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  1. Buc McMaster

    Why are there not........

    ........relic amplifiers? Guitar amps take a beating over the course of their use, just like guitars. In many minds, a beat up guitar speaks of mojo and history and cool factor, be it a true vintage road warrior or a brand new imitation road warrior. Why are there not relic amps? No appeal...
  2. Buc McMaster

    NAD: a day early

    The Cali Tweed showed up a day ahead of schedule and arrived in perfect condition. Initial impression: yowsa! Very warm and articulate, plenty of power. It will take a day or two of twiddling to get it dialed, finding what works best with the Stratocaster and the Collings.....part of the joy...
  3. Buc McMaster

    Here's hoping I done the right thing.......

    Ordered a Mesa Cali Tweed this morning.......should arrive Thursday coming. Over the last ten months or so I've brought home a Fender Blues Jr LTD (ok but not a lot of tonal character), a Swart AST (a bit dark; sold last week) and a Swart Mod 84 (great tone but not very versatile; on the block...
  4. Buc McMaster

    Statesman Mods

    Been fiddling with the configuration of this Collings Statesman for a few months now.......and this is the final version. Put the single coils in shortly after purchasing it......the Filter'trons were nice but I much prefer the bite of singles. Someone here suggested changing the mounting ring...
  5. Buc McMaster

    Curly Cord Love

    Did a forum search and much of the herd seems opposed to curly cords. Granted, the flimsy coils of the 60s and 70s were pretty terrible.....crap wire and lousy plugs that didn't hold up. However........things have changed. Been using a Lava Retro-Coil lately and I am very impressed. It is...
  6. Buc McMaster

    Round & round I go.......

    Over the last four or five months I've been trying this and trying that......different amps, different pedals, different string gauges......all in the quest to satisfy my wandering mind. And so it's boiled down to a rather simple setup, leaving a plethora of pedals on the shelf and two amps...
  7. Buc McMaster

    Collings Statesman

    What a guitar! Have completed all mods (I think!): TV Jones T-Armonds in place of the original TVJ Classics (much prefer the tone of single coils) Black paint stripped from Bigsby and Vibramate installed (easy peezy string changes) TruArc stainless rocker bridge in place of original TOM (never...
  8. Buc McMaster

    Very cool instrument......however.....

    I've been eyeballing this Clapton model for a couple months now. Very early custom shop build in what appears to be excellent condition for a 30 year old guitar. But the price.........sheesh......nearly twice the ask for right handed models from the same era. Tried negotiating.....nothing...
  9. Buc McMaster

    Palm heel eaters......

    While I very much enjoy banging on this guitar, I surely don't much like the saddle screws chewing on the heel of my hand. Having finally settled on .011 gauge and got the setup perfect, the saddle screws remained the last issue to correct.........enter HG saddles. Have a set inbound to...
  10. Buc McMaster

    A little different...........

    Bought this Big Blue Hummingbird a few years back. Of the four 'Birds in the store this one was head and shoulders above the others in playability and tone..........had to have it regardless of the unusual color. It had an ugly solid black guard when new.......a friend made this nice (and...
  11. Buc McMaster

    OD & Modulation effects

    From the research I've done it seems the consensus is overdrives before modulation effects.........flanging, chorus, etc. Until recently that was the order I used.......you know.....like minds thing.....but I have discovered that I prefer things the other way round. The effect of modulation...
  12. Buc McMaster

    Knobs........

    My Collings came with top hat knobs......never did like this style......too smooth surfaced. Ordered a set of ebony "lampshape" knobs from Crazyparts out of Germany........very nice! Ridges on them, like a lampshade (which is what they should be calling these). They do have numbers but who...
  13. Buc McMaster

    No love......?

    Until three months ago I had never heard of the Swart Amplifier Company..........never on my radar. Researching hand-wired, made-in-the-USA amps I happened upon this small builder and took a chance with their AST, Atomic Space Tone.......a 1x12, 20W combo built in the style of Fender tweeds of...
  14. Buc McMaster

    NAD: a second Swart

    Well. Been listening to the Swart AST for a month or more now and it is indeed a great little amp. However, to my ears it has a darkness of tone. Sure, the tone control is quite effective and I don't mean to say it does not sound just heavenly.......but its' fundamental character is just a...
  15. Buc McMaster

    NGD

    The Stratocaster got some company today: Collings Statesman LC in faded cherry. Different animal for sure..........short scale, 12" radius, hollow body, TOM bridge and Bigsby........whole 'nuther feel and tone. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed in the factory setup as expected more from...
  16. Buc McMaster

    I just gotta say.......

    Fender knocked it out of the park with this one. Such a fine example of the model.........feels right, plays right, sounds right. I traded a Gibson 1960 Les Paul VOS for this one and am so glad I did! Just crowin' a bit...........excuse me.......
  17. Buc McMaster

    Sliders?

    Anyone know if this Aussie outfit is still winding?
  18. Buc McMaster

    No deal..........

    Several days back I posted about working on landing a 1991 Custom Shop Clapton model........beautiful guitar without a mark on it at 30+ years old. Alas, it was not to be..........we could not arrive at a deal acceptable to both parties. Ah well. I do have a terrific Custom Shop '69 that...
  19. Buc McMaster

    Wow.

    I have never been much for pedals, being an old school guitar tone kind of guy. My amp is a Swart AST with single volume and tone controls like some of the old little Fender tweeds..........I generally prefer to let the amp and guitar do the talking. However, there are some old school effects...
  20. Buc McMaster

    To add to the ongoing tremolo discussion.......

    For those of you that block the tremolo, is there any particular choice of wood to do so? How did you determine what thickness to start with (I'm certain there is no 'standard' for this). And how snug is the fit? I'd think it would need to be a fairly accurate thickness......too thin and...
  21. Buc McMaster

    Favorite Compressor?

    I have a Keeley C4 4-knob (NOT the newer "Plus" version) and a Wampler Ego..........one week the C4 sounds better and the next it's the Ego. Sheesh. I do like the blend control on the Ego, but the Clipping control on the Keeley is a good substitute. The Ego has a Tone control which is handy...
  22. Buc McMaster

    1980s Clapton Model

    I have located a 1991 Clapton model Stratocaster in the eye-catching 7Up green.......in excellent condition and apparently all original (even the case). Anyone own one? Can anyone confirm the 9.5" radius? I think they're asking much more than the guitar is worth but I'm ready to...
  23. Buc McMaster

    Stray Resonance

    Soon after acquiring this new Stratocaster I noticed an odd resonance when playing particular notes or chords.......some extra frequencies that didn't belong. And then I recalled the same issue with a USA '57 Reissue I owned in the 90s....... With a single string tree on the headstock, the 3rd...
  24. Buc McMaster

    String Gauge & Tuning

    What works for you? After decades of playing .010 strings tuned to pitch, in my advancing years I find that .011 gauge tuned down a half step is perfect for me and this particular guitar ('69 CS Stratocaster). The heavier gauge really bangs out volume even tuned down and the slightly lower...
  25. Buc McMaster

    Strap Junkie

    I've always sought out something different in guitar straps, but always in leather and never with any metal buckles, studs, etc. to clank around on the guitar. For those of a like mind, here's a few very nice, out-of-the-ordinary leather straps......... The top three are from Moxie & Oliver...


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