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Philly visit chez Diablo (extensive Hamer Cali content)

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My brother is currently living in Manhattan and during a recent visit I was invited to visit Diablo at the house of Cali's.  An early start and a little over an hour on a train and I was there!

I was made incredibly welcome and, after my insistence of overcoming the "Rocky Steps," a stop off for lunch and the journey back, I insisted on being introduced to his collection.  It's fair to say I have not played as many Hamer Californians in one sitting in my entire life.  Very cool!  Diablo plugged in and the journey began.  Diablo has a different set-up to me as he likes to throw heroics on the whammy bar (which he demonstrated) so it took me a while to become adjusted making me play a bit ham fisted.  Never the less it was a thrill to try them all out. 

First on my list was the Fath Double Cali.  What a great looking guitar.  I felt compelled to pull a suitable face.  The O'Connor rose looks much better up close than on photographs.  The gold leaf really pops and the shallow scalloping on ebony is really sweet.

Next up was the C3 (named by Diablo as it is a Custom Chequered Cali).   Love the look of this one.  Great rock Cali well executed.  Diablo questioned whether the binding was the right move?  It absolutely was in my opinion as it really sets it all off.  Love the red logo too.  There can't be many Hamer's out there with red logos.  That's 3 set-necks on Cali's in 10 minutes!

Dayglo retina burning Cali next.  The first bolt-on of the day.  Single humbucker, reverse headstock, boomers, bad ass!  

Gatorbyte's former Cali.  The red sparkle is insane.  Really changes as you move the guitar and with the matching headstock and alternating boomers its brilliantly executed.  I spent twice as long on this one as I did some of the others.  The overtones on this particular model were all over the place.  Hold a note and you can hear it change after 3 or 4 seconds.  It almost sounds like it is crying (ok, my playing isn't that bad).  Yes I am hitting the guitar (gently of course, with my palm) to get a suitable purr at the appropriate moment.  Rock on!

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Edited by DBraz
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Round two.  No stopping for drinks.  I was on a mission from Rock!

O'Connor Cali Standard.  Lovely looking guitar.  Does everything you'd expect from it.  I was actually interested in buying this one as Diablo knows but something else came up...

Cali Swirl.  I have never played a Cali with a swirl finish before.  The finish is very well executed indeed and well suited to the guitar.

Godzilla!  Another well executed finish.  Diablo was explaining the process of his design and how it was executed by Learn.  A lovely playing guitar with plenty of edge.

Calioactive.  Yep.  I am warming up for some more Rock poses.  Loved this one.  What you cant see from the Learn artwork is that the black is actually a smoke like effect.  Up close this really shows.  Diablo was explaining that he spec'd black and Learn surprised him with the additional feature which really compliments the radioactive theme on the face of the guitar.

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Last Cali.  For today.

The Bengal.  Another really superbly well executed finish.  I instantly felt like Satchel.  A shame I can't play like him...  The burst on this is much more apparent in person than in this photo. The blend from yellow's to orange is faultless.  Another Cali with great overtones. 

Whatever you may think of Diablo's refin ideas one thing is for certain.  They are all brilliantly executed and to a VERY high standard.  There is absolutely nothing worse than a poor refin and it could also be argued that how a guitarist choses their guitar finish is like a reflection into their soul.  Diablo's guitar's ROCK and reflect his self admitted devotion to 80's shred!

I am really grateful for the opportunity to play them.  

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Woah!  So many Cali's in such a short period of time - that's almost scary. ;)

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I survived.  I did stay sitting down after the exertions involved in trying the Double Cali first!   :lol:

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1 hour ago, DBraz said:

I survived.  I did stay sitting down after the exertions involved in trying the Double Cali first!   :lol:

Safety first!  

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2 hours ago, sixesandsevens said:

So which was your favorite?

That is hard to answer.  To play probably the red sparkle Cali.  There was something about that one.

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Cali schmali, what’d you eat in Philly?

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15 hours ago, Stike said:

Cali schmali, what’d you eat in Philly?

Ate at Reading Terminal Market.  Reminded me of Smithfields market in London in some ways.  Lots and lots of good food.  And donuts..

In the evening Diablo, Mrs Diablo and I went out for a nice meal.  I had Cod and potatoes.  You can take the Londoner out of London...

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9 minutes ago, DBraz said:

Ate at Reading Terminal Market.  Reminded me of Smithfields market in London in some ways.  Lots and lots of good food.  And donuts..

In the evening Diablo, Mrs Diablo and I went out for a nice meal.  I had Cod and potatoes.  You can take the Londoner out of London...

RTM is sensory overload, so many offerings that looked fantastic. 

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5 hours ago, Stike said:

RTM is sensory overload, so many offerings that looked fantastic. 

Jim was confident I’d like it.  I did!!

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Edited by DBraz
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Mrs. Diablo and I had a great time entertaining DBraz! Always the gracious gentleman and always prepared to talk all things shredder guitars! The weather was fantastic for that time of year- sunny and 50-some degrees. My only regret was how short his visit was, as there were worthwhile activities missed out on: like sampling some of the local micro -breweries and Mexican eateries & visiting some of the other landmarks. Lastly, we did not get to jam/trade chops. It was, rightly so, an opportunity for DBraz to take the Cali's and a few others out for a test drive.

 

 

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2 hours ago, diablo175 said:

Mrs. Diablo and I had a great time entertaining DBraz! Always the gracious gentleman and always prepared to talk all things shredder guitars! The weather was fantastic for that time of year- sunny and 50-some degrees. My only regret was how short his visit was, as there were worthwhile activities missed out on: like sampling some of the local micro -breweries and Mexican eateries & visiting some of the other landmarks. Lastly, we did not get to jam/trade chops. It was, rightly so, an opportunity for DBraz to take the Cali's and a few others out for a test drive.

 

 

There are no good Mexican eateries out here.    But there's a ton of other things to do and great places to eat. 

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34 minutes ago, BubbaVO said:

There are no good Mexican eateries out here.    But there's a ton of other things to do and great places to eat. 

The dinner I had at El Vez a couple years ago was pretty damn good.

http://www.elvezrestaurant.com/

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El vez on Samson ain't authentic Mexican food.   But it is tasty.  Not great.   My office is a block away.  There's another Mexican restaurant a block away - more of a carry out place.  It's ok.  Frankly nothing I've tried in the Philly  / NJ area comes close to the Mexican restaurants I've sampled in Chicago.  El Pastor off Milwaukee Rd  near wheeling was a neighborhood joint and excellent.  El Jardin in wrigleyville had killer marguaritas.  My bro lives in Chandler AZ and the food there is crazy good.  YMMV.  Philly has great bread.  The cheesesteaks and pulled pork sandwiches  amazing.  

Edited by BubbaVO

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51 minutes ago, BubbaVO said:

El vez on Samson ain't authentic Mexican food.   But it is tasty.  Not great.   My office is a block away.  There's another Mexican restaurant a block away - more of a carry out place.  It's ok.  Frankly nothing I've tried in the Philly  / NJ area comes close to the Mexican restaurants I've sampled in Chicago.  El Pastor off Milwaukee Rd  near wheeling was a neighborhood joint and excellent.  El Jardin in wrigleyville had killer marguaritas.  My bro lives in Chandler AZ and the food there is crazy good.  YMMV.  Philly has great bread.  The cheesesteaks and pulled pork sandwiches  amazing.  

No not authentic and no not in the same league as places I've been to/heard of in Chicago but it was a good dinner and a fun place, lunch that day had been John's Roast Pork.

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20 minutes ago, Stike said:

No not authentic and no not in the same league as places I've been to/heard of in Chicago but it was a good dinner and a fun place, lunch that day had been John's Roast Pork.

Agreed.  Definitely some tasty dishes there.  Happy hour doles some great mixed drinks.  Some of the prettiest girls in Philly hang out there too.  Considering the neighborhood, I think they're girls.  Lol

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Deng.  I wuz en Phully tidday, axshelly!

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1 minute ago, cmatthes said:

Deng.  I wuz en Phully tidday, axshelly!

let me know in advance if you want to meet up for drinks / grub in center city.

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Just now, BubbaVO said:

let me know in advance if you want to meet up for drinks / grub in center city.

Will do.  Was just in town for meetings at our office on Chestnut.

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