. The new BOSS Waza pedals sound almost exactly like the vintage pedals they're based on, and all of those chips have changed.

Wah pedals though man, those things are all over the map. Those inductors are such an important part of the sound in that simple circuit that there are very noticeable differences in vintage and modern wahs. I have an old Cry Baby form the 60s that I keep repairing and maintaining because no modern wah pedal can make the same noise.
I enjoyed your write up, and totally agree with everything.

I forgot to say comparing boutique and mass produced pedals in your bedroom--yes, I could hear differences, but live, not enough to justify.

IC chips--I get a kick from reading arguments on the guitar forums, for example, about original TS-808 JRC4558 chips being "better" than reissue screamers with TA75558P chips. There are other factors that influence sound more than chipsets (but I'm not discounting this part of the design). Of course, musicians have created the mystique (like we do with other facets). I believe the original engineers just grabbed whatever parts they had on the shelf that would satisfy the design.

Behringer pedals, from what I gather, have some exact clones of older Boss pedals, like the FZ-2, which is pretty pricey on the used market.

My 4-pedal travel board is all Boss, and I seem to play it/enjoy it more than my large 8-pedal board (which still contains 2 Boss pedals).

I think Boss is a pretty cool brand, and like you said, is one of the originals. The enclosure hasn't changed in 43 years. A design icon.

I like that you are keeping your old Cry Baby serviced and seeing action.

Have you ever built pedals from scratch? I dipped my toe in those waters (built 2 fuzz pedals from using perf board and Vero board, all handwired--rather than a PCB kit). It was exciting/fascinating to learn about circuits, but I found I was tinkering more and playing a lot less. And the music is what's important.

So I replaced exploring guitar electronics with learning more theory and more practicing.


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Have you ever built pedals from scratch?
A few. One I use, a clone of a Sola Sound Tone Bender Professional MKII fuzz, with three old Philips OC76 germanium transistors. It sounds great, but the sound of the germanium transistors changes depending on the room temperature. So it's unpredictable, which is good, I suppose, for an unhinged kind of over the top fuzz like that.

The other is an octave thing, based on one of those old square Dan Armstrong boxes I think. They were called Orange Squeezer, Lemon Peeler, fruity names like that. It doesn't work so well and I can't figure out what's wrong with it. But it makes a lot of weird noise when it's on, so maybe it's better than it was supposed to be. (Google says it's a Green Ringer.)

I have the parts for a Slow Gear but I haven't put them together.
A Slow Gear, eh? Those things are pretty rare/expensive. You should totally build that!

Here are 2 pics of my AxisFace fuzz I built. The idea is to choose 2 silicon trannies close in HfE to a germanium.


I stumbled on this. Not guitar-specific, per se, but feels like it should be in this thread.

Two legends goofing around, playing some of their most famous riffs. I saw JF at Radio City in 2017. He put on a powerful show.

So kind of a newbie question here, but I don’t know if any of you guys could help me here:

I used to have a Mexican Fender Strat when I was 10 or 11 and very enthusiastic to learn guitar. It was a very decent guitar as I recall, with three or four knobs and a vibrato bar. But, due to some reasons that I don't think are important to talk about, I became disillusioned with playing the guitar. When we had to move to another place for some time, we left the guitar with some members of my family.

The years go by and a couple years ago my brother needs a guitar for music lessons in junior high. It turned out the members of my family we left the Fender with sold the guitar! I was a little upset but I kinda understood, seeing as how I hadn't touched the guitar in years and they are always short on money. So my parents buy my brother a relatively cheap Squier Strat, with only two knobs and nothing more (well except for the strings and all that jazz).

Now, my brother became interested with playing the drums rather than the guitar, and I have gained back my interest for playing the guitar, and maybe even forming a band in the near future.

Of course, I'm still a beginner and I've been mostly slamming power chords into the thing and trying to figure out simple songs I like by ear, but I've been taking care of the thing. I made a much needed string change (we hadn't changed the strings since we bought it), bought a new cable as the one that came with it was screwed up, and even bought a new strap. Most recently, I saved up to buy an Orange amp, which I heard has a dirtier sound than Marshall or Fender amps.

Now, I have always been interested in getting a Les Paul, but a) I'm not a pro musician and b) I ain’t willing to sell my kidney to get one, yet. However, there exists the Epiphone Les Paul. So my real question after so much blabbering is: should I get an Epiphone Les Paul or should I stick to my Squier Strat, or are there any other beginner guitars that you would like to recommend? Is it all just a waste of money and maybe I should wait until this music thingy starts going somewhere to consider getting a new guitar (maybe a real Les Paul)?

Remember, I'm relatively a beginner slamming mostly power chords and two note solos into the thing, looking for a crunchy, garage sound.
Advice will be much appreciated.


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I've only read good things about Epiphone Les Pauls (the ones with the glued-in necks, not the really inexpensive ones with bolt-on necks). You might know that Epiphone and Gibson are the same company, the guitars are just made in different countries.

For the price of a new Epiphone Les Paul Studio, you can probably buy a used Gibson Les Paul Studio. If the name on the headstock matters to you. If you're in a city with a good music store, you should look at used guitars that you can play a little bit before you buy. Or if you have local classifieds, like Craigslist, you can get even better deals. But again, you have to look them over and play them first. You can get twice the guitar for your money buying used.

There are a lot of differences between Strats and Les Pauls, but the main ones are the fingerboard on a Strat has more of a curve to it, a Les Paul is flatter. And the space between the bridge and the nut is about 3/4 of an inch longer on a Strat. Neither of those things probably matter much unless you're used to playing one over the other.

Inexpensive guitars are better quality than they've ever been, but there can be a lot of differences between guitars that look the same. I've always played Gibsons, but one of my favorite guitars was a Mexican Squier Telecaster I bought in the 80s when I didn't have any money. But I picked that particular one out of about 20 of the same model. They all looked the same, but they all felt different.

Guitar preferences are arbitrary and mostly stupid. When you're just getting started there should only be one rule, if it feels good in your hands, it's a good guitar.
For the price of a new Epiphone Les Paul Studio, you can probably buy a used Gibson Les Paul Studio.

Yeah, I've read about that in the internet. Thing is, like you said, that it would require a good music store to do so. Most music stores I visited here sell pretty entry level guitar models, like Epiphones, Squiers and that sort of stuff. However, one of music store employees I encountered while looking for the amp was pretty cool, so maybe I can ask around and see if anyone knows about used guitars. I also haven’t look at options like pawn shops or classifieds.

Guitar preferences are arbitrary and mostly stupid. When you're just getting started there should only be one rule, if it feels good in your hands, it's a good guitar.

That's why I don’t wanna make a rushed purchase. My guitar, while pretty generic-looking, holds up pretty well, and I don’t want to buy a brand new guitar just to make it look better. After all, the important thing is what you’re doing with it (maybe I should just slap a few stickers on the thing to make it more "unique"). I'll keep looking around but who knows? Maybe one day I will find a great guitar that suits me nicely in a trash can or a yard sale hahaha.


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I've bought a lot of new guitars, but to me an old guitar almost always looks better than a new guitar. (And an older guitar usually feels better, if it hasn't been beaten to shit.) I don't think I've polished a guitar since I was a teenager. I know some people like them to look pristine, but I like the looks of them when they've been played. When they've been out in the fields working. Musical instruments are one of the only things that get better as they get older. Guitars and shoes.

I don't think I've ever put a sticker on an electric guitar. I wired some blasting caps to the headstock of a Les Paul Deluxe, and nailed a metal medallion onto the body. But no stickers. I sold that Deluxe to a Las Vegas guitar shop and saw it later on MTV.

You used to be able to find guitars at yard sales, but now everyone who has an old guitar laying around thinks it's worth ten thousand dollars. Finding a decent guitar for nothing doesn't happen much anymore.
I've owned an Epiphone and I found the build quality to be less than fantastic, although not really bad. I'll bet your "cheap Squier" is at least of as good quality as most Epiphones. And as I posted upthread, of all the basses I've owned, my favorite to this day is the one that cost me the least.

A good point was made by mjp; the Epiphone/Gibson style fingerboard radius is quite large, resulting in a fingerboard that is nearly flat. Fenders/Squiers on the other hand, are mostly 9.5" which introduces a pronounced convex shape to the fingerboard. Ultimately, this difference may be a driver for you. I'd also point out that you got tired of guitar once, so perhaps stick with the Squier for a while longer to be sure that your interest sticks this time. In the meantime, play as many guitars as you can; don't jump at anything you think you want. The right one for you is the one where you pick it up and immediately know "this is the one." I've been playing guitar since 1977 and bass since 1980, so I've been through this dilemma before. ?
Funny (well actually kinda sad) update: I mentioned that I saved up to buy an amp. So that was what I was on my way to do yesterday, and when I get there, shop's closed. Like... forever kind of closed. There's nothing in there. The funny thing is that I had never seen that store before even though it is on an avenue I frequent sometimes, so when I went in to buy my strap I asked, "Hey, since when are you here?" and they were like, "Oh, we've been here for four years". Cool. That day I saw the amp but decided I should think before I buy it. Couple of weeks later I went there to get my new cable. Couple weeks more and it's now completely gone. Guess I'll have to look for the amp online.


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The COVID scammers are coming in hot with dozens of "Guitar "Shop" sites that will sell you a $3000 Les Paul for $92. In fact, everything is $92!

(Don't send them any money, of course.)
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