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Talking Dirty

March 2011

Nitty-Gritty

I have it on authority of several US contributors of the correct vintage that a ‘nitty-gritty gator’ once was a ‘lowlife hip dude’ and can assure that in terms of sound (and of course looks) the Danelectro Nifty Fifty (15w rms solid-state amp) is undoubtedly one of those die-hard fellows

Nifty-Fifty-Dirty-Sweet

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Budget Babe

February 2011

Another low-cost little gem…

Cardinal

…being rediscovered during the last recording sessions – Electrovoice Cardinal (Cardioid Capacitor Vocal Mic) is beautifully engineered, impressively stylish, and sounds good to boot. The frequency response of the Cardinal is flatter than that of most large-diaphragm mics, as the presence peak is less pronounced and quite broad, but there’s also a hint of low-end lift at around 70-80Hz, which gives the mic a very subtle ’smile EQ’ characteristic, the practical outcome of which is that the sound is mildly flattering but still very natural sounding. There’s nothing thin or edgy about the sound and, because there’s no excessive inherent coloration, it responds well to EQ — you’re not constantly trying to fight the mic’s in-built character. Of course you don’t get the fudgy warmth of a tube mic or even a transformer-coupled model, but to our ears this makes it easier to place the vocals at the front of a mix without using excessive volume, and there’s certainly nothing budget (except the $199 price tag) or second class about the sound of this little beauty

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Es geht Los!

January 2011

Jan

To be continued…

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“It Was a Very Good Year”

December 2010

Sekt

Mikael Tariverdiev: “Dorogi” from the 17 Moments of Spring OST

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Form follows function

December 2010

Seraph

This beautiful piece of all-american handcraft, built upon ingenious and now unfortunately gone Nace M1-7, is called SERAPH. No comment…

Seraph 2×2v6 smokin’

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Lovepedal

October 2010

Pickle

Love this one. Although NOT a copycat of certain Shin-Ei Univibe this tiny little thingie equipped with just one chic rotary control knob is capable of producing THAT huge, swollen, swirling vibrato tone and, in addition, with its very own thick, lush lo-end throb. ‘Cause of the excellent signal/noise ratio it is suitable for lots of applications including vocals and cymbals and, hmm, well… it’s purple.

Lovepedal Pickle Vibe

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Tone vs Caster

October 2010

H44-Ribot

H44-Front

Everything was rocket, stratospheric, meteor, space-related in the fifties… So I guess Stratotone means nothing more than strato(spheric) tone… However, it’s interesting to note that Harmony invented this name and sold the H44 (1952), – 1 pickup, “Neck-through” construction “Spanish Guitar” (one piece of wood from head to tailpiece, and two added “ears” to form the body), before the Fender Statocaster (1954), so they did not copy the name as we read or hear from time to time. But Fender may have been inspired by the Stratotone… Anyway, because of its thick raw gutsy sound, the H44 has gained a cult status over the years and now, following the next wave of “vintage madness”, experiences a huge revival. My once guitar hero Marc Ribot was spotted using one since some years already and also I’ve been told that all-clean Mr. Waits now frequently noodling on the Stratotone during his recent stage shows… However, it is to point that H44’s rather unhandy small shape and FAT “Baseball Bat” neck makes this otherwise undoubtedly great instrument not everybody’s cup of tea.

Harmony H44 Stratotone

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………………………

H44-Back

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Wow…

October 2010

Wandre-Polyphon

This one is an extremely rare Wandré Polyphon (1963) with its aluminium neck through design, unique vibrato system, famous floating strings through reverse bridge construction and two Davoli pickups – hidden under the black pickguard… $50,000 anyone?

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E Chord

September 2010

Tuxedo-Cave

A number of months back, but a nice shot of Nick Cave with his AIRLINE TUXEDO. Cave’s now main instrumentalist – Warren Ellis – has also been working with the manufacturer, canadian Eastwood Guitars, on releasing the Warren Ellis Signature TENOR guitar, coming next month. AIRLINE TUXEDO is designed after the Barney Kessel model from the mid 1950’s and sold under the brands of KAY and AIRLINE. There are some pics, specs and sounds below…

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Janglin’

August 2010

Danelectro-63c

Unlike a traditional guitar pickup that uses a plastic or fiber bobbin as a form for winding its coil, the lipstick-tube pickup has its coil wrapped around an alnico bar magnet, and then wrapped in tape, usually a cellophane-type tape on vintage units, before being inserted into the metal tube casing. The original lipstick-tube pickups were, in fact, manufactured using surplus lipstick tubes, and were featured on Danelectro, Danelectro’s Coral series, and guitars that were later marketed through Sears, Roebuck and Company department stores under the name Silvertone. Most vintage Danelectro guitars had their pickups mounted using spring-loaded brackets underneath the tube casing, which could be adjusted for height by means of screws located on the back of the guitar body. Vintage Danelectro lipstick-tube pickups are quite wide, at 3.22 in (8.18 cm) overall. They CANNOT be retrofitted into a Stratocaster or similar guitar without removing plastic from the pickguard or wood from the guitar body. The Fender Telecaster’s neck-position pickup, despite its appearance, is NOT a lipstick-tube pickup. It is a traditional single-coil pickup under a chrome-plated cover.

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