I’m Growing My Fingernails
Sep06

I’m Growing My Fingernails

So I’ve decided to grow my fingernails out. Why? To really dial in my flamenco and classical guitar styles. I really enjoy playing my little beater classical and I have aspirations to actually record an acoustic album sometime next year. If that happens or not still remains to be seen. However, I am growing out my fingernails. I’ve never grown my fingernails and in asking my wife if it would be weird she replied with, “I think it will be a little creepy”. Yeah, guys with long fingernails tend to look a little suspicious, but I’m already a little suspicious so I am okay with it. To take it to the next level I won’t be growing out my nails on both hands. No, just my right hand, my picking hand. The nails on my other hand need to stay short so that I can fret the strings. So yeah, creepy factor, raised! At any rate, I just started this process and it is bugging the shit out of me and my nails are microns longer than the tips of my fingers. This is going to be a long road. Not sure if I can do it, not even sure at this point that it is worth it. Time will tell. Why do it? Well when picking with your fingertips (skin) you get a muted sound. When picking with your nails it is brighter, an asset when playing a nylon string guitar. Why not just get finger picks? Because finger picks are annoying and I want to look a little more creepier than I already am. Ha ha ha. No, seriously, it is strange to be attempting this whole growing my nails out thing. In a way it is stretching me in a few ways. For one I will only use the nails when playing guitar but the length of my nails will always be with me, getting in the way of things, breaking, needing to be groomed, etc. Is it worth it? At this point I don’t know. It could be way more hassle than it is worth, but I am willing to try. Why not just use some Lee Press-On’s? Because that is lame, that is why, and kind of well um….lame. I want my own nails, it is a harder road to take but totally metal, er um…classical…that is if I can stick to it. I am sure typing will be a problem and scratching myself and others…hell, it already is. So what is the point to all of this? Try something new, improve your craft even a little and even if it might fail. Take...

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Peavey 5150 and a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Aug27

Peavey 5150 and a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor

A while back I read a post on a forum about a way to make the 5150 STFU! Many players like the sound of a hissing amp they say it sounds “alive”. Others, like myself, are more of the type that says if you’re not playing you shouldn’t be heard. At-any-rate, I’ve found this configuration to suit my agressive metal style well. Though I only keep my gain at about 6.5 (on the crunch channel, 3 if on the lead) with my overdrive in front of the amp a healthy bit of hiss is pretty much constant. Enter the Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor. Is it the best pedal…..no. Does it get the job done, ABSOLUTLY! As you can see in my rig diagram that I have the Boss NS-2 going to both the front and the effects loop of the amp. ALSO NOTE that the cabling of the noise suppressor is in an “X” pattern. What is happening is that you are sending the entire signal through the pedals effects loop and it is sensing the difference between the guitar noise (the stuff you want heard) and the amp noise (The stuff you don’t want heard). I have my THRESHOLD set to MAX and the DECAY set to MIN and the MODE set to REDUCTION rather than mute. If I am playing with less overdrive or at lower volumes I will bring back the THRESHOLD nob a bit. If nothing else this is a good place to start and then dial in your knobs depending on your settings. This makes for great “chug, chug, STOP” riffs and shuts the noise of the amp down on the “STOPS” rather well. As a side note you can see I place my Delay unit after the noise suppressor……..if you have the delay or a reverb pedal before the NS your effect will go away when the NS clamps down. So any pedals you want to bleed after the stop place after the noise...

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Peavey 5150 (6505) Bias Mod
Aug27

Peavey 5150 (6505) Bias Mod

Years ago when I purchased my first Peavey 5150 I researched doing a bias mod on the amp and then on an old band web site I wrote up an instructional post.  In looking back I must say that I like the way the stock amp sounds better considering the amount of work that went into modding the amp and the possibility of DEATH associated with opening up an amp head without proper training. There was a difference but maybe not as big of a difference as I once thought. Of course each amp will react differently so this may be a good choice for you and your 5150/6505.  Here is what I wrote: ====================================== So I purchased a Peavey 5150 and heard about doing a bias mod since the stock one has a fixed bias.  Being able to bias the 5150 I have found there is more clarity as you are out of the “crossover distortion”.  In researching how to do a bias mod I came across fjamods.com with their 5150 bias mod (Here is the link: http://www.fjamods.com/5150BiasMod.html), but I needed more detailed instructions and I wanted an out-board bias so I wouldn’t have to open up the chassis every time I needed to bias. I then contacted Bob at www.eurotubes.com, which is where I buy my tubes, and he was a big help giving me pointers and making the mod procedure more clear. To be honest, I was scared to open up the 5150 head, or any head for that mater, because I don’t want 400+ volts running through my body and KILLING ME!  So I was very cautious. IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON DOING THIS MOD BE VERY CAREFUL.  AMPS HAVE HIGH VOLTAGE RUNNING TROUGH THEM AND CAN KILL YOU!  IF IN DOUBT TAKE IT TO A PROFESSIONAL. Also, I am NOT a professional tube amp repairman.  The mod done here was done by a half witted crazy guitar player, me.  PLEASE BE WARNED: You are responsible for either your own death and or blown head, NOT ME. If you want to do this mod you do so at your own risk!!! Now lets get on with it. What you need: Decent soldering skills (if you don’t have experience here, get some before doing this or have a pro do it) Philips head screw driver 10k pot Knob for your pot Between a 4.7k and 6k resistor Wire Solder Soldering iron rated between 15 and 30 watts Electric or cordless Drill and drill bits You can readily get these supplies at a Radio-Shack. Oh yeah, and Patience STEP ONE: Disassemble Chassis I did this mod to an original 5150 head, I...

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