RECENT NEWS - a time of meddling...

The story so far... Meddling about

This is a flashback to the most recent years where I have moved my road stuff into the house and I am meddling in my studio. I was operated on my left hand which took time to heal so I had a unwanted break from playing. I have not played live since Purple Smoke so this was obviously not an entertaining time... Still you have the ramblings here...

Dec 28 2017

I have a replacement Piezo pickup for my Aria acoustic guitar to stop the hum. A new volume pot for my ESP Sculls guitar and the frame for my insulation box is finished. The inner walls are due in the next day or two. I am wondering what to do with Tweety and my Fender Strat as they are both in dire need of repair. I have a big piece of heavy wood (Maple/Ash/Mahogahny?) to make a new body so do I replace the body on Tweety or make a new Satch guitar? The jobs are stacking up...

Dec 10 2017

Holiday until 2018. I have nearly finished the new web site and this evening I even bought wood for the isolation box. Also I have a Celestion V30 speaker. I swapped with one of my 75w speakers in my 4 x 12 (see pic below). I cannot say I hear the difference in the room as it is out-numbered by the other 3 but there will be a difference when miked up directly.

The V30 is a little heavier built than the 75w speakers and has a deeper cone.

Also I finally drew up my own IKEA instructions as how to build an Isolation box. I will be in the DiY market tomorrow...

Nov 12 2017

Re-vamping the web page and wondering whether to buy a couple of V30 speakers - it is a debate amongst guitarists which never stops. I never built an isolation box so I will start that project too.

Aug 12 2017

I picked a bargain mixer on FleaBay. It will replace the two I have as well as a 6-in, 6-out splitter. I now claim I have everything I need and all working well!

April 29 2017

I have a new DI box for the bass guitar.

March 2017

I finally have moved all my musik stuff into my music room in the cellar - 'Studio 261'. I have my DAWs, dozens of VST instruments, amps, boxes and guitars... the last thing I need to do is build an isolation box for my Marshall box. Pending...

29 November 2016

I have been evaluating more music DAW's then actually recording anything. In the last few months daughters have moved out and renovations were under way at Walmsley Towers. Right now my music stuff is parked in a small room until Fabian and I can renovate a larger room in the cellar and then finally I will have a music room again.

So what have I done? Well as said I have toyed around with 3 main DAWs. Cubase is King and remains 1st. Presonus Studio One 3 takes a close 2nd place and 3rd comes Sonar. Cubase is for me the best as it is simply missing nothing. The others do have some splendid features, look very pretty and excellent libraries of VST effects and instruments, but at the same time have missing features e.g. both have no drum editors and have only one fixed transport bar. Despite it being pretty Sonar has horrible docking issues and illogical workflow handling such as hardly any right-mouse-key options... I actually removed it.

29 June 2016

Got a legal Cubase 9 Artist. No more cracks. Not that I ever... Received some nice PU's for my Strats. Looking forward to 'building' my Studio...

4 May 2016

Stitches are out of my hand but I am still one handed. Completely re-installed all my musik programs and added some. I have Cubase, Sonar X3 and Fruity Loops plus loads of VST plug-ins...

24 April 2016

So I am one handed right now. Had the op on my left hand last week... It will take months to heal - stitches might come out this coming week though.

Hmpf... No joy here... What do I do now?

3 March 2016

Soon there will be a downtime for me and guitar playing - I need a small op on my hands to clear away some lumpy tissue which has developed around the muscles of 2 of my fingers. It is not dangerous or chronic but it impedes my finger movement. I hope it works out ok in April...

20 May 2015

Here is a pic of my ESP MH53 - nice shiny XL jumbo frets:-

Grubby black guitar reflecting in the window on a black chair, swathed over with a black jacket... not a good idea...

I replaced the bridge saddle on my Aria acoustic guitar and re-laid the microphone strip underneath. It plays better but still with a bit of hum...

This was David Newman's old guitar...
30 April 2015

Yep - I sold a Jet City 100h and regret it somewhat - but I cannot keep everything. I did re-build my ESP MH 53 guitar which now plays great. I re-fretted it and swapped the mid-output humbucker pickup for (I think) an Duncan LH-100 so it is quite strong. It surprises me how much the acoustic sound has changed with the 3mm frets. Before it sounded cheap and a little tinny, now it has a more solid sound.

Alex B. came round last week to pick up a Marshall box - lovely to see him. It brought back many memories.

20 April 2015

Sold a 2nd JetCity 333 100w amp - did not need 2. Tomorrow I will re-build an ESP MH 53 guitar - re-fret and new pickups etc.

30 August 2014

Bernd has posted a video of one of our rehearsal room recordings - Purple Smoke -> Perfect Strangers Nov 2011 - it brought back a lot of lovable memories and left the rather cold touch of reality that you never know what you love until it has gone...

Click here for a listen:- Perfect Strangers

19 August 2014

Vinnie Moore has started a band project RED ZONE RIDER (Kelly Keeling, Scot Coogan & Moore). I heard the clip below and it reminded me of what I would like to play...

08 August 2014

I have sold my EMG pickup set which I bought to try out in my Satch-Frankenstein-guitar so it has now no pickups. I call it Satch-Frankenstein as it has been open on a operation table more times than I have... Anyway, I found the EMGs to be too powerful all-the-time (like having a loud conversation with an idiot the whole time). I have a new set of Seymour Duncan (SH-4 and Jazz-II) which I just built into my Les Paul and tomorrow another SH-4 will go into my ESP - so that leaves me with replacing 2 pickups in my backup ESP guitar, and Satch? We shall see...

ps- I have just tried the Les Paul - lovely! The set is a perfect match!

27 April 2014

Stone re-vamped my Ceriatone Plexi to have cascaded tube gain and a master volume and he fixed the fx-loop. It has now gone from a standard Plexi 1987 to a 2204 Plexi model. I was never happy finding a good distorted sound at low volume without a pedal, and with a pedal it only sounded as good as the pedal. A Tube Screamer in front of tubes that do not want to break up gives you a horrible dry 'spitting-feathers' sound and it totally sucks tone. The Vox Satchurator certainly is the best of the 100's of pedals I tried, but it could have its diva-drama issues and it too would not always wake up until the amp was 'alive' enough. Please remember that this crazy amp of mine reaches 110dB at 3 and is still clean(ish) - it can kill goldfish in a bowl at 20 meters...

Now I can play the thing at bedroom levels as if it was at 7 and it sounds lovely - jingly distortion with the Strat and solid hard rock with humbuckers. It now has a real Marshall sound at low levels - great for recording. I just tried it with my TS-08 overdrive pedal together with my Satch guitar (active EMG 81/85 pickups) and it was chugging and squealing in heavy metal mode - impressive. Also the fx-loop is now operating as it should be and that is the cream on the cake...

08 December 2013

I recorded bass guitar on 2 songs today - fancy that... I am just not a bass player.

11 October 2013

I love my BMW ZETTI!

I am wearing no trousers!

06 October 2013

So, due to miss-fitting pickup parts for my Les Paul I now have black Seymour Duncan SH-5 in the bridge with the original Gibson chrome pickup in the neck position. The guitar sounds great, but it looks awkward (does anybody care? - J.Page had this setup for years...). In contrary to the master plan I now have a set of active EMG pickups in my Satch guitar. I had planned all this the other way round. So, I now need to dig around in the Satch to make more room for the battery...

15 September 2013

I made one of my notorious 'cheap-skate' bids on eBay and once again I got lucky - Now I have 2 x JetCity 100H amps. However I did get a Whammy pedal which I will try out later today.

18 August 2013

My 12 songs are loosly strung together. Sort of...

15 July 2013

First time in a long time we were all in Moenchengladbach with the family. At first we met up with Lothar, Andrea and my niece Julia. Later we were with the other half - Udo, Carmen, Martin and the Rosi's mother, Dieter and at least 50 others...

The old kids on the block... Here in M├Ânchengladbach. Alter Markt.

10 July 2013

I am still enjoying my JetCity 100H amp. No issues at all - great sounds. I would love to take it to a real rehearsal and test it out.

19 May 2013

I have my new milling/dremel cutter so I re-cut all my hand-made edges of pockets and the bridge tremolo. It does look better! I re-formed the rear pockets and sank the rear backplate into the wood so everything is flush. I have some EMG pickups but I think I will put them in my Les Paul. I hope it will be ready for a re-paint tomorrow as I am fed up on working on it and always having to say it is nearly finished...

February 2013

Upon request I recently put together a song for Pat H. (ex Phonehouse) and she came round and sung it over it. I was surprised how quickly we recorded it. I did not play on it at all but I did program the midi drums and keyboards. I was pleased all my recording stuff works fine and it sounded good. I would have liked more time to mix it but she was happy with it the way it is - I guess she already has it running on youtube...

27 October 2012

In the last few days there was a rather sporadic (and heated) exchange of emails from the ex-members of Purple Smoke - someone forgot to cancel a trial gig in Mainz for next month and there was a sudden surge of hope that we might be able to play it together - but nooooo...

Since Bernd fixed my transformer issue and Stone corrected the 'fx-loop send level' my old Ceriatone Plexi sounds really quiet (hum + hiss wise), alive and dirty. I am using my attenuator (again) with my Rocktron Intelliflex and it sounds really good with just my 808 overdrive. The downside of it all is that I will never play it live again (not judging by the news above) and so I do not need it. Bernd also conceded that he has too much stuff - what can we do with it all? We agreed to give it all to our children, but they do not even want it...

15 October 2012

Yesterday Bernd and I fixed an old issue with my Plexi (a tranny hum), which we both caused some years ago by installing it wrong-way-round and it was simply a lovely prime-time experience among pals - a shame Alex was not there too.

23 September 2012

On Friday I went to a FakeDoll party in their (my old) rehearsal room. It was nice to see them all in good spirits! It was also nice to meet their new guitarist who has an Ibanez Satch (JS100 I think...). I also saw Rolf, the band's previous guitarist and I also saw Stone who will hopefully start work on my Plexy amp today...

16 September 2012

I missed 20,000 ft, a local Saxon cover band at the Eichkult Fest - I thought they would be on later so I went shopping, only to arrive after they had already left the stage. It was nice to see Ralph though and nice seeing Nixxy from Rosalie.... The other bands had one or two small highlights, but they were not motivated playing before an almost empty field and they just went thru the motions so to speak. I left way before the end.

08 September 2012

Tonight I will go to the yearly Eichkult festival here in Dorsheim. Some pals of mine are playing there in a Saxon cover band - or at least I think they are...

19 August 2012

Brought my Plexi to Stone - he will add a distortion channel a`la Soldano... I will be selling my Bugera Plexi head later today on eBay. A shame, but I cannot keep them all and the Bugera is the only one I never play.

04 August 2012

I picked up a brand new JetCity 333 100H amp for just over 300 Euros. This is a Soldano designed amp (made in China) and the dealer is importing them with dumping prices. I played it for hours yesterday - it sounds fantastic.

The new kid on the block... I am told the difference between the 2 is soundwise pretty close. This one is not quite as bright or raspy. That could lie with the transformers or the slight differences in pot values - otherwise very similar.

It reminds me of my old 5150 and the F.U.C.K van Halen sound - also Dann Huff's sound from Giant. It has great clean sounds, great crunch sounds and of course has the Soldano solo sound. It also has a +4dB fx-loop which works great with my Rocktron Intelliflex.

22 July 2012

Bought a Maxon OD808 pedal - a re-issue of the original Ibanez TS808 which were made by Maxon in those days. It does exactly what I expected and is good at it too (it pushes the amp to sing nicely at loud volumes) but mine also has the middle hump and slight loss of bass which can be heard on both my DSL and Plexi. I will sort it out though...

11 July 2012

Sold my Xotic AC pedal, a Behringer Wah Wah and the Zack Wylde Les Paul on eBay. I need to drop ballast every now and then. I would like a good overdrive pedal for the Plexi(s) but not sure what yet. Up to now nothing has beaten the Satchurator pedal but it has an odd hump-poop-middle sound with the channels on my DSL and sometimes I can feel it with the Plexi - maybe my Satchurator was just a little faulty from the start as Joerg's Satchurator pedal was a lot brighter and clearer than mine... maybe I should try the Ice 9 - the sister model from the Satchurator but for overdrive and not distortion.

I finally re-fitted the rear panel on my Plexi and it fits! I made it years ago, even put the tolex cloth on it, but it did not fit after the amp was locked in to its final resting position. I need some brass screws to give it the final touch and a metal grid to close the top half.

13 May 2012

I have bought myself a MXR Phaser