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.
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…
Here we have an example of the technological excess that I rely on to make the noise I make. This is my Radio Underground/general rock pedalboard. Yes, it’s heavy and a pain to load in. Yes, it is worth it.
The signal path goes along as such:
guitar input -> Line 6 M5 with expression pedal for whammy and wah presets -> MXR Dynacomp -> Ernie Ball volume pedal – Korg Pitchblack tuner -> B.C. Rich programable swithcher (that swithches between my preamp and distortion/fuzz sounds: a DOD EQ, an early ’80s Ibanez TS9, a Sovtek Big Muff and an Electro Harmonix Tube Zipper) -> ART Tube preamp -> Electro Harmonix Freeze -> Line 6 M9 for delays/modulation/basic looping -> off to the amps!
Summer has ended and I’m trying to organize/prioritize/categorize my projects. Currently at hand are the following: Stick practice (ongoing), NST practice/repertoire (ongoing) – in anticipation of next Spring’s Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists Northeast USA appearances, mixing the live Radio Underground EP, rehearsing for some forthcoming RU shows, demoing for the next Ghost Ghost recording, exploring booking opportunities for both RU and solo gigs, knocking the dust off of the Pantet repertoire and restarting that behemoth.