Author Topic: Majik's Road Case  (Read 10600 times)

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Offline Spike_tm

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2020, 10:22:53 am »
Just subscribed to this topic, wel written and fun to read. Nice collection of guitars.

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2020, 12:40:38 pm »
Thanks to everyone for reading.

@close2u Yes, I'm very happy with my current collection of electric guitars. It's only really the acoustic I'm not so keen on.

@batwoman Thank you for reading.

I think it will be fitting to cap this with a final shot of the whole family  ;D

I will try to do that.

What a fantastic collection, Majik. I particularly like the P90 SG. I don’t always love black guitars but that one is just sweet. I love my Les Paul Jr with P90 but do sometimes wish I had that neck pick up.

That's a nice looking LPJ. Is that a satin finish?

@Spike_tm Thank you for reading. I'm runing out of gear to describe and stories to tell, but I'm glad you enjoyed my posts.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Spike_tm

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2020, 01:05:28 pm »
While there is a "my first guitar" there is no such thing as "my last guitar. Only" my latest guitar".
I am sure there will be more guitar related adventures to come, with your current or with future gear.

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2020, 06:00:00 pm »
Sterling by Music Man SUB Ray 4 Bass



This is part of the package of kit I purchased from my friend Anita. And it really was the hook which got me interested in it in the first place. It's it's a cheaper version of the Music Man Stingray which is used by many renowned bass players.

So why did I get it?

I have previously described the cheap, second-hand Redwood bass I got as a project, and the Yamaha bass I replaced it with in a earlier post. They were both great basses for me, but I felt something was missing with the Yammy.

Thinking about it, the Redwood was junk when I got it and, although I transformed it into a playable instrument with a bit of TLC, it was always a bit compromised. But I had it at a time when I was making by first steps into bass playing, and so having an great instrument didn't really matter, and it wasn't so bad that it put me off. In fact really the only major thing wrong with it was the action was a bit high, and I actually shimmed the neck to mostly fix that.

But what it had was character. The body had chips and scratches and the frets were quite worn in places (I think the original owner must have obsessively played a single riff), and the knobs were slightly flaky. It was sometimes a little bit of a struggle to play but, as I said, not enough to put me off. In fact I think I liked that about it. And the fact that I had rescued it and restored it also, maybe, gave it a special place in my heart.

When I replaced it with the Yamaha, I got a much better bass, that sounded better, played better, that the knobs worked reliably on, and that didn't have nicks and little patches on the chrome where once there had been rust.

But it also felt a bit characterless to me. I think the problem was it was too similar to what I had before and I think in my mind I had envisaged upgrading to something else. Maybe if they had stock in a different colour than black, I might have gelled with it more. In retrospect, I didn't enjoy the black.

When Anita told me she was selling her bass and sent pictures, I was really interested. It was a step up, quality wise, from the Yamaha I had and it looked great. It seemed to have the character I was looking for. It is a simpler guitar, having only one humbucker, and I think that was part of the appeal: where I am now with my bass learning, I actually like having simpler controls. The Yammy was very flexible, but I never knew what to do with the controls so I generally left them set to one setting. The Sub Ray has limited options, but they fell "right".

When I went to pick it up, I knew it was the right choice. It looks great, plays great, and has character in spades. And it also has a fair bit of tonal variety if I ever want to explore it, but with only one humbucker and a couple of tone controls, I'm not going to be overwhelmed with options. And I love the look of the headstock with the chunky open tuners.



I'm not really into chasing tones, especially on the bass, but I do like how this bass sounds: it has a it of a "bark" to it that seems to suit rock music. It has a satin finish neck which feels great, and a bit of a retro, kitschy style.

Shortly after getting the SUB Ray, I was wondering what to do with the Yamaha, when a local friend phoned me. His teenage son had been learning bass at school, and he wanted to get him one for his birthday and wanted advice. He had been considering getting him a Yamaha as that is what his son was using at school. How serendipitous! So I sold the Yammy to him and, basically, threw in the cheap bass amp I had for free. His son loves it!

So that is my last guitar from my current collection. I may may some more posts covering the amps and some other kit I have.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline phx1973

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2020, 07:42:26 pm »
Hi Keith,

No, it's a gloss finish. I think they call it a nitro gloss (solid mahogany body). But yes, I love the looks of it, and it plays great.



That's a nice looking LPJ. Is that a satin finish?

Currently studying Intermediate Foundation 2

Fender Telecaster, Taylor 214CE-DLX, Martin 000-X2E, Fender Blues Junior IV

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2020, 12:05:21 am »
I think it will be fitting to cap this with a final shot of the whole family  ;D

As requested, a "family shot" of the electrics:



And one including the acoustic, although I suspect she may be leaving soon:



Cheers,

Keith

Offline glpguitar

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2020, 02:00:41 am »
Amazing stories, great photos, happy family ending :)!

Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2020, 07:48:11 am »
The bass does have a good look, Keith.

Thanks for the picture of all together. You have a fine collection of solid-body electrics there. Enjoy the variety in looks.

Guess now we can look forward to more on the gear plus that teaser about the acoustic  ;)

Offline GregB

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2020, 11:34:59 am »
I was thinking those guitars are massive until I realised the violet wasn’t carpet 😂
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Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2020, 06:30:42 pm »
@glpguitar
@DavidP
@GregB

Thanks for reading and commenting, even if it is to say my wallpaper looks like carpet  :D

Cheers,

Keith
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 07:24:20 pm by Majik »

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2020, 07:23:27 pm »
Amps I used to own

Line 6 Amplifi TT



I had been interested in the Line 6 Amplifi range as a possible practice amp. I was interested in the online tone library and how you could match that to songs, and how you could stream Bluetooth audio to it; at the time it was one of the earliest Bluetooth-enabled guitar practice amps.

So when I knew I was going to Mexico for several weeks, I thought this would be the ideal thing to take with me: it was small enough to pop into a suitcase, would plug into the hifi in the apartment, and supported bluetooth streaming for the backing tracks I was learning as well as general streaming for pleasure.

It did the job... kind of... the guitar side worked OK but the BT streaming was flakier than a Greggs sausage roll. Even if I put my phone directly on top of the unit I would frequently get interruptions. A lot of the time I ended up using the BR-80  had also brought with me on headphones.

I assumed it might have been local interference, but when I brought it home I tried using it there and it was just as bad (other bluetooth streaming works fine).

At home I plugged the TT into the amp/speakers on an old Clavinova we have. I had used that for other amp modelling systems, which had sounded pretty good with it.

It sounded OK, but not really that great, especially with higher gain sounds. The app allowed you a lot of flexibility in tweaking the tone by adding effects and different amp models, messing with the parameters, changing the order of effects and so on, but I really wasn't that impressed with the sound. Also a lot of the cloud based tones were downright dreadful, and the factory supplied ones were typically OTT. And I found the app a faff to use (partly because of the flaky BT connectivity).

I just felt it was a great idea, but poorly executed. I ended up not using it and part exchanging it a few years later with a bunch of other kit.

Laney Tommy Iommi TI15-112 tube amp



I got this as part of the bundle of stuff I purchased from Anita. I was quite keen to try it out as, although I already had a valve amp, I thought another which was voiced differently might be useful. However, I was also wondering if I really would use it but, as Anita was happy to me to re-home anything I didn't use, I decided to give it a try.

It was a great little (actually, not so little) amp if you like hard rock or metal. It's quite dark sounding and has no clean at all: even if you turn the gain all the way down you got quite a heavy, snarling crunch tone. On top of that it also had an onboard boost which could be foot-switch activated. Basically, it was high-gain, or higher-gain. For the right sort of song, it sounded great. It was also very loud even in 1W mode.

I lived with it for about a year before I decided that it really wasn't for me. I was making an effort to use it when I could but it really was limited in what I could use it for as I really don't play that much high-gain stuff, and the lack of anything resembling a clean or even a crunch tone made it useless for 90% of the stuff I was playing. And I worked out that if I needed that I could stick a distortion pedal/setting on one of my other amps. It was also taking up a fair bit of space as I didn't have anywhere useful to put it. So I sold this on Gumtree. They guy I sold it to was very keen and, I got the impression, was a Black Sabbath fan, so I imagine he is enjoying it.

Some other stuff I used to have

Digitech RP250



I got this for a Birthday present a year or so after I got my first electric guitar. It was the first proper modelling system I used. I loved this little thing and I used it all the time, either plugged into an amp, or into the Clavinova amp/speakers or, mainly, with headphones. It had a tuner, and drum machine, which was much more fun than a metronome, and several of the stock patches were pretty good. I got quite good at dialing in effects and tones using the PC based application as well as the knobs and buttons on the front of the unit itself. I actually thought the user-interface was quite good. As for most of these systems, the stock patches are mostly awful, but if you spend some time learning to use it, there's some great tones to be had.

I eventually replaced this with a RP355, as I wanted the extra foot-switch and the looper.

Boss GT-3



This was a beast of a floorboad multi-fx unit that my Brother-in-law bought off eBay when he lived with me, and then hardly used. When he left for Malaysia he sad I could keep it.

It was actually very good quality multi-fx system and, like a lot of Boss stuff, built like a tank. Some of the tones from it were really good, but the user interface was really difficult to use. I used to drag it out and have a play every now and then, but I never really used it that much. It didn't really have any sort of sentimental value so I didn't mind getting rid of it. I eventually traded it in along with the Amplifi and my old RP250.

Cheers,

Keith

EDIT: Found a couple of pics
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 09:22:37 pm by Majik »

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2020, 07:37:04 pm »
Current Amps

Roland Cube 20X



My Brother-in-law bought this at the same time as he purchased the Tele, and said I was welcome to use it. Like his other guitar gear, he said I could keep it when he moved to Malaysia.

For quite a while I was very unimpressed with this thing. I could never get a good sound from it on any of the gain settings. It wasn't until a few years later it was that i realized that was my beginner playing at fault and, after I had learned to play better, I could make it sound pretty good. Having said that, the gain settings aren't amazing and, because it's quite a small unit, it has quite a "boxy" sound. But it goes plenty loud for a practice amp, and it's built to withstand the apocalypse!

I keep thinking I should sell this as I hardly use it any more. But it's really a nice little amp and it's not really taking any any space at the moment. I actually love the "JC Clean" setting on it. I mainly have used it for summer weekend or evening noodles whilst sitting in the conservatory (I really should do more of that). It's also been really useful for local events: I lent it to the guitar player in the live band we had supporting our local village Panto production a few years ago, and it easily kept up with the rest of the band.

Now I have the Yahama THR10II I may consider selling it on, but I'm in no hurry.

Cheers,

Keith

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2020, 09:45:04 pm »
Tascam MP-GT1 Guitar Trainer



A special shout-out for this little thing. I've not used it in years and I tried to sell it a few years ago and noone was interested, so it got thrown into a drawer and forgotten about. Frankly, it's mostly obsolete. But for a few years this was my go-to guitar teaching tool.

It's about the size of an old-school tape Walkman (I'm struggling to think of anything modern that is that size and shape). It had a simple LCD display, a belt clip, a rechargeable  battery, and an on-board memory that you accessed by connecting it via USB to a computer (which would also recharge the battery).

Basically, it was an MP3 player and phrase trainer. You loaded MP3s into it and could play them. But you could also slow them down, pitch shift them, and do A-B section looping. It also had a tuner and a metronome. It had about 1Gb of memory for songs which was enough for more than a hundred or songs or backing tracks.

What is more is you could plug your electric guitar into it and it had onboard amp emulation with some effects including overdrives, distortions, modulations, etc. The amp emulation and effects weren't fantastic, but they were good enough.

I spent many a happy hour wandering around our conservatory with headphones and my PRS plugged into this little thing trying to learn songs or licks.

It will probably end up in the recycling centre one of these days but, for now, it will stay in my drawer with some fond memories.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline adi_mrok

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2020, 11:38:45 pm »
Oh my God RP250 was a first multi fx tool someone has shown to me and I was so jealous that my colleague had it and I couldn't afford it (still in my early teens and it was crazy expensive in my homecountry). But each time he let me use it I was so happy having a chance to use it. Those were the times:)

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Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2020, 12:06:19 am »
They were definitely well regarded in their day, and they were surprisingly powerful.

The guitar teacher I had at the time was doing student concerts where you got to perform a song you had learned with his band to an audience of student friends and family. I performed a song at one of them. I had transcribed the guitar solo for Tom Waits Downtown Train and performed it with his band at the concert. I had tweaked the RP250 to get a tone very similar to that on the record.

In the break afterwards, a couple of the other students came over to congratulate me and one of them commented on my tone saying how good it was, and asked how did I achieve it? He said he would love to get a tone like that, but all he had was a "crappy" Digitech RP250. I told him to go and look on the stage. He was amazed to see my RP250 there.

The difference is I spent time learning how to use it and how to create my own patches. I even tweaked the patch at rehearsals to make it work better with the teacher's Marshall amp that we were using. He was relying totally on the factory patches.

I think it's the same with a.lot of these modelling tools: they get a bad name because the factory patches are mostly bad (they are mostly for demo IMO) and few people spend time to learn them properly.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline adi_mrok

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2020, 12:10:52 am »
Absolutely it was a very powerful tool my mate was actually pretty good with getting the right sound off of it. Playing to the audience sounds scary but what a fantastic opportunity given by a teacher, enjoyment after the show must have been over the top :)

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Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2020, 12:12:26 am »
Relief, certainly. I appreciated the opportunity, but the few times I did it I was a nervous wreck.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline batwoman

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2020, 01:44:13 am »
In the break afterwards, a couple of the other students came over to congratulate me and one of them commented on my tone saying how good it was, and asked how did I achieve it? He said he would love to get a tone like that, but all he had was a "crappy" Digitech RP250. I told him to go and look on the stage. He was amazed to see my RP250 there.

The difference is I spent time learning how to use it and how to create my own patches. I even tweaked the patch at rehearsals to make it work better with the teacher's Marshall amp that we were using. He was relying totally on the factory patches.

I've been following this head spinning thread, most of it whirling round over the top of my dizzy head. You are one impressive dude Mr Keith Majik - well named.

This post has sent my admiration even higher.

You da man.
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Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2020, 08:56:41 am »
That's very nice of you to say, Maggie. Sorry if I have baffled you in some way on this thread. If there's anything I need to explain better, please let me know. I am aware I can sometimes be over-technical.

I enjoy technology and have worked with it for most of my life, but I'm still learning. My explorations with technology in the field of music are no different. I have learned a lot over the last several years. Mostly this is not the technology itself, which is generally relatively straightforward for me, but about how it is used and how different people interact with it. That includes myself: things that work for me may not work for others, and vice versa.

The nickname, by the way, is one I got in the Engineering Dept. at a Telecoms startup I was working at in the mid 1990s. Back then we were using IRC for intra-company chat and I started using "Majik" as my name (or "nick") on that because other variations had already been taken, and it kind of stuck.

Cheers,

Keith

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2020, 09:33:09 am »
Marshall MS-2





We picked this up from the guitar shop for fun when I went with my Brother-in-law to buy his Fender Tele. We had low expectations of it, and they were met. It really is a toy and pretty useless other than as a portable headphone unit (and I think there are better options for that, like my Tascam unit above).

Frankly, I use it as an ornament.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2020, 12:14:03 pm »
The good read rolls on, Keith.

Offline jono

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2020, 12:18:44 pm »
Thanks for sharing that, I have often been tempted to try it but won't now.

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Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2020, 12:29:42 pm »
Thanks for sharing that, I have often been tempted to try it but won't now.

Hi jono,
Thanks for reading my Road Case. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you are referring to.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline jono

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2020, 08:51:45 pm »
Hi Keith
I was referring to the mini Marshall. I wanted a small speaker for when I got called in to work out of hours.

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Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2020, 09:17:51 pm »
Ah, I see. Bear in mind they are dirt cheap. But you might be better off spending more and getting something better.

The Zoom G1x Four springs to mind, to use with headphones.

Cheers,

Keith



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