Friday, 29 October 2010

Nearly choked on my sandwich . . . . . .

As I would normally not post anything up two days running,
this is a bit unusual but I was that keen to share it.

I have just come across this:

I used to have one of these, "when I were a lad".

I must have almost starred the print off the pages.

Happy days!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Fender Jazz 62 and the boys at work. . . .

I first played a Fender Jazz in the mid 70's, when a friend of a friend
was having a "jam" - which is what we all did then - a
bunch of us
would get together and sometimes make beautiful
Read "most of the time a deafening row"!!!

I went with a guitar, to play rhythm and ended up playing this
Fender Jazz.

This is only a guess, as it is well over 30 years ago but it could
been one of those basses that now fetch big money, as it
looked old,
even then.

This was handed out to anyone who fancied a bash on it, without
word of "careful with that, son".
I wonder what became of it?

Anyway, the next one I played was a later, post '75, Bullet TR,

which was a natural colour and after that followed various goes
others but at the time, none of them were mine.

I bought my first Fender JB62 after I had borrowed a friends '72 to
do an outdoor gig, in the summer - it just felt so right.
So, after a lot of searching, I managed to find one and it was a real
beauty - not the one in the pic, that is another one!
I ended up with four, three Sunburst and one Pink!
Still got them all but as yet, I don't think I have any pics of the
first one - I will get some soon.

The first one, I played all the time, for ages, just so nice to play.
The one above, is the second one I had and as usual, they went
out as pairs.
Fender Japan, of that period, made some really great gear, so
much so, I understand it gave Fender USA some worries, as the
quality coming out of the Japanese factories, in some cases was
better than the ones in the USA.

As well as the for JB 62, I have a modified JB 75, which was one
of my first purchases from ebay.
I will do all the others later but for now, I'll leave you with just
this one.

I will give you a blow by blow account of what they are like to play,
when I post up the next one.

And finally. . . .

Managed to get the pics of my phone, which shows the Ibanez Duo,
that have been hogging the limelight, recently and the Blazers at a
recent outing.

Sorry about the quality of the image!

Back next time with something different.

As always, any info you have or any questions - drop me a line.
It's great to hear from fellow enthusiasts.

Cheers :)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Status Shark. . . . .

A mass produced bass that was - "Made in England"

As mentioned in previous posts, I have been looking for this image
for some time and have found some others in the process!

This is my other Status, The Shark.

This is so easy to play, mainly down to the neck profile.
It is similar to a standard neck profile, which could be found on all
sorts of basses but the thing that makes it different is that it is
almost flat in the centre.
This gives you something to get your hand around but reduces the
distance from the centre of the neck, at the back, to the face of the

Simple controls, volume and tone, which have a quality feel about
them, as they have a click feature, so instead of just spinning from
10 to 0, you can feel each position of both controls.

The bridge is quality - once adjustments are made, it is locked into
position and the installation and finishing of the frets is 10 out of 10.
Light, hardly know it's there and nicely balanced.

I can't say that I have seen many in circulation, mine is one of the
later ones, the earlier Shark had a chrome pick-up.

I have never got round to playing any of the headless/graphite basses
but if the quality of the Shark and the Groove are anything to go by,
they must be something quite special.

I have mentioned that my Hatchet was going on a long trip - well, it
seems it may be stopping here.
Size was an issue and I have managed to get my hands on a Speedster
travel guitar, which has arrived today.
This is a neck-thru, maple, that only measures 28" (711mm) long.
I shall give it a good going over and get some shots of it, before it
begins it's journey.

Back next week, perhaps with some Fender.

Cheers. :)

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Monday, 18 October 2010

Ibanez Studio ST-824 . . . . . .

I took a load of images, months ago and saved them in a
safe place - so safe, it turns out, I can't find them!!!

I came across some of them today, on a USB stick that
had been sitting right in front of me, on my desk!
I went to save something and there they were!
So, here's one I have found on it. :)

Ibanez Studio ST-824 - This one is 30 years old - almost
ready to give up nights out with the lads!!! :) :)

I have two of these - same story, got the first one, liked it
and looked for a second one.
The second one, I have to admit, didn't look that clever when
I got it and although complete and a player, needed TLC.
That, however, is a different story, as the one in the image is
the first one I had - the other one, I haven't got round to taking
any pics of - perhaps I will do them as twins.
The ST-824 and it's brother, the 924, are very solid instruments!
You could go into battle with one of these and when you had won,
still rattle off a few tunes.
Both pick-ups have Tri-Sound switching, which if I'm honest, I can't
remember the technicalities of.
I think is goes like this - Single Coil, Parallel and Series.
What ever they do, there are three distinct sounds.
It also has the Ibanez "Quadra Lock" system, which is a feature on
a lot of their other instruments. There are threaded inserts into the
neck, which give a very secure fixing.

I get very "Old School" when I play it - it's not the sort of thing you
would play Stanley Clarke stuff on, or try and emulate Flea, doing
Higher Ground and equally, it is not the sort of bass you would
perhaps attempt anything from Rush or Yes!
Anything other than that and it is well suited to almost anything else.

And finally. . . . . . I have been asked by a visitor "are all these
instruments yours and where do you manage to find them from?"
I sent a lengthy reply, as we both share an interest in Twin Necks!
Hi "G" nice to hear from you - as I said, more "Twin content" to come
later on. :)

Yes, they are - unless I have used an image as an example, which
I point out is not mine. The Studio, shown above, came from a modern
version of a Pawn Shop, Cash Converters!

For those of you not in the UK, "Simples" is a phrase from a talking
Meerkat, who stars in a very amusing series of averts selling Insurance.

Back with more another time.

Great to hear from you out there - anything information to offer
or any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Cheers. :)

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Friday, 15 October 2010

Doug Wilkes - Guitar Builder. . . . .

Doug Wilkes - Top Man!

I am now in the fortunate position of owning two of Doug's fine

One is a twenty year old fretless, that Doug claimed was a cracking
bass, when he plugged it in - which I will come back to another time.
The other one is this beauty!

** Sorry about the strap in the way - you can tell I'm not a real
photographer - still very much an amateur**

Doug made this for a customer, who saw him build it, stage by stage,
almost ten years ago and has been cared for by the original owner
until now.
Thanks for looking after it so well, "L C", still as good as new. :)

Doug's eyes lit up when he saw it, picked it up, rolled it over and uttered the
hallowed words - "Brazilian Mahogany, Wenge, Maple, Purplewood. . . . ."
"Perhaps needs a tweak on the rod", as he unscrewed the cover and inserted
an allen key, tightened it, eyed it up the neck - "sorted"
He then plugged it in to his "under bench" amp and played with the controls,
thumping out a few notes and declared it "Beautiful"
"To make this now, would cost you £xxx.00". I wasn't surprised, at all!!

What a great bloke! Had a coffee and a chat with him, for about half an hour.
I asked him how he got started and to my surprise, all he said was "I'm left
handed". I think he could see I was confused and explained that as a lad,
he had made several guitars to suit what he wanted, getting better as he
went along.
To date, he can't be sure how many he has made but thought the numbers
would run into thousands, as he had a manufacturing facility at one point.

All of them now are made one by one.

What a great little workshop he has, which has got it's own little wood burner,
to keep things cosy in the colder months.
It has also got a very amusing sign on the door - Beware of the Doug! Ha. :)

If you visit his web site, it is full of information about Doug and his work.

There is also something here.

I am going to get some good shots of the bass and do a full review, which I
will post up as soon as I can.

Doug is also "out on the road", making regular appearances in the band
"Hollywood Nites"

Doug Wilkes - A man of many talents!

Cheers. :)

Friday, 8 October 2010

Hondo Professional. . . . . .

Hondo Professional Precision Bass.

I bought this purely on looks and out of curiosity and was
very surprised with the result.

Looking at it here, you could almost think it was a 70's Fender
but cast your eyes to the other end . . . . . . . . Not quite so!

This is one of those instruments that breaks the rules.
It says "Hondo" - You think budget instrument. Wrong!
It needed a bit of a clean up when I got it and after tidying
it up, fret polish, new set of strings and and a set up. . . WOW!

I have a '79 USA Fender P and three Fender Japan P's and
this stands shoulder to shoulder, pretty much, with the others.

How, I don't know. The electrics all seem original, the body
is perhaps made of some non descript timber, the neck is
maple and it all bolts together very nicely.

The first time I gigged it, a friend who I have known since
the late 70's, came up to me at the end of the gig and said
that he had had a little chuckle to himself, when he saw it but
the smile was wiped off his face when he heard it!

A lot of bass playing smiles for not a lot of $$$$ . . . Johnnie!!

Still trying to find the pic of the Status Shark!!!

Gig tonight, time to give the Blazers an outing!

Yes, I have now set up the intonation - pic was taken in a hurry,
before I had finished setting it up. :)

Back next week.

Cheers. :)

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Monday, 4 October 2010

Hohner G3T, going headless. . . . .

Going headless for the very first time was a strange experience,
very much like the first time I ever used Cruise Control in a car,
an odd feeling.

The daddy of most of these things is obviously the Steinberger, which
is a top end quality instrument, used by all sorts of famous players,
at a much higher cost.

You soon get used to it but for me, takes a moment or two when
you swap over from a conventional instrument.
I bought this to go with a B2A bass, after I had a flash of inspiration
and came up with a cunning plan, which I will share later.

The hardest thing to overcome, in my experience, is the fact that
there is very little there - no size and no real weight.
The only thing that I have, that feels even smaller, is an Kay45,
Austin Hatchet, which I will come back to later, as it is about to
do some serious travelling!!!

I have also found a pic of a Hatchet Bass - must be very rare!!
This is not mine, something I found during research.

The Hohner G3T has a humbucker at the back, with a coil tap and
two single coils, which
are all selected via their own switch.
There is a handy flip down leg rest, for use when sitting, as without it,
it just slides backwards

I can't say that I have played this one much but when I did, all seemed
well, reasonable bite from the pick-ups and a good trem.

I shall come back with the B2A another time.
Next up, "The Austin Hatchet" has a pre-travel set up and clean, ready
for a six month trip!!

Cheers. :)

Any questions, stories to tell, experiences to share:

Thanks to "J" in the USA, for sharing your T-40 experiences,
much appreciated. :)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Status Groove. . . . . .

I have mentioned Status but then not got round to it, so here is
one of them - the other is a Shark but at the mo', I can't find the
pics, so I'll have to do that another time.

Status are perhaps famous for the headless basses, an association
with Mark King and other artists as well as "Carbon Graphite"
Innovative use of materials, electronics and design.
They also made other basses, including "The Groove" and "The Shark".

This bass is an absolute cracker!!! I don't gig it much at all - perhaps
only once this year, as I am mainly into playing older, Classic stuff.
Shame on me!!!

This is a Classic, it just feels right - perfect pick-up position, active
or passive nice balance and a lovely neck, I think it is due for an
outing, very soon.
You don't see many about, I'm not sure how many were made
but it took me ages to find this one.
Below is an extract from the catalogue, showing four colour options.
I thing the burst one is the nicest.

So, a cracking bass, that I must use more often. . . . . .
Made in England!!!!
Can't say that about much, these days.

Did a gig last night - mid week is a bit of a haul but had a great
night - lots of happy (very, some of them) punters, really having
a good time.
Took the 650 and 900 combination out again - second time in
6 days - great sounds - got a pic but need to get it off my phone.
Got home and found a program about Hendrix. . . . . .
Well, I just had to watch it! Very entertaining.

Back soon with more, not sure what yet but perhaps time for
one of the guitars.

Cheers. :)