Saturday, July 26, 2008

Toys in the Attic (er, basement)

We now have a museum of guitar equipment at our disposal. If you told me years ago that not only would we work in a big posh 48 track studio, but that we would also have a pile of vintage and reissued amps and guitars at our disposal, I'd think you a bigger dreamer than me. The reality that we actually own some of this stuff now is only starting to hit me, which is not something i ever thought i would have done.

Nat found a Mesa Mark IV for $1200 up in Hartford, and he's really liking it. It's been a pipe dream for him to own one since he tried one years ago, and since this is the album of pipe dreams becoming reality, why not go for it. When Greg first came over to consult with us after accepting this project, he took a listen to my Fender RocPro and was trying to say as nicely as possible "I don't really like your amp. It's very muddy, it won't track well. We should see if we can get our hands on a Vox AC30. If you're thinking of getting any new gear for the studio for this project (which I'd asked him about), that should be something you look into, it's versitile and the resell value is good." (Nat's hoping we can pay for half the record through gear speculation :)

The next morning I'd found some on Ebay, and was texting & emailing Greg "How's this one? Is this the AC30 you meant? (There are a few)." Before he even had a chance to get his messages, I'd gone over to Guitar Center, tried one, and did a "Buy It Now" on ebay for $900 including a roadcase, which is an ABSOLUTE STEAL. (Seller, I found out in my extended phone conversation with the guy, needed a new roof, and needed money fast, hence the price.) Anyway, Greg gets all these messages ending with "I bought one, will be here in a few days", and was happy that we were going to pay attention to his suggestions, and surprised that I turned around and spent that much money so fast and early on based on his suggestion. Gave him a good vibe for the project, he said.

He's done more than we have, so his experience is what we need, so I figured I couldn't really go wrong. Got me thinking that as we get away from our old sound, maybe it's time to rethink the tools. I've never thought i would spend more than a couple hundred on an amp. But, to get great results you need the right tools!

So we have those amps. We also borrowed a Marshall JCM 800 from Matt Wilson (Titles), a Tube Screamer (the proper one, not a crappy rebuild) pedal, and a Gibson Les Paul, the Custom Maynard Keenan one (which is way to heavy to hang around one's neck for too long). Add to that the Ampegs that Nat and I already had, the Fender (which we will use for something at some point) the numerous guitars and pedals we already own... We have now the exact setups for guys that we might to sound like, without planning on it that way. Nat wants a Slash-in-th-churchyard solo for Fine Man? Check. Kirk Hammet's sound? Check. Billy Corgan? Yup. Edge? Let's pull out my analog delay and the rest of his main pedals... Dropkick Murphys? Blink 182? The list just goes on. We're only missing a Rickenbacker, but we won't need it anyway.

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