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bobmeyrick

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bobmeyrick last won the day on January 10

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About bobmeyrick

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  • Birthday 03/30/1955

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  • Location
    Wollaton, Nottingham, UK
  • Interests
    Guitars, photography.

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  1. I just re-measured the resistance of that "100k" pot, and it now reads 527k. D'Oh! Not sure how that happened... I can only put it down to my own incompetence. Also looking again at the arrangement of the wiring, that pot was for the bridge pickup. All the other pots are around 300k. Here's a picture of the wiring harness... You'll notice that the bridge volume pot is different from the others. I was slight puzzled by this, then I remembered that many years ago (I've had the 335 since the early '90s) I had a problem with the bridge pickup sounding weak. My repair man fixed it, presumably because the original pot had developed a fault and was consequently replaced with a 500k pot. What can we learn from this? Well, Gibson in the '80s used 300k pots which didn't do the pickups any favours. Gibson "The Original" HBL and HBR pickups may not be as bad as some people say they are. I need to take more care when measuring resistances. It's much easier to change the pickups on an H150 than it is on a 335...
  2. I measured across the end terminals of the pot, i.e. across the whole track. Interestingly a bit of searching revealed that Gibson apparently sometimes used 100k tone pots in the '70s and '80s, so perhaps the wrong pot was used when the guitar was initially wired up.
  3. A few years ago I replaced the Gibson "The Original" HBL and HBR pickups (the "circuit board" pickups) and wiring harness in my '89 ES335 Dot Reissue with a pair of Seth Lovers and some new pots, caps and switch, with a resulting improvement in tone. Recently I'd been thinking about replacing the Schallers in my Trans Black H150, and it occurred to me that I had these "Originals" lying around. Unsoldering the pickups from the harness, I measured their DC resistances - 7.3k for the HBR (neck) and 8.9k for the HBL (bridge). After a bit of research on the web, it seems they have Alnico 5 magnets and are either loved or hated. Hmm... I installed them in the H150 and they sounded fine, not unlike the SD 59s in another of my H150s, with a touch more mid-range. They had more clarity than I remembered when they were in the 335, which set me thinking... I measured the volume pots on the original harness from the 335, and what do you know, one was 300k (bridge) and the other 100k (neck)! The H150 already has 500k pots, which explains why the pickups sound better. Remember that Doug and Pat Show video (Shootout #2), where they found that changing from 250k to 500k pots opened up the guitar? I wonder if the reason the "Originals" are disliked is that they've been paired with pots with too low a resistance.
  4. I know Cliff has occasionally done in-store demos - that's how I got to try out the prototype Drive King - but if you can get up to his workshop he has a demo room with a few choice amps for you to try. I realise Northampton is a fair distance from Brighton, but it would be worth spending a bit of time playing through one to get a feel for it. He can also tweak the amp to suit your playing. For example, after I'd owned the Drive King for year Cliff got in touch and asked me to bring it down to check it over and make any adjustments. As it happened there were a couple of things I wanted - reducing the maximum reverb level and reducing the drive a fraction. If I didn't already have the 50W head, I'd be in the market for the 26W combo - for the sort of gigs I do that's plenty of power!
  5. In addition to the 26W combo, Cliff has just announced that he'll be building a limited number of 15W combos and heads... "Using the same pre-amp circuitry as it’s bigger brother the new Drive King 15 offers the same features and options as it’s stablemates but with a lower power output stage based around a pair of Russian made, long-lifetime EL84M military spec pentode valves. Aimed at the home and studio player and at guitarists who play live with a lower stage volume this amp has the huge tonal spectrum of the Drive King 100, 50 and 26 and offers all the same options - Reverb, FX Loop, Variable Headroom and Cabinet Simulated output and several foot switch configurations."
  6. Playing in a band should be fun, and that sort of behaviour is totally unnecessary. Getting gigs is hard enough, without alienating the person who runs venue. Luckliy the four of us in the Pete Donaldson Blues Band get along well. On the subject of guitars, do you have any particluar idea of what you want? I have a couple of H150s that aren't getting much use - a Trans Black H150CM and a Gold top H150 Special (a slightly thinner and lighter body). I've changed the bridge and tailpiece on both for Nashville units, and reinstated the original Schaller pickups - at one time the Trans black had a pair of Phat Cats in it, and the Special a pair of P-Rails with the Triple-shot rings. Hmm... I might put them back in. Let me know if you're interested. Yamaha make fine guitars - I used to have a PAC1511 Mike Stern model, a bit like a Tele on steroids, with a Seymour 59 in the neck and a Hot Rails in the bridge.
  7. Back in the1980s, a popular little amp in Britain was the Sessionette 75. Compact (about the size of a Blues Junior), reasonably priced and decent sounding, and at the time there was some concern about the future availability of valves/tubes so people were open to alternatives. They were well reviewed at the time, had an overdrive channel and a spring reverb tank. These days the can be had for around £150 - £200, but the best bit is that although they were discontinued years ago, the designer (Stewart Ward) has come up with a modification to the power stage which makes them more valve like. He calls it "Retrotone"... I picked one up for a reasonable price a few years ago, got it Retrotoned, recovered it with cream vinyl, and it's my go to amp for rehearsals or gigs where there's not enough room for the Drive King and 1x12 cab. I also swapped out the Celestion G12-100 for a Celestion G12 Neo Creamback, which is half the weight! I tend not to use the drive channel on the amp and instead partner it with a Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Classic o/d pedal. Here's a video where I was using it clean, with just the boost on the Nova System for soloing. The guitar is the VSB H150 with Bare Knuckle Stormy Monday p/ups.
  8. I know it's a matter of personal taste, but I'd have the delay after the modulation effects (chorus etc.) and before the reverb, and overdrive/distortion before the modulation/delay/reverb in the no-effects-loop situation. As ever, experiment with the order of the pedals and use what sounds good to you! The Ditto Looper is a great little pedal, very useful for laying down chord sequences and noodling away over the top.😀
  9. I love my 633 Drive King 50W head, and now Cliff Brown has produced a 26W combo version. Here he is putting it through its paces... He's also made a custom stereo 100W version with two 50w power stages - see the 633 Facebook page for details of that beast! If you're in the UK and in the market for a boutique amp, Cliff's your man.
  10. Yes indeed. A few years ago I swapped out the Bill Lawrence "Originals" for a pair of Seth Lovers. A distinct improvement, but it's not something I would do again in a hurry - one of the most frustrating jobs I've ever attempted!
  11. I'm not sure the 535 is based on any particular 335, apart from the general principles involved in a semi-hollow guitar. The main difference I noticed is that the neck of the 535 is set back a little further into the body. The depth of the cutaway reached the 21st fret on the 535 and the 22nd fret on the 335. The controls are also positioned slightly differently - the pickup selector switch is a bit further forward, below the bridge, as opposed to below the tailpiece on the 335. The body is also a little bit thinner. Here's a photo to illustrate the subtle differences, my 2007 H535 and 1989 ES335 Dot ...
  12. I've settled on D'Addario XL 11-49 for guitars with 24 3/4" scale length (Heritage 535, 150 and Gibson Les Paul, 335), while for 25 1/2" scale length (Fenders etc.) I use 10-46. I find this gives a similar feel with the tension. As for the brand, I probably got a good deal buying a D'Addario multipack years ago and just stuck with them...
  13. Ha! "All the gear and no idea" is a phrase that applies to so many fields of human endeavour.
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