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212Mavguy

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212Mavguy last won the day on February 8

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About 212Mavguy

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  1. Great post, great thoughts, great result!
  2. ...I went through my non-Bigsby or trapeze tailed Heritage guitars over the last few weeks at a very leisurely pace. I have hit on a setup formula and order of doing things that really sounds fantastic and feels great to the fingers. I can't stand to pay someone to set up a guitar of mine, I have to be the one, to observe the cause and effect of each adjustment. A couple of my instruments had the strings over wrapped around a stop tail that was not designed for that, I originally was looking for more top end in the tones at that time. I got it, but did not realize that what I had done had also thrown a ton of harmonics out the window as well as made the strings sustain less evenly at clean or especially increased gain settings, with decreased harmonic bloom during those same long sustains at clean and especially at increased gain settings. I never knew that until the last couple weeks. This whole thing started when I looked at a friend's Gibbons 339 at an outdoor gig, I held it up for a lookee- see and noticed that there was way too much neck relief. He said that it was not intonation well up and down the neck and would not play in tune. I did some things and the guitar was transformed to sounding like a Gibby ought to... Flat out amazing, that's my story and I'm sticking with it. So I started looking at my Heritage guitars with a very critical eye after that and found that there was a lot of opportunity for improvement. I started out a while back with getting a real Gibbons factory OEM truss rod tool. Many guitars don't have enough room cut around the truss rod for a regular auto/home repair wrench socket to fit, the socket's walls are too thick. The factory tool has a much thinner socket wall and will fit. In addition, the phillips head cut into the end of the handle fits the instrument's itty bitty cover plate screws perfectly. After adjusting the neck relief from what I thought was excessive to where I liked, I consistently noticed a distinct change in the feel and tones, if the guitar was actually playable. In a couple instances, the instrument's bridge had to be raised to get enough string height. So I'd raise each side of the bridge to about one turn above where the buzzing stopped. The truss rod adjustment also causes the strings to end up closer to the pickups... Next I intonate the saddles. After that I went to the stop tail and set the height starting with just the first and sixth strings so that the strings after going over the saddles dive down towards the stop tail at a steepness where each string comes within a few thousandths of contacting the back of the bridge when tuned to full pitch. If a business card can barely fit through the gap that is fine for either side. That is where I get the results that I prefer. However, it's certainly possible to set the stop piece higher, with a decrease in low end and increase in top end frequency response as a result. I think that one could get to carried away in raising that stop piece too much, though. I like the results in the described zone best personally, YMMV. There is a fullness in the tones that is warm sounding, and more even order harmonics can be detected as well as increased harmonic content overall. Sustain becomes more even string to string, with increased harmonic bloom in the decay while the instrument was sitting in my lap not plugged in. Then I plugged in, noticed some similar, big changes and settled down to messing with the pickup heights, slants, and pole piece heights, the pickup adjustments are the biggest time eater of the whole thang. The order of doing as described, works well. The truss rod adjustment to where the neck ought to be results in improved, more even sustain, and surprisingly more harmonic content. The feel on the bottom half of the neck in particular was improved, very fast and low. Higher up it retained that ease and quickness in feeling. The removal of the fad-dy overwrap on the tailpiece was shocking to me in its result. Once again, there was improved bandwidth within the tones for each pickup, sustain evenness between the strings dramatically improved, and the high end detail brought out by adjusting the truss rod was balanced out in the improvement in fullness and complexity in the lower frequencies and their harmonics. The bridge pickup still had all the higher end, the mids and bottom of each note became more complex, full and warm sounding. Notes that could sound tinny near the top of the neck now retained their beef. Overall the instrument became much more warm, detailed, and musical in it's output plugged in or not. YMMV...
  3. Classic amp single ended circuit, using the less is more way of thinking. I love mine, it is a baby Bamm-Bamm butt kicking boogered up monster with a serious, serious attitude that gets way louder and screams more rasty nasty power chords yet waaay sweeter single note output than stock. Also the best first amp to get, roll tubes and speakers, take apart and smell the solder fumes, plug it in, warm it up, hear it, then repeat until it sounds like the tone in your head says it ought to. Silver face champs even now are not rare, just more expensive compared to a throwaway Chinese amp to obtain a starting point of purchasing one. Likely it will require some tech work no matter what for any tube amp that age to get it to where it deserves to be, retaining stock, modding, or ripping out the guts and completely rebuilding with all new parts and iron, which was my rabbit hole. I did find gold at the end of it, but that hole took years of traveling that maze's twists and turns to get there. As far as speakers go, in my Frank-en-Champ the best speaker by far (I rolled a few 8's) has been a 60's vintage University diffusicone 8. That speaker is rare, spendy, and makes the amp sound like it has a bigger diameter speaker in it (it has a huge voice coil as well as a very wide frequency response 80-13000) with all the top end detail retained, and instead of beaming that high frequency mix of pitches and tones out the center 15 degrees like most cheap or more expensive speakers do, the uniquely designed cone disperses those frequencies much more evenly over a 90 degree swath. If I were not so happy with the vintage unit in it, I would spend the $$ and go straight to a Tone Tubby 8 inch unit. Because that amp's circuit is so simple, it is also easy to swap out cathode bypass and tone caps to see if there is improvement heard, but those dark blue original tone caps are pretty decent. The 470 ohm power tube resistor is a bit too low in value and makes the power tube red plate excessively and die much sooner. The tone also suffers, being too wooly and mid focused.. Wall voltages have gone up since these amps were made. A range centered around 680 ohms value for that cathode resistor works better. This is something that if the amp were mine I would do right away regardless of whether keeping the amp stock or modding it. It will sound better... It will be really easy for your amp guy to hook up a meter to measure cathode current draw and compare it to what the tube's specs call for. A lot of folks that swear by running that tube at over 100% dissipation is the way to go have not heard that same amp with the higher value resistor in place and causing that tube to run at a more "power tube safe," less than 100% rate.
  4. I once had the privilege of hearing BB King and Kenny Wayne Shepherd playing in the same concert. BB used one of KWS's amps. And that was no solid state amp nor was BB's tone like anything he ever recorded. I'd prefer one of Kenny's amps. YMMV. Peace.
  5. Hi Warren, CONGRATULATIONS! Don't be surprised if she ends up becoming the favorite girl in your harem...Heritage guitars are like that. Then you will likely become unexpectedly polygamous...two, then three...at least!
  6. What a wonderful thing to do for your offspring and for yourself! Way to go! They say that time spent fishing can not be deducted from one's life span. I'd say that playing a beautiful looking and sounding guitar like you just got also counts too!
  7. I have a 555 in antique natural. Great to play and greater to hear! Congrats on your new girl!
  8. I did take it to it's first gig last week...it's interesting that in the venue that the guitar and amp don't sound like in the living room. I think that I can raise the PU's a little bit more. It sounded like an exceptionally sweet 335. Gorgeous to look at and hear, both. It has room to dial in a bit more attitude. Dan, I had a lesson that stayed on the hill quite a bit longer than I expected, so sorry to miss you last Saturday.
  9. I'm afraid to take it out in the cold...waaaaaah, I know. It literally is in showroom, unplayed looking condition. Let me pick a better opportunity from a logistics point of view before bringing out the RC. I won't be getting off the hill and out of the locker room until close to 5 pm anyway. Aaaand, I think that I am playing a showcase that evening in Midway with a friend from K-Zoo that I used to teach skiing with at Deer Valley. I played for 5 1/2 hours yesterday with a friend and his small and large bands for Sundance. Chicago Mike Beck is an unnatural force of nature...I was wiped out when I got home. I finished the RC setup just now, have three distinct voices with the PU switch, and got it to sound warmer, sweeter, and more balanced overall. It's more like a 335 now, but still more "attitude." It sounded pretty special with my HRM D-clone/2/12 Tone Tubby stuffed Seismic cab. Gonna dial in the RedPlate Blues Machine 2/12 for it next. That's a 1/12 combo. I think that it would sound better through your Beaufort than your Princeton. In the meantime I'll try to shoot some pics of you on Saturday. I have a 555 with Seths that is a bit more gig worn looking and it is a close cousin to the RC. Let's set that up for a warmer Saturday than this weekend...
  10. Dan, I'm going to have to take some lessons to learn cell phone I.T. Maybe during a break at the Corner Store I can shoot some pics with my phone of your pedalboard setup and we can post in in the amplification department. Than I can apply what I have learned from the master to git 'er done for the guitar pics...
  11. Lordy! It has fangs! It is waaay worthy in the feel and tone department...Dropped the action down to much lower than it came, the frets feel very nice and even, the nut is cut well, Got the stop piece up enough, it's sitting pretty high but am leaving it not wrapped over the top, I put some Cleartone 10's on it and they have some hours to do before I mess with that stop bar any more. I would wrap over the top, but I cut the strings too short to reinstall if I did that. It has some 335 tones in it, but provides more top end, harmonic content, and picking dynamics. Bottom is still plenty big, but man, when I put my HRM into the lead channel it freakin' ROCKED the house. Huge harmonic content...the parrots were going nuts. They liked it a lot. It has a LOT of sustain, any Les Paul owner would love what it does. Still have to intonate some of the strings, and might tweak a tad with the pole pieces. As it is, it is a big giggle right now without doing anything more, Just a bit of OCD for a bit of time to get it in the "freakin' perfect" spot. it provides a lot of grins! Compared to your average Gibby/Epi 335, this instrument is a LOT more lively sounding...It can do some pretty awesome country twang, play mellow for a bit of jazz grooves, or it can flat out rock haaaard, not anything it can't do quite well. The bang for the buck is off the scale. I could flip it for a lot more than I paid for it, but am going to hang on to it for sure. It's way too fun to play and hear it to let it go for a long, long while. It IS the way a Heritage guitar is supposed to be. Great woods, construction, attention to details, looks, playability, jaw dropping tones, and fantastic value.
  12. That is correct. I'm beyond pleased! Stop bar tail piece was too low, half the strings were draped over the back side of it behind the saddles, the bridge and PU's were too high. Gonna take some work and likely will be way beyond worth it in the tone department...
  13. It is here! And it is exceptionally gorgeous, practically unplayed! The only thing right about the setup was the truss rod adjustment! I will spend a few hours getting it like I am used to and it will most definitely sing like a bird when I get done! WOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
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