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Mr. Dave

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About Mr. Dave

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  • guitars
    Previously owned Sunburst Archtop Custom with FR, '87 Chaparral Standard, Currently own an '86 Chaparral Custom

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    ageing malcontent
    plays guitars sometimes

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  1. Hey Ua D, thanks for your response. Interesting what you've said regarding balance and the mushy neck pickup. As I've looked at a few more of these Gibsons today (there's almost 200 of them on Reverb) there are definitely some with a wider space between the pickups and there's some with 22 frets instead of 24. Given the choice between the Gibson or the Hamer Archtop for a similar price then no hesitations I'd take the Hamer every time but the archtops are getting dearer, certainly in Europe but like you've mentioned there are some cheaper DCs out there. However I've been very pleased to see quite a few Hamers with overly optimistic pricing failing to sell or being reduced to more realistic prices after gettting no takers. The Specials in particular appear to vary greatly in (asking) price. There was one I mentioned recently in the 'For Sale' section going for just under £800 + £100-ish shipping from Australia but I've seen others approaching £1800 or more and some of them aren't even in such good shape. I bought a '93 archtop recently for what seemed like a decent price but I've ended up having to spend another £475-ish on it as it badly needed refretting, the tuners were worn and 'slack' so I've had to replace those too and also had to replace that completely unsuitable 'JB' bridge pickup. Looking at the internal wiring, one of the previous owners must have thought the exact same thing about that JB pickup as I can clearly see where a soldering iron has accidentally melted into it's plastic cable insulation, so at some point it was removed and then re-installed before being sold. The trouble with buying many 90s guitars now is they'll often need refretting, partly as they'll likely be pretty worn down if they've been played much and personally I don't like Hamer's standard fret wire anyway and have had every Hamer I've bought (5) refretted asap whether it needed it or not, whereas Gibson's tends to be a little more 'jumbo-ish'. As I've experienced there could be other wear & tear, some of these guitars are nearly 30 years old or older. I'm not actually thinking about buying an LP DC right now but I did want to know more about it if anyone had owned one so thanks for what you've said, much appreciated.
  2. Yep that's a fake one alright, but the work's been done well fwiw and the seller isn't attempting to mislead anyone as to what it really is. That said I wouldn't consider buying it this side of hell freezing over. And not just because to my own eyes that colour is unpleasant in the extreme. Even if the work was done well it's still a bit of a lash-up and a serious loss could be taken in some future place down the road from now. I love the Hamer double cutaway guitars, particularly the archtops, especially the thinner neck versions and I definitely want to own a couple more for sure but when I noticed the (real) Gibson double cut on Reverb, it did pique my curiosity somewhat. There isn't a single decent music shop within well over 100 miles of where I live so when I see something I've not seen before all I can do is ask other people what they might think
  3. I once owned one of those Yamaha SG-2000 models. The build was every bit as good as the LP Custom I'd owned, if no better. It played well and sounded good, the only fault I found was that it's body was larger and thicker than the LP and it was very heavy indeed, a serious hunk of wood. My flatmate from my college days had an Ibanez RG 6xx from Japan and that too was very well made and was a real quality piece. I find it hard to understand why the better Ibanez models command lower resale prices than USA items, the quality is there. When I was in my early teens (like 1978/79) a friend owned an Ibanez Roadstar or it might have Roadster strat copy that was very nicely made too. BTW I really liked that bunny headstock, it strikes me as kind of typicalJapanese-flavoured quirkiness, it's just not quite what we'd expect. As a side note I'd been a keen amateur astronomer for many years until my health problems stopped me from both carrying equipment around and being outside on cold clear nights to observe any more but a good deal of the very best optical equipment for astronomy e.g. Pentax, Takahashi, Vixen is Japanese and the various grades of O'Hara optical glass that's used in all sorts of quality lenses and multi-element lenses for telescopes, binoculars, Canon's 'L' series camera lenses, and others - all made in Japan. Also the better equatorial mounts that need to have their gears cut very very accurately to compensate for the Earth's rotation, mostly Japanese, the main brands again, Takahashi & Vixen.
  4. So it was Friday night and I'd broken out a fresh Marigold rubber glove and a bottle of Mazola to accessorize up for a little guitar-style titillation on my favourite voyeur site, Reverb. I'd firstly aroused my interest with Hamers, always my first stop, there was a beautiful pair of Newports in cherry red (I noticed one had a slightly bigger price on it than the other) and a mint condition Studio lying there with it's case open looking all inviting and 'come hither' then before I knew it a red '89 Chaparral photographed proud and upright, inviting me to take it home ($140 carriage charge) and do who knows what with its whammy bar, I was sorely tempted, but tonight I was looking for some strange. Slipping frictionlessly over to a Gibson Les Paul page I all too quickly came across some rather pretty looking Les Paul 'DC' or 'Double Cutaway' models which looked very similar to a Hamer Studio/Sunburst etc. Very similar specs except for these lovely ladies had 24 fret necks, not Honduras Mahogany too. So their similarity to the Studio/Archtop was undeniable, the neck joint was perhaps not quite as nicely done as a Hamer but they still looked very nice, coming a whole variety of colours, fitted with quality Grover Tuners, their pickup selector switch in a similar position to the Hamer (I hate the pickup selector position on a 'normal' Les Paul) and some (earlier models as I saw) with a single volume & tone control and others with the 2 volume and master tone arrangement of the Hamer. Quite a range of prices, in general they don't attract quite the same money as a Les Paul Standard or Traditional, some had slightly flamed tops, others were stunning. One thing I noticed was the pickups were noticeably closer together on the earlier models like e.g. a 1998 whereas a 2007 looked like the same spacing between pickups as a standard Les Paul. I've got to say I find these guitars rather attractive. I know Gibson isn't everyones favourite flavour but out of the 4 Gibsons I've owned, only 1 was a duffer and only really because I found I hated Kluson tuners, with their plastic knobs and cheap aroma on them, theymight be good tuners but they look cheap & flimsy and to me have no place on a 4-figure instrument. However the first Gibson I owned, an ES335 Cherry Dot that I bought brand new in 1989 for £650 was maybe perhaps possibly the best guitar I ever owned, next to my FR-'d Archtop Custom. It had an absolutely perfect neck and the lowest action (impossibly low and without even a hint of fret buzz) on any guitar I've ever owned. It played like a dream and I stupidly, stupidly, traded it in for a 1970s Les Paul Custom, which I ended up regretting quite soon. Anyway I know Gibson have done some stupid things at times and I know their quality control isn't what it once was but has anyone owned one of these 'DC' Les Pauls or had the use of one long enough to have an opinion based on experience of this Les Paul model? I'd love to hear, well, read your experiences and opinions. D
  5. That Koa top is gorgeous. I only recently found out about how tight the rules are regarding it's harvesting, wow, strict. I don't get why Hamer chose that JB/'59 combination so often, it's such a mismatch. It's not so much that the 'JB' is a bad pickup, but I don't think it really belongs on a Mirage or other models like the Studio/Sunburst/Archtop/Special etc. and not paired up with a '59. The JB is amongst SD's highest output pickups and would maybe be more suited to 'superstrats' and other pointier-looking things. I've seen one or two custom-ordered Archtops for sale recently with '59s on the bridge as well as the neck, that likely works better but I've never actually heard the bridge version.
  6. There's a few brands/manufacturers licensed to make FR trem systems and FR also manufacture them too, (also in Germany?) Also I've noticed the 2 FU-Tone trem springs on my Lockmeister-equipped guitar are heavier or have more 'pull' in them than the 3 springs on my Chaparral. I replaced the bridge on that but the springs are from the original FR system. I prefer the weaker springs personally, for me at least I find it makes the trem easier to control. On the subject of price increases, a 40% increase is indeed quite a leap, but my local supermarket doubled the price of Haagen-Dazs the first weekend in September when all the UK school summer holidays ended, dammit, how could they? I can't even blame Trump for that!
  7. Since I began playing guitar again, I'm using Ernie Ball 'Primo Slinky' which are sort of half-way between a '9' and a '10' set. The string gauges are 9.5, 12, 16, 24, 34, 44. Many years ago when used live close to a city in England, the music shops all had large selections of separate strings of varying brands in a corner of the shop and I used to put my own sets together which consisted basically of the bottom 4 strings from a '9' set with a '10' for top E and a '12' for the B. I've always used Ernie Ball strings on an electric and D'Adarrio Phosphor Bronze '12' set on acoustic. I always found the bottom strings on a 10 set a bit too heavy and the top 2 strings on a 9 set slightly too light. Now I live a long way from any cities and any decent shops I have to buy my strings (and pretty much anything else except food) from an online place and the individual strings are stupidly priced, like £2 each when a full set costs just over £5. The Primo Slinkys are a decent compromise and work fine on either neck scale for me. I remember Stevie Ray Vaughan used a '12' set and put superglue on his fingertips to toughen them for gigs whereas I was very surprised to see that Billy Gibbons uses '7' and '8' sets so I guess it's all down to the individual and the gear you use to get the sound you want.
  8. They surely look good. Are they fully or partially hollow? No offence to Bigsby lovers but I can't help thinking those trems look more like farming machinery, or something out of an S&M dungeon or maybe a 2-in-1 giant bottle opener & boiled-egg slicer.
  9. I just replaced the tuners on my archtop, so that was a close shave. FWIW I saw some brand-new Schaller items (tuners, oddly enough) about 20% cheaper on Amazon than from Schaller's own web shop, that annoyed me a bit. Maybe the Amazon sellers won't notice for a while or if they do they'll do the decent thing and not increase prices on their existing stocks.
  10. I don't know if you're looking for a pedal type of thing or not but this preamp above will cover pretty much every Marshall amp sound, if that's what you're looking for. It comes with speaker-emulated and non-emulated L+R outputs, an effects loop and occupies a mere 1U of rack space. I got myself one in the 90s after having got sick of heaving around a couple of different heads with a 4x12 cab then a JCM 900 2x12 combo. It was a revelation to me. I bought another one this last September. You can switch between patches manually or with just about any brand of MIDI footswitch. Except for my 'Crybaby' I also dumped all my pedals and bought an Alesis Quadraverb which can provide 128 programmable patches of up to 6 effects. I'm looking into the newer Quadraverb 2 at the moment before I spend anything on effects, again except for a Crybaby. There's always some of these preamps on Reverb but I got a better deal from Ebay with a Marshall valve power amp included for a lower price than some Reverb sellers were offering the preamp alone, not that I'll ever use it or even move the damn thing myself. Billy Gibbons has used this in his live rig from time to time so to me at least that's a worthy endorsement. Maybe these can't completely replace a physical amp & speaker cab or combo but it gets very close and one of these with a rack-mounted effects system is a very versatile piece of kit.
  11. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1995-HAMER-USA-made-CHERRY-LP-Special-Double-Cutaway-P-90s-with-hardcase/254403363131?hash=item3b3b9f413b:g:fNsAAOSwFOldt21r I'm nothing to do with the seller who is Australian. It's a cherry one with P90s and looks very reasonably priced though I don't know much about Specials. Obviously there'd be $180 aus. shipping and varying import taxes depending on the country you're in to take into consideration.
  12. Strange how these things turn up, I was just looking at the Vintage-S in the '92 catalogue photos either yesterday or the day before and thinking that would be exactly the kind of strat-type guitar I'd love to own (or a Rosewood Daytona) as opposed to a Fender and as if by magic here one is for sale. Unfortunately my coffers are depleted right now and the relaxation of the CITES regs doesn't kick in for another month yet either.
  13. Definitely an improvement on White Reaper I thought - I was a little worried that Rickenbacker bass might swallow up the young lady playing it though
  14. Just to folow this up, I had a look inside the guitar and there are 3 identical 6-pin switches, once I gently moved a wire out of the way ofthe stamped metal bit I managed to get my illuminated magnifier inside and the switch says ' C&K 7203' so you were 1 number off. Is your chap an '86? anyhow there it is.
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