Boss RV 500

October 10, 2017

Absolutely one of the best sounding pedal Reverb’s I’ve used to date. I’ve used Strymon, Neunaber, TC Electronic, Electro Harmonix and a few others. The Plate & Hall Reverb are fantastic on nylon strings. Lots of tweeking possibilities. The ability to pull off my pedal-board and use with batteries is s plus for my use. Many of the good reverb pedals on the market don’t have this option. 32bit 96k sampling is an industry high. I’m liking it so far.

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Boss AD-10

September 13, 2017

Than-you Josh Estock from Sweetwater for getting it to me and keeping me posted on shipping & delivery.  I am really liking the Boss AD-10 Acoustic Preamp. I have been waiting for some time for the AD-10 to be available. I like the Boss AD-2 as well. But the AD-10 makes it so I don’t need anything else. I can run AC or 6AA batteries for the power. Then adjustable gain in on 1 or 2 channels even 1&2 at the same time. Digital EQ on both channels. Adjustable Low Cut 10-990Hz , Mid adjustable 200Hz-5.0kHz, Treble, Presence, and Level of eq. Anti-Feedback Reduction, 2 notch switches. 3 Types of Acoustic Resonance (Think Aura) kind of. To me it sounds more woody and natural. You can adjust the tonal quality as well. It’s a fully adjustable blend with the pickup. Off, Soft or Hard Compression, 3 Delay effects, 3 Chorus effects, 3 Ambiance/Reverb effects, Boost, 90sec Looper, extra Effects Loop, Tuner, 10 memory Preset Banks. Option for volume pedal or switches. Smaller than a iPad. Just played with the mic and pickup on using a Bose Compact 3 ft away at 97bd w no feedback. Fits perfectly in my SKB iSeries case. I Gig with two nylon string guitars a Andy Culpepper Spruce Blanca Flamenco with a LR Baggs Dual Source Pickup (Element and Mic) I run the Element into input 1 and Mic into 2. I mix the signals at 60%pu and 40mic. I do eq each separately. My other guitar is a Cordoba GK Studio Limited with the Fishman Presus Blend pickup. It’s two sources a undersadle and mic blend. The AD-10 sounds great with the GKSL . For most gigs I see myself bringing the Guitar, Smal Case with Boss AD-10, and Bose L1s or Compact, with a few cables. For gigs with no AC I’ll use same guitars, Boss AD-10 with batteries and a Behringer Europort MPA40BT. Good for outdoor wedding ceremonies or smaller gigs 75-150 people. The Boss AD-10 makes my life very easy. I will try using two Line 6G-30 for wireless functionality soon.

Pedal Boards

September 7, 2017

Some folks have asked about my pedalboard and what I use. 


I basically have 3 systems each has thir purpose.  They are as follows. 

#1 the most.  Its main component is the Grace Design AliX that dose the Gain, EQ, Bost, Effects loop, DI out to get the signal I use s Saturn Works A/B Switcher one signal is wireless A and the other is s cable B into a one line out. This goes to the Grace AliX I do the Gain structure hear and eq the lows and tame 110Hz on High I give 1-2db bost.   I run a tuner the DÁDDARÍO pedal tuner from line out. My effects loop has the KoKKo Space Reverb and Digitech Jam Man Solo XT Looper.  I use this on my 3 giging guitars the Andy Culpepper Blanca with Lr Baggs Dual Source,  JDZ Blanca with LR Baggs and a Cordoba GKSL with Fishman Dual Source.

**Update** 9/7/17 

I wanted to have the Boss AD-2 for gigs without a Pedalboard and to use with Behringer Europort MPA40BT.  So I put the Fishman Aura Nylon on.


#2 Grace BiX to a KoKKo Reverb and a TC Electronic Ditto Looper.  Smaller board and less control but great sound.  Easier to travel with.  I do at time move the Line 6 Wirless over to this pedal board too.  I use this on my 3 giging guitars the Andy Culpepper Blanca with Lr Baggs Dual Source, JDZ Blanca with LR Baggs and a Cordoba 
#3 Boss AD-2 Pedal I use it for locations where there’s not easy access to AC power and for smaller events like weddings, cocktail hour on the beach.   I generally use the pedal with the Behringer Europort MPA40BT battery powered PA speaker.  Generally the Cordoba GKSL is the guitar I use. 

#4 Boss AD-10 When the new AD-10 becomes available I will try the new digital Preamp out.  

Boss Acoustic Preamp AD-2

September 1, 2017

The Boss Acoustic Preamp AD-2 is perfect with Behringer Europort MPA40BT. This is not a traditional preamp with gain and eq knobs like: gain, bass, mid, treble.  It’s spicific to acoustic guitar instruments.  It’s kind of like a Fishman Aura or TC Electronic Body-Rez with a notch filter to control lows if feedback rumble starts.  For me with my LR Baggs Dual Source or Fishman Presus Blend it sounds great.  The Boss AD-2 has just a bit of Reverb not like a hall full wet but enough ambience to get rid of the dry harsh sound. You can run it off 9v or 9v rechargeable which I will be doing or a power supply.   I purchased this one new at Russo’s in Hamilton NJ. 

From Boss “Bring Your Acoustic’s Natural Sound to the Stage
The tone of an acoustic guitar is created by the complex interaction of sounds from its body, top, strings, and other elements. And as you play with varying techniques, dynamics, and more, this interaction constantly evolves to create the rich, woody sound we love. Unfortunately, the standard undersaddle piezo pickups installed on most stage guitars simply can’t reproduce this resonant complexity. The AD-2’s Acoustic Resonance effect solves this issue by analyzing the input signal as you play, and then employing advanced processing to beautifully recreate your guitar’s naturally evolving tone. Twisting the one-knob control adjusts multiple parameters inside the AD-2 to achieve the perfect tonal balance for any style, from delicate fingerpicking to intense strumming.
Enhance Your Guitar with Pro-Quality Reverb
After using Acoustic Resonance to bring back your guitar’s natural, intimate tone, adding some further depth and dimension with a little reverb makes it that much better. With the AD-2’s Ambience effect, you can dial in studio-quality reverb for any performing environment. Unlike standard reverbs that can cloud an acoustic guitar’s sound, the optimized BOSS algorithms in the AD-2 produce lush, deep ambience that perfectly complements your instrument’s voice. Like the Acoustic Resonance effect, a simple one-knob control tweaks many interlocked parameters under the hood, giving you access to a wide range of detailed reverb sounds.
DI Output and Feedback Killer
The AD-2 features two independent outputs for performance flexibility. Connect the Output jack to your acoustic guitar amp or stage monitor, and use the Line Out to send a balanced signal direct to the PA mixer. It’s even possible to turn off the Ambience effect in the Line Out signal, giving the PA engineer the flexibility to add their own reverb at the board. And if you encounter any low-frequency feedback issues on stage, the AD-2’s notch filter has you covered. As soon as you hear that familiar rumble, just turn the Notch knob until it goes away. It’s that easy!”

GSI Strings Guitar Solo SanFrancisco CA

August 31, 2017

**Update** 9/7/17 The GSI strings seemed to get a bit like harder tension strings so I went back to DÁddarío EXP45 strings. 

I have always liked GSI and their strings.  I wanted to try their Super Treble Medium Tension strings on my Andy Culpepper # 83 Flamenco Spuce top Blanca.   They sound and feel great, intonation is perfect. I ordered a bunch today.  For me the high Tension strings like those in D’Addario EJ46 & EXP46 were to hard on my left hand and stiffened the tops flexing and overall tone.  My string scale length on this guitar is 658mm.   What GSP says on their web page “Our own custom made classical guitar strings, are wound on a very unique multifilament nylon core. We were the first to market our unique nylon Super and Ultra Trebles – now used by several of the major brand string makers. We now have Super and Ultra Hybrid Trebles – a little brighter and more powerful than the Supers and Ultras. Quality of sound and production, and consistency are what guitarists have come to expect from GSP Strings.” GSP Webpage 

DÁddarío EXP46

August 29, 2017

The DÁddarío EXP46 were on my Andy Culpepper Spruce Blanca but I took them off after 3 days.  I went back to EJ45’s on the bass and GSP Super Treble Medium Tension.  I did keep them on my Cordoba GKSL.  I’m liking them a lot.  The total tension is 87.36lbs as opposed to EJ45 at 85.85 lbs. so there’s only 1.51 difference in overall tension between EXP46 (Hard Tension) and EJ45 (Nornal Tension) I have used EXP45 they are 81.05 lbs.  I have been using EJ45C for 10 years and as my fingernails have shortened and my technique has been improving I felt it was possibly time to change to a higher attention just to see what the tone and feel would be like.  I am happy I have tried to hire tension.  I feel like it’s a bit easier to play fast passages internally there hasn’t been that much of a shift maybe just the slightest hair of stiffness on the top of the guitar not producing some of the wood or air tone that one might here.  Don’t give me wrong it’s still there it’s just the slightest shift that I noticed when I change the strings.  Strings are such a personal preference anyway and there’s so much that goes in to the effect of how the overall tone that is heard gets produced… The humidity in the air. The temperature… and any rate for the moment the Strings seem to be comfortable on these two guitars and I will keep using them for the next couple months.  


    On the Culpepper above.


    On the GKSL above. 

    Behringer Europort MPA40BT 

    August 29, 2017

    The Behringer Europort MPA40BT  is a great all in one Battery Powered PA for less than 180.00 on the street. Two channels line in or XLR.  Bluetooth and USB Digital 2 Mic Capability.  Power for 8hrs. It solves a problem for the gigging musician who has paying gigs for 50-150 people but dose not need the power a DJ would need for a dance floor party.  So many gigs just need some general power to amplify for a small group.  This is an easy set up and makes for a nice gig paying 175.00-300.00 and in a park or backyard.  Just grab your guitar the Europort MPA40BT and maybe a mic or a few battery powered effects and You good to go.  I could see busking with this too in NYC.  The Bluetooth feature let’s you stream from your iPhone or Android device.  I’ve used it with my Andy Culpepper Spruce Blanca with a LR Baggs Dual Source and my Cordoba GKSL with a Fishman Presus Blend.  Both sound great.  Thank you Michael Perez for sharing the information on the Behringer Europort MPA40BT with me.  For more information check http://m.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Portable-PA-Systems/Compact-PA-Systems/MPA40BT/p/P0AVS. See video at bottom for and idea of the sound.

    DÁddarío EXP45 

    August 18, 2017

    I just put a set of Daddario EXP45’s on my Culpepper Flamenco Blanca and like the feel and tone.  They seem to sound just a bit brighter (tonally) than the EJ45’s.  The basses also set up very quickly.


    For the differences in tension and diamater of the strings in the EJ45 series see below. 

    BiX Grace Designs 

    August 4, 2017

    For my mini Pedalboard I have chosen the Grace Designs BiX instrument preamplifier.  I have a KoKKo Space Hall Reverb, I will add a Line 6 G 30 and looper later.  I will generally be using this mini bord for wedding cero and cocktail hr gigs with the Bose Compact.  Below is how I have it set up with my Culpepper Blanca with a LR Baggs Dual Source pickup system:


    Cordoba GK Studio Limited Ziricote back and sides

    August 3, 2017

    -Update 8/17/17-   I just returned from Andy Culpepper’s shop up in Ithica NY he did a few set up adjustments to the GKSL and replaced the saddle so my action is at 2.6mm on bass and 2.5mm on treble.  The guitar feels good and is easy to play.  I also replaced the Savarez 500CJ strings with Daddario EJ45TT which I seem to like more.    The top picture is the before and second is the picture from Andy’s set up with Daddario EJ45TT strings.  I have done two gigs with the guitar and am very impressed. 


    I recently returned a Yamaha SLG200NW Silent guitar due to tone issues live amplified. I needed a guitar for outdoor beach weddings, outdoor gigs in the sun and high humidity so I chose the Cordoba GK Studio Limited to replace the Yamaha. It has built in pick & mic the Fishman Presys Blend. Solid Spruce top and Lamented Ziricote back and side with a high gloss polyurethane finish. That will protect the guitar from the weather and sweet.

    The GK Studio Limited offers a new spin on Cordoba’s ultimate gigging instrument. Based on the success of its sister models, the GK Studio Limited features a solid European spruce top and striking ziricote back and sides. Accented with olive green and gray highlights, ziricote provides a rich, smooth sound that fills a room. This nylon string guitar comes equipped with a soft cutaway and Fishman Presys Blend pickup. The GK Studio Limited is a flamenco guitar made for the stage, constructed with a slightly thinner body depth, neck, and nut width than a traditional Spanish guitar. The neck is designed to have little or no relief, offering low action for ease of comfort and quick playability.
     
    For flamenco players, this model offers a bassier and more robust tone in contrast to the bright, snappy sound of ‘blanca’ flamenco guitars, but any guitarist looking for a new tone to add to the repertoire will feel right at home with the GK Studio Limited. With its comfortable body shape and unique tonewood combination, this model is the perfect choice for exploring the nuances in sound that can only be captured with nylon strings. Like every Cordoba guitar, this model also has a two-way truss rod built into the neck. Other premium features include a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, high gloss finish, clear flamenco-style tap plate, and Savarez Cristal Corum strings. The GK Studio Limited includes Cordoba’s deluxe gig bag.