A potentially long post about guitars and amps and worrying too much about things

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stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9689
Are you sitting comfortably? This might get a bit rambly...

Right now, I have a number of "keeper" guitars, due to a mix of sentimental value and them genuinely being downright great instruments.

Around the side of those main guitars I've always liked to try and keep "something else" that's not just a regular solidbody. This summer that led me to an ES-330 which is a really great guitar, but I'm struggling with the P90s and hollowness, just a little, and have a nagging feeling I'd rather just have a Les Paul, preferably an R7 or Custom. I reckon I could quite happily make that switch without spending too much extra, and 99% sure it would be a good move. But i'm stressing about decision making as I'm not gigging and mostly play on my sofa. But I keep looking longingly at the R7 in Coda and hoping they'll do some R8 style discounts... 

Add to that a similar feeling around amps... Currently I have a THR10C which is fantastic and a Badcat Cub 15 which is completely brilliant, and the master volume makes it very useable at home. But I'm feeling more and more that something blackface-flavoured would suit me better, given that every time I've plugged into a Deluxe Reverb I've had a cheshire-cat grin. But I also live in a flat and don't play live, so an amp without power scaling or a master volume is maybe a little nuts. That said, I only ever get to the verge of breakup from the amp, and use pedals for everything beyond that, so maybe it's fine?  

Perhaps, therefore, the answer is a DRRI and a decent attenuator or load box, but would that be enough for an apartment? The UA Ox looks a spectacular bit of kit but it's a shitload of money. Is power scaling viable for a DRRI? Or something boutiquey like an Allen Accomplice or Vintage Sound SC22 or Rift? 

Both would be easy enough to try but for the fact I'm in the UAE and trying new gear is a complete pain. Chances of finding either option on the used market here is next to zero, and shipping this stuff is always a level of risk and pain-in-ass, especially with the CITES shit of late.

Would would you do? 
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Comments

  • martmart Frets: 2888
    https://img.discogs.com/lgV977v0iSaIzAQ2PK_mNT-usYY=/fit-in/600x468/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1412659-1282586260.jpeg.jpg
    Thats where I’m at at the moment - stuff the gas, just get on and play. But tbh, if you’d asked me a year ago I’d have given a different answer. And next year, who knows?
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  • heavyrockerheavyrocker Frets: 331
    mart said:
    https://img.discogs.com/lgV977v0iSaIzAQ2PK_mNT-usYY=/fit-in/600x468/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1412659-1282586260.jpeg.jpg
    Thats where I’m at at the moment - stuff the gas, just get on and play. But tbh, if you’d asked me a year ago I’d have given a different answer. And next year, who knows?
    I agree. Forget about changing gear and use what you have to play music.

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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1037
    edited December 6
    The warmer tones of a Les Paul would probably be better for messing around on the sofa, but I think P90's sit nicely in a mix. I'd like to have both 
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  • koss59koss59 Frets: 544
    In my opinion I much prefer sitting down with ES guitars than Les Pauls. The grass isn’t always greener.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2071
    Princeton reverb smaller and quieter than DRRI. 
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9689
    munckee said:
    Princeton reverb smaller and quieter than DRRI. 
    But not as good sounding, imo...
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9298
    koss59 said:
    In my opinion I much prefer sitting down with ES guitars than Les Pauls. The output jack on a 335 doesn't foul the settee cushion like it does on an LP,
    Fixed ;)
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1840
    The guitar I play most is a fairly battered Yamaha Pacifica that I picked up for next to nothing, has a trem that doesn't work properly, and has only had 5 strings for about 3 months. :)
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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 482
    by the time I got to end of OP I had forgotten the start.

    what was the question again?
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2071
    munckee said:
    Princeton reverb smaller and quieter than DRRI. 
    But not as good sounding, imo...
    Maybe in the flat?
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 617
    I'm in a flat and have a 135 Watt Fender Twin Reverb. It has a volume control on it remember!

    I think the obsession with driving power valves until they red plate and burst into flames is a daft concept. It doesn't sound very good to me and past a certain volume it just hurts no matter where you are. If you want distortion, use a pedal. there are soooooo many of them to choose from. I'd rather do that than buy a matched set of Winged C 6L6GCs and a new windows every time I turn the Twin to maximum.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1037
    edited December 6
    munckee said:
    munckee said:
    Princeton reverb smaller and quieter than DRRI. 
    But not as good sounding, imo...
    Maybe in the flat?
    B-flat?
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 754
    In my humble opinion pedals make as much sonic difference as amps and guitars. Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to buy a few of them? 
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1614
    I used to have dilemmas like this, and the “shut up and play guitar” is the best bit of advice on here (wiz awarded). 
    Do me a favour and like this:

    https://www.facebook.com/MarkedCoversBand
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 19230
    munckee said:
    Princeton reverb smaller and quieter than DRRI. 
    But not as good sounding, imo...
    Interesting.... Whenever I’ve A/Bd them in a shop, I always thought the Princeton was better sounding. 
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  • teradaterada Frets: 1546
    I too think that Deluxes just sound better than Princeton's every time I A/B them. I bought one recently, and quality issues to one side, it really was too loud for home use. Specifically, it was too loud to play clean at home. It only really did that deluxe clean thing (that gives me the Cheshire Cat grin too ;) ) after about 2 on the dial, and at that point it was already very loud. Lower than that and it just sounded a little strangled.

    As much as I'd have liked to replace it with another (I really do prefer Deluxes ;) ), I've gone for a Princeton. Hasn't been delivered yet, but I'm hoping it will give me the clean blackface tones I love at home volumes.

    As for changing up gear, don't pressure yourself into thinking you have to either splurge or restrict yourself because of some notion of what is 'right'.

    You don't have to be a gigging musician to have nice instruments. Those moments on the sofa are plenty reason to treat yourself.  :)


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  • JDEJDE Frets: 664

    Would would you do? 
    Be happy with what you have. It’s the cheapest and easiest answer. And it’s not like you’re playing a banjo through a Smokey, is it? 
    Fair do’s if you decide that your particular gear isn’t for you - I have played hollowbody p90 guitars for a long time and what they are on paper doesn’t always translate to reality so I get that - then play the long game, sell it at a good price and get something you think you will jive with. There will probably never be a shortage of good LP’s and Blackface Fenders, even in UAE, especially if you’ve sold your other stuff and are actively looking. 

    Fwiw, do really try and spend some time with an LP and a Deluxe Reverb. For many it’s a real corker, but I have been deflated every time with that combo. Just my 2p.
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  • Th4fonzTh4fonz Frets: 4
    If you got the funds buy whatever you want that is gonna bring the most enjoyment.  You sound like you have a nice setup as it is. I also find people buy new stuff to get out of a rut and relight the fire but a cheaper option is go learn some new chords and learn the theory behind them and focus on improving your playing instead.
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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 835
    Love p90's personally and customs are one my favourites too, that's what I'd get if i was buying but i build em so never go shopping or get gas

    There's an idea get building something it cures gas 
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 4099
    edited December 7
    Keep searching, spending, trying and swopping...

    GAS in an instinct... the journey is exciting, expensive, frustrating and joyful.

    But along the way, you’ll pick up wisdom and gear that works for you...

    BUT, trust your instinct and learn to know what YOU like; that’s the only way to find the sound in your head,,,,
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  • Jonathanthomas83Jonathanthomas83 Frets: 1073
    edited December 7
    learn to know what YOU like; that’s the only way to find the sound in your head,,,,
    This hits the nail on the head for me. Absolutely spot on. This is a lot harder than people think. At least it is for a detail hunter like me.
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1096
    pmbomb said:
    by the time I got to end of OP I had forgotten the start.

    what was the question again?
    I think he wants permission to buy a new guitar...

    CALLING THE GAS NEGOTIATOR! 
    :)
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19098
    edited December 7
    We are at a different point in our playing career and giving you an opinion about what I would do will make things more confusing not less.

    I'd say you already know what you want to do, but are balking at the hassle, expense or concern that you won't get something better, but rather something that is just different.

    But, since you asked, my opinion is be patient and buy a Les Paul and a DRRI when you can afford to do so without selling anything you currently have.

    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 49
    gringopig said:
    I'm in a flat and have a 135 Watt Fender Twin Reverb. It has a volume control on it remember!

    I think the obsession with driving power valves until they red plate and burst into flames is a daft concept. It doesn't sound very good to me and past a certain volume it just hurts no matter where you are. If you want distortion, use a pedal. there are soooooo many of them to choose from. I'd rather do that than buy a matched set of Winged C 6L6GCs and a new windows every time I turn the Twin to maximum.
    For what it's worth I totally agree with the above, get the amp you want (or already have) and get a decent O/Drive pedal, that works with the amp and guitar without changing the characteristics, and control the volume on the pedal. I have a Thorpy that works really well at home volumes. Sounds great IMHO.
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  • SkippedSkipped Frets: 2130
    Living in an apartment is an unsolvable problem if you are chasing a particular result. And it seems to me that finding what you want is not the problem in your case.

    Will you return to the UK at some point? If so, your compromise could be temporary and easier to deal with. A detached  property in the UK is still "affordable" for a very large group of people that I will describe as skilled workers, for want of a better term. But not in London........

    In the meantime, you can get the R7. But I would ask 2 or 3 musicians who you know, and respect, to pop into Coda and play the guitar. (Put the guitar on hold).
    If several people, that I trust, tell me that a guitar is a wonderful player, and that I am going to love it, and that the risk of me not loving it is less than  2%, I will buy that guitar unseen. A great guitar is a great guitar.

    If 10 of us (reading this thread) are shown 10 Les Pauls, I do not expect us to agree about the best colour. But I would expect 9 of us to agree which guitar has the best, most desirable, impossible to put down, neck feel which results from the stars somehow aligning.....even though the 10 instruments have the same spec. And the neck is "everything".

    I am a bit surprised that you might be willing to ship a high end instrument without these steps.   :)



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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9689
    edited December 7
    octatonic said:

    I'd say you already know what you want to do, but are balking at the hassle, expense or concern that you won't get something better, but rather something that is just different.

    But, since you asked, my opinion is be patient and buy a Les Paul and a DRRI when you can afford to do so without selling anything you currently have.

    I think that about nails it. To be honest, it's more a space issue than a money issue. I'm 100% sure those are the right components to get the thing in my head, in conjunction with pedals I already have. But it is a pain getting decent quality gear out here. 

    learn to know what YOU like; that’s the only way to find the sound in your head,,,,
    This hits the nail on the head for me. Absolutely spot on. This is a lot harder than people think. At least it is for a detail hunter like me.
    I think this is good advice, and generally my instincts are good. In recent years I seem to have a pattern that each guitar I buy is either great but not "me", or just suits me perfectly. I just need to trust that, and hopefully buy fewer of the "odd number" choices, I guess!

    The hollow/P90 thing is annoying in a lot of ways. The ES330 is a fantastic guitar when played loud, but realistically that just isn't my current situation, and it loses something somehow at home volumes. Combined with a preference for quite bright low-output hum buckers there is a lot of overlap and my existing HB guitars just work better for what I'm using them for.

    And I could always get another if and when circumstances change.


    JDE said:

    Would would you do? 

    Fwiw, do really try and spend some time with an LP and a Deluxe Reverb. For many it’s a real corker, but I have been deflated every time with that combo. Just my 2p.

    As for amps, I'm well convinced some sort of Deluxe Reverb is the right answer - I've tried a handful of them with different guitars in the last couple of years (including Les Pauls and similar) and every time they've brought a smile to my face. 

    So it's just a question of whether to go DRRI plus attenuator/loadbox or something bit more "boutiquey", perhaps with power scaling. Its not an option you see that much compared with Vox or Marshall flavoured circuits. Maybe that's a commentary on how amp makers view the quality of Fender's own stuff? Who knows.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9689
    edited December 8
    Still itching for goldtops and blackfaces...

    How good old does this look...?! Anyone near Coda fancy having a play and telling me if it’s a really good one?


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  • noisepolluternoisepolluter Frets: 183
    edited December 8
    Re the DRRI - I’m assuming you’re aware of the effect of the bright cap on the trem/reverb channel at lower volumes with drive/distortion pedals. It doesn’t bother some folks at all, if it does bother you there are various ways round it (modding or jumpering). I went for the modding approach - had the ‘normal’ channel wired up permanently to the reverb, which is what they’ve done with the recent hand wired ‘64. Google fritz mod for more details.

    If you’re going to be using mostly power amp drive or are happy to use the normal channel with a bit of reverb channel jumpered and blended in (so long as they’re not at the same level as stock wiring is out of phase) then it’s not an issue. TS-based pedals also seem to be less prone to harshness/fizziness with the bright cap.

    Edit: or just disconnect the bright cap. I very rarely use the bright channel these days, even blended in.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9689
    Re the DRRI - I’m assuming you’re aware of the effect of the bright cap on the trem/reverb channel at lower volumes with drive/distortion pedals. It doesn’t bother some folks at all, if it does bother you there are various ways round it (modding or jumpering). I went for the modding approach - had the ‘normal’ channel wired up permanently to the reverb, which is what they’ve done with the recent hand wired ‘64. Google fritz mod for more details.

    If you’re going to be using mostly power amp drive or are happy to use the normal channel with a bit of reverb channel jumpered and blended in (so long as they’re not at the same level as stock wiring is out of phase) then it’s not an issue. TS-based pedals also seem to be less prone to harshness/fizziness with the bright cap.

    Edit: or just disconnect the bright cap. I very rarely use the bright channel these days, even blended in.
    Ta. I'm aware of the foibles of the channels and potential mods. I would be most likely to put the bright cap on a switch, though I like bright amps and haven't had issues whenever I've demoed pedals 

    It's also possible I'll go "posher" than a boggo DRRI - the Dr Z Z-Lux looks really attractive with sensible mods & tweaks to the basic setup, together with a master volume, which would be good for home. 
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  • fandangofandango Frets: 1182
    Freebird said:
    munckee said:
    munckee said:
    Princeton reverb smaller and quieter than DRRI. 
    But not as good sounding, imo...
    Maybe in the flat?
    B-flat?
    No, just a flat. 
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