Overdrive as it should be!

New Pedal Day! … and i am stoked!

Just picked up this beauty on Reverb.com. It is the Reverend Drivetrain (version I) Overdrive.

Simple as can be. No dip switches, no fancy features, just a good old style overdrive that takes you from a hairy clean to an AC/DC in-your-face crunch. Controls for drive, bass, treble and volume. What more do you need?

Just took it out from the box, hooked it up to the Fender Bandmaster and a ’58 Tele. Set the amp a brink above breakup and there is the sweet spot. The drive knob takes it from blues all the way to classic rock territory. Also used it with my ’55 P-bass and a Marshall VBA400 for that fuzzy vintage bass sound. Yes, I am happy with it. Bought it used for €175,- and it’s worth every cent. This pedal does what the Tube Screamer should do. Better control over your sound and more EQ.

Back in the days it was in stores for about $280,-. Pricy for an overdrive but there is an alternative available today. It is the Truetone Garage Tone Overdrive. The Garage Tone has the same circuit, same sound an optics but at a price of €60,-. If you can find one, check it out. It replaces the Boss BD and OD on my pedalboard leaving the space for another pedal to come. What will it be? So much choices to make. Life ain’t easy when you play the guitar…

Stay tuned! I’ll post some sound clips of the Drivetrain soon.

Rock on!

Price fixing!

Dealers and manufacturers of musical instruments have to pay fines amounting to millions because of price fixing and price fixing agreements. According to the Bundeskartellamt, fines totalling around 21 million euros were imposed on the companies and their responsible employees. The manufacturers were charged with vertical price fixing and the dealers with horizontal price fixing in several cases.

The dealers in question are Thomann GmbH and Music Store Professional GmbH. The manufacturers, or their distribution companies, are Yamaha Music Europe GmbH, Roland Germany GmbH and Fender Musical Instruments GmbH. The proceedings were initiated in April 2018.

Manufacturers enforced minimum prices!

According to the Bundeskartellamt, there had been agreement between the manufacturers of musical instruments and the retailers to implement the manufacturers’ minimum price specifications. When Thomann and Music Store had fallen below the minimum prices, responsible employees of Yamaha, Roland and Fender had contacted the dealers several times and asked them to adjust their prices. These adjustments were then also made.

“In isolated cases, sanctions such as a delivery stop or a reduction in conditions were threatened or imposed. For some of the products, on the other hand, there was no or only sporadic enforcement or monitoring of the specified minimum prices,” the Cartel Office” said. 

Thomann and Music Store had, however, also demanded that other instrument dealers comply with the minimum prices by complaining to the manufacturers. In addition, there had also been indications of price agreements between the two dealers. In 13 cases, there had been agreements on price increases for individual musical instruments or complementary products. 

“For years, manufacturers and dealers of musical instruments have systematically worked to restrict price competition vis-à-vis end consumers,” explained Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt. “With the fines imposed, the Bundeskartellamt is sending a clear signal not only to the companies concerned but also to the entire musical instrument sector that infringements of the ban on fixed prices and price fixing will not be tolerated.”

The manufacturers and dealers had cooperated extensively with the Bundeskartellamt in clarifying the agreements – this circumstance had been taken into account when setting the fines. The proceedings were finally concluded by amicable termination.

Ugly guitars (part 1)

Another warehouse find at Château PGC. A Gibson Modern Flying V in Ebony Prism color  AKA the Star Trek Guitar.  This is a 2018 take on the legendary Gibson Flying V.  However there is nothing “modern” about this instrument.  The modern Flying V has a mahogany body and neck with a contoured top. It is what the Gibson website says but the contour is hardly noticeable, if at all.  This guitar has a C-shaped neck (medium size) and an apex headstock.  In 2018 it came in 3 colours: Gold, Silver and Ebony Prism.  The ebony prism is more a kind of purple flake in daylight. The metal scratch plate and all hardware have  a blacked-out mirror-like  finish and it saves every fingerprint of whoever touches it.

Electronics are straight forward: an 496R in the neck and a 500T in the bridge. No split coil; out of fase or direct output here…  So where is the “Modern” on this Flying V Modern?   Foto op 12-06-20 om 21.31 #2

Only 99 instruments were made, 33 in each color. Probably some pilot- or test runs are also out there.  The fretboard is richlite with small pearloid block inlays. The output jack is placed on the bottom inside of the “V”.  So far for ergonomics plug it in and try to  balance it on your knee!

Gibson QC was asleep when this one was passing the test bench. The pickup selector switch is placed upside down; upward position is the bridge pickup and flick the switch downward for the bridge pup.

Despite all these flaws it is a great player. The action is low, intonation and setup are perfect! It is a Sci-Fi shredder and a future collectors item. Two years ago they were offered at a whopping $4500,-. Nowadays they catch a  $5500,- on the used market.

I like this guitar! It is strange but scarcity comes with an intrest and a price. One of the last oddball instruments from the Henri J era.  Ugly things deserve some love too!

This one is for sale!