Last updated 11 July 2009
Arirang strat copy, bought used in 1986, sold in November 2004 after many modifications. This brand was popular in
Spain with beginners during the early 80s, when you could either have a lot of money and go for a well known brand like
Gibson or Fender... or opt for a budget model from Arirang or Talmus. This was before Squier came into the market and
other budget -but decent quality- guitars appeared.
This was my first guitar, and at first it looked like this. It was probably made in Japan.
The body is plywood and the original neck is probably pine... and thick like a telephone post! However, it sounded
pretty "stratty", and for (mainly) sentimental reasons I kept it. It had a 3-way switch and it's tricky to get those
in-between sounds so characteristic of strats. In addition, this guitar doesn't follow Fender's measurements, which meant
I couldn't fit a standard 5-way switch, as this one is smaller (32mm between screws).
Eventually I grew tired of its bad playability and despite sentimental value I replaced the neck for a nice maple neck
from Brandoni. Then replaced a dead neck pickup for a Kent Armstrong HST-1, which sounded much sweeter than the
original. At this stage, it looked like this. The ceramic HST-1 pickup is a little hot and meant for the bridge position, but
it works really well as a neck pickup, I tell you.
Later, in 2004, I decided to turn this guitar into a nice player. I tracked down a suitable 5-way switch (eBay is your
friend!), got new pots and pickups (all by Kent Armstrong, the idea was to move the HST-1 to the bridge position, and
put a STV-1R in the middle, and a STV4N at the neck). But I decided I liked the look of a sunburst/maple strat with a
white scratchplate, so I got one of those... and aged pickup covers... and it ended up looking like this.
I put Fender decal, and wanted to add "estrastocaster" to it... it's not meant to fool anyone (as if!!!) but I got tired of
the empty headstock and the Spanish speakers will understand the joke (?).
So the guitar has very little left from the original. With a new bridge (blocked trem, so stays in tune), jack socket, strap
buttons, neck, pickups, scratchplate, completely shielded inside, new pots... the volume pot is a push/push type, which
in the normal position does nothing, and if you press it, it connects the bridge pickup in parallel to whatever pickups
were already selected. This allows you to have all three pickups at once, and also neck+bridge together, which sounds
very nice, reminiscent of a telecaster.
Then I decided I really wanted a thinner more modern style neck, with bigger frets... and bought a Fender Stratocaster. I
cannot keep so many guitars, so the Arirang was sold on eBay. Incidentally, I ended up selling the Fender too, and I
decided that a cheap Vintage V6 copy was better... but that's another story (see below).
Gordon Smith GS1, 1986 model (bought used in 1993, reluctantly sold in October 2005). Very light, very simple, very
smooth, very nice guitar, all mahogany. It has the natural finish headstock, unlike the more modern GS guitars. I went
into a shop in Cambridge looking for a Squier strat and this guitar was looking at me from a corner, in the second hand
section... I ignored her initially, but when I wasn't too happy with the other guitars I tried, the shop owner said "look,
try this one" and handed me the GS1. I fell in love and we were together for almost 13 years. Quite a variety of sounds
for a one pickup guitar, thanks to a well adjusted tone control and the coil tap. More pictures: back, and at an angle
showing the neck joint.
It really is a great guitar, as most GS guitars of that era seem to be. Unfortunately I needed to reduce the amount of gear
I had and could use the cash... by 2005 I had other guitars I played more. In particular the Sambora strat and the SX
I am not in the habit of naming guitars... but this one was called Christine. She told me so.
Kay guitar, funky shape... cost me £19.50 at a pawnshop in Norwich in 1994. Sold it in 2002. Bought it merely as a
decorative object. The pickups were very mellow and sounded great clean, but with any amount of distortion they
sounded horrible, and the vibrato bridge would never stay in tune. From emails I have exchanged with other people
who visited my site, I think the model was Kay Audition... but cannot be sure. It had a very thin small body and was very
light, which my girlfriend at the time liked and was the guitar she'd try to learn on. It was pretty loud unplugged, very
resonant. But the bridge was terrible, it could not stay in tune, and the frets needed work if it was going to be taken
seriously. So as the clutter in my small flat grew, I had to let it go.
More pictures: headstock showing string retainer and zero fret, body front, body back.
Lyon by Washburn, Precision type bass. It works pretty well and it was cheap (s/h in 1995, sold in May 2004). I thought
about refinishing it in black. I hate red guitars, blergh! But I kept it red until the end. It had a pretty good range of
sounds, from nice trebly slap to serious thud thanks to a well matched tone control. I sold it because I was looking for a
yet wider range of sounds and bought a Squier Precision with an extra Jazz style pickup at the bridge.
Fender Stratocaster, mexican, Richie Sambora Std model (bought new in 1997 -actually a birthday present from my
girlfriend-, but a "50 anniversary model" made in November 1996). This is my favourite guitar, for the variety of sounds
and feel. I love it. The stock pickups are pretty good, one of which is a Dimarzio H8 humbucker at the bridge (basically
a PAF Pro custom made for Fender) and it has a Floyd Rose vibrato system. I can get serious rock sounds as well as classic
strat ones, and it's a joy to play. Very versatile.
I altered the wiring so that I have tone control on the bridge humbucker with a different capacitor giving me a very
wide range of useable sounds. The middle position gives me the neck pickup plus one coil from the humbucker,
attempting to get tele-like sounds, and the second position (mid+bridge) also splits the humbucker, for a more classic
strat sound. The volume control also has an extra cap which allows me to alter the overall gain without changing much of
the tone or getting "muddy", just by turning a little the volume pot.
There's just one minor thing. The Floyd Rose II bridge and the arm attachment. First, the body is not routed for this type
of bridge, which means that the bridge can be made to hit the body producing a not very nice "clonk" sound. No serious
upbends then. Not a problem to me, but you have to be aware of that when you play: the operation range is only
upbend a little, and downbend as much as you like. The other thing is the way the arm attaches. See the picture here.
The arm keeps coming loose, and wobbling. I managed to make it useable by putting a spring in the cavity and tightening
as hard as I could with my fingers... but still, not great. The system on my Ibanez RG548 is better, but still not perfect. I
much prefer the adjustable push-in types like the Wilkinson in my Vintage V6 strat (see below). The Wilkinson type
More pictures: body, body side, headstock, back of headstock showing the 50 anniversary label
Vulcan, korean-made flying V copy (s/h 1997). I sold this guitar in January 2002. Surprisingly nice player, but didn't get
along with the shape... I found it on a pawnshop window, and I had to have it. If it had said Epiphone on the headstock
you would think it was a nice Epiphone, but it didn't so it was cheaper. It had a bolt-on neck and I even liked the
pickups, but with that shape you cannot play it sitting down, and it was hard to find a case that would suit it... so I let it
go. Very "metal"...
More pictures: body close up.
Gordon Smith Graduate 60, 1999 model, bought new in April 2000, sold in July 2002. Very nice and yummy guitar,
another Gordon-Smith. I was on a quest for a neck humbucker... I toyed with the idea of installing one on my trusty GS1,
but I was loath to commit it to surgery. So another GS had to be... I started looking for a GS2, but ended up with the
GS60. I had some problem with the pickup switch, that I ended up replacing soon. I heard from other Gordon-Smith
owners having similar problems. It's a minor point in an otherwise very nice guitar, but I hope GS realise the problem
and source their switches elsewhere in the future.
The bridge pickup wasn't great, hotter and thinner than that on my GS1, but the neck one was very nice and round. As all
GS guitars, the humbuckers are coil-tapped at the pull of the volume knob. The guitar had a very wide range of sounds,
and was good to play.
However I ended up selling it as I found it a bit too heavy (ouch, my shoulder!) and I prefer a slightly thinner neck, like
the one on my GS1. I sold it to Mr. Gary Ames, regular at uk.music.guitar, a very nice guy and fan of Gordon-Smith
guitars, so I knew he'd look after it well :-) Here's a picture of the GS60 with pickguard. The sale of this guitar funded
the aquisition of another tasty guitar, the Ibanez RG548 shown below... much lighter and comfortable, although a
different animal altogether.
Yamaha AEX502. Bought new in June 2001, sold June 2006. Alder body with lightly flamed maple top. I saw it at a shop
window in Edinburgh, sun shining on the golden hardware and enhancing the wood grain. And it had P90 pickups!!! I
went in a week later, hoping it'd be gone (no, still there), I tried it hoping I wouldn't like it (hmm, no, I did like it, even
through the crappy amp they gave me), I brought a friend hoping he'd say that guitar was horrible (damn, he liked it
too). So I had to have it! Gotta love those P90s! It's the warmth... plugged into my Fender Vibrochamp is tone bliss.
As I said earlier, I am not really into naming guitars... but this one was called Manuela. So there.
More pictures: body, back, angle, and another one I like.
Squier Telecaster, Japanese, E-series: 1984-87 model (my guess is '86) (s/h in 2002, when it looked like this and sold in
September 2005). Kent Armstrong hot-rails type humbucker (model THR1R) at the bridge and 5-way switch giving me a
nice set of sounds. The humbucker has the coils wired in parallel, which gives a slightly lower output but works very
well on the tele, more similar to a single coil in character, but very ballsy and humbucking. The switch gives me the
usual three positions (neck, bridge, or neck and bridge in parallel) plus bridge and neck in series which gives a higher
output than parallel, with a fatter character. The bridge-only position is repeated... should have used a 4-way switch
but I guess 5-way ones are easier to find. The neck on this guitar is slim and very nice to play. I had it refretted in July
2003 with some fat Dunlop fretwire (6100) and it's so much nicer to play (it had originally a very worn and thin "vintage"
style wire). I loved this guitar, it was my favourite for a long time, but I needed to reduce sharply the amount of gear I
owned, and sadly it had to go. I think I may regret this... it's the best Tele I tried.
More pictures: headstock, body close up, back view, with blue pearloid scratchplate, and red tortoise-shell effect
Ibanez RG548 NTM. (s/h in 2002, sold in February 2006). 1997 model, made in Japan. Ash body (as opposed to the usual
basswood on RG guitars) with natural finish showing a very nice grain, and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. A
lucky find on eBay. The Ibanez feels superb, it has a great neck, slim and comfortable, with big frets. The pickups were
my only gripe. The neck humbucker (V7) is quite warm and I like it. The middle single coil is alright (S1). But the bridge
humbucker is very muddy and not nice at all (V8). I have put a DiMarzio DP159 Evolution at the bridge now, and it's a
great improvement. The strat has a PAF Pro which is brilliant, but I thought I'd leave the strat for more classic sounds and
use the Ibanez for more high gain sounds and modern rock, so that they complement eachother. The Edge vibrato
system on this guitar is pretty good. I am not much into heavy useage of this thing, but... when it works so well, you've
gotta use it! It's funny how different guitars make you play in different ways.
More pictures: body, headstock, and back.
Yamaha APX4A (s/h in 2003, sold March 2006). Not sure how old this guitar is. Another eBay find, from a guy from
Kirkcaldy (Andy Dorrat) who used it in his band (Aieris). I never felt very comfortable with acoustics: the big body, the
hard action... The Yamaha is a great compromise. It has a slightly thinner body than usual, which seems enough to offer
a lot more comfort while playing, but doesn't lose much in terms of volume. The neck is great, I feel at home with this.
Not as thin as that of any of my electrics, but doesn't feel too chunky, very comfortable. There are better acoustics,
granted, but the sound of the APX4A is more than adequate for me, and you can plug in too, which is great for recording.
I get decent sounds while plugging directly into my multitrack, but I recently discovered the "tube preamp" simulation of
the V-Amp works a treat for the APX4A... Great inexpensive guitar. I used 0.011" gauge Elixir strings on this one ... they
More pictures: EQ, and another one that I like.
Squier Precision DeLuxe bass. Made in Indonesia. Bought s/h in April 2004, sold September 2005. Indonesian Squiers
don't have a good reputation, but I really like this bass. It's the standard Precision bass with an extra "jazz" type pickup at
the bridge position. It was sold to me as a "deLuxe" model, probably in analogy with the Fender "deLuxe" models, which
are Precisions with an extra jazz pickup. However, it doesn't say "deLuxe" anywhere in the bass... so who knows. And
who cares, really.
It has a separate volume for each pickup and a shared tone control. It plays well and it's got good sounds, and a wide
variety of them when blending both pickups in different amounts. I thought I'd rewire it to have a master tone and
master volume pot, and make the third pot into a "balance" pot, so that I can get either one or other pickup... or
different blends, simply by turning one knob rather than two.
It's made of solid wood, unlike my old Lyon Washburn, but it's a lot heavier too... I don't know what wood that is, but it
sure is heavy. Good sound 'though. I sold it as I preferred the Jazz-type bass I got later.
More pictures: body, back, headstock front & back. After I sold it, it underwent some cosmetic changes. I was sent these
pictures by the new owner (thanks Barry!), it does look good! pic1, pic2, pic3.
Yamaha Pacifica 112. Bought s/h May 2004 with a Roland GK2A installed on it (sold in October 2004). After selling some
of my FX processors I got tempted by the guitar synth thing. And again eBay was my friend. I found this Pacifica with a
GK-2A already installed, and the Pacificas are nice guitars... so I went for it, as I wasn't sure I wanted to put that hideous
black thing on any of my other guitars.
The 112 is nice to play, with a thin neck and flattish fretboard. The pickups 'though are less inspiring, useable, but I don't
like them too much. But it's a nice guitar, well built, and with a new set of pickups I'm sure it'll be a great guitar. The
synth is great fun, but that has little to do with the actual guitar, so I won't add anything else here.
Great budget guitar, and versatile range of sounds with the two single coils and the humbucker.
More pictures: back, body, headstock.
SX GG1-JR Les Paul junior style. Bought new in July 2004. Another very cheap guitar, made in China. You just cannot
ignore cheap guitars these days, you can find pretty good ones. I got it online from Germany without ever playing it... it
was cheap and pretty, and had P90s (I'm a sucker for P90s) so I had to try it.
This one is a Les Paul shape, flat top withough cap or binding, and a couple of P90 pickups. Simple. Made of mahogany,
set neck, translucent finish. The finish is quite decent, a few tiny cosmetic flaws at the end of the fretboard, but
nothing major. It just needed a little adjustment here and there and plays very nice. The neck is a bit thicker than I
normally go for, but it's comfortable and the guitar is not as heavy as a Les Paul. The pickups, as this is a cheap guitar
"Made in China", I was ready to get a replacement before I tried them... but they are very sweet sounding. Amazing
guitar for the money. I recently got some nice compliments on its sound, although I must admit I was playing through a
rather nice modded Marshall JCM800...
I had another guitar with P90s (Yamaha AEX502), but this one is a different, this one is a bit sweeter, and a bit less hot.
With the two pickups on you can get a very good hot telecaster impersonation. I play this guitar a lot, a favourite. Don't
knock a guitar just because it's cheap or from an unknown brand... try it first! This one is excellent!
More on SX guitars.
More pictures: body, back, headstock, without scratchplate full & body, angle view.
Fender Stratocaster USA Highway1. Made in 2002 (Z2 series) (s/h August 2004, sold February 2005). If you want a
stratocaster sound, you have to get a guitar with three single coils and in the right position!... that much is clear to me.
My Sambora strat is a great guitar, but with the humbucker and the slightly altered middle pickup location, it sounds very
close, but not quite. So I looked around for a nice strat and I ended up with this Highway1 USA strat. Essentially a USA
strat, but with vintage style bridge, the former AmStd neck (as opposed to the hand-rolled edge of the new American
Series), and a much thinner satin finish. It looks great to me, showing the grain nicely under the translucent blue finish,
and it plays very nicely indeed. Great guitar. I was a little "underwhelmed" by the pickups, which I found a bit thin an
uninspiring (certainly compared to the Sambora, which has very nice pickups). All the classic strat sounds are there but
something is not quite the way I want it. I was considering a set of Lindy Fralin pickups as a replacement, but meanwhile
I found the Vintage brand V6 strat clone, and fell in love with it. Plus it was a lot cheaper, so I ended up selling the
More pictures: back, body front & back, headstock front & back.
Vintage V6 stratocaster. Bought new in December 2004, reluctantly sold in September 2006. Vintage seems to produce
pretty good value for money guitars. This strat looked very attractive on price and features: Eastern poplar body and
maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, Wilkinson designed tremolo, pickups, and EZ-lok tuners. After the success I had
with a similarly cheap guitar (the SX above) I decided to give one of these guitars a good try, and see if I can like it
enough to get rid of my "real" stratocaster (I'm talking about the Highway1, the Richie Sambora stays!).
It was hard to get. At first I wanted a "laguna blue" model... but I ordered one and waited and waited and then I was told
I'd have to wait even more... or choose another colour. So I went for the sunburst (V6SB). My first impression was "this
looks great!", followed by a really nice feeling when I tried the slim neck. It is slimmer than my Highway1 strat, but not
as slim as an Ibanez RG; it's really comfortable. The guitar has a nice weight and feel in general. The tuners have a
strange feel to them, but they work well. The pickups are pretty good, better than those in my Fender Highway1 strat.
The guitar cleans up nicely as you turn the volume down, without sounding muddy, thanks to a filter cap already fitted,
and the bridge pickup is controlled by its own tone control: brilliant, I have no urge to mess with the wiring in this strat!
The trem, once adjusted, works very well too... just bear in mind it's not a double locking Floyd Rose, so be gentler. The
feel of the vibrato arm is the best I've ever tried. All in all, a pretty nice guitar for ridiculous money... and it looks like
I'm going to keep this one and sell the Fender. Are you looking for a strat in a budget? Give this one a try! Or look for the
strats made by SX (not easy to come by 'though)... I miss this guitar.
More pictures: back, body front and back, back with trem cavity open, detail of trem cavity as bought and after
adjusting spring tension, headstock front 1 and 2 and back, tuner detail, bridge saddles, nut.
Vintage EJM96BK. Jazz bass style, passive. Bought new in May 2005, sold April 2008. Usual configuration for a J-bass,
with hardware and pickups by Wilkinson. Very slim neck, nice and easy to play. Good balance and weight. Sounds? great
to my ears. This one makes all the sounds I want to hear from a bass. I am really amazed at how much of an instrument
you can get for little money these days. I prefer it to the Squier P/J bass above because the neck is slimmer and I get on
better with it, and it's lighter. Sound-wise, both are very versatile, but different, due to the different pickups, and that
even the bridge J-style pickup on the Precision is placed at a different point than in the Vintage bass. I prefer the
In 2007 I started using this bass in a band. That's where the electronics proved to be the weak point on this guitar. It can
be quite noisy unless both pickups are on equally (humbucking position). Also, the pickups sound great but they can
squeal when playing at high volume in a rehearsal room, which is a shame. However, it's a very simple procedure to
rewire the bass and shield it properly, and a pair of Kent Armstrong pickups won't be too harsh on the pocket and work
just fine. It's a great bass, and the issues with the electronics won't bother most people playing at home.
I was thinking of selling it, because I find the big body a bit heavy. Also, call me vain, but big bodied guitars and basses
can look a bit funny on smaller guys, and I'm no giant! I love the J-bass sound and subsequently I got a Warwick Corvette
with J-style pickups, lighter and smaller bodied which suits me better. But the neck on the Jazz is just so nice, it's hard
to let it go. It's a great bass to play fast or complicated parts... or anything. Just a good bass.
Initially it had a tortoise-shell effect scratchplate, which I changed for black aluminium one.
Update April 2008: I changed the scratchplate, and the new metal one just highlighted the wiring issues, so I went and
rewired the thing making sure I removed the ground loops and shielding everything. I had to sand part of the back of teh
scratchplate to ensure good connection. The effect is amazing. The bass is dead quiet now. I didn't shield the pickups
yet, but the neck pickup is practically shielded because of the metal scratchplate: no hum coming from that one, unlike
from the bridge pickup, but even then it's quieter than it was. I also replaced the tone control with a push/push pot, so
that it can also act to select both pickups in parallel (as standard) or in series. With both in series you get a much bigger
fatter sound, more P-bass like. Good simple modification to try.
The pickups are still the weak point. They sound good and are okay at normal volumes, but in a loud rehearsal situation
they're too prone to squealing. Shame, as the rest of the bass is great. I sold it in the end, the big Jazz body just didn't
do it for me... but I miss it. Great bass.
More pictures the way it looked originally: full, body, angled body to show back of bridge, headstock front and back.
Pictures the way it looks now: body 1 2 3 4 5 6.
Wiring mod pictures: original wiring 1 and 2, new push/push tone control to select parallel/series 1 and 2, shielding the
control cavity, shielding into scratchplate with a drawn schematic.
Vintage VRS110. Model VRS110STS. I had this guitar for about a week in February 2006. Body shape inspired by PRS
guitars, in sunburst with nice flamed slightly arched top. Comfortable thin body and satin finish. Although Vintage now
has Wilkinson hardware, this guitar didn't. The neck is slim, slimmer than the new VRS100, and the frets were also
thinner. Although I prefer taller frets, it wasn't hard to play. It has a fixed bridge. The pickups were rather weak, I
thought. A bit muddy. I liked the playability, but the pickups would certainly be replaced if I kept the guitar. The finish
was quite decent, with the usual (in Vintage guitars) minor cosmetic flaws here and there. I was looking for a simple
twin humbucker guitar, on my quest to reduce the number of guitars (I had decided to keep for sure only the Sambora
strat, the SX with P90s, and maybe the jazz bass), and as I have been very pleased with the very economical Vintage
guitars, I thought a VRS110 would be just the thing (I don't like the SG's neck-heaviness, or the Les Paul's weight and
top-fret accessibility). The guitar was nice, but the pickups weak, so I tried to get a newer VRS110... before I did, I
became seduced by a white VRS100 (with trem bridge), which is what I got instead.
More pics: body, pickup/bridge detail -not Wilkinson- (still with protective film), headstock.
Vintage VRS100. Model VRS100AW. New in February 2006 (model introduced in December 2005), sold in February 2008.
Same PRS style design as the VRS110 above, but hardware (golden) by Wilkinson. The finish is decent, but with the same
usual minor cosmetic flaws... The neck is a bit chunkier than the older VRS110, which is actually nicer in my opinion. The
frets are also bigger, which again I prefer. I am not very keen on the finish on the neck... I'd rather have the wood
showing there, instead it's finished in white like the body and headstock, but it feels alright. The Wilkinson pickups are
very good. A bit hotter than I'd prefer, but I am happy with them. After I set up the guitar to my preferences, I like it a
lot. Good guitar for the price. If they sorted out their finish flaws they could sell at much higher price... but I'd rather
live with the flaws and pay little!
In my particular guitar, the trem claws were not very well fitted... which shows that these guitars are made quickly
without a great deal of attention to detail, but if you're handy at set ups, Vintage guitars are good value.
Eventually I realised that I really just wanted a fixed bridge, so I sold this one and got another VRS110.
More pics: body 1 , 2 and 3, lower angle body, back of body, bridge and pickups 1 and 2, fret markers on fingerboard 1,
2 and 3, headstock front and back.
Vintage VRS110. Model VRS110C. Bought second hand in February 2008, sold August 2008. Essentially like the VRS100
above, but black with a fixed bridge instead of a vibrato, and with binding on body and neck. I wish the neck were
unbound, and not painted... but it's a nice guitar. Same Wilkinson hardware and pickups. The bridge is a simple
wrapover type, with an ingenious way to further adjust the 2nd and 3rd strings.
More pics: body, headstock, bridge, a picture of two VRS while I had them both.
Variax 300 by Line6. Bought new in September 2006, sold in April 2008. A digital modelling guitar. It simulates a wide
range of electric guitars, with different pickup configurations, all customisable with the Workbench software. Brilliant. It
may not sound like the best strat or the best Les Paul in teh world, but it sounds very good... and the guitar itself is not
bad. Nice construction, reminds me a bit of the Yamaha Pacifica. Flattish fingerboard, medium frets, slim neck, nice to
play. In addition to the electric sounds you get several very credible acoustic simulations, a resonator, a sitar... and if
that's not enough, it will also do alternative tunings: you can save a preset say with an acoustic in standard tuning,
another in DAGDAD, then a Les Paul in drop-D tuning and... you get the idea. No more need to have several guitars in
different tunings, one does it all. I am very pleased with this one. I bought it when i was selling 90% of all my guitars and
I saw this one on sale.
Oh, I almost forgot... one of the best things is that it's absolutely noiseless! No more interference from computer
monitors, TV, or other electrical equipment... In fact, the P90 simulation is one of the best... but totally noiseless!!! For
that alone is worth buying!
To get the best sounds I found I had to tweak slightly the pickup settings in the preset models, with the Workbench
software. If you get a Variax you definitely have to get the Workbench too. It's a lot of fun too, as it allows you to
experiment with crazy configurations, and to hear how the sound changes as you move a pickup forwards or backwards,
and the effect of the angle at which is set...
After a while, I rarely used this guitar. It is nice, but I had others that felt nicer to play, so I sold it. Nice idea, just not
More pics: body 1, 2. body at angle, back, back of body, bridge, headstock front and back.
Alba bass. Precision-style bass. New in May 2007, sold November 2007. I was slowly moving towards playing bass rather
than guitar, and enjoying my Vintage Jazz, and then I came across this bass. I have tried some Alba guitars and were
nice, mostly, but this bass is *really* very nice. Everything you want in a P-bass. The only thing I don't like so much is the
logo, but at least the headstock shape is good. The neck is chunkier than my Jazz, as expected, and the pickup is
surprisingly meaty. It sounds great. It doesn't slap as well as the Jazz, but maybe I have to experiment with different
strings etc. Powerful. One thing, 'though. half of the split pickup fell into the body on its own: there's no foam
supporting the pickup! It stays where it stays with a tiny bit of glue into the pickup cover! No big deal, I opened it and
reinstalled the pickups with adequate foam support, and it's solid. Very nice cheap bass. It also looks good, I think.
More pics, as it looked originally: back, body, body angle, full angled, headstock front and back.
After a while I changed the white pickguard for a black pearloid one: body 1 and 2.
Alba guitars. Together with the bass above I bought several other guitars. They had an interesting price and looked nice
so I decided to try them. I didn't keep any of them. The teles were the best of the bunch.
Les Paul cherry sunburst
Les Paul white
Semi solid with F-holes
Tanglewood Warrior III bass. New in September 2007 (new old stock located at a shop in Bristol). Sold July 2009.
Heavily "inspired" by the Warwick Infinity bass, at a small fraction of the price. I'm sure it's not as good as the Warwick,
but it's nice enough.
It's a great bass. The MusicMan style pickup is powerful and it growls, but it also sounds great for slapping, although the
fretboard overhang after the 24th fret can make it hard to pop, but you have to adjust your playing a bit... Nice range
of sounds, and good solid feel. The neck is more like a Precision neck. Not slim, but comfortable. Since its arrival it has
taken over the Jazz's previous position as "favourite", purely because of the sound of that big humbucker. It's currently
strung with a similar set of strings as the Jazz (.045/.065/.080/.100) but the action is a little higher, which makes it
nicer when playing hard as the strings don't bounce off the frets too much, unless I really want them to. This model hasn't
been in production for a few years now, which is a shame, but it can be found occasionally on eBay. Last one I saw went
for only £82! There seem to be two types of Warrior III basses. Initial models appeared to have only three controls (two
volumes and one tone) and the finish was different, without a control cavity at the back, also. Mine has a 4-knob
configuration and a control cavity accessible from the back. This particular bass was supposed to be black, some kind of
translucent glossy black. It does appear black if using a flash, but it's actually dark brown if observed under normal
lighting. The grain of the wood is clearly visible. Great sounding solid bass.
More pics: Body 1, 2, 3, and headstock.
Another set of pictures under natural lighting: full, back, body 1 2 3, back of body, neck joint, misc.
Pictures of other Warrior III models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and a review on Guitarist magazine.
In September 2008 I decided the tone controls were not doing much, and that I really wanted a 3-band active EQ in this
bass. It took me a while to plan it, as the control cavity is small and you have the F-hole to consider, as cables can start
to show if you put too much stuff in there.
I bought a Glockenklang 3-band EQ system, which uses 5 knobs: volume, blend, and tone: bass, mid, treble. I had to drill
a new hole for the extra control, and then I realised that I needed to shave some wood off from the inside and I didn't
have the tools. Fortunately I had met Rory Dowling, from Taran Guitars, and he sorted it for me.
(More about the preamp, and pictures. Black hardware. Coming soon)
Ashbory bass. New October 2007, good deal buying direct from USA. Sold in November 2007. Interesting surreal-looking
fretless bass with silicone strings and a piezoelectric pickup, that sounds not too different from a double bass. Very light,
easily taken anywhere (18 inch scale length). It is easier to play than I had imagined, and it does sound great. I found
annoying how long the strings take to stabilise. We're talking weeks here! Also, being so small, it's a bit awkward to
wear. Nice sounds, 'though. I sold it when I discovered that an electric fretless with flatwound strings was a decent
approximation to the sound I was after, and it felt more "natural".
More pics: back, body 1 and 2, 24th fret area, headstock front and back.
Wesley Monarch bass. New November 2007. Very cheap bass... but fantastic value. Very similar in shape to the Warwick
Streamer. Very well made and finished, with a smooth, slim, comfortable neck. It sounds great too, although the output
level is noticeable lower than every other bass I have. I play it mostly finger style, but it's a very good slapping machine,
really comfortable. It feels better than much more expensive basses, and the two humbuckers are very nice. If I had to
change anything, I'd change the bridge, but it's perfectly adequate. Really good bass. If you have no money but need a
bass, get one of these! If you have money... get one anyway!
In the Summer of 2008 I installed a cheap Artec 2-band preamp. It worked, but it wasn't fantastic. The bass control was
good, but the treble didn't do much, and I had no control over the mids, which is where I really need it. So eventually, I
bought the 3-band version. I haven't installed it yet as I need to route out a bit of wood and the bass is still in bits. I'll do
it, soon, mañana...
More pics: body front and back, body at angles 1, 2, headstock front and back.
Cruiser/Crafter CX-150. New November 2007, sold November 2008. This is a 5-string active bass. Two humbuckers and
active bass/treble EQ preamp. This bass is quite well made, although the set up is not perfect. I find the nut has been
cut a bit too low, for low action, but that results in some annoying buzzing on the lower frets on the low B string
especially. However that can be cured easily. The sound is ok. This bass is "active-only" so if the battery goes, it will not
work at all. However, a decent Bartolini preamp is not expensive, and it comes set up to allow me to choose between
active and passive configurations, so I may go this route in the future, if I end up using it enough. This will give me more
sounds to play with, and will not make the bass dead when the battery is gone. The bass itself is nice. The strings are a
bit closer together than I'd like, but that's not unusual in a 5-string, however the neck is shallow and very comfortable.
The addition of a 5th string is confusing at first, but soon it becomes second nature and the ability to play low notes
higher up on the neck is very welcome. Not something I use very often, but a good tool to have.
Late in 2008 I found a 5-string bass I liked a lot more, and I sold this one. The one I found was the Washburn RB2500 (see
More pics: back, body front and back, body at angle 1 2 3 4 5, neck joint, headstock front and back.
Stagg fretless bass. Second hand November 2007, sold December 2008. Simple P/J configuration bass, with flatwound
strings. Another very cheap bass that surprised me. The pickup covers are a bit loosely mounted (easily fixable) but I
don't have any real complaints. I don't know much about fretless basses, but I have a sound in my head and this bass
makes it. Quite a variety of tones, you can make a bit acoustic like, or more electric. Very versatile. I think the trick has
to be the use of flatwound strings, that alone confers a big part of the "double bass" character. It took me a little while
to play it reasonably in tune... because I didn't know that the side fret markers are not placed like in a fretted bass
(between frets), but right ON the fret. Once you realise that, it's relatively easy to adjust if you're used to playing a long
I bought this because on my main band a few of the songs looked like they would sound great with a fretless. To be
honest, I don't really play it during rehearsals as I don't want to carry two basses, and I don't feel comfortable enough to
play everything on the fretless, but I play it at home and I would record with it. Actually, the guy I bought the bass from
used it in a couple of recordings and it sounded great. Eventually I sold it, as I wasn't really using it. I've had briefly
another Stagg bass, just like this one but fretted. Look below for that one.
More pics: back, body 1 2 3 4, body back 1 2, headstock front and back
Warwick Corvette $$ (double buck). Second hand November 2007. Very nice bass, feels great, and sounds better. It's
very versatile, the two big humbuckers and the black look seems to scream "metal", which it would do just fine. But you
can coax all sorts of sounds from this. This one is my main bass. It has an active EQ, but it can be disconnected leaving it
in passive mode... so even if the battery runs out, the bass still works. In addition, each of the big MM-style humbuckers
can be switched to coils in series (as standard for a humbucker), in parallel (still humbucking, but a little thinner), and
coil tapped (which approximates the sound of a J-bass, actually). Between this and the active EQ there are just too
many possible sounds... It took me a while to find my way around and figure which combinations were useful for me.
The bass is strung with Elites Stadium steel 50-110s, same strings it had when I bought it. The strings are clearly a bit dull
by now, but they feel right and it sounds great so although I have bought spare strings I don't want to change them yet.
It's a great bass, play it either fingerstyle or with a plectrum, or slap the hell out of it... it never disappoints. This is the
bass I keep coming back to. The neck is a little chunky: it is thin, but it has a deep "D" profile. It is the one thing I would
change... I have considered reprofiling the neck to a more "C" like shape... but it is not too much of an issue. It makes
me work a bit harder, but not too much. The sound is worth it.
Warwick basses are quite special. I love their ultra-adjustable nut and bridges... The nut can be altered in height using a
couple of allen keys. It seems such an obvious thing to do that I am surprised this isn't the norm. The bridge also can be
adjusted in every way you can think of. I can't imagine ever getting rid off this bass.
In the Summer of 2008 I found DR coated strings, and I put a set on this bass ("Blue Peacock", gauge 45-105). Besides the
look (which I think is great) they're great strings.
More pics: back, body 1 2 3, body back 1 2, control cavity, headstock front and back.
More pics: with the Corvette STD 1, 2.
(More pics with blue DR coated strings, coming soon)
Warwick Corvette STD. Second hand December 2007. Sold July 2008. Another Corvette, but this one is passive. Two
J-style pickups, and sounds very much like a Jazz bass, but in a more compact body (but not as slim neck). I really like
this bass. The Corvette $$ above does a reasonable approximation to the sound of this one when coil-tapping the
pickups, and I was thinking I'll keep the Vintage Jazz bass because of its fast and comfortable neck... so this Warwick is a
I ended up selling both this and the Jazz.
More pics: back, body 1 2 3 4, body back, control cavity, headstock front and back.
Vintage SG. Model VS6. Second hand in January 2008, sold July 2008. I came across a very cheap one, and I had to get it.
I have always liked the SG, but never bought one because of the characteristic neck-heaviness. Vintage brand SGs get
quite good comments from people I trust... so I went for this one. It was going cheap because it was one of the older
models (pre-Wilkinson) and it had a couple of loose pots and loose jack socket, as well as being rather dirty. But it was
structurally sound, and sorting the hardware took me all of 5 minutes, including a few sprays of electric contact cleaner.
Bargain. The "neck dive" is very prominent on this guitar... if I keep it I'll have to get a coarse back leather strap or
something like that. It is light, very comfortable, and the neck is very thin and slim... it feels like a tooth pick after
playing bass for a bit, especially the 5-string one! But it's a great neck. The frets are thin, unlike in the newer models. I
don't like thin frets much, but it's not a terrible thing. The pickups are adequate, but as in most pre-Wilkinson models,
they sound a bit sterile. It sounds good, but if I keep this guitar I'll install some decent pickups, and then it'll be a truly
A friend of mine is getting a Gibson SG that has been stripped to the bare wood. If I keep this guitar, I may do the same.
Here's what somebody did to another Vintage SG: carved SG.
I'm not sure about the carving, but I think the body looks nicer than in the original cherry colour.
More pics: back, body 1 2 3 4, body back, headstock.
Wesley Freeport. New in March 2008, sold July 2008. Another very cheap guitar. Based on the Wesley bass I owned,
which is great, I was wondering if this guitar would be anywhere as good. A telecaster shaped semisolid guitar, with set
neck and a pair of P90 pickups, it sounds a lot more telecaster-like than I expected: the bridge pickup sounds a lot like a
hot telecaster. Both pickups on gives you a very teleish "honk" that i don't get with the SX Les Paul also with P90s... It's a
nice sounding guitar, although the set up was a little off and too much buzz... no big deal, easily corrected. It's an ok
guitar, but nothing special. It sounds good, but not the kind of quality I expected judging by my Wesley bass. Still, I like
it... and I got another one (see below).
More pics: back, body 1 2 3 4, body back, headstock front and back.
Wesley Freeport. New in June 2008. I already had one (see above) but I sold it to a friend so that I could get the blue
burst version, which I liked more. Purely cosmetic reasons. This one came in net great shape. It needed a good set up
and some fret levelling, but after that it's a beauty. For very little money not a bad guitar at all.
More pics: body, headstock, misc 1 2 3
Parker P38. Second hand in June 2008, sold April 2009. Great guitar, with a very slim neck, very light, very
comfortable. The pickups were a little disappointing and I bought some replacements, but I sold the guitar before I got
around to try them properly. Despite this, the original pickups are decent enough. I played for a few months in a metal
band, where the guitarist used a P38 just like this one. I tried it and loved it. The acoustic simulation was also pretty
good, in fact I liked it better than my Variax 300. So when I saw a P38 locally, I went for it.
Unfortunately, I am much more into bass than guitars these days, and this guitar was seeing no action... so it had to go.
But not a bad guitar at all. If I played guitar in a band and needed to switch between electric and acoustic sounds, I'd use
one of these.
More pics: full back, body, headstock front and back, Wilkinson bridge with Fishman piezo saddles, misc 1 2
Tanglewood Warrior. Second hand in June 2008, sold June 2009. I just like the simplicity of this single-pickup bass. It
looks great too. Very much Warwick-inspired, like my other Tanglewood Warrior. It was pretty tatty when I bought it,
but in good condition structurally. I just cleaned it a bit, changed strings, and ready to go. The MM-style pickup is very
high output, with a very deep growly tone. It sounds great in pretty much any style, and love it to slap on. It has 3
controls, a volume and two tones, but it is a passive bass! The tone controls are wired in series, so you can turn one
down, and then the other for extra treble-cut. But I don't really see the point: a single tone control could do the same. I
was thinking of rewiring it so taht each tone control uses a different value capacitor (identical now), allowing you to cut
difefrent frequencies... but I doubt I'll do it. I also thought of splitting the humbucker to choose one or another coil, or
to install a switch for parallel/series, as on my Warwick Corvette $$, but again... I doubt I'll do it. It sounds good already,
and the beauty of this bass is how simple it is.
Now, not everything is great about this bass. It is very neck-heavy. It is not a very heavy bass, but with the short horn
the bass doesn't balance very well on a strap. A suede strap helps, but the imbalance is there. I could move the strap
buttons, I suppose... I experimented a bit with duct tape, and moving the bottom end button towards the left edge
helped with the balance, but didn't cure it. If this were my main bass I'd get serious about it, but as it isn't, I'll let it be.
More pics: full back, body, body back, headstock front and back, misc 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, with Warwick Corvette $$.
Washburn RB2500. Second hand June 2008. Five string bass with narrow string spacing, single MM-style pickup and
2-band active EQ. The neck on this bass is on the narrow side, and shallow, which makes it really comfortable to play.
However, the strings are closer together than on my other 4-string basses, so slapping cleanly takes some adjusting to.
Very powerful pickup and fantastic preamp. It's only a 2-band, but the centre frequencies have been chosen very well.
The bass control can add a lot of deep end, without getting a muddy tone, and the treble adds sparkle without getting
brittle... unless you turn it all the way up. Turn treble down for classic finger style sounds.
This bass came with a funky paintjob, not the original. It's finished in one of these metallic car paints that look either
green or purple, depending on the angle at which it's viewed. Quite cool.
When I bought it, it came with a set of DR coated strings, "Black Beauties". They look cool (black) but most importantly
they feel great. They're smooth, and keep the bright tone for a long time. I had never tried them before this, but
subsequently I started buying DR coated strings (only one gauge: 45-105, +125 for 5-string) for my other basses.
Very deep sound, I love this bass.
More pics: full back, body, headstock front and back
More pics: changing colour 1 2 3 4 5
More pics: misc 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Stagg P/J bass. Second hand February 2009, sold April 2009. I already had one of these basses, the fretless version. Not a
bad bass. However I wasn't interested in the bass. I only bought it because it was cheap and came with a small practice
amp (Laney Hardcore HCM15B). I wanted a small amp to leave at a friend's house, for our jams there, and I figured I
could buy the bass and the amp, and sell the bass for almost as much money, leaving the amp practically free. So that's
what i did. I didn't play it much, the pickups are a bit weak, but it's a solid bass and had a good sound.
More pics: full back, body front and back, headstock front and back, misc 1 2
Ibanez SR400. Second hand February 2009. Very similar, visually, to the Stagg bass above. But a totally different animal.
This bass has a very slim neck, a bit like a Jazz bass. It has a P-style pickup amd a J-style one by the bridge, with a blend
control. It is active, with a 3-band EQ, and "it rocks"!
It has quickly became a favourite. I used it at first on the Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band (link) but it didn't convince
me there. I was used to playing the Warwick Corvette $$ and it was a very drastic change. But then I went to audition
for another band (Conscious Route, which I later joined) and sued it there, and it performed perfectly. The music is a
mix of funk, blues, rock and hip hop, and this bass sounded very good. I tend to use mostly just the J-style pickup alone,
or both together, but rarely the P-style... I'm clearly NOT a Precision bass kind of guy!
I put a set of flatwound strings (Rotosound SM77, gauge 40-100) and I was hooked. These flatwounds are not as dull as I
expected (for instance, Elite groundwounds are a lot duller). They retain enough brightness, but they're totally smooth,
and with a bit of extra mids on the onboard EQ, and a bit of bass... it sounds amazing.
This is the bass I use with Conscious Route, everytime.
More pics: full back, body front and back, headstock front and back, body without that sticker...
OLP MM2. Second hand April 2009. This is a MusicMan Stingray style bass, from OLP, the only company licensed to make
exact MusicMan copies, although admittedly not with the same level of workmanship and a few differences (like passive
rather than active, etc). The guitarist in the Richt Hoat Chilies kept going on about how I needed a Stingray (Flea used
one for years). But I was never very interested in this bass, visually, nor I wanted a big-bodied bass, and much less was I
ready to part with about £1000 for a new one. However, by now I knew I love the sound of those big humbuckers, and I
like how the single pickup Stingray has all that empty space to slap away till the cows come home. Maybe tehre was
something on this design after all? The OLP MM2 cost me just over one tenth of that number, and it's just a beauty in
every respect. Visually? It is beautiful. I am not all that excited about the "quilted top", but it's mild, not too flashy. I
removed the original tortoise-shell effect scratchplate and put a black one in its place, toning it down a bit more too. It's
just beautiful. Simple, to the point, great. Big body? Well, yes, bigger than the Warwick... but I'm not really aware of it
when I wear it. It is not heavy, it balances very well. The neck is not exactly slim, but it's not chunky either. I found it
very easy to play, although it took me a bit to adjust to the position of the frets related to the body. I seemed to be
taking lots of positional clues by the distance between the frets to the body on the Warwick, and here it's totally
different. Besides, it's 22 frets, not 24. But these are small details.
Soundwise... it's very nice. Passive, but nice. A single MM-style pickup and three controls. One volume for each coil (yes,
they do sound different! I thought it was a gimmick, but this pickup is so large that each coil has its own tonality) and a
single tone control. The first think I did when I got the bass was remove the very old strings it had, shield the control
cavity and the pickup, and clean the pots. In less than an hour (working slowly) I got a nearly quiet bass (totally quiet
when both coils are full volume) that just sounded amazing, despite a slightly scratchy tone control (after a lot of
It's the main bass I use with the Richt Hoat Chili Peppers. It was meant to be a backup, but I can't put it down. It's a great
I have bought an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp for it, and a wood router (the control cavity is tiny, I'll have to make space for
the preamp), but I haven't got around installing it yet. Meanwhile, I always play it through a MXR DI+ unit, which gives
me a volume boost and 3-band EQ on the floor, instead of onboard. It sounds ok as a totally passive bass, and at home I
use it that way, but I just like that extra push I get from the MXR (or an onboard preamp, when I install it).
Negative things on this bass? Hardware. The tuners don't inspire me much trust. I find them a bit difficult to adjust
accurately and quickly. No big problem so far, but tuning is not something I want to have issues with when playing live,
so they may go. The potentiometers were all scratchy, but it's a second hand bass, so it could be the previous owner's
fault. I was able to clean both volumes but not the tine control. If I wanted to keep it passive, I'd get new pots and
rewire using star grounding and shielding everything. As I'll be installing an active EQ module, it'll all be replaced. The
pickup is sweet, no complaints. The jack socket is ok, but I hate it being mounted on the front. One day I'll move it to
the side and use the extra hole for something else.
More pics: full back, body front, headstock front and back.
More pics: as it was when I bought it, tortoise-shell like pickguard and thumb-rest: full, body, misc 1
OLP MM2. Second hand June 2009. I liked the OLP so much, that I got another one as a backup. This is quickly becoming
my main bass, and when I took it to have the frets levelled I really missed it. To make sure I always have one available, I
bought another one when I saw it cheap on eBay.
I also went away trying MusicMan Stingray basses... and I am not entirely convinced by the 3-band EQ on those basses,
but the bass itself is great. It does feel nicer than the OLP, and it has a deeper "thud" (can't explain it) when unplugged,
which translates into a more round tone plugged in too, it's not just the pickup. I will definitely be wanting one, but at
over £1000 it's not a priority, especially when the OLP basses do such a great job.
Marshall Lead 12. My first amp, bought s/h in 1991. 10-inch speaker and about 10 Watts. I never got on with the very
distorted sound but it makes very decent bluesy sounds. However, as a beginner, everything had to have gain at max,
rarely the way to make any amp sound good. I gave it to my brother when I bought a more compact amp (Peavey
Audition) which was also more versatile and had a better (to my ears, *then*) distortion. He still has it, but seldom plays
it, preferring his bigger Marshall Valvestate 8080. I played through it last summer and for a budget amp it's pretty decent,
as long as you don't over-do it on the gain. I used a pedal, a Boss OD3 for anything above soft crunch.
Peavey Audition 20. Bought s/h in 1993. Sold in September 2002. I was after a little amp with better distortions that the
Marshall Lead12. I initially liked the distortions, and it was nice, versatile and compact, could run on an external
battery... Eventually I grew ears... thank God. It sounds quite boxy (8" speaker in a small cabinet), although to be fair, it
can produce decent sounds, just don't overdo it with the gain! I finally sold it, since by then I had better amps and wasn't
getting any use. It's a pretty versatile little amp, small and light, with preamp out, headphone out, DC power in (can be
powered from a battery, nice for busking!)... just don't expect sonic nirvana.
Fender Vibrochamp, 1980 model (bought s/h in 2001, sold in 2003). Small 6W amp... beautiful sound. The photographs
were taken before I changed the speaker for a Jensen ceramic... (see the back of the amp with original speaker). This
amp won't do distortion, but who cares when the cleans are as warm and full as these. It does get a little "dirty" as the
volume goes up, but it's pretty loud. I was surprised it was only 6W... and having no master volume, by the time it gets a
little dirt in the sound it's too loud for neighbour-friendly playing. Just plug your favourite strat, and enjoy the tone...
This is one amp I regret selling.
Electar Century 60RD (new in 2001, sold in January 2008). A single 12" speaker, 60W hybrid amp (12AU7 valve in the
preamp) that I bought cheaply when MusicYo Europe was closing down, as I thought I could do with a bigger amp in
order to jam with other people. I wasn't sure I'd really get into jamming, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money. This
amp seemed ideal...
At first I wasn't very impressed. The clean sounds were nice, but the distortion seemed too harsh. I started using it in
conjunction with a Boss GX700 preamp/FX, with the amp on the clean channel only. That was good.
Later I replaced the speaker for a Celestion G12 Century. The sound improved noticeably. Can't quite describe it, it was
a bit brighter and punchier, fuller... and a bit louder too.
As the jams continued, I gave in to G.A.S. (gear aquisition syndrome) and bought a superb Laney VC50. Before I had the
chance to sell the Electar some b@st@ards broke into our jamming space (September 2002) and took everything but the
carpet. We stopped jamming, and that was it.
In February 2003 I got an unexpected phone call: the police had found almost all our gear at some asshole's house (?) and
both my amps were returned to me, intact (save for the Laney's footswitch).
I had no need anymore for a big amp... and discovered that I hadn't been fair to the Electar. When I tried it on its own
at higher volumes it really came to life. With the master volume at 3 (already pretty loud) it starts to sound very nice
and the harshness of the distortion goes away. So... sure, the Laney is a better amp. But I like the Electar a lot, it has a
pretty good clean sound, and the overdrive is quite round, very good for blues/classic rock and into metal even. It is also
a lot lighter than the Laney: 19kg versus 41kg. So the Electar is my "loud" amp of choice, and I sold the Laney.
Ah another thing... use only the "low" input. The "high" one doesn't sound nearly as nice. A lot of the initial perceived
harshness was due to plugging into the high input.
The use of a 12AU7 valve is quite unusual, as most amps will use a higher gain 12AX7. In fact, some of the schematics I've
seen for this amp mention a 12AX7 valve! I wonder what it'd sound like with one... however, I like it a lot as it is, and
"if it ain't broken...". Click here to view the schematic.
Electar is part of the Gibson company, and I have seen these amps under the label Epiphone as well.
I sold the amp because I wasn't using it at all, and as I play mostly bass now, it was unlikely I would need it (to play at
home I use a V-Amp). The new owner wrote back to tell me he loved it and that he may just sell his Fender Hot Rod
DeVille and use this one instead because it is a lot lighter and sounds great. Very nice amp.
More pictures: back, back showing the different connections, control panel, and original speaker.
For more info on this amp, look at the spec's sheet at the US Music Yo's website.
Laney VC50 (s/h in September 2002; sold December 2003), 50W all valve amp with 2x 12" speakers and a whole load of
connection possibilities at the back. This beast is heavy (about 40Kg), but the way it sounds... hmmm. Great clean
sounds, amazing bluesy ones... and excellent overdrive... add that to the separately configurable FX loops, bias switch
for 5881 or EL34 valves, power amp input socket... etc. It's a very versatile and loud amp.
Pic: VC50 with extra cabinet, Ibanez RG548 in the rockiest place: my living room!
Then, it got stolen as I mentioned above (read on the Electar Century 60RD) and by the time I recovered it I didn't need
it anymore. It's a great amp, but I couldn't justify keeping it so I sold it and kept the Electar.
Torque T303MT (s/h in September 2002. Sold May 2003). After I lost my two bigger amps, I thought I'd just love to be
able to amplify my J-Station or V-Amp and use that to jam with my acoustic friends (fiddle and whistles). This little amp,
rated at 30W, seemed to fit the bill. With a full range speaker, and non-coloured keyboard input (as well as guitar and
mic inputs) it worked pretty well for what I wanted. However, it didn't get much use, so I sold it after a while. Nice
little solid amp.
Electar Tube 10 (s/h in July 2003, sold October 2003). A little (8" speaker) 6W valve amp, found cheaply on eBay. It
appeared to be based on a similar design to the Fender Champ but with more distortion. Having a Fender Vibrochamp
already and another Electar amp (which I love) I decided to buy it blind. Out of the box, all components stock... it's not
impressive. It sounds rather boxy and the tone controls do little. It's also difficult to get any volume while keeping it
clean, but it has a pretty decent mild overdrive.
I then plugged the amp through the Jensen C8R speaker in the Fender Vibrochamp's cab, and the sound opens up a lot,
out goes the boxiness, and it's a lot louder too. I guess you can't expect much from such a tiny speaker enclosure, but I
suspect changing the speaker will still be a good move.
I ended up selling it as I wasn't using it and I didn't feel like experimenting on it. After changing the speaker and a preamp
valve I'm told it sounded a lot better.
It's a nice little amp whose selling point may reside in its portability, being so compact. The stock sound can be
improved by a few not-very-expensive easy upgrades, and it can be made to sound much better by using a separate
cabinet. On its own I just find it a bit too boxy sounding.
Click here for a schematic.
Behringer Vintager GM110 (new in October 2003, sold May 2006). A shameless clone of NYC Tech21's Trademark10,
down to layout and panel labels! Sporting a *much* lower price, a bigger speaker (10"), and larger wattage (30W), this
amp was getting rave reviews and I just had to give it a try. I won't go into too much detail, if you want details visit
Behringer's website here. In short: an analog amp modeller, allowing you to choose between a "Tweed" (Fender-ish),
"British" (Marshall-like) or "Calif" (Boogie-type) kind of amplifier.
The Tweed is the only source of clean sounds. Not very exciting, useable but not great. I wish they had improved the
clean sounds. Adding a little overdrive you can get very nice fat bluesy tones.
The British one needs no description other than "Marshall". Very good simulation.
The Calif is very thick and puts you immediately in Santana territory. Add more gain, use the EQ, and you get
contemporary metal. Very versatile.
In addition, you can change the character of the speaker (choices labelled Flat, UK or US), and there is yet another
3-position switch to select the amount of gain available (labelled Clean, Hi-Gain and Hot).
This is a great practice amp, the range of sounds available is incredible. My only gripe (other than the crappy clean
sound) is the lack of reverb (the Trademark 10 *does* have reverb) but you can put your favourite FX pedal in the FX
loop. It's a shame 'though, as in my opinion a little reverb helps a lot. I have been using my Boss GX700 for reverb with
this amp, and it's so much nicer to play. But not complaining, really. Can't think of a better more versatile practice amp
for so little money! Great little inexpensive versatile amp to have.
I have used it in a jam with another 4 guitarists, bass and drums, and although it struggled a bit volume-wise, it was
alright. It definitely can be loud!
Compact design, 30W (loud enough), good sounds at home volumes or even useable for jamming, DI output, FX loop,
headphone output... all that for the price of an FX pedal???
If it only had better clean sounds... I wouldn't dream of selling it if I could just get good clean sounds from it...
More pictures: front, top panel, back & back again.
Behringer BXL450A bass amplifier. New July 2007. A small cheap 45W bass amp, with a closed cabinet and a 10"
aluminum speaker. The design of the cab is such that you can tilt it backwards, so that the speaker points up (45
degrees). It has two channels. The first one is cleanish, and the second one can overdrive, however I don't think it's a
nice overdrive sound, so I use both channels clean or just with a hint of overdrive. There is a "shape" control for teh
second channel which is very useful to set a particular tonality (bright for clean slap, or dark for 70s sounds, or...). In
addition, there's a 5-band graphic EQ. It's a decent amp for the price/size. At 45W for bass it means it's not very loud, so
no gigging, but it may just be okay for jamming as long as it's not over-the-top loud. A cool feature is the aux input, so
you can connect an MP3 player and jam along. Actually, this amp works quite nicely to amplify a guitar modeller such as a
V-Amp. This is not surprising, as bass and keyboard amps tend to be much more "full frequency range" than guitar amps,
and this is what you need for these units. So, with just this amplifier, you can have bass and guitar (through a V-Amp or
similar) at once. It's reasonably light too. I'm quite happy with it. Good buy.
More pictures: top, side, panel, back, tilted
Behringer BX3000T bass amplifier head. s/h October 2007, sold September 2008 due to lack of use. Bought together
with a BB210 cabinet (2x10" speakers). Another inexpensive amp from Behringer. 300W into 4ohm, or just over 200W
into 8ohm. The head is a little noisy, and the cooling fan can be a bit annoying when playing at very low volumes in the
house, however a 300W bass amp is overkill for this purpose. It can be used that way, and it sounds nice, but it's best
when played a bit louder. Good range of sounds. The "deep" function is great, adding extra warmth and bottom end to
the sound, but I am not too keen on the "ultrabass" (an octaver, one octave lower). You get this, plus FX loop, DI output,
low and high inputs with a nice VU-meter (bit of a gimmick, I prefer an uglier led-based gain or simply a clip indicator,
but it works well enough). Good sounding loud bass amp that won't break the bank. I bought it for band rehearsals but it
didn't see much action that way, as we were still going to rent-by-the-hour places that come with amps etc.
The BB210 cabinet has 2x 10" speakers and a tweeter (switchable). This is the paper cone version, which unlike the
aluminium version does get good reviews.
I sold it and I regret it. It was heavy to carry, but sounded good and was dirt cheap. I have a better head now, but I'd
love to have kept the cabinet.
More pictures: front panel, back.
Behringer AC112 hybrid guitar amp. 60W into a 12" Jensen speaker. One 12AX7 valve on the preamp (with a red led
illuminating it from behind, so that you see it "glow"... p-lease! ugh), solid state affair with a bunch of digital effects.
Despite the silliness with the preamp valve, it is actually a nice sounding amp. It has two channels, clean and overdrive.
The overdrive is a little harsh, not my style, but the clean sound is pretty decent and it works well with an overdrive
pedal. The effects (choruses, flanger, phaser, delays, octaver, reverbs...) are ok, nothing fantastic, but they work. The
FX tweakability is minimal: you have a series of programs, each with a certain effect or combination of effects, and all
you can do is add more or less of it, or change one parameter such as chorus speed, for instance. You can't save any
patches, the amp will turn on in whatever mode it was when you switched it off, so it wouldn't be a great amp to gig
with if you depended on many effects, but otherwise it's quite a nice cheap amplifier. I normally just use it clean with a
bit of reverb, and use external pedals for any other effect and overdrive. It has an FX loop, stereo aux in and line out
sockets, footswitch socket (a simple channel change and up/down effect affair), and midi connection (which I never
tried). Pretty good sounding amp, I really like it.
More pics: coming soon
Laney Hardcore HCM15B. Second hand February 2009. Just a small practice amp. A bit boxy sounding, but use it with an
EQ pedal and you can tame the boxiness. I use it for jamming at my friend's place (the amp is at his place). Cheap, light
weight, compact, and not bad sounding. It has an aux input so you can put an mp3 player through it while you play your
bass, or a drum machine, or even a guitar through a digital modeller (like I have done, with a V-Amp2).
It does the job, but I wouldn't have this as my only amp. For a bass practice amp, I'd be much happier with the
Behringer BXL450A (see above). That is a much better sounding amp, if slightly larger and heavier, and a bit more
More pics: back panel, side view
TC Electronic RH450 Rebelhead. New April 2009. Really cool powerful light-weight bass head. About 5kg, very
compact, and 450W into 4ohm. I was looking for a small, powerful, versatile bass head, and this won. The list of features
is too long for me to go on about here. Best visit their website. I bought a matching 2x10" cab for it (see below), and it
sounds pretty good with it. Quite a lot of volume and bass for a small cab. The RH450 has a 4-band semiparametric EQ
module which makes it quite versatile... unfortunately it also means you can get lost in trying to find the centre
frequencies you want to use. I find the default centres are good enough. A bit too bassy, that's all. The multiband
compressor is a simple affair: turn it up or down. It works. Simple. I don't think I'd leave my compressor pedal at home if
you use one, but if you need compression, this will do the job. I really like the ability to save presets (three). So you can
easily have presets for a couple of different situations, say kinds of venues, cabinet configurations, etc... I have saved
one that works well as a starting pint for almost anything, and then I can tweak as much as I like. If things get horribly
wrong, I can go back to safe territory with one touch. This amp also has this "Tube Tone" control which I'm not sure
about. Sometimes I think it's utterly pointless and terrible, just adding some non pleasant distortion instead of "warmth".
But other times I think it's alright. Just alright. Having a tuner always on and well visible is a nice touch, although I still
prefer my Korg Pitchblack pedal. I haven't tried the DI yet (post/pre EQ selectable), as the few gigs I've done recently
didn't require me to bring an amp, and I prefer to carry the minimum. Another nice touch is the aux input. Or so I
thought! It meant (I thought) I could plug in a drum machine, mp3 player, anything, and play it too. In fact, a V-Amp2
with a guitar sounds quite good through this amp... and loud. Could be a nice compromise for someone needing both
bass/amp amplification in a compact package... although it's not exactly the cheapest option. But what happens? The
aux input is routed to the headphones output, NOT TO THE SPEAKERS. So, I can't use it this way. Very odd!
It is very quiet in operation, no fans etc, so it works very nicely as a home amp, threatening making my practice amp
redundant, but the lack of useful aux input means I'll probably keep the small practice amop around regardless.
Very versatile, loud, lightweight, good DI sound. It works for me.
More pics: back, side, with cab and bass for size reference.
TC Electronic RS210 bass cabinet. New April 2009. Bass cabinet with 2x 10" Eminence speakers, and piezo tweeter with
its own control. It's about 20kg, which is not terribly light but it's ok and compact enough, very easy to carry. The
handles are a bit sharp and dig in your hand after a while, I wish they were rounder. Pretty good sound, lots of bass and
with the tweeter control you can add as much or as little top end to suit your taste. Pretty good cab.
More pics: side, tweeter control.
Boss BF2 flanger, japanese version. Bought s/h in 1991. "This is a keeper!" I said... although I sold it in late 2002. I just
didn't use it. I don't use effects much, and when I do I find it more convenient to use the Boss GX700 which has all the fx
I can possibly want. However, the BF2 was much warmer than the GX700. Very nice pedal, from mild warm flanging
-almost chorus like- to all out weird metallic flanging...
Boss GE7 equaliser. New in 2002, sold in 2004. 7-band graphic equaliser. Very very useful in front of the amp, plus it can
be used as a nice boost for the selected frequencies. I really bought it to use with the J-Station for recording, as I find
the J-Station is a bit mid-range rich. However I didn't really use it that much, so I sold it.
Boss CH1 stereo super-chorus. s/h in 2002. Nice sounds, although a bit superfluous since I had the GX700, but nice to
have in a small box. Chorus is one of my favourite effects. Sold in late 2002... I didn't really needed it, it was an impulse
eBay buy at a bargain price.
Boss DS1 distortion. s/h in 2002 and sold in late 2002. Got it together with the CH1 above. I didn't like it one bit,
sounded too harsh for my liking... then found somebody else who thought it was just the pedal they wanted, so bye bye
DS1. I really didn't like this orange box.
Boss OD3 overdrive. s/h in April 2004, sold June 2008. Very nice soft overdrive. This pedal is just what I wanted... it
can do great very subtle overdrive to classic rock tones... If you want heavy metal, this pedal won't be your favourite,
but for soft smooth overdrive sounds it cannot be beaten. It also sounds great in front of my V-Amp!
One of the best overdrive pedals I've tried. And the battery lasts forever. Mine developed a fault, however, and it
would cut out intermittently. I found somebody who wanted it and took it off me. Playing mostly bass by then, anyway,
and this doesn't work very well with bass... unlike the Digitech Bad Monkey (see below).
Boss SD1 super-overdrive. Bought new in February 2005. I love the OD3 above, it's just the warmest thing I've ever
tried and the only pedal of its kind that doesn't make the guitar sound "thin" when you step on it. But sometimes I
wanted just a little more gain than what the OD3 does. So I got this excellent overdrive pedal. It has a very good range.
With the drive knob all the way to the left, it barely has any effect, and all the way to the right you get some serious
overdrive. My favourite area is somewhere in it's 20-70% range. Again, not a heavy metal pedal, although it would do
classic heavy metal in its higher settings. The pedal does thin out the sound when engaged, but it's mild and can be
reasonably compensated for using its tone knob. Excellent pedal, and about half price of the OD3. If you can't stretch to
an OD3, this is a reasonable substitute. I sold it in November 2008 as I wasn't using it anymore. More bass-oriented now.
Jim Dunlop CryBaby Wah. Bought new in February 2005, sold May 2006. I like the wah sound, if not abused. I like its
effect in funky tracks. I like the way it's used -softly- to emphasise phrases on a melody (like Joe Satriani, Jan Cyrka and
others). I love the use Michael Schenker makes of it, as a filter to obtain that nasal sound... I'm not so keen on
Hendrixian-wankings with a wah, but he made the wah sound great too, I must admit. However, I have never found a
wah I'm happy with. I started with the wah in my Zoom2020, controlled by an expression pedal. It worked, but it wasn't
great. A lo of it it was just me, I am sure, as when I sold the Zoom the guy who came to try it made it sound pretty
decent! Then I got a Boss GX700 (see below) and its autowah section was great. Never got to try it with an expression
pedal 'though. I had a Morley wah for a little while. The fact that it uses an optical system (no scratchy pots!!!) sold me,
and was very solidly built. But I couldn't get the sounds I heard in the records I liked. Then, a few months back my
interest in Schenker was relit and thought again about wahs. Now I got a Crybaby, it's simplest model (GCB-95). And this
is it!!! I am sure all those EQ-tweakable pedals can be great, but this already has the sounds I was thinking about. It takes
a little practice to get used to the way it switches on/off (the Morley was better for that, I find) but it does sound great.
Boss GX700 preamp & FX processor.  Bought new in 1997, sold in June 2004. Very nice effects, but I bought it
mainly for the amp/speaker simulations to record. This was before the POD and similar units existed, and at the time
these were about the best simulations available without getting into crazy money. Nowadays with the POD et al. it may
not sound so impressive, but it's still a good unit.
Speciality: clean sparkling sounds. It does great Fender bluesy rhythms.
After I got a J-Station and a V-Amp, in 2001, I used it mainly for its comprehensive set of effects. However, unlike those
two units, the GX700 works great with a conventional guitar amp.
Good amp/speaker simulations, and much better effects with tons of parameters which are easily adjustable, and free
assigment of order of effects, plus additional control/expression pedals that can control any parameter you choose... It is
a very impressive piece of gear, even 7 years on.
More pictures: back panel.
Want to find more about the GX700? This is a nice link I found on the net.
 On top of the GX700 there is a Zoom Player 2020 multiFX and a Marshall DRP1 direct recording preamp that I used to
have. I remember the Zoom fondly. It had great delays and reverbs and chorus... all you need to get big airy sounds...
although the distortions were hmmm, how can I put it? Ah, yes, "utter shite", that sort of defines the distortions, yes.
The Marshall DRP1 was a complete waste of money and space. I got the money back (all but £5!) but the time I wasted
trying to obtain decent sounds with it, that I will never get back.
Johnson J Station. New in 2001, sold in July 2004. It didn't replace the GX700, it's just different. The effects are very
useable but not brilliant (compared to the GX700 at least) and you need to go into "deep edit" mode to get the most out
of them. And the deep-edit mode is not user-friendly unless you use the J-edit software on a computer. On the other
hand, it does very good basic guitar sounds, plus a passable acoustic simulation and it does also bass amp simulations!
Again, those are most easily edited using the software, but direct access through the machine itself is easier than for the
With these units I find it's easy to get lost in their million zillion combinations and sounds and never actually do anything
much with any... So I eventually pretty much settled with a handful of amps and that's it.
This unit does very nice warm clean sounds (J-Clean and Blackface are outstanding) and crunchy-to-heavy overdrive ones
(J-Crunch is my favourite). Heavier sounds are also well catered for although I don't like them as much, but the Rectified
simulation (obviously based on a Mesa Boogie) and the British Stack (based on a Marshall JCM900) are quite decent. The
J-Solo simulation sounds great on its own, but I find it difficult to make it sit well in a mix.
In 2002 I updated the software (easy, all done via midi connected to a computer with software downloaded from
Johnson's website) and that gave me extra speaker/amp simulations for both guitar and bass, great! In particular the
Marshall JCM800-inspired simulation is quite good, I think.
J-Edit is a nice program that gives you full easy access to all parameters in the J-Station, via midi, you can save/recall
banks to/from the computer, give them names (rather more meaningful than 69 or 42).
The J-Station is definitely warm sounding and very realistic to my ears, if a bit mid-rangey... an external EQ helps, but
it's a minor niggle.
Want to find more about the J Station? Visit the Johnson Amps website, also containing sound samples of the J Station.
Behringer FCB1010 midi pedalboard. Bought new in 2001, and sold it with the GX700 in July 2004. I bought it to control
the Boss GX700 and the J Station. Pretty neat, lots of footswitches, two expression pedals, and it also can change amp
channels like a regular footswitch (no midi) (see back panel). The problem is... I neve got to grips with it properly, too
many things to learn and I'm lazy: I like to just plug and play. The manual does not read well for a beginner in midi, and
the fact that this pedalboard can be configured to do almost anything, also makes it complicated to program until you
get the hang of it.
I didn't, and I didn't really have much use for it, so when I decided to sell the GX700, I sold the controler with it.
Behringer V-Amp. Bought new in 2002. Another "magic" box, this one comes with a footswitch and a neat case too. I
already had a J-Station, but after listening to the results other people got with the V-Amp I really wanted to try one. I
couldn't find one locally... and since they were not expensive I simply ordered one. And it's great. It does more or less
what the J-Station does... but in a different way. And to my ears, overall, better. In fact, I have had simultaneously a
J-Station, the V-Amp, a Vox Tonelab and the Boss GX700. I sold everything except for the V-Amp. And it was the
cheapest unit... excellent! Don't let the prices confuse you, let your ears decide.
Initially I was less than impressed with the clean sounds, but it just took some time for me to learn how to make it sound
good. Use the manual... this unit seems very simple, but the manual helps you get that little extra from it.
The high gain sounds here were the best from all the amp modellers I had tried.
But the best to me are the Marshall simulations. A whole bunch of them. At first I fell in love with the JCM800 simulation
(Brit Hi gain), which could go from almost-clean to very dirty indeed. Then I realised that I could get amazing warm
sounds with my telecaster using the Brit Blues (JTM45 sim) and And Custom (variant on the JTM45). Here you can get
cleaner sounds, but with lots of body... and turn the gain up for good bluesy sounds. The gain goes pretty high too,
especially when you engage the extra "Drive" option. Just don't overdo it with the treble and presence.
Another great simulation is the Brit Classic and Classic50W (based on a Marshall Plexi)... good for those almost clean to
serious gain sounds.
In addition the "Drive V-Amp" simulation is another of my favourites, when you want a little more gritty overdrive.
The effects are useable, but I don't find them particularly interesting, I merely use the compressor and a touch of reverb,
and noise gate as/if required. The main trouble with the FX is not that they're so bad... is that to have access to the
whole range of parameters you need to use the computer with their software... then you can tweak the FX and they're
okay... But I'm not a big fan of effects anymore. The software also allows you to store/load and edit presets... and it's
very very useful.
One of the best things the V-Amp has is the interface design. The POD, J-Station, Tonelab, and others have these knobs
that won't reflect changes in patch... I'll explain: for instance, I'm having the gain at 8 and very low mids, set at 2... then
I change patch to a cleanish sound where the gain is set at 3 and the mids higher up at 5... but the knobs still indicate
the 8 and 2, of course, they're not motorised. This can be confusing. But here comes Behringer... and they decide to
put knobs surrounded by a circle of red leds... The position of the knob is indicated by which led is lit... change patch,
and the leds change accordingly... Great! Well done Behringer!!!
So, I'm keeping this unit. It's my favourite amp modeller. Lots of good sounds and dead easy to use.
For more info on the V-Amp, visit Behringer's website here. However... one thing they don't mention is that the
V-Amp has a small internal battery (CR2032)!!! It last about 2 years, depending on use. And when it starts failing, it
causes all kind of nasty things: memory is erased, the sound starts to be crap at times, others it'll be okay... and gets
progressively worse. You'd think the V-Amp is dying... but all you need is a new battery. I wonder how many V-Amps
have been thrown away because of that!
I bought a set of powered speakers (see below under "misc") to use with the V-Amp for home practice purposes, and this
works very very well!
More pics: front and back connections.
Zoom 505. (s/h in late 2003, sold in early 2004) Compact multiFX unit. I bought it to provide reverb for the Behringer
GM110 amp. I thought I could install the Zoom in the cabinet and connect it through the FX loop. But I decided against it
after all. As an FX unit it's pretty good for the money. I had owned a Zoom2020 which I loved for delays, reverbs and
chorus. This one doesn't disappoint, although it's not as good... but it's a lot cheaper AND smaller. The distortions are
better than the ones in the 2020, but they cater mainly for hi-gain sounds. Soft overdrives are not the thing here. But as
I say, not a bad unit at all, compact and cheap.
More pictures: back.
Roland GR-30 guitar synthesizer. Bought s/h in May 2004, sold in November 2004. I got this together with the Yamaha
Pacifica 112, equiped with a GK-2A pickup. The synth is a lot of fun... piano, flute, sax, string ensembles... all from your
familiar guitar fretboard. Some of the sounds are outstanding (piano, Rhodes organ, some pads, flute), others are useable
(horns, for instance work pretty well in the mix with guitars, bass, drums...).
It's a great tool, but it's harder than it seems to play it well. First of all, you have to adapt to the instrument you're
emulating. No point playing your guitar as usual with a piano sound. It won't sound convincing. The sax is the most similar
to the guitar, in terms of playing style... You have to adapt to the synth, but it's not that hard. The tracking is pretty
good, providing the guitar is in tune.
Good sounds, fun... more than just a toy. But if you can play keyboards, it'll probably be easier.
The other thing is that it provides pitch to midi conversion, so you can use the guitar as a midi input device. I have
tried to use that to write TAB directly by playing the guitar, but I haven't managed to do it yet... it should be possible
'though, I just didn't have the patience to persevere with it.
Vox Tonelab amp simulation and FX. Bought s/h in April and sold in August 2004. Another amp simulation, this one has got
a 12AX7 valve which I am not sure what it does, but it looks pretty at least. However, it was a huge disappointment for
me. It does a few clean and low-gain sounds very well, but anything else is pretty uninspiring, to my ears. I tried to like
it, but failed miserably. However, I have to admit that Vox did one thing right here... it's the first unit of this type that
feels "organic" if you know what I mean. This is the closest I have tried to a real amp, unfortunately we're talking of a
crappy amp. But I think Vox are on the right track, so I'll be watching their newer products. Meanwhile, I'll stick to my
V-Amp2. Nothing comes close to the V-Amp yet, which is great because it's also one of the cheapest units available,
although I'd still buy it if it cost twice as much!
Since I wrote the paragraph above, I had the chance to hear a Vox AD50VT, a 50W amp based on the Tonelab
modellers... and I am in love with it. I would not buy a Tonelab today, but I'd definitely buy the AD50VT... I'll keep my
eye on the next generation of Tonelabs.
More pictures: back.
Behringer Bass BDI21. New in May 2005. An analog amp modeller/DI for bass. Very simple to use, and a wide range of
great sounds. Just plug the bass onto this, and use any amplification available (keyboard, PA...), it'll sound like a bass rig.
You can also use it for direct recording into a recorder machine. Decent sounds. And all in the size of a twin FX pedal.
Sold in Summer 2008 as I wasn't using it.
More pictures: back.
Behringer Guitar GDI21. New Summer in 2006. Sold Winter 2006. I got this expecting it to be the preamp section of my
beloved GM110 combo. But it wasn't as good, so I sold it.
More pictures: back 1 2.
Zoom B2. New June 2007. Cheap and compact bass multiFX. Not the best, but certainly not the worst... and the tuner
alone is worth the cost: easy to use, with a very bright display. It has a bit of everything: compressor, chorus, flanger,
octaver, overdrive, delay, synth effects, wah/envelope filters, harmoniser, quite comprehensive EQ, amplifier
modelling... the lot. I don't think it excels at anything in particular, but most effects are quite useable. I find the synth
sounds not very inspiring, but they will probably work much better with an expression pedal. I bought a Zoom FP02 pedal
for it, but I haven't bothered with it much. I was using it for rehearsals mostly in bypass mode, just as a tuner, and
ocassionally kicking it in for some chorus and/or lower octave sounds. The places where we rehearse have their own
amps, and they can vary a lot. We're going mostly to one place that has a variety of Trace Elliot amps and I don't quite
find teh sound I like with these. Perhaps I need more time tweaking their many controls. What i do now is I have a
couple of basic presets on my Zoom B2, and I plug it into the FX return of the amps. This way I have the sound I want
everytime.I find it a bit frustrating to tweak because you have to go through many options before you find the
parameter you want to modify, but that's unavoidable if you want to pack so many effects into a small box with only a
handful of controls. I'm very happy with this little box. Lots of good sounds in a box small enough to fit in my gig bag.
In addition... it sounds great with guitar too
More pictures: back connections.
Electro-Harmonix micro Q-tron. New June 2007, sold September 2007. Interesting effect. I got it for bass, but it works
just as well for guitar. Funky. Not an effect to overuse, but it sounds just right for those funky bass moments. I ended up
selling it as it's not an effect I'm likely to use much, and for a couple of times I want a sound like this, the Zoom B2 is ok.
Behringer CS100 Compressor/Sustainer. S/H August 2007, sold October 2007. Not much to say here. It's a compressor.
Not fantastic, but it does work. It's always hard to rate compressors as they're at their best when their effect is only
subtle. For a budget compressor I think it's good, although I wasn't using it as I'm satisfied enough with my the
compression in my multiFX, so I sold it.
Behringer BLE100 Bass Limiter/Enhancer. New S/H 2007. Nice effect. It adds a little extra sparkle to the bass. It's like
having an extra channel in the amp. I set my bass with a warm fat sound, and hit the pedal for a brighter tone. It can add
a bit of hiss, 'though, so I'm finding I don't use it all that much anymore. I mostly play the Warwick Corvette $$ with
active EQ, and I get the sounds I want directly with the onboard controls. Sold in June 2008, lack of use.
Behringer BEQ700 Bass Graphic Equalizer. S/H August 2007. An equalizer for bass... what else cold I possibly say?
Extremely useful pedal, but nothing very exciting to say about it. Good one.
Behringer TU300 Chromatic Tuner. New August 2007. It's a tuner, what can I say? You can select 3 modes: a guitar one,
a bass one, and the default chromatic mode. It works well, although the blue function led is extremely bright and I find
it annoying. Nice tuner for the price. Ended up giving it to a guitarist I was playing with, tired of the out-of-tuneness...
what is it with some people? Are they deaf? I have other tuners...
Behringer AM100 Acoustic Simulator. New in February 2006, sold in Summer 2006. One of several pedals available to
make an electric guitar sound a bit like an acoustic one. It's not a bad effort. I've tried a few and they're never all that
great. The best one I tried was in the J-Station, but this one is not bad at all. It can be a little hissy, 'though. Great pedal
for the price, but not magic. I sold it when I got the Variax guitar, which made this pedal totally redundant. The best
acoustic sounds that I have heard from an electric guitar came from a Parker P38, using its piezo pickups and blending a
little bit of the neck conventional pickup (single coil).
Behringer X V-Amp. second hand in Spring 2006, sold in Summer 2006. This is the floor-based multiFX and modelling
pedal from Behringer, using sounds based on the V-Amp. As a headphone/recording tool it is good, but I still prefer the
V-Amp2. However it is much better as a floor live unit. Good range of sounds, with a few things removed from the
V-Amp2, and a few others added, such as overdrive pedal simulations, a decent acoustic simulator, and a good whammy
(pitchshifter) effect, among others. It has a built-in expression pedal that can be assigned to almost anything. A lot of fun
with the pitchshifter. The build quality is not great, it looks a bit flimsy to me especially for live use. But it will be
absolutely fine in the bedroom for practice. Anyway, they're so cheap that it will not be too painful to buy another as a
backup. The downside of this pedal is its limited tweakability. The range of FX is good, but they cannot be adjusted
except for in a coarse way (there is no midi sockets, so no way to edit effects in depth like on the V Amp2). On the
other hand, this makes it extremely simple and easy to use. Good sounds. I'd probably use this over a similarly priced
Zoom unit... unless I need more parameter adjustability, in which case the Zoom units win but they don't sound as good
as this on headphones or for recording.
More pictures: back panel.
Behringer UM300 Ultra Metal. New August 2007. I got this because I needed some more extreme distortion than what I
had available. I used to own a Boss MT2 (Metal Zone) and I thought something like that would work. This is loosely based
on that pedal, so I went for it. It's not like the Metal Zone, I think I like this one better. To be honest, I am not a fan of
these type of guitar sounds, but I needed to be able to sound like that... and this pedal does extreme metal well. It takes
a little time to get the sound you want, playing with the bandwidth and the centre frequency, but it's decent. If you
need some modern extreme metal sounds and don't want to spend a lot... this pedal could be just the thing. The new
Boss "Metal Core" pedal looks very interesting too, although costing four times as much, I'd only consider the Boss if you
really play regularly with this type of sound. I sold it in September 2008. Just not my thing after all.
Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive. New August 2007. Guitar overdrive, although it works ok on bass too...
however, for bass overdrive look below at the BOD100. This pedal is supposed to be based on the famous Ibanez
TubeScreamer. I don't care what it's based on, or how close it is to it. All I know is that it sounds GREAT. It's not an
extreme overdrive at all. At maximum gain you get into heavy rock territory, but if metal is your thing, forget it. In this
respect is similar to the Boss SD1, although they sound totally different. Great for bluesy, low gain sounds where you can
clean up by backing off the guitar volume, but also great for higher gain stuff. It's one of the best overdrives I've heard
in a while. I sold it in March 2008, as I play bass mostly now, and I found another overdrive that I actually prefer, and
works well on bass too: Digitech Bad Monkey (see below)
Behringer BOD100. Bass overdrive. New September 2007. Simple, a bass overdrive. Well, not so simple, at least for
me. I have been trying to find a good overdriven bass sound, and failing miserably. I found extreme overdrive, like in
Metallica's "Anesthesia", and other more subtle types that just robbed the bass of all its body... or simply added a layer of
horrible fizziness on top of the normal bass sound. Until I found this little jewel. I read great reviews in Harmony Central,
and especially the comments about how this pedal didn't destroy a solid bottom end, and I just had to order one to try.
They are so cheap, how could I let this pass?
It's fantastic! It really is. A big part of the trick is the ability to blend dry/overdriven sound to taste, but that alone is not
enough if the overdrive sound sucks. The overdrive's character is good, and being able to shape its sound for the high
and low frequencies separately allows one to get just the right amount of overdrive, with the right amount of top end
distortion and keeping the right amount of bass... I would buy this pedal even if it cost 3x as much.
Well, now it's a year later and I disagree with what i said above... It's an ok pedal, but it won't give you smooth creamy
growl... so I sold it in March 2008. I found other pedals were better (read below).
Behringer Bass V-Amp Pro. S/H August 2007, sold July 2009, the silver one in the picture. After using the V-Amp2 for
bass, I got one of these made for bass. Great. I end up only using a couple of simulations (both Ampegs... I guess I should
be looking at Ampeg when I need a proper bass rig), into a small mixer and a small pair of monitors. Great sounds,
perfect for recording. It did take me a bit to get to grips with some of the functions (the crossover and deep functions,
as well as the overdrives), as it doesn't quite work like the guitar version, but it's simple enough. The guitar simulations
don't sound like on the V-Amp2, 'though. They're okay, but I find it harder to dial in a good guitar sound. Electroacoustic
guitars sound great through this. The tuner doesn't seem to work very well, but it may be that this one machine is faulty,
as the tuner in the guitar version works just fine. I later bought a Bass POD XT and I think it sounds better for bass.
Behringer V-Amp Pro. S/H August 2007, sold July 2009. The blue one in the picture. Like the V-Amp2 (see above), but in
rack format and with a few extra input/output options. The guitarist in my band liked it, so he bought one too and he's
used it at rehearsals. It sounds pretty good using a Fender head purely as a power amp, and into a 4x12" cab!
Zoom Player 2100. Second hand in November 2007. An old multiFX from Zoom that includes an intresting multi-memory
sampler. I only bought it because it was very cheap came with a Zoom FP02 expression pedal, which is what I was really
after, for my Zoom B2. So after selling the 2100 I end up having the FP02 for next to nothing. The 2100 is a decent unit. I
used to have a 2020 back in 1995, which had disappointing distortions, but nice chorus and delays... and this unit is a bit
better than that one. The sampler is a lot of fun. You can sample 3 short clips of up to 5 seconds each, or a longer one up
to 16s long (or 32s in lower quality mode). It's not very versatile, but if you need a simple sampler, a 2100 will give you
that for very little money. I don't really have use for this, so I sold it in July 2008.
ElectroHarmonix Bass Microsynth. Second hand May 2008, sold December 2009. Bass synthesiser FX unit. Pretty funky.
You can get lots of crazy sounds, in a musical manner. Also, as a distortion pedal for bass can be quite interesting, adding
lots of thick distortion. Good unit, but I wasn't using it much so I sold it.
Line6 AM4 Amplifier Modeler. Second hand June 2008. Floor-based amplifier modeller. A bit like a POD but without the
effects, and purely to be used in front of an amp. It stores 4 presets and can be used with a volume pedal attached to it.
Pretty versatile, lots of good sounds there. I use it with the Behringer AC112 (see above), plugging into the return socket
so that I bypass the amp's EQ section and control everything (except reverb) from the AM4. The clean sounds are still
decent (I prefer the clean of the AC112 on its own) and use the remaining 3 memories for 3 different
overdrive/distortion sounds. From time to time I think of selling it as I don't play guitar all that much and I could get
some money for it, but it just sounds too good.
Artec SE-PEQ parametric EQ. New May 2008, sold October 2008. Simple. Parametric EQ, cut/boost, frequency centre
and band width controls. Quite useful to track down any annoying frequencies (say if a room just sounds too boomy with
the bass) and selectively tame them. I sold it as the plans to gig were not bearing fruit and I needed to unload a lot of
gear. Of course, soon after I found myself thinking "hmmm, I could use one of those again". My bass head (TC Electronic
RH450, see above) has a semiparametric EQ section which can do th job, although the band width is set, so not as useful
as a filter.
Behringer PB100 Power booster. New January 2009. Very simple pedal that does its job well. It simply increases the
gain, and comes with two basic tone controls, so you can either go for a clean boost of the signal, or with a different
tone. It is reasonably quiet in operation, although not the best, but for the price it is hard to find it fault. I use it to
make sure I hit the bass amp with the hottest cleanest signal possible, so that I don't have to use the amp's gain control
and just turn up the power amp. With the TC Electronic RH450 head is not a big deal, but in some rehearsal rooms I have
had to use amps that didn't have much clan headroom and as son as you bring the gain up a bit it starts distorting. Using
this pedal I get a cleaner sound at higher volumes by keeping the input gain low.
Behringer SYB600, bass synth pedal. New January 2009, sold April 2009. Bass synthesiser pedal, does a million and one
different sounds. Not bad for the price, but I preferred the Digitech one. This one is probably more "crazy", while the
Digitech had more "standard" filter sounds, which I preferred. The "hold" function is interesting, allowing you to hold a
synth note and play bass normally over it for as long as you hold the pedal down.
Behringer VB1, vintage bass pedal. New January 2009. Behringer's take on the EH Bass Balls pedal. Interesting effect that
I don't use much... and actually prefer to the original Bass Balls. I find that without the distortion switch engaged the
effect is too subtle, and with it on there's only a short range that sounds ok to me, but it has its uses.
Ashdown Dual Compressor pedal for bass. New December 2008, sold April 2008. Dual band high/low frequency
compressor. Nice looking compressor, but the crossover between high/low is fixed and I didn't find this pedal good
enough. The Digitech does a better job, I feel.
Artec graphic EQ + tuner. New February 2008, swapped in February 2008 for a Digitech Bass Driver pedal. I bought this
one hoping to get a graphic EQ and tuner in one pedal, but was disappointed. The EQ didn't have enough gain, not
enough range. The tuner is almost useless. You can't engage it with your foot as it is done by pressing a small button on
the face of the pedal under the sliders. The leds were not bright enough and with only one led for high and another for
low, it just doesn't provide enough feedback to allow me to tune accurately easily. Good idea poorly executed.
Digitech Bass Driver. Second hand February 2008. On my quest for a bass distortion pedal I came to this by chance. And
loved it. It is best suited to high gain fizzy sounds, retaining a heavy deep bottom end, but you can get some mild
overdrive sounds on the lower part of the travel of the Morph control. The trick is blending the dry/wet signal just right.
I use this in a metal project. Good pedal.
DOD FX25B envelope filter for bass. Second hand January 2009, sold April 2009. I got this because of the Flea
connection, but didn't find it very good. It's a very unsubtle pedal, either it does nothing, or it does too much. At least in
Digitech Bass SynthWah pedal. Second hand January 2009. Another synth pedal. This one is more "classic" than the
Behringer, and the filter sounds are pretty good. You can get an interesting approximation of a talk box too, especially
on guitar. I use this pedal for guitar a lot. I don't use it a lot, but it's a great tool to have.
Digitech Guitar Synth Wah pedal. Second hand February 2009, sold May 2009. After I bought the bass version, and used it
on guitar, I went and got the guitar version. BUt I found I preferred the bass version even for guitar. So out it went.
Digitech Bass Multichorus. Second hand February 2009. Very nice dreamy chorus pedal for bass. I can't say much more
about it. It is a very good chorus pedal for bass. That's all.
Korg Pitchblack tuner. New February 2009. A tuner. Get it? Several graphic modes, very colourful, although I stick to
mode 3, the more "classic" of them. Bright display, easy to read. Good stage tuner.
Ibanez PD7 Phat Hed overdrive pedal. New December 2008. Interesting overdrive pedal, with a couple of sliders to
switch between clean/od/distortion modes, and another for "attack". The clean mode can be used as a boost pedal too,
with some tone shaping capabilities (the drive knob is inactive). Adding "attack" to it brings some dirty harmonics to the
mix which can sound really cool. The overdrive and distortion modes are quite full-on. There's no way to mix dry/wet
signal, but it sounds alright and retains a lot of definition. Again, the attack switch can be quite cool. The downside is
that the pedal is rather noisy. A lot of hiss. I used this with the metal project and it sounded great, but the hiss puts me
off. I keep the pedal because it's a good sound, but it's not my first choice anymore.
Boss ODB3 bass overdrive. Second hand January 2009, sold May 2009. On my quest for a good bass overdrive pedal I had
to try this one. It's a Boss. I like Boss pedals. I heard not very good comments about this one, however... and they were
right. Too fizzy. It only does extreme distortion, anything else is pretty lame.
Behringer FM600 Filter machine. New February 2009, sold May 2009. Interesting pedal with quite a few possibilities for
weird filter envelope type of sounds. Funky. But not funktastic.
Digitech Bass Squeeze compressor pedal. Second hand March 2009. Dual band compressor for bass, with adjustable
crossover. Pretty good.
Digitech Bad Monkey overdrive. New February 2009. Originally for guitar, I kept coming across comments on the net
about how good it was for bass. I got one and... they were right! It doesn't do extreme distortion, but it'll give you
warm growly overdrive on your bass. Tone controls are bass and treble separately, rather than one-knob-does-all, which
is very handy. In addition, well, it's a great guitar overdrive too! One of my favourite pedals. After getting this one I sold
the Behringer TO800 and didn't miss anymore my old Boss OD3. This one is better, I think, and pretty inexpensive too.
MXR M80 Bass DI+. Second hand April 2009. When I was searching for a bass overdrive, someone whose taste seemed
similar to mine said he had one of these MXR units and loved it. So when I found one locally at good price, I went to try
it. It's a DI box with the appropriate inputs/outputs, with a few controls: 3-band EQ, level, and a "colour" switch. After I
got this one I stopped using the Behringer PB100 and use this as a boost pedal/preamp to get a hot clean signal to
whatever amp I play through. Especially handy with passive basses. In addition it has a second channel, with a pretty
useable distortion and a noise gate for when things get hairy. The distortion is pretty good and can be blended with the
dry sound. Between this one and the Bad Monkey above I get my "bass dirt" requirements covered. Always in my gig bag,
as it'll allow me to DI into the PA if I have no amp for whatever reason.
MXR KFK 10-band Equaliser pedal. Second hand June 2009. I wanted an EQ pedal that gave me a bit more control than
my Behringer 6-band (see above), and came across this. Ok, the 31Hz band is almost useless as it doesn't seem to have
much of an effect, but the rest of the frequencies are quite useful. The pedal is built really solidly, the faders are tight
and not easily moved by error. Quite quiet, not hissy like the Behringer. It runs at 18V, which is annoying as my power
supply is only 9V, but it can run at 9V alright. The headroom is supposedly reduced then, but it's still doing a great job. I
use this pedal to have a second sound, a bit brighter and slightly mid-scooped, for slap-bass playing.
Boss LMB-3 bass limiter/enhancer pedal. Second hand June 2009. The volume difference between fingerstyle and slap
bass is quite marked. I use the compressor in my TC Electronic RH450 head which evens out the volume to some extent
(I only like a bit of compression), but I felt adding a limiter would be good. Also sometimes I don't play through my amp
head, so a limiter is more necessary then. This pedal does its job very well. I set up a relatively high threshold and ratio
and I don't hear any artifacts. I think as long as you don't use extreme settings this pedal is pretty decent. The Enhancer
function can add a bit of hiss, but if you keep it under 12-o'clock it sounds alright. I think I settled for a trio of pedals
when playing bass: Korg tuner -> MXR 10-band EQ -> LMB3 limiter (always on). I may add other things like an overdrive
pedal or a filter envelope/wah, but this trio is the basic configuration that seems to give me a good sound everytime.
Boss AW-3 dynamic wah. Second hand July 2009. Always looking for filter pedals... and came across this. I heard a good
impression of the RHCP's "21st Century" bass using this pedal, and I got one. So far I'm liking it. I haven't used it for guitar
at all, only bass. I like it better than the DOD FX25B and the Behringer FM600 I used to have.
Line6 bass POD XT. Second hand July 2009. I had already a Behringer Bass V-Amp Pro with a million functions that
sounded good, but taking up a lot of space in a rack case with its guitar counterpart. I barely record these days, and I
could use the space, so having teh desktop V-Amp2 and this POD stashed away until needed seemed like a good idea. I
found one at a good price and got it. It actually sounds nicer than the V-Amp, I think. It doesn't have all the sounds the
V-Amp does, and teh V-Amp was great for other things apart from bass, I don't think the POD is as versatile... but it
produces a good punchy bass sound more easily than the V-Amp, I think. Besides, I like the ability to record via USB
directly into Cubase. Nice sound. It's going to come handy when we record our band's demo.
Yamaha PSS380. I got this small-key keyboard at a second hand shop in 1991. Sold it in 2004. It was very useful for a
while, with rhythms and a few useable sounds. The little synth section allows you to alter the original sounds and
ocassionally you get something cool out of it.
Tascam 424. This was my first multitrack machine. Tape, of course, 4-track. When I first saw an advertisement for
these, back in 1992 or 1993, I though "wow!!!! if I could only have one of these!!!!" At the time I was using a
"malfunctioning" twin deck Alba cassette recorder. The malfunction consisted on the ability to play both decks
simultaneously, which it wasn't supposed to do, and didn't at the beginning. But it was useful for me: I could record
something on one deck, then play it back on the other deck and record on top. I had to keep a careful balance, since
there was no way to alter the sound level after it was recorded... I had to playback at very low volume, otherwise it
would sound too loud on the new recording. That meant I could barely hear the backing tape as I played, and it was such
a struggle, not to mention that the sound quality wasn't that wonderful. But these new multitrackers were too expensive
for a student like me. Eventually, in 1994 I was able to get one (my parent's present when I got accepted for a PhD...
thank you!!!!). It served me well, very well, until I sold it in 2002. The reason? I had bought a digital 12-track machine
now... No more fiddling with tapes, lots of storage, lots of tracks, and better sound of course (so I could hear my bad
playing even better now).
Boss DR550. I got this drum machine quite cheap in 1997 because the owner didn't have a manual and didn't know how
to use it. I managed to get a manual off some nice soul on the net and it's been with me since. Set up stereo panning,
mono/polyphonic voices, velocity, colour... Pretty decent sounds, and if you take the time to program it properly you
can make it sound very realistic... unfortunately I am too impatient to do that, so I am not getting 20% out of what this
machine can do. You can sync it via MIDI to trigger other better sounds from a sequencer, if you have them, but I haven't
explored that either. Lately I've moved to PC-based tracks, so I sold this in June 2006.
More pictures: back.
Akai DPS12i. Got it new in 2001 to substitute the trusty Tascam 424, and three months later Akai brought out the
16-track version at the same price while the 12i dropped down... typical! Nevermind, it's a great machine. It's a 12 track
hard-disk recorder with 6 analog inputs (+ digital ones) with individual faders & pan/trim pots per track/input. Up to 250
virtual tracks (as long as you don't run out of space), various connections at the back... I think that would do for me...
It also has a whole load of effects and very useful 2/3 band parametric EQ. However the small screen and terrible manual
makes it hard to get everything out of this machine. The supplied Akai MESA software is supposed to add extra
functionality in mixing and help a bit with doing away with the tiny screen, but I haven't used it really, just checked to
see it worked and that's all. I wish it was able to import/export wave files, then that would make this machine a
winner. Of course, this ability is now standard in most decent digital recorders... ah well... If I don't care much about all
the bells and whistles, it's pretty simple to use and the sound quality is superb. I wish I could say the same about my
More pictures: 1 2 3 4
SurfSound WS-620 powered speakers. Bought new from Maplin in January 2005. The store was having this special offer
and I bought a pair since they were cheap enough. A small pair of 2-way speakers, rated at 30W, selfamplified with
volume, treble, bass and surround controls. They're perfect to amplify my V-Amp2 (or similar digital modeller, no doubt)
for home practice and my Akai DPS12i. The V-Amp sounds great through this set up, and it can be loud enough if I want it
to be. Nice compact solution.
More pictures: back of speaker with amplifier connections and controls.
Zoom H4. New in July 2007. Portable 4-track/stereo digital recorder. A very handy portable recorder. It can be used as
a 4-track, and it has many effects, guitar amp simulations etc, but I just use it as a stereo field recorder to record band
rehearsals. It sounds great. A single 2Gb card can give you at least 3h recording time (I have two) of 16-bit 44.1KHz WAV
format sound. A lot more if recording directly to mp3. The best piece of equipment I have bought in a long time. It's
fantastic to record anything from quick ideas (just press record) to band rehearsals... it even adjusts recording levels
automatically. Connection to computer is via USB, to download/upload tracks. These can then be further manipulated
using standard wave editors (I use an old version of SoundForge). It works as an mp3 player too, if one wants to.
I sold it in November 2008 as I wanted to get the Zoom H2, with less functions, but smaller.
More pictures: 1 2 3 4
Zoom H2. New in November 2008. I bought this one to substitute the Zoom H4. I preferred the H2 because it was
smaller and I can place it on a standard mic stand with the adaptor provided. It also came with a handy tripod fo when I
don't have a mic stand at hand. I use it all the time to record ideas, jamming, and rehearsals. I bring it to most of our
gigs too, pretty good, although for this the H4 would be better because of the dual jack socket inputs, so you can record
directly from the mixing desk. Although I could use the line in with the H2, I suppose. Whether an H4, an H2, or another
brand's similar recorder, every musician should have one.
Behringer MiniAmp Amp800. 4-channel headphone amplifier. New August 2007. Two input & four channel headphone
amp with individual volume and balance controls. Nice to monitor two different stereo sources by different people. I
used this to be able to jam in a small apartment late at night.
Evolution MK261 midi controller keyboard. Second hand May 2008, sold April 2009.
I didn't use it much, so ended up selling it.
Alesis SR16 drum machine. Second hand March 2009. I decided to buy a hardware drum machine, so I could be
independent from the computer. I bought the SR16 because it is reasonably good, and has midi in/out capabilities. This
means I can program on the SR16 and use it to trigger better sounds in my computer later... or program on the computer
and trigger the SR16. But it's sitting pretty on my table doing nothing, as I end up mostly using the very basic drum
machine on my Zoom B2. I barely record these days, and if I want drums I have real drummers I can ask to lay a track for
me... so I'll probably end up selling this drum machine, and using the computer (Fruity Loops) when I want something
more complex than the Zoom B2.
This is a list of guitars, amps, FX and stuff I own or have owned, with some comments about them and pictures. Click on the
highlighted text links to view. A vu-meter icon on the left of a thumbnail picture means it is a link to a page with sound samples