Author: Richard MacLemale

Review – Mighty Mite Strat Neck

I bought a Mighty Mite Strat Neck from StewMac.  This is my review – it’s shit.  I can return it, or refret it.  I’m going to refret it. I’ve read that Mighty Mite necks are hit and miss – some people get lucky, some don’t.  Here’s what I can tell you – do not buy one of these necks if you plan on simply dropping it into your Strat.  It will need work before it’s usable.  But let’s stick to the BG review format, shall we? The Good The satin finish on the back of the neck feels nice,...

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Fender Bassbreaker 15 Combo Amp Review

Like many, my journey to find the perfect “budget” guitar amp has been an ongoing thing.  With the Fender Bassbreaker 15 (which I now own) I’d like to say the search is over.  But no.  It will never be over.  However, the Bassbreaker 15 is my favorite amp for under $700.  My second favorite is the Marshall DSL40, which for some reason gets a bad rap.  I don’t know why – I think it covers clean, crunch, and overdrive extremely well.  But this is about the Bassbreaker 15. I was running my Bassbreaker 007 through a 12 inch cab,...

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Why Mitchell Guitars Aren’t Selling

That’s sort of clickbait, I know.  I’ve looked at Mitchell before.  And, um, I wasn’t impressed because the model I played was set up extremely poorly.  I have absolutely no idea about well these guitars are or are not doing in the shops.  I’m only going by talking to a couple of guitar sales dudes I know.  And they tell me the Mitchell guitars aren’t moving.  Why? I think it’s because the name means nothing.  I run in many different guitarist circles.  In pro circles, an Epiphone Les Paul is looked at as being a cheap guitar – basically anything under a grand is a cheap guitar.  But the other day at Lowes, the dude on the cash register was telling me about how proud he was of his Epiphone Les Paul.  He saved up for it.  Best guitar he’s ever owned.  So it’s all relative.  I have a soft spot for the Epi Les Pauls.  I own two. Anyway, there’s a group of people who look at a $500 Epiphone Les Paul as being a really nice guitar.  And it is, in that price range.  Epiphone and Squier are the known commodities of the budget guitar universe – the little brothers of famous big brothers.  And they’re (mostly) good instruments.  There are even some semi-well known musicians who play them.  Who endorse them.  In the “$399 strat shape...

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Home Recording Guitar SECRETS

Psst.  Hey you.  C’mere. If you’re old, you remember Sesame Street’s Ernie getting summoned by a shady looking character with a long coat selling illegal… letters.  Much like that shady character, I have a secret, or rather several.  And no one wants you to know this shit.  Guitar Center, Sam Ash, they’d love to put a stop to this info.  But as a part time white hat hacker, my motto is that information should be free. Here it is.  If you want to make great-sounding home recordings, you’re likely overspending.  There are smart places to put your money, and...

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The New Music Biz – Time is the Problem

If you’re not familiar with my site, my name is Richard and I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Business.  I’ve been studying and learning about the biz for a long time.  But I don’t make my living in the music industry – nope, I’m a web developer.  I’ve done several things in my life: audio (not auto) sales, cd/lp/cassette retail, teacher, educational tech specialist, server admin, trainer, web developer/designer.  I also have a BS in Elementary Education but that’s another story. Anyway, when Napster killed the traditional music business, I was one of those old farts screaming that the world was going to end, hoping I was wrong.  And I was wrong.  Boy, was I wrong. Did I think so little of music and songwriters that I thought the removal of money from the equation would kill music?  No, I knew music would be around still.  But without a big studio budget, a band like Rush could never record 2112.  Insert your own fave album analogy here.  The point being, studio time is crazy expensive and you also have to have the free time to put into your art. But studio time is essentially free now.  For about 3 grand you can own a pretty good home recording setup.  Of course, you also need to know what to do with it, and there’s a learning curve...

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John Petrucci Ernie Ball JP16 vs. Sterling JP150

You wouldn’t expect me to write about two guitars I’d never buy, but… actually, if I were to see a used Sterling JP anything I’d take a serious look at it.  I recently spent some time with the terribly named Earnie ball 662BV5000 WC JP16 guitar, which is basically a $2,500 version of John Petrucci’s guitar.  John Petrucci, for those guitarists who live under a rock, is the guitar player for prog-rock band Dream Theater.  After playing around with it for a while, I decided to try out the “inexpensive” Sterling JP150, which is a $700 version of the...

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Refretting an Epiphone Les Paul, Part Three

In the pulse-pounding conclusion of this story, I shall regale you with the exciting… Actually, upon further reflection, I decided to just cut my losses and shim the nut.  How did it work?  Well… the guitar plays great, but I feel like I’m not getting enough sustain on the open G string. UPDATE – After careful examination, I determined the nut was leaning in, ever so slightly.  This meant the string was lying flat over more of the surface of the nut than it should have, which killed the sound a bit.  Once I figured this out, I was...

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Refretting an Epiphone Les Paul, Part Two

Aaaand THIS is how one gets into making your own nut. I put all the jumbo frets in the guitar and leveled and crowned them.  Lots of work because I’m not a guitar tech by trade – this is just a hobby.  But I can see how people get addicted to it.  It’s fun.  Even when shit doesn’t go well.  Actually, when you mess something up, that’s probably when you know whether you really like doing the work.  Do you want to throw the thing across the room and quit?  Sure.  But if your next thought is “Wait, I...

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