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Monkey Steve

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Everything posted by Monkey Steve

  1. Thing is, I can understand that mistakes happen, and with Hermes being the biggest UK couriers after the Royal Mail, they will also be the ones who lose or damage the most. It probably makes sense for high volume senders, where a small saving on the individual postage cost adds up to massive savings, and more than pays for any losses not covered by insurance (or, more likely, more than pays for the independent insurance for the losses) But unlike Amazon, DPD or UPS (who have also delivered packages to me recently) they are noticeably the only ones who seem to give a boot full of parcels to some bloke to drop off in his car. Unlike some others, I don't seem to have a "local Hermes driver" - possibly it's different if you are the sender. I seem to have a different person each time, never in a Hermes van. While Amazon are repeat offenders for knocking on the door and running away, Hermes are the only ones who frequently just dump the parcel on the doorstep and leave without even bothering to knock on the door.
  2. I've had a lot of deliveries from a lot of companies over the last few weeks, and the only one to make a complete mess of things is...Hermes An Amazon delivery from the USA - rather than doing it themselves (as they do for orders from Europe) they seem to put the deliveries into the hands on one of the panel of logistics managers who then arrange the delivery. Parcel makes it to the UK about a week ahead of the estimated delivery date (which seems pretty standard for the US Amazon orders - I had another one delivered today, a week ahead of the estimate) who then give it to Hermes. A day later Hermes has an update, that "We're sorry your parcel has been delayed, we'll have it on the move in the next 24 hours". Over 100 hours later I contact Amazon to point out that the local courier with a reputation for losing and selling packages had reported a delay four days previously. I then had an, ahem, interesting exchange with the first Customer Services person who couldn't understand that if a parcel was showing as Out For Delivery on their tracking then clearly it was an issue if it had been out for delivery for four days, even if that is still two days ahead of the original estimated delivery date. I got transferred to a manager who agreed that perhaps something did seem wrong, and they would chase their "logistics partner" who would in turn chase Hermes. And if it still hadn't arrived by the original delivery date then I could ask for a refund. Which I did not want because it is an Amazon.com exclusive release, shown as sold out on Amazon.com. I'm amazed when the Hermes tracker app was updated to show that they now had my parcel! Great, that exclusive is on it's way to me. And not at all updated simply because Amazon had chased them... Then nothing for two days, despite them apparently having it ready for delivery. And then "We're sorry your parcel has been delayed, we'll have it on the move in the next 24 hours". That was 170 hours ago, yet still they are telling me that it will be on the move again by 11.30 last Thursday. By a stroke of luck Amazon in the UK now has the US exclusive to order through their global store, and oddly a few quid cheaper than the US order, so it was an easy decision to get a refund from the US order and place a new one through the UK site...currently shown as having cleared UK customs...keeping my fingers crossed that they don't give it to Hermes for the last few miles
  3. I had last week off - booked in advance of the proposed lockdown easing, but it left me with a lot of spare time to be messing around with new gear the week before the shops reopened... So I welcomed to the fold a couple of Darkglass pedals MicroTubes X - still settling in. I don't use fuzz a lot but I want a better option than the pedal I used when I was last called upon to distort the bass (the fuzz section of an Ampeg SCR DI). So more as a tool for when I need it than for my main sound. I think there's more exploring to be done Harmonic Booster - wow! I was put on to it by a guitarist mate who told me over a Zoom call/drink that when his band recorded their last album the producer put all the bass through one of these and while he didn't really understand what it did (had it been a guitar pedal he'd have know all about it, but being a guitarist he has no interest in what is happening to the bass) it just made the bass sound better. He was not wrong
  4. So the replacement nameplate turned up today... very happy with how it turned out
  5. I think subjective plays a huge part here. In the case of my mate's album, the CD version is excellent, and I suspect most like what they heard in the studio. I know they didn't do a specific vinyl master (there's no way the record company would have paid for that) but he liked the way the vinyl softened his guitar sound. I dare say most of their fans would disagree, but it's not a hugely noticeable difference in any case. He certainly hasn't been complaining that the CD sounds dreadful for the last three years As an aside, now that I do most of my listening to music on my phone, i have got used to the much better bass response that I have from my headphones and DAC, so vinyl, and even CDs, can sound a little lacking in comparison. Again, so subjective...
  6. I have to say, I've wondered the same thing - it's stated like it's a thing, but if it was that good wouldn't everybody do it? I do agree that vinyl which has been specifically mastered for vinyl sounds better, to my ears at least - the Nine Inch Nails vinyl remasters sound stunning, as do the Steve Wilson Jethro Tull remasters on vinyl, but as a rule of thumb CDs always sound better (but vinyl has an X factor that makes it more of a pleasure to actually play) That said, "better" is subjective - I was playing a mate a vinyl copy of his band's last album which he'd never heard because he doesn't own a turntable, and he could hear differences to the CD and digital files, and he preferred the vinyl - a slightly warmer sound to some of the sharper guitar parts
  7. @BigRedX is right that there are a lot of factors at play here, not just the set of strings Gauge, pickups, set up (you might try dropping the pickup height or raising the action under the B string if it is overpowering the rest of the strings) and playing technique all have a role in how the low B sounds in comparison to the rest of the set, and it took me years to get an even sound across the fretboard. Probably the biggest change for me was developing my technique, and while I can recognise that this has developed over the years, I'd be hard pressed to explain exactly what i have changed - it really comes down to being more used to playing on the low B. For what it's worth, I like a bright, zingy tone, and use D'Addario Pro Steels, EPS300-5s. The low B is quite light at 127, which is against the conventional wisdom that thicker is better, but it works brilliantly for me. Depending on your wallet you might try a few different gauges
  8. So I tried the plexi nameplate from my 4001... Looks good from this distance, but annoyingly it sits about 2mm away from the nut - makes it look like a fake with the wrong nameplate! I’ll see how good the Far Eastern replacement is when it turns up, hopefully in a few days
  9. Not that I could see - I suspect they want to stay on the right side of Rickenbacker, who stopped selling name plates quite some time ago (as I understand it they will sell replacements, but you have to go through quite a few hoops to get one, and prove that it is destined for a genuine Rickenbacker, and send back the broken original - I had hoped to be able to do a straight swap, but Rossetti say No)
  10. I haven't noticed any neck dive, and it's noticeably lighter (and thinner) than my other fivers (a Wal and a Warwick) but outside of that I have nothing to gauge it against, so YMMV Keep your fingers crossed that the soon to be arriving nameplate fits properly, Here's the look I'm going for - from my 4001 Mapleglo BT From the days when they had the plexiglass nameplate, which was much nicer than the moulder plastic version they use these days. There is a plexi replica for sale on eBay, but having ,made contact they won;t confirm the dimensions, they just say it's a match for the old plexi nameplates...but I could measure the old nameplate myself...
  11. I pulled the trigger on this on Friday and it arrived today. Have to say, I had no previous experience of Promenade Music, and had they not been the cheapest online sellers of the Mapleglo version, I might still not know them, but they have been superb. Hours after placing the order Gary from Promenade, their bass specialist, rang me to discuss the set up, we swapped a few stories, and he threw in an allen key because he couldn't see that Rickenbacker had provided any (in fact the have, buried in the case candy). This is how it arrived: And this is how it looks now: 50% more gorgeous, I trust you'll agree Black scratchplate thanks to Rickysounds (it arrived about an hour after the bass) Half way there to recreating the BT (black trim) option that I have on my 1975 4001 I contacted Rosetti about organising a swap of the nameplate for a genuine Rickenbacker black one, and they told me that this is not something that Rickenbacker will agree to. So having tried to source a genuine replacement, I'm now awaiting a knock off from our friends in the East. If that isn't a good fit then I did see that somebody on another forum has done something similar by sanding the paint off the plate to take it back to white, then painting the rest of the of it black. I'm reluctant to do that as it would lose the "Made in USA" but I'll keep it in mind. I've also stuck on Dunlop straplocks - the very first change I made to any bass when I got the 4001 over 30 years ago. And I had to do the same thing this time, put some rawlplug into the screw holes. First impressions: The maple is much lighter than my 4001, possibly/probably due to ageing of the varnish (?). The maple isn't highly figured, but it is what it is. The finish feels quite thick and plastic-y. I'd have preferred a satin finish, but it's a minor point. For tradition's sake I'd also have loved to have a skunk stripe, again, as per my 4001, although I do like the dark brown headstock wings which aren't on my old bass. But it would have made the thru neck more obvious - easily seen if you are close up, but lost in the bright maple a few feet away. Strings feel lighter than my usual choice, but I'll keep them for now until the new zinginess runs out. As a consequence it feels a bit floppier that I like, but not by too much Still has the Rickenbacker clank - responds well to aggressive playing, but cleans up nicely when I want it to The neck feels very different to the 4001, which has a narrow U feel to it. Wider (not just because of the extra string, the spacing feels wider) and shallower. Oddly feels a little clubbier below the 5th fret and slimmer as you get up the neck, but still a real pleasure to play over the whole length. Very fast, great access to the dusty end, but noticeably a few frets short compared to my other 5 strings which both have 24 frets. Still, I don't get that far up the neck very often I'm missing the 4001's bridge pickup surround, which is where I anchor my thumb. the top of the bridge pickup doesn't feel to be in quite the right position Also slightly missing the non-S features - bound body, neck inlays. But I'm happy to concede that these are even more cosmetic than the BT stuff, and that actually the rounded body makes it easier to play than the bound version. But still...and I can't help missing the 4001/3 bridge that they managed to put on the last attempt at a five string 4003, although there's nothing wrong with the bridge it has from a functional point of view So Day 1, about an hour of playing and half an hour of tinkering, with a full set up to be done when I change the strings, it's definitely a keeper. For all my (minor, mostly cosmetic) niggles, it's a great bass. And it'll be 25% greater once I get the black nameplate...
  12. I love my old 4001 but rarely play four strings these days, so have been gassing for a five string since they announced them. If only they'd do a non-S version with binding and inlays...
  13. Yeah, those Mk Anything's are real shockers - you dodged a bullet there mate! Better luck next time
  14. Just pulled the trigger on a Rickenbacker 4003s 5 string I am assured that Monday will be NBD...I have scheduled something in my work diary so that my boss will be under the impression that I am working on a project and should not be disturbed all day
  15. In the Metallica vs Megadeth debate I've always thought that Megadeth have maintained a higher standard across their career than Metallica. As a teenager I saw Metallica a couple of times with Cliff, and I saw Megadeth's first UK gig - thrash metal was new and exciting and it was everything you wanted when getting into music, something that is completely yours. But for Metallica, much as I love them, I only really rate their first three albums, with a special mention for the $5.98 EP and the fourth album, but it's been pretty bland since then. Though they have always been superb live Megadeth's first two albums are utterly brilliant, right up there with Metallica's first three, tailed off a bit for the third, but there have been very, very good albums since then. And some average ones, but a higher hit rate than Metallica. A bit mixed live - I've seen them mainly at festivals over the last couple of decades, and there have been some excellent performances, and some less than excellent ones There's no doubt that Metallica have made a much bigger impact on the world at large, but for the thrash obsessed teenager in me, it feels like Megadeth have stuck to their guns.
  16. Zombie by the Cranberries cracking track, but everything else I’ve heard of theirs (inflicted on me by my girlfriend at the time) was fey indy pop
  17. Yeah - ears. I used to get the same thing at practices, not helped by me never using earplugs. All of the treble disappeared before the end of rehearsal,and until I worked out it was my ears the eq got the blame and my tone was less than great by the end
  18. I think there are too many variables to point at just the string gauge - for instance, my favourite set are D'Addario EPS300-5, which ruins 43 - 107 for G to E, and the B is 127. No tension problems, in fact a really good balance across the neck and the strings keep the zingy tone but with plenty of aggression when I need it. I've never liked the tone of heavier B's, and it's the same on 7 string guitars, the heavier gauges seem to lose definition and give a booming, unbalanced tone in comparison to the other strings YMMV There could be other factors, to consider like scale length and even playing technique
  19. Almost The band I was depping with had recorded their first few albums on 6 string guitars (and 4 string bass) down-tuned to C, so it was easy enough for me to tune everything on my five string up by a semi tone, and was playing C F A# D# G# However, their latest album was recorded in E, so they would swap guitars and I would tune down by a semitone. Didn't take that long, but it was annoying enough that I ended up bringing a four string tuned to E and just swapped between songs I did try to persuade them of the benefits of going that extra half step down to a B, but they weren't having it. Have to say, I didn't see any particular benefit in going up to a C, although after years of playing in a band which de-tuned half a step, where I really much preferred everything tuned to E rather than D#, and thus A# on my five strings, the extra half step up to C/F didn't seem like any sort of improvement from standard tuning As for the OP, I echo what @TheLowDown says about it not feeling natural to tune the B string to a C but leave the others as E-G. I also like having that extra note to go down to, and will regularly play a low B, so it's not for me
  20. Well, if you haven't already checked them out, have a listen to The Hanson Brothers (NOT Hanson) - No Means No playing Ice Hockey themed songs (The Hanson Brothers are from the film Slap Shot) in the Ramones style. Brilliant stuff, and they made a couple of albums doing it Here's a cover of the theme from Slap Shot
  21. oh, I forgot one that I was involved in! A mate of a mate who is something dull in the music biz (like, accounts) was leaving his job for pastures greener, and was thinking about setting up as a promoter/manager/whatever as a sideline. He thought he had all the contacts, but he certainly had none of the experience, so I was roped in to help him set up a gig in a pub in London, on the promise that two of my bands could play (for one it was a good opportunity for a laugh, and for the other it was an early gig, in London no less) and we added a third band which had members from both of mine. In practice I ended up doing all the technical stuff and was effectively running the gig A fourth band was then added to the bill, a lad from the organiser's office was in a band and they have never played a gig, so could they open? Fine, they can have half an hour and need to be there on time for the soundcheck. The other bands all soundcheck, the sound guy who has come with the PA does a good job, it's all running well. Then the openers arrive. Late. Despite having been told just to bring instruments and breakables, and that they will use everybody else's amps (mostly mine as i was playing bass in one band and guitar in another) and would get a line check, they insisted on playing through their own gear. They then insisted on turning everything to ten to get "their sound". And they insisted on playing three songs, in full, for their soundcheck. I made the point that their set was finishing on time regardless of when they started so they were only wasting their own set by insisting on playing more than what was needed for the soundcheck. Kids just won't listen. Sadly they turned out to be more rockstar attitude than actual rockstars. The gig was in a smallish cellar bar, so I left the soundman to it and went up to the main pub for a beer. I came back down five or ten minutes into their set, and it was unbearably loud. I looked at the soundman who shrugged and explained that only the vocals were coming through the PA so there was nothing he could do about it. He'd told them, but they wouldn't listen. I watched as a steady stream of people came in, winced, and left, and other than a small, dedicated table of WAGs the venue was empty. Quite a feat given that the organiser was charging a tenner a ticket and it was sold out (and in the end they didn't bother checking tickets so it was rammed to way over capacity when the other bands played)
  22. There's really only one live album that I listen to regularly Beatsteaks - Kanon Auf Spatzen The band at their absolute best Beyond that, the most listed to live stuff would be an assortment of live B-sides: Mordred - Esse Quan Videri has two live tracks on the B-side, including a killer version of Everyday's A Holiday Cult - Wildflower has my favourite of their songs on the B-side, a live version of Horse Nation (Horse Nation not being my favourite Cult song, but the live version is my favourite track, if that makes sense) That said, I have recently bought the deluxe reissue of Strangers In The Night, with the full recordings of the six gigs that the album was taken from, so technically the live stuff I have mostly been listening to of late is UFO Honourable mentions for (and judged purely on the albums I've listened to most often over the last decade): Motorhead - the two live albums with Brian Robertson - the King Biscuit Flower Hour and the bonus disc for the deluxe reissue of Another Perfect Day New Model Army - BBC Radio One & the live half of Between Wine & Blood Budgie - Live At Reading, either on We Came, We Saw, or spread across assorted BBC and radio session albums
  23. I had something very similar once, some time in the '90's. My lot were playing thrash metal in some pub...er...somewhere in London, I genuinely can't remember where it was. We were supporting a band we didn't know and who were a more glammy type of metal, and as we were playing their bass player kept shaking his head and shouting to me from the crowd that the bass was too loud, and that I should turn down. And I kept pointing out to him that he was stood next to the soundman and that everything was going through the PA so perhaps he should speak to the bloke he was stood next to rather than shouting at me. I failed to rise above it and didn't play brilliantly, although we did finish the set. I wondered at the time whether that was his game, to put me off so that I/we looked bad in comparison to him/his lot. It certainly didn't feel like constructive criticism at the time, and he avoided us as we were packing down c#nt
  24. A couple that were painfully loud, as opposed to just leaving my ears ringing for a day or two afterwards (pretty standard for any heavy metal gig in the '80's & '90's) Super Furry Animals at Guildford Civic - couldn't tell you what tour or exactly how long ago, but something like 15-20 years. It was unpleasantly loud throughout the gig, and towards the end the volume slider got pushed even higher. Seemed to be some sort of attempt to make a psychedelic swirling maelstrom of sound. Completely failed. People were genuinely hiding behind columns - the worst view in the place suddenly became the best place to be. I stuck it out, but they'd cleared out half the punters by the end. Airborne at the Hammersmith Odeon/Apollo/whatever - must have been 2009 as it was the No Guts No Glory tour. We'd all seen them at the Astoria on the previous tour and loved them, but at Hammersmith a few months later it was just way too loud to be enjoyable. It seemed to be macho posturing - you like metal so just see how loud we can go! Really put me off them...as did the album they were promoting, a step down from their debut. Never really been that fussed about them since
  25. I'm going to rule out any support bands that I have checked out and decided to go back to the bar instead of listening to them, and similarly anybody at a festival where I've left after a couple of songs to go and drink or watch something else (although...I've yet to make it through more than about three songs of any Cradle of Filth set, and I've really tried). If I didn't specifically pay to see the band or have them on my "must see" list then walking out isn't really noteworthy I've also seem a few of the gigs that others have left, sometimes with different opinions (f'rinstance, in complete opposition to one previous post, I saw Clutch supporting Corrosion of Conformity, never heard of Clutch, thought they were monumentally dull, still do, and I'd only gone to see CoC and thought they were brilliant. One man's meat, etc) and sometimes because I've wanted to stick around to see the whole set out of loyalty to the band, but can understand why other left early - Sabbath at Download in 2016 was hard to take, especially after they'd been so brilliant there in 2012, and it was part of their farewell tour...but for those of us that did stick around, Ozzy rewarded us by managing to sing in tune for a good third of the gig in the middle of the set. Slayer at Bloodstock in 2016 was a low point too, not least because of how good they have been on every other occasion I've seen them, just flat and dull. So, with those criteria in mind, I have three: Smashing Pumpkins at Wembley Arena in 2000. their farewell tour, I'd never been a particular fan but figured I might as well see them live if it was going to be my last chance, and I wanted to see the support band, Catherine Wheel, who I liked. Missed Catherine Wheel because the mate I went with is an utter c#nt (the sort who is late for everything, and doesn't understand that it's f#cking rude, and that when people call him a c#nt for doing stuff like this, that we all aren't joking), but we got there in time for SP's set to start. A couple of fairly bland, quietish numbers, and then into ear splittingly loud noise that seemed entirely free of melody and structure. Convinced me that I was never going to be a fan of them so why waste any more of my time, and I joined the steady stream of people who were also leaving. I chatted to a couple who were actually fans of the band and told me that they had seen them a few times before and they'd never been that bad. Lucky me Iron Maiden at Sonisphere in 2010. I'd seen them at Twickenham a year or two beforehand, having previously lost interest since seeing them a couple of times in the 1980s, and then grown out of them. But a girlfriend dragged me to Twickenham and I'd loved it - playing the whole set from one of the tours I'd previously seen them on. Great - stick to the songs from when they were good. Sadly at Sonisphere, after playing a couple of oldies, Bruce Dickinson announced that in response to all the people who complain to him that they never play any of their songs from the albums they've released in the last ten years, they were going to concentrate on those. Cue mass exodus, me included, although I did listen to a couple of the newer songs, to satisfy myself that they were awful. I don't believe that "the people" Bruce has been listening to actually exist Tool at Download in 2019. Difficult one here - I've tried to like Tool, I really have. I own a few of their albums, I don't dislike them, but none of it sticks, I think it's all OK, but I've never really got into it, despite knowing how good it is musically and it's stuff that i should enjoy. I admire them more than I actually enjoy them. But I'd never seen them live, and they hadn't played here for ages so this was my chance, at a festival I was going to be at anyway. But after drinking all day, seeing Slayer's blistering set (which happily took place while Smashing Pumpkins were on the main stage), and this being the last band on the third day when I was all festivalled out...it was all a bit sterile and detached. Great light show, well played, but it could have been a CD. Watched two songs and headed for the exit
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