Feedback Loop example

Fuzz Box Girl shared an article about feedback loops and that led to a link which led to a link which led to a link to this video.  A very nice video showing the different possibilities of certain effects being put in a feedback loop.

Once again I so enjoy the internet and the knowledge sharing it makes possible.  It makes me so happy that when I modded my Oh Ho No Chuck Chuck Boom feedback loop pedal to also be an effects loop pedal I kept the feedback capabilities.  Just a simple flip of a switch!

Klon

Wow! I love what people are willing to put on youtube.  This video has been posted on other guitar blogs, but I had to share it too.

35 minutes of Klon pedal comparisons!  This is very helpful in my quest to learn about tone. I will never get a chance to play with these pedals myself…nor would I actually play well enough to really get the value from these pedals.  But now I know more about some of the effects that are considered “good tone.” And hearing his opinion of buffer over true bypass was very interesting!

I hope you enjoy if you haven’t already seen the video.

Headstock

I have posted in the past about headstocks. I have finally found a current guitar maker’s headstock that I really like! The BilT Guitars Headstock on their El Hombre guitar (actually all their guitars) is a great combination of everything I love in a headstock!

The one question I have is whether they offer it as an angled headstock?

3pdt true bypass

As part of my recent order of parts for my 1×12 speaker cabinet build, I also ordered a couple of 3pdt foot switches. I was already paying shipping and they were half the price of what my local guitar shop charges, so why not.

Now that I have them I have to figure out what to do with them.  The first obvious answer is to put them in my two Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi fuzz pedals (one Russian and one American).  These pedals, according to the internet, are not true bypass and are known for “sucking” tone when “off.”  Plus there are lots of instructions for how to turn them into true bypass pedals with some soldering, a few wires, and time.

Anyone else got some ideas?  I could use them for future projects, but I can’t think of anything else right now.  Maybe a multiple effects loop pedal?

Speaker Cabinet Handle

I recently completed all the wood parts of my diy, home made, self built, 1×12 speaker cabinet. I haven’t sanded or put a finish on the wood because I still have a few more things that need to be done.  First, I need to install a handle. Second, I need to install some rubber feet so it can sit on top of other amps or speaker cabinets and clear the handles.  I want to get everything drilled before I do the final sanding and staining/finish.

I ordered an Ampeg style, light brown leather handle with white stitching.  I think it is going to look really good with the wood (doesn’t matter if I do just a clear finish or an amber tint finish).  The only concern I have is how to actually install the handle.  The website I purchased the handle from said it measures 7 3/8th inches. If I drill holes in the wood and install it at 7 3/8 inches, will there be enough space under the handle for to actually pick up the speaker cabinet?  Should it be closer together so the handle curves up?  Will it curve too much and then my amp head won’t sit on top of the speaker cabinet properly?

My biggest fear, as always, is of commitment. I don’t want to commit to the wrong spacing and have permanent holes in the speaker cabinet. So I decided to install the handle first on a piece of scrap wood at 7 3/8th inches.  If that works, then I’ll know it will work for the speaker cabinet. If it doesn’t work, then I know I’ll have to try a different measurement.

Using the scrap wood worked wonderfully! The feet on my Frenzel Champ Super Sportster head did not clear the handle on the scrap wood.  I measured the handle and even when it is flat it is 3/4 inches tall.  But I had ordered 3/4 inch rubber feet for the cabinet, so I installed the taller feet on the amp head and put the smaller rubber feet from the amp head onto my new speaker cabinet. The new rubber feet just barely clear the new handle.

Sorry the picture is so over exposed, but it was the only way I could get a good shot of the handle under the amp head.

Then I measured again and again to get the spacing just right. I wanted it centered too.

Finally, I drilled and it is all done!

Bass Effects Pedalboard

When I first started playing an instrument, I started on the bass.  I am not a very good bass player, but it got me started. I would play the root note in some fun punk songs while my real musician friends would play the rest. It was a blast.

I still have my cheap bass and I still use it from time to time.  Most recently I’ve been thinking about what kinds of effects I would use when I play bass. I’ve got a Russian Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi that has a great low end and really gives my bass some fuzz. I had a next door neighbor kid who was really good at bass who swore by his Bass Chorus pedal. And a tuner is always a good idea for any instrument.

So what else should I have on a basic bass effects pedal board?  Do I need compression?  What about reverb? Anything else?

Under the Weather

I’ve spent the past few days completely under the weather.  Not horribly sick, just miserably out of it.  It got to the point where I didn’t want to play the guitar because my hands and joints hurt.

But that has given me some time to catch up on the dvr.  Has anyone seen Queen Rock Montreal?  It was originally released as Queen Will Rock You, but was rereleased in 2007 (and apparently remastered).  I must say, it did rock!

This probably isn’t the best example from the concert, but Brian May had some ripping tone and I finally understood why so many people love his tone. What I really enjoyed was being able to watch him play with his volume (and onboard switches like pick up phase, pick up selection, etc, but mostly his volume) to control his tone.  He could clean it up.  He could bash out power chords.  He could make solo’s sing.  All through his volume knob.

The other thing that was refreshing was the cinematography. I also watched a bunch of performances from MTV award shows and the Cure performing 4:13 Dream in its entirety live.

The camera never stayed on one shot for longer than 4 seconds for all the MTV live concert footage (I counted).  I could never get any sense of the band playing or of individual musicians, just motion shots of the audience or switching between band members.  The 1981 Queen show was shot completely different.  It stayed on a shot for much longer than 4 seconds.  It had wide shots of the stage and shots that focused on individual members of the band.  It was fantastic!

Plus the Queen show was just them as a four piece. They were so tight as a group.  Everyone was on key and everyone’s timing was in sync.  I think what I liked the most was how natural the songs sounded.  They have some very layered songs and I’m sure were did a lot of complex stuff in the studio, but this performance seemed very natural, yet polished.  It truly came across as four guys: three instruments and a voice.  It was great to see!

Tempting Pedal

Back in January when I was in the throes of my “tone quest” I tried a BBE Green Screamer pedal (thanks to my friendly local guitar shop).  It is a really good TS808 clone.  I liked it.  I liked it a lot, but couldn’t justify the price.

While wasting time on craigslist I saw a used one for a very reasonable price…and I am very tempted to get it. But I’m not going to.  Since my tone quest, I have only played through my pedalboard a handful of times.

I’ve written about this many times, but I’m curious how you make gear purchase decisions. Is it just a question of what you want more?  A method to prioritize what you want?  I’m curious.  Does it change over time?

Speaker Cabinet Progress

I can’t believe it has been almost 18 months since I started my 1×12 guitar speaker cabinet project (see blue prints and pictures). Nothing like pride in building something yourself.  That ol’ DIY spirit… and yet it still isn’t completely finished.  But it does work (and has for over a year) and that is all that really matters.

Yesterday I finally completed the speaker grill! It didn’t take a lot of time to actually build, but it took a while for me to get around to it.

First, I cut 3/4 by 3/4 inch square dowels into the appropriate lengths to make a frame for the grill. I tried to give myself about 1/16th of an inch clearance to give the grill material some room (sorry for the out of focus picture).

Second, I got some wicker cane (the kind of stuff that is pre-made in sheets) and soaked it for an hour in warm water (the guy I bought it from said this would make it easier to pull around the frame). I’m sure it made a difference, but it was still tough.

Third, I lined up the frame with the specific lines in the wicker cane so it would be straight. Then I bent it around the frame where I stapled it onto the back of the frame. I also laid a bead of wood glue along the back of the frame so it would have something besides the staples to hold it in place.  I don’t know if that has made a difference (sorry, no pictures of this process, it was pretty haphazard). It is pretty straight but it isn’t perfect.

Finally I put the grill in place. It is a very tight fit. I should’ve given myself 1/8th or 1/4th inch clearance for the grill material, but oh well.  It works for now!

Next steps are getting the handle, rubber feet, and metal corners ordered and installed.  Then I’ll take it all apart, sand it, and cover everything in either a clear or honey tinted finish.

Here’s a picture of the back just for fun!