Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This weeks best guitar Cds-Week of 08/31/2010

Bill Frisell - live at Jazz Alley, Seattle - 2...Image via Wikipedia1) Bill Frisell-Beautiful Dreamers
    There is simply no other guitarist making music today that is as fearless as Bill Frisell. Unafraid of beauty were convention would add dissonance and vice-versa. Certainly,he is unconcerned about what is allowed in "jazz". He is also unafraid of unconventional band configurations as demonstrated by the guitar/violin/drum trio of Beautiful Dreamers. Frisell has long ago explored the bassless trio format as a member,with saxophonist Joe Lovano,in Paul Motions trio. Violinist Eyvind Kang,a longtime Frisell collaborator,certainly adds a different than usual flavor to the mix. I'm less familiar with drummer Rudy Royston and I'm always glad to see when a newcomer to the Frisell fold seems to "get it" and really gel with the group. This gets my highest recommendation.

2) Heart-Red Velvet Car
     After giving up on Heart in the Velveeta coated 80' I'm happy to find the Wilson sisters seem to have remembered they used to be in a rock band! Along with producer Ben Mink,Ann and Nancy play up the acoustic side of their Zeppelin inspired rock for an album that can stand up with pride next to their 70's output. It's almost aggressively affordable price wont hurt either!

3) Richard Thompson-Dream Attic
     Thirteen new song recorded,not in the studio,but live on his February 2010 tour! In addition to his trademark Stratocaster tones Thompson brings bass,drums and two "secret weapons" in the form of violinist/mandolinist/vocalist Joel Zifkin and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Pete Zorn.

4) Rosario Conte-Une Larme
     Solo music for baroque guitar from Francesco Corbettas 1671 guitar book La Guitarre Royalle,played on period instruments.

5) Cephalic Carnage-Misled by Certainty
      It's been three years since 2007's Xenosapien and extreme metal veterans Cephalic Carnage return with perhaps their most sprawling epic yet.

6) Andras Csaki-Laureate Guitar Series
     Award wining guitarist and assistant professor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest takes on solo guitar pieces from Britten,Duarte,Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Bach's most technically challenging lute suite.

7) Quest For Fire-Lights From Paradise
      Canadian psychedelic rockers bring out the fuzz guitars and spring reverb and add a touch of Pink Floyd meets Black Sabbath on their second album.

8) Scott Colley-Empire
     It's the hidden bonus Bill Frisell Cd of the week! Upright bassist Scott Colley features 11 of his own compositions with stellar support from Frisell along with Ralph Alessi on trumpet,Craig Taborn on piano and the wonderful Brian Blade on drums. Colleys history offers up a guitar friendly background,including work with Jim Hall,John Scofield,Pat Metheny and previous work with Frisell.

9) Chico Pinheiro-There's a Storm Inside
      Brazilian guitarist/vocalist Pinheiro skews a bit too slick for my taste but offers up plenty of good guitar work here.

10) Mats Eilertsen-Radio Yonder
      Bassist Mats Eilertsen is most well known for his work with Tord Gustavsen and this album shares a similar restraint and sparseness. The biggest difference here is guitarist Thomas Dahl,who recalls a grittier Pat Metheny. This is European jazz at it's finest.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guitar Omnivore Now Available as a Feed!

I pity the fool who subscribes to this rss feed!Image by draggin via Flickr Well,Guitar Omnivore is just about to enter it's third month of existence. In it's first two months we've exceeded 1000 unique visitors. My little baby guitar blog is starting to grow up! There may be blogs that get 1000 visitors a minute but do they offer guitar repair how-to articles? I don't think so! Just wanted to give you a heads up to the new RSS feed in the top right corner. Now you can subscribe to all these guitar repair and maintenance tips and get the latest guitar Cd reviews. Go ahead,don't let Mr T's opinion sway you,click on that big orange square,it won't hurt a bit! Thanks everybody,Phil

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mosrite Ventures 12-String Heart Breaker

   Sometimes I get to refurbish a misused or well worn guitar,breathing new life into a seemingly hopeless axe. Other times...I have to follow instructions and do the bare minimum to "Just make it play". This was the case with this formerly beautiful 1966 Mosrite 12-string. One of the more collectible Ventures models,this version can go for $3000-$4000,when in great shape. This poor guy is a great example of why most people shouldn't try to do finish work on their own guitar. It appears to have been spray painted,with the pickguard removed,but the electronics left in the guitar. The pickguard has been painted,seemingly by hand. The frets,never tall to begin with,are paper thin. The electronics weren't working that well. It's knobs,most likely the "hat type" with the V and T, are missing. This guy's in rough shape!
   The good news? Luckily there's plenty of good news. The unique Mosrite proprietary strap buttons are still there. I was able to keep the pots and 1/4" jack,despite the paint overspray,replacing only the 3-way switch. The distinctive "Moseley" 12-string vibrato and zero fret combination not only worked,it actually stayed in tune. The original pickups sounded great;Mosrite pickups definitely have their own sound. The frets,although tiny,played great,after some minor work. Even if this heart breaker of a guitar never looks great again,at least it plays and sounds great. Sometimes that's all you can ask.
You can see the original mint green peeking through the white.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Simple headstock crack repair

Here we have an Ibanez RD 300 bass guitar,an inexpensive road warrior that belongs to a gigging musician. One tuner is broken and it's started to crack near the tuners at the headstock. This will be pretty basic,the only slight problem is how to apply clamping pressure on the oddly shaped headstock. Taking a bit of scrap plywood,I trace around the headstock,then it's over to the band saw. In no time we've got a custom clamping caul. There are a couple of good glues to use here;I chose super glue for it's wicking capabilities. I'll keep some acetone handy for quick clean up if necessary. A few Irwin Quick-Grip clamps and we're in business. After the glue dried, I drilled out the tuner screw holes and doweled them to prevent the screw from pushing the crack open again in the future. The tuners cover the dowels and look completely stock from the outside. That's a really clean result for such a "quick and dirty" repair!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sanding blocks on a budget

Guitar repair techs and luthiers who do finish work are always looking for sanding blocks of different sizes and levels of hardness. Usual suspects include hard felt,cork,wood and stone. Recently I stumbled onto a pair of sanding blocks you might be able to find in your neighborhood for free. Visiting my parents to see their newly remodeled kitchen I spied a couple of faux granite counter top samples. They are flat,hard and just the right size to wrap sandpaper around when spot leveling a finish repair. You should ask at your local home remodeler and see if they have any of "last years model" samples you can have. For those of you keeping score at home,my sanding blocks are "Marzipan Mirage" and "Beige Sand"!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This weeks best guitar Cds-week of 08/24/2010

John Scofield in Warsaw, Poland Date: 2004-07-...Image via Wikipedia
     On this album John collaborates with Vince Mendoza and Metropole Orkest. Mendoza offers up absolutely lush arrangements of two of his tunes and several Scofield classics for the 54 member orchestra. Scofield and Mendoza have worked together in various ways since Mendoza's Blue Note albums of the early 90's. This long friendship and the high caliber of musicianship seems to urge Scofield into his best playing in years. Don't miss this one.

2) Blind Guardian-At the Edge of Time
     Let's not forget,in the years that Iron Maiden and Judas Priest wondered off track a bit,Blind Guardian kept the faith. Here they keep their track record for quality power metal unbroken. Following the current record company trend,this is offered in multiple "editions" ,the regular edition and the "deluxe" 2 Cd version with demos and extras.

3) Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters-Spread the Love
     This all instrumental offering pushes the blues into soul, jazz and funky territory,but we've come to expect nothing less from the Strat wielding blues master.

4) The Sword-Warp Riders
    Austin Texas metal revivalists take a stab at the concept album and come up with a winner. It's a good time to be a metal head!

5)Kataklysm-Heavens Venom
    Kataklysm returns with tightly controlled,riff based anthems. This will please current fans of the Canadian band and is well crafted and catchy enough to gain a few more.

6) Turtle Island Quartet-Have you ever been...?
     A string quartet taking on Jimi Hendrix is no new idea (see Kronos Quartet or Turtle Island's "Gypsy Eyes" on their 1994 "Who Do We Think We Are? album) but don't be fooled. This is far more than a jaw dropper of a background Cd to play at your next wine and cheese tasting for your NPR buddies. Turtle Island has built their career on the deconstruction and reinterpretation of unexpected musical styles. Song selection leans heavily on the Electric Ladyland album and following the format set by 2007's "A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane" they include several of their own compositions.

7) Malevolent Creation-Invidious Dominion
     Death metal veterans return with their 11th album to show the kids how it's done. Mainstay Phil Fasciana brings his current crew of revolving door musicians to demonstrate he's as brutal as ever.

8) Charlie Musselwhite-The Well
     Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite always has great guitar players in the band and "The Well" is no exception. Guitarist Dave Gonzales sticks with a clean jazzy tone throughout and his rhythm guitar is on the mark. Electric and upright bass is provided by the excellent John Bazz and Musselwhite himself plays guitar on a couple of songs as well.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Smithsonian Channel's Documentary-Electrified:The Guitar Revolution

Thank you to the Paul Reed Smith newsletter for the heads up on the Smithsonian Channels cool documentary about how the electric guitar came to be electric. Narrated by Henry Rollins,it features some cool hands on demonstrations from Paul Reed Smith. Also featured is guitarist G.E. Smith,who plays his way through guitar history,one guitar at a time! Check it out over at the PRS website:


Hot customer tip: Water buffalo horn bridge pins!

One of the great things about my job is getting to talk to a range of guitar players who have different playing styles and strengths that I do. I always keep my ear open to cool tips about guitar. I've long been an advocate of changing your bridge pins. From $99 specials to boutique pieces I've heard it with my own ears. In order of popularity,the most popular upgrades in my shop are Tusq (a man made ivory substitute from the folks at GraphTech),ebony,bone and for the folks with big wallets,woolly mammoth ivory.Recently a customer who had tried all of these in his beloved Martin HD-35 said he was surprised to find that his biggest improvement was with water buffalo horn! I have made a few guitar nuts with water buffalo horn and they were cool,but I must admit,as a bridge pin material,they were under my radar. Mainly I thought of it as an alternative for the "it's gotta be black" customer who wanted something more exotic than graphite. It could be it's lack of visual "hotrodding" that puts it at the bottom of the gotta try it list;water buffalo horn polishes so beautifully it ends up looking like black plastic! If you're not hip to improving the sound of your acoustic guitar by changing the material of your bridge pins,go to your local guitar shop and give it a try. Change one pin at a time and give it a listen.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This Washburn guitar: 80's relic or handmade masterpiece?

  Here's a Washburn guitar that gave me a chuckle...twice! As a former teenage metalhead it's usually with a fond remembrance that I see an eighties classic pass through the shop. What was this Washburn? I don't remember seeing this shred machine back in the day. Upon turning the guitar over I promptly saw the "Made in China" sticker on the neck. Whoops.
  The second thing to make me smile is the neck plate. It proclaims "Washburn Pro Handcrafted since 1876". Perhaps their legal department was on vacation that day or maybe they just couldn't fit "Washburn Pro,some models at least partially hand made,starting in,but not necessarily continuously,since 1876". Still,I have to give Washburn kudos for a cool metal guitar.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why you should buy the new Steve Miller Band Cd...and as a BONUS,why you shouldn't buy the new Steve Miller Band Cd

Steve Miller.Image via Wikipedia
This review will be divided into the music review portion and the music industry review portion. First up,the musicSteve Miller Band-Bingo!
Part one-Classic rock radio doesn't want you to know it but Steve Miller used to play guitar. Really good guitar. For his first album in 17 years,he hooks up with co-producer Andy Johns,a man with a bit of a resume himself (let's see,Jimi Hendrix,Led Zeppelin,The Rolling Stones,Van Halen...this guy knows guitar). It's great to hear Miller in this "back to my roots" context of blues covers. He sounds completely in his element and his chops,both vocal and guitar,are fully up to the task.This album also features longtime band member Norton Buffalo,who passed away in 2009. You should buy this Cd!

Part two- This album comes in two editions,the regular edition and the "Special Edition,with BONUS tracks". The regular edition,with it's $18.98 list price,clocks in at a whopping 32 minutes. Now, I do think the age of Cds,where a lot of albums over stay their welcome at 70-75 minutes is tiresome,but 32 minutes? Really? To add insult to injury,there is the "Special Edition" (with BONUS tracks!). Its list price is $21.98 and its BONUS tracks bring the time up to 44 minutes of music. Let's take a moment to examine the definition of BONUS. Dictionary.com offers several definitions,two of them are:
1) something given or paid over and above what is due
2) something extra or additional given freely:Every purchaser of  a pound of coffee received a box of cookies as a bonus.
Hey record industry,IF IT COSTS EXTRA,IT'S NOT A BONUS!! If I've been waiting seventeen years for a new Steve Miller album,maybe put it out in ONE edition,at a price that reflects the amount of music contained within,you GREEDY,SELFISH MORONS! Remember folks,you heard it here first,the record industry might just be about the money.You should NOT buy this Cd!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

How to install set screw guitar knobs

Guitar volume and tone knobs that are held in with set screws rather than pressed on are popular and can look great but can sometimes be a pain to install. Depending on the height of the shaft,they can come down too far and scratch the finish or want to tip sideways and look tilted. If the shaft of the potentiometer is a split shaft,you can bend one tine in on itself making it impossible to go on straight or even break the pot. This can make what seems like a simple task very frustrating. I like to use,size permitting,the little brass sleeves to go around split shafts. These brass sleeves are inexpensive and if your local guitar shop doesn't carry them they're available from Allparts. I cut up some cardboard into little squares and lay them around the pot shaft. This gives the knob something level to sit on while you tighten it and gives the right size gap between the knob and the top of the guitar. It's always good advice but it's extra important to use the right size screwdriver or allen wrench for the job here.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This weeks best guitar Cds-Week of 08/17/2010

Bassist Steve Harris of Iron Maiden is known f...Image via Wikipedia
1) Iron Maiden-The Final Frontier
      MAIDEN! On their fifteenth studio album,Maiden continues to prove that they are among the best metal bands around. I'm glad to see Adrian Smith contributing on several songs,as he gives a nice balance to Steve Harris' more classic Maiden style. Available in regular format,the "Mission Edition" with "exclusive bonus content in a special package" whatever that means and in picture disc vinyl (BOO! Real vinyl please.)

2) Brian Wilson-Reimagines Gershwin
     For a Beach Boys fanatic like me this is a must,but really there is something for every musician here. This is a veritable demonstration record on melody,composition,arranging and lyric writing. Brian "reimagines" twelve of George and Ira Gershwin's songs and with the Gershwin estates permission,finishes two previously unfinished George Gershwin songs. This is truly one American musical genius meets another.

3) John Mellencamp-No Better Than This
     Feel like today's music is over produced and Pro-Tooled to death? Apparently,so does John Mellencamp,because he's brought in producer T-Bone Burnett who had the band record live,in a room with a single microphone. What? Musicians,playing together? This is about nine levels to "real" for current rock radio and I'll bet Mellencamp doesn't care a bit.

4)John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers-So Many Roads
     This four disc set from British blues kingpin Mayall features highlights from all of the impressive list of pre-star musicians that have graced the Bluesbreakers: Steve Winwood,Mick Taylor,John McVie,Mick Fleetwood,Peter Green,Jack Bruce,Eric Clapton and more. The lavish packaging features a 40 page booklet with lots of rare photos.

5) Duke Robillard-Passport to the Blues
     This album of twelve Duke originals and one Tom Waits cover is a step back to an earlier,dirtier sound that many Robillard fans (myself included) have been hoping for. Gritty Gibson tones aplenty!

6) Various Artists-AfroBeat Airways
      Think your rhythm guitar is in the pocket? Take a listen to this,then reassess!

7) Bob Corritore-Harmonica Blues
    The newest from harmonica player/Rhythm Room owner/record producer/radio host/band leader Bob Corritore features a feast for the guitar fan. Guests include Little Milton,Robert Lockwood Jr.,Louisiana Red,Bob Margolin,Honeyboy Edwards,Eddy Brown,Kid Ramos and his "Lucky to be Alive" collaborator Dave Riley. I think there are some non-guitar players too.

8) Korsus-Disipline of Hate
     So,the only Brazilian thrash band you've heard of is Sepultura? Time to school yourself on Korsus and learn why this band,formed in 1983,is legendary in South America. This is masterful old school thrash,squarely in the Slayer/Exodus camp.

9) King of Asgard-Fi'Mbulvntr
    Viking folk/death metal from Sweden,produced by Andy La Rocque (King Diamond). What does the album title mean? Heck if I know;what I do know is these guys are on the heavier side of the folk metal scene.

10) Snehasish Mozumder and SOM-Free Jazz and North Indian Fusion
       What? Mixing classical Indian music and jazz fusion on a double neck mandolin? Top that,John McLaughlin and Shakti! Absolutely brilliant stuff.

11) John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman-In Concert
       This two Cd/one Dvd set pairs two acoustic guitar masters at the peak of their early 80's powers. In mostly duo format,they touch on blues,jazz,folk,classical,ragtime,boogie-woogie and Irish,Scottish and English melodies.It's not too often you can see one,much less two people able to tackle Charles Mingus and the Rev.Gary Davis with equal skill. The Cds and Dvd share some,but not all,songs and the Dvd was recorded a year prior to the Cds so it's interesting to compare the differences in approach.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Malfunctioning Micro-Tilt

This Peavey T-25 came into the shop with extremely high action. A peek at the neck heel showed that this guitar had a Micro-Tilt adjustment built in. You may have seen this on some Fenders,G&L's and Peaveys and wondered why there was a little hole in the neck plate. The Micro-Tilt controls a set screw that takes the place of a shim,allowing better control of the neck angle. A quick turn of my hex wrench told me this T-25's Micro-Tilt was fully engaged and should have been working fine. A look inside the neck pocket revealed that the little metal plate our set screw adjusts against was missing! As problems go,it doesn't get much easier to solve than this one. The missing metal plate is the same size as a penny. I was able to throw in this "custom" part at no additional charge! With a fully functioning Micro-Tilt,all this guitar needed was a setup and this underrated little pawnshop prize was ready to rock.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to save a graphite nut

Here we have an LTD EX-50,an affordable first guitar for the metal guitarist,in for a setup. This guitar has an additional problem. With ideal relief on the neck and ideal action at the bridge,we have buzzing on our open low E string. Because it's only on the open string,we know it's because our nut slot has worn too low. The "correct" solution is to replace the nut. The owner of this guitar is a teenager who can afford a setup,not a setup and a new nut. Our answer will have to be the "good enough" solution. We'll need some superglue,glue accelerator and some graphite powder. You can get the powder from the hardware store but I prefer to use stubby old leftover pencils (reduce,reuse,recycle!).  I fold up an old string package and break of a bit of pencil graphite. I use my fretting hammer to turn it into powder. A little drop of super glue accelerator,before the graphite,helps it dry from the bottom up,preventing spills. The fold in the string package works like a funnel to guide the powder into the nut slot. For accuracy,I use the plastic toothpicks from Stewart MacDonald to guide the super glue. From here,it's just a matter of filing the nut slot to the desired depth. Keep in mind this is a "just for now" kind of repair that was done as a stop gap measure until we can do it "right". I did this additional work for free,because I think it was more important to have a working guitar in the hands of a player. More guitar players = a better world!
Use a ruler to slide protective tape under the strings.
Bang bang.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The dilemma of the signed guitar.

Here,we have a guitar signed by Debbie Davies,Coco Montoya,Johnny Winter,Jonny Lang and Elvin Bishop. That's a pretty impressive list of guitar players. It is the most recent guitar to come through the shop with a common dilemma. Guitars are meant to be played. Signed guitars are meant to be hung on a wall and look cool. Which to choose?
  The usual train of thought seems be as follows: "Hey,I'm going to get a chance to meet Celebrity X on Saturday,I should have him/her/it sign a guitar for me! I'll just get this $89 special and he/she/it can sign that." So,now you've got a beginners guitar...with a professionals signature on it. Consider what you're going to do with the guitar when you're done.
   Covering the signatures with lacquer is a good way to preserve the finish but presents it's own issues. The solvents that make the finish flow can also dissolve the signatures! The silver marker popular for autographs seems pretty immune but other kinds of Magic Marker are hit or miss. If possible,always test on scrap wood. Additionally,many guitars are finished with some kind of Poly that must be scuffed for any new finish to stick. Using sandpaper to scuff the finish without marring the signature is tricky business. Consider how you're going to preserve the signature BEFORE you get it.
  You might consider,as an option,bringing in a pickguard to be signed. With Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul pickguards being both affordable and easy to find at your local guitar store, it's a viable option. That pickguard,with a picture of you and the star,in a frame on the wall makes for an easier to handle remembrance of your touch with greatness.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kerry King is Coming!! Meet and Greet/Mini Tour

Show do Slayer em BH / 2006. Foto por Suelen P...Image via Wikipedia
Heads up thrash metal fans, Kerry King has hooked up with Sam Ash Music to do a meet and greet before his "American Carnage" show in five cities! If you're lucky enough to live in or near New Jersey,Connecticut,Ohio or Arizona,stop by for an autograph before you see Slayer and Megadeth tear it up! Dates and locations are:

East 50 Route 4
Paramus,NJ 07652
(201) 843-0119

08/15-Cherry Hill
2100 Route 38
Cherry Hill,NJ 08002
(856) 667-6696

08/16-New Haven
95 Amity Road
New Haven,CT 06515
(203) 389-0500

5700 Mayfield Road
Lyndhurst,OH 44124
(440) 446-0850

4402 W Cactus Road
Glendale,AZ 85304
(602) 863-7746

Do you live in Arizona? I'll see you there! Expect some follow up photos to appear here as well.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This weeks best gutar Cds-week of 08/10/2010

1) Dan Berglund-Tonbruket
     If your definition of "jazz" is deep and wide,give this a listen. This album incorporates rock and electronic tones. Guitarist Johan Lindstrom has played with Elvis Costello and pianist Martin Hederos' psychedelic band "The Soundtrack of our Lives" has opened for The Rolling Stones,U2 and Robert Plant,so don't expect any cocktail jazz here.

2) Robin Trower-A Tale Untold: The Chrysalys Years(1973-1976)
     While it's street price of about $45 bucks might seem a little pricey at first glance,this set packs in five of Trowers out of print albums and a handful of rarities onto three discs. A similar set from Ten Years After also comes out this week.

3) Angelfire-Angelfire
     New Steve Morse! This is Steve's new project with vocalist Sarah Spencer. This is blatantly commercial and Spencer will undoubtedly draw comparisons with Sarah McLachlan,both visually and vocally but Steve's high level of guitar playing and production remain as wonderful as always. Inevitability some Morse fans will begrudge those vocals taking up valuable guitar solo space but in it's category,this is as good as it gets.

4) The Budos Band-The Budos Band III
     Greasy,funky,old school afro-soul played by nine white guys who look like they might work at the Gap. It doesn't come any hipper than this Daptone Records release in 2010.

5) Laurence Juber- LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2
      It's been ten years since volume one and Grammy winning Paul McCartney and Wings guitarist Juber is still the best man for the job on volume two.

6) The Nighthawks-Last Train To Bluesville
     Recorded live on the radio for BB Kings Sirius channel The Nighthawks stick with an acoustic tone. Upright bass and National steel guitar are upfront here.

7) Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli-With the Quintet of the Hot Club of France
     This new collection,from the groups late 1930's peak,is missing a few of the Django standards,most notably "Minor Swing","Djangology" and "Nuages" but is a good place to start if you're new to gypsy jazz.

8) John McLaughlin-My Goals Beyond (Reissue)
     It's easy to hear why this is still many McLaughlin fans favorite album. It set standards for acoustic guitar jazz that still stand up today and hinted at his future both with Shakti and his work with Al DiMeola and Paco DeLucia. Good to see it back in print!

9) Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli-Guitar Sonatas
     The previously ignored guitar sonatas of composer Ferdinand Rebay,famous for his vocal works,in solo and duo format.

10) The Who-Live at the Isle of Wight
       One of the best live performances from one of the best live rock bands in the world. The Who in all their 1970 glory tear through a big chunk of "Tommy" and end it with a four song run of "Substitute","My Generation","Naked Eye" and "Magic Bus". Glorious.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Super rare Schon guitar!

Here's an interesting guitar that came through the shop for a setup. Many people don't know that Journey guitarist Neal Schon had a "blink and you missed it" guitar company. The most famous model is a single cutaway that was seen in the later Journey and Bad English era. Those models were made by the Jackson guitar company in 1986 and it's estimated that about 200 were made. When disagreements between Schon and Jackson caused him to move on,Neal turned to Canadian guitar maker Larrivee. Few Americans realize that during the 80's Larrivee also made electric guitars. Larrivee made a version of the single cutaway model but also made reverse Stratocaster style guitars called the Reverse Standard and the Reverse Custom. The guitars owner felt this might be a prototype and there seems to be evidence to support that claim. All of the scant literature I've seen shows the Reverse models only with an ebony fingerboard,a black headstock and back routed with no pick guard. Regardless of it's history,there's allot to like here. The frets are .116 wide but only .032 tall. Scale length is 25 1/2". The reverse Strat body,meant as a tip of the hat to Schon hero Jimi Hendrix,does look cool. The covered pickups with the Schon script logo in the bottom right corner are sharp as well. And what's with the LED and switch were the second tone knob would usually be? That's for the built in NADY wireless system,shown in the back photo. All in all,the Schon guitars were very high quality and showed some thoughtful variations on classic designs. If you would like more information on Schon guitars,check out the excellent Neal Schon fansite http://www.nsblues.com/
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