Print Story Ain't no day like it.
By nightflameblue (Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 02:00:08 PM EST) (all tags)
No day I know.

So, yeah, I went back to the music store to look at that guitar again. I had every intention of using the excuse to remind myself that it's a dime a dozen guitar and that it sucks for my purposes and I don't need it. Then I could come home and be happy that I didn't get it and that would be that.

That was the plan.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a strat guy. They make cool noises and others dig but I DO NOT WANT. They are fugly, they are puritanical, they are part of the reason so damn many guitarists get stuck on the idea that anything made less than fifty years ago sucks ass, and in general they annoy me with their crappy boringness.

I say all of this so you understand just how big of a step this is.

So I saw that strat a few days back. It pretty much jumped out at me in a way no strat ever does because, let's face it, it's a strat. There's literally millions of them floating around, and outside of some of the fat specials and mahogany natural finished ones, they're nothing stand-out. The fact that it caught my attention at all amongst the many other strats on that wall is surprising enough.

It's a teal color, aged just enough to have a slightly greener tint than standard Fender teal. It has a silver/black swirl pickguard that's been tinted a little mint with either age or some sort of treatment. White appointments, chrome hardware. Little dusty, no major dings. Some fretboard wear patterns in the lower registers, but nothing horrible. Rosewood board. Three singles with what appears standard electronics with the five way switch. Despite the fact that the color is the only thing that jumped out at me, I found myself picking it up and strumming chords the first time I saw it. I don't do that with strats.

So, I tried to walk away.

Then spent the next two days with it randomly popping into my head at odd moments.

The only possible cure is shock treatment. Go plug that bad boy in and see how bland and plain and normal and stratty it really is. Then I'll realize I could get one any time and any other strat would be just the same so whatever.

Dude at the store hooks me up with a little 30 watt cube and leaves me to it. Sounds OK in bridge clean. Bridge dirty is nasty and ratty. Go through the positions. Oh my. Neck-mid, tone rolled back, volume about 8, amp gain cranked up, heaven. WTH?

Played it for about forty minutes give or take. No dead spots in the neck, several usable tones here and there and that's with a cheap solid-state practice amp. And no one could argue it's not completely different from my other guitfiddles. There's nothing even remotely similar between this and my humbucker chuggers. One minor finish ding close to the neck. Minor ding on the back of the neck that's so small it'd probably buff out near instantly. The trem cover matches the pickguard. The back is surprisingly clean so someone never wore a big belt buckle when they played. And it was obviously played. Had a good setup on it too. Rolled edges, clean fretwork, ultra smooth neck that felt a touch thinner than most strats I've been forced to use at friend's places, but not as thin as my others.

So I ask the dude what the story is again. Just somebody that didn't jive with it. I tell him I'll think about it and force myself to go look in other parts of the store. Tried a couple other axes hoping I'd see, again, that it's nothing special. They weren't the same. DAMN IT!

So, since I was on the bike, and I don't really have the room ready at home, I ended up sticking it on layaway before I left. Just couldn't let it get away. They have no charge sixty day layaway, so it's not like I'm paying for it. So, um, I guess this is quasi-new guitar day for me.

And I still have one in the shop getting my refinish on. Big year for guitars in my world I guess. Mrs. NFB will likely not be amused, but she doesn't much care so long as it comes out of my fun money.


So, what exactly does this mean? I'll have a strat now. That doesn't feel right to me, yet it didn't feel right to walk away from it either. It's like, you know, traditional or some shit. And I'm not much of a traditional guy in most regards, but especially musically.

Do I have to stop chugging and turn in my black t-shirt cred for a bl00ze amp and a bad hat? Or is this like some alter-ego thing where I'm a metal dude by day and a chicken picker by night?

Or maybe I'm the guy that's supposed to discover the true br00tz happens with single coils? Maybe I'll tune it to drop C and play Chimaira covers on it through an old 5150? Or, you know, not.

The biggest thing is the fear of what this means overall. All those douchebags that always said, "yeah, just grow up a little. You'll trade in your pointies for a strat and give up that stupid shit." I mean, what's next? A Harley instead of my Suzuki? Wearing name-brand logowear to work? A misstress in each city? CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER?!

Oh, right. I won't give up the stupid shit because that would pretty much mean I have to stop breathing. Nevermind then.

What it really means is I have another weapon to weave my soundscapes, nothing more, nothing less. Fun and cool. That's all. Crisis averted.

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Ain't no day like it. | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden)
so when are you going to texas by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 02:19:27 PM EST
to play with the rest of the band ? the canuck traveled farther..

He could overtake the Canuckistani by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:30:53 PM EST
But only if he went down on the bike.

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Let's see here. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:53:54 PM EST
Our planned trip out west just got screwed up due to other engagements by the folks we were meeting. I may possibly, maybe, have three or more days available in August some time. If I sell enough crap I may even have extra money for the trip. It's a thought anyway.

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The stupid douchebag stuff by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:33:59 PM EST
The mistresses, the logowear, etc. - that's not an age thing. That's a douchebag thing.

The Harley and the Strat - those are age things. I'm irritated by how many things I heard when I was younger from older guys are turning out to be true. In sailboats, in cars, in careers, in child raising, even in fucking baking.

Damn those old bastards.

I doubt I fall for the Harley hype. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:46:44 PM EST
I'm not good at paying extra for what's essentially the same thing. But on other things I may agree.

Damn old dudes.

Hey, wait, I think I'm an old dude. CRAP!

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I agreed with you by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 05:11:39 PM EST
And understand I'm not really a motorcycle guy. I like the feel of riding one but not enough to deal with other drivers.

But, I dunno. I could never see the point in the Harley thing. But this spring I hopped on one for an offered ride. And, I dunno. Nothing I can point to, but it just felt... better.

So I'm not going to try it again. I won't be buying one anyway, so I don't need to figure it out. <grin>

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Certain things with Harley I can't forgive. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #15 Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 08:41:21 AM EST
The fact that most of them come stock running pipes that pump out 120 decibels at an idle. The fifteen years or so they coasted on reputation where people fell for it, bought the bikes, then immediately had someone rebuild the engine for them because they knew it was a pile of crap up front but they needed that logo. Guitar equivalent would be Gibson. Fender I could always respect, even if it wasn't my thing.

Of course, the more I say the worse it's gonna look if I flip in five or more years. I just can't remember riding a Harley and being impressed. I think I'd be more likely to go Goldwing than Harley, and Goldwings feel like you just as well be in a car.

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I used to own an H-D by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 10:56:17 PM EST
stock or two.  or much more than that.  used to be quite profitable for me.  looking at their price now, i'm glad i sold it all....maybe i should buy again.

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HOT by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #14 Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:19:40 AM EST
Grrrrrrrrrr... I would like to . . . oh, nevermind.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Won't someone please think of the Strat's? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:42:24 PM EST
There it is, some teal coloured guitar, probably only ever been caressed gently by some soft living blues dude, if the dings are any indication.

Straight into the house of NFB, where it will be soldered properly, truss rod tightened to perfection, fretboards gleamed then gently sanded and expertly refinished.

Before being brutalised with those gut ripping chunks that NFB specialises in.

Strats I dislike for two reasons - the neck shape feels utterly wrong and is too sticklike for a plank lover like myself - wrist position in order to reach the strings feels like I'm breaking something.

And even through big fuckoff Marshalls the sound comes across as weedy and thin.  Never had the time in a guitar shop to fiddle in order to get the bite into the sound that I like.  That might be my failing, not the Strat's though.

I look forward to hearing the roadtest, anyway!

Most of the time by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:50:53 PM EST
strats just annoy me. Especially the necks. I'm thinking this one had some work done before it got traded in/dumped.

I don't know that I'll be doing much more than an oil rub on that neck/fretboard. It's in beautiful playing shape right now. I'd hate to hose that up by trying to fine-tune for perfection.

Scratch one long-standing guitar hate item off my list: tiny frets. It has them, which means it's pre 2006, but it still plays good. Leaves me confused as I've always been a believer in big frets. Hmm.

[ Parent ]
Just like a certain lizard by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 05:08:03 PM EST
That Strat will be taken home, looked after and enjoyed.

At the end of the day, it's what feels good when you play it, and if this guitar does it for you then take it home and play it to buggery.

Then post mp3's :)

In other news, the SHED OF POWAH nears completion.  Two more coats of varnish on the floor, floor/wall edging strip to be attached and it's done.

This means my poor, neglected[1] Jackson will be wired up to the Rocktron and the Marshalls by the end of August...

[1] Been in the flightcase coffin for over 3 years.

[ Parent ]
That's too long. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:39:09 PM EST
Though lord knows I've gone almost as long at times. Enjoy that shed man. I'll be setting up the studio within about three weeks or so by my estimate. About damn time.

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Don't get me started by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #16 Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:49:23 PM EST
House- finished to acceptability 2 weeks before MiniBreaker was due.  Still things to be done (crossbond electrics, finish hallway...)

Shed - 4th coat applied tonight.  Tomorrow the trim goes up = shed ready for business. 6 weeks over The Plan (denied holiday).

The only thing that frightens me is that if I pick up that Jackson in my new strong fingers and it feels wrong, then that world ends. 

I'm fully expecting fingerpain, but it's got to feel like my guitar again.

And yeah, those Marshalls that I loved, slaved for and cranked - they're going to have to go.

When I lived in the Schoolhouse eyrie, no one heard them screaming aside from me.

Now, the whole neighbourhood will.

Maybe just 30W per channel.

Not for the first time, I wish you lived 10 nmins away. 

That aside, there will be ROCK.  Oh yes.....

[ Parent ]
There are a PILE of good low watters now. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #17 Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 10:35:07 AM EST
Being where you are, I'd go hunting an Egnater Tweaker. I think those are twenty per channel and would run a lot less payola in Europe than most of the others. Unless you want to go real low watt. The Jet City 20 watt is my obsession these days. Tone somewhere between the old SLOs and a cranked plexi without the face-peeling volume, just with more gain. Like the Blackstar too, but it only clocks 5 watts which is terrific clean/edge of breakup, but a little weak when you've got the gain cranked.

Although, if you're selling your big boy toy, you could probably afford to pick up one of the new Mesa Transatlantics or a Vox Nighttrain. Both are pretty damn tasty tone wise, though a little high-dollar for my rig.

Once I get my room all finished up, I'm gonna build a double walled silent room to stick the speakers in. It won't completely seal off the sound, but I'll be able to fully crank twenty watts and only hear TV volume or a little less in the rest of the house. It's not going to be much more than a closet in size, but it'll hold a 2x12 and a 2x10 bass cab easily. I'm tired of playing games with the digital modelers. They're fun for their purpose, but they just don't have modern rock or metal tones in them that don't annoy me on some level.

1/2 of my desk is finished, and I just got my jig to put angled anchors in so I should be able to build it and get the legs going for finish this week. Then I get to repeat the entire cycle again on the second half of the desk. Wish I had more room to lay things out for staining and finishing so I could do it all at once. Oh well.

And yeah, there isn't anything worse than picking up an old axe and not feeling that kinship. I've been down that path, and once it happens it never really comes back. That's why I try not to let myself go more than a month or so at a time without at least strumming through a song or two. This is the longest stretch I've gone in years without trying to record something, and it's starting to eat at me, but the Ibanez still feels like home. I'd feel lost if I didn't have that connection. Here's to hoping you pick it up and jump right back in where you left off feel wise. Unless you're looking for an excuse to guitar shop. But who needs an excuse there?

[ Parent ]
I think I'll take my brother in law by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 04:31:22 AM EST
Down to tin pan alley - loads of instrument shops down there and they don't mind you fiddling for ages if you can play a bit.

In the silent room, can you get much seperation of the stereo to hear, or is it more for the recording?

Well, we'll see how the Jackson feels when I pick it up.  I did play a little on the acoustic last night and it felt alright.

Still, worst case - I get to buy a new guitar, which isn't the worst thing that can happen...

[ Parent ]
The silent room. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:03:41 AM EST
That's basically a giant iso-box. I've been reading reviews and talking to people about the ones you can buy, and all of them short of the ten thousand dollar plus recording booths pretty much have the same problem - they sound tinny. Most people think it's because you can't get enough air around the speaker. I can solve that problem by slapping my own together for a fraction of the cost. It won't give perfect isolation, but I won't pick up the noise of a truck going by over the sound of the amp I'm trying to record. And if I want to make real noise, I can just open the door. I wouldn't think there'd be any real stereo separation outside of it, but that's what the studio monitors will be for anyway.

Have fun amp shopping. And if you should be so (un)lucky, guitar shopping.

[ Parent ]
That's one proper setup then. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #23 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:18:44 AM EST
I think I'll just have to take the feed from the amp straight into the ADC->PC.

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I may do that some too. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #24 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:25:21 AM EST
But the room will be nice when I want the real scream of an amp.

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Oh yeah by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #27 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:47:08 AM EST
You can't beat that feeling in your chest though, standing in front of the cabs as your chest cavity resonates with what you play...

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I miss that. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #28 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:07:39 PM EST
A lot. One of the few things living on the farm was good for was when everybody else left for the day. A fully cranked 2 4x12s will slam you right on your ass from about three feet away. Man do I miss that.

[ Parent ]
Ow. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #30 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:14:50 PM EST

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Somehow I can still hear. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:20:38 PM EST
Don't know how between the equipment and the music. Probably not smart of me, but it was fun.

[ Parent ]
Oh yeah by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #33 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 01:11:07 PM EST
Heavily OD's guitar cranked to the max - about as much fun as you can have alone.

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What's the kind Jack White plays? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 06:55:34 PM EST
You should get one of those so you'll sound cool.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

They do. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 04:27:34 AM EST
The worst is when you realise it's going to be years before you can save that kind of money to take it home.

Then when you do have the money, the manufacturer no longer makes that kind of guitar anymore.

Time machine. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #21 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:05:17 AM EST
I need one. I'd kill for an eighties/early nineties Ibanez Saber. The new S guitars just aren't quite the same, and the real Sabers are so rare that when they come up for sale I'd have to double mortgage everything I own to even think about it.

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Pick me up by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:17:46 AM EST
A Yamaha 1221 while you're there...

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Nice choice. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #25 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:26:42 AM EST
Were those the ones that Exodus bought up like mad an destroyed during recording sessions? I remember they had some Yamaha where they would roll through something like twenty of them every time they did an album in the eighties. Even if it wasn't, Yamaha axes are always quality. Even the cheap ones.

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This wasn't cheap. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #26 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:46:05 AM EST
It was 1500 quid IIRC, about 20 years ago.  Top end Floyd Rose, 24 fret, lovely fretboard with tasteful inlay and dotted inlays across the top, top end tuning pegs, neck and bridge humbuckers with a single middle coil.  Those pickups were one of the first high output sets and man they screamed.

A flat plank neck, so thin you worried you'd cut yourself, and polished so smooth it was frictionless.

But out of my league for nearly 5 years, by which time you couldn't get one for love or money.

I did play an Ibanez that was very reminiscent a few years ago but couldn't justify it at the time.  I don't think I've ever picked up an Ibanez and not wanted to play it though; they're right up there.

[ Parent ]
I like mine plenty. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:09:53 PM EST
Don't know that I'd get one of their non-Japanese models though. I've heard too many horror stories about warped necks a year or so down the line. Dunno if they aren't letting them dry long enough before cutting or what. Never heard of that happening on a Prestige line unless someone forgot which was the neck and which was the floaty bridge. Guys who do that on a Wizard neck get what they deserve.

[ Parent ]
That's a worry by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:17:42 PM EST
Still, not to worry as I know I will pick up my Jackson soon and it will be like I never packed it up.

I hope!

[ Parent ]
Ain't no day like it. | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden)