DÁddario EJ45 Strings 

June 16, 2017

For the string of choice on my 2017 Andy Culpepper #83 Flamenco Blanca Spruce Top and Alaskan Cypres Sides they are none other than the DÁddario EJ45 Strings.   I have tried a few brands and tensions from 79.00lbs – 95.00lbs from DAddario, Labella, Hanabach, Galli, Luthier, Guitar Solo in San Francisco and I came back to the tone and feel of the EJ45 set. 

DÁddario Planet Waves NS Micro Headstock Tuner

June 16, 2017

Needed a small discrete tuner for solo gigs and outdoor events when not using power. This little DÁddario Tuner is what I decided to use. Nice small footprint and I don’t think it will marr up the finish like the TC Electronics Tuner did.  

You can check out the Tuner from Sweetwater for 14.49 at: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NSMicroClip Discription from Sweetwater web page “The Planet Waves NS Micro Headstock Tuner is a feature-packed device that’s so small, your audience will never see it. The NS Micro features a reversible screen, a multicolor display, and a visual metronome in a housing that blends in with the aesthetics of your axe. A super-sensitive piezo transducer and backlit display give you easy and accurate tuning on loud stages, as well as in dim or brightly lit environments. It’s so accurate, convenient, and unobtrusive, you’ll want a Planet Waves NS Micro for every instrument you own!” 

I have been using theses now for a few years with no problem.  

2017 Andy Culpepper 1951 Marcelo Barbero ex Sabicas build 5 Fan Brace kind of 7.

May 30, 2017

Some folks have asked about my recent  AC Blanca/Spruce build.  It’s similar in build and design to a 1951 Marcelo Barbero ex Sabicas guitar.  It’s a five fan brace with two smaller outer braces.  See below

The neck is 2mm wider at the nut thand the standard 52mm this build is at 54mm and a 658mm scale lenght.  I wanted to try tuners instead of flamenco pegs.

For guitar strings I have tried various sets from Daddario, LaBella, Guitar Solo, Luthier, Hanabach, Salverez and I’ve come to prefer Daddario EJ45. 

I also asked Andy to make a sound port on the guitar so I can hear a bit more when playing without monitors or amplification.

I also am using a Daddario small NS micro Tuner

For a pickup amplification system I chose the L.R. Baggs Dual Source (Element & Mic)


When I’m playing out I use the Grace Design AliX to a Bose L1 system. 

Switchcraft 318BT AudioStix

April 19, 2017

Just received my new Switchcraft BT from Sweetwater.  I plugged it into my Bose T1 ToneMatch, powered up phantom power, and paired the 318BT with my iPhone and started streaming music from iTunes and OneTrack no problem.  There’s a little noise when silent as if we’re trying to pair.  Makes a sound like wind onna mic capsule.  I’m going Gig with it for a few days and write more.  Thanks Sweetwater and Switchcraft.  

Yamaha SLG200NW

March 24, 2017

Looking forward to trying out the Yamaha SLG200NW.  I hope this will make some gigs very easy to set up and tear down such as cocktail hour.  With the onboard eq and effects like reverb I don’t think a pedalboard will be a necessatity.  The Yamaha SLG200NW and Bose L1 Compact will be a easy carry with or without a cart and set up time should be no more than 2-5 minutes.  

Yamaha SLG200NW NA silent acoustic guitar with nylon strings, mahogany body, mahogany neck, maple/rosewood frame, ebony thomann fingerboard, rosewood bridge, 19 frets, 650mm scale, 52mm nut width, 11,5mm string spacing, SRT piezo pickup, SRT mic modeling preamp system (Neumann U67), controls: power, master volume, aux in volume, bass, treble,tuner, blend & smooth control effects (reverb 1, reverb 2, chorus), weight: 2,1kg, finish: natural satin, incl. thomann softbag, in-ear headphones & 2x AA batteries

DÁddario Pro Arté EJ45C 

March 11, 2017

It’s been a few years since I’ve used EJ45C’s on a guitar and what a treat on my JDZ Cedar Blanca flamenco guitar.  Warm, silky and easy on the hands with great tone.  I am using the coffee colored G composite string.  83.74lbs of tension.  

Sennheiser ew D1 Digitial wireless with DPA 4099

January 27, 2017

Trying out the updated Sennheiser ew D1 Digital Wirless system with a DPA 4099G mic. Looking forward to using it for solo guitar gigs with the DPA Mic.

*Update* 2/7/17. I have updated the firmware so the system works with my iPhone using a apple airport (wifi) I have giged 3 times with this set up at a Cafe and Winery with no problems.  I really like the ease of use and tone quality.  While you can’t turn up the system the way you can with a UST pickup you can amplify your guitar to levels that a large audience can hear without feedback.  For me it’s part of a solution.  I do have my guitar plugged into a pickup system if needed but I start off with the DPA only.  I add the pickup as the performance gets going and if more volume is needed. 

The system

DPA Mic clipped on

Body pack with DPA 4099g

Sennheiser app on iPhone

Sennheiser ewD1 Reciver after update

Sennheiser ewD1 Transmiter 

DPA 4099G w Grace Design AliX

January 24, 2017

Thank you Eben Grace for letting me know you can use the DPA micro dot cable and cut one end and solder a tip sleeve 1/4 jack and plug into AliX with 12v. It’s sounding great and at 10ft away I can have 92bd w no feedback out of a Bose L1 Compact. (cable and a jack pictures Eben Grace) 

DÁddario ProArté EJ25B

January 19, 2017

For the winter I noticed I needed a bit brighter string so I chose the DÁddario ProArté EJ25B for my JDZ Cedar top Cyprus Back and sides flamenco guitar. 

I think the lower humidity affected the tone and the EJ25B seems to sound good on this guitar. 

Jorge de Zofia A1F Cedar Blanca cracks again

January 9, 2017

I have two guitars that have been made by Jorge.  I prefer my Blanca (Cedar Top- Spanish Cyprus Back & Sides) for tone and feel over the Negra (Redwood Top-Madagascar Back & Sides) . But before I even was able to play it it was cracked on the back.  The first time the crack may have happened in shipping, maybe due to the battery not being taken out or shipping/handling.  The guitar was in a BAM Guitar Case.  The guitar is only two and a hafe years old.  Recently this summer the fretboard started to crack near the sound hole between the A and D string.  Below is the crack.

The guitar has lived in great humidity 55-65% and generally 72 degrees in a  BAM case.  I do have a LR Baggs Dual Source Pickup system in the guitar.  I was able to do the repair myself after talking to a few luthiers.  I did ask Jorge for input but never heard from him.  I used glue from Stewart Mac Donald and ebony shavings to fix the crack.