Now Playing On Mind Coup Radio!

Apr 19th

Tone Change

By Gear In The Mail

 

Most beginning guitar players start with a rather inexpensive instrument. They usually have a mass production clone of a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul. The most popular clones are made overseas by Gibson and Fender themselves through the Epiphone and Squier lines. These are built to the same specs as the American made models. They are decent instruments in their own right but they can be improved greatly with just a pickup replacement. As long as the neck is straight and the tuning pegs are fairly tight, this is often all you need to upgrade to a pro sound. Iv'e modified several Mexican made Stratocasters and I'll take you through the process. The first thing you want to decide on is what kind of sound you're looking for. Replacement pickups are available with a lot of variety in sound output. I like to use Seymour Duncan pickups because they have proven to be of high quality and reliability. They also have a good selection and have a CD of sound samples you can listen to. Most dealers have the CD's and you can also listen to the samples online. Choose your replacement pickups and you're ready to upgrade. You'll need several things for the job. A good stable workbench or table, with plenty of room to lay your tools out, makes things much easier. Here's a list of what you need: 1.screwdriver set, both flat head and philips 2.soldering iron 3.solder 4.new set of strings 5.wire cutters/strippers The first thing you need to do is remove your guitar strings. I usually leave the low E-string on to keep a little tension on the neck. Next remove the pickguard cover. Make sure you save all the screws in a cup as they are small and get lost easily. After you remove the screws you should be able to lift up on it and slide it off under the E-string. You should now see your three pickups and the wiring thats attached to them. The new pickups come with a wiring diagram that is color coded but take a good look at each pickup before you replace it in case something isn't quite right with the color code. It's important that you replace one pickup at a time so as not to mix up the bridge, middle and neck pickups. Heat up your soldering iron. Remove the first pickup. I usually start with the neck pickup. Cut and strip the wires according to the instructions and solder the wires to the new ones. Repeat the process for the other two. Not too bad, huh? When you replace the cover/pickguard, be careful not to overtighten the screws or they might get stripped. Now would be a good time to clean the guitar before you put the new strings on. Replace and tune the strings and plug in. You'll be pleased with the results. I have several of these upgraded strats for the price of one expensive one and more versatilty with different pickup sounds. You can do the same thing with an Epiphone Les Paul to produce a sound that rivals the Gibson for about a third of the price. Now you can spend more money on all the cool effects gadgets. Have fun and keep practicing.

Feb 24th

Zoom Handy Recorders

By Gear In The Mail

Save With Gear In The Mail!

Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Price Range $99.00 - 120.00

What makes it great!

This little guy is a must have for any one. This super easy-to-use unit give you great stereo recording at the push of a button. Record in many formats including 96kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit wave or 320kbps mp3. The mic level can be adjusted and so can a 1/8 line-in. Connect the line-in to a phone-out on a mixer and record all your band practices or gigs. After first hand use over years of a non-ideal conditions, this little hand recorder is still working great today. Getting files to the computer is as easy as plugging in a usb cable.

What are the drawbacks?

This great product is only limited by its price point. All the features go above and beyond expectation for this type of unit. You might want more than record and go. If so, keep reading about the upgraded Zoom recorders and features.

 

 

 Save With Gear In The Mail!

Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Price Range 199.99 - 239.99

What makes it great!

This handheld four-track recorder is amazing. Record up to four tracks at the same time with this guy! It has 2 xlr or 1/2 inputs with which you connect mics or line instruments. It also can do multitrack recording. One amazing thing about this is that it is also a usb interface! Record directly to your computer! This is a songwriter's dream recorder. This even features phantom power for use with any mic you wish to use. After about 5 years of use, it's still going strong and is very handy to have in any studio. Now, at this sell-out price due to the new Zoom recorders, this is a super amazing deal.

What are the drawbacks?

It is hard to say what the drawbacks are on this product. Myself and others I know who use this are all super happy. It is a bit of a trick to get to know how to use it the best way, but that's all in getting to know new gear. If you need more than four tracks, you can bounce down and record more, but that's kind of a hassle.

 

 

 

Save With Gear In The Mail!

Zoom H5 Handy Recorder Price Range 269.99 - 299.99

What makes this great!

This is a piece of gear to get excited about. The first thing that stands out is the interchangeable mic attachments sold separately. It also has a 1/2 stereo line-in attachment you can add to record four line-ins at once. 15 hours of battery time is amazing. This is an audio interface as well. It's great for film, with time stamping and connecting to your camera. This is the kind of gear you want to write new songs on just so you can play with the recorder. This is definitely worth the extra dough over the h4. It is great to see new gear like this at such a good price.

What are the drawbacks?

The song editing features on the unit itself are not the best but that's what the computer is for anyway. At around $270.00 it's a bit of an investment but can be more than worth it if you are in need of a pro field recorder.

 

Save With Gear In The Mail!

Zoom H6 Handy Recorder

Price Range $375.00 - 400.00

What makes it great!

Wow did you see the video! Sexy! The H6 is very impressive. I love that you can connect 6 tracks to a mixer and record a show. This has the power you need for any pro project. Two more tracks and inputs is a massive upgrade for handheld recorders. The next step after this is a full-on studio! With 6 tracks, it is more than they used to record all though classic hits we all love so much. This is like having a record label in your hand create a pro video for your next gig with album sound quality. This could be the best piece of recording gear you ever buy.

What is the drawback?

Well, if you work at Roland then you will not like this piece of gear at all. This is the first and only one of its kind. The only drawback we see is that it would be a good thing for someone to try a walk off with.

Save With Gear In The Mail!

Top Authors

Subscribe

 

                       Mind Coup Magazine Staff

           Trevor Publisher / Manager          Meta Editor / Autnor / Host

           Dylman   Author / Host                  S&itHouse Poet Author / Host

           normandy Author                          Eden  Amazon Album Review

Mind Coup
Magazine