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Topics - Systematic Chaos

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1
Triggered by RGs post (Studio Quad V2) where I suggested the GSP1101, and just for shits and giggles ( and since I had one of these in 2009) I hunted down a used GSP1101 incl a 1U SKB Rackbag on Yahoo Auctions for 85$.
This was Digitechs flagship guitar processor back then and some of Digitechs engineers kept an almost constant beta FW program running on MustBeBeta.com.
The lastest FW from there is C63 and it features quite some more amp and FX models than the original, vast improvements in all algorithms (especially Whammy and Harmonizer) as well as the capability to upload up to 10 user IRs. The factory IRs where "ok" when it was new but you can now upload the lates Ownhammer, Redwirez, ValhallIR, ML-Sound,.... IRs and take this "old" bad boy to another level.
Dubbed "the poor man's-" or "the working man's AxeFX" is neither an over nor an understatement. The GSP1101 has a relatively open FX chain, as you can assign the blocks pre or post (Pre)amp. It has 2 (L/R) 1/4" Outs as well as 2 XLR Outs that are independently congifurable, meaning you can e.g. select the 1/4" outs for amp input/loop return without IR and the XLR outs for direct FOH with IR.
The open structure also allows (and was specifically designed for) integration of an external preamp in various hook-up configurations.
FX wise there's all in there you could want. Gate, Compressor, OD/DS, all kinds of Modulation, Delays, Reverb (courtesy of Lexicon since Digitech and Lexicon are part of Harman).
Compared to the Axe it definitely lacks the "granularity" in terms of feature/parameter depth and thus the 500% detail in the finished sound product. But at the end of the day where talking tools to make music and have fun and not the 13th row of overtones.

My approach has progressed to dialing in a sound with my ears rather than with my eyes. So with gear my ultimate question is always "can I make this thing sound to feel comfy and be happy with what comes out". Amp-tone wise my comfort zone is in the Mesa Boogie Mark type, with the MkIV being my personal favorite amp of all time. with the tools the GSP1101 provides (with C63) I can get there hands down. Sparkling Clean, crushing Crunch and singing creamy Leads.
My preferred IRs (atm) are ValhallIR's take on a 1992 Mesa Boogie Straight 4x12 loaded with 70w Celestion V30s (https://valhallir.at/en/shop/mb-1992-v30/)

Same as for RG, footprint and transportability is a big factor and issue for me. I live in Tokyo and gig out on a weekly basis. There is no chance in this city to roll up with your van and lug the 10U fridge rack around. Mostly because of limited parking spaces near the venues. There's some parking spots throughout the city but I'm definitely not paying 20$ per hour (which is the going rate).
99% of the musicians I gig with use public transportation (Tokyo Metro) with is inexpensive, more than reliable and gets you to every place in the city with an average delay of 15s.

The GSP1101 comes in very handy for this application, especially in the 1U SKB RackBag. The Rackbag is sturdy and offers enough place to store als cabling in the back as well as sufficient space to bring a small Midi board and a Wah (Digitech Control 7 and a Jim Dunlop spring-loaded CryBaby 95Q in my case).
So I'm down do a small lightweight rackbag (the 1101 itself weighs next to nothing) and a guitar gigbag for a maximum of independence in transport with a minimum of footprint/weight.





     

2
Pulled the trigger on a Yamaha MFC10 Midi Footcontroller on a JPN Auction site for 15$ (including shipping!!!!). When it turned up on my doorstep this thing was dead MINT, even had the protective clear tape still on.
Awesome MIDI pedal, completely programmable to a gazillion controller changes/MIDI Commands per patch change and after I set it all up an awesome companion for my AxeFX.
What makes it even better is the lit numbers in addition to the LEDs. Time to retire my old trusted Roland FC200 now (any takers? ;-)  )


Yesterday evening on stage before lights:

3
Treated myself to an early christmas present ;-)

This is regarded as the holy grail Ibanez RG550, a 1987 MIJ Ibanez RG550 in Road Flare Red. This color was only offered for one year and it's friggin hard to capture on camera. Neon red kinda.
Found this on Yahoo Auctions Japan for ~220€/260$, and besides some gunk and discoloration on the fretboard, the body has no dings or scratches.
These were the firs RGs that were released together withthe first Jems and I guess Ibanez really wanted to set a mark and footprint in the guitar market back then. This one has a one piece body.
These first series RGs came with V2 bridge and V1 neck pups that were wound by Maxon in Japan. After 30 years of "natural aging" these truly sound phenomenal. The V2 like vintage throaty Super Distortion and the V1 like neck PAF from the late 50s.
So much for teh first impression....now off to de-gunking the fretboard and sanding down the back of the neck for a Tru-Oil/Wax finish ;-)

4
Time to get another Multiple-Guitar Stand ;-)
Found this 2009 Ibanez RGT42MDX last week in Yahoo Auctions here in Japan and snagged it for a whopping 180€.
Turned out I got an unplayed totally MINT Neck-Through RG with Mahogany body wings and a 5-piece maple/walnut neck with maple fretboard. It even had the original factory strings still on.
First impression: this has some serious oomph for a double locking 25.5" with the right amount of shimmer/sparkle courtesy of the maple fretboard.
Factory INF 1 and 2 pups positively surprised me but will get replaced by a DiMarzio Evolution bridge and Humbucker from Hell neck I still have in the parts drawer.
Trem is an Edge 3 that generally gets mixed reviews...I have it on another Ibby and once set up properly it`s a rock solid trem (will add an FU-Tone Brass Block though).
Fret 2 is a tiny bit high on the bass side and fret 13 a tiny bit on the treble side. I´ll drop it off at my luthier next week and invest another 80€ in a complete fret dress.
These guitars retailed for 699 so I guess a got a sweet deal.



5
Rack Gear / DigiTech GSP2120
« on: Time Format »
Somewhat "inspired" by Dante´s and RG´s TubeFex thread and my comments concerning the Digitech GSP2101/2112/2120 units I snagged a 2120 including the Control One on the used market
Analog preamp section including:
- Analog Compressor
- Analog Wah
- Analog 4 Channel Tube pre (2x 12AX7)
- 4x analog OD/Dist
- 2x Analog 10Band Graph EQ

Dual S-DiscII Digital FX (max 8 per preset/patch) incl Harmonizer/intelligent pitch shifter and delays up to 10s

This is the 3rd and final incarnation of Digitechs flagship Preamp/MultiFX unit from the 90s. I bought a 2101 new in 1994 when they were introduced and it was like 3000$ for the preamp plus another 600$ for the Control One back in the day.

I´ll sure as hell gonna have some major fun these next days fiddling around with this  8)

 

6
Guitars / NGD 1995 MIJ Ibanez RGR620TKS
« on: Time Format »
Oops I did it again  8)

Just snagged the sibling to my RGR620TPS (http://adadepot.com/index.php?topic=1754.msg18852#msg18852) from Yahoo Auctions here in Japan.
A 1995 Fujigen made Ibanez RGR620TKS. Same specs as the other one (Swamp Ash, H-H config with the Petrucci switching layout, maple JPM neck with bound rosewood fretboard, reverse(!!!!) headstock), just different color.
I already swapped the pups for a DiMarzio ToneZone bridge and PAF Pro neck and also already sanded down the back of the neck and gave it my preferred Tru-Oil/Wax finish.
Although being 22 years old, the frets still have 90% life in them and I'll just have them levelled and dressed by my luthier for starters. Will get EVO Gold mixing frets treatment at a later stage most definitely though.
Having paid 230$ for this baby, I'm a happy camper  :thumb-up: :thumb-up: :thumb-up:

7
Amps / NAD 90s Carvin Tube 100
« on: Time Format »
Did I mention that you gotta love Japan  ;D ;D ;D

Just scored a '93 Carvin Tube 100 off Yahoo Auctions here in Japan for a blasting 85€.
Nice 2U rack poweramp from the early 90s with the even nicer feature of a 120/240V switch.
Other than that it's a basic 2x50w stereo tube poweramp. Gotta check how it sounds once it's delivered.
I'm not too fond of EL34 sound though....gotta wait and listen.


8
Basses / (accidental) NBD!!!
« on: Time Format »
Japan never fails to amaze me - on a daily basis!
While I was driving to work yesterday morning I passed a spot where someone had put out a pile of bulky waste. Not that unusual so far....amidst the pile I spotted an ABS hardcase that didin look too wasted....but wait a second, thereś a headstock sticking out one end.
Out of pure curiosity I pulled over and gave it a closer inspection. Case looked solid, seemed to be a bass inside though.
Now since this was obviously trash meant to be picked up (in Japan you have to buy stickers you put on each piece of bulky waste in order to have it picked up) I loaded both case and innards in my car and drove off to work.
When I came home last night (with the annoyed looks of my wife.....) I opened the whole shebang up...
Inside the guitar hardcase was a "History" Precision Bass in rather poor cosmetic condition.
1hr of TLC later it turned out it was just some dust and gunk, nothing serious. Straight neck, almost zip fretwear, no corrosion, electronics looked like new under the hood.






Did some further research..... "History" is one of the higher end factory brands of the Fuji-gen inmstruments factory here in Japan. These basses have a price-tag of ~ 213.000JPY new (~2000US-$)....
I guess that IS a MAJOR score ;-) I love when a week starts off like this

9
Guitars / "Mixing Frets"
« on: Time Format »
I once played a friends guitar from a German Luthier, Siggi Braun Fine Young Guitars, which had a mixed set of frets. Regular Jumbos (6100) on frets 1 through 11 and narrow Jumbos (6105) on frets 12 through 24.
While having the same crown height the 6100s have a wider width than the 6105s and the playability and feel, especially high up the fretboard was awesome.
Now my latest RGR620 came with a fret dress but them frets (being 21 years old) were already way down.
I found a young luthier here in Tokyo who just opened his own guitar shop and we discussed the mixing frets option and I let him refret the RGR620 with Jescar EVO fretwire (which I prefer over Stainless Steel) with the mixing frets option....I couldn't be any happier!!!!
Left of the 12th: 6100 size  -  Right of the 12th: 6105 size

BTW, we're talking lowest possible action, a flatout straight neck (no relief) and absolutely no string buzz at all!!!
And check out that Rosewood.....almost black!!!

10
https://spacecoast.craigslist.org/msg/6006447168.html

Not mine, just saw this on an Ibby-page

11
Since it´s been relatively quiet on the new CITES regulations in here I thought I´d put it up since it will affect us all at some point:
https://reverb.com/news/new-cites-regulations-for-all-rosewood-species

https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/questions-and-answers-appendix-II-timber-listings-December-2016.pdf

12
Guitars / NGD: '96 MIJ Ibanez RGR 620 TPS
« on: Time Format »
You gotta love Japan!!!!
As I was browsing through Digimart (which is an awesome source for 2nd hand / occasion deals over here) i found this beauty.
1996 Fujigen-made RGR 620 TPS (Transparent Purple Sunburst). After some research this was a Japan exclusive model from 96 featuring a Swamp Ash body, Reversed headstock 24 fret neck, LoProEdge, dual HH config with the JPM controls layout.
This essentially is a JPM with an ash body and reverse headstock...just minus the Picasso Graphic.
Gtr came with a gig bag and a fresh fret job for 340$....that´s what I consider a steal for an RGR from the golden MIJ years in this condition.
As I´m typing this the back of neck just has another coat of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil soaking in and will soon have my preferred Oil/Wax finish...new pups are also waiting to be swapped in ;-)



13
Guitars / NGD: '96 MIJ Ibanez RG550Ltd
« on: Time Format »
Ever since I had one new in 94 I regretted selling it.... This is a version of the famous RG550 that was only sold in Europe and the US, came with a bound rosewood fretboard with sharkfin inlays and a smoke mirror pickguard.
It´s basically a Jem without the monkey grip and lions claw trem cavity.
Every once in a while I been searching eBay, reverb,... for used ones, but the ones that (rarely) popped up had a steep price tag. Just before christmas I found this one on a european classifieds website for 300€ incl a hardshell case. So I contacted the seller (google translate is your friend) and for a grand total of 350€ including shipping it made its way enroute Japan.
Package got delivered today and after a short first inspection it really was a steal. Some minor dings and scratches (can be polished out) and quite some dirt...but frets still have about 85% life in them and the cosmo black hardware doesn´t look like it´s 20years old.
Just took everything apart for a thorough cleaning and refurbishing. Already sanded down the back of the neck with 240 and 320 grit and the first 2 coats of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil are already soaking in....
DiMarzio Breed Bridge and PAF Pro for the neck are also already enroute. This one´s gonna be a versatile Jem-like shred-stick!


14
Guitars / NGD: '00 MIJ Ibanez RG7620MSOL
« on: Time Format »
The guitar market over here in Japan is simply awesome...especially when it comes to used (almost) Japanese exclusive models....
So when wife and daughter conquer the clothes and fashion stores on the weekends I usually fall back and find my ways to stores like Ishibashi in Shibuya or some other stores in Ochanomizu...
Ishibashi also has a real awesome occasion online store, the U-Box....that´s where I spotted this rare piece of Fujigen craftsmanship.... a 2001 Ibanez RG7620MSOL (that´s Mahogany Stained Oil)....damn right, a Mahogany 7 String!
Called the Intl desk at Ishibashi and asked them if I could check out this gem in-store. They were totally awesome, told me it was actually located in their Osaka store but they could have it shipped to the big city in 2-3 days for me to check out (at no extra cost). Meanwhile I did some research on this specific model (hadn't´t heard of a Mahogany RG7620, they normally are all basswood....) and boom - looks like i found a real gem as these were Limited (with a capital L!).
Specs are Mahogany body, maple-bubinga neck with rosewood fretboard, Ibanez LoPro EDGE7, DiMarzio Blaze bridge and Custom7 neck. Frets are almost 100%, overall some small dings and dongs but nothing serious.
Totalled out a approx 500€ and I even got it set up by THE Jason from Ishibashi (with whom I also had a real nice chat...uber-cool dude!)
...now time to hit the wood-shed and get accustomed to that extra string again...been some moons since the 90s when I had my last Universe.

15
Yo folks,

had to lay it low for some weeks....
Finally completed relocating to the land of the rising sun (moved here mid May) and slowly but surely we´re getting settled and I can shift my daily routines from getting accustomed to the new environment and job (and making sure wife and daughter are comfy as well) back to also include some time for hobbys etc....
NGD thread to follow ;-) (Japan is soooo cool and packed with the most awesome collection of guitars I´ve come across; just google for Ochanomizu Guitar Street....)

Cheers

SC

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