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Topics - Kim

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Rants & Raves / 2018 pretty cool so far.
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Hey so far so good.   Lot of stuff happened in the last few months and I've been busy with all that and haven't had as much opportunity to hang out here as I should and would. 

Had a housing dilemma last fall; the people we rented from for the last 5 years decided they needed to sell their house.  No way were we going to buy it because A: it needed so much more fixing than it was worth, B: we already paid for half of it in Rent anyway so why would we buy it at 1 plus one half of the selling price?   So we had to really scramble to find somewhere else to live and fast.  Would've been nice if they had told us early in the year so we had time for this shit, but noooo.....
Long story short, we were just sick and tired of moving whenever the owners needed us to move so we took the leap and bought our own damn house in the next town over!  :whoohoo!:  And it's damn nice.  We'll pay for it for the rest of our lives, but nobody gets to tell us to pack our shit and beat it.  (unless there's a foreclosure of course) 

I actually have a room now just for all my Home Studio, Music, and Electronics Stuff!  Super stoked!

And the band.  Well, we had to sack the drummer.  This fuggin guy..... You'd think that a musician who wants to continue being a "musician" would actually learn the material and play consistently within 2 years and not insist on just bullshitting his way through it all like it's Improv Hour.  You'd think he could stay behind the kit and be ready to play instead of getting out after every song to roll a cigarette, drink a beer, and hit a pipe. You'd think that someone insisting on doing backing vocals would actually be able to sing and stop messing with the board at the beginning of every practice to do a 10 minute soundcheck just for his backing vocals.  You'd think that he would not blow off scheduled rehearsals to go to parties or  go jam with some other band.   Bah.  Myself and the bassist/vocalist just kept trying to get him to come around and see the light but it just wasn't gonna happen with this guy and we simply could not be bothered to spend another minute trying with him.  Fired and Done.

The very next day (honest!) we met another local drummer who was very excited for the chance to join us.  Did an interview, seemed like a cool guy, showed us some of his chops, and gave him cds of our material to learn.  Less than a month later, he is ready for the real audition (tonight!) :banana-trip:  Fingers crossed that he did what he said he would, is as confidant about it as he says he is, and is already ready to go.  I'll keep you posted.

So.  My first Rants and Raves in 2018.   :thumb-up:

Discussions / Where did Quality go?
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A few weeks ago a friend of mine had me go with him to a GC to help him pick out a new acoustic guitar.  We mucked around with about 7-8 different makes and models trying to find the one for him.  It's just amazing how so many of these acoustic guitars can sound so different from one another; some higher-end guitars sounded like absolute :poop: while some of the "lesser quality" guitars sang oh so beautifully with a full, rich tone....  another story though.

For some weird reason there was a Fender American Elite Strat sitting on a stand in that Acoustic Guitar Room.  The price tag was $1949 USD.  "Nice" I thought and picked it up for a unplugged demo.  Right off I noticed all the frets were sharp and slightly sticking out all along the neck and they caught your fingers and hands all the way up and down the neck!  Wow WTF!  It's like they were never finished off.  I was a bit pissed about that; WHY would someone pay that much money for a new guitar and then have to pay MORE to a luthier to correct the stuff that should have been done before it left the damn factory?  A near 2k dollar guitar should need NOTHING but a good home!
I was reminded of some of the gossip I've been hearing lately about Gibson's quality falling off the map (a few of their endorsed artists have just told them to piss off), and wondered if the same was happening at Fender or if that particular Stratocaster I picked up was just an anomaly.  If it was or wasn't...I sure wouldn't have put crap like that out on a showroom floor.  It seems that Quarterly Sales and Dividends are the only concern today, and if the company has some big laurels to rest on like an iconic name (Gibson, Fender, Marshall, etc...) then piss on the quality.     :(

Discussions / RIP Martin Ain
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Sheez... what a lousy last few years it's been for losing influential artists.  :'(

Another gone too soon.  Martin Ain, bassist from Hellhammer then Celtic Frost has passed.

I didn't get to even hear the early Hellhammer stuff until about 2000 or so, but I was a huge Celtic Frost fan.

Discussions / Pic Attachment Size
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We love to see your pertinent pics attached to your post, but a lot of them are being rendered to a file that's far too big to be easily used/seen.  A good Rule of Thumb would be that if the pic needs to be scrolled up/down or side-to-side on a normal pc monitor to see the entire pic, it's too big.   :( 

There's two things you can do to help.  One is to reduce the size of your pics at the source.  Your digital camera/smartphone should have a setting to adjust this. Failing that, the other thing is to resize the pic before attaching them.  You might have a program for that already in your computer at home.  If not, there's a few great online services to resize your pics for you. This one in particular that I have been using is free, very easy to use, free, very quick, and free.  Did I mention it's free to use?   ;D  I even have it Bookmarked for use on my home computer.

Upload your JPG, GIF, or PNG images up to 3MB in size and 3000 pixels wide.
STEP 1 Choose Your File
STEP 2 Choose Your Size  (Click the "600 Pixels Wide" option)
STEP 3 Choose Quality  (Leave it at 100%)
FINAL STEP Click the Button Below to Resize

It will do the work and present to you the resized pic.  Simply click on that pic and "Save Image As..."  The easy-to-follow instructions are all right there.   :whoohoo!:  Now you can Upload and Attach the pic!

Buy & Sell Other Gear / FS: EMG humbuckers
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I have a pair of EMG humbuckers available for sale.  These are the 2nd Gen style with "quick connects" on the back that allows you to change out pickups in only a few minutes with no soldering required once the guitar is set up for that.  (The latest 3rd Gen style has a central buss board to connect to) These pickups are in Excellent Condition, and include a 25k volume pot, main wiring, battery clip, and output jack if buying the pair.  (I only have one set of wiring for each pair of pups) Extra wiring sets can be purchased from EMG if needed.

EMG-81  x1   INFO
EMG-57   x1  INFO

These pups go for $100+ each new, but these are here for a screaming deal. 
Make an offer!   Let's call the shipping to be $10 anywhere in the US.  Will get an actual quote for everywhere else.

Recording - Studio Talk / New Album Done!
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Well, my band's full-length concept album is officially released!   :whoohoo!:

Waiting for the cd duplications to arrive, but uploaded first 3 songs to Reverbnation for your early consideration:   ;)   
"Arrival", "The Fort", "Betrayal".

MP2 / Ov Moros....Live!
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My band had a July 4th gig at a tiny local pub and we got some audio recorded from it.   :thumb-up:
Very small place; capacity about 100 and about 50 people showed up not knowing what was about to happen.   ;)

Stan (vocals/bass) set up two mics somewhere in the room...don't know where as I didn't see them....but the sound in that place was really nice.  Guitar and bass was not mic'ed or DI'd, just our rig speakers alone.  Vocals went through a small PA.  Drums are loud, as they always   No overdubs or other fuckery, just straight ahead. Turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Guitars / NPupsD!
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..New Pickups Day!   :whoohoo!:

Finally have the DiMarzios installed and wired up in one of my Kellys.  SC was very helpful with providing wiring schematics and such, but I already had it wired up another way before I got to his most recent email with a schematic attached.  I may try it that way in the future, but for now.... wiring this stuff was so damn fiddly and tedious that I'm not in any hurry to do it all over again!  So, I hope I like these pups.  lol

The way I have this wired (for now) is that the push/pull only changes the neck pup from a normal Series humbucker to a Parallel humbucker.  This seems to get more of a single-coil tone from the humbucker without all the buzz normally associated with single coil pups because it's still cancelling the hum by using both coils (EDIT: at least I think it's still cancelling some's still quiet anyway)  We'll see how I like that, but we'll have to see how I like the new passive humbuckers in their normal mode first.   I played a bit at home, seems a lot different than what I had before with the EMGs.  I'll have to get over to the rehearsal place to actually try with the Rig of Fire to make some more determinations.

But here's the attached pic.  Sorry about the fingerprints and smudges.  I like a clean guitar and try to keep it clean as much as I reasonably can, but this is ridiculous and I swear I will never own another Black guitar again unless maybe it's a Flat or Matte Black.  >:(   
But you can see I swapped the chrome pole pieces with the black ones in a strategic and matching way.  The Breed pickup in the bridge originally had chrome pole pieces, and the PAF Pro in the neck had the black ones.   I'll keep us posted about how I like these pickups, and if they are indeed right for me.   :wave:

Guitar Wiring / New wiring help.
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Hey, I have new pickups!  Trying out some DiMarzio passives I bought from Systematic Chaos and I could use a little help with my wiring options...

Ok, since I needed to purchase a new pot for these passive pups, (going from the active 25k pot to the passive 500k pot) I figured I may as well make the best of my options and coil splitting would be fun.  I bought a Push/Pull 500k pot for the coil splitting.

Then, looking through the sea of DiMarzio wiring diagrams on their site, I "thought" this is the one I want:

I get it all wired up according to that diagram, and it doesn't seem like it's actually what I wanted after all.  But I attached a crude diagram I made of what I really want.  The humbucker modes need to be in the standard humbucker sound, not a "pair of single coils side by side".  i can't even be sure of what's going on, it's just really weird.
So what's wrong? Is what I want possible with what I have?  I do not want to drill another hole for any reason..this has to work with the existing holes I have (one pot, one 3 way toggle switch)

Full disclosure:  I used to hate using pedal FX.   But I'm going to guess that was probably because I wasn't using them correctly back then.... ::)   Batteries being sucked dry waaay too soon, walwart power supplies offering plenty of Ground Loop hum, tone suckage, etc.   But lately I've been reaching out a bit for some pedals for some special purposes that my preamp and fx unit can't give by themselves.  So, then I figured a Poll was in order to see how others do.   Vote away!   

Guitars / Pickup Question
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I've been contemplating on swapping out my active EMG pups for some aftermarket passive pups.  I've always always used EMGs, but lately I've been wanting something a little different.

SC has some pups in the Sale section, and the Breed and PAF Pro that he has are interesting to me, and the price is certainly good.  I'm being extra picky about the looks though.....If I was to change out my pups for passives, I want them to have the nickel covers like this:

The DiMarzio website isn't very clear (to me) about whether these pups are available with the nickel covers or not.   Is it possible (or even worth the trouble) to add those nickel covers if they aren't already on there?  I want them for purely cosmetic reasons and to add that particular "vintage" look to one of my "modern-pointy" guitars.  EMG makes some pups now that resemble that, but I'm thinking of trying passives again.

Rants & Raves / Chris Cornell
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Such an amazing vocalist, taken by demons be driven.   :'(

My younger brother turned me on to Soundgarden way back when the Louder Than Love album came out, before they blew up on MTV and record charts.  Still my favorite album to this day, and even back then in 1989 you could hear his soul just pouring out of him in his voice.  By far leaps and bounds he had to be the best vocalist to come from out of the "grunge" era, but the Louder Than Love album really had a lot more "chug" to it than what you'd expect from that scene.   

This is the Soundgarden I will always sing along to. 

Will be hard to not choke up some the next time I do.  :'(   RIP Chris, thank you for being with us for awhile.

SOLD.  :thumb-up:

Rants & Raves / Chuck Berry
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Chuck Berry has passed at the age of 90.   :'(

Although one would think that this person would need no introduction, there is yet another generation of guitarists and music lovers that have come after him.  I hope they know who he was too.

Every one of us here who have ever picked up a guitar with the intent to play Rock music....of any genre of Rock owe it to this man.
This was the man who inspired the likes of Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Ted Nugent, etc.
This was the man who wrote Rock songs before there was Rock songs.  We would have no Cream without him.  No Led Zeppelin. No Doors.
No Rolling Stones.  Maybe not even the Beatles.  Then there would be no Black Sabbath, no Iron Maiden, no Judas Priest......
I could go on endlessly, and branch farther into more genres and even list some Country guitarists, but the point is made. The lineage isn't always clear and direct, but if it was Rock......Chuck Berry gave us Rock.   

He gave us Rock with attitude.  He gave us the idea that a loud guitar could be cool. 
He gave us Johhny B. Goode., Maybellene, and Roll Over Beethoven.
We as Rock musicians owe nearly everything Rock to Chuck Berry.   RIP and continue to Rock the Afters.   :'(

Gigs - Live Talk / What's in your Gig Bag?
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There's a well-known saying that says "Be Prepared". 
That said, there's a few items you may want to have with you for your gigs that could very well "save the day".  It's fairly obvious that as much as we might want to have a spare everything, that might just be too much to have around all the time....but there are a few important things that should be on the list.

Extra set of strings.  You know it, gotta have that.   It might be inconvenient to have to change a string or two on the spot, and you may not absolutely have to change them in order to finish the gig.....but damn you know that if you don't have extra strings on hand you'll always wish you did.  Guitarists with the full floating bridges are going to be boned if you break a string mid-performance.  It's nearly impossible to continue playing while trying to compensate for the scattered tuning your bridge will give you after breaking the delicate balance of tremolo spring and string tensions.   A cool story about that; I once broke a string during a gig with a full floating setup and somehow I managed to at least finish the song by jamming a beer coaster under the bridge tail to hold it back where it needed to be. That was some quick thinking for sure, and took a few precious seconds to get jammed in there just right but I still had to switch guitars after the song was over anyway.  Which brings the next item....

Extra guitar.  A definite must-have if you play out with a full floating Floyd Rose type bridge.  If so, then "Weapon #2" should be ready to play without any fussing with it should that need arise.  Most people probably won't be able to carry-on more than one guitar for travel and touring purposes due to the increased cost of extra luggage on flights. (Unless you're lucky enough that someone else is paying those bills)  You may want to re-evaluate the idea of bring a full-floating-bridged axe out on tour with you and instead settle on a dependable least blocking the bridge so it only dives and doesn't pull up.  That way if you do break a string, the bridge will remain at it's "zero" plane and the rest of the strings should stay in tune.

Guitar specific tools.  This means a Phillips head screwdriver or two in the appropriate sizes for sure, and whatever hex head wrenches your guitar might need.  Wire cutter for the strings, bottle opener for the ale, etc.  A handheld tuner is also considered a tool, and it also is a must-have. 

Extra picks.  Picks!   :facepalm:   How $%@# embarrassing would it be if you show up at your gig and forgot your damn picks?  ARRGH!! 
They get lost so easily anyway, so always keep an extra couple of them in your pocket. Another 2 or 3 in your guitar case....and another couple in your gig get the idea.

Extra guitar instrument cable.  Even if you use a wireless.....umm especially if you use a wireless, you need to have an extra guitar cable.  These things happen mysteriously.  The cable you used last night that worked flawlessly now has an intermittent connection tonight for no apparent reason.  Your wireless might prefer to channel some random church service being broadcast that night instead of your hellishly hellish riffs.  :lol: Or simply just not work for you that night for no apparent reason. Having an extra cable could mean the difference between a good show or a bad show.  If you have a rackcase full of stuff, it might be prudent to throw a few extra patch cables in there as well.  Having 2 or 3 extra patch cables in there at the ready won't make your rack any heavier to carry than it already is.

Duct tape  Or "Gaff Tape" as it might be called.  This stuff is usually silver in color, but it may as well be made of gold.  This stuff really can save your ass.  Cables all over the stage to trip over?  Tape em down where you're standing.  Setlist won't stay put? Tape that sucker down.
Drummer can't keep the sticks from flying out of his hands whenever he does a roll or a fill?  Yep.  You tape him up like a prize fighter.  If he complains, then there's another strip of tape for the mouth.  Duct tape truly is Miracle tape.

Extra 20 bucks.  What?  Oh yes, you find a good place to stash a $20 bill (or it's equivalent in your particular money denomination). It has to be hidden amongst your personal gear somehow and must never made known of it's existence or it will undoubtedly disappear.  It's up to you to figure out how to hide it, but rest assured if you ever get in some kind of a bind and for instance need emergency gas money or the like to make it home or to the next show.... Glenn Fricker (of Spectre Studios) mentioned this in one of his many YouTube vids, and I'll tell you right here that there was a few times that I wished I'd heard of that idea before.

So, here's a few things to think about having available to you should the ugly need arise while gigging out.  Be prepared.  I've been saying for years and years "It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it".   You might have some more ideas of what to also have, and this list I've posted is by no means complete and comprehensive.  But it's a very good start, so feel free to add to this. 

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