JR's Gear Page!
I've posted here a few pictures of my music gear (hey! it rhymed!) with a little description of what they are. Most my guitars are named after the girl I was dating at the time I got them :-)
Annie is a beautiful 1997 Gibson Les Paul Custom, Alpine White. I had been dreaming about this guitar since I was a kid. I finally got the cash to get one on my birthday, July 11th. What a birthday present, huh?
Annie sounds like only a Gibson can; full, rich and thick. This is my main axe these days. I'm in total love...
This is Luly (Loo-ly). She's a 1996 Sigma DM-4B acoustic from the makers of Martin Guitars. I had a little problem with the action on this baby that made it sound a little sharp when playing chords high on the neck. A quick adjustment to the neck bolt and now she plays beautifully with lots of presence and quite loud when compared to others.
Thai (Tie). A 1983 Fender Stratocaster. Everything here is original. This is, according to the salesperson back then, one of the few cherry sunburst, tremolo-less Strats built that year. Of course, she sounds awesome! She refuses to go out of tune. I tune her once or twice after replacing the strings and rarely do have to touch her again (no pun intended ;-). The only thing about her is that hum every time I play near a fluorescent light. I've been thinking about replacing the pickups but don't want to loose the tone....
And this is May (Ma-e). My very first electric guitar. My Mom got me this guitar from the Sears catalog back in 1981! I know, I know.... Sears!? They use to import this Les Paul Custom imitation from Japan. Believe it or not, this baby rocks! It has very high frets which makes it very easy to play. The neck is even narrower than the real thing and the action is simply incredible. I can't get that clearance from my Gibson! Two years ago, I replaced the Gibson pickup (I had replaced the original back in 1984) with a Seymour Duncan. Now it's the hottest output guitar I own and is giving Annie a run for her money. Really!
The following gear is listed in the order they appear in the audio chain on my guitar rig:
This guy is the Roland GP-100 preamp. It uses COSM, a Roland proprietary technique to achieve credible simulations of classic amps. I've got Marshall, Soldano, Fender, Mesa/Boogie, Vox and others available on a flip of a switch. I also belong to the
GP-100 users group
and we exchange patches over the Internet. Pretty neat. Patches like Slash's rig, Boston, SRV, Eric Clapton, EVH, Satriani, etc. The unit has a few hundred loyal fans in the group. Too bad Roland doesn't know how to market it better.
I modified the GP-100 with this
This is the dbx 266A compressor/gate. It's a dual mono/stereo unit with all the bells and whistles of a modern compressor. I run it after the preamp to get a consistent level no matter what patch I select. I usually keep the effect very light so it doesn't interfere with the dynamics.
BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer. It adds punch and clarity and brings out the harmonics like no other box. It has a huge headroom so I drive it pretty hard with the dbx. The effect seems to open the overall tone and it does wonders for the acoustic guitar simulations of the GP-100.
This is my beloved Mesa/Boogie Fifty-Fifty. This is an all tube stereo power amp specially designed for guitar. It has volume and presence controls plus a neat low power switch that puts the tubes in overload mode without cranking it up. And thank goodness for that feature because, it, is, very, very, very LOUD!!! This amp made a world of a difference for my tone after replacing my solid-state Marshall 8008 with it.
Last but not least is my Marshall LEAD 1960A cabinet. It has four 12" Celestion speakers and it's rated at 300 watts. When properly angled, this cabinet can rip the paint off the wall....
E-MU ESI-32 Sampler. It is loaded! I have it maxed out with 32 Mb of RAM and SCSI port connected to an external drive. I have about 20 CD-ROMs with all kinds of samples though I like to stick to the basics. The main reason I got the sampler was to assemble a nice set of real sounding instruments: bass, drums, keys, etc. I also like the weird little sounds you can make with it but for what I use it, I prefer the closest thing to the real thing. I've collected some cool pads, pianos, drum sets and string ensembles that would have been very difficult (or expensive) to get with any other type of device.
E-MU ProteusFX (see a pattern here?). This is a sound module derived from the Proteus modules plus effects like chorus, delay, reverb, etc. I think it's main strength is the string ensembles and horns. They sound very real and natural.
All this equipment gets mixed on my trusty old Peavey MD-16 mixer. I picked this puppy up from a used gear store for $100. I like the tone better than with my Soundcraft and all it's "British" EQs.
This is my Hafler P3000 amp. It's 150 watt per channel stereo solid state amp. I chose this guy over other amps mainly for it's specs, especially the amazing
noise floor. It didn't hurt either that Hafler has an excellent reputation as one of the best amps on the market. Well, specs or whatever, it sure beats everything else I had before.
And I hear everything through these Alesis Monitor Two speakers. I finally got a decent amp to go with these speakers. I still think they are ok but not impressive. They're huge and pretty hefty (35lbs.) but because they are mid-field monitors (as opposed to near-field), you really need to crank'em up and step back to hear them shine. Not a good thing when you live in a small apartment in the middle of the city.
Well, that's it for now. I'll get some more pictures of the rest of my gear soon. I'm also thinking about recording a short piece with each guitar so you can sample their tone. Later.
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