chord guitar 

First impressions of the Epi Valve Jr. head

Guitar Lesson

My Epi Valve Jr. head finally arrived; three days late. Anyway. this is
my first impressions after playing it about 2 hours.

I really like this little amp. It has a great tone that fits right in
with my style. I usually play clean because the Vibrolux Reverb needs to
be plenty loud to get it's output tubes to distort and I don't have a
distortion pedal that gives me what I want. This little guy starts
overdriving right away at a level that is low enough for a stand alone
house and possibly an apartment. As other have said. speaker sensitivity
is important. With my 10" JBL (98db in a ported cab) it has great
distortion at a low level. Turning up the volume control doesn't make
the amp much louder but increases the overdriven sound. Using the 12" EV
(100db) in my Mesa. the level is somewhat louder with the same volume
setting. This means that the amp plays cleaner at a higher level that
with the less sensitive JBL. I haven't tried it with the Vibrolux's 2
10's but will in the near future.

The amp seems to have somewhat less bass response than either the Mesa
or the VR. The EV giving more bass than the JBL (as one would expect
compared to a 10"). This makes it a somewhat less useable for comping
chords. I can compensate some using the active tone controls on my
"strat". The Hagstrom. which makes great bass on the VR and Mesa. sounds
quite deficient with the VJ. Paralleling the JBL and the EV (and going
into the 4 ohm tap). boost the bass a bit (I plan on building a series
box to try the 16 ohm tap). A EQ unit of some sort would probably be a
good addition. I was hoping the tone control on the Fender reverb would
cover this but it doesn't.

Again as others have said. it likes to have a bit of boost at the input.
The volume doesn't go up a lot but sustain and the sweetness of the
overdriven EL84 and 12ax7 are increased. Just bring up the volume knob
doesn't do the same thing as boosting the input level. Right now I'm
using a DynaComp for boosting the signal.

All in all this is a great sounding little amp with a vintage tone. With
the right speaker selection you can control the room volume and "clean"
headroom. An EQ will allow boosting the bass. and could
provide an overall signal boost that should be very pleasing. It's a
"Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence.
Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear."
William Gladstone. 4-time Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The one and only tune I have posted.

I read somewhere that after May 26 of this year they put the sme
filaments or something in the combo that they use in the head to
eliminate the hum.

squier strat action

Guitar Lesson

I want to adjust the action on my Squier Strat. and I know to
raise/lower the saddles. but I cannot for the life of me figure out
what size allen wrench to use! I've looked around the web for it. and 1/16 is too big. I didn't
even know they came in other sizes in between. but they must. Someone
help me out please.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in
pretty and well preserved body. but rather to skid in broadside. thoroughly
used up. and loudly proclaiming--WOW--What a ride!
"Religion is sitting in a church thinking about fishing.
Spirituality is fishing and thinking about God."

Backing Tracks and tunning

Guitar Lesson

I was playing along with a backing track that was in G#m. Everything I
played sounded like shit... sorta like I was out of tune.

I went and opened up the track in adobe audition and looked at the
frequencies of the bass at the into and the G# was 15 cents flat.

Whats the problem here? Is my tuner screwed. is it from equal temperament or
what? (basicaly I used my tuner on the bass note and it read 15 cents
flat... since this is the root note I figured that it would be good to tune
to it.)

The notes are more "liquidy" sounding and fit much easier into the sound. I
didn't realize 15 cents was that big of a difference between something
sounding good and sounding like shit.

To be clear: My tuner is 15 cents off(its in equal temperament mode) on the
G#'s that the song uses. The F#'s in the song are about right(maybe a cent
or two off). I'd expect that if the G# were 15 cents off so would the F#
and hence I would assume the bassist maybe tuned at something other than
A440. I'm not sure whats going on though.

Vintage strat, dull color

Guitar Lesson

In an earlier thread I was seeking a remedy for making my old strat shine
again. I was recommended. but still my
old strat is dull. what is the Dunlop meant to do?

You might try some rubbing compound for auto paint. Take it easy
though because you dont want to rub off much of the old finish. If its
pre 1966 then its worth some money but you've got to keep the old
finish battered or not. A refinish wrecks its worth to a collector. I
wouldnt call any guitar built after Leo sold the company vintage but
some people do. They've got over active imaginations though.

SansAMP Triac sound video

Guitar Lesson

Couldn't resist making one more; this time I play the Sans AMP Tri-AC pedal
directly to a 100W SS PA amplifier built in my modded 3x10"/1x12" Marshall
cab. So it's 100% solid-state. No FX. just the AC. I also use
the same factory preset (ACDC) on the triac; the sound changes due to
playing style and using singlecoil. humbucker or both together. and at some
point I cut some treble on the axe 'cuz it made some noise. I just hate
having too many channels and effects. I don't wanna be pressing switches
while I play. so I rather just use one setting. Playing nothing particular.
just jamming to get all kinds of sounds from the setup.

put against modelers. I think this also kicks POD ass. albeit being
all-SS it's rather responsive and at least I dig the sound quite a lot. and
you don't have to floor it to get overdrive like a regular tube rig.

Also again sorry about the plectrum noises on the pickguard and strings. it
was again so quiet that those can be heard.

Eric Claptons Bass Player

Guitar Lesson

He's one of the best in the world... He has his own bass
instructional material too and I believe a Yamaha signature model.

There is no such thing as a best in the world but if you were playing
with Clapton and making good money doing it ...wouldnt you be smiling ?
The cat had better be having fun.

update on the Ozzie Perch collection

Guitar Lesson

I described it as a "curious and troubling mixture of soulful cliches. and Mahavishnuesque guitar expositions."
with "ambiguous send-ups of various genres from bop
to reggae. I should mention that I have never
heard MIDI files as bluesy as the ones on this site (for example. "Lost
in the Shuffle." and "Messin' with the Squid"); it almost
seems like a contradiction in terms to call a MIDI composition bluesy.
but hearing is believing. And in all fairness. some of the "novelty
items" at the bottom of the page impress me as being bizarre beyond the

Working musician's speaker cabinets

Guitar Lesson

When ya'll are playing SMALL venues what type of speaker cabinets do you
prefer (not necessarily what you are using)?

In a small venue you wont be playing very loud so I'd say it doesnt
matter as long as your sound has definition. As DeeAa says perhaps
closed backs may be the best bet. Also if you have a drummer pounding
like he mentioned then you'd be better off leaving the no touch SOB at
home. A hard handed drummer is a big factor that keeps garage bands
in the garage and no where else.

New Strat - two questions - chorus and gull wings

Guitar Lesson

when I strike the G-string. it emits something like a "chorus"
sound. Was at the shop today without my Strat and the tech tried another
one just like it. which made the same sound. He said it might be caused
by the string or by the string being to close to the pickup.

My old Jap Strat had a big headstock and two "gull wing" type string
guides on the headstock. My new Mex Strat has a small headstock and only
one gull wing. There also are (newer?) Strats that don't have any gull
wing at all. My Squier Tele has two.

when I strike the G-string.

My jack is all jacked up

Guitar Lesson

I've got this prob with my electric's cord input jack; I'll just
get a buzzing sound unless I push in the cord and hold it there.
Sometimes if I'm lucky I'll find the spot where it doesn't buzz. but it
always starts up again. I checked the cord and the wires on the guitar
connected to the jack. all are good. Any ideas as to what's wrong?

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