GUITAR GEEK WARNING:
This one is a trifecta - pickups, speaker and amp.
We had rehearsal tonight for our cd release show tomorrow.
Back in July my buddy Danny Ott recommended some new pickups for my #1 Telecaster, they're made by TV Jones (famous for their amazing Filtertron pickups). Anyway, the new Tele pickups are like a hybrid of tele pickup and a Dearmond pickup. (I think) Anyway, they are very full sounding and rich and yeah, they can cut like a tele bridge but they never get harsh and in any case. These pickups blew me away. I've been wanting more sets of them for other guitars but at $125 each they are pretty steep but so totally worth it.
I play mostly in the middle position on my telecaster (bridge and neck pickup both on) and these are the best for me. So full and dynamic.
Over the past few weeks I've been doing speaker swapping and going through what I have (as well as a bunch of Danny's speakers!) and have really determined that the Celestion Gold 12" speaker is the best speaker for me. I have other speakers but the gold is where it's at. I started using the gold in my amp back in 2009 and it's just *the* thing. There's a fullness, a rich character and a bit of chime. My favorite amp; the 1961 Gibson Maestro GA15rv came with an old Jensen speaker. When I got this amp* Danny said to me** "You're going to have to take out that old speaker and put in something new or you'll destroy it." So I found a new Jensen replacement and it was good for a long time but I felt like it could be better. So over the last few weeks I tried a bunch of things, Naylor, Celestion, old Fender Oxford...and then I took the Gold out of the Vox AC15*** and the clouds parted, the angels sang and it was glorious.****
Now, a while back - like a few years ago I had my buddy Kevin (from Gizmoe amps) make me a clone, a copy of the Maestro amp. I got the original schematic and he built it, 6V6's for the power tubes, a tube rectifier but where the original had 6EU7 preamp tubes Kevin put in 12AX7's because, well - they are way easier to find. And the Maestro has 4 inputs so I run a jump cable out of channel 1 into channel 2 and you get to blend the two volumes. It's what they used to do on the old Marshall stacks except I'm doing it with a 14 watt amp instead of a 100 watt stack. You can dial the two volumes together to get the perfect blend of clean and slightly distorted. So when Kevin built the clone - he wired it as if the channels were already jumped inside but with one input jack but 2 volume knobs. It's brilliant! It took a little bit of tweaking to get the tone right in the Maestro clone but it is right on now.
So when we rehearsed tonight - I played nothing but the Maestro Clone - The Gizmoe and I had my favorite tone I've had in a long time. I hardly even used any pedals - I mean I have the Model B by Bearfoot (Model G and a Baby Pink Booster) that I used for a few things but man - the tone I had tonight was just awesome.
If you'd like to hear it yourself - come to my cd release show tomorrow night (Friday night) at DiPiazza's in Long Beach. Show at 9. See you there.
*Funny story. The amp was actually purchased by Danny. He had it in his shop and I walked in and saw it and said "I want that amp." He hadn't even plugged it in yet and said "take it up to your studio, see what you think." And then a month or so later he said "You're going to have to give me some money for that amp."
**Danny is featured a lot in today's story.
***There is about 42 screws holding on the back panel of a Vox AC15.
****Wait, Ben is Glory?