I got me a new S-S-S pickguard from Fender, two 500k pots, a 5-way switch, two Seymour Duncan Hot Rails, two DPDT switches (for series-parallel for every pickup) and an original Fender pickup.
Then I put them all together!
The white MIM Fender is a new guitar now!
Check a detail photo here
You can see the power amp rack here.
Behringer and Squier speakers. There is also a set of 2 USA Crate speakers, but I don't use them any more. You can see an old Sony 15" 5-way speaker (and another one next to Clavinova piano) for playing the playback when we record.
This is the Behringer B1800X sub-woofer with 18" woofer. This gives us a lot of bottom end!!! Above you can see a Squier 15" with HF driver, giving the drummer the full mix (left channel). It is located in his left.
In his right, there is another Squier, giving the drummer the right channel full mix. Below there is a hand-made 15" speaker with HF driver, playing only the sound of the drums.
The great change in my home studio came with the purchase (2006) of the Roland TD-6KW e-drums. I tuned the Roland set to my preferences, along with tips from our drummer, and from another drummer who plays here.
You can store 100 different drum sets, so it’s easy to go from rock to metal, or jazz. Their sound is very good, you won’t have to mic every drum instrument. The main mix is very full and clear, the vocals are very natural and we all hear a good sound, from whispering to very loud. The mix is ready to go to a computer for recording our rehearsals.
My previous drum set was a Yamaha DP-series, bought 1998, sold 2006, a very solid set (photo).
The XENYX 1832FX console produces the main mix when we play live and we use the B1520pro speakers for monitors, powered by a . EUROPOWER EP2500 power amp.
Their 15” woofer allows the bass guitar and the bass drum to be clearly heard. We are used to the sound of the e-drums of our drummer, so we can all hear the main mix through our monitors, which allows us to have a full idea of the sound our audience hears. Also, when we play on a bigger stage, set up by a sound engineer, we prefer to hear a loud mix from the side monitors, instead of having independent mixes through personal monitors (and, therefore, “hot” and “cold” spots onstage).
The EURODESK SL2442FX-PRO is used for the home studio, producing the main mix and feeding signal to a WORK power amp, which gives output to 4 speakers, two (left-right) for the drummer (Squier 15”) and two (left-right) for the rest of us (Behringer B1520). The drummer also has two speakers on the floor, which play only the sound of the drums.
Here is a photo of the floor, mainly with Behringer V-amps for bass or guitar.
The V-amp 2 is my main floor pre-amp, along with Behringer FCB1010 midi controller. You can also connect it's Up-Down footcontroller simultaneously. I also have the Behringer Acoustic Modeller (right) which turns your electric to a very convincing acoustic!
The Behringer GI-100 active DI is a very important part of my studio and live sound. It takes the unbalanced signal from the V-ampII and transforms it into balanced with cabinet simulation also! I do not press any of the two PAD buttons, I just turn the V-amp almost at half the volume. I mainly connect it directly to the PA console and I like the result very much. Also, when we play support to other bands, it is very convenient not to mess with the guitarist's amp. One guy's sound is another one's nightmare, so I don't go through the sound engineer's amp (and if I do, I use it only for my monitor), I always use my V-ampII with the red DI and the result is a very good tone in an instant! Another advantage of this method is that my sound is always consistent and it's not depended on the sound engineer's amp or the mic, or the stage (yes, the mics do get sounds from the stage floor, and this can be very annoying).
Check my band's blog here http://eleftheriptosi.blogspot.com/ (in Greek), you will se that I have played from very small clubs to very large setups, so I have gathered a lot of experience (and faced a lot of problems!!!). Since 2005, the V-ampII with the GI-100, solved a lot of them and gave me a good, clear, consistent tone, with great ease of use.
The Yamaha Clavinova electric piano is another part of my home studio. It is one of the simpler models, with 10 sounds. The feel of the keys is excellent, in my opinion. You can see an old Sony speaker with 15" woofer, two tweeters and two mid-range drivers, which does the playback in recordings. There is another one to the drummer's left side.
I must note that every cable in my home studio is hand made by me and then polymeter-tested! The same goes for the cables we use live.
My bedroom amp (the key to a guitarist’s sound and progress!!!)
It’s the digital Behringer V-ampire head (the V-amp is in it) with an old (1995 I think) Marshall cabinet. I like the combination very much.
The Peavey Transtube EFX half stack is a very reliable amp, USA made, and a real loud one!!! Fully loaded with digital EFX. Bought 2005.
I also have a Marshall Valvestate 80 combo, UK made, with tube preamp. Great amp, bought used (bought 1999, I think…)
This Marshall is the only used piece of gear, all the rest were bought new.
In the past I owned other USA Peaveys (Backstage, Bandit, etc.) which I sold. Nice amps, maybe a bit expensive in Greece, especially at the time I got them, in the late 80’s, early 90’s.
Series-Parallel switch, more power from 2 single coils! (or less power from a humbucker).
This is an easy modification!
You can add power to a 2-single coil bass and get a meaty sound! I did it to my washburn bass (and to 3-4 friends' basses), the sound now is louder and fuller.
I also did this to a lot of friends' Strats, so the result is that you have your normal guitar (or bass), along with an extra sound, more powerful and hum-cancelling.
I do the opposite thing to humbuckers. Meaning that when you have a humbucker, you can wire it in series (usual fat sound) or parallel (still humbucking but with more treble,less bass and a little less volume).
Cort C4H bass
A loud beast!
This was bought in October 2008, a very powerful bass with nice feel and a very low price! Cort is a very large and serious factory and makes intruments of great quality, beyond their price tag, IMHO. This one has a satin black finish and an unfinished wenge neck.
It has a passive-active push-pull volume pot, with active bass and treble pots. . I must note that the passive option is really passive, you can play with the battery unplugged. Remember, in all active instruments, always unplug the input jack, when you don't play, or else your battery will be drained.
Washburn XB-200 bass, bought 1995
August 2008 modification: A 6-contact push-pull pot, for choosing between standard parallel connection of the 2 pickups and series connection for more power and full sound, check photo
Sept 2008 modification: I installed the DiMarzio DP148 Ultra Jazz pickup (bridge), replacing the original one, which was fery weak. I kept the series-parallel switch (not push-pull pot now), so now the bass is more versatile and very loud too !!!
Yamaha CPX-8 electric-acoustic,
Very nice sound, full and bright.
The action is quite low, too.
left: Cort KX5
I changed the original MightyMite MotherBucker pickups (and put them in Washburn PI70b).
Neck pickup: Fender humbucker (the one that originally came with Highway-1 HSS Strat) with parallel-series switchAlso I installed up-down push-pull switches for controlling Behringer V-amp 2, near the neck pickup !
right: Cort KX1F
Bridge pickup: MightyMite MotherBucker (a real loud one)
Neck pickup: MightyMite MotherBucker (also loud)
Push pull tone control for splitting the pickups.
Photo of the body and pickups
I left this guitar untouched, I like it a lot! Also it has a very low action!
This is the same guitar, but the light in the room was different.
Originally had Seymour Duncans but I replaced them with the Motherbucker set(a real loud set !), the same with the Cort KX1f (the specific pickups belonged to the cheaper black Cort KX5). I also put black pot knobs (hated the plasic gold Gibson-like ones) and black 3-way switch knob.
Fantastic guitar, better than a Les Paul IMHO, which I owned for 12 years, check the last photo at the top left of this blog, wine red USA Les Paul Standard. Better upper fret access, a little lighter in weight (but still a heavy one!) and with coil splitting. I kept the coil split option but I modified the wiring of the pots, so now I have one for master volume and one for master tone. The action is very low, totally buzz-free and it took me only 15 minutes or so, to do this. The frets are huge but somehow the U shape of the neck fits perfectly in your hand and nothing feels 'big' in a wrong way. Also the fingerboard edges are rolled. It overall gives the impression of a quality custom shop guitar, without fancy ornaments. Also the neck-body joint is deep and secure. Stays in tune for ever, not to forget.
Check the photo of body and pickups
Many many thanks to ATMAN Belts for the fantastic custom-cut one-piece 8-cm-wide leather straps!!!
left: Washburn X50PRO FE
Bridge pickup: EMG 81, Neck pickup: EMG 85, as it came from factory
right: Washburn X50q
The pickups are changed by me.
Bridge pickup: DiMarzio Tone Zone DP155F with parallel-series switch in push-pull tone pot.Neck pickup: DiMarzio Tone Zone DP155
Both are very sweet guitars to play, with great craftmanship and good price,both set-necks, but don't be fooled, their sound is full and heavy! I also put aluminum adhesive markers, because I am used to look at them, especially when I play in places with blinding spotlights and low light situations.
Check my posts at Washburn's forum, www.washburn.com , search for antant
February of 2011
I put the classic EMG 81/85 set on, a plaesant installation, thanks to EMG's fantastic package and preparation (I put the solder-needed model). Very good cleans and the well-known high-gain paradise! Now both myX50's have the 81/85 set. Check Youtube for the Rising from KillrBuckEye http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKRUagaWcpQ , recorded with an X50profe
Also, both of them now have the 8841 Graph Tech bridge, a nice upgrade from the standard one!
from left, White Standard Stratocaster Mexico,
White HSH Fender Standard Stratocaster Mexico,
Black Fender Stratocaster HH Japan,
Amber Fender Stratocaster Highway-1 HSH USA
An older photo, about 2008
I have to comment on great response from Fender's Consumer Relations and especially Mr Matthew Brown! Really helpful, fast and customer caring. Thanks !
#1 Amber Fender Highway-1 Stratocaster HSH, USA, bought 2005
November of 2010: I put the black pickguard in the white Fender, now it's a lot of Adrian Smith ... !!! Here is a recent photo
August 2011, I kept the same pickups (Dp155f, Dp189) and put them on the white HSS pickguard that originally belonged to the amber Highway, again with single volume control
- Dunlop 6100 Jumbo frets
- Grover Mini Rotomatic locking tuners
- Graph Tech nut and string tree
- Warmoth HH pickguard (like Fender's Big Apple with rounded corners)
- DiMarzio DP155 Tone Zone neck pickup
- DiMarzio DP155F Tone Zone bridge pickup with series-parallel switch
- Goldo Japan 500K pots
- Goldo chrome saddles
- Custom AntAnt sketch on headstock!
-->The black saddles are Gotoh S-199, same as them chrome ones in the Black Jap strat