Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The "what-the-hell-o-caster" and everything about it.

So what the hell is a what-the-hell-o-caster?

I am calling it this because it can be a lot of things. Complex, simple, bluesy, quacky, punk rockey, rock, OR country, are just a few things.

I am attempting to open your eyes.

One thing to me that is essential to ME, yes to ME about a stratocaster is the tremolo. BUT I always keep it blocked.

WHAT THE HELL TRASHED!?!?! You don't use it so you block it and YOU think it is essential? You have bloody hell gone mad.

What do I mean? The noise of the spring cavity and where the routed areas make me almost feel a reverberation in  a guitar. Can it be heard through an amp? Probably not. But I don't jazz (or rock) with hard-tail strats. I have played a bunch of them. Mostly mid '70's and a few '80's of what I don't remember, BUT the hard-tail strat killed the vibe for me.

Some people think that Strats are boring. I can reassure you that they are not. I must agree that the bland, boring, black strat,with the rosewood fretboard, white pickguard and chrome hardware is not the most inspiring, eye catching, or jaw dropping guitar ever made.

The good thing however is that YOU make the rules..

Pickguards are easily interchangeable, and the options are endless! Don't think you are stuck with Fender either, http://www. greasygroove. com can make totally custom designs of whatever you can imagine and with any pickup configuration you could dream of!

Strats allow for a huge variety of pickup selection. Most are SSS, the most flexible is the HSS. HH wired for a 5-way isn't bad either. There is some room in MOST of them. I stick boost circuits in some of my Strats and have room for a battery without any complications. HEADS UP though. There are a lot of different routing patterns, don't assume though that it is a swimming pool. Before you go all hog wild on its ass take a peek, that is all. (If you have a router, Dremel, or whatnot, it is an easy go, just don't go too far on the edge).

Can they get any better !?!?! YES.

EVERYTHING is totally interchangeable of the same model. A neck breaks, (which is a highly unlikely scenario), buy one. If I break the headstock off of one of my Gibsons hellfire would come down to earth. BIG money to get a good repair AND kills the value. Hardware is interchangeable too! (to the similar model).

OK Trashed, you have blabbered and bantered for minutes now, what is this what-the-hell-o-caster? It is a partscaster. I just do whatever the hell I want. You build whatever the hell you want.

COOL SHIT, RIGHT? I think so.

Cheers Brothers!



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Solid State vs Tube and Digital vs Analog: OPENING THE GATES TO HELL.

OH shit! I smell gun powder right now, the interwebz and brains are going to blow!

HOWEVER, I am not arguing which is best... cough all analog all tube is the ONLYYYY wai to go..

But I am going to educate you on the differences that may confuse you.

WTF is solidstate? it is transistor based. Transistors act as amplifiers of the signal shaping the preamp and the actual amplification. Simple right? Probably NOT.

Tubes are those glass really pretty glowing things that look like light-bulbs. BUT light bulbs are NOT a substitute. hahahahahaha. AND they don't screw in, gently pull and wiggle. They also amplify signal, they can be in preamp and poweramp, in most cases both. Tubes clip signal beautifully and soft, and it sounds like angels singing in your head.

"OK Trashed, I think I got it."

Good for you. NOW is the challenging part.

You respond, "Dammit, right, I knew that was coming."

Digital? What does that mean? in literal definition it involves '1's and '0's. Which is what your computer is, your phone, your alarm clock.... OK, Got it?

Momma says that digital is the Devil. lol. OK Momma. there I go throwing my opinion in again. oops. Wait, this is an opinion blog, right? yessir.

Digital is modeling for a large portion. The computer tries to fake you out and think you sound like you have t00bs. Everybody wants tubes, or at least to make it sound like you do, or come close enough to make you feel good about yourself.

Analog = NO DIGITS. PURE. All that is in there is resistors, capacitors, tubes, switches, potentiometers, etc. You get it.


_______________________


Now you have those jackass hybrid stuff and they are bastards. Death to them. Several companies try to be tricky and screw you over in to thinking something is all tube (cough Blackstar). Out weigh the benefits and costs. That is up to you.

Are there good digital amps? Yes. Kemper, AXE, HELIX, etc.
Are there good SS amps? Yes indeed. Roland JC120 always pops up first in my book. Ampeg has some. I should mention that SS is moire common in bass amps.
Are there good hybrid amps? YES. One of my favorites is Vintage Musicman stuff.

______________________

Sorry for a short one , I have been busy. I will be more active.

Cheers Bros, and Hoes.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Troof 'Bout Floatin' Tremolos

Dear Fellow Six String Junkies,

Oh wait... I suppose some of y'all are on seven, eight, and nine stringers though. Thats OK we can still be friends, there is help. haha.

Tremolos are a love/hate relationship for most of us. They are necessary for some, pain in the ass for others. However sometimes, you can't get around them, this may help.

First off is that I am not going to be speaking of Kahlers or Bigsbys, as I have very little experience with them. I want to educate, not discombobulate peoples brains. In addition to that I will not be talking about differences on the variations. If you want to know the difference of a Licensed Floyd or a FR1000, there is Google for that. 

Here are some troofs:

You absolutely CANNOT change the tuning on a floating tremolo and maintain function without setting up the guitar. You can get by with going from E std to Drop D, but you will need to re-tune the guitar, possibly necessitating taking the clamps off with the nut and tune using the tuning keys.

Stringing them and setting them up takes longer. Period. Intonation is even more of a pain in the ass. ALSO, you need to have the string tension removed to raise or lower it without causing damage.

Trashed, Whaddaya do if you need multiple tunings with a floyd? BUY ANOTHER DAMN GUITAR. YES ANOTHER GUITAR. THAT IS A MUST.

I have five Ibanez Prestige with floating tremolos, yes, FIVE, for a damn good reason. Two in C#std, two in Estd, and the fifth is Estd also, but strung with .009"s for some five semitone bending and shredding action. (lol I hate the word 'shred' and 'shredding.' just sounds dumb).

Why get a more expensive floyd than a cheap one?

They are not created equal. On cheaper models the baseplate isn't hardened to the same degree. That is the worst offence, but everything suffers.

Whats wrong with that Trashed?

The knife edges dull and it doesn't stay in tune. YUCK! the whole point is to stay in tune and make crazy noises, right?

Also the size/material of the block on the tremolo is different, HOWEVER, THIS is an easy swap. You can find the blocks for relatively cheap and and in a variety of metals and alloys. The size is variable too. I have seen nice results from a new block.

SPRING TENSION = STRING TENSION. That is the unwritten law of a tremolos. If you change strings to a different gauge or change the tuning, OR both, you are going to need to to mess with the tension on the claw AND possibly the number of springs.

For example I use .011"s in standard on nearly EVERY guitar. I use five springs in every one of them. You can only get so tight on the claw with the three springs that typically come with. For my C# guitars i use .012"s with five springs as well, same deal.


This topic will be revisited at some point in the near future.

CHEERS! Trashed.

Friday, February 23, 2018

***TRASHED DID IT AGAIN!*** $50 Squier Blues Shredder

OK guys we all need that a shredder needs 24 frets, but the way that this fine bitch plays so sweet it makes up for it in spades. 

I got this Squier Affinity Strat brand new from a guy on CL. The plastic wrap still on the stock pick guard. $50. It literally hadn't been played. Freaking cool, isn't it?

I got the GFS pick guard for $20-ish.

I used pickups out of an Ibanez Prestige. $0.00

Total investment $70.

I rolled the edges of the fretboard, which really makes it more comfortable to play. I dyed the fretboard with leather dye, and cleaned the inlays. I prefer that look more ebony-esque and classy.
This is standard procedure on cheap guitars with rosewood fretboards. I did do a little filing on the ends of the frets with a needle file, nice and smooth, which we all want. Neck feels great.

The pickups came from a RG-2570EVSL that I pulled out (in favor of a Dimarzio Crunch Lab and Liquifire configuration for Petrucci tones). These pickups are the Dimarzio/IBZ pick ups, NOT to be confused with the "V" or"INF" as found in other Ibanez guitars.

The Dimarzio/IBZ  are still made in the USA as all of Dimarzio's pickups, and are pretty damn nice overall. The bridge slightly reminds me of the Super Distortion in the bridge and similar bite in the neck. The neck pickup is not low output wimpy shit here, it is full of sweet screaming leads.

I used the switch, jack, and pot from the Squier and rigged it up. Two things to note is that the five-position switch works fine. The only thing is that it is silent in positions 3 and 4. I don't mind that.. not to mention that it saved me $10. The pot was a CTS which was kind of odd to find in a bottom of the barrel guitar.

I set it up and put it with some D'addario .11's and HOT DAMN was it something sweet. I tweaked it a little bit, and it plays insanely well. Freakishly low action, great sound, I found a sweet guitar here.

*PSA* How Not to be a Packing Jackass

OK so recently I heard of somebody receiving a damaged BOSS pedal.

How the HELL do you break a BOSS pedal? I have absolutely NO idea. I have dropped them in puddles and used them five minutes later. They are rugged.

I don't care what method you use in the US. Some swear USPS, some UPS and some FED-EX, there are always horror stories. I have had bad experiences with every one of them at one time or another. If  I am shipping something small, like a pedal, USPS is cheap. ESPECIALLY  it fits in a flat rate box. Guitars and amps are cheapest UPS. I don't use fed-ex often, just because they are a little bit farther away from my shop.

How much do you charge? If it's something big, for example, an amp or guitar I charge cost plus 10% roughly. If it is small or USPS post office flat rate.

THE BIGGEST RULE

For the sake of whatever deity you believe in, don't be a cheap-ass and skimp on packing materials to save your self $5. Nobody likes waiting for the mail for days, eager to get their gear, and seeing their new toy DOA.

Pack something the way you would want a person to pack something for you. Simple isn't it?

This is a bonus public service announcement post due to frustration.

Friday, February 16, 2018

ARE you READY for a BUZZ?

Feel the burn.


Power. It's a good thing, isn't it? Yeah. Us guitar junkies really need it.


Pedals. Also a great thing, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah (bla bla bla) but they
need power, don't they?


Trashed says: "Yuppers!"


Soooo, Trashed knower of all, "Where does power from your pedals
come from?"
Either the wall or the bastard battery.
If you have read many of my blogs you know that I am not exactly
a fan of 9V batteries. Here is a 9V batteries are from HELL which
     is another blog that displays my hatred for the stupid 9V money suckers.

Ok. So power supplies, whatcha' got to say about that Trashed?
There are two: isolated (ISO) and non-isolated (AKA daisy chain)
There is a price gap difference between the two. Unfortunately, with
bigger investment comes the bigger reward in terms of performance.
What is better? Isolated. Isolated means that each pedal gets its own
filtered power. ISO blocks (or bricks for another name) are quieter
and are easily dealt with center positive supplies and varied voltages.
An example of these are the ISO boxes. For example, Voodoo Labs Pedal
Power 2 or Cloiks, but there are dozens with all kinds of different features.

Lotsa' shit 'bout this huh?

So everybody in unison so "TRASHED, WHAT DO YOU DO ???"


The non-isolated are much cheaper, often in the form of the a 1spot.
They are great and I love them. At the moment three out of my four rigs
(yeah four pedal boards, I know) are powered by 1spots. I have had no
real issues with 1spots as long as you have good power.

The fourth board is a general all purpose board and frequently get swapped
around for recording or whatever I may need it for. Powering that is a BBE
Supa-Charger which is cheaper when it comes to isolated power supplies,
but it has done the job well for quite a while and I am sure it will
continue to do so.

One final note is that I DO NOT and WILL NOT record with a daisy chain, I will
use the BBE and take that route

What does it all boil down to? $100 difference in general.

You want the good juice. Go ISO, but I would NOT rule out 1spots, they can
be really handy.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

$30 Squier Stratocaster Ball Busting Beast. **TRASHED'S GEAR**

So on my quest for hoarding my Squier Stratocasters, I picked up this ugly hoe (not Santa's kind of greeting) for $30. Hell yeah!

There are quite a few good deals i have picked up. from this one at $30, another at $40 and another for $50 NIB with plastic on it still. lolzzzz.

This ugly duckling  was covered in stickers and gunk, not a big deal, cleaned it up. I rolled the edges of the fretboard and I touched the fret ends a bit with a needle file. It came equipped with gold Ibanez tuners, they work fine. I pulled the jack plate off and sprayed it gold, I don't totally know why but it looked good.

I have too many SSS strats. Way too many. So I went into my shop and found a Bill Lawrence humbucker. Stuck it in there. I decided that the empty single coil routes were a little boring, so I grabbed my wonderful dremel and cut the pickguard. There are no knobs on this guitar, just one on/off switch. bare bones.

whatch'y'all think?