Friday, September 21, 2012
If you don't know who David Lindley is, don't feel bad, I was late to the game too. This guy is an amazing musician. I notice his name popping up all over the place, sitting in with bands, performing at festivals and fronting his own band El Rayo-x. Check out this video of him playing lap steel with G.E. Smith. This is a fine example of the art of playing a lap steel. The level of technical ability is off the chart, the accuracy is amazing, and the soul he plays it with is unmatched in my opinion. Enjoy.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
This is a Gene Leis 910T that I purchased on eBay about a year ago. The price was right for a vintage tube amp, and I figured it couldn't be as bad as it appeared in the ad. I was wrong! It arrived from California, and was a total piece of crap. The cabinet was made of particle board, and it showed all of the use and abuse it had taken since new in the mid sixties. Someone had treated it to a terrible rattle can stripe job, that had less fore thought, than me pressing the buy it now button one late night after one too many PBR's. So I collected myself and came to terms with the fact it was approaching 50 years old, and it only mattered how it sounded. I took a guitar out to the garage, to give it a test run. As I carried my guitar out to the garage, I anxiously anticipated the sweet vintage tones from an amp of this age. As I turned it on, and plugged in my guitar, I was treated to 110 volts of electricity through the instrument jack. I nearly dropped my guitar, and this piece of junk had zapped me of all the joy and excitement I had while unpacking it. I was pissed. I pushed it under my work bench and went inside. After several weeks of walking past it, I figured I needed to get it looked at, and try to salvage my investment. I made a call to Chuck Mathes (www.mathesamplification) and he agreed to check it out. I dropped it off with a brief recount of my experience, and told him to call me when he knew what the damage was. I left and put it as far out of my mind as possible. 3-4 weeks went by, and I got a message from Chuck saying the amp was repaired. He added a grounded AC cord, cleaned the pots, recapped it, and adjusted the tone stack a little to improve the overall tone of the amp. I picked up the amp, and headed home with renewed excitement to test it out. This time around I wasn't shocked as I plugged into it. It made noise, and I was almost satisfied. It just looked so bad I couldn't stand it. Back under the bench it went. About 3 months ago, I was clearing out some unused stuff to eBay, and I figured I would put this amp up and hope someone would grab it in a moment of weakness, like I did. Unfortunately no takers on 2 rounds of eBay, so was feeling stuck with this thing. I figured if I was stuck with it, I had no choice but to clean it up, and try to make it useful. I talked to a wood worker friend of mine, and he agreed to build a replica cabinet for me, made out of 3/4" cabinet grade plywood. We changed the design of the back of the cabinet a little to make access to the tubes and speakers easier, and he took the cabinet to get the rest of the dimensions. While he worked on that, I worked on cleaning the blue paint off the face plate of the amp, the only piece I planned to reuse. After an evening of scrubbing, and a quart of Acetone, I had removed 99% of the blue paint. Luckily, most of the original lettering was still in good shape, and I was starting to get excited about it again. The amp had the worst power on indicator lamp, and I couldn't stand it. I gave the amp back to Mathes after drilling the chassis out for a Fender style jewel light, and he wired it in. The cabinet was done now and just needed to be wrapped in tolex and new grill cloth. I liked the idea of a different color than black, so I wrapped it in blue tolex with a black and gray grill cloth. I noticed when I tore the amp apart to replace the cabinet, that the speaker was either shot, or a clapped out piece of junk. I had a 10" speaker, so I installed it during assembly of the amp. It sounds as good as it looks now. One feature this amp has that's really cool, is the dual instrument inputs. One input allows full volume of the amp, and the other input drops the over all volume allowing the tube overdriven sounds to come through at a lower volume. Thanks to Chuck and Gary for their help getting this thing useable again. It's ready for another 50 years of use.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
I was lucky enough to spend some time in Washington DC several weeks ago, and I took in some sights. I made it to a couple Smithsonian art museums and saw quite a few incredible pieces of art. I enjoy geometric art especially, and I spent quite a bit of time observing them from different angles. This one piece really stuck in my head. It might be difficult to tell, but these are Night Train bottles. I walked away from the art museums feeling very inspired by the massive collections of creativity. I also wondered how bad the artist’s head must have hurt from consuming all that cheap wine. To quote Axle Rose "I'm on the Night Train, ready to crash and burn, I'll never learn". Having been on the Night Train early in life, I did crash and burn, but I did learn. Enjoy, I hope this inspires you to be creative today.
Friday, March 2, 2012
OK, so about 3 months ago I was in Lawrence, KS at a music store called Mass Street Music. I was killing some time while they did a set up on my Martin D-16 (I'll post some pictures of that soon) and I played a few guitars they had. This Eastman brand was one of the many I had in my hands that day. They stock a lot of guitars, and I was able to hack away on some high end Taylor's, Martin's and Collings guitars. Collings are unbelievable guitars and the fit and finish are world class. They are hand made one at a time by craftsmen here in the USA, and it shows. The salesman at Mass used to work at Collings and was a wealth of information on the guitars and the company. Needles to say at over $5000 each, I didn't keep it in my hands long for fear of scratching it or something. One guitar I did pick up several times was an Eastman E10OM. The body is slightly smaller than my Martin, and it just felt perfect. The sound was really big and bold for the smaller size guitar, and this is because of the special wood top made from Adirondack Spruce, and mahogany sides and back. It's all solid wood construction and nitrocellulose lacquer finish are stunning. It's a hand built beauty at a fraction of the cost of the Collings. I left Mass Street that day without the E10OM. As 2 months passed, I continued to drool over this model on their website. Christmas came, and my thoughtful wife gave me a gift card to Mass St. Music, and that was all it took. I called up the salesman that had helped me that day, and bought one. It arrived 2 day later, fully set up and ready to play. I couldn't be happier. Mass is hands down the coolest guitar shop I've ever been to, and the people that work there are great. Check them out on the web at http://www.massstreetmusic.com/ it's on my favorites list for sure.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I'm looking for a 54 Chevy 2 door in original condition. I would consider any 2 door , so long as the body is original and not rusted to pieces. This is what has me fired up. If you know where there is any old iron sitting, let me know. The right car has to be out there somewhere.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I can't wait to get mine done! Rephase means the timing of the crank rotation is changed. In stock form the crank is set to have one piston at top dead center, and the other piston at bottom dead center. With the rephased crank, one piston is at top dead center, and the other is at mid stroke. The result is a smoother running motor that responds to throttle changes much quicker. Now I just need to find some time to finish it up. I hope to be popping wheelies by spring time.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I'm likely going to post a random collection of thoughts and interests. Hopefully anyone stumbling on to this blog will find something of interest, or something that peaks their curiosity. To get this started, I'm posting a picture one of my buddies sent me from Sturgis last night as I was going to bed. Look at all that PBR. Enjoy!