Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Epiphone Les Paul Junior

   A few weeks ago we did a review on the Gibson Les Paul Junior. Today, lets take a look at Epiphone's low-budget take on it.

Features: This guitar has a single cutaway Les Paul style body, 21 frets, a wrap-around bridge, one open-coil humbucker in the bridge position, and one volume and one tone knob. The headstock is in the Standard Epiphone style and there is a black pickguard. Not many features, but just adjusting the tone knob can make the humbucker sound like it's in the neck postion and anywhere in the middle. // 8

Sound: This is great for almost all types of music. It gives you both warm and bright sounds, all you have to do is turn the tone knob. When you have the guitar on its brightest setting, there is a bit of noise when you're not playing. Because of the variations of the sound you can get out of this one pickup, you wont really feel the need to buy a guitar with a neck pickup. The only reason I would buy one with a neck pickup is to get the sound of both pickups together. The clean sound isn't that bad for a humbucker either. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Unfortunately, the factory set-up was terrible because the action was too low and there was a terrible amount of fret-buzz . You should raise the action just enough to stop it. But a high action is not very desired so a six will have to do here.  // 6

Reliability & Durability: The strap buttons are really solid. As most les pauls are, its a solid piece here. The finish is pretty good, but it will scratch off if you're not careful. // 8

Impression: The things I love about this guitar are the looks, the simplicity, the price and the general straight-on rock sound. The thing I don't like is the action, which you can't lower cos there will be too much fret buzz. When comparing this to Squier Telecasters, some other Epi LPs and a few low-end Ibanez's, choose this because its awesome and honestly, Ibanez sucks. // 9

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: ESP KH-2 Kirk Hammett Signature Series

Today's review is for Metallifags. Its a ESP KH-2 Kirk Hammett Signature Series Electric Guitar. Yes yes, I know, Metallica. Stop booing me, I just figured that since there was no proper review out there in the interwebs, I could jolly well do one!


Features: A Standard LTD body and reverse headstock with an extra thin neck, makes for very easy playing. Neck-through-body construction and 24 XJ frets makes it more confortable to play and shred in. Body wood is american alder and neck wood is solid maple, with a rosewood fingerboard. It has a distressed black finish with some stickers that Kirk put on the original one. The bridge is an original Floyd Rose, great for doing some of the sounds that Kirk makes on the albums. The pickups are active EMG 81 and 60, in the bridge and neck position. Also you get two volume pots for each pickup and a master tone pot. The nut is a Floyd Rose locking nut, then you have Standard Gotoh tuners. Black hardware everywhere. Comes with a hard-shell case. // 10

Sound: The sound of this guitar is out of this world. I usually play heavy stuff, but not necessarily metal. The sound of this guitar is virtually perfect to me and I don't process the tone much. Infact the only effects I ever use with this guitar are the WH-1, Deal, Reverb, Chorus and Wah. The rest of the processing is done my the amp (Laney TFX300) itself. The distortion on this guitar is to die for. It has a massive ammount of bite to it and it really lets you cut through the mix of sounds during live performances. The EMG '81s are usually labelled as very sterile and bright pickups. I usually fully agree with this however, with this guitar I found that the EMGs are actually full don't sound sterile at all. They also weren't as bright as I had expected.

The clean on this guitar isn't really anything too special. However, with the selector Switch in the middle position and after mixing (using the two volume knobs) both pickups together, you'll get an excellent clean sound. Unfortunately, I'll have to admit that you would be better off passive pickups if you plan on playing a song that requires a lot of clean sounds. However, if cleans are not that vital, this guitar should do the trick just the same. So as I rating I'll have to give it a 8 because of the lack of cleans. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The world flawless doesn't even get close to describing how this guitar came out of the factory. The guitar came perfectly set-up from the factory and it was even in tune. As expected with guitars coming out of the ESP Custom Shop, everything on this guitar was perfect. The skull and crossbone inlays were perfectly fit and defined (even the two tiny inlays at the 24th fret are as well defined as the rest). The frets were beautifully filesd and crowned, the nut is perfectly aligned, the bridge sits perfectly flush with the body, the bridge route is perfect, the wiring is pretty neat and very well sheilded. The tuning heads are solid, even though they are pretty useless on a guitar with a locking nut. The action on this guitar is also perfect. The string height along the neck barely varies (this is due to the Original Floyd Rose). The guitar feels like your favourite pair of jeans. Unlike most guitars that tend to need some time to "loosen up" this guitar was already loosened up. However, bending on this guitar is a bit tough on the higher frets since the Floyd Rose springs are still pretty tight and hard. Well, if I had to really think of a flaw or two, I'd have to say that the only flaws I found were these: a screw on the selector Switch was loose and the selector Switch is a bit hard to move, but that's all. // 10

Impression: The highlight feature has to be the skull and bones inlays plus the Kirk Hammett signature on the headstock. This is a guitar made for a die hard Metallica fan, who I can surely say, wouldn't be disappointed. // 10

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: Gibson SG 61' reissue

Okay, okay. Wipe off the drool everyone. It isn't polite to stare at a lady, especially one as beautiful as this. That's right, this wonderful specimen here is the Gibson SG 61' reissue. 

Lovely isn't she?

Well, quit staring!, we've got some reviewing to do!

Features:  It has a slim 60s neck, 57 classic pickups, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fret board, chery paint and nitro finish. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge, 2 volume and 2 tone knobs with a 3 way selector. It came with the case and owners manual. // 8

Sound: Like all SG's, its highly versatile. It excels in hard rock and metal, but if you want a clean tone as well, this baby will pull it off for you. The SG achieves this versatility by having a mahogany body like the Les Paul which gives it that dark tone. However, unlike the Les Paul, the SG is thinner like the fender, thus producing a lighter sound than the Les Paul. I absolutely love the 57 classic pickups, the tone is amazing with every amp I have used it with. The bridge tone is quite bright with plenty of bite, the neck tone is muddier but still has lots of definition and power. My favourite tone comes from the neck rolled right back and both pickups selected. // 9.5

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar is built to last, the knobs feel very sturdy and precise, the binding and inlays are spot on. It has a wonderful one piece mahogany body, larger '60s style headstock and small type pick guard. The figuring on the one piece body is to die for. I couldn't fault it in the looks department. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is a very dependable guitar. The strap buttons were extremely secure. I am very heavy handed and this guitar looks very elegant and delicate but it can withstand a good bashing by my shovel hands. Some people have said the shallow neck joint is a problem but I have found it to be solid, it also gives you excellent access to the lower frets. A word of caution however, its very neck heavy so you need to watch out that it doesn't come swinging down to the floor when you let go of the neck. // 9

Impression: With the right amp this guitar can cope with anything. This is a very light instrument, and is very easy on the shoulders. All in all, this one is to die for. // 9

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ways To Improve Your String Bending Technique

Well, instead of a review today, here is a very good article from  Dan Acheron  on ways to improve your string bending technique.Hope you guys find it beneficial!

Well hopefully with enough practice you'll end up bending your notes like this guy!

Bending notes can be a very powerful technique on guitar. It is important to learn to correctly use this technique in order for it to sound good. Many guitarists in the beginning stages of learning string bending do not do it properly. Either they do not know what a correctly bent note sounds like or their ear is not developed. When done wrongly, it often sounds bad and sloppy. This article will show you a few ways to start improving your string bending technique today.

When bending notes, you need to know what note you are trying to bend to. If you do not know what note you are bending to, there is a good chance the bend will be out of tune. The most common bend is a whole step bend, which is two frets, but there are other bends as well. The key to getting good at bending notes is consistently being able to bend to the desired note.

1. Use a tuner

A tuner is a great tool to help you improve your string bending technique. It will tell you if you are correctly bending to the desired pitch and if you are in tune. If you have a difficult time telling if you are bending to the right note, use this technique. Have your guitar connected to a tuner, play a note, and bend that note up to your desired note. Watch the tuner and see when you correctly bend to the desired note and when it is in tune. Observe what it sounds like and your fretting hand position. Repeat this a few times to get used to correctly bending to the right pitch.

Bending notes is a lot about having a good ear. You do not want to rely too much on this technique with a tuner. If you rely too much on the tuner, you may not develop your ear and the tuner will become a crutch. Use this technique if you are having a difficult time with string bends but work on using the following technique to really help develop your string bending.

2. Listen to the desired pitch before performing bend

Listening to the pitch before performing the bend is a great way to develop your ear. You will have to rely on your ear to bend to the correct pitch and it will significantly help develop your string bending. This technique is simple. Play the note you are planning to bend up to and get that pitch in your head. Then bend the note up to that pitch. Once you bend up to the pitch, play the fret you wanted to bend to and see if the pitches match. If the pitches match, you are doing it correctly but keep working on being able to do it consistently.

Here is an example of using this technique. Lets say you want to bend an A to a B. First, you would play the B to get the note in your head. Once the sound of the B note is in your head then you bend the A to the B. You can see if you did it right by picking the bent string and then picking the B note and seeing if they match.

If you are having a difficult time hearing whether you are correctly bending then I recommend combining techniques one and two. You are going to follow the steps for technique 2. Get the desired pitch in your head and bend the note up to the desired pitch. Once the note is bent to what you think is correct, check it with the tuner. See if you are bending the pitch too much or too little. Always check the tuner after you think you are at the desired pitch. This will help develop your ear and help you be able to distinguish when your bends are flat or sharp.

3. Learn to bend with all your fingers

Learning to bend with all your fingers will help you in your playing. Most players prefer to bend with their ring finger. While the ring finger is the easiest to bend with, you do not want to rely only on this finger to perform string bends. Sometimes in your playing, you may run into licks where it is difficult to use your ring finger for a bend or you would have to shift your hand for just one bend. Being able to bend with all your fingers will limit this problem and make you an overall better player.

To improve bending with all your fingers you need to spend time practicing bends with each finger. You should use the previous techniques when practicing with each finger. You may find it difficult to bend with certain fingers but keep working on these fingers. For me, I found it difficult to bend with my pinky but after working on it, it has become a lot easier. Now when I come to playing situations where I have to bend with a finger other than my ring finger, it is no problem. Spend time improving your bending technique with all your fingers. It will help your playing and you will not have to worry about being limited to bending with certain fingers.

String bending can be a difficult technique to learn because it requires a developed ear to consistently do it right. It is easy for your bends to be a little flat or sharp. That is why it is important to use these techniques to improve your ear and your bending technique. Make string bending part of your practice sessions and your string bending will greatly improve and make your playing sound a lot better!

About the Author

Dan Acheron is a hard rock guitarist, songwriter and instructor in St. Louis, MO. He is the author of the ebook: Become a Better Guitarist Today. You can sign up and receive a free copy of the ebook today.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Jackson PS2

    Todays review is a Jackson. Jacksons are famous for being metal guitars and this is exactly what one should expect from a Jackson.

The Jackson PS2 is a pretty good guitar. It could use a better route for superior pickup replacement capabilities. The H-S-S pickup routes are new to me, I'm use to H-H. The Floyd is alos new to me, having a locking system is cool and all, but mine came all worn out so it don't stay in tune real well. With a better trem it would be a much better guitar. The neck is so comfortable, it feels like its made for your hands.  The overall shape is pretty damn good too, just some parts. But not as bad as today's mid range guitar (the ps2 use to sell for like 350 brand new).

The electronics were real decent, besides the pickups. I have replaced 2 and hucked the middle pickup. I'll get more into that later. But the pots were both A500K's and the wiring was really clean. Korean made with Korean made tuners which kind of suck, they could use a swappin out with grovers, they'll go in with out modification. I believe the body is made from Alder, it's got some weight that's for sure. // 6

Sound: Sounds great! It doesn't sound and dark and heavy as the less paul but it sounds great with distortion. It plays all sorts of metal.Like most Jackson guitars, it doesn't sound that well on clean but it has a pretty average sustain. Metal is what it play. This guitar my metal machine. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The setup was fine for an cheap guitar. It seems to be built pretty solidly and would withstand live playing. The wiring, as i said was pretty well done and should not give you any problems. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I wouldn't chuck it around no, but if taken care of it'll be fine. The paint will probably last me forever really, the neck is very secure and the frets could use a little bit of work. I would never gig without a backup. This thing's got a floyd so if one string breaks, you're out. // 7

Impression: The only things I can complain about is the floyd (which is pretty important and it does need to be replaced). But that'll be worked on when I have some more denaro to spear. With the pickups upgraded and the floyd blocked, it shold be a pretty badass guitar. // 8

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Gretsch Electromatic Hollowbody 5120

Today's post was brought to you thanks to my copypasting abilities! Haha. But seriously, this review was so good I decided that I might as well just copy the whole thing and do some light editing. Well, hope you like it!

Features: This guitar has the Gretsch Dual-Coil humbucking pickups, an adjustable bridge, chrome-plated die-cast tuners, and a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. These Gretsch’s are manufactured in Korea
Detailed features are as follows:

It is crafted with a laminated maple body
24-3/4" rosewood fretboard on maple neck
Bigsby® B60 vibrato tailpiece
16" x 2.75" laminated maple hollowbody
Laminated maple neck (24.6" scale)
Rosewood fingerboard
21 medium jumbo frets
1-11/16" nut width
Vintage style machine heads
2 Gretsch chrome covered Dual-Coil pickups
Master tone, master volume, neck pickup volume, bridge pickup volume
3-position pickup toggle
G-Arrow Knobs
Adjusto-Matic bridge on rosewood base
Chrome-plated hardware
Gloss urethane finish // 9

While playing the Gretsch I was instantly able to hear the breathability of this guitar. It had a very warm tone. To me I instantly felt like I could be playing in any R&B band (sound wise not ability) from the 50’s and 60’s. The air passing through the body gives it a very warm yet clear sound. Sharp but not punchy, clear but not too crisp. It has a soft side to it, an old rustic blues side. Reason being is this body type speaks very well to Jazz.
Although this guitar has humbuckers these are extremely low-output in comparison to most Standard humbuckers. I believe these are ever slightly hotter than P-90’s. I must say Gretsch did a fantastic job with keeping this guitar affordable and providing a quality sound. I think you get a little more than what you pay for on this guitar. For $699 as listed on most websites I think this guitar is about $50 overpriced, just to be nit-picky. Furthermore, in terms of sounds this guitar is not that versatile. It does not have the range that the Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro or Gibson 61’ SG have.

If you like to play hard rock or rock n’ roll BUY SOMETHING ELSE unless you love getting enormous uncontrollable feedback. Being a hollowbody this guitar has an inherent desire to squeal. Keep in mind it is your own fault if it does squeal because you probably shouldn’t be facing the amp directly or be that loud or have that much overdrive/distortion going on. If you do decide to go against your better judgment get ready to get booed on stage! This guitar is meant to play much softer blues, jazz, and very light rock, a la Buddy Holly. For what it sets out to achieve, it does it incredibly well. Good job Gretsch. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The Orange finish on this guitar because to me it really stood out. I was just drawn to it. I have the same feeling with a Gibson SG cherry red. Something about that just ‘pops.’ The set up is very good and seems to be solid. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I am happy to say that I believe the hardware pieces will have a very long lifespan.
A rather common issue involves the input jack. While playing it would get extremely scratchy and cut out for a very short time. This is probably due to corrosion. // 7

Impression: My overall impression is very good. I really believe that this is the best hollowbody money can buy for under $600. At least I have not played anything else to date that I believe comes close to the quality of craftsmanship, sound, and playability of the Gretsch Electromatic Hollowbody 5120. Although being a large guitar it is easy to play as it is incredibly light.  // 8

Friday, March 16, 2012

A break from reviews. Check out my favourite blogs!

Here's the thing, a review every single day is kinda boring. Don't get me wrong, we all love guitars, its just that it can be pretty monotonous. Well, for today's post, I'll post some of my favourite blogs that I often look forward to visiting everyday!

Also, I'ts caturday!

  Ok, the first one up is called It's Rhyme Time by Pat Hatt. This is by far one of the most entertaining blogs I have seen. This guy/cat pretty much rhymes shit together. And his rhyming has been proved to be infectious too! Almost everyone seems to be trying their best to rhyme as well as him in the comment section. But heck, he's so good he could probably rhyme out of his ass!

   The next one is  Daily Freebies  by Heaven, because lets face it, who doesn't like free shit? If its free and they're giving it away, Heaven knows about it. But seriously, sometimes, she posts really awesome stuff. Too bad that some offers are so good they leave me crying as they're US-only offers.

  Now how do I describe the next blog? Hmmm. We'll put it this way,  Anne's Attic  is probably the only blog  with a higher alcohol content than a shot of vodka. Most of the time she posts about her daily (mis)adventures, served with a dash of humour of course, which can prove to be pretty amusing. Also to be noted is that Anne own's her very own imaginary airline company, O'Leary Air.

   For the next one, I would have to warn you. This blogger takes his television seriously. If he's not satisfied with the content on his screen, He'll get started on a long rant that in most cases, turn out to be more entertaining than the original show! Yes, thats right, I'm talking about Besercules and his blog, The Berserk Herc. I could spend hours watching his reviews! they are hilarious!

  Well, I'm gonna save the rest for another post soon. If your blog hasn't appeared here, then it will appear on the next time I post about my favourite blogs! So don't feel bad guys, I haven't forgotten about you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Tokai FB45

Here is a brand that I've grown to like. While scouring the web searching for info to do these reviews, Tokai has popped up numerous times and people just seem to sing praises of them. They seem to make good quality for money guitars and that is exactly what beginners are looking for. Anyways, today's review is of a Tokai FB45, a Gibson Firebird copy.

Features: 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard and a 24 3/4" scale. The body is made of alder, and the neck is made from maple, so it's a wee bit brighter than your average Firebird, which is made from mahogany and walnut. A set neck, which is different than your neck through that you get on a Firebird as well. It's finished in a gloss gold which was only made in 2004 I believe, so I suppose it adds to the rarity. Tune-o-matic bridge, and your normal 4 controls (2 volume 2 tone) and the one selector Switch for the two mini humbuckers. Standard Kluson-style tulip tuners, which is different than the banjo tuners on the Gibsons as well. // 8

Sound:  The mini humbuckers are brighter than regular humbuckers but darker than single coils. The neck pickup was extremely bassy, and I wasn't really satisfied with that tone, since it sounded like the tone control had been turned down even when it was on full. The bridge pickup was also a lot lower in volume than the neck pickup as well, but after a few tweaks it sounded great. I suppose it isn't the most versatile guitar in the world, and it doesn't do heavier styles very well. The clean tones are better than what I've heard in other guitars. I suppose the best thing about this guitar is the amazing tone I can get, it's just one of the tones I've been looking for for a long while. The sustain is amazing. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up alright from the factory. Not great, but not bad either. The pickups were set quite badly however: the neck pickup was set so that it sounded as if the tone control had been turned down, and the bridge pickup didn't even have half the output of the neck pickup I'm not sure if that was the factory or just by the way the shop set it up though. The action was good, there was no fret buzz and it's still quite low. Other than that, everything was alright, and only required minor adjustments. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would withstand live playing quite well I think. It's a sturdy thing, and it does take a lot of bumps without denting. The strap buttons are solid, and the controls and Switch are high quality, and they look as if they aren't going to break soon. The only gripe I have, and this is a big gripe: the tuners. They are horrible. They fall out of tune quite easily, and it's really annoying. They look a lot cheaper compared to the rest of the guitar and I feel as if it's just something on a guitar that really shouldn't be forgotten about. It does stay in tune however after a bit of fighting, but it isn't really good enough. I think if you're going to get this guitar, you might have to change the tuners. // 6

Impression: This is a good-for-money guitar. It plays great and isn't expensive. If you are looking for a lighter kind of sound, this might very well be your guitar. // 7

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: Les Paul Junior 1958 Reissue

Well this time its a Gibson. But heck, Its a cheaper Gibson. Also, I would like to remind you that I in no ways own these guitars. This reviews are made by researching online and gathering info so you guys wouldn't have to. I usually copy a few of  these reviews and edit/ put them together to fit the info that I have collected after searching online. Well, enjoy!

Features: - Made in U.S.A.
- Frets: 22, Dot Inlays, 628mm scale, 43mm nut width
- Wood: mahogany body, set mahogany neck,
- Finish: Satin Cherry
- Body Style: Les Paul Junior
- Bridge: Wrap-around bridge
- Electronics: Passive
- Pickup: Gibson P-90, With Dogear
- Tuners: Non-locking, Gibson Deluxe
- Accessories included: Gigbag. // 9

Sound: This Guitar is perfect for any rock style, from heavy overdrive to a clean ballad.I just love the sound. The biggest drawback with the sound should be that it's very noisy, due to the P-90 pickup that picks up more noise than a singlecoil or humbucker. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The only thing that I think is worth mentioning here is that the paint is that kind that easily fall of, and makes the guitar look "used" and old, but personally, I find that nice on guitars, though I've had this guitar for 6 months and no paint has been falling of jet. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would highly recommend to use this guitar live, but remember to buy straplocks becouse the strap in the upper end is easy to fall of. I would therefore used this guitar without a backup, I find it very reliabel, and even the volumecontrol is able to stop the signal completly. That's the quality of Gibson! // 9

Impression: Since this is the best guitar I've ever tried, whith that I mean it fits perfectlly for rock/alternative/punk/hard rock. This one of the cheapest Gibsons you can find but they are in no means cheap. But for its price, it really delivers. // 10

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Vintage Modified Telecaster Thinline

  Here's a really sexy guitar. The Vintage Modified Telecaster Thinline. Check it out!

Features: Here's the basics:
- 2011 model made in China.
- 22 medium jumbo fret maple C shape neck with rosewood fretboard (24.75” radius)
- Semi acoustic alder body with 'F' hole
- Sexy Shoreline Gold polyurethane finish
- Thinline Telecaster body (obviously)
- Telecaster "ashtray" bridge with body through stringing
- Passive Duncan designed singlecoil pickups TE-101N (Neck), TE-101B (Bridge) with 3 way blade switch, master volume & master tone knobs
- Generic die-cast non locking tuners  // 8

Sound: It sounds like... A Telecaster, bridge is a little weak and brittle but it still has the distinct Tele twang, turning the tone knob down rounds it off a fair bit and reduces the brightness well. Neck is fairly standard, bit dull and muddy but does the job. The pickups are a down side to this guitar but I had this in mind when I bought it, they'll be replaced with some real Seymour Duncans in time.

As for tones, it'll handle most stuff from country to blues to rock, bit of shoegaze/indie stuff, even metal with the right amp settings, although don't expect brutal riffage... It's a Tele with single coils after all. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The fit & finish is what let this guitar down, originally it was set up with the action FAR too low and extremely buzzy & the intonation was out.
problem number two:

The bridge saddle hex nuts are loose as hell and vibrate unless you set each saddle at an odd angle, while it's not the end of the world it's a pain to find an allen key to adjust them when they start buzzing again.
And problem number 3:

The neck pickup's lower fixing screw had no thread on it, so when I went to adjust the height the pickup slipped down into the cavity below which was a mission and 3/4 to get back (My guess is they fix the pickguard onto the body before the neck in the factory as it's impossible to slide the pickguard into place with a pickup loaded at the neck).

Other than these things the finish was pretty good, paint job is excellent (mmm Shoreline Gold!... Sexy!)the neck is extremely playable with no jagged frets and the electronics are noise free. For the price I'm not too fussed about these minor easily fixable things. // 6

Reliability & Durability: It'll probably stand up to live playing but I'd never go on stage without a backup, Hardware probably won't last.

The finish should last but being poly it'll chip if it gets dinged, but then again that's what adds character to a guitar, right?. // 9

Impression:  I LOVE the colour, Shoreline Gold is so sexy! Pictures online don't do it justice! (Go check it out in the flesh) What I rally hate though, is just that buzzing, but eventually it'll be tamed.

For the price I didn't expect more, but eventually I'll swap out the pickups, electronics, tuners and bridge for better replacements, I viewed it as £282 for a sexy body and decent neck.
 I think it would suit a beginner nicely as is (With a good setup first) and anyone else if they're willing to put some effort into upgrades. // 8

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Epiphone Demon

Here's a pretty rare Epiphone that I kinda fancy. Well, hope you guys like it!

Features: The Epiphone Demon was produced only one year, 2001, in Korea. 22 frets, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. I have the light metallic blue model. 2 covered chrome humbuckers, a three way selector, volume and single tone knob. The headstock is angled, allowing better sustain. That's a feature you don't typically see on a guitar in this price range. // 7

Sound: The Demon has a mediocre clean sound so I mostly stick with a Strat when playing the latter. The bridge pickup has a really awesome growl on the low end, though it seems to break apart a bit if taken down to drop C. The mids and highs sound great. As it is stock, it's really a guitar meant to be played with high gain.  // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The intonation seemed fine, but the action was a little high. The only flaws I see are a weak output jack and a loose pickup selector. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar if pretty hardy and despite it having its guaranteed share of  bumps (it is almost 4 feet long), it should hold up great. The paint job is surprisingly durable. Strap buttons are solid. // 9

 For around $200 this is a fantastic guitar for it's purpose, I haven't seen many others in the price range that I'm interested in.Light metallic blue is also a great color, it's exactly what I would have picked if I could pick any color. It just looks fantastic. I wish it had a better clean output, though that's something I'll probably fix with a new neck pickup.You can't play this guitar sitting down too comfortably, unless perched on a high stool. I don't take off any points for that because the only reason to pick a Flying V over a more traditional shape is of course, for fashion. And it does look great. // 8

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Review: Squier Bullet

 Well, figuring that most of my traffic sources are those who are looking for cheap beginner guitars, here's another for you people out there to consider; the Squier Bullet. This is a short review because honestly, there isn't much to say about this guitar. 

Features:  21 frets. 5 way selector, two tone, and one volume. 3 singles pickup configuration. Definately Strat body style. Most squiers are made in Indonesia so you can pretty much sum up the quality. // 6

Sound: The sound isn't bad, you need some nice lovely distortion to give it that 'punch', but what guitar wouldnt need that? It's noisy on the centre and bridge pickup sets though, so that's something to note down. Overall, for a guitar this cheap, I'd say its not bad sound. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was a little too crappy so I suggest lowering it but then again it comes down to personal preferences. The pickups were adjusted like perfect. A noisy pickup selector is a bad problem on this. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Will this guitar withstand live playing? Probably not, do not use it for that. Does the hardware seem like it will last? Probably. Is the finish good enough to last, or does it seem thin and easy to wear off with lots of playing? It'll wear off with lots of playing. Are the strap buttons solid? No. Can you depend on it? Would you use it on a gig without a backup? No, I wouldn't ever use it at a live show, all I use it for is band practice and its broke on me there like so many times it sucks. This is a cheap guitar and its built like a cheap guitar. Don't be over-ambitious here. // 3

Impression: I hate how you get so much noise out of the pickup selector. Squiers are strictly beginner tier and usually aren't built to last. If you're looking for a cheap guitar you can bang around while still learning to play, this is it. If not, you'll be sorely disappointed. // 4

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: Stagg S300

   Today we'll be doing Stagg, a company that makes decent basses. However, they also make not so decent, albeit cheap, guitars. Well, on to the review I say!

Features: I'm reviewing the NS version of the S300 with 21 frets. The body itself is made of solid Alder wood with an intreging walnut printed scratch plate. The wood is semi glossed and looks like a basic Stratocaster copy. The neck is made from Maple with a Rosewood fret board. This guitar is passive featuring three single coil pickups with a five-way selector, two tone dials and one volume dial. It comes with all the allen keys needed for tweeking and a whammy bar as standard. // 8

Sound: This guitar cannot match (in sound quality) high-end guitars but for the price payed it can produce a rich full tone that's very satisfying on the top pickup. However the other pickups can produce abit of white noise also they arn't very good at holding harmonics. With the overdrive setting on it feels flat, heartless and empty, I don't recomend them for metal players but on clean its not too shabby. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory settings were 'ok'. I needed to readjust the teeth as some of the screws wern't all the same. The pickups were at the correct distance as so they didn't obstruct the strings. The bridge is made of plastic and shouldn't break too easily but I would replace this for peace of mind. The build of the guitar itself is as expected of a beginners guitar, a nice wide fret board with responsive string bending capability, very easy to get used to. However the string tightening ratio is quite high as any small ajustment using the pegs will have a dramatic change in tone on the string so its best to be careful when setting the guitar down. Also the aesthetics such as the tone and volume dials are abit basic but the can be easily pulled off should anyone want to replace them. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I can't judge if this would withstand live playing but the wood quality and tuning pegs are solid. However using the whammy bar will put the strings out of tune but one good feature is that it is a screw-in so it wont 'ping' out in a solo. The lead socket on mine was securly screwed in but it is worth keeping an eye on it as they do have a tendency to come loose. The finish is chunky so I can't imagine it wearing off any time soon but like all things they will wear out eventually. It is a good solid peace of work and should last a long time. // 6

Impression: If you want a cheap guitar, this is one. This is a basic begginer guitar that I would recomend for those who like a rich clean sound however this guitar is cheap so don't exspect the world from it or good overdrive sound. The features I dislike is the slight white noise when left on standby but the pickups need replacing anyway. I also dislike the dials but I also intended to replace these. The aspects I most prefer with this guitar is the sound the top pickup produces and its appearance.

What must be bared in mind is that this is a cheap beginners guitar and it fits that criteria. I am comparing this to other beginners guitars in the £80-£140 price range and I feel it deservers a good 7 as the only serious down side is the sound quality but like I keep repeating it is a cheap guitar. // 7