Step two...

The next phase of online self indulgence.
I made the mistake of monkeying around with my original BLOG located here and ruining it.
I am useless.
I am starting over..and here we go.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Winner IS..

Well... It is just an amp for Christs sake.

...But it has come to mean so much more.

 With the sale of the guitars and the previous amplifier I had given myself the opportunity to move into a whole new class of quality in terms of guitar amplification.

Like 'this is it'...they just don't make gear any better than this ...but what flavour????

 I don't know..
.don't really know what I want ...have no frame of real direction...and it was starting to drive me crazy!!

 I want something totally new..but with some flexibility.

 Cliff at 'Destroy All Guitars' was outstanding and has provided some very interesting insight with his vast experience..but he'd steered me away from what I wanted to some degree. 

He also mentioned that if I went with the Louis Electric KR12....which was my front-runner..I would have to wait for Lou to build it....whereas the Louis electric Busters are in stock and ready for shipping..

 I am not very patient.

 So the 'Buster' appealed to me...but...the thing is sometimes you just get your mind set on something....sigh.... So I am bouncing around the internet...Lou..Cliff, DAG and I are all friends on FB...
 ( insert Morins slam here..)...

I notice on Louis Electrics  FB wall that a store in Wichita has just taken delivery of a KR12!!

 I spend all day yesterday trying to buy it....but the guy won't take Credit card or PayPal??

 He would only do business with me if I wire the money directly to his account or send a certified cheque...?? ...???

 Well...the whole thing kind of bothered me..

...not the least of which I was the idea that I was moving away from dealing with Cliff and his outstanding customer service and help just because I couldn't wait 2 months for the build time.

 Shame and Paranoia ...not much fun.

  Wichita guy and I..( who seemed pretty nice BTW )..went back and forth through email all day and I was actually considering doing what he asked when Cliff called me 'AGAIN' from North Carolina.

I  literally was about to hit send on an email I'd composed to Wichita guy 'caving in' and going his route when the ph rang!!!????

 We talked and pressure..he is just a guy who loves guitar gear and wanted to pickup from where our conversation left much fun to deal with... ...And the thing is...this whole quest is about fun
...the search for fun...anybody seen it recently...???...

The search for fun...away from Murder, Cancer, Schoolyard Shootings, Recalcitrant Managers, Contract Squabbles, Guilt trips, Flooded basements and Drug Smugglers.

 Either Cliff is psychic or it is fate.

 Cliff said originally that the KR12 was probably a bit too much amp for me....well ,... I LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT.


  It is a done deal and the build has begun...

 Feb is a busy month anyway...then we go to Myrtle Beach... I will be coming home just in time for the amp delivery.

 Can't wait but I guess I will have to. :o)

 Yesterday I watched 'It Might Get Loud' for the ten millionth's about to get loud at the Norland

Saturday, January 26, 2013


So I thought I'd made a decision.

I was leaning towards the Louis electric KR12...combo.

The compact size just makes more sense. Louis Rosano has almost legendary status in the amp building world and I have decided that I am going to go with one of his beautiful creations.

Louis Electric

I have some cash in hand and a deal in place for my current amp which will be finalized a week from tomorrow...I am ready to go.

So I contact Cliff Cultreri at Destroy All Guitars  via email to start the ordering process.

Cliff emails me back immediately and asks if he can call me directly to which I answer yes.

Two seconds later the ph is ringing!!...all the way from NC.

What a solid guy...and talk about customer service!!  He must've spent the better part of an hour talking to me about amplifiers and  trying to find out what 'I' ultimately was looking for in terms of guitar tone.
This guy is passionate about guitar and man does he know his shit!!

Through our talks he made me sure about two things.

I want to do business with him.
Also ... I want a Louis Electric amplifier.

...however...he kind of talked me out of the KR12....convincing me that it was probably overkill.

He is suggesting the 'The BUSTER'...and it is less expensive???

This is something that you don't see a lot in retail.

I have since been reading about them and checking out the video and written reviews online...he may be right. 

It is a cute little amp!!!!! ....and it has that midrange compression thing going on silly style... I love that...Three knobs..two volumes and a tone simple...beautiful

There is no risk involved because he went on to say that if it isn't my bag he would get me into a KR12 or whatever I want...but he doubts that I will be returning anything.

First steps..very cool...very excited.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I stopped by my gear nerd friends last night to take yet another tour through his equipment museum.

It is like Disneyland for guitar!!

This time I brought my own guitar. The idea was to plug into some of the amps that knocked me about the other day but with my own guitar this time.
I was especially curious to see how the new pickups sounded in the Armstrong.

Well they sounded absolutely friggin amazing..


Guitar sound...good guitar sound is all about different combination of things and to my surprise my Eastman really sounded nice in Marks Rediron amps..( all three of )..

The last time I was over they didn't really do it for least not as much as the Armstrong...but this time ...with my own guitar they really had the sweetness going on...


The builder uses  Mesquite and according to Mark when you really lay them out and the tubes are burnin you can actually smell the wood...

I love that...


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Could this be the one..??

A new front runner has emerged in the amp portion of my New Years TONE QUEST!!

The Louis Electric KR-12 has been suggested to me by a friend who is a guitar head guitar tone expert.

This amp was originally designed for Keith Richards..hence the 'KR' in the title.

A bit odd that I may own anything that anything to do with Keith Richards...but I suppose thats a titche bitter than Morins metalhead heros....
I will only need to start doing heroin and I can skip the lobotomy and devil worship.

To be honest I had never heard of them before but a little internet research has revealed that they are widely revered as the bomb.

...And of course everything you read on the internet is accurate.

Buying a 'Boutique' amplifier is a bit of a dice roll.

I happen to be living in an age of renaissance when it comes to real artisan hand made tube amps and as corny as it sounds ..people like myself have an obligation to buy one from the many quality builders who are out there. Not just for our own selfish reason but also as a measure of patronage to these people who are keeping the artistic tradition alive.

There are many of them.

More than I ever could've guessed before I started doing any research towards my own purchase.

If you are a guitar head tube amp junky then these are very exciting times.

The KR-12 is a very versatile little number. Loud enough to blow the windows out but capable of real subtlety for my elevator music moments that Morin loves to comment on.

It's expensive...they all are...but not as expensive as some...UNLESS... I decide to go with the head/cab 2 x 12...which amounts to an extra grand. Never say never.

I have had a couple of nibbles on my current amp that is for sale but I am in no rush really.

The family is making a road trip to Myrtle Beach in late feb and I am going to try and wait until I get back to realize the amp thing.

It is the coldest day of the year today at a standing minus 15. Just took the kids to school and just about kept driving.

A friend of mine texted me from Yellowknife is currently minus 50 there w/o the wind chill.

I am off this week  but have a million things I have to do...all of which are very distasteful.

The amp purchase is my dangling carrot.

I swapped the p/u s out of my Eastman. She now has Seymour Duncan Antiquities.

These are a pickup that is designed as close to original Gibson PAF style pickups from the '50's as you can get.


They even age them so they look old...silly...but very is fun stuff and silly has its benefits ...not enough silly in my life currently.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Option Anxiety


They actually haunt me ..

But it is nice to be in a position where I can consider my options.
The truth is  that I am not sure what I want with my quest for the ultimate tone...but I am close...

Originally the two amps that were on my radar were the Carr Rambler...and the Swart SST 30.

The Rambler being the Pinnacle of clean sounds unrivaled and the Swart being much more versatile with the ability to get a bit nasty.
It is less compact as well.

 I am not sure if that is a bonus or a drawback...but really... I seldom play anywhere but my house..even though I have another gig coming up on Valentines day.

The Armstrong has a very sweet doubt...and the sound still haunts me..but,

If I go that route, and for whatever reason, decide to make a different choice later on, will I be able to sell it?

The Swart Amps are sought after and are very well known as are the Carr amps.

They seldom come up for sale used...and when the do they sell almost immediately. I think I'd be foolish not to keep this in mind...

I have time... I am about halfway there $$-wise and my existing amp is still up for sale.

In the meantime Jackson Ampworks has recently come onto my radar. They have a funky look that has started to grow on me. They are a big name with gearheads and are also an option.

I am thinking that as the time grows near I need to take the gee-tar and make a tone pilgrimage to some of the big music stores in Chicago to test drive some of these icons...and maybe grab some deepdish pizza...

On a side note...most of the snow is gone and it rained all last night. It is like a spring day out...meanwhile the East coast is being buried under snow in a series of Biblical storms...

What have we done to this planet?...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Out there...

Here is a picture of the Sarnia area that Sarnia  ON native Chris Hatfield recently took from outer space.

Very Cool.

He is currently running shit up in the space station...and I am currently down here fighting yet another chest cold...
Jesus this is frustrating!!!

On a good note...I have sold both of my guitars and I have some mad money burning a hole in my pocket.

Once my amp sells I will be able to go shopping tone silly style...and I am looking forward to it.

The owner of KW cabs has suggested this beautiful 4 x 10 cab at a very good price... that could be overkill...but I am chewing on it.

I used to have a Fender Super when I was a young punk playing in the rock bands ' back in the day'
It had 4 x 10's in it and I loved it!!


The guitar sales weren't without the obligatory cold feet and drama that can sometimes threaten to choke the fun out of my ridiculous existence...but per my New Years resolution fought through er done ...and in a way it all has been very liberating.

Some cool guitars ...that I never play...have found new...Appreciative Owners..
That is important.
Now I am going shopping.
That is very cool...very cool indeed!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Well...One of my guitars is now spoken for.

I feel very good about this. There is 'some' residual anxiety but not enough to keep me from moving forward with the sale.
This is normal I guess...I am a corny dude and not without sentiment.

It was the archtop that sold, and that guitar has been with me for about 14 long as I've known my wife. It has been a big part of my life and now it is leaving.
If I wasn't effected to at least some degree I wouldn't be human...( wait a minute??

The good news is it is going to a good home. A friend of mine stepped up and claimed it. A very good friend.

Mark is a guy that I have known since I was a kid. He was one of my first real 'music' teachers.He found his way into my life when I was a teenager at a time when I was looking hard for a direction that I couldn't find...
I was playing professionally in a 'rock' band...making good money..and more importantly getting the attention of the chicks!!
The music I was playing was absolutely mindless...just mindless...but it was easy and a part of me needed the adoration...mostly my penis.

Musically I knew there had to be more...but ...there was no decent good record way to find anything that wasn't already readily apparent.

Lunch-bucket town..closed options...

Then I met Mark.  He was the first real musician that I'd ever met. He wasn't a Jazz player...or even an improvising musician per se...but what he was and still is , is one of the most eclectic Cats I have ever run across.
He digs everything..everything that  is quality and has artistic value.
I had one guitar lesson with him and after he invited me over to his house to see his record collection...all

...It literally covered his entire living room wall!!!

The first recording he played for me was Mike Sterns Upside downside....Well...that was it ...

I knew..right then and there that I was done with 'the cliche'... be fair legitimate study was clandestine...on the weekends I still was playing REM, Doors,U2..
..Money and Ass....

Anyway Mark opened my eyes...for better or for worse..'Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then..'

I will always owe him for this.

He now owns my Archtop. It is part of his Potvin collection of god knows how many guitars. His house is like a museum.

I stopped by there the other night.
I had explained to him that I was hoping for a boutique hand wired amp when all was said and done with the guitar liquidation.
He was all over this!!
Once again he opened my eyes...

I spent the better part of 2 hrs playing through thousands and thousand of dollars worth of boutique , modern and vintage amplification...

He has mountains of really cool I mean drool cool if you are a guitar head...

At the end of the day the nicest tone I had been exposed to was a Custom made tube amp built by some dude from Windsor ON!!!!
..this feels like fate...
What a sound...I am

This has given me a new direction...and I actually have some mad money in hand...very exciting..

Armstrong amps. ..made by Bill Compeau.

Bill is also involved with ARK Amps in Farmington Hills MI....

They are on my radar  now...courtesy of they are works of art...

In truth, Bills amp is a bit ugly looking...but the sound is like the voice of god...

Paired up with one of the ultra sexy KW cabinets and I believe I will be more than happy.

So ...New Pickups in the Eastman, pray for the sale of my other guitar, unload my Fender deluxe RI, and wring my hands for the Tax return dough...Cool times...

I also picked up an Overdrive unit from Mark called of all things...The Blue Note...It sounds incredible..

So far..the New Year is fun...

On the other hand...there has been a girl murdered in town. The daughter of a co worker that had only recently retired. A super great guy.
She also used to be a student employee...


The world is so shitty sometimes that it is important to remember to actively seek out happiness..through heroic measures if necessary...
..even if it is only the search for good guitar tones...
Whatever your thing is...go get it..

Don't wait...cause god only knows...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year....or is it?

So ... I am a hopeless Neurotic ..

...and the sky is blue and water is kind of damp...

I made a relatively big decision today.

I listed two of my guitars on Kijiji. This is a big deal for me ..but I wish it wasn't.

These guitars were built for me by a local luthier who at the time was a very good friend of mine. I still consider him a friend but the reality is we never see each other or make any attempt to contact each other.
I am his friend ...but probably not a very good friend by definition.

...all my fault. Acknowledged.

These two guitars are wonderful instruments but I just have moved away from what they are in terms of what I need from an instrument.
That is an uptight way of saying that I never want to play them.

 Both have sat around in their respective cases for years just collecting dust..
...meanwhile I am jonesin for a nice handwired amplifier...and have no cash for it....

Should be a no brainer...except for the guilt....guilt sucks...and in truth I have had enough of it.

If selling these guitars makes me a bad person than so be it.

If I get even close to what I am asking for these guitars I will have my new amp in no time and last time I checked I wasn't getting any younger.

I am not waiting for anything anymore if it isn't necessarily. This isn't so much philosophical stance as much as simple life tactics..

So I accept that I am a disloyal insensitive douchebag and list the guitars.

I then walk upstairs and try to finish doing the which time my faucet that I just installed in November cracks and sprays water all over the fucking place.

Just coincidence I am sure..right....??

My New years resolution is FUCK IT!!!!!