All posts by jsw2k

Work In Progress Proceeds

The latest update on my Les Paul is the completion of the pickup replacement. I opted for a pair of Tim Shaw humbuckers from my 1980 Les Paul Standard and they sound fantastic.

There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with the old pickups, I just wanted shielded cable, to minimize the buzz.

It’s funny how things come around. When I got my first Les Paul, I had to replace the pickups; it’s what we did. These days I much prefer the sweet tone of vintage output pickups. These have that in spades.

To date, I’ve replaced the pots, jack, switch, nut and now, the pickups. I had to re-connect the bridge ground, since the factory messed that up, and shielded the cavities for good measure. It’s as quiet as a Les Paul can be. It’s sad, really, that Gibson allows a $2000 guitar out the door like that.

The only thing left on my To Do list is replacing the bridge. Eventually, I’d like to get a Faber or Callaham unit, but I don’t think it will make a whole lot of difference, sonically. Certainly not worth the expense. For now, I’ll just wait ’til this one gives out. Maybe when the saddles are done.

Down the road, I’m gonna have to replace the frets, too, they’re starting to wear down already, and I’ve probably only done a dozen shows, or so, with it.

To be continued…


A Telecaster from GOD

The good Lord always works things out right from the start, only to be undone by our own lack of faith.

Years ago, my wife gave me a nice Telecaster guitar for Fathers Day. She purchased it, in surprise to me, sight unseen from an unknown vendor on the web. A recipe for disaster, right?

If you’re a musician you know instruments are a personal thing. Not only do we like different things, no two instruments are exactly alike. Variations in wood and other stuff make each one a little different from the next.

Players talk about guitars that “speak to them”. Some do and some don’t. One guy’s grail is another guy’s dreck. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. You just gotta play ’em to know which ones are right for you.

Anyway, I was GASing for a Telecaster but, since the Tele “thing” isn’t really my thing, I wasn’t willing to buy a pro-level instrument. I was only gonna fool around with it at home so it didn’t make sense to drop big coin on one. Later, in the forums, guys were raving about a cheap Chinese import proving to be fantastic value for money. Of course I was intrigued.

At the time, it happened that no one had this model in stock, including the big-box catalog stores. It was only a cheap, off-brand, it shouldn’t have been like that, but it was.

Sufficiently challenged, my lovely wife embarked on an internet adventure to get one of these guitars. In the end, she found a vendor in Podunk and took a shot.

You would think the experience might have been a nightmare but everything, from the vendor, to my surprise and especially to the guitar itself were simply outstanding.

Big thumbs-up to the little woman!

Still, since it was more a gimmick to me, I played it a bit and put it away, hardly giving it another thought.

Move up to today. I’ve recently discovered a passion for Telecaster-style guitar playing and have been looking and trying out lots of Telecasters, even travelling to check them out. I knew I had the one my wife bought, but it was a cheap one. My vanity was working in the background believing a cheap one was beneath me. I had to have a good one, don’t you know.

So, after trying out a dozen, some expensive, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that my cheap, off-brand Tele, a gift from my wife, exceeded all of my wildest expectations and is, by far, the best playing, best sounding Telecaster guitar I could ever want. At least, so far.

All these years it’s been closeted away, enjoying none of my attentions. ‘Til now. Truly, a gift from God. His perfection is awesome.

He knew I wanted one and, though I didn’t recognize the gift, gave me the best. He works in mysterious ways. Thank you, Lord. I hope to play it in remembrance of you for all the rest of my days.

Mitt Romney? Really?

120918030252-romney-presser-story-topMitt says Trump’s foreign policy will make us less safe, and his economic policy will sink us into prolonged recession.

Does he really think the economy could be much worse than it is now, after a century of mis-control by his bankster buddies?

He says Trump’s ‘bombast’ is ‘fueling the enmity of our enemies’.

Never mind the countless tonnes of explosives rained down by his misguided foreign policy. Don’t bother with the casualties inflicted on millions. Pay no attention to the slaughter we’ve left behind. Forget the world is on fire.

No, Trump’s trash-talking is the cause of all the trouble!

This speech, and all it intones, is one of the best reasons right-thinking people should sweep good ol’ Mitt and the corrupt, Grand Old Party, into the dustbin of history.

Just saying…

Trump Sliming Kicks Into High Gear

Aboimagesut Donald Trump’s recent KKK Incident, some noted the whole thing  was just a smear, for the sole purpose of putting the words KKK into and Donald Trump into the same sentence.

A lot of us regular folks caught it, too. These tactics aren’t new. Anyone who has watched the GOP over the years knows these guys are as sleazy as they come; undoubtedly the kings of political sleaze; much more so than their Democrat buddies.

Well…except maybe Hillary.

But it’s not fair to blame Republicans. I mean, sure they’re crooked, but you know that going in. That doesn’t let the rank-and-file off the hook, though. The reason these guys get away with this stuff is because it works!

You’d think a person “qualified” to vote – ie. a full-grown adult – would understand you can’t believe everything someone on TV tells you.

You would think.

Of course, you’d be wrong. Tomorrow, expect the smears to get smeary-er.

We’ve got our work cut out for us, boys.

Is Donald Trump Liberty’s Last Great Hope?

hero_image_main_2The success of Donald Trump this campaign season should be encouraging to anyone concerned about liberty or the direction in which our country is headed.

Not because of his staunchly libertarian views, of course, but because of what he represents: the end of business as usual.

His many-billions in personal wealth insulates him from the influence of those responsible for bending our world to the shape it’s in today, while his can-do ideology makes a laughing stock of the entrenched elites interested only in covering their criminal ways with politics-as-usual.

He’s a little weak on articulating his views about foreign affairs, but why shouldn’t he be? He’s not a professional dispenser of warfare and mayhem! He hasn’t been “briefed” on all that America’s self-interested actors have wrought on the world! He only knows what he sees in the papers, and we all know what bullshit that is!

No, he’s been busy operating a private enterprise in a (relatively) free market, where rules is rules and men are men! And that’s a good thing! For all it’s worth, it seems Donald J. Trump plays by the rules, which is a damn sight better than all the others.

Only he has called for a little restraint in our incessant global war-mongering. He recognizes the error of our ways in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and questions current actions in Syria and elsewhere. Common sense.

So, while you may be concerned about Trump’s views (assuming you believe what those who hate him are retailing), you’ve gotta agree that underneath it all, he seems honest, and that’s something Americans haven’t seen in national politics for far too long.

Liberty-minded folks need to get behind this man; the only politician (since Ron Ron Paul) capable of making any real change, and he needs our help. He can’t possibly make things worse.