Thalia Capo 200 Black Chrome Macassar

July 27, 2017

*Update*  For my needs this was not the Capo solution.  The clasp that is used to lock and unlock the Capo seemed always flop around a little bit and made just a little bit of noise enough work for using a microphone or have a sensitive pick up that vibration would be picked up. The other thing in my opinion was the Capo is a little bit heavy and you can feel it on the guitar neck especially if you’re playing a flamingo or classical guitar.  I have to say the customer service at Thalia is fantastic.   I am returning the two Capos.

I recently received my Thalia Capo in Black Chrome and Macassar wood trim. The capo feels solid and I have been using the teflon pads in standard tension for the classical guitar. I will write more after using it for a few weeks.


DAddario Pedal Tuner

July 27, 2017

DAddario Pedal Tuner. Looks good fits on my pedalboard and has a quick and bright led display.

Yamaha SLG200NW Review (Sent It Back)

July 27, 2017

I was recently told that the Yamaha SLG200NW has shipped and is in the USA. I have been waiting over a year for the release of the new model. I was told CITES confiscated the shipment. They are now in the USA this particular model has the wider nut 2-1/16" and for me that's very important. It also has Yamaha's SRT powered system that blends the UST pickup with a Mic sound, eq bass & treble, tuner, built in effects, MP3 jack, headphone output jack. The neck is an ebony fingerboard. The body is made from mahogany. Below are a few pictures. I will write more once I have played it for a bit and giged with it. This will be my outdoor wedding guitar.

Update #1 8/2/17 I have been playing it non stop since it arrived. I have waited over a year for this and for my needs it meets and exceeds my expectations. The neck 52mm is very comfortable. Once you get used to the size and playability I think you actually focus on you hand movement and this guitar polishes up your movements. I did need to polish the frets and put new strings on (DÁddarío EJ45). The mic modeling sounds great but when on more than 50% it needs some bass cut around 85-145Hz. I used the Grace Design ALiX to accomplish this. I plan on using the Grace Design Bix and use it to tame bass frequency. I have used the guitar with the Bose Compact, Bose L1S, Behringer B210 speakers, direct into Pro Tools on hear ttps:// The guitar tunes easy, the Preamp is very easy to use just bass and treble, tuner works great, effects are very nice I use reverb two which is a hall setting. The gig bag is nice and the guitar bracket for the top assembles very easy. I am very happy with the purchase and will be using the guitar for wedding, cocktail hr and outdoor gigs.

Update #2 8/3/17 Well I'm sad to say that while I like the concept of the silent guitar especially for practice I was not able to justify keeping it due to it sound quality live and direct into a sound board, mixer or DI like Grace Design AliX or BiX. I would not be able to trust the sound in a gig live where I would be paid to play. My clients & fans deserve sound that replicates the nylon string Spanish Guitar. It has been sent back.

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

I 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: 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.  

I had tried the Peterson HD Strobe Headstock Tuner. “I had high hopes for this tuner however this tuner has a very narrow grip and it mars the finish on fine French polished flamenco and classical guitars. The tuner put dents in the finish even though it says hear on Sweetwaters web page, and on Pertersons web page that it’s easy on the finish. I had to take my guitar to a luthier to get the marks removed. I would recomed the Daddario NS Micro tuner as it’s much easier on the finish and produces good results. I am disappointed with my correspondence with Sweetwater as well. 

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