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Topics - RichR

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General Discussion / Heading to Hurricane country!
« on: October 05, 2016, 06:32:29 PM »
We are going to the big boat show in Annapolis MD.  Travelling tomorrow(Thur, Oct6), attending the show Friday.  It is a really cool boat show.  All the boats are in the water, and you walk docks and tour boats.  Many are much bigger and more expensive than anything I would consider buying.  But also many boats similar to what we are looking for.  All kinds of marine vendors, charter vendors, etc.  Whole town in party mode.

We'll have a one-way rental car, we turn in at Raleigh-Durham, where we fly home from.

We planned to drive down to Elizabeth City, NC on the Albemarle Sound; and New Bern, Oriental, and Washington on Pamlico Sound.  Looking at our options for moving to that part of the country.  Hoping to check out some living areas, and marinas.

But, looks like Hurricane Matthew will brush the east coast in places.  The boat show is safe, and we'll be out of there long before it could move that far north.  But our trip south... we'll have to watch the weather and play it by ear.  We'll no doubt have at least a few very rainy days.  And worst case, we'll have to stay away from the coast and find something to do, more inland.  I have a lot of experience improvising vacations. 

Maybe a chance to see what the area looks like during/after a hurricane.  A good thing to see before deciding to move there!

Amplifiers / NmAD
« on: April 28, 2016, 12:43:10 AM »
New Mini Amp Day!  I've been thinking about getting a Quilter Mini Head 101.  I had gone up to my non-GC store, which is a Quilter dealer, and played one in the store a few days ago.  Played with a PRS, and used an open back cab that was there.  Not exactly a 'my rig' test, but I could tell the character of the amp.  Nice cleans, and nice OD as you bring the gain up.

My Egnater has had an intermittent problem lately.  Sometimes it will make a reverb crashing sort of sound when you power it up, and the sound is kind of thin and weak.  It has done this too me a few times, then seems to return to working correctly.  It did it during rehearsal last night.  I ran my Ethos direct out to the board, and later on, I connect the amp section of the Ethos pedal to my speaker cab.  Both these provided "save the gig" kind of solutions.  And actually sounded pretty good. 

But that was the last little push I needed to pull the trigger on the 101.  Brought it home, my pedal board into it, connect to my speaker cab, and started tweaking.  Wow!  I'm impressed.  Fit into my rig better than I could have imagined!  Works great with my closed 1x12 Egnater cab.  Spooky quiet, compared to the little hums and hisses of most tube amps.  Haven't had a chance to try the strat or the es330 with it yet.

Haven't really had much time to tinker with it yet.  Plan to get into it tonight!

Amplifiers / Quilter 101 Mini Head
« on: April 20, 2016, 04:12:42 PM »
Thinking about getting one of these:

Love my tube amp, but it acted strange a few weeks ago.  Seemed to be isolated to one channel, I am thinking probably a preamp tube.  For now, it has straightened out (intermittent problem, as usual).  Seems like all tube amps have a certain amount of 'unreliability'.  Maybe some more than others.  I feel like I have to have a spare amp on gigs, or at least a plan.  My Ethos pedal can drive a cab, but it is kind of anemic.  Especially choked by my 16 ohm cab.

If I could find a solid state amp that I really liked as much as a tube amp, or at least close, that would be perfect!  If the tone is there, then everything else about SS is great: small, light, bulletproof reliability.

These 101 MHs are running $300.  I played on one in my local mom and pop store.  (I don't think Quilter plays with GC/MF).  I was really impressed.  From the pictures, I has assumed that the controls clicked-in to a few positions.  Not true.  They are all just regular pots.   Pretty impressive range of clean to dirty tones.  I need to try one, with my rig.  But I think it might make a good grab-n-go by itself, with a small cab.

It was connected to a Quilter 1x12 open back cab.  8ohm.  My main 1x12 cab is closed back, and 16ohm.  I emailed Quilter to ask how it would do, with a 16ohm speaker.  I got a reply back from Pat Quilter, the same day.  He said that in that set up, it may be possible to exceed the headroom on the class D output stage.  But that the class D distortion is well-behaved, and you'd be at very, very high volume by then.  I told him I'd be using a 30 watt tube and, he replied a second time to say that if I was happy with 30 watt tube, this would provide more than enough power.  I thought that was pretty impressive to get direct replies from Pat Quilter.

Anyway, my gear kitty is getting fat, and needs a trim.

Your Gigs / Played a gig at The Red Door last Saturday
« on: April 20, 2016, 03:44:42 PM »
Played a gig with the Laura Lisbeth band and restaurant/bar, The Red Door, Saturday night.  We had not played a gig in a month or two.  Its always nice to be sure the you can still do it; and all the gear is working, etc.   We have played on their outside patio.  This was our first time playing inside.  They had a nice wide stage, but it was only about 4' deep, and we couldn't put anything in front.  So, monitors we out of the question.  Put the speakers behind us.  Drummer barely managed to get his set in the 4' depth.  I was to one side of drummer; Laura and Greg were together on the other side.  Kind of like two islands separated by the drum kit.  Seems like impossible setup logistics are the norm.

We had been pre-warned about volume.  I turned my speaker cab to the wall.  And I started out so low that they couldn't hear me on the other side.  Got that worked out on the first couple of tunes, and the sound came together.

The place was packed all night.  We started at 8:30, and there were still people lined up waited on tables.  We brought in 20-30 people(a little pent-up demand, since we hadn't played a gig in awhile); and the place had its own crowd, so it was really rockin.  We never had a problem with volume, even with lots of diners during the first set.  Made some good tips, plus decent pay.  It was a great night for all involved.   Found out is was the place's 5th best night ever.  They want us back!

This coming weekend off, then gigs the next couple of weekends. 

General Discussion / Back from paradise, aka The Grenadines
« on: February 02, 2016, 11:22:15 PM »
Got back Saturday from 10 days of sailing a 50' boat in The Grenadines.  St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Bequia, Canouan, Tobago Cays, and Union Island.  Great trip.  Hard to adjust to being back!  Missed my guitars, though. 

More more serious, heavy sailing than in the BVI (British Virgin Islands).  Nice open water passages between some of the islands.  Next stop to the east, Africa.  84 degrees in the day, 76 at night.  A little rain every day; sailed in one heavy downpour.  30+ knot winds one day, with some big rollers one day (the Christmas Winds). Other than that day, 15-20 most of the time (the tradewinds.)

Ate lots of fish and lobster.  Had beef one day, pork chop one day.  Other than that, all fish, lobster, chicken.  Creole is pretty common.  Two beach BBQs with lobster and fish.  Actually came home a few pounds lighter from the healthy eating, and daily exercise.

On Bequia, we caught the climax of the Bequia Music Festival.  Actually, it was originally called a "Blues Festival".  But there was no blues.  Some young, mediocre guys from Barbados.  A pretty slick Caribbean band from the BVI.  And the headliner-- Arturo Tappin, great sax player with a monster band!!!   Arturo is originally from Barbados, but has played with lots of people.  The venue was filming; and I"m watching for those videos to emerge on Youtube, but nothing so far.

Picked the end of April to retire my day job.  Could be sooner if they piss me off.  I'm holding the KMA (kiss my ass) card, and I'm not afraid to use it. 

Feeling freshly motivated to get my 'boat in the ocean' thing going for real!

Gems from Craigslist / "Serious" Nickelback/Creed cover band ad
« on: December 12, 2015, 02:57:09 PM »
A friend of mine in Nashville shared this on FB today:

General Discussion / Go Royals!
« on: October 15, 2015, 04:01:58 PM »
Well, the Royals did it again!   First, a massive 8th inning comeback win in Houston on Monday.  Then, last night got behind 2-0, then came back and trounced the Astros.  In KC, we've been asking "Why did we spend all this money on Johnny Cueto?  I guess last night performance was the answer.

Wishing the Texas Rangers had beat out the Blue Jays!  I think the Royals would have a better chance of beating the Rangers.  We haven't done real well against the Jays this year, and they are on a roll.   But, so are the Royals.

 :yay!: :yay!: :yay!:

Guitars / GC "selection"
« on: September 11, 2015, 01:36:26 PM »
I took the day off to drive my daughter to the airport.   I had the rest of the day to goof around, so stopped by the Guitar Center in Independence,MO.  (This is the store we thought might have closed.  I guess the real estate transaction was just a change in landlords.)

I am starting to look for a good P90, probably solidbody, but keeping an open mind.  Thought I might also check out a Quilter Tone Block or Aviator.  Total f'ing strikeout!!!  For a big store, with a seemingly huge inventory, they didn't have much of anything I was interested in.

The only 2 P90 guitars I could find in the store was an Epiphone WildKat and one LP jr.  Actually the WildKat is a pretty nice guitar in the $400 space.  Seemed well made, and it played real well.  Wasn't what I was looking for.  But gave me a bit of assurance that I wouldn't regret buying an Epi as a player.

The LP Jr.  played great two.  I don't think single pup (bridge only) will work for me, though.  I really like the neck and combo positions.  And especially neck p90 is a cool thing, itself.  They had the LP jr, in the "Vault", where the high end guitars would be-- IF THEY HAD ANY.

Not a single Tribute LP; Not a single '56 RI LP Epi.  Not even a budget-busting Gibson RI.  No other P90 equipped axes.

Tried my luck in the acoustic room.  No better.  My favorite Martins are the 000 concert size.  Not a single one.

No Quilter amps, either.  Amp selection beyond the usual suspects-- MIA.

I guess from a business standpoint they are catering to beginners, and the lower-end market as a whole.  Maybe it makes business sense.  But is sure makes them a sucky store for any seasoned player!  I had no intention of buying from them, anyway.  But I thought I might get to test drive some contenders.

I am feeling freshly justified in my opinion of GC as the Walmart of musical instruments.

Guitars / Intonation problem caused by strings-- again.
« on: September 02, 2015, 01:45:40 PM »
I was playing my ES-330 on a gig with the organ trio, Sunday afternoon.  Playing some chords about halfway up the neck, and noticed something out of tune.  Isolated it to the D string, and finished the song out, avoiding the string.  Between songs, started to tune, and every string was in tune, including the D.  Played some notes up the neck, on the D string and they were flat.  Checked the intonation at the octave-- substantially flat.  This guitar had been in for a setup, when I had new nylon saddles installed/slotted.  And the intonation was spot-on, when I got it back from the tech, 2-3 weeks ago.  I swapped guitars, and finished the gig with the les paul.

After I got home, I pulled the 330 out to fix the intonation.  Verified that the D was pretty flat at the octave (when in tune open and at the octave harmonic).  The A was also a little flat at the octave (vs open).   Got my screwdriver out, and proceeded to adjust the saddle position to make the string 'shorter'.  Turned it a lot, and hardly any change.   Nearly to the end of the adjustment range, and still flat (when the open string has been re-tuned after turning the screw.)

I ran into this on my LP once.  A string problem!!!  My tech has always told me to always use new strings to set the intonation.  Old/worn strings can do strange things, due to dents, abrasions, etc.  This set of strings was not that old, and had not been played a lot.  But I guess something had happened to that D string.  I put a fresh set of strings on it yesterday, and went back to the intonation.  The 'D' (still adjusted most of the way toward the pickups) was now sharp.  Moved back about to where it had been, and intonated perfectly.  Checked and tweaked all strings a bit, and the intonation holds up perfectly (again).

Like deja vu, all over again.  At least I knew and remembered, this time.  The first time, this issue drove me nuts for a couple weeks.

Guitars / New hardshell case?
« on: September 01, 2015, 03:21:30 PM »
I'm on my second Gibson Les Paul case.  Both on the original, and the replacement cases, the handles have broken off.  I got a replacement handle for the second case, and now it has broken, too.

I picked up a pretty nice gig bag.  It works OK for going out to jams, or some deal where I'm not hauling a lot of gear.  But if I'm hauling a van-load of gear, I don't like having my guitar back there where something could shift and fall on it.  And the padding of the bag, wouldn't be enough.

Thinking about getting a 3rd party case, like an SKB-56.  Don't want the expense and the weight of a full-on flight case.  But something more durable that these pricey Gibson cases.

This morning, I wrote Gibson a not-a-fan letter about their cases, and the handles breaking off.  We'll see if that might shame them into at least sending me a free replacement handle.

Your Gigs / We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« on: August 03, 2015, 03:40:36 PM »
We (The Laura Lisbeth Band), played a gig in Dighton, KS Friday night.  Laura is originally from Ness City, KS, which is 20-30 miles east of Dighton.  Many of these towns put on reunions every 5 years.  Kind of all-year high school reunions, and just general town reunions.  Many people in these small towns move away after high school.  These reunions are a big deal in these towns.  A lot of the 'wayward' folks come home for them.

The place that hired us, is called The Location.   It is a former American Legion hall.  So, it is configured as a bar/grill in the front, then it opens up into a large hall, with a stage, where we played.  We played 9pm - 2am.  Kind of quiet when we started, a few old couples (one from the class of '52, I think.)  About 10pm people started pouring in. 

In Laura's band, we usually do shows that are mostly her original material (up to about 2 hours).  Whenever we do gigs that are more like 3-4 hours, we include covers.  And I front whatever covers I can contribute.  We probably still did nearly 80% original material.  A cover band, with a lot of country, might have been a more appropriate fit.  But Laura, being from the next town over, and making waves in 'the big city', played well there.

About a 5-1/2 drive each way.  They paid us very well($2k), fed us, and put us up in a nice hotel, in the next larger town, Scott City.  And heaped on a $500 tip.   We meandered through a bunch of back highways and small towns on the way home, including a , the Monument Rocks formation in the flint hills, Buffalo Bill museum, and Oz museum.

With a stream of these gigs, a guy could make a living.  And I guess I could do that if I played disco/pop music for weddings and corporate events.  Nevermind.

Had 2 outdoor gigs with Laura, scheduled this weekend.  We were playing for a Relay for Life event Saturday.  Supposed to play at 8:30pm, so planned on getting there to setup around 6/6:30.  Around 5:30 an angry thunderstorm moved through.  The place we were supposed to play was only a couple miles from me, so I did a drive by.  The remaining people were huddled in a shelter house.  The field where the events were happening was very muddy.  The DJ was in the process of fleeing.  The "stage" looked like 6 folding tables jammed together-- more like a drum riser.  Absolutely no cover.  And likely more storms.    Went back home, and had a few rounds of messages.  Hadn't received a cancel msg yet.  Just getting walking to my van to leave, and got the cancel msg. 

Yay!  This was a pretty poorly organized thing from the start.  We had to spoon feed them everything about what we needed.  And they still kept getting stuff wrong at every turn.  And when I saw that the stage wasn't even adequate to keep us out of the mud, I was ready for them to cancel.  Else I may have to refuse put myself and my gear in the mud.

Sunday, we played on The Plaza.  Topped out around 97 degrees, with lots of humidity.  We started out in the sun, but they got a portable shade/tent thing over us in the first set.  Nice gig.  Paid well.   And we weren't supposed to solicit or accept tips.  But we had a small merch display with CDs, and people kept coming up and putting money in the box.

This coming Friday, we are playing a deal in Dighton, KS (far western KS).  It is an all-year high school reunion, town party, kind of thing.  Laura is orignally from Ness City, KS, a neighboring town.  There are two sisters in Dighton with a big trust fund.  Apparently, their parents were killed in a Las Vegas helicopter accident many years ago, hence the trust fund.  They are paying us extremely well, and taking care of all food, lodging, etc.   Should be fun!

Guitars / Been hooking up with my old girlfriend
« on: June 18, 2015, 07:44:16 PM »
Yep, been playing the ES-330. 

My wife is on a cruise with her mom and sis, and friends, and moms, and daughters-- a total of 15 women.  (My apologies to Navigator of the Seas, and Jamaica, Cozumel and the Caymans, for whatever permanent damage they've left.)

So, I've had a little extra 'alone' time to just lounge around.  I was watching the Royals game the other night, and wanted a guitar to plink around on.  Something made me think of the ES-330, alone in the dark closet.  I'd forgotten how great that thing is for just playing acoustically!!!  From the time I was 15, until about 20/, it was my main/only guitar.  I bought my Les Paul when I was 20, I bought my LP, and the 330 has pretty much taken a back seat ever since.

Wide and thin neck is a joy to play.  As long as you can do without upper fret access, anyway.  And it always makes me want to bone up on my jazz chords, too.

I plugged it in, and it seemed really noisy.  I thought "curse of the p90s", or something wrong my my guitar wiring, and went back to the ballgame.  We had Laura band practice at my house on Tuesday, and I noticed that my whole rig had a nasty 60 cycle hum.  Crap, I had plugged my amp into the wrong circuit.  I have a ground differential issue in my house.  If my amp is in one circuit and my pedalboard in another-- bad hum.  Easily solved by plugging both into the same circuit.

Got the 330 out and plugged her in again, NO NOISE PROBLEM!  A little more than my humbucker guitar, but nothing to worry about.  And in the middle pup position, even that disappears.  So, I played through the Laura practice with the 330, and loved every second of it!!!  Everything from sweet to snarl.

The sound from this guitar has always been a little "in your face".  Kind of like when you first play guitar-cable-amp into a clean amp, after years of OD and distortion pedals.  No fuzz, no compression, nowhere to hide, just you and your technique.  That 'in your face', 'here is exactly what you played', vibe has always put me off a little.  I think my playing, technique, etc has finally matured to the point that I'm ready to really enjoy this guitar!  I've been doing our Monday jam, strictly guitar-cable-amp, and its paying off.

Got a rehearsal tonight with the blues organ trio  (The Charlie B 3), and taking the old girlfriend.   Got a gig with Laura Saturday, and a gig with Charlie Sunday.  I think the redhead is going with me on both gigs.

Monday afternoon, I received a text message from someone I don't know.  After a few long Hmmmm(s),  I responded.  I know the potential for phishers, scammers, crazy stalkers, loyalty tests, etc. and guess I'm capable of keeping out of trouble.  I like a good riddle.

Here is the exchange: My replies are marked with ">>"

   Lets play a game r u up for it   
   >>Who is this?   
   Its up to u   
   I'll give u hints on who I am if you'll play   
   >>Getting ready to drive so not texting. Are you someone I know?   
   Yes and no   
   The game we will play is ill ask u a question and you'll answer honestly and every question I ask u you can ask me one thing about me and ill give u a hi   
   nt wanna play???   
   >>Busy right now   
   Okay... When r u wanting to play???   
   Who do want to get to know that's a girl??? After this u can ask me one question and I will give you a hint   
   I would like to understand more about this game first. Do you know my identity? If not, how did you come across my phone number?   
   I do know who u r but im confused in a situation where I would like to get out of the way   
   >>You know who I am, but I don't know who you are.   
   Well u do know know me but u don't k ow everything about me   
   >>No one knows everything about anyone.   
   Well u know the basics of me   
   >>To answer your question, I can't think of a girl that I've been wanting to get to know. Honest answer.   
   Okay are u kinda interested in any girl you don't know   
   >>I am married and my interest in girls is as friends.   
   Who are you married too?????   
   >>I still don't have a clue who you are? Or whether you would know her.   
   Okay ask me three questions   
   And whatever you say to me is a secret   
   >>Where do we know each other from? Where are you located? When,where have we met in person?   
   Okay 1 school 2 KS 3 we haven't talked face to face but I feel we have this thing that I can't explain   
   >>So, we went to school together?   
   We go   
   We go?   
   Yea im on team 2 though   
   >>To make sure we are on the same page, which school?   
   Who are u "married" too   
   >>{my wife's name}.   
   >>Which school did we go too?   
   I haven't lived in KS very long but we go to ct together   
   Yea California trail   
   >>I never went to California trail. Wrong number, maybe?   
   >>I have been out of school for decades. Wrong guy/number?   
   No I lived somewhere else before ks   
   >>I have never gone to ct. Middle school is a distant memory for me.   
   This isn't Caleb is it   
   OMG sorry by   
   >>No. If you are in middle school I am probably old as your grandpa. Hope you find what you were looking for.   
   Okay im really sorry!!   
   >>No problem. It was fun chatting with you. But I'm a 59 y/o married guy.   
   >>I was very puzzled. Best of luck to you.   

My mind was thinking "scammer, phisher, secret admirer, high school classmate?"  Wrong number!  Good thing I wasn't some creep!

Your Gigs / Lake of the Ozarks Blues Society gig
« on: May 13, 2015, 11:01:11 PM »
Played fun, but brutal one last night.  The brutal part was the drive.  140 miles/ 2-1/2 hours each way.

The Lake of the Ozarks Blues Society has a monthly jam, and the host band is paid, and paid pretty well for a weeknight gig.  And splitting 3 ways (Charlie B3 organ trio), made it work even better on money side.

Cool bar in a nice lake resort.  My second time playing for LOTOBS, so some familiar faces/jammers.  Our drummer in this group Ricky "Party" Hardy, rode with me.  Ricky is a 64 y/o black guy.  Singing drummer.  Sings blues and soul stuff the way all white guys wish they could. Also a veteran player who worked with all the black heavyweight blues guys in town.  So, 5 hours in the car of some pretty cool stories.

The blues society always starts out with an acoustic jam at 6, then we started at 7.  Got set up in plenty of time, and hung around the acoustic jam guys.  There was a guy playing a resonator.  Asked me to sit in and play his resonator, while he played some harp.  There was also a women playing flute (let the innuendo, begin.)   Man, don't need to be jonesin' about getting a resonator, but it was pretty cool!

Gig went real well.  Big crowd including the blues society, players, and people who were just there at the resort.   We did a strong hour set, and started working jammers in.  So, I had about an hour break before the guitar jammers ran their course.

Gig was 7-10, so back on the road around 11.  After dropping Ricky off, in the hood, back home at 2am.  Actually no worse than a 9-1 job at home would have been.  I am still on a total alcohol hiatus (3rd week, I think), and I think that made a huge difference in being able to get through the gig and the drive 3 hour gig, plus 5 hours of driving,following a day of work (I took off an hour early.)   Felt pretty good, even when getting up at 6am!

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