Saturday, 21 May 2016

Playing - Marlin Sidewinder

New strings, bit of Servisol in the pots and pickup switch... and the bridge lifts like a really lifty thing.

Take the backplate off and find the claw holding the crappy, corroded springs has been screwed in as much as it can be... blocked the trem with a bit of scrap wood so I could at least tune and play it.

It's definitely a very good instrument for what it is... plays nicely, okay sound, not too much noise from the single coils. Longer term it would benefit from new electronics but there's no rush for that; first priority is getting new trem springs so I can take the block out and use the full potential of the instrument, figure I might as well get Floyd Rose springs as the bridge is basically a Floyd knock off.

This is now the only instrument I own that's tuned standard E-e... had a fun morning making a complete balls up of classic thrash and NWOBHM riffs!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Freebie - Marlin Sidewinder

Yesterday I got this from my mum, who'd got it from a friend who was giving it

It's a Marlin Sidewinder, mid-80s guitar aimed at wannabe shredders on a tight budget.

The strings need replacing and the electronics need some TLC, but it plays quite nicely and feels comfortable on the strap. This is definitely a keeper.

Thanks mum!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Wizzardry is Afoot

Prototype dual output guitar made from that rubbish LP copy I got a while back. Testing tonight.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Saturday, 24 January 2015

FIXED - Carlsbro PA 60

So, that Carlsbro PA 60 I took on from Mr. Foxen all that time ago is finally all fixed.

I got a big new resistor to replace the one that was smoking, wired everything up, put the valves in and tested it with the nearest convenient cab, which was a Peavey Deuce VT combo.

It crackled like Rice Krispies while Snap and Pop are on their hols. That was a shit metaphor but I'm keeping it, okay?

Anyway, fast forward past the eating lunch and doing the weekly shop and I lug the chassis upstairs to test it with my Orange OBC 115. And it appears that the thing actually works. Pots are a bit scratchy, but that's no biggie. It has a nice, warm clean sound and does not appear to drive the preamp by itself so that would need a booster. I ran my Retrovibe RVT-40 into it via my Nine of Swords Burial at Sea and it sounds pretty good running fuzz. I think with the right booster and right fuzz this amp could doom pretty hard.

Once it's been all cleaned up it will be put up for sale.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

I Ate'nt Dead

I'm still around! Got a bit demoralised with the whole amp tinkering thing after taking on a mid-90s Marshall to fix and I just totally couldn't. (note to self: no mid-90s Marshalls ever.) But here I am! My pile of guitar builds has got a bit closer to being guitars again as I've heat stripped some bodies and intend on refinning as soon as I can. I've also just picked up a Peavey Deuce VT combo as a fixer project. 120w for £50. Sweet. AND I'm waiting to hear from a dude I know who wants one of his amps looked at and possibly repaired. Hurrah!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

What a Difference a Valve Makes

Got a Mullard ECC83 off Mr. Foxen to try in the Blackstar HT-DistX he traded me. It doesn't "completely open up the EQ" as I've seen claimed on the interwebz about replacing the valves in the HT pedals (a pox on over exaggeration), but it does make the gain sound nicer which is a big plus.

Now follows some gutshots and notes.

Fuck your warranties.

The immediately obvious thing when taking the boards out of the HT-DistX is that they're generic. Theoretically this means the pedal is very, very moddable. In practice it appears no bugger has even bothered and schematics are pretty much hen's teeth, so that's something to ponder for another time.

As on the other board there is a lot of space other components, including two more switches. Shown is the stock Sovtek valve

I had wanted to get the pot values as they would be the most immediately useful mod I could potentially make, but there are no values visible. I doubt these are particularly great pots, which makes it even more of a pain. L-R: Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, 'Infinite* Shaping Feature**', Level.

*Not actually infinite.
**Possibly as in 'it's not a bug, it's a...' as I haven't found the point where it does anything awesome.