It’s Home

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See that black thing with the word, “Fender” on it?

Know what that is?

That’s my favorite amplifier. That’s my Fender ‘65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue. It’s been at Mike’s house since late January 2020 and it’s finally back home where it belongs.

Kevin, Mike, and I were pretty terrible tonight but not nearly as terrible as I expected. We took turns throwing out song titles and then hoping muscle memory would kick in so we would remember how to play them. For the most part we did.

For most of the night my signal chain was 100% things that had never been to a Lizardfish practice before. My new Les Paul into the Ryra The Klone into the Malaise Forever Black Lives Matter into the Vox AC15. I sounded okay. A little too toppy but okay. I mostly did the Clapton Les Paul thing (not “Woman Tone”, the other thing) where you run both pick ups but lower the volume on the neck a little. It sounded pretty good.

I was pleased with the AC15. I had been a little concerned that the little 15 watt guy would struggle to keep up with the bass and drums. I need not have worried. It cooked right along with lots of headroom to spare.

As well as the Vox preformed tonight, the biggest take away is still the Deluxe Reverb coming home. At last.

Straight In

I played a little today. Nothing serious. I just plugged straight into an amp and noodled. I did do a small experiment. I am thinking of taking my Vox AC15 to the next Lizardfish practice (whenever that might be) but I have never really pushed the volume. Is it loud enough to compete with the rest of the band? More importantly, if I get it up to band practice volume, is the tone still clean?

I dimed the master volume and then brought the channel volume up a little at a time. I got up to 92 decibels (according to my AppleWatch) and it was still clean as a bell. The band does get louder than that, but my channel volume (I was using the amp’s Normal channel, not the Top Boost) was only on about four, so there is still some room available. I don’t know when that channel starts breaking up, but I wasn’t even close. I think my band practice plans are good to go.

The question then is, do I use the Normal channel or the Top Boost channel? That’s still undecided.

Heat

We are up and about today. Nothing on the agenda other than staying hydrated. I’m struggling a little this morning, but I’m slowly but surely getting on top of it.

Protein shakes followed by chicken broth followed by some sugar free Gatorade. That’s been getting me where I need to be so far. May it continue today.

It’s a bit chilly in the cellar today so…

My mind is a-wanderin’ today, and it’s wanderin’ to guitar things. Someday the band is going to play together again. I’m thinking of a new pedal board setup combined with a Vox AC15 amp. I’m watching the YouTube’s looking for tips for AC15 use.

Someday.

Attenuating

I think it was yesterday that I posted something about messing with the attenuator settings on my Vox MV50 Clean, the amp I’m using for this month’s demos.

It has three settings; 50 watts, 5 watts, and 0.5 watts. I usually use 0.5 but today I turned the volume knob way down and tried five watts.

I want to say it sounded better, but I only played for a short time and I kept things mostly clean and quiet.

I’ll try it again with some dirt and some serious signal boost into the front of the amp and see how the little Nutube (which totally is not a gimmick) responds.

I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Guitar Therapy

I just recorded some guitar parts. I used the new Les Paul, as usual… I don’t think I’ve played any other guitars since May, and recorded some leads for a re-recording song using the Fender Bassbreaker 15 amp, and some more leads for a record every month song using the Vox MV50 Clean.

What does the Vox sound like to me? Well, with a very limited amount of experience with Vox style amplifiers, the MV50 sounds like it really wants to sound like my AC15 but only sort of comes close (the AC15 in turn probably sounds like it’s trying to sound like a Vox AC30, so maybe it’s more correct to say the MV50 is trying to sound like the AC30). It’s got that sparkly thing in the high end that Vox amps are known to have. It sounds good, but not quite great. I tried slamming the cute little nutube in the pre-amp stage with an avalanche of signal from the Ryra Klon Klone and it collapsed into a squashed out over compressed lump of mess. When I do the same thing to an actual tube amp it sounds more like… bliss. Yeah, that’s a good adjective… bliss. Is bliss actually an adjective or is it a noun that I am using as an adjective. It’s been so long since I’ve thought about grammar, you know?

Fun With Amplifiers

I am all setup in my bedroom music nook for some November Musical fun. I brought the Vox MV50 Clean amp and the speaker cab I bought to match with it out of the living room and into the bedroom. They will go back when the kids come home for Christmas break because I usually keep that amp plugged into the piano so they can use it.

I still have the Fender Bassbreaker 15 here for use with the re-recording music. The cab is a Bassbreaker cabinet too and it looks almost identical to the Bassbreaker 15 itself so it almost looks like I have a Bassbreaker stack going. I don’t though. I have not brought out the A/B/Y switch to let me run the two amps together. Maybe at some point I will, but for now I just have one amp each for two separate projects.

The tentative title for the November album is something like Not a Gimmick, or Not a Gimmick at All, or something like that. Because of this:

Nutube… not a gimmick at all.

Fun with Flags

So I’ve kept a little Union Jack on top of my guitar amplifier at home for years and years. The reason is, I hoped that magically it would help me sound like The Who. Strangely it never worked.

Now it could have a new meaning, but only under one certain condition. I could sit it on top of my new Vox amp because Vox is a British company…. well, they are Japanese now, I think, but Vox amps, along with Marshall amps, are often referred to as British Sounding amps… because they were designed and (used to be) made in the UK.

Conversely, Fender amps are often referred to as American sounding amps because Fender is based in the US. They are also based in Mexico and Japan, and I believe the Bassbreaker series is actually made in Mexico.

Whatever, Vox is UK, Fender is US. If only I had a little American flag, I could put the proper flag on each amp.

Oh wait!

It’s All Here and it Works

304/365

Lunch time came and I finally couldn’t stand it anymore. I pulled a power cable off of another amplifier and took the new (used) Vox AC15 for a spin. Much to my surprise it actually works. Jen was still working so I didn’t test the volume, but I did play it clean with the master volume and the channel volume low, and I played it dirty with the master volume WAY down and the channel volume cranked. I can still smell the tubes cooking. Nice.

Fortunately, while I was noodling UPS came with the missing power cable. The amp was eight days late. The cable was nine. It’s here though. My ES-335 is feeling like it might need some new strings. Other than that I think I’m ready to record some guitar tonight.

I should note that I still haven’t actually plugged in the new power cable yet. Am I counting my chickens before they hatch? Probably. Oh well. I’m sick of this shit. It’s over. Let’s boogie.

Home Recording Rig Changes

I spent my lunch break moving stuff around. The Fender Bassbreaker 18/30 is way too loud to play at home with other people in the house. At the last gig, back on Feb 1st, it was EPIC. At home it’s just too much. For the last 2 months it’s been used as a table to hold my Bassbreaker 15 which has been the only amp I’ve used since RPM ended on Feb 29.

I brought the 18/30 down cellar and stored it off the floor as we’ve had some moisture issues. It should be safe. At the moment, the 15 is sitting alone in my music nook in my bedroom.

296/365

However, changes will continue. The Vox AC15 is on a UPS Brownie and it is scheduled to be delivered by 9:00PM.

I don’t want to wait until 9:00. I want it now. NOW!

I WANT MY NEW QUARANTINE TOY NOW!

Ugh… patience, Robert. Patience.

Screw that, I WANT IT NOW!