Blog for gearheads

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Little Monster!

2.2.18   Fun new toy. Got this 2007 Gibson Melody Maker from my buddy Rich for 60 bucks. It was gutted with no hardware except tuners. He had stripped the finish off as well. So, in goes a Burstbucker 1, a Luxe Black Beauty paper-in-oil cap, some old hardware including a pair of old Fender amp knobs and it lives! A rock'n'roll monster if there ever was one. Through one of my fuzz faces it's downright spectacular. Ah, the simple things!

 

Fuzz 2

Fuzz Face Number 2

11.26.17   Got the 2nd proper Fuzz Face finished. First one went to my buddy Rich. This one's mine! Got the medium gain, mid-60's CV7003 transistors and all NOS carbon comp resistors plus a Mullard Tropical Fish output cap and Siemens input cap. Groovy green hammerite box came from Pedal Parts Plus. Black tape covers up hole for AC jack. Not needed since this baby is battery only. Sounds killer! Come out to a Smoky White Devils gig and check it out. 

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Buck Owens Bye Bye

Got 'er done and sold. Went to a bloke in Denver, CO for a tidy sum. Came out quite alright.

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FUZZ FACE!

Got my first ever made-from-scratch Fuzz Face finished and it rocks! Used schematics I found online. Had to redesign the layout a bit since I was using older, NOS carbon comp resistors and they take up a bit of space. The design on paper:

Here's the finished board minus the transistors:

And here's the finished item with the very cool NOS CV7003 germanium transistors. 

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Buck Owens Update

Well, it's only been what, 6 weeks or something? Sheesh. Finally got started on the white outline. Won't be long now. (right...)

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Buck Owens Guitar

New project: restoring my Buck Owens guitar that has lived in a box under a bed for the last 18 years or so. I got this guitar when I played Buck's 'Crystal Palace' in Bakersfield in the 90's. As far as I can tell it was made in 1971. It came in the original Sears shipping box. Anyone my age will recognize the iconic Sears pattern on the box. It is addressed "attn: Dorthy Owens" too cool. 

Anyway, the headstock overlay on these guitars was made of vinyl that did not age well at all. If you see one today…

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New Old Pedal Day

Got a groovy early-90s Fuzz Face for a very reasonable price. This has a repro, not-so-great NKT275 transistor in spot 1 but then it's got a NTE102a transistor in the hot spot which just kills. According to Analog Mike Piera, this is the arrangement he used in his mods until he got ahold of real-deal NKT275's and the like. 

It's got thick, fat, almost swirling tone with a fuzzy edge. Great 'sting' and good sustain with natural decay, even with the JTM45 barely cracked open. I was expecting some sputter and…

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Travel Board

Here's my travel board for the Miami adventure. Small but quite deadly.
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Pedalboard Quiz

Here's a quiz for pedal nerds: what do the first 5 pedals on my board have in common, or rather, what do these 5 drive pedals all lack?

1st one gets it right wins a copy of "The Balls: Come Out Swingin' "

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Pedalboard musical chairs

Changed things around a bit. Sunbender is off in favor of another Analog Man box, the Astrotone. Warmer and lower gain. More like an over drive. The Sunbender (akaTonebender) was just too much for live shows. The Sunface and Variac Fuzz cover the heavy tones plenty. 
Also got the Bigfoot FX 'Magnavibe' for it's liquid vibrato tones. The closest thing yet for emulating Lonnie Mack in his Magnatone amp days. Ah, Lonnie, we miss you!
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Got 'er done!

Surprising how easy and smooth it is to rewire a guitar from scratch rather than fix up someone else's botch job. Anyway, here's the switch wired up before installation... 

Here's the back of the pickups. Gibson Tarback on left, Gibson Burstbucker 3 with Alnico 3 magnet. Called a 'Custombucker' now by Gibson. 


And here's a shot of the neck cavity. Notice that piece of Poplar or Maple sticking out from under the neck. That's the shim! Definitely meant to be there. 


Here's the cavity with the finished…

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Ok!

So I had promised myself to be diligent about this, write about my gear starting from my number one amp, guitar and pedals, as they are all a little odd, but that ain't gonna happen! I'm very disorganized in the ol' noggin so that's how this page will be written. Good luck... 

First up is this Electra Les Paul I picked up recently. I'm a big fan of '60s and '70s era Japanese guitars. Favorite brands are Electra, Univox, Kent, Ibanez and a few more. Anyway, this Electra is probably a late 70s model 2245 or…

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