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  1. smolder

    Helix- make a guitar sound trumpet-ish?

    The intro to Mexically Blues from Bob Weir’s first solo record started with trumpets. Listen to the Dead play that song live shortly after it was released. It was remarkably well done. I believe it was mostly in Garcia’s right hand technique. I haven’t studied it in years, but might be worth 15...
  2. smolder

    Differences in Sustain

    I’ve said for years that matching pickups to speakers is a thing. Not a thing I have dialed in, but a great pairing is noticeable. There are spots on the neck that sustain more than others, depending on the guitar. being a fan of sustain into controlled feedback... and playing small rooms with...
  3. smolder

    King of tone aint got **** on me!

    The KOT, and likewise POT have a compressed sound in all settings that I like sometimes. But... I also have other overdrives or boosts on my board that give me that without the compression. That said, I’m just now understanding how to use compression pedals.
  4. smolder

    What differentiates expensive pickups from cheap ones?

    Hype and demand.
  5. smolder

    Paul Reed Smith ....give me a break

    The most expensive electric guitar I’ve purchased was a PRS special run with the middle pickup. And that was like 4K. I don’t understand spending more than that, but it’s a pretty arbitrary limit. I’d rather have another $1300 guitar that offers me variation at this point. I don’t think there...
  6. smolder

    Should tubes be brought up to power by Variac ?

    I’ve made it a habit in the last year or so to bring new builds, or reverbished amps... even re-cap projects up to full voltage with the variac just for safeties sake.
  7. smolder

    What mods should I do to my Champ?

    In my humble opinion nothing. I love bf / sf champs now... after selling a few because of the anemic stock speaker. Not a fan of tweed champs nor the tone stack mod. I do put a 6L6 in both of mine to give it a bit bigger tone and cleans. I also replace the speaker... typically a Jupiter8. Just...
  8. smolder

    Gibson Mini-Humbuckers - Neck vs Bridge

    I think they were the same (or as close as they come). I’m a huge fan of minihumbuckers... and while some disagree, I think their new ones sound both authentic and really nice. I struggle with the neck being hot... you can only lower them so much... and I didn’t want to route deeper on my ‘73...
  9. smolder

    Fender Wide Range Humbuckers are Back. How?

    1M pots makes a significant difference. More open and clean sounding.
  10. smolder

    Silveface Bandmaster Reverb

    Bandmaster reverbs are a great value. A better cab and speaker is a good one. Putting Celestion mid focused speakers with it is a matter of taste. Imho, it will no longer sound like a Fender... it’ll be a sort Of Marshall, but not get you there. WGS, Jupiter, fat jimmy... they have formulated...
  11. smolder

    Best Fender Blackface Pre Amp

    I’ll echo the Sarno SMS, because I don’t think you’ll get close enough with a pedal. Tubes are core.
  12. smolder

    K&k min + on board pre

    I like that it’s on board, small, and works. I found a supplier and OT now installed. That said, if I wanted a outboard unit I’d likely grab a SArno Black Box. Thanks all.
  13. smolder

    Are any other guitarists as significant as Jimi and EVH?

    that’s not the case, I just don’ think as much of guitar wizardry as others. I wouldn’t put Satch or a dozen other‘s that folks here adore in that category either. EVH had a huge audience, and as a result, great influence. I’ve never once thought, “how would Eddie play that”. I’ve often wondered...
  14. smolder

    Are any other guitarists as significant as Jimi and EVH?

    EVH isn't even in the top 20 rock guitar players. Influential... sure. Innovative? Not really. Random, fast, with a few borrowed parlor tricks.
  15. smolder

    Cognitive Dissonance and Fender Mexico

    American made vs what? That ship sailed eons ago. I have no idea what an American car vs Asian made car is anymore. It doesn’t matter. You’re seriously not saving your neighbors job by buying American. I’ve got an American made strat and a couple MIM tele’s. I can’t tell a difference in woods...
  16. smolder

    OK I'm just putting Tusq nuts on all my guitars.

    I have bone on a couple, but tusq is my go to.
  17. smolder

    Getting a swirl free finish on nitro?

    Get the graduated set of pads from StewMac. They work perfectly for exactly this. It’s like $9 or 12. Well worth it.
  18. smolder

    Guitar Center shipped me a fake Marshall JTM45

    FWIW... I put those feet on every amp. And, while not collector worthy, I’ve built plexi heads that sound better than some originals. I get you’re pain... and that’s really bad on GC’s part... but you never know.
  19. smolder

    Help me get my 1966 pro reverb in the best shape of it's life

    For sure your amp isn’t all original and that will impact value. But the replacements are good ones as far as we can see. And, the Pro Reverb is way under rated. But it’s a killer amp. That’s it’s black face makes it an easier sell. I sold mine because I’m not a huge fan 12” speakers that don’t...
  20. smolder

    Fender princeton with 10 or 12

    I’m a fan of 2x10 or 2x8... but it’s an awkward combo. I use a head and cab.
  21. smolder

    JBL D123 Questions

    Sounds like you might have a bumm speaker. It’s true that those were typically set up with polarity reversed, but lots of speaker guys ‘correct’ that when they get re-coned. Unfortunately the factory recone kits are mostly gone (check with Edgewound here... he’s as good and knowledgable as they...
  22. smolder

    SF Champ Question

    I have a FJ 10”... it’s pretty cool.
  23. smolder

    Premier Guitar: “When Exactly Did ‘Boutique Pedals’ Become a Thing?”

    They were called ‘home made’ in the seventies when radio shack was relevant.
  24. smolder

    SF Champ Question

    I’ve been raving about mine (2) ever since putting Jupiter8’s and 6L6’s in. Just put a WGS alnico 8 in and it’s even more of a monster. Taking it to an open jam (outside bar) tonight. Can’t wait!
  25. smolder

    SF Champ Question

    I run a 6L6 in my champs. Some folks advise against it, but having done the math... and that never dime fenders, I’m comfortable with it. Bigger with a tad more headroom. JJ 6v6’s are very similar in construction to 6L6’s... giving you more clear head room than typical 6v6’s. If head room is...