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  • Guitarists! Let's talk about your axe/rig

    Just curious what guitars people here are using for ambient or ambient-like music. After the tuba, I started playing metal on the bass and the guitar, and I'm wanting to get back to my guitars, so I'm curious what everyone else is using

    I own:

    Carvin DC-125C w/ a coil tap, so I can sorta pretend to get single coil strat-ish tones out of it. It only has a single pickup in the bridge.
    A Schecter low/mid end 7 string with humbuckers at the bridge and neck. Model escapes me, but it plays decently.
    ESP Ltd B-305 5-string with active electronics.

    Of course I'll play whatever instrument I like; I'm just curious what the ambient guitarists here tend to use, or if there's a wide variety going on

    Feel free to talk about overdrives, amps, effects, etc, too. Strymon and Neunaber stuff looks and sounds amazing in demos, and I'm starting to become a fan of the Zoom G5 as a multi effect. Right now my Octatrack is my main external effects unit, and looper, though the Monomachine has a sweet delay.
    Last edited by KrisM; 02-10-2014, 03:26 PM.
    Meh.

  • #2
    I'm down to one guitar, a cheap-ish Vintage V6 strat copy. I'm no virtuoso in the slightest and this ticks all my boxes; single coil sounds (nice and clean for heavily effected ambient and brash enough for when I still think I want to be in Mission of Burma or Big Black... ;)), comfy shape (play it sitting down 99% of the time), locking tuners, looks pretty nice (three colour sunburst with a red tortoiseshell pickguard).

    Unfortunately it does seem to go wrong often... Strange buzzes from the trem, top strings go all sitar-like on me etc etc. Trem doesn't look quite right to me (small gap under the trem one side but not the other) so I guess I should get someone who knows what they're doing to look at it...

    No amp or effects anymore except for a Zoom G2 which really impressed me (only bought it as a cheap headphone amp really). The basic sounds are best I've heard from a budget unit (ie. usable) but it really shines when you realise how configurable it is. It uses the module paradigm; seven or so modules (comp, overdrive, eq, mod, etc etc) and a number of effects in each to choose from. But then you realise the first module has a slow gear-kind of effect for slow fade ins, and you can have delay or reverb in (I think) three of the other modules. Result: instant Stars of the Lid in a 6" form factor. Ambient heaven!

    I have a ukelele too.
    Latest release: never to be repeated

    Hearthis | Soundcloud

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    • #3
      You need to adjust the trem. It's tilting like that because the spring tension is off. It's a very easy fix if you take your time, just open the back up and you'll see the springs attached to the guitar body with this little claw-like piece of metal and some screws. Just slowly loosen or tighten them until your bridge is level. Too loose and the string tension will also pull the bridge forward, too tight and the tension on the strings will increase and hose your tuning and the bridge will be tilted back away from the headstock. I definitely understand if you'd rather let a pro handle the adjustment, though; too much tension in the wrong direction and you can break/damage things =/

      My Carvin has a Floyd Rose which is much more of a PITA to keep balanced than a strat-style trem lol.

      The G3/G5 stuff replaced the G2 iirc, with more power and even better models. I mean I have a 120W tube head w/ nice tubes and a ported 2x12 that puts most 4x12s to shame in the low-end department, but I just can't play an amp like that in an apartment and expect to remain living there :D I've actually been thinking of getting an Uberschall pedal and using my OT as effects, but Elektron hasn't made it easy to shut off effects in a very stompboxy way. I'm sorely tempted to drop money on an Uberschall pedal, Strymon El Capistan, and a Neunaber Wet for reverb while using the OT for chorus, flanger, etc, but that's $800 in pedals lol. Maybe if I only played the guitar still :D
      Meh.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wouldn't dare sully the term "guitarist" by associating my name, but I use a black Peavey Horizon II from the 80's. I love all the tonal variations I can get from it. My amp was a Peavey Pacer 100-SS but that is now in storage and I plug into the computer now.

        For bass there is a white Fender P-Bass and a black Charvel/Jackson 2B. I also have an acoustic; Hitachi Splendor G-71 my dad bought in Japan in the mid to late 60's.

        I was once known for having an arsenal of footpedals, but all I held on to after all these years are 2 small stones, an Ibanez 303B, and a 2-second digital delay pedal from DOD, all also in storage. I still have my old Quadraverb and Peavey ProfexII with pedalboard too. The rest were lost when I had a grand idea to take them all apart and install them into this box with a patchbay for easy transport. The box idea worked out ok, but it never really was finished, and was misplaced in a move years ago. It was named Evilfex.

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        • #5
          I don't really own anywhere near enough guitars and don't have good amps, mostly because I plug into a hardware interface all the time now so amps are virtual.
          I have a Telecaster and a Squier P-bass special (neck P-bass pickup and bridge Jazz pickup).
          In the past I've owned some better guitars (used to have an old 70s Les Paul for years that I sold when I was really short on cash), and one of these days I might get hold of some better guitars.
          As far as acoustics is concerned, I have a pretty average 6 string Epiphone, and I also own a mandolin and a 5 string banjo.

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          • #6
            I have a Squier Deluxe Jazz Active IV bass. I haven't used it for ambient yet, but maybe one day. I like slapping the strings and getting harmonic chords out of it, which is why I went for the Jazz instead of a Precision. The active eq on here is great for ringing harmonics. I play it through a Roland Cube 30 amp, but when recording I hook it into the Pod Studio UX2.

            I have 3 guitars, an Ibanez Gio which I bought for my son. It's the only guitar I have used for recording (so far), coz it's small and light, useful when space is a limitation, again via the UX2. I have a Line6 Spider 15 and Marshall MG 50DFX for annoying neighbours.

            I also have a '77 Ibanez Artist and a '79 25th Anniversary Strat. The Ibanez hasn't had much use lately but I recently had the Strat serviced and that plays beautifully. I also have a Zoom G7 which gives plenty of options including a 12AX7 tube. I have an old Digitech Delay unit from about 30 years ago, good for short delays up to about 1 second. I was thinking of getting hold of a looping pedal. The Strymon timeline looks tempting but I like the simplicity of the TC Ditto

            Got a picture of them somewhere round here:-

            dscf0693l.jpg
            Last edited by seismic1; 02-10-2014, 05:15 PM.
            Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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            • #7
              I have a 1987 G&L Skyhawk - it is a very nice guitar and was incredibly cheap (they had no value in the second hand market when I bought it about 15 years ago) - exceptional clean sound, I use it here https://soundcloud.com/greghooper/th...nd-two-tunings
              My other guitar is a Jackson Dinky DK2S - that has a sustainer pickup - again it is amazing quality for the price. It's making all the sounds on https://soundcloud.com/greghooper/ship

              I haven't owned a guitar amp for decades, just plug straight in and post process. I'm using guitar rig now but have used all sorts of software - freeamp was fantastic and I'd be just as happy using it, just I have NI Komplete and Guitar Rig comes with that.
              Don't really play much anymore - lost interest really and I developed arthritis in a couple of fingers - but mainly I've lost interest in playing for fun and only get the guitar out if I have a specific piece that needs it
              BANDCAMP https://greghooper2.bandcamp.com/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KrisM View Post
                You need to adjust the trem ...
                Thanks, I must admit I did have a look but wondered if it was the neck due to the buzzing high strings, didn't get much further as playing with the neck is something I'd be a bit wary of. Also it appears the bottom string saddles are a bit high (and the screwheads have been stripped which makes me wonder if someone messed around with it before). So, time to man up and play with the trem springs.

                I think you're right about the G2. I had a zoom 707 years ago that was pretty terrible (lots of artifacts in the sound) so kind of passed zoom over until I read some reviews of the G2 which was the first with their new generation DSP chips. A massive improvement imo. I guess I tend towards cleaner 'fender twin'/strummy kind of tones which it seems to excel at. Maybe not as good as the vsts going around now but totally usable unless you're, like, in Wilko or something.

                I do find myself looking at Teles a lot on ebay etc. Think I could jump ship if I saw a reasonable one (could forgot all about trems then... )
                Last edited by GaryG; 02-11-2014, 05:58 AM.
                Latest release: never to be repeated

                Hearthis | Soundcloud

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                • #9
                  I didn't consider the bridge saddles. Adjusting them can be tricky, and if you need to look at the truss rod as well, you can seriously destroy your neck/fretboard if you don't know what you're doing there. It almost sounds like your neck is bowed/warped a little and someone tried to raise the strings up off the frets to make it buzz less, and it's just gotten worse =/ i'm not a guitar tech/luthier, though.

                  My first electric guitar had a strat-style bridge that I hated, and I wound up having a luthier glue in a wood block and install a fixed bridge and get it all set up for me. I was a teenager working a low wage job at the time and could afford it, so it shouldn't be too expensive. I just don't recall the cost (something like seventeen years ago lol).
                  Meh.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KrisM View Post
                    My first electric guitar had a strat-style bridge that I hated, and I wound up having a luthier glue in a wood block and install a fixed bridge and get it all set up for me.
                    Not sure I'd go that far for this guitar but if it could be sorted by locking down (right term?) the trem then I wouldn't mind. I like the feel of a strat trem (strings feel springier ) better than a teles bridge but never use it as a trem.
                    Latest release: never to be repeated

                    Hearthis | Soundcloud

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GaryG View Post
                      Not sure I'd go that far for this guitar but if it could be sorted by locking down (right term?) the trem then I wouldn't mind. I like the feel of a strat trem (strings feel springier ) better than a teles bridge but never use it as a trem.
                      I think you can add more/stiffer springs to essentially "lock it down" but I'm pretty sure the guitar would have to be completely set up again from scratch. Bridge/saddle height, intonation, truss rod, all that stuff, and if your tuners couldn't handle it, I'd think it would go out of tune a lot from the tension.

                      You could also look around for something like the Allparts Tremol-No Tremolo Locking Device and see if they have one that would fit.
                      Meh.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=KrisM;12895]
                        Originally posted by GaryG View Post
                        You could also look around for something like the Allparts Tremol-No Tremolo Locking Device and see if they have one that would fit.
                        Cheers, looks a cool idea but, as the guitar only cost me ~£90 and that part converts to ~£50, probably not a great investment for the times I'd use it.

                        You've got me thinking though so going to track down a local luthier (ones I've used before have either shut up shop or retired) and see what they say.
                        Latest release: never to be repeated

                        Hearthis | Soundcloud

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                        • #13
                          yeah I can't blame on that lol. I know I would think long and hard about it.
                          Meh.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For you guitarists who haven't checked out IKM's Amplitube there is a group buy going on. I got most of my IKM stuff through group buys, they almost always have reached the goals.

                            When you buy an Amplitube software you get one of equal or lesser value for free. Once they get 250, you'll get another, and for every 250 beyond that they add another up to all 6 at 1000. For $99 you can get Amplitube 3 (which is a lot of stuff) and if they reach 1000, you'll have everything but a few single amp models and pedals.

                            I have never played through many of these expensive amps they model, but I really love the software and think it sounds great.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The IK amps sound great. I've also been listening to some of the Scuffham gear recently. I've been very impressed by those.
                              Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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