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Ed_S

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Everything posted by Ed_S

  1. Led Zep and Steely Dan irritate me intensely, as does that 'Black Betty' song. I don't get all the hype around Ghost - for my money they have about four catchy songs. Arch Enemy - I significantly preferred Angela to Alissa, especially live. Fear of the Dark was the best Iron Maiden album until Brave New World was released. Load is the best Metallica album and Risk is the best Megadeth album. Learn an instrument by playing songs, don't just play an instrument by learning songs.
  2. Not the ones we usually get on a 4 band night with 15 minute changeovers πŸ™„ My band have commented that they like to hear me playing a MB head more than various others I've taken along over the years (kinda shocked me to find they had an opinion tbh.) but they've never once taken it further than 'yellow and black car stereo is good', and they'd probably be surprised to find it's actually at least 4 different ones that they think are the same. I really want to say that yes, you can hear a slight difference in the upper-mids and highs... but sadly, on that evidence, I'd have to say it's leaning towards no, they probably all just sound like a MB in the room.
  3. I wouldn't worry about it being more power than you need - I've never noticed any sonic benefit from driving any of the LMs hard like you might with a tube amp, so just turn the master to where you need it. If that's never above 3 then so be it. Try and get the LM800 a bit louder before you decide that it sounds the same as the LM2, though, as I'd say there are some subtle differences. You might even find that you like both of them for different reasons, which is where I'm at.
  4. Your NRD thread suggests you have an LM800? If that's the case and you've borrowed an LM2 so you know what they both sound/feel like with your cab, then for my money the LM3 has broadly the basic sound of the LM2 but with a bit more of the feel of playing the LM800 - it's just a bit less rounded and a bit more responsive. If you prefer the sound of the LM2 to the LM800 then an LM3 would probably be alright. If you prefer the feel of the LM2 to the LM800 then an LM3 might not do it for you - I'd hunt for a low mileage LM2. For the record I have LM2, LM3, LM800, F1 and Nano300 heads and have played them all through the same 4ohm 104HR cab in the same room with the same bass and the same band playing the same songs. That said, my opinions are entirely subjective, any comparison is still mostly unscientific and free advice is generally worth exactly what you paid for it πŸ™‚
  5. I'd go for the Peavey. Years ago I played through one very similar (though it had obviously had an infinitely harder paper round) at a rehearsal room and it actually became a little bit on-fire while I was using it, but it didn't stop working! At the time I thought the guitarist was really digging my playing, but it turned out I just hadn't seen his "is that smoke?!" dance before.
  6. Nah, I get that totally - and I'm not a lawyer or an electrical engineer so I freely admit I have no idea what you can or can't protect, but I have no reason at all to doubt what you're saying. I would guess, though, (and that's all it is - a guess) that being an authorised service centre for anything carries some weight in law, such that any subsequent liability is handled. I always assumed that the board-swapping which goes on in the name of repairing things these days is partly down to cost/benefit analysis and the complexity of the boards involved, but partly because they're tested and certified as-is, and they wouldn't be certified any more if somebody, irrespective of their level of skill and experience, had taken a soldering iron to them and returned them to service without the correct re-testing? As for the road-worthiness question, it's really difficult isn't it - if they were more sturdy then they wouldn't be as lightweight, but if they were heavier then they wouldn't be as easy to pull/vibrate off a cab, but then if a heavy amp still managed to fall off a cab would it be any better off?! If I were actually 'on the road' in a touring sense I'd rack things up.
  7. I've still got my first LM2 from early 2007, an F1 from late 2010, and an LM800 that I want to say is maybe somewhere between the two but it's not here to check. I'm yet to experience an issue with any of them, but if/when I do then I'm resigned to giving them a WEEE responsible send-off and remembering the good times. If I get 10 to 15 years out of a lightweight Β£500 amp with no more servicing than blowing the dust out of it, then I'm genuinely alright with that. Of course you don't have to be alright with it (that's completely your call) but for all the other benefits they offer me, I am. In that moment at a gig where your amp won't turn on, though, I don't think it really matters what class it is and whether it's repairable or a total loss - it matters to me that it fails safely (I don't think anyone has suggested thus far that one class of amp is any more likely than another to fail in such a way as to present a hazard) and that I have the space and weight capacity in my gear bag to pack another one that's able to take over with minimal fuss. Also, it's very nice to know that your amp can be fixed after the fact and that the manufacturer is ready and willing to help, but everyone singing the praises of great service departments are also tacitly admitting that their gear developed a problem or failed in order to require that service. My personal experience to date means I can't reconcile the idea that amps which have failed but proven to be repairable are better than amps which haven't failed but repairs of which are widely accepted to be uneconomical.
  8. I think in this thread, heresy might be to say that my ABM is possibly my favourite amp ever, and the RM800 just couldn't get close so I got rid of it... ...but only if I drop into conversation that it's an ABM1000, which has a class D power stage. πŸ™‚
  9. I reckon it's the overall design of an amp that matters - if the designer has a vision for the end result, understands the components they're working with for all they are (and aren't) and knows how to use them intelligently and to best advantage, then the fact that one of those components happens to be a commodity class d power module is neither here nor there. I just wonder how many amps exist for no greater reason than to present something with the company logo on it for sale in a particular area of the market, and how much they might unfairly sway opinion on the underlying technology if they fail to inspire. At home I actively prefer Diet Coke, but down the pub I find all Coke tastes roughly the same. πŸ™‚
  10. I've had a few annoyances like that, but I think the worst was when I called a shop to check that something was in stock, explained that I'd be travelling a fair distance to pick it up so really wanted to know that it was there and in good condition before setting off and was duly assured that it was both and would even be held for me until the end of the day. Given the theme of the thread... I made the journey and arrived to find that the stock check and reservation had, despite taking a while on hold, both been on computer only and the item wasn't actually there at all. I got a half-hearted 'sorry about that' as the bloke turned away and I was left standing at the counter like a lemon. Thankfully he didn't try to tell me that it would be in stock if they got another one in! πŸ™‚ Unsurprisingly they're no longer trading.
  11. My mum's record collection gave me a decent start with Rainbow, Whitesnake, Saxon and Meat Loaf being firm favourites, then my uncool mates at school added the likes of Guns n' Roses, Skid Row, Metallica and Megadeth, and CDs on the front of magazines filled in stuff like Dokken, Helloween, Nightwish and Hammerfall. We had a CD shop just down the road with a massive second hand section where I'd spend a lot of time flipping through the CD cases, filling in gaps in collections and picking up random stuff with cool covers. That added a fair bit to the mix but then everything started to head towards cheap CDs on Amazon and eventually streaming. Radio didn't serve me very well at all, we never had satellite/cable TV, and the cool kids at school were obsessed with Foo Fighters, Green Day, Muse and Aerosmith (none of which I ever connected with) at the point where I was getting interested in playing guitar, so if it was left to those avenues of discovery who knows what I'd be listening to.
  12. That's the way I went when I had a candy cola precision. A new black guard on the USA Standard, the white guard from that onto a fiesta red Squier CV, and the tort guard from that onto an olympic white bitsa I was making. Order restored, nothing wasted and they all looked 'right' to me.
  13. I've had mine since early 2018 and used it on various gigs and rehearsals in '18/'19 before things went strange. It was always plenty loud enough on its own in a rock/metal band up against two guitarists with half-stacks and an energetic drummer. Agree that the single handle on the top isn't all that helpful, so I bought the cover for the extension cab (which has recessed side-handles) and just attached surface-mount handles where the holes were. I also added wheels for the full mobility experience and extra ground clearance over beer-puddles, but that's obviously got potential to cause problems stacking it on an extension cab. Having heard it, though, I was confident I wouldn't want to do that.
  14. If it's a close enough comparison to be any use, I have a 2021 made SR305eb and I'm quite happy with it for the money. The woodwork, frets and finishing seem to be at about the same level of finesse as on my SR506e, the stock tuners are solid and the powerspan pickups and electronics work effectively and sound good in their own right. The worst thing for me was the B125 (so B120 for the 4 strings?) bridge which had a couple of issues... - some of the grub screws for action adjustment kept working loose so a couple of the saddles would eventually hit the deck after playing for a while - fixable with some thread-lock, but irritating. - the intonation screws don't pass all way through the body of the saddles (like they would through the barrels on a BBOT, for example) so if you need to really pull a saddle back, you can find that you're at the extent of the available adjustment unless you get a shorter intonation screw from somewhere - or grab a hacksaw. Similarly, if you need to really push a saddle forward, you're never sure when it's about to come off the end of the screw. I set mine up with Warwick Red 45/65/85/105/135s and had both situations happen. Again, fixable with a couple of 50p packs of screws from Amazon, but... As soon as I knew I was keeping it, I bought mine a B305 bridge which solves both of those issues but was only available in cosmo black, so that prompted me to change the tuners, knobs and straplocks to match. I've just totted up the invoices and it owes me Β£395 all-in, but I find that completely acceptable for the end result; it looks quite classy and I'm confident it'll be a really solid backup when I get back out and gigging. Suitability for metal: confirmed
  15. This is probably somebody's ideal custom-shop build specification, but... - Multiscale - Fretless - Single-cut - Ramp - Nitrocellulose - Sunburst - Roadworn / relic - Tort pickguard - Gold hardware - Wood pickup covers / knobs - Angled pickups - Loads of knobs and switches
  16. I don't necessarily play it any more than my others, but I do have one that fulfils the brief - my 2018 Ibanez SR655-NTF. I always liked the look of the natural 605 but never ended up buying one because I wasn't crazy about the Bartolini pickups, so when the 655 came out with CNDs instead I decided it was time. My local shop had just received two, still in boxes, so I headed over and they got them both out for me to choose between. One was alright... but the other was just instantly 'my bass' and there was no way I was going to leave the shop without it. I actually gave it a clean, fret polish and restring just yesterday, and swapped the tuners over to GB707s while I was at it. Here it is with distinctly less pick dust in hard-to-reach places than usual. You'll have to imagine the smell of Silvo and fretboard conditioner yourself! πŸ™‚
  17. I wonder how a purely decorative PAT sticker could complicate an otherwise straightforward PLI claim compared to never having had anything PAT tested at all. Insurers aren't known for paying out if they have a reason not to, so claiming to have passed a safety test that never happened seems more likely to result in problems with your claim than just asserting that you visually inspect your gear each time you set it up. I was trained at work to perform safety testing and I have a testing machine which I can use for my own peace of mind, but the most I'd actually put on my stage gear is a blue 'visual inspection only' sticker.
  18. It works ok as a 4, but string twisting and human error aside, the 5 string version really isn't a good bridge in my opinion. I first encountered it on an American Standard P 5 back in 2014 - the B saddle wouldn't go far enough down or back to set action or intonation correctly. It was a bit better (although still not completely right) with a tapered B string, but I didn't like the idea of a bass dictating to me which strings I could and couldn't use, and I wasn't getting on with the width of the neck anyway, so it didn't reign long. Then last year I took a fancy to an American Professional J 5 that was on clearance after the Pro II series came out. The nut looked like it had been cut with a knife and fork (maybe just the fork) but that was easily fixable. I still found the bridge unsuitable in exactly the same ways, but this time I'd done my research and had a plan - I spent some of the saving I'd made on buying the bass to get a drop-in replacement Hipshot A style bridge. That fixes every issue I had with the stock bridge, including there now being no grub-screws sticking out to take chunks out of my knuckles. With that sorted out, it's a great bass and the B string is all that you'd want it to be.
  19. Up to now I've never had any problems with an order I've actually been able to place, but I had my first taste of the customer service phone number this year. I had a voucher and an offer and an unusually low price that I wanted to take advantage of, so I put everything in the basket and tried to check out but the card payment just wouldn't happen. I called the bank and they said there was nothing wrong with my account and they could see no attempt to take any money. Tried again the next day since the order was still 'placed', just pending payment, but it failed again so I tried to call them to see whether they could help.. and that's when the telephonic abyss stared back at me, more than a couple of times. Eventually I gave up, cancelled the order and thought.. maybe I'll try to place it again.. but the voucher was 'used' at that point so I gave up completely and bought the thing I wanted from Thomann instead. I'll still use them for things that are in stock and on such a good offer I can't resist, but I'll use a payment method that includes provision to get my money back, just in case.
  20. Completely agree about doing it to best match up with a singer - my main band was down a full step in D to begin with, then a half step to Eb for the next singer, then back in standard for the one after that. We had a handful of songs that they all did down in C, but as soon as Drop pedals became a thing we'd stop taking extra instruments and just use those to achieve extra half-steps-down from whatever default tuning we were in. I guess it's kinda laziness on my part as I could have just as well played a 5 in standard for all those tunings, but a fair few of the lines included open strings so it was just easier to match the guitars and join in with the pedal riffs etc. The acoustic singer-songwriter that I used to accompany had a hell of a range and would capo and sing wherever took her fancy that day. It wasn't always the same place for a given song, so no tuning would be any better than any other for me and consequently I just played a 5 in standard and moved to wherever the songs happened to be that day. I realise not everyone would like that kind of arrangement, but since the music didn't exactly lend itself to riffs off the open strings and I have no idea which notes I'm playing anyway (everything is just relative position and play-by-ear to me) it made no difference what she was up to - I just found the first note and played from there. I'm not much of a fan of down-tuning 5s to try and achieve heaviness by default, as whenever I watch a band where it seems like they've gone that way, the bass is so often lost under a sea of equally down-tuned 7+ string guitars and none of it ends up sounding all that heavy to me because there's no note definition left. If the guitars are routinely going that far down, I'd actually be considering going up to find some space! To my mind, a heavy riff is still a heavy riff in standard, and it's usually even heavier if everybody keeps out of each others frequencies, dials back the gain a little and really digs in like they mean it. As far as thicker strings for lower tuning goes, it didn't work out that way for me. I actually used 40/60/80/100 in Eb and D with 60/75/95/125 on the bass in C before the Drop pedal era, whereas I'll happily use 45/65/85/105/135 in standard. Couldn't tell you why other than to say the resulting sound and feel was how I wanted it at the time - I wasn't trying to be buck any trends or prove any points.
  21. I never mind turning up to a rehearsal studio or a shared/house backline gig and finding an Ashdown or Peavey cab to use - it tends to mean that as beaten as it may look, it'll probably still give me a useable sound at a reasonable volume. I just hate shifting big heavy lumps of equipment round and risking hurting myself in the process, so I have a Markbass 4x10 that lives at the studio and a Barefaced gen-2 Super12 and Midget that I take one or both of to gigs depending on size. They may not have old-school visual appeal, and maybe even lack trouser-flapping-heft, but as far as I'm concerned nothing sounds as good as uninjured feels!
  22. I've put Gotoh GB707s on a couple of non-premium Ibanez SRs that didn't strictly need them. They're drop-in replacements, they're relatively inexpensive, and I just think they look and feel nicer than the originals. They're also a bit smoother to turn, and the posts are wider than on the originals which I prefer when restringing. I guess they should be more accurate and might be a little more stable than the originals, but that's about it. Same as when I replace bridges, I'm looking for improvements in one or more of aesthetics, playing comfort and ease of adjustability; I have no expectation of improved tone.
  23. I'm not against the body shape - kinda reminds me of a Talman - but the neck just looks like an afterthought to me. I reckon with an ebony board and matched headstock, that sunrise burst one would look just daft enough to get my vote. If they're as unpopular as people predict, I'll have one for cheap next Black Friday and find it a better neck.
  24. Oh aye, they're that alright! Still makes me smile every time I use it πŸ™‚ For the record I had a 600 for a while as well and there's absolutely nothing to complain about there either. And an original shiny RM800 which wasn't far off the ABM600 to be honest. I wanted to buy a Tech 21 dUg Ultra Bass 1000 as I came to believe that it used a very similar power module to the ABM1000 and I was curious to see if it had the same slam in a different implementation, but the price of those things was always too much to justify for an experiment. Anyways, I digress!
  25. I was probably a relatively early adopter of lightweight gear - my Markbass LM2 was my introduction and has a 2007 date sticker which won't be too far off when I got it. I've been using lightweight gear ever since and personally have never had an amp die on me which isn't the result of a publicised and acknowledged problem with parts or manufacturing. The fact that my main amp is of conveniently negligible size and weight, and in case I feel it's any less reliable for it I can carry a backup amp that I barely know is there, just makes my gigging life so much happier and more enjoyable than lugging a single amp around that's ultra-reliable and universally-repairable but I have to carry into a venue like the HΓΊsafell Stone. That said, I'm not a fan of manufacturers in any field who try to shoehorn too much into a product, and that's the creeping problem that I see potentially reducing my personal level of choice in lightweight amps. I want an amp for playing live, so a DI out is handy but I won't buy one that has a headphone out and auxiliary in for jamming along to tracks at home, or a built-in effects setup with a phone app to configure it, or anything that requires software updates for different voices, or has a Bluetooth input or a USB interface for recording into a DAW etc. I just see it as something else to go wrong, something that I'm paying for which I don't need, something which may have introduced a design compromise or diverted attention, budget and board space away from the bits I need to be as good and durable as they possibly can be, and something where you can almost guarantee that in 5 years nobody will have a phone that still runs the app that they discontinued 2 years before that. Just give me a one-trick pony with a trick that I like. The heft and authority and general volume thing... I'm currently satisfied that it's a design issue, not a technology one. The amp I've experienced with the most power and authority is the Ashdown ABM 1000, which has a lightweight power section.
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