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Best Speaker upgrade for Blackstar HT5 / HT5R (MK1 or MK2)

Okay gang, last week we talked about the best speaker upgrade for the super versatile Blackstar HT Club-40, this week, let's talk about it's splendid little sibling, the HT5R.  In case you missed the memo, 5-watt tube amps are all the rage these days.  Almost all of em are single-ended amps with a single 6V6 or EL84, and Personally, I find most to just plain be too mushy in the bottom end; but this lil gal is different!  The HT5R (and the verb-less HT5) actually come about their 5-watts(ish) via a unique...

Best Speaker Upgrade For Blackstar HT Club 40

Folks, the Blackstar HT series Club 40 is a true thing of beauty.  Man, I love products made in Korea!  Move over Japan; Korea is the new Asian manufacturing mecca, and  Blackstar amps are certainly proof of this fact.  Honestly,  Blackstar doesn't make a BAD amp, but there is something just ...well ... downright perfect about the Club 40; if ya only had ONE amp and it was the Club 40, you'd be fine.  Let me point out right here and now, this is NOT a review of the amp, you'll find plenty...

Definative Answer: Should I wrap my strings around the tailpiece on my tune-o-matic style bridge?

So a couple weeks back a question came into one of the big forums that I see fly by all the time, and it seems like there is never a definitive answer, so I'm gonna give ya one ... right here, right now!  The question: Should I wrap my strings around the tailpiece on my tune-o-matic style bridge? The Answer: Maybe. Maybe I should elaborate, but I promise, I'll keep this short and to the point!  When you wrap around the tail piece (stop bar) of a tune-o-matic, or "Nashville" style bridge it DOES make the...

How Electric Guitar String Gauge Effects Tone: The quick, simple answer!

Howdy guitar gang.  Today's blog will be short & straight to the point (or at least I'll try my best ... really).  Last week I had an email come in from a pickup customer that basically said "an, your pickups sounded great on my guitar, but I switched from 9's to 7's and now the tone's really thin and almost ice-picky".  And all I could say was ... "duh"!!!  Okay, y'all know me, I had plenty more to say, and it went something like this: Generally, I tell folks to play the gauge that works best...

Evolution of Guitar Amps (Back to the Future Part 2)

Hi again fellow guitaraholics!  If you have not yet done so, you might want to begin by going back and reading last weeks blog on the evolution of guitar pickups, as it was kinda what sparked this idea.  While working on this young up and coming Nashville super-picker's Tele he asked a simple question I'd never heard before:  "What's the advantage of having a separate amp "head" with the electronics in it and a speaker cabinet with just speakers in it, versus just having it all in one combo amp?". ...

Evolution of Guitar Pickups (Back To The Future)

G'day fellow guitar mates! A couple days back I had a killer up & coming Nashville based guitar player in the shop for a pickup upgrade on his uber sweeeet 1968 Tele; it was a road I've been down way too many times.  The guitar was a sort of family heirloom, passed down from his father, a former Nashville pro, to him (a future Nashville pro :). Problem is, back in the 80's dad had yanked those "awful" vintage Tele pickups out and replaced them with the cool (for the day) active EMG pickups.  Hey, I can'...

Best Replacement Speaker Upgrade for Fender Blues Junior

Howdy Tone friends!  Soooo, last week we discussed the best speaker options for the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp, Fender's all-time best selling amp.  Today, we move to it's lil' brother, the Blurs Junior, which is also a perennial best-seller ... and one HECK of a great deal in a grab-n-go hard gigging or recording tube amp.  The Blues Junior has the same 2-EL84 output section as the Hot Rod Deluxe, but sports a single channel (great pedal platform), and is in a much smaller cabinet made of MDF (ugg)...

Best Repalcement Speaker Upgrade for Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

So, whatcha think would be the best selling Fender Amp of all time? Many of you would say the Deluxe Reverb, and you would be ... close!  Maybe the Bassman or the Twin Reverb?  Nope.  Actually, the amp that wears the title of best seller EVER is the (drum rod) Hot Rod Deluxe!  Kinda feels a little crazy to me, since I have such a love affair with the Fender tweed and blackface amps of the 1950's and 60's, but beautiful as they might be, the HRDX outsold any of those glorious pre-CBS models. ...

The Best Options for acoustic guitar pickups, whatcha NEED to know!

Wow, this is such a hot topic these days ... and there is so much to cover it could go on forever, but I promise I'll cut straight to the point and keep it brief and bring you the info you need as quickly as possible.  ... You're welcome!  Let's dive in. First the history.  Putting a pickup on your acoustic guitar became a big thing in the folk-fuled 1960's and 70's.  Then you had two options (apart from just micing it, which SUCKED), magnetic sound-hole pickups or a stick-on piezo transducer....

Musicians Unite To Save Small-Town USA!

Howdy Guitar Gang!  I pen this blog during "wave two" of the Covid scare having just spent time on main-street USA. Actually a small town in the northern part of the country, but it could be anywhere.  We just enjoyed some excellent coffee from a locally owned shop and wandered up and down Main Street.  It was AWESOME, but also tinged with a good bit of sadness, and longing for days-gone-by.  You know the "good old days" ... like waaaay back in ... say early 2020, otherwise known as pre-covid-19...

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