Gibson LP Standard CS Splatter

Gibson Les Paul Splatter

Another beauty from the Gibson Custom Shop! A 2011 Gibson Les Paul Standard one-off guitar in a striking “Splatter” finish.

I don’t have much information on this one. It resembles most a ’57 ebony but with a slightly thinner neck. The headstock has the vintage style Kluson tuners and a pearloid logo inlay. Rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets. Not sure what pups are in this but to my ears it sound like 57 Humbuckers.

Gibson Les Paul Standard CS Splatter

If you want to get noticed on stage, this is your guitar! Look at the striking color of the top. It is an ebony guitar splattered with a sort of “watered down” green ink and covered with a gloss finish. The weight of this Pauly is very comfortable, it might have some sort of chambering or not… I can’t “hear” any cavity when tapping the top or back. The action is low and the playability is superb.

But who cares about the specs? This is a guitar you play to get noticed and to look cool. Plug it into a Marshall and you are ready to rock! Under a stage light it will make you shine like a Chevy on snow chains in a tunnel! It will turn heads, even by those who don’t like… how Rock’n’Roll is that!

Would you rock this guitar? Let me know!

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Gibson Super Goldtone GA-30rv

Probably the most underrated guitar amp. I own 3 of these and they are keepers! Not so successful as their smaller sisters: Goldtone 15 and Goldtone 15 RVS (stereo). The Gibson GA30RV is a vintage style amp and very very British sounding!  No wonder,  these were made in the UK.  In the late 90’s, early 00’s Gibson acquired Trace Elliot.  In fact this is a Trace Elliot. The Goldtone 15 was a straight copy of the Trace Elliot Velocette amp.  The Super Goldtone range consisted of two combo’s (30 and 60 watt) and a 30 Watt head.   I purchased these most priced amps in Ol’ England.IMG_7332

This GA-30RV is a class A two-speaker combo with a bunch of features. First thing to notice is the old style speaker configuration – a 12″ Celestion V30 and a 10″ Celestion Vintage 10.  It has a luxurious finish – thick leatherette covering, brass style speaker grills and a gold plated Gibson logo on the front.  This dark brown version has Gibson tophat control knobs. The earlier version amp in two tone brown finishing has the Gibson speed knobs and basket weave speaker cloth.

The class A circuitry features four EL34 power tubes, five ECC83 and two ECC81 preamp tubes. The long Accutronics reverb tank provides a lush reverb with individual control per channel.  The controls are sectioned in seperate preamp channels with level controls for each and a Master Volume.  Each preamp channel can be activated with the controls or the footswitch. If you can find a Gibson 5 way footswitch you can even combine the two preamps and expand the sonic possibilities of this rock- and blues machine. These rare footswiches sell for crazy prices online but if you can find a Trace Elliot 5 button bass amp footswitch it will work also, … and cheaper!

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This combo is a classic rock and blues amp. A very British tone and pairs perfectly with a Gibson Les Paul guitar. It can be clean and it can be mean. Solid as a rock, dynamic and unforgivven if you have a bad day.  It does require some muscle to carry around, … so eat your meat!

In the demo clip I use a CS Fender Stratocaster ’64 with lipstick pickups. Very thin sounding pups but the Super Goldtone can make it fart! More on this guitar in a next episode.  Enjoy and keep the comments coming! What is your favourite amp!

Features: Four EL84 power tubes; five ECC83 and two ECC81 preamp tubes; single input jack; preamp select switches; boost select switches; preamp one controls for volume, treble, middle, bass; preamp two controls for gain, level, treble, middle, bass; separate reverb level controls; master volume; line out; loop select; series/parallel switch for loop; separate level controls for send and return; send and return jacks for loop; three-spring reverb tank; 12″ Celestion Vintage 30 speaker, 10″ Celestion Vintage 10 speaker; footswitch jacks for preamp 1/2 Boost (two-button footswitch, included with amp).

Gibson Custom Shop Modern Double Cut Standard

Haters gonna hate but I love this guitar from the Gibson Custom Shop!  In 2017 Gibson introduced the Modern Double Cut at the CES show in 2017.  A mahogany body with a two piece maple cap is traditional Gibson, so is the nitro lacquer finish and the humbucking pickups. These instruments feature a 12″ radius rosewood fretboard with 24 frets. The Apex headstock has some kind of “volute” to reinforce the neck. A traditional Gibson neck is prone to break at the headstock, Less chance this is gonna happen with the Apex headstock.GOPR1062.jpeg

The long neck tenon drives the neck deep into the cutaway body. The pickups are placed closer to each other and it takes a while to get used to if you are used to the classic Les Paul guitars. The pickups are a pair of 57 Classic and 57 Classic Plus humbuckers and they are wired to a 500K CTS volume pot and a 500K CTS tome pot. Hand wired, no mini pcb in these guitars.

Gibson gets a lot of critique when they change a proven design but they nailed it with these guitars. Guitar players are very conservative regarding their instruments. They are a limited run and probably are going to be collectors items in the future. Excellent playability, perfect balance, tons of sustain and beautifully crafted at the Gibson Custom Shop. GOPR1065.jpeg

This one comes in Metallic Alien Green, it is an eye-catcher on and off stage. I know Gibson gets a lot of comments on their quality control and their prices but as an owner of 20+ Gibsons (and many sold instruments) I have never encountered a single problem with any of my Gibson guitars. Except one time when I got an instrument with a broken headstock due to the brutal handling by the courier service. Other than that, no problems at all. I guess it is trendy to do some Gibson bashing on youtube and social media… well I don’t care! If we all had the same taste wouldn’t we all be married to the same woman/man?

 

Guitars, Amps & Gear

Hi folks,

I am suffering a severe case of GAS! Gear Acquisition Syndrome and I know I am not the only patient struck with this disease. Guitars come and guitars go… as a collector I have  a constant flow of gear coming in and every now and then some things have to go.  Stay tuned to this site for gear reviews, demo’s and other silly stuff.  I’ll post regular updates and items I put up for sale. Please check out Pro Guitar Center on Youtube and social media:

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Gibson Les Paul – London Fog

Spring cleaning at Château PGC!  Time to get rid of the winter dust and look what I found underneath: not one but two Gibson Les Paul Traditional London Fog guitars! Nothing traditional about these. These guitars were manufactured by Gibson in 2009. In fact it are leftovers from the Gibson Les Paul Dark Fire product line destined for the Japanese market. The Dark Fire was probably the nicer version of the robot guitars that were put on the market by Gibson. The LP DF was equipped with the robot tuners and a piezo pickup system. It came in a white case and a lot of batteries and cables. I assume it was not much of a success as they had some bodies left to throw them on the market as a Les Paul Traditional London Fog. gibson-dark-fire I am not a fan of hi-tech guitars, like most guitar players I am very conservative when it comes to changing a proven design. Plug and play for me, I hate guitars that come with a manual.  In 2009 I found three London Fogs in the UK (Where else but in London?) and brought them home.  I must say! I love these guitars!

The LF is a stripped Dark Fire.  These guitars have a beautiful flamed top, ebony fretboard, black binding carbon inlays. The headstock on the asymmetrical neck carries the old fashioned “flowerpot” design inlay.DCIM100GOPROGOPR0922.JPG

The electronics are fairly simple and just how I like them. A Burstbucker Pro pup in the bridge and carbon covered P90 at the neck.

The playability is excellent. The guitar is very lightweight and very resonant due to the empty cavities and routings where the dark Fire electronics used to be. Under the bridge and the saddle you can still find the cavity for the piezo wiring.

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The color is hard to capture in a pic, it changes from “greenish” over “salmonish” to “goldish”!  The earliest one comes with strap lock buttons while the youngest of these sisters has the skinny Gibson strap buttons factory installed.  After all, not bad for a left over Gibson. I love them!

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Stay tuned for more! Anyone interested in one of these will soon find a link to my Reverb page here.

Cheers!

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Wham Bam! I am … Boracho! (Fender CS)

Every now and then we do a “warehouse” find at Château PGC!  Ladies and gents… I present you the Fender Cabronita Boracho Bass! Bought it in 2012, used it in 2013 and somehow it got lost in my ever growing stash of gear. Guitar Acquisition Syndrome, you know… it is not a very social disease!IMG_7928.jpg

This baby triggered my old Trace Elliot bass stack and made my trousers flap on stage. The old bellbottom flares got ripped by the lows of the Boracho.

The Trace is my favorite bass amp. It was once used in the backline of Wham and it shows many marks and scars of traveling the world, throwing around in stadiums and sliding of stage ramps. However the beer bottle marks are put there by me and not George Michael!IMG_1081.jpeg

If the amp is the voice then this bass guitar must be “the balls”: The Fender Cabronita Boracho. “Boracho” is Spanish slang for “drunk man”, in my case a very appropriate name.

The Boracho comes from the Fender Custom Shop and is a truly great high-quality instrument. Only a limited number of these basses were produced and it is very unique in esthetics and sounding.  The black nitro finish is relic’d to perfection and looks very authentic. The chunky one-piece quartersawn maple neck with 20 medium jumbo frets has a custom U-profile and black dot inlays, a 7.25” fingerboard radius and the cool headstock shape of a vintage Precision/Tele bass.

IMG_7930.jpgThis instrument sounds incredible, has great intonation and sings out rich harmonics. The Boracho has a lightweight reverse Jazzmaster body and one TV Jones Thunderblade pickup with a volume and a tone control. I am a huge fan of TV Jones pups and this Thunderblade is LOUD! Overwound coils for slightly more “growl” than a P-bass. The pickup is right in the sweet spot, the guys from the Fender Custom Shop got it bang on.

The unbelievably light and reversed Jazzmaster  body made this instrument a bit top-heavy. A fat neck and a recessed upper body gave it the feel the bass was out of balance. I moved the upper strap button to the neck pocket and there… problem solved!

IMG_7929.jpgI put this bass up for adoption! Anyone looking for a cool bass guitar? With this one you will be likely the only one on the block with one of these. Very limited and crafted at the Fender Custom Shop.  It has an “as new” condition. This bass comes with the original oversized hardshell case, case candy, certificate, tags, CS strap and cable and straplocks.  The bass has been taken immaculate care of and is in excellent condition.  Anyone interested can contact me via email or messenger.

Neck: Custom “U” Shape
No. of Frets: 20 Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
Position Inlays: Black Dot
Fingerboard Radius: 7.25″ (18.41 cm)
Neck Material: 1 Piece Quartersawn Maple
Neck Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Width at Nut: 1.5″ (38.1 mm)
Scale Length: 34″ (86.36 cm)
Pickup: TV Jones Thunderblade pickup

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Hello neighbours!

Hallo buurman, doe vooral geen moeite om te komen aankloppen! … ik kan je toch niet horen!

Ampli dilemma!

Gear heads en tube- aficionados kennen het wel: het ampli-dilemma!  Zit je wat te pielen op je gitaar maar het klinkt niet lekker. De humbuckers scheuren prima op de Marshall SLP maar toch… d’r zit te weinig bottom in voor die heavy metal power chord staccato’s die je broekspijpen doen flapperen.  Of de angst dat je je 4×12 vintage Rolo Speakers gaat opblazen met je 100 watt high gain head? De frustratie van het ingehouden rocken omdat die luidsprekers bijna onvindbaar en dus peperduur zijn!  Ik ben zo gehecht aan die dingen dat ik bij testament heb laten vastleggen om in mijn speaker cabinets begraven te worden. De duivel en Jimi Hendrikx zullen nogal opkijken als ik on the highway to hell kom aanscheuren in een oude Marshall stack!  Het toonspectrum verkennen met verschillende gitaarversterkers en luidsprekerboxen is een queeste voor elke gitarist. Nadeel is dat die dingen wel een ton wegen en zomaar even een amp head of cabinet vervangen is niet op 1-2-3 gedaan.  Ik ken veel gitaristen die meteen de medische bijstand in kunnen met een tinnitus vanwege de decibels die ze produceren en een hernia van het zeulen met hun buizenbakken.  Wel beste vrienden, voor mij is het gedaan met sleuren en pluggen van versterkers en luidsprekers.  Het leven is weer wat lichter en de keuze van ampli en cabinet is alleen nog maar een druk op de knop! Let’s Rock!

Ampete 88S reactive load box

Vandaag is er flink wat geknutseld ten huize van Cigars & Guitars!  Maar al bij al heeft het ook wat plaats gemaakt in de studio! (meer plaats voor nog meer spullen?) Het wondermiddel van dienst is de AMPETE 88S. Een head switch voor maar liefst 8 buizenamps en cabinets. Het ding is uitbreidbaar met telkens een veelvoud van 8 door er een nieuwe unit op aan te sluiten. GOPR0883.jpeg De Ampete is een reactieve load box die automatisch de juiste impedantie kiest en je versterker voorziet van een “weerstand”.  Zet nooit je buizenversterker aan zonder dat het ding aangesloten is op een speakerbox! Kies de juiste weerstand (Ohm) want anders frituur je de ingewanden van je amp en is het ding alleen nog goed voor de schroothoop!  De Ampete geeft elke versterker de juiste load en geeft je de keuze om eender welke amp te kiezen in combinatie met 1 of 2 speaker cabs. Het ding is rack mountable (2 units) en heeft vooraan 1 input voor je gitaar en achteraan 8 versterker ingangen, 8 amp outs en 8 speaker outs. Verder nog een line ingang en een aparte lus voor meer units. Als je het ding ten volle wil benutten dan heb je wel 8 instrument kabels nodig en maar liefst 16 luidsprekerkabels. Als je al een tijdje met muziek bezig bent dan is dat geen probleem, na elk optreden kom ik thuis met meer kabeltjes dan waarmee ik vertrokken ben.

Amps & cabs!

@ Cigars & Guitars gaat het er behoorlijk luidruchtig aan  toe! Dat moet, om de rook van de sigaren weg te blazen. De amp selector is aangesloten op een combinatie van vintage  en nieuw(er) materiaal: twee Orange Custom Shop 40th Anniversary heads uit 2008. GOPR0905.jpegHand wired, no nonsens en vijf knoppen. Meer moet dat niet zijn. Een Marshall SLP Superlead uit 1969. Geen master volume en gegarandeerd een chronische tinnitus als je het “drive” territorium opzoekt. Ook de bas plug ik in op de SLP, het geeft zo’n vette kartonnen waspoedertonnetjes- klank.  Verder nog twee Marshall Jubilees uit 1987 en 1989 (JCM800 op steroids) en een Diamond Phantom 100 watt class A. De Diamond is een Mesa Boogie Killer met tonnen headroom in clean en gain! Je moet nog net geen milieuvergunning aanvragen voor een Diamond Amp.  De cabs zijn 4×12 Orange en Marshall stacks. De Orange kasten staan in parallel de Marshall boxen zijn afzonderlijk te selecteren. Meer geluid kan er niet meer bij zonder dat de dakwerker en de glasplaatser moeten langskomen.

Stay tuned!

Binnenkort kan u hier en op de Facebook pagina een demo vinden. Het is nog even wachten op de Boss Waza Tube Amp Enhancer. De Boss TAE is ook een load box en zowat het beste wat de Japanners getoond hebben op NAMM 2019.  Beter dan de Ox Box want het heeft twee uitgangen en een effects loop, iets wat niet beschikbaar is op vintage spul. De digitale gizmo’s van de TAE interesseren mij niet. Ik blijf een analoog man, born in the sixties! Stay tuned & keep rocking in a back pain free world!

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New Gear Day: Ampete 88S

UPS guys are heroes! They delivered my long time lusted for Ampete 88S! YES!

GOPR0883.jpegHow German can it get: 88S? …Really?  It is not a Skinhead thing or an Oi artifact, it‘s an amp switcher.   This fine piece of German engineering is the quintessence of switchboxes. Forget your Radial or Lehle dual switches, this is the Goliath among the amp selectors. It switches between 8 guitar tube amps and 8 speakers or speaker cabs! Any combination of your tube amp and cab by the simple push of a knob. Save your back and never unplug a jack, here is the Ampete 88S.

Winter Namm has just ended and If you are a gearhead like me, you probably have watched hundreds of Youtube gear flics. Ever wondered how they change amps so easy at the Friedman Booth? This is the secret weapon.  The Ampete 88S is also a load box. It provides the non-active amp with a speaker load (impedance) thus preventing you from frying your precious tube head.

I can’t wait for the Boss Waza Tube Amp Expander to land into the stores. It would be a great combination with the Ampete. The Boss Tube amp Expander is an attenuator like the Ox Box only slightly less expensive and with a dual speaker output (in parallel). The Boss TAE also includes a reverb and delay in the loop, effects you often can’t find on vintage tube heads.

Stay tuned, soon I will post some demo vids of my vintage Marshall and Orange amps. Nothing sounds better than a cranked up 1969 Marshall SLP… Deaf by Audio! For those about to Rock, we salute you!

Blueberry Burst

2019 barely started and yet a second addition to the stash this year. An eye-catching Gibson Les Paul Standard in blueberry burst! Me so happy, … me love it long time!

It is very hard to catch the triple-A flame top in a pic and it screams to be played. Equipped with Burstbucker Pro pickups and an innovative wiring to benefit from a vast array of tonal options.  Alnico V magnets capture the subtile variations of the tone and with the slim taper asymmetrical neck and fast-action rosewood fingerboard this guitar becomes a genuine rock-machine.

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The electronics are versatile. Unmatched bobbins for true humbucker tone. Push-pull control knobs for coil split, coil tap, highpass filtering and out-of-phase sounds. The 2019 Standard features 5 internal dip switches for more tonal control. I haven’t tried them out yet and I wonder if I ever will… enough options already.

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I matched this tone monster with a Marshall Astoria combo and an Alec Bradley “American” cigar, P-E-R-F-E-C-T!  Even the neighbour came knocking on my door and asked me to be less loud so he could sleep. I said  “no”!   Poor neighbour, he came by bike all the way … for nothing!IMG_7729.jpeg

Stay tuned, I will be posting demo vids with the Gibson Les Paul Standard soon.

Keep rockin’, stay smokey!