Archive for May, 2008

How on earth did they slip this one through?

Posted in Guitar Gear, Guitar General on May 30, 2008 by Staff Writer

Also while I was in Bangkok, I did wonder about the temporary insanity of the CF Martin Guitar Company (of Nazareth Pennsylvania lest we get confused) in their production of the Felix The Cat range of steel strings.

How on earth did the dreamer-upper of this perversion ever convince Charles Friedrick IV to manufacture them? There were about 4 of them in the shop window at Music Connection at Siam Paragon – dusty and dejected looking outrages against the Martin traditional image and being sold off at bargain bin clearance sale 2-for-1 prices. If any of you are deranged Martin obsessives you can pick them up for a couple of groats down there.

Here’s a picture of one of them. I couldn’t be bothered to track down the rest, but let’s just leave it at ‘they were all ugly’.



More Bangkok gear hunting

Posted in Guitar Gear on May 30, 2008 by Staff Writer

Had a couple of hours to kill prior to going to catch my plane so decided to scope out a couple of stores nearby my hotel.

First up was a place called Rock Planet inside Central World (formerly Central World Plaza – now rejuvenated and all nice and new and sparkly). They had a Korean made brand called ‘Barracuda’ which I’d never heard of before. Tried out a Strat-a-like (THB 5000) and a Tele copy (THB 5800).  Reasonable build quality on both but setup was way off on both specimens; Intonation was way off on the Strat and the Tele’s action was waaay high. Still, for $217 and $252 SGD respectively these could represent reasonable buys. They also (surprisingly) had a couple of Tom Anderson’s hanging up in special cases for sale. Anyway, I managed to sit there playing for 15 minutes (the sales guy was in total shock and awe at my jaw-dropping skill) and impress a couple of passing chicks.

Next, I went to Music Concept – a bona fide Fender and Gibson dealer on the 3rd floor. Good stocks of Squiers going up to the upper-mid range of Fenders and a couple of Signature models (Clapton, Malmsteen) but no Custom shops. They had a couple of nicely flamed Heritage Cherry LP Standards hanging up too.  They quoted a not-too-bad price for a Custom Class Telecaster –  think it worked out at about $3360 SGD compared to Musician’s Friend listing of USD $2049 (SGD $2920) but that would have taken a month or so to order in. Just for fun, I tried out this little Micro Korg synth which was cool and emitted some mind boggling noises. I can’t play keyboards so it probably would have been a total waste of money but it was verrry tempting (being all small and cute an’ all) at *only* THB 16200 ($SGD 720).


After that, more traipsing around. For a major mall in the centre of the city it doesn’t do too badly – about 3 or 4 guitar/instrument stores inside. Imagine if Swee Lee was in Ngee Ann City, along with Davis and Blackwood and it was kinda like that.

Headed over to Siam Paragon to have a quick peep into Music Connection at the overpriced Mesas again. Nothing new there. Same stock as last time. Perused the BC Rich guitars and somehow got it stuck into my GAS-addled mind that I want to buy the Chuck Schuldiner Stealth  tribute model.


Incessant GAS

Posted in Guitar Gear, Guitar General on May 23, 2008 by Staff Writer

In the never ending cycle of Gear Acquisition, only one thing is certain: that the gear that you currently have is never enough. One constantly strives to acquire more gear in order to improve the situation only to find that like a hard drug, this new gear opens your eyes up to the possibilities that can be attained by going to that next level – browsing The Web, flipping through the review pages and Buyer’s Guides (ogling the Playboy chicks along the way) and generally getting a big stiffy over something as simple as a new bit of cable with some marginally different shielding that the marketeers are trumpeting as The Next Big Thing.

One way to avoid GAS is to avoid GASeous stimulation altogether. Stay far away from other people who play; never read the magazines and never surf the Web sites or frequent the forums for it is in these quarters where financial ruin lies. Close all channels and remain blissfully unaware in your closed-doored bedroom as you plink away on your woefully inadequate Paul Reed Smith Private Stock with All The Trimmings through that poorly underpowered mere tube amp and saving tonnes of money.

It is at this that I fail.

Having a guitar teacher with shit loads of stuff doesn’t help. Only last week, I struggled through a simple tune in a single key with only two chords for the pure and simple reason that when I arrived, he was playing through a goddamn frickin’ Roland Guitar synth with a custom built nylon string with midi-controller built in. How was I to maintain concentration on the improvisational task at hand with that thing looking up at me throughout the session?

And so it continues. Today I am exploring buying a GR-20 and possibly a Roland Ready Stratocaster (the Ritchie Blackmore Strat is seriously ugly without a middle pickup) or a Brian Moore iGuitar. Yup – you guessed it; with exposure of mere seconds to it, I have now convinced myself that I need a synth. After all, what guitarist *doesn’t* need to play a flute part?

Will I ever learn?

Answer: no.

Returning with a GASeous vengeance

Posted in Guitar Gear on May 22, 2008 by Staff Writer

Blog’s got a bit stale recently with my China visits, but here I am, returning to regularity with this acquisition to replace my aging (and soon to be retired to a glass show case) Boss DM-2:



Heh, heh. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Selling off a couple of pedals

Posted in Guitar General on May 9, 2008 by Staff Writer

Been a bit slack on the old blogging front recently, not least because of a trip to China last week (and got another one coming up next week) which seemed to be a guitar-free zone, though I did see the Terracotta Warriors…

Anyway, I’ve decided to downsize the kit a bit. Am putting a TC Electronic Nova Delay up for sale and a Boss Acoustic Simulator. Both in essentially brand new condition. I think they have both been used for a total of 30 minutes at home and are now back in their boxes.