Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The guitarnapper strikes

JayGee popped round this evening and I evangelised on the topic of Indies and Washburns. Three hours later he ended up going away with a couple of Indies to play with.

1 comment:

Jonathon said...

A few quick thoughts on the Indies I took away with me...

Youngest son (Elliot) is absolutely blown away by the Shredder and just wants one. Both eldest son (Matthew) and myself feel that it's a very well designed, well thought out[1], well put together piece of
kit that feels fantastic to play but that it's somehow a bit one
dimensional when it's actually plugged in. It could be the curse of the signature guitar in that it's been carefully voiced to give a particular player (Neil Brocklebank?) his signature tone and that if *your* tone doesn't match that you're never going to be terribly happy, or it could be that it just works better with more heavily processed sounds - Elliot's got a whizzy modelling amp and makes heavy use of the built in delay, chorus etc whereas Matthew and I are pretty much "guitar, piece of wire, valve amp" types. I've got a feeling it may work better *loud* in a mix than it does at bedroom levels in isolation but if it were mine I think I'd be experimenting with
sweeter, sparklier, lower output pickups (like that lovely Burstbucker in the EC29!) which I think might bring a bit more life, air, and sparkle (God, I hate trying to describe how guitars sound...) at lower volumes and with cleaner, more "classic" tones but it's not mine it's yours and since (like Elliot) you're rather more of a metal head than Matthew and myself it probably suits you just fine as it is...

The "semi-hollow" is just an absolute peach, it looks, feels, and sounds classy and is generally a Thing of Great Beauty and
Source Of Joy all round. Very sweet, clear, and articulate soundingand quite restrained for a guitar with P90s which I generally find pretty boisterous devices and get me reaching for the gain knob to crank some
old fashioned grit in. Fabulous blues, R&B[3], & classic rock guitar and in the right hands it could probably make a fair stab at jazz too.

Matthew (who has a bit of a weakness for old-school, nasty
in a good way, lo-fi fuzz boxes) managed to summon up a pretty convincing Jack White from this guitar by driving the hell out of his little Peavey Nanovalve with a D.O.D. "Flashback Fuzz" pedal and I got it to make a good stab at AC/DC so it's not all politeness and subtlety. It runs out of steam some way short of Guns & Roses though, let alone Black Sabbath so big hair, spandex clad foot-on-monitor types will probably want to pass on this one. Elliot likes it but isn't quite sure what he'd do with it, Matthew and I however would definitely give it space in our hypothetical rack and I'm pretty sure it would see heavy use.

[1] There are some reservations over the fret markers - you can't seem them at all well when you're playing it in ordinary room type
artificial light and I think they're going to disappear completely on stage, now, maybe 90% of the time I can find my way around a guitar neck quite happily without looking, the problem comes with the other 10% of the time when I'm waiting for a cue to come in with a solo or something up beyond the 5th, 7th, or so fret, have a sudden crisis of confidence and panic when I can't get immediate confirmation that the
right noise is going to come out when I hit the string[2]... Having said that it turns out that (partly because of sloppy technique which lets my thumb
wander too far round away from the centre line of the back of the neck
I can actually *feel* the holes - not yet sure whether I'd want to
rely on this on stage with a band though!

[2] This actually happened the first time I took the ironically named Epiphone "Dot Studio" (which is the minimalist one with no dots) out of the house!

[3] In the Wilson Pickett, Booker T & the MGs, Spencer-Davis Group
etc. sense rather than the Warbly Shite[tm] sense...