Happy New Year!

Just to set the record straight — I was NOT on vacation. December was just very slow. It gave me the chance to do some catch-up in the ‘front office’ and help my son catch up with geometry. (FYI:  Watching Charlie Epps on Numb3rs did help, though I did wish we had Larry Fleinhart‘s phone number on more than one occasion.)

I did work on my sound. I grabbed up a well-priced Option 5 Destination Overdrive II direct from Jay Woods (who designs/builds them) on EBay and it’s a true gem of a pedal. It really has high-gain amp sound and feel and, to be honest, I’m still sorting out my sound. It’s not a Tube Screamer by any means and seems to works best as a sound unto itself. I do have a Screamer clone in my Arion Tubulator (aka the best $24 investment I will ever make). It looks like I will use the Lab L3 for the clean side and my venerable 65w Peavey Backstage with the Option 5 for the ‘dirty’ half of things. I just leave the pedal on and it’s like having a driven amp getting a bit of a push. Should try it with the two Lab L5s…..

There’s also the guitar (after all, this is where the sound begins) which, in this case, is my mid-70s Hagstrom Swede.

Hagstrom Swede at rest.

Hagstrom Swede at rest.

I had re-strung this last year with .010s after many years of .011s. I’m not sure why – it was one of those moments where you look at the guitar then at the string pack and suddenly you must install the lighter strings. And they did work for the past year until Tuesday morning when they just seemed wrong. So, off came the .010s and out of the pack came the .011s and after re-stringing and about two hours’ worth of intermittent adjustments to action and tension it had been done. I am, once again, playing .011s on the Swede. And I like them very  much now. They put out more sound, they stay in tune longer, they just plain sound better and feel resilient……. I use .011s on my other electrics, except for the Cort/Steinberger, so it does make things easier as I use the same John Pearse strings for all the electrics.

Now I feel I need to be serious… and I will be, but in the next posting.

We’ll be making 2013 worthwhile. All of us, that is.

Matt

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