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Thread: The Ever-Expanding Gear Thread

  1. #401
    If you're not going to use the amps natural tube distortion, you could go with a solid state amp. For me, the distortion from the tubes itself is EVERYTHING. I have a few pedals, before the preamp and in the effects loop, but most are all just additions to one main theme, and that is - clean channel for clean sounds, drive channel for standard rock rhythm sounds, and a tube screamer in the front to add to the natural drive channel for lead tone. So, your rhythm is the amp alone and the lead is a combination of the pedal and the amp. Works for me.

    as a side note - my favorite dream pedal is the Xotic SP compressor which ( besides the tuner ) is the first pedal in my chain. Everything is after that. I never turn it off. Everything just sounds sweeter when that pedal is on.
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  2. #402
    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Watson View Post
    If you're not going to use the amps natural tube distortion, you could go with a solid state amp. For me, the distortion from the tubes itself is EVERYTHING. I have a few pedals, before the preamp and in the effects loop, but most are all just additions to one main theme, and that is - clean channel for clean sounds, drive channel for standard rock rhythm sounds, and a tube screamer in the front to add to the natural drive channel for lead tone. So, your rhythm is the amp alone and the lead is a combination of the pedal and the amp. Works for me.

    as a side note - my favorite dream pedal is the Xotic SP compressor which ( besides the tuner ) is the first pedal in my chain. Everything is after that. I never turn it off. Everything just sounds sweeter when that pedal is on.
    I agree. I do pretty well the same thing; rhythm is the amp, leads the amp and a the rat. I also believe the tube amp distortion is everything. Truthfully I don't even really like delay and reverb all that much (in fact 90 percent of the time I use a guitar a cable and an amp) but often the band's I work for want those sounds...so...

    However I LOVE ring modulators and weird synths etc. I find the best compromise is to use the splitter and have ALL of that on the wet side.

    I do a lot of solo jazz gigs (Joe Pass typr chord solos) and use the Mesa with the pres turned way down. After a few hours the sound is as sweet a tone as I have ever heard. Dry, but warm.

  3. #403
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    My most recent purchase is a Geddy Lee signature jazz bass. It's a beautiful thing, but it was not set up correctly at all. I guess I assumed that a "55-point inspection" would assure something reasonable, but no. There was way too much relief and the action was super high, virtually unplayable for more than a few minutes (well, I haven't been playing as much so my fingers are a bit out of shape lately). And yet, even with high strings and massive amounts of relief the open A string was buzzing if I played any more than very lightly.

    I have been watching YouTube videos, reading the Fender setup guide, etc. and have managed to tweak the truss rod, set the string height, etc. Last night I got around to putting a feeler gauge under the strings at the first fret. According to a video put out by Elixir Strings at 0.022" feeler gauge should fit between the G string and the first fret. Nope. And of course the A (and E) are buzzing worse than ever. So I guess I need a new nut and or a shim under the nut.

    I've contacted a luthier but I really don't think I should have to be putting in quite this much effort. And it seems suspicious to me that there was that much curve on the neck. Maybe they were trying to cover up the buzzing?
    Some questions...

    Did you buy this bass new or used?

    Where are the E and A strings buzzing, near the body or near the headstock?

    Do you have any play left in your bridge, or is it as close to the body as it will go (or is it super high)?

    Bill

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Some questions...

    Did you buy this bass new or used?

    Where are the E and A strings buzzing, near the body or near the headstock?

    Do you have any play left in your bridge, or is it as close to the body as it will go (or is it super high)?

    Bill
    This is a brand new bass from Sweetwater. The buzz is only near the headstock end. The bridge saddles are not all the way down or up but are adjusted pretty close to where they should be according to the Fender setup guide. It's bizarre that they would ship an instrument out in this condition. I think this bass will end up being a nice instrument, but the nut is somehow too low.

    My sales rep at Sweetwater is a really nice guy and has always done right by me, but talking to him about this yesterday I really got the sense that I wasn't talking to the same guy but someone who was obligated to fall back on their standard policy (which is to be expected). The interesting thing is that the impression one gets from reading through the items in the 55-point inspection is quite different from what I was told on the phone. For one example, my rep told me that it's not meant to imply a full setup will have been completed on the instrument. To some extent that makes sense (since some elements of a guitar setup are a matter of personal taste) but when the checklist has an item called "intonation" that's pretty specific....and the instrument had not had the intonation set.

    At any rate, Sweetwater has agreed to pay for the nut work, I will pay for whatever other setup work is required (most of which I've already done now).
    Last edited by Plasmatopia; 04-26-2019 at 08:49 AM.
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  5. #405
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    This is a brand new bass from Sweetwater. The buzz is only near the headstock end. The bridge saddles are not all the way down or up but are adjusted pretty close to where they should be according to the Fender setup guide. It's bizarre that they would ship an instrument out in this condition. I think this bass will end up being a nice instrument, but the nut is somehow too low.

    My sales rep at Sweetwater is a really nice guy and has always done right by me, but talking to him about this yesterday I really got the sense that I wasn't talking to the same guy but someone who was obligated to fall back on their standard policy (which is to be expected). The interesting thing is that the impression one gets from reading through the items in the 55-point inspection is quite different from what I was told on the phone. For one example, my rep told me that it's not meant to imply a full setup will have been completed on the instrument. To some extent that makes sense (since some elements of a guitar setup are a matter of personal taste) but when the checklist has an item called "intonation" that's pretty specific....and the instrument had not had the intonation set.

    At any rate, Sweetwater has agreed to pay for the nut work, I will pay for whatever other setup work is required (most of which I've already done now).
    I'd send it back. There's no reason you have to deal with this on a new instrument. It may be the nut, or depending on the relief in the neck after your truss adjustment, it could need a shim under the neck at the join with the body. I guess if you're going to get the nut work done, it's going to a luthier, who will be able to tell you which issue needs to be addressed. But I'd have some skepticism about this bass ever really playing right and would ask for a replacement.

    Keep us posted,

    Bill

  6. #406
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I'd send it back. There's no reason you have to deal with this on a new instrument. It may be the nut, or depending on the relief in the neck after your truss adjustment, it could need a shim under the neck at the join with the body. I guess if you're going to get the nut work done, it's going to a luthier, who will be able to tell you which issue needs to be addressed. But I'd have some skepticism about this bass ever really playing right and would ask for a replacement.

    Keep us posted,

    Bill
    I agree I am fully within my rights to say I shouldn't have to deal with this and indeed Sweetwater had no problem with the idea of me sending it back. But I am reluctant to send it back. For one thing, just dealing with shipping it out always seems like a hassle. If I simply ask for a replacement there's no guarantee the next one will be any good and I now have zero faith that their 55-point inspection provides any protection whatsoever except for perhaps the most egregious of flaws. Also, having the option of using my Sweetwater interest-free account to charge it to makes it easier to sell the idea of buying this to the wife. The alternative is driving a few hours just to find a store with a large enough selection....maybe making it easier to find a nice instrument but probably spending enough in travel costs to cover the setup I'm already having to do on this one anyway (minus fixing the nut, which Sweetwater is going to cover).

    re: lack of faith in the 55-point inspection: I just heard a story yesterday of a local guy who bought a $1500 Schecter guitar from Sweetwater. It arrived in virtually unplayable condition. He spent a couple hours of his own time and fixed the setup to his satisfaction, but he called up and complained and mentioned that he had been considering buying a second one but was put off by the poor setup of the first one. They sold him a second one at half price. The setup on that one was a mess too, but at least he has a couple nice guitars...

    At any rate, I'm going to assume the luthier will set me on the right path. He should be able to tell me the real deal with this thing and if he thinks it's a lost cause it will be sent back.

    It just sucks because I'm itching to play the damned thing, lol.
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  7. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I agree I am fully within my rights to say I shouldn't have to deal with this and indeed Sweetwater had no problem with the idea of me sending it back. But I am reluctant to send it back. For one thing, just dealing with shipping it out always seems like a hassle. If I simply ask for a replacement there's no guarantee the next one will be any good and I now have zero faith that their 55-point inspection provides any protection whatsoever except for perhaps the most egregious of flaws. Also, having the option of using my Sweetwater interest-free account to charge it to makes it easier to sell the idea of buying this to the wife. The alternative is driving a few hours just to find a store with a large enough selection....maybe making it easier to find a nice instrument but probably spending enough in travel costs to cover the setup I'm already having to do on this one anyway (minus fixing the nut, which Sweetwater is going to cover).

    re: lack of faith in the 55-point inspection: I just heard a story yesterday of a local guy who bought a $1500 Schecter guitar from Sweetwater. It arrived in virtually unplayable condition. He spent a couple hours of his own time and fixed the setup to his satisfaction, but he called up and complained and mentioned that he had been considering buying a second one but was put off by the poor setup of the first one. They sold him a second one at half price. The setup on that one was a mess too, but at least he has a couple nice guitars...

    At any rate, I'm going to assume the luthier will set me on the right path. He should be able to tell me the real deal with this thing and if he thinks it's a lost cause it will be sent back.

    It just sucks because I'm itching to play the damned thing, lol.
    I had the opposite experience with Guitar Center. My Ibanez Artstar came from the factory with some fretting problems (fret creep?!?!). GC jumped on it immediately and the shop-based luthier filed down the frets and reset the action within a day or two. I did have to pay a minimal amount (about $40) but it was worth it not to wait six weeks for the factory rep to do it. Quality work as well.
    I like the Sweetwater catalogs but I buy from the local folks at GC.
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  8. #408
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
    I had the opposite experience with Guitar Center. My Ibanez Artstar came from the factory with some fretting problems (fret creep?!?!). GC jumped on it immediately and the shop-based luthier filed down the frets and reset the action within a day or two. I did have to pay a minimal amount (about $40) but it was worth it not to wait six weeks for the factory rep to do it. Quality work as well.
    I like the Sweetwater catalogs but I buy from the local folks at GC.
    The "local folks"...owned by Bain Capital.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  9. #409
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    At any rate, I'm going to assume the luthier will set me on the right path. He should be able to tell me the real deal with this thing and if he thinks it's a lost cause it will be sent back.

    It just sucks because I'm itching to play the damned thing, lol.
    Definitely get it to a luthier asap, they may steer you towards a return. I've had good experiences getting instruments from both Sweetwater and Musician's Friend, but you never know. Hope it works out for you.

    Bill

  10. #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I'd send it back. There's no reason you have to deal with this on a new instrument. It may be the nut, or depending on the relief in the neck after your truss adjustment, it could need a shim under the neck at the join with the body. I guess if you're going to get the nut work done, it's going to a luthier, who will be able to tell you which issue needs to be addressed. But I'd have some skepticism about this bass ever really playing right and would ask for a replacement.

    Keep us posted,

    Bill
    Must admit, that I tend to think that this is a neck, rather than a nut, issue. Is it straight? If it's not after the truss rod adjustment I'd be sending it right back to Fender. Their quality control has always been iffy (though nowhere near down to the levels of horror often exhibited by Gibson), and sounds to me that, sadly, you might have picked up a lemon.

  11. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    Must admit, that I tend to think that this is a neck, rather than a nut, issue. Is it straight? If it's not after the truss rod adjustment I'd be sending it right back to Fender. Their quality control has always been iffy (though nowhere near down to the levels of horror often exhibited by Gibson), and sounds to me that, sadly, you might have picked up a lemon.
    I dropped it off at the luthier yesterday and he seemed to think it was just not set up properly and that all was going to be fine after some adjustments. Fingers crossed...
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  12. #412
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    The problem is, guitars ship with both the strings and the truss rod loosened, eliminating any and all tension on the neck. It's incumbent on the guitar shop to simultaneously tighten the strings to pitch, and appropriately setup the truss rod. In my experience, Guitar Center stores fail to do the latter.
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  13. #413
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    If anyone is interested in a mid range acoustic electric guitar, I thought the below video was a good one. He didn't comment on the Breedlove guitars, but overall pretty good advice.


  14. #414
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  15. #415

  16. #416
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I finally have some resolution on my Jazz bass. The luthier took forever to get this done, but I'm in good shape now. It took a bit longer because after he did his initial setup I went to pick it up and he demonstrated that there was no string buzz....except when I played it I had string buzz. He plays with his right hand near the bridge, while I play closer to the neck and it buzzed instantly. We then decided that the nut was too low and he spent the time to build up the nut and file new slots for the E and A strings. He did all this for his regular price for a setup ($55).

    I picked it up last Wednesday and, as fate would have it, I was filling in for an absent bass player at my former band's rehearsal that night. Even more fortunate was the fact that with their new singer they decided some songs were better for her in standard tuning (which the Jazz was set up for) so I used the Jazz on all those tunes. I was playing through the amp that resides in their practice space, which is an all-tube Ampeg SVT head into a god-awful 2x15 Peavey cabinet. Great if you want super sloppy fundamental oomph, but little else.

    There was still a radical difference in sound from my Precision. The Jazz has a lot less low frequency (exactly what I was looking for). Due to the lack of super low frequencies the Geddy bass really added clarity and definition.

    I also played around with it at home on my rig and I really love the sound. It's pretty easy to get a reasonable facsimile of Geddy's sound and also something closer to a Jaco sound than I've ever had before. The latter is a bit awkward for me since I am not used to playing near the bridge, but I'm sure I'll experiment more with that.

    I think the luthier erred on the side of higher action to avoid buzz. I had to lower the saddles to reintroduce a small amount of fret buzz and get closer to a reasonable action. The strings are also a bit heavier gauge than I'm used to (0.105" instead of 0.100"). I'll keep using them until they wear out and switch to something lighter.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  17. #417
    ^^^
    Well, I guess that's good. Still seems a bit wonky, but if if it's playable for you now, I guess that's good.

    Glad you like the tone, what pickup balance did you dial in?

    Bill

  18. #418
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    ^^^
    Well, I guess that's good. Still seems a bit wonky, but if if it's playable for you now, I guess that's good.

    Glad you like the tone, what pickup balance did you dial in?

    Bill
    Yeah, definitely wonky. Should not have to deal with that on a brand new instrument, IMO, but I would have probably paid for a setup anyway. So far I'm gravitating toward both pickup volumes all the way up or sometimes one or the other turned down just a little. I really haven't had much time with it at home yet though.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  19. #419
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    So far I'm gravitating toward both pickup volumes all the way up or sometimes one or the other turned down just a little. I really haven't had much time with it at home yet though.
    Yeah, you'll need time to experiment around with it. To me, the J bass is all about the bridge pickup. Try putting the volume of that pickup at maximum, put the neck pickup at zero, and then roll off the tone until you have a pleasing sound (i.e. not too shrill). Then dial in the neck pickup until you get a bit of low end, but not too much. Set you amp with high mids and moderate to low bass and treble. That should get you a nice fat, punchy sound that will cut through a mix, and you can increase the tone for things on which you'd like a little more "zing." To me, that's where the J really shines.

    Have fun!

    Bill

  20. #420
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion, Bill. I'll definitely give that a shot!
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  21. #421
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Yeah, definitely wonky. Should not have to deal with that on a brand new instrument, IMO, but I would have probably paid for a setup anyway. So far I'm gravitating toward both pickup volumes all the way up or sometimes one or the other turned down just a little. I really haven't had much time with it at home yet though.
    This being the case, I'd be dead set on sending it back to Fender and asking why they STILL can't build instruments properly after 60+ years of essentially making the same ones. Ditto Gibson.

  22. #422
    Thinking about adding a small midi-keyboard to my set-up. My M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 is a bit to far removed from the computer, which makes it hard to use it to make sheet-music, because I need the computer-keyboard and the mouse, to select the right note-lenght and the right position. Cubase doesn't always jump to the right position in score-mode. If you start with a 16th and than add an 8th, the next note after that comes at an 8th after the beginning, so you have to add a jump of a 16th, to get the next note at the right position.
    At this moment I'm in favor of the Arturia Keystep https://www.arturia.com/products/keystep/overview because it offers aftertouch and control-voltage outputs, which means I can also use it to connect my old Roland System 100 model 101 to the computer.

  23. #423
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Thinking about adding a small midi-keyboard to my set-up. My M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 is a bit to far removed from the computer, which makes it hard to use it to make sheet-music, because I need the computer-keyboard and the mouse, to select the right note-lenght and the right position. Cubase doesn't always jump to the right position in score-mode. If you start with a 16th and than add an 8th, the next note after that comes at an 8th after the beginning, so you have to add a jump of a 16th, to get the next note at the right position.
    At this moment I'm in favor of the Arturia Keystep https://www.arturia.com/products/keystep/overview because it offers aftertouch and control-voltage outputs, which means I can also use it to connect my old Roland System 100 model 101 to the computer.
    That looks nice. So do you need to use the mouse to change the note length or is there a hot key for that? I have a 29-key USB M-Audio keyboard for this sort of thing. One of these days I might actually even use it.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  24. #424
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    This being the case, I'd be dead set on sending it back to Fender and asking why they STILL can't build instruments properly after 60+ years of essentially making the same ones. Ditto Gibson.
    After 60+ years....do you think they'd finally get the message if I sent mine back? Methinks there are greater forces at work.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  25. #425
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    That looks nice. So do you need to use the mouse to change the note length or is there a hot key for that? I have a 29-key USB M-Audio keyboard for this sort of thing. One of these days I might actually even use it.
    I could create a hot key, but I never did that. I did it with a try-out version of Cubase 7.5.

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