My cheapo Strat-o-Slider
Thanks SGinCYQX! :)
To the regular viewers of "The Saga Of The Stratoslider" - it's not over yet, the powers that be decided to install one last episode! :shock:
Here's the latest,- a '98 'Limited Edition' with a great flame top in a beautiful deep green finish (as usual the pic doesn't do it justice). Big fat chunky neck which makes it especially well suited for slide. Some annoying buzzing on open strings were fixed by filling the nut with super glue and filing new slots, and the previous owner (in England) had already replaced the tuners and pickup selector.
Funny to notice the difference in acoustic tone between this one and the blond model - the blond has a very bright, almost a little metallic twang to it, while this one has a deep full sound. The colors of these two guitars kinda describes their sound pretty well.... If/when I decide to replace the pickups on these two I'll probably use Duncan "Seth Lover" on the blond, to give it a little more warmth, and Duncan "Pearly Gates" on the green to give it some more aggressive top end...
I'll probably also install electronic 'upgrade kits' and TonePros bridges from Specialty Guitars. That should make them about as good as 'the real deal' (or even better?), while still being relatively 'cheap'..
Now I seriously need to sell something! :oops:
Thanks for sharing these projects with us Steinar. That looks like the same 'tunomatic' bridge that I have on an Epiphone G-400 SG. It's junk and I hate it. I had a couple of strings buzzing too and it turned out to be that long cheap retainer spring that holds the saddles in place. I took it off and re-bent it to fit tighter- not easy to do and get it right, not a quality bridge or design to start with so in my opinion the best fix is to replace the bridge with something much better. Therefore I appreciate the link you put up. That is the first thing I should do to my SG. Everything else looks and feels the same as my original Gibson SG except the clear finish coating is cheaper. The G-400 is the top of the Epiphone SG copies is supposed to be a faithful reproduction 'reissue' of the 62 Gibson SG. It has a solid mahogany body and mahogany set neck This is going to be a primary slider for me, I really like the feel of it and maybe a guitar that I'll keep for a long while if everything turns out right.
I want to use the best parts I can get for the upgrades. The problem is going to be selecting the right pick-ups. I want to get it right the first time because on low income I have to save up money and I can't afford to make mistakes and buy stuff that doesn't meet my high expectations . Therefore I am usually very patient while saving money, I don't buy impulsively (but that is very hard when it comes to guitars you know) I take alot if time to research and try to coe up with the best decisions.
Last night I was tempted to buy a nice 2003 Fernandes Telecaster for sale locally ($300) with Rio Grand (Muy Grande) pickups. A telecaster is not at the top of my list for blues of course but they are cool and I'll have one someday. I was tempted. Anyhow, I went to the Rio Grand pick-up website and checked out all of their pick-ups along with sound samples.
Thyeir version of the P-90 didn't impress me. I have been looking at single coil p-90s for a start, or equivellent (or hopefully something similar but better). I also went to the Gibson site and checked out their P-90s with sound clips.
Neither of those quite grabbed my interest enough to want to buy them.
To give you an idea of the sound I am looking for, one example would be like ZZ Top in 'Vincent Price Blues' and 'My Head's in Mississippi'. Some of the electric blues that I want to create is at least that powerful or moreso (some call it attack on the strings- to me it's just emotion- I want to put some real power into the strings), so the pick-ups have to be up to it.
some of ZZ Top stuff sounds a little bit too bright for me, I'd like a bit more growl on the higher notes.
I am not too familiar with the universally used or accepted terms to describe sound but that's the closest I can come right now.
Maybe I need stronger magnets and bigger windings, I don't know. I doubt if anyone has made a pickup suitable for what I have in mind yet. Maybe I will invent my own someday.
I know that the Amp and effects will play a big role too. Unfortunately I can't crank things up here in this apartment building to experiement other than through some cheap headphones.
In any case, Steinar, and anyone else, do you have any suggestions or leads for me?
The SG might not be the right guitar for this but I'll find out. I've only seen ZZ top with Fenders. I need a good Strat (build myself probably and a good Les Paul (upgrade an LP copy).
Thanks a bunch.
I have been looking for a good Les Paul copy for a couple of years and for some reason I have been dissuaded from buying an Epiphone. I guess it is because so many people give them poor reviews and tend to dismiss them as junk. There are also so many available in the market place here. Lots of used instruments in the Seattle area, that's for sure.
All I want it for is the body and neck, that's all I need to be good because I intend to upgrade everything else on it.
ZZ top used humbuckers in most of the guitars. Billy Gibbons generally played through a Marshall Plexi but also favored a Fender Tweed Deluxe (5e3). For pickups any PAF humbucker should get you that tone. I like Gibson 57 Classics or Duncan Seth Lovers. The gibson or epiphone Korina Explorer gives that tone.
P-90's are brighter but give a nice growl you wont get from a Humbucker. Humbuckers are smooth.
Steinar............nice guitars!! 8) Give us more clips.... :wink: :D
Steinar.........I tried to hear your "snow" clip....where is it??
I missed the link, but I could smell the raw nasty tone through the pics......
Can you fix the link?
Steinar.........I tried to hear your "snow" clip....where is it??
Ooops, I must have removed it in a clean-up frenzy on my website server... It's stored on another PC somewhere but I'll see if I can find it and put it back up later. I'll also answer the other questions later this weekend, a bit busy right now..
In the meantime, here's a 23 second clip from this year's Canal Street festival over here. Check Madam Mim dancing! :mrgreen: http://www.gregertsen.com/sound/vorldtur07.wmv
For those who's interested, the whole Canal Street 07 movie can be viewed here - http://www.canalstreet.no/Nyheter2/Canal-Street-filmen-2007/
the clip was too short. I wanted to hear more of our slide work.
really nice tone and feel. I think you and your guitar make nice a friendship.
Yes.....you & the slide are one!!!!
To give you an idea of the sound I am looking for, one example would be like ZZ Top
Billy Gibbons' old 'signature' sound is a 50s Gibson Les Paul he nicknamed "Pearly Gates" and most of his work has been done with humbucking pickups, as SlickCat wrote.
Maybe I need stronger magnets and bigger windings, I don't know.
Not necessarily, the original PAF humbuckers are not loud at all. There are so many ingredients in a players sound, especially what's coming from his fingers (Gibbons has said he use a Mexican Peso for a pick!!), so singling out one part as The One That Fixes All is pretty hard..
That said - I was considering changing the pickups in my Epi Les Paul, the guitar had a high-mid peak that gave it a slightly harsh character both plugged in and unplugged, but before I did that I wanted to try replacing the pots and capacitors with some 'retro' 50s stuff I bought from a US friend of mine. They really did the trick, warmed up the tone beautifully, and only cost me $38.50 plus shipping. You can read more about the upgrade kit here - http://www.specialtyguitars.com/kits/lespaul.html
The SG might not be the right guitar for this but I'll find out.
The SG is the brightest of all Gibson guitars, if you're looking for a warmer and fatter sound with more 'growl' I wouldn't go in that direction.
I have been dissuaded from buying an Epiphone
Mine is a cheap Chinese model and it knocked me out. All it took was some extra filing of the nut and it was close to perfection, no bad frets or anything. Haven't needed to replace the pickup selector or tuners yet, they're traditionally weak spots on Epis, but perhaps I've just been lucky, I don't know. I have two students with relatively new Gibsons (both are SGs) and there are more issues with those guitars than with my Epi...
Slick Cat and Steinar, thanks alot for the information!
Yeah, what I don't like about this SG is that it is a bit too bright with the Epiphone alnico humbuckers that are on it now. The original Gibson production SGs changed the pickups a few times. What I do like about it is the Gibson neck and the deep double cutaway - I can comfortably slide well beyond the 22nd fret to a 24th fret position for example (two full octaves) without even looking or changing the shape of my hand or stretching at all and it's just a very comfortable guitar (for me) to play. I think they look cool too. It was a very popular guitar in the late 60's and quite a few guitarists used them, Cream, Big Brother, Country Joe and the Fish, WHO, Quicksilver Messenger Service... Pete Townsend apparently used soap bar P-90s on his SGs so I suppose that would be a good refrence for sound quality that I could expect from P-90s. I'll experiment a bit and see if I can make a good slider out of it, or I'll use it more for Rock type stuff mixed with slide.
I can remember using coins for picks on occasion and I can immediately recognize that sound in some of Gibbons playing. Of course there is alot that goes into the final sound. I've experimented with metal picks too and one of these days I'll come across exactly what I am looking for there.
I haven't played the SG in a long time and I have a different amp now so maybe I'll get some projects out of the way first and play it today. I bought a VOX Valvtronix AD50VT amp with a tube power amp circuit (amazing technology in these!) 12 in. Celestion speaker with a unique feature of being able to turn down the power output (wattage) and still maintain the same tone as at high volumes - quote from the manual: >The power level control lets you adjust the output wattage of the power amp. This means that even when the master volume is turned up to the max to drive the Valve Reactor power amp, you can adjust the volume without losing any tone.< That is the main reason I bought this amp and it works great. The 11 amp models and effects are very good too. It has very high user review ratings.
I've had if for about 6 months and still haven't gone through the manual in detail to learn how to use all of the features. Have any of you guys tried these amps?
Well, speaking of the LPs, I was tempted to buy one last night and scheduled to go and look at it, an Aria LP copy from the 1980's. I cancelled that appointment setting it aside for now. I would rather have an older one with the Gibson open book headstock. My experience with Aria guitars and their copy guitars from the 70s is A++ I have several Aria acoustics including an Aria 12-string Gibson copy (Gibson 12-N I think) with the Gibson open book headstock. It is ladder braced and has incredible sound and sustain, one of the best sounding acoustic guitars that I've ever played. It has a heavy cast bronze or brass adjustable saddle which may contribute to the sound quality. It has some body damage where the trapeze tailpice is attached so I took the strings off yesterday and it is down for repair. I paid $40. for it. I spotted a beautiful old Aria made Martin copy of exactly the same vintage at an auction recently. It is probably ladder braced too. No one else noticed this guitar because of the obscure private label brand name but I spotted it from the detail work. I was the only bidder! ($25 plus $18.50 shipping) It is being shipped right now. I am fairly certain that the body is identical to this 12 string, ladder braced and also has the adjustable heavy brass saddle and that it came from the same factory. If it sounds anything like the 12-string, this is gonna be a gem of a guitar!
I have 15 or 16 guitars right now so I've gotta send a few of these down the road pretty soon. My favorite electric is a Jay Turser JT130DC jazz guitar, semi-hollowbody thin line, like an ES335 copy, blue (for Blues) flame, and DiMarzio Air Norton pickups. That's the electric that is always plugged in and ready to go.
I play slide on this one but I need to raise the action a bit today. I just bought a new pre packaged stringset to try out. They are D'Addario 430 stainless steel Ground Half Rounds, called a 'jazz light guage' .012 - 016 - 024 - 032 - 042 - 052. I think some of these will be too light for me but there wasn't much of a selection at the small music store I went to and I didn't have the time to sort out individual strings.
Maybe next month I'll get an LP copy. By the way, Chinese guitar factories are very capable of making very high quality instruments. This is a secret I have known for a few years.
I was looking at some very nice high quality new Gretsch acoustics recently- all made in China. The so called 'cheap junk' made in China is not the fault of the Chinese who make it but with the importers who specify it to be made as cheaply as possible so they can make more profit.
Hey, I have a copy of that clip: "And The Snow Kept Falling" I was going to upload it to my photobucket account but I don't know if I can put sound files on there. I can send it back to you if you want it. That was done with your original stratosliderwhich I think you sold so it may be irrelevent now.
What did you use for guitars in the recording of your song POET ON THE RADIO, after that crescendo where you break into the wah pedal stuff? If you other guys want to hear some awesome guitar playing you need to hear that one!! All of the work on that CD is very impressive and in fact extraordinary in my opinion. Do you still have that clip of Poet on the Radio available at your site?
Jeez, I just put on the clip I have of 'God Only Knows" , that is so beautiful. I remember I listened to that clip over and over again in a continuous loop for hours and hours straight, probably at least two nights in a row. By the way you have some truly extraordinary talent, Steinar. There are not many songs I can listen to in a loop for hours and never get bored with them but that is one and I'm sure from what I have heard that some other songs on there will be the same. It is a very beautiful and moving piece. It relates perfectly to a sad story I went through in recent times, sort of like James Taylor's fire and Rain. I'll let you know what I am talking about in a personal email
I have a note on my desktop which has been there for a long time and it is titled "BUY Steinar's CD.rtf" (Southern Moon Northern Lights) I am going to do that right now with my neighbor's Paypal Account (since I don't have one). I've put it off for too long- I hope CD Baby has some copies. Incidently, I am not just saying this because you are such a great guy on these forums, as well as being a highly accomplished musician/composer/ etc. but that CD is a real work of art. In the long run I hope alot more people discover it. Also if the right people find it you might make some bunch of money off of a couple of those songs or get a good contract to create something special as a result.
In my Media Player your clips are in between Stephan Grossman's work and Stephan Stills 'Treetop Flyer'. I ewven saved the Bel Aire clips.
Well, I gotta get off of here and get some work done.
^Thanks for the good advice and sharing some of your adventures with us. That video clip was cool! I'd like to get the whole movie but I'll have to do it at a neighbor's house since I just have really slow dial-up.
HERE IT IS:
Hearing the clips from the broadband setting (even with dial up) should sound alot better than the dial up setting. Wow, you got some excellent 5 star reviews there, Steinar and I agree with all of them. I noted the movie 'sound track' comments by one of the reviewers. Yeah, I got into a trance listening to just a few of the clips
I haven't even heard all of these clips but any one of the several songs I have heard are worth the price of the whole CD.
I hope it does turn into more than an artistic success for you.
I just realized (and recall) that the clips I have saved of this CD were made before your final recording masters. Wow, these are rare collector audio clips worth alot of money :D (The Rare Lost Works of Steinar Gregertson CD)
I noticed that when I played the 'Poet On The Radio' clip from the CD Baby site that it was different. I like the clip that I have where you break out with that wah effect after the big crescendo. the gutart souds a little different. That part is not on the CD Baby audio clip although surely comes up later in the song. That is an awesome piece of guitar work. I hope the final master was just as good. You should have put that part up on CD baby, it definately captures ones ones attention!
OK, well I sent an email to my neighbor to order this CD for me. Dang, I sure drained you for the few dollars you make on a single CD sale , taking like a year before buying it. Sorry about that. I've got an idea though that might help.
Midnight hour- wow that song goes back to the old days, like about 1965 I guess.
With Bad Moon Rising, wow, you sure opened up a whole new realm for that song! I'll try that one myself with a more blues sound. I'll add the word 'flood' between 'I see earthquakes [floods] and lightning'. I have a girlfriend who lost her life as a result of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans which is what makes these songs pretty heavy for me, like the 'God Only Knows' one hits me deep. She lost everything she owned in Katrina, including her house, stuggled through a hell of a mess for a year afterward and then died from a very serious sepsis infection from the bad conditions she had to endure and trying to get her house rebuilt. I found that house for her. Her father's house on the Mississippi coast was comletely gone, nothing left but a cement slab and one photo in a frame recovered. Her son in law's mother died from the stress and her grandson's girlfriend tried to commit suicide. The devastation on peoples lives was more than most outsiders can imagine. The whole ordeal was a long nightmare.
There was a bad moon rising thing a year before the hurricane and Me and Maria both knew that. It's sad, I didn't expect her to die, but that was somehow laid out in the whole bad moon rising that we saw ahead of time. It was more like a stars in the sky thing, than a moon. I was writing a blues song about Maria and the Hurricane which I thought had a pretty cool switch for a blues song about a hurricane. I'll probably finish it even though the whole experience took on a much more serious perspective in the end. I won't use that ending with the song I wrote.
Sad to write about that but I thoiught I would mention it. Maybe this is I waited so long to buy this CD, didn't want to face these feelings.
Anyhow, nevertheless it is a beautiful work, Steinar.
Thanks for all your kind words Phangeaux, and for ordering the CD! I'll try to answer some of your questions -
What did you use for guitars in the recording of your song POET ON THE RADIO, after that crescendo where you break into the wah pedal stuff?
That's a Telecaster that I put together using Mighty Mite body and neck plus Seymour Duncan pickups.
The thing with the various versions of "Poet.." is that I had one recording of it on my website (part of it is still being used as a demo for the Asher Electro Hawaiian lap steel on their website) but at a point I didn't feel it fit in on the CD at all. Plus, it's about 20 years old (originally written as a slow 3/4 ballad with lyrics) and I've probably done at least 10 different versions of it over the years without ever being totally happy with any of them - so I scrapped it, even deleted the folder I had for it on my studio PC (I tend to go for "final solutions"....). Then, while I was finishing the CD I realized I needed one more uptempo tune and figured "what the heck, I'll do Poet after all so I can draw a line and be done with it". I did the CD version in a hurry, most of what you hear on it are first or second takes, I was a bit pissed off because the tune wouldn't leave me alone... :wink:
With Bad Moon Rising, wow, you sure opened up a whole new realm for that song!
Thanks, there's a weird story behind that one... I had a young guitar student who really needed to work on keeping time, so I found "Bad Moon Rising" in a songbook and figured it was a good song to work on because of the simple 'ompa' beat. I sat down to write down the lyrics for the verse for him, and all of a sudden the power of those lyrics hit me with full force,- I'd never really listened to them before, but now they really grabbed me. So I immediately heard that simple ballad arrangement in my head and couldn't wait to finish the lesson with this kid so I could start recording it. Next morning the song was done, and just about a week later Katrina hit.....
Sorry to hear about your friend, I know several people in the US who have relatives and friends who lost everything in that disaster. For me, living in a part of the world where natural disasters of that magnitude never happens, I won't even try to pretend I understand what it's like...
Steinar's Cd is still on my play list. it never goes back into the shelf; it sits on top the speaker.
I have read, lately in Vintage Guitar magazine. about players seeking vintage tubes and electronics (pots) for their amps and guitars. the quest is for that elusive tone. thanks for the post. it verifies what I have been reading.
living in Minneapolis among the thousands of Norwegian descendants I have been able to escape the dreaded cuisine of lukefisk. I think that was Norway's major disaster. I did eat it once and survived.
the leftse is not bad. and Aquavit is similar to my Italian Annesette.
Thank you very much for answering those questions Steinar. I can understand your feelings about the Poet song and finally deleting the folder. Yes, I do believe that the clip I have of Poet on the Radio is from your website. It is a very impressive piece of work that I am going to be sure to hang onto.
I did in fact order the CD right away after posting (neighbor ordered it for me) and it was shipped on Friday the 23rd. I am sure that it will arrive later today (Monday 26th), it's coming from Portland, Oregon which is not far 145mi or 233km from Seattle. To where I live it's only a crows flight from Seattle. Those crows really get around, they are my favorite bird, very intelligent and fun to observe. Mountain Ravens are larger and also fascinating, very vocal too, they can imitate other animal sounds. I suppose crows can also. People have been known to train crows to talk.
I have to be very honest (sincerely) and say the music is worth alot more than $15. plus shipping.
I wasn't feeling up to writing about this just now but since I already started: This music has some extraordianry potential for background music for websites. I think what they do normally is select a portion of the song and make a continous loop. In addition to getting some money for that, there could also be a direct link to buy the CD, but the music is so extraordinary that you should get paid just for it's use. There are probably a number of different special niches just right for this music.
I would certainly pay for the privelege of using a loop on an opening web page for background music, along with a button for visitors to buy the CD. I would pay additional for each loop used on each page, so you'd get paid for each loop plus free advertizing.
I guess I would lease the right to play each loop, for like a year renewable lease? Is that how it works? I would do it. For the website I envisioned it would very much enhance the experience of visiting the site.
The clips that I have, which are either 1 minute or 2 minutes long, I played continuously for hours and hours on end while I was contemplating such a web site. They were very inspirational, enhancing the creative process and would certainly enhance a web page in an attactive way. I usually hate music on web pages because it is so distracting when I am trying to read or concentrate on something but your music is mood enhancing. I never got tired of hearing each of the clips in a continous loop. You did a good job of selecting the clips. Again these may have came from your website originally. In any case the advantage of this beautiful music is that once people get on a very nice webpage and hear that music in the background they are not going to want to leave. In addition they are going to wonder where that beautiful music originated.
This is beautiful work you've done Steinar.
I'll talk to you about that web project later, in the next few days so you'll see what I am talking about. I hope I can put it together but it's not something I am going to start right away. That could change when I get the CD this afternoon but I'd rather be working on other stuff (acoustic blues on guitar) and do that web page later months later perhaps.
I'll have to go check out your website to see what changes are there since the last time I visited, probably a year ago.
Take care and I wish you the best of success on this particular CD.