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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:13 am

I had to. Decided to invest in some new cables and pickups.

I chose to go with ProCos for my instrument cables.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Pro-Co-Lifelines-Instrument-Cable-330500-i1128399.gc

I would have gone with the straight/angled cable, but the longest they make them is in 18.5 foot lengths...and I kinda want longer than that. Cables are so damn expensive, it seems more worth it to just make your own. I'm sure it is, but I love the molded connectors. It feels that much more solid, you know?

Why ProCo? Apart from the fact that they make some funnily named pedals (some day, I want a "You Dirty Rat" for the novelty of it), I'm sick of the BS that everyone who makes an instrument cable throws out there. I just want a cable for chrissakes! Laughing There's some real chintzy stuff and then there's good stuff that costs WAY too much (Monster Cable?), but it seems like there's nothing in-between. Planet Waves looks cool and they aren't quite so ridiculous, but it seems like there's no such thing as a good cable that doesn't look all boutique-y and stuff. If I'm playing rock 'n' roll, I don't want a cable that looks like one end should be plugged into a $50,000 7 string made out of 3,000 year-old spalted maple and the other end into a custom Italian amp that's lighter than my cell phone...or (as amimbari would say) something like that! And the vibe from the ProCos appears to be as simple as you can get. Sure, it's still more than I'd like to pay, but they look burly.

But what's with a specific end for amp and instrument? That sounds weird. What would happen if you plugged the "instrument" end into into the amp's input? How can a cable like that have a direction?


I got a couple more speaker cables. Since I've got all those speakers, I want to be able to use them all! What a Face


And then I just splurged on an actual DiMarzio Model P. About time I gave the genuine P mastah a try. Creme for that vintage vibe. Cool And I'm going to stick it into my Hamer to see if I can't liven up the P position a little more. It's not quite mid rangey enough for me at the moment. I also got a 2-way DPDT switch to give the "Dual Sound" option (series/parallel switching) on the P pickup a try. Just for shits and giggles.

So I can't wait for my stuff to get here!

Next paycheck, I plan to get an MXR Carbon Copy and a couple more bits of electronics for stuff. This summer, I might see if I have a plan for the Destroyer or my Charvel and get going on one of those projects once I get the Hamer mostly sussed out.
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:01 pm

You've got some great choices there, Martin!

If I'm not mistaken, ProCo cords come with a lifetime warranty. I seem to recall Guitar Center telling me years ago that you can bring a ProCo cord back to them in any condition, and they'll replace it free of charge. Now, this was back in the late 80's, and I'm not even completely sure it was ProCo, but I thought it was.

And I think you will really enjoy the Model P. Both it and the Model J are absolutely superior pickups, both in construction and tonality. Since I have yet to get my first X2N-7, I have been using the Model P and J until I do the upgrade, and I am still really, really happy with them (my SX is actually all wired up now, with the Model J sitting about 1 1/2" below the neck for my low/clean channel, and the Model P for my distortion channel). The tonal response and power of these pickups is unreal, and I have been suing them since about 1985 or so with zero complaints.

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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:36 pm

Cool! I'm not sure if they offer that, either, but with that kinda background, I feel like I've made a good decision. I can't wait until they get here to loom 'em up with some black zip ties, then I'm set! I realized after I lent my long LiveWires red cable to my boss that I didn't have anything else except a 6 footer around...oops. I hate the insulation on that thing. It's all icky and sticky. And shiny. Not really my cup of tea.

But I still wonder what's up with these ProCo cables being directional in a way? I've never seen that on a cable, that one end is supposed to be plugged into the amp and the other end to the guitar. What happens if you do it the other way around? Voided warranty? Laughing I think it'd be cool to have on black and one white end at each end of my loom so that I could glance at my amps and see which is going where, without having to trace one cable all 25' back it its source.

With the Model P--I want to see how it compares to the Hamer Slammer in my Blitz! I kinda want to zazz that bass up. And I've been happier and happier with how the J pickup sounds, so I want to see if I can find a P pickup that complements it a bit better. The one in there is loud, but I'd prefer something a tiny bit snappier. And I seem to have lost the allen wrench that I've been using to adjust the pole pieces. I hope the Model P comes with one that fits!

I want to see how the creme cover fits that bass. I think the creme covers are so classy. After all, that's the look that DiMarzios were recognized by for so many years. Even though everything else on that bass is black or chrome...it might look cool!
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:40 pm

...HUH? scratch

I have NEVER heard of a cord being directional, ever! It's two plugs with a center conductor, and a shielded outer conductor, and the amp and bass don't know which end is which!

Can you elaborate?

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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:43 pm

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Pro-Co-Lifelines-Instrument-Cable-330500-i1128399.gc

That's what I mean!! check out the photo--on the white molding around phone jack. Read what's there. Weird, huh? Makes no sense.

EDIT: sorry, the black end, in white text. tongue
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:47 pm

Ah-ha! From American Musical Supply:

"Pro Co LifeLine Line Cables
Featuring "quiet-wire" technology and super flexibility. Constructed of Black 223B wire, 1/4" Big Foot phone plugs which are ground lifted at the instrument end and tied at the amp end."

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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:39 pm

I get all mine here, they're built to order by a New Orleans bassist. The instrument and speaker cables I've bought from him are top notch.

http://bayoucables.com/
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:26 pm

Aah! Good eyes, Eric! Thanks. Well, I've got two of those that should arrive on Wednesday. Cool

Have you ever heard of anyone else doing that? Weird.
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:14 pm

Great source, Jeff! I may have to grab me some at some point.

Thanks, Martin! I just needed to know what exactly was going on with them, since it didn't make any sense to me. But now that I think about it, I do recall some manufacturers making cords with self-grounding tips in case the cord became unplugged during a gig, so your amp wouldn't hum out of control. I think these are just an evolution on that idea.

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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:26 pm

Huh. That's cool. Well, I can't wait until they come. I'll probably wind up color-coding them with spike tape or something.

Those Bayou cables look awesome. Very involved, though. Some day, I might have to check that out. I totally dig a no-bullshit, down-to-earth operation like that.
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:54 am

another marketing strategy..haha cables that are marked amp/instrument... but I'll just BET YA, people will believe it.....
however on YOUR choice, there may be some truth to the design:

the amp end may not have a strain relief piece of plastic under the metal cover, where as the instrument end, which gets moved around a LOT more, may have an "EXTRA" strain relief built in under the cover to help it last longer without pulling the soldered wires off the posts under the screw on cover.




just like monster cables for everything "our cables are designed to out perform all other cables out there in the world"

haha ya right ever hit a monster cable with an ohmmeter, compared to a non-monster 5.99 walmart cable?

if you think you need a 60 foot cable to go to your amp, and you are worried about signal loss...oy-vey..go buy a wireless already.

Monster RIPOFF!!
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:50 am

I think that in this case, it's a self-grounding cable as Eric has pointed out, so it makes sense. But yeah...I'm sure you can use it any way you wanted, right?

Bah I'm sick of all the marketing crap. I've got some good cables on the way and they're going to get put to good use.

But Guitar Satan charged me TWICE for a $180 order. I called them, they said there was only one charge. I called my bank and they said that they miscalculated the tax, so one was for $180.61, the other was for $180.62. I checked and double checked to make sure I had enough in my checking account before ordering, so it wasn't my fault. $235 minus 2x $180 leaves me with -$125 instead of +$55, what I had expected for the correct amount.

But, Guitar Center refunded me the $180.61 today as well as the overdraft fees. But they didn't cover the two times I overdrew when my new PayPal account withdrew $1.95 or whatever to verify that I had punched in my bank account number correctly. Gaah. That wasn't fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:24 am

that double charge is your fault...

you should buy your stuff from GuitarAngel, not GuitarSatan -- the devil made them make a mistake Smile Like a Star @ heaven
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:39 am

Hmm? How so? What a Face

I always feel like I'm doing battle with them in one way or another Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:55 am

you missed the joke, it was not your fault, it was theirs, but the angel-satan thing must be the culprit.

you know "the devil made me do it"...in your case a double charge....
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:12 pm

Oh hahahahaha funny. Laughing
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PostSubject: Mmh..."creme"-y!   Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:53 pm

So I got a little package in the mail...





Still have some kind of grounding problems in there. However, it's partially cured. Shouldn't let people like me learn how to use, own, or even think about soldering irons...but HOT DAMN...that pickup sounds SO AWESOME!!! So much better than the stock P! So much tighter, crisper, and louder! Really works with you to push the amp, or fall back a little. And the series/parallel switch helps add that much more clarity or open, high gain, fat sound. With the newish lightish Rotosounds on it...holy hell!! So f-in' cool!

First of all, I like how DiMarzio stamps their name into the fronts. Really subtle, but classy. But I love the look of the creme covers. It makes it look exactly how I want it to--it has that metal hot rod classic vibe to it, especially with the temolo and stereo outs. But the pickup really tops it off and demands attention. I like the contrast between the black and creme, too. Perfect! cheers

The DiMarzio mini switch feels solid and really great. Makes the flat-shaped switch heads feel really chintzy. I think the round tip makes it look more complete. And the two modes...they just sound great. Parallel sounds especially good if you want to bring out more clarity in the higher registers or if you want to diminish the "scooped" sound that can happen with P pickups--it accentuates the highs more whereas series accentuates the lower mids more. Each one picks up where the other leaves off...it just sounds and works GREAT!

I think I'm hooked.
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:14 pm

Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:14 pm

Good Shocked or bad Shocked? Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:47 am

Good Shocked I'd assume. that thing is amazing dude! \m/Twisted Evil \m/
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:52 am

Haha thanks, man! It's such a pleasure to play. Wish it had newer strings. My crap strap dropped it this evening, tough. Fortunately, body first onto 2 layers of carpet, so it's fine. The neck feels a little shocked, but it'll settle back in a bit, I hope.

There's some nasty grounding problem with it. I never really got my head around how to ground an instrument properly in the first place, so I have the feeling that I'm just making matters worse. The grounding on the P side is much better, but on the J side, it seems to have gotten worse. The J is going through the Tube Works amp, which is a little noisy when you push it's tubes...but with what's going on, the noise is too much with the dirty/stacked channel and I even got this horrible feedback while playing. No bueno. I'll have to figure that out.

Again...I shouldn't be allowed to even think about soldering irons. Evil or Very Mad Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:08 pm

Oh, it's WAY good, Martin! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Splurge   Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:42 am

I'm glad you enjoy how it looks! I can't wait to get all the problems worked out. It's definitely worth it.

It's my Judas Priest bass--a Hamer with a Kahler. Just got DiMarzios instead of EMGs, though. What a Face
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