Tuning Up the Hot Rods, vol. 2

Next up is my trusty Vox Standard 25 (or what used to be Standard). This is the first really good guitar I owned, purchassed from a friend in High School. It started life as a stock Vox Standard 25 which could best be described as “if a Strat and a PRS had a child that traveled in time back to the mid-80s”. It was my main guitar through the end of the 80s and into the early 90s. Not sure if it’s just long term familiarity but it is one of the easiest and most comfortable necks I have played.

A long time ago…

It was also the first guitar I played around with modding. It’s been through several personality changes and the current set-up is:

  • all the usual (straplocks, locking Neutrik output jack, graphite string trees)
  • custom cut pickguard
  • single coil Dimarzio in bridge position
  • Gibson Bill Laurence humbucker in bridge position
  • Roland GK midi pickup
  • momentary stutter button

The Dimarzio single coil was the original on the stock version, the humbucker came from a mid-80s Les Paul I did some work on for a friend (and the pickups that were replaced were given to me as payment). The wiring is a mix between custom and accidental: the first (volume) pot was replaced withthe momentary button, the third pot is a tone control exclusively for the single coil (this makes going back and forth between the e-bow and regular playing super-easy). The middle pot was supposed to be a master volume but somehow just rolls off some of the overall high frequencies. I’m not sure where I messed up but it’s been interesting playing around with this configuration. One of these days I might correct it, but for now…

Tuning Up the Hot Rods, vol. 1

One of the upsides of “downtime” is catching up on my instrument maintenance. So I started with the hot-rodded ones: they started life as basic and unremarkable and were then transformed into… well, you’ll see. Number one is only modded a little. Neutrik locking output jack and Dunlop straplocks (both standard on most of my modified instruments), and a momentary killswitch where the old jack used to be. It already had the graphite neck and LSR tuners. Usually tuned to E-flat and my main go-to for Strat sounds.

This was one of my main guitars used on the Bardela EP. The Crow is a good demonstration of it’s capabilities.

Pedalboard

The current guitar board sit rep:

Honestly, more straightforward than it looks.

Every sound I will need or have been known for, for any situation or setting.

GTR -> EHX Freeze -> Digitech Ricochet -> switcher*-> Line6 M9 (for basic delays and modulation) -> Veretex Boost (with expression pedal – not pictured – for volume control) -> Boss DD-8 (for glitching and miscellaneous weirdness) -> TC Electronics Wiretap (for recording parts of interest) -> Pigtronix Infinity 2 (looper) -> dry out to amp 1 (usually Marshall 8020) / loop out to volume pedal 2 – not pictured – -> Akai Headrush -> amp 2, monitors or direct boxes for FOH

* switcher settings: 1. Clean direct, 2. TC Hypergravity compressor -> Veretex Steel String drive -> Walrus Audio Slo reverb, 3. Catalinbread SFT overdrive, 4. Catalinbread Galileo overdrive, 5. Paul Trobetta Tornita (Kitchen Sink) fuzz

… and the orange box is a countdown timer/clock

I Was Here is HERE!

Stone Document’s THIRD album is finally here. Another departure, adventure and rung on their evolutionary ladder. Doc and I are pretty confident you haven’t heard anything quite like this.  You can find it at all the usual digital outlets or click below.  And thanks for listening!

 

RU Presale

We are getting close.  The Radio Underground album (now titled Dark and Getting Darker) is available for pre-order.  If you order now you get two songs immediately and you help us wrap the whole thing up!


 

Short Circuits

Dusted off the Stick to do an evening of improvisation with some friends.  I was rusty but it was fun and so doubly motivating to resume a practice routine.  Fingers crossed!

 

Dave and Mark and a “Tiny” Couch

DG and I found ourselves sitting with a couple guitars on an average-sized couch in Coffrin Lounge at Middlebury College. We were there to play three songs for the inaugural episode of The Tiny Couch Sessions (on it’s way to you soonish?).  To hear it, go HERE.  To see it, just look below.

Bardela @ the Nail

 

Bardela played the Rusty Nail Stage at Tres Amigos in Stowe.  In spite of the fact that the crowd was small (apparently Friday nights of holiday weekends in ski towns are spent checking in to your hotel and then hitting the hay to be rested for the next day) it was a great night.  It was universally one of the most positive experiences I’ve had as a gigging musician. The entire staff was friendly and supportive, the green room was unbelieveable, the food great, my rig was firing on all cylinders, and the sound guy paid attention.  Worth every minute of the slow, snow-hampered drive to get there.