Friday, April 23

Why can't I stop spending money?

Next in an endless series of pictures of my ever-evolving pedalboard, I bring you the latest, newest and improved-est board. I feel like I'm coming to a stasis point with the 'board, so you may only need to endure a few more pictures!

As you can see, this is pretty much identical in terms of pedals as my latest update, but now they're all situated snugly on a giant Pedaltrain board. Not pictured is the ridiculous ATA flightcase that came with this board. It's ridiculous. I felt ridiculous wheeling it in to church on Sunday, but, well, it has wheels which was a huge selling point. I am physically capable of lifting it, case and all, but it weighs in at around 60 pounds; not exactly easy to carry from place to place. The new 'board has room for a bypass strip which is still in process, and I also ordered a smaller tap tempo (and one that actually takes velcro well) and a pedalboard bypass that will let me plug in my guitar and amp into one place, rather than a specific pedal or snaking it in to the bypass strip. It's going to be sweet. And way nicer than I need. Once I get that and install it, then any changes will be small, and will be more "check out this new pedal", rather than, "here's a new picture of my pedalboard!"

The other thing that I've recently used to soak up excess money that I really needed to get rid of (I mean, saving is such a pain in the ass...) is an Epiphone Les Paul. I didn't want an Epiphone. I wanted a Gibson, a real nice guitar that I could keep for an eternity, that would be a good example of a rocking, humbucking guitar. I didn't want to pay for a Gibson unless I found an absolutely perfect example, as I've heard that their quality control isn't what it used to be. What I found, on Craigslist, was a guy who had taken a pair of Epiphone Les Paul Standards, and paid a guitar tech to replace the guts (pickups, pots, switch, everything) with Gibson parts, and to upgrade the tuners to Grovers and do a setup. Now, from what I've read, the only serious problems with an Epiphone Les Paul were staying in tune and uninspiring pickups. Problem solved, and I have a $1,000+ guitar (in theory) for $325.

The guitar itself has a few bumps and scratches, but it plays really well. There's a fret buzz that needs to be hunted down on the low E, but other than that, it's smooth and sounds pretty good. All of my experience has been with single coils, but I really like the chunky, thick tone that comes with this guitar. The pickups are the standard 490r and 498t pickups that come stock in older Les Paul Standards (now they use Burstbucker pickups), and first impressions are that I like them. I've spent a lot of time going back and forth between my new Les Paul and my G&L, and what I've found is mostly common sense; the LP is thicker, more distorted, whereas the G&L gives me a thinner tone that is better defined when overdriven. Neither is better or worse, but I'm happy to finally have a few different guitars that will cover the same ranges and have similar versatility, but that can be used for different tonal coloring.

Point number 3, much more important than money I've spent and sweet deals I've gotten, is that I'm playing electric on a weekly basis! It's fun, because the group I've been playing with already has two acoustic guitarists, so having a wide range of tones to play with is great. At the very least, it makes me feel like I'm being heard, which inspires me way more to be creative and not just blend into the background. Unless the song calls for it. Booyah.


  1. That is a nice Les Paul, love the colour. And the board is really neat. See you use your GE7 for the lofi sound

  2. Yeah, part of what drew me to this particular guitar was the color; it's one of my favorites.

  3. Nice.... don't let the Epi's fool you, they can be exactly the same. I've been playing one for almost 15 years. I changed the pickups and its incredibly awesome. The only difference between mine and other Gibson's I've played is some Gibson's are a touch bit heavier.
    However, I think I need new frets now :)

    Its fairly easy to mod your guitar to what you want, without paying tons!

  4. Right, and make sure to put in a lightweight tailpiece, if it's not installed already, makes a BIG difference

  5. I'm definitely digging the Les Paul. Best part; now I don't have to spend anymore money on guitars; at least, that's what I'm going to tell myself...