Wednesday, October 20

New Gear: Taylor 314ce-LTD, and Bonus Gear Review: Fishman Aura much for having a lot to write about, huh?

Seriously though, this month has been crazy busy. The biggest thing has been, in the last two weeks I've played in two weddings while attending three (including one that was my best friend). That's a lot of extra stuff to do when you already don't really have a weekend. I've got another wedding this weekend, and Halloween coming up the week after's a good thing I don't have a day-job, because I'm exhausted!

Anyway, all that is a big fat excuse, which I don't like doing. What else have I been doing with my time? Playing with my new child. Meet the Taylor.

Solid (Sitka Spruce) top, solid (Brazilian Rosewood) back and sides. Ebony fretboard. Built in November of 2001. It's got the older pickup system which actually sounds pretty darn good with no effects. Satin finish which is not perfect, but nothing more than a ding or scuff which is probably pretty good for a nine-year old guitar. Speaking of the age, it's in a great place for an acoustic guitar; the neck is still perfect and the tone woods have really opened up. Great depth of tone fingerpicking, flat-picking or strumming. Definitely brighter than my Breedlove (I mean, it's a Taylor), but that helps it play even better in a full-band setting. And as much as I try to not be the guy who's affected by the name on the headstock, you can feel the quality in this guitar as you play it. I'm not sure quite how to describe it; "delicate" would be the wrong word, but maybe "fine"? The wood resonates together so that you can feel it in the guitar, against your hands and in your gut.

And it only cost me my ASAT. Sad to see it go since it was my first "real" electric guitar, but I honestly can't justify having a premium Telecaster that never gets played. This gives me two acoustics so I can have a backup (you know, when I'm wrecking it for 20,000 fans), and in fact was quite a bit in the black for me, as trades go. I just couldn't pass it by. Plus, I LOVE (in case you haven't figured it out yet) the Squier CV Telecaster if I ever need a Telecaster, which is a bit more cost-effective. I'm thinking I need an ES-335 of some kind first, though...

But anyway, the second half: Fishman no longer sells their Aura pedal in a locked-in flavor, like the "Concert" model that I bought sometime last year. Instead, they sell a one-size fits all pedal that comes pre-loaded with some Dreadnaught images, but comes with access to the entire library of images. Big bonus: if you have a Dreadnaught guitar, a Concert guitar and a nylon-string guitar, you don't have to buy three pedals. You can customize your one pedal to have any images you need. I thought that they should have done that immediately, but the fact that I could upgrade for really cheap is just as good. A bit more exciting is that there's a whole set of images for the Taylor 314ce, which means I didn't have to fiddle around too much to find some images that really make my guitar sound like my guitar. It's also great because there's no practical reason to have more than three or four images per guitar; I mean, how many different situations are going to come up where a different shade of tone is going to be just perfect? I've settled on a solo-acoustic tone, a band tone, and two different finger-style tones, but I can't think of any other needs. 16 presets is nice, but I only need like 3.

All in all, it's great having a brighter guitar that I can play with in a band and a more balanced guitar that I can play in a solo-acoustic situation. Or, having a backup acoustic that can be tuned to something crazy to make things go smoother when I play out. I keep telling myself that my Breedlove is going to be my workhorse guitar and my Taylor is going to be my "nice" guitar, but I can't seem to put the Taylor down...

Sunday, October 3

Ever feel like everything changes in one week?

So, over the course of the week, I have:
- sold my broken PS3
- purchased a shiny new PS3
- traded my G&L ASAT for a Taylor 314CE-LTD (and am beyond excited about this)
- taken Fishman up on the upgrade offered for their Aura pedals
- moved my compressor and tuner off of my electric board and onto my acoustic board
- Gotten an iPhone4

and all of these are (lame) reasons why I haven't recorded any amp demos yet, and all are things that will likely get written about in the near future. Might as well start now.

iPhone4. Awesome. I've literally had it for just over 24 hours, and I've already used it about six times to find info or use an app. It's incredible. I didn't really want to be this connected to the internet (it updates me whenever I get an e-mail, which is good and bad), but I've already stopped caring. I can take pictures and send them to anyone. I've got like 7 gigs of music loaded on (all of the mp3's I've bothered to collect) and can take them anywhere. It's like a swiss-army knife for the modern world.

I'm still looking at all of the hundreds of apps that are available. I need to decide if it's worth it to pay $10 for a strobe tuner from Peterson (way cheaper than a Strobostomp 2, but how often would I use it?) and look into some sort of dock for my car so I can use it as an mp3 player. It's just incredible that I can fit everything I ever need into a device that weighs less than a pound. Technology rules.