Backing Track Jam with a Suhr Strat

January 3rd, 2014

Here’s a quick improvisation I did over some simple changes from an old Bret Garsed “Shred This” contest.  Always dug this track so it was fun to revisit with my Suhr alder Antique Classic and my trusty Fractal Audio Axe-FX II, running Firmware 12 for the first time.

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Ibanez Tube King – TK999US – Designed by B.K. Butler

February 23rd, 2013

This demo features an original Ibanez Tube King TK999US that was designed for Ibanez by B.K. Butler – the person behind the famous Tube Driver pedals.  Guitar is a 2012 Wildwood Guitars spec ’58 RI Gibson Les Paul.  Amp is a Marshall 6101 30th Anniversary Combo on the clean channel.  Speaker is a Celestian Greenback.

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#MayonesDuncan Contest Entry

January 20th, 2013

Here’s an entry I did for the #MayonesDuncan contest in January of 2013. This clip features my basswood Suhr Guthrie Govan antique modern and the Fractal Axe-FX II.

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Axe-FX II – Zion Classic Guitar – EMG Mahogany – like Pensa Suhr MK

January 22nd, 2012

THIS GUITAR IS FOR SALE – This is a video demonstration of a late 80’s/early 90’s carved top Zion Classic. Guitar features a mahogany body, heavily figured and thick quilt maple carve top, flame maple neck and ebony fingerboard, schaller floyd rose trem and EMG pickups (85 in the bridge, SA’s in the neck and middle position). Guitar is in excellent condition, especially considering its age. Previous owner said that it was a NAMM guitar but I have not verified this with Ken Hoover.

This clip was produced using an Axe-FX II with firmware v4.01 and a tweaked version of the FAS Modern preset.

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Marshall 6101 30th Anniversary DI

January 23rd, 2011

This is a demonstration of the Marshall 6101 combo featuring the built in DI (direct to recording) output.

The Gear:

GUITAR – Gibson VOS G60 – the Guitar Center version of the 1960 VOS — Burstbucker 2 in the bridge, 1 in the neck.

AMP – Marshall 6101 combo

I/O – MOTU 896

DAW – Ableton Live 8

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Marshall 6101 30th Anniversary Combo Eminence Lil Texas

January 22nd, 2011

This is a demonstration of the Marshall 6101 combo featuring an EL34 power section and the original voicing of the lead channel 3 (not LM). The only modification to this amp was the replacement of the stock speaker with an Eminence Lil Texas – a neodymium based speaker that is voiced for “american blackface amps” but found its way into this amp. While I’m not convinced that other speaker might be better suited to this combo, the tones achieved don’t exactly have me actively looking for a replacement.

The Gear:

GUITAR – Gibson VOS G60 – the Guitar Center version of the 1960 VOS — Burstbucker 2 in the bridge, 1 in the neck.

AMP – Marshall 6101 combo with Eminence Lil Texas 8 ohm speaker

MIC – Sure SM57

I/O – MOTU 896

DAW – Ableton Live 8

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Koa vs. Mahogany – Tone Demonstration Video

January 2nd, 2011

In response to my koa & pau ferro demonstration I received a number of questions about how koa compares to mahogany.  Since I think the tones should speak for themselves I decided to put together this comparison.

The Gear:

Guitars:
Suhr Standard (natural finish)
Koa Body, pau ferro neck and fingerboard

Suhr Standard (tobacco burst)
Mahogany body & neck, maple top and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard

Both guitars have identical Suhr pickups: DSH – bridge, V60lp Middle, DSV neck

Amp(s):
CAA OD100 Classic + (all but final high gain clips)
David Friedman “Hairy Brow Eye” Modded Egnater Seminar Head (final high gain clips)

Cab: CAA 1×12 with Eminence Governor

Recording gear:
Mic: SM57
I/O & mic pre: MOTU 896
Software: Ableton Live & Final Cut Express

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Koa and Pau Ferro Suhr Standard – Tone Demonstration Video

December 29th, 2010

After trying to explain in words some of the inherent qualities of a guitar with a koa body and a pau ferro neck and fingerboard (similar to Reb Beach’s favorite instrument), I decided to put this video together demonstrating a guitar featuring these very tonewoods. This example covers clean, low and high gain scenarios to highlight how these woods work in different genres of music.

Guitar: Suhr Standard, Solid Koa Body, Pau Ferro neck and fingerboard, Pickups: DSH – bridge , V60lp Middle, DSV neck

Amp(s): CAA OD100 Classic + (all but final high gain clip), David Friedman Brow Eye Modded Egnater Seminar Head (final high gain clip)

Cab: CAA 1×12 with Eminence Governor

Effects: Z.Vex SHO (for clean boost section), TC Electronic Nova Delay & Line6 Verbzilla – effected clean section, Xotic Effects BB Preamp for 1st High Gain clip

Recording gear: Mic: SM57, I/O & mic pre: MOTU 896, Software: Ableton Live & Final Cut Express

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Alder vs Swamp Ash, Maple vs Rosewood and a Neck Swap – The Definitive Comparison with Audio Clips

July 8th, 2010

Alder - one piece maple neck | Swamp Ash - maple neck with Brazilian rosewood fingerboardA while back I wrote this post concerning the differences between alder and swamp ash when used in a strat-style guitar and what tones/genres of music those combinations suited best. I originally wrote that post to satisfy my own curiosity, but also to share with others and participate in discussion. Three years later it is still the most searched topic on this site and continues to bring in a steady stream of traffic. Apparently I’m not the only one curious about these things….

Since I wrote the original post, I realized that I was missing a big chunk of the puzzle: how the wood the neck and fingerboard were made from influence the tone of the instrument. I realized the only way to truly see this was by comparing the two most popular neck wood combinations for a strat-style guitar (maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and one piece maple neck & fingerboard) on the same guitar.

Adler - maple neck with Brazilian rosewood fingerboard | Swamp Ash  - one piece maple neckTo conduct this comparison I used two Suhr Classic guitars with identical electronics (V60LP pickups and the Silent Single Coil system). One was alder with a one piece maple neck and the other, swamp ash with a maple neck and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. I recorded both clean and dirty passages utilizing every pickup combination on each guitar, then swapped the necks and repeated the process. note: swapping necks on a Suhr guitar will void your warranty if the factory doesn’t perform the work.

What follows below are the audio clips organized by pickup position so that you can  compare the sounds of the different wood combinations within the same context.

NECK POSITION – CLEAN TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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NECK POSITION – DIRTY TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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NECK + MIDDLE POSITION – CLEAN TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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NECK + MIDDLE POSITION – DIRTY TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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MIDDLE POSITION – CLEAN TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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MIDDLE POSITION – DIRTY TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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MIDDLE + BRIDGE POSITION – CLEAN TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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MIDDLE + BRIDGE POSITION – DIRTY TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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BRIDGE POSITION – CLEAN TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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BRIDGE POSITION – DIRTY TONES

Alder Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Alder Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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Swamp Ash Body – Once Piece Maple Neck

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Swam Ash Body – Maple Neck with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

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OD100 Classic Plus vs. Friedman Modded Egnater Seminar Head

December 10th, 2009

DSC_0003A while back I had the opportunity to attend Bruce Egnater’s amp building seminar at his shop in Berkley, Michigan.  During this class we learned about the basics of amp building and were taken through the step-by-step process of assembling our own amp – a Mojo Tone JTM45 kit who’s circuit was tweaked by Bruce Egnater to mirror his own design from his modular series (according to Jeff Hilligan its the “3” in the EG 3/4 module with more gain) .  Premier Guitar Magazine was on hand to cover the event and I was featured in this video demonstrating the capabilities of the amp we had constructed.

As much as I enjoyed the experience, once I got the amp home I had difficulty incorporating its tones into my sound and playing style.  As described by the folks at Egnater, the EG 3/4….

Here in our worldwide headquarters, we asked what would happen if we were to take the SL2 and smooth it out a bit for soloing. We darkened it up a bit, and added a touch of mid range emphasis, and created what is the perfect sound for mic’ing through a p.a. system (which is more and more common for you guys that gig regularly).

Channels A and B were taken from the acclaimed Egnater TOL amplifiers and act as great rhythm and lead channels for guys who favor a lead tone that is a little smokier.

Here’s an example of what the stock Egnater Seminar Head sounds like:

Stock Egnater Seminar Head

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Since I found this voicing to be too compressed, dark and saggy for my tastes, the amp sat for some time as the backup that never got played.  Fast forward about a year or so and I became aware that David Friedman of Racksystems was offering his services to mod these amps.  After hearing some pretty amazing clips of his “Brown Eye” and “Hairy Brown Eye” mods on a number of sites and speaking with David at length about what type of sound I was looking for (tight, focused, punchy yet warm), I knew I had to have my Egnater seminar head modded to give it new life.  After all, David is Eddie Van Halen’s rig guru so I knew the amp would be in good hands.

As my #1 amp for the last few years has been John Suhr’s OD100 Classic Plus (under the Custom Audio Amplifiers moniker), I though it would be great to compare these two amps so that folks to hear some of the differences and see what they do well.

Guitar used was a Gibson Les Paul VOS “G” ’60 with stock Burstbucker pickups but upgraded with the RS Guitarworks vintage upgrade kit.  Cab was a CAA 1×12 loaded with an Eminence Governor.  Mic was a Shure 57.  I/O was a MOTU 896.  DAW is Ableton Live 8.  I switched between the amps using a Custom Audio Electronics Amp selector.

CAA OD100 Classic Plus Ch 2

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CAA OD100 Classic Plus Ch 2 Boosted

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Friedman Modified Egnater Seminar Head – Brown Eye – Gain at 5

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Friedman Modified Egnater Seminar Head – Brown Eye – Gain at 10

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Friedman Modified Egnater Seminar Head – Hairy Brown Eye – Gain at 5

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Friedman Modified Egnater Seminar Head – Hairy Brown Eye – Gain at 7

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Friedman Modified Egnater Seminar Head – Hairy Brown Eye – Gain at 10

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