This rant is about the much overlooked RD-50 Head. I must admit that I never even knew these things existed for a long time. If you can believe it, I actually found one in a pawn shop on 7th Ave and 23rd street in New York City. These kinds of things really don’t happen so much any more as Guitar Center and Sam Ash have pretty much put everyone else out of business. But in this case, there I was in this pawn shop, surrounded by cameras and cheap jewelry. I saw this little mini head that had the Music Man logo. I scratched my head: “….this ain’t an HD-130… what the hell is this little thing…. I didn’t know Music Man made a head this small…”
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I’ll admit that I really resisted this stuff, I really really did. In principal, it just goes against everything I believe in. But then again, when the “Frying Pan” guitar was first put out by Rickenbacker, I’m sure it was met with the same disdain. Same for the Solid body electric, the Flying-V, The Explorer, the Parker Fly, etc… So, I decided to lighten up and just enjoy the amplifier and there is a lot to enjoy.
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Power tubes can have a dramatic effect on your amplifier’s sound. At low volumes, the difference between one tube and another can be difficult to decipher; it’s almost not worth talking about. Once you start to push a little air, however, your amplifier will show off what it can do and the power tubes will display their individual characteristics more. Keep in mind, that by using pedals, you can make pretty much any amp sound like any other amp, so this discussion is focused on how a few of the most popular power tubes differ from each other when using the amp to get your sound, and not the pedals. The tubes that readers ask about most often are the EL84, EL34 and 6L6. Here is a rundown of how these tubes differ in sound.
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Best known for it’s “twang,” this guitar has been used most often for Country, as it lends itself well to chicken pickin’ and other similar sounds. Some players have a stratocaster pickup installed in the middle position for more tonal options. This is called the “Nashville” setup. Although most associated with Country, the Telecaster also does a bunch of other things quite well. Continue reading “What Style Of Music Is a Telecaster Best For?”
One of the most popular guitar effects of all time, chorus is often used to fatten-up the sound and give it more of a “3-D” feel. Some of the most popular guitar tones of all time have involved smart use of Chorus (reference just about any song by the Police, Andy Summers really knew how to use Chorus wisely). Even in the budget arena, thick and creamy sounds can be generated when using a chorus pedal in true stereo. Below is a list of the most popular guitar chorus effects pedals separated by price range.
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A reader recently asked how he could adjust the angle of the tremolo bridge on his Stratocaster. In his case, the bridge was leaning towards the neck. Adjusting this is a very simple process. The main thing to keep in mind is to not tighten the trem claw screws too much (covered in step # 3). Your goal is to have the perfect balance between the tension of the strings and the tension of the tremolo springs.
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Sometimes you might find yourself with a ground / buzz problem. This can be a truly frustrating experience and really kill the fun of building your own guitar. But, it really doesn’t have to be such a nightmare. You just need to trace your steps; that’s really it. This is all just logic. The problem is there somewhere; you just have to find it.
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