Here's the video of the Solo Music Gear Telecaster kit that I wrote about in March:
I have always wanted to build a guitar. I have over the years bought and installed different necks done my own set ups, installed pickups, fixed switches and pots, I've even done a full refinish of a vintage strat in Nitrocellulose lacquer... but I've never built one.
I live near Toronto Ontario and in Canada it seems it's tough to get all the goodies that our American neighbours have. As a result, I would order parts from the USA and often would get hit with serious fees.
I was browsing around online and stumbled across www.solomusicgear.com/
I was admiring the reasonable prices of their necks and guitar kits when I noticed they are located nearby in Mississauga. I was very happy to find a Canadian source for necks, bodies and other guitar goodies! They are a licensed Fender dealer as well so genuine parts are available.
Needless to say at my first opportunity I went to check them out in person.
I met with Christian (not sure If I have the spelling right) but after talking for a while I settled on a neck for my strat. It was a whopping 69.99! Maple neck, Indian Rosewood fingerboard, med Jumbo frets and a 12" Radius. The neck was finished in a light coat of poly. Just enough to seal the wood so it was a little rough but it was less than 1/4 of the price I would pay for something from Warmoth so I snapped it up.
I brought the neck home and installed it on my strat. It was really comfortable and played great. I had 1 fret that was a little high and the nut (being plastic) had to go. I fixed the high fret and installed a bone nut and bingo. Had a great playing neck for a very affordable price.
The next day I was chatting with dad on the drive home from work and I mentioned the place and the kits. My birthday was in a few days and he asked me if I would like one for my birthday. Of course I said yes!
So we ordered the TCK15. It is a telecaster kit with an alder body, maple neck, Indian rosewood fingerboard and all of the pickups and electronics needed to assemble the kit.
You ready for this; the cost, only $219!
I began assembling the kit in evenings after the kids were asleep.
On the first night I bolted the neck to the body.
On the socond night I installed the pickups and on the third night I soldered the connections and strung it up.
All in all I spent about 5 hours assembling the guitar including a full set up. I also bought a Tusq nut and upgraded the guitar with that.
When I plugged in I was pleasantly surprised. It sounded like a true tele should sound. Honestly I bought the guitar for the wood. Alder is a traditional Fender Tonewood as is Maple and Rosewood.
I thought I could spend another few hundred on upgraded pickups and electronics if I felt the need.
I was blown away by how good the guitar sounded. The neck pickup is warm with rich lows but it still shimmers. The Bridge pickup is full on telecaster bite, but it's not harsh and piercing. It cuts through the mix but is pleasing to the ear. The middle position is traditional tele quack. I have no plans to replace the pickups any time soon.
The other thing that surprised me was there seemed to be minimal noise in the single coil positions. I had two overdrives stacked. The Providence SOV2 and the J Rockett DUDE. It was pretty quiet considering the pickup cavities are not shielded.
Honestly I love this guitar. I play it constantly and can't wait to gig with it.
Stick around because a full video review is coming soon!
I use Elixir guitar strings exclusively on all of my guitars both electric and acoustic. Let me be clear, I am not endorsed by this company and unfortunately I am not being compensated for my publicity of their product, but, they are so good I thought you should know abou them.
You wouldn't think that a guitar string could really make a difference in your overall tone but they do something a little unique with these strings that makes a difference.
When I was a lot younger (and broker if that's a word) I used to leave the strings on my guitars as long as possible. What tends to happen over time is that the strings will collect dirt and oil from your fingers. As this happens the strings begin to lose their bright crisp sound. The debris from your hands will deaden the sound and your strings will make your guitar sound dull.
I used to have to change my strings before every gig so that I would have the best possible tone for my shows. I even went so far as to remove the strings from my guitar and then boil them. This works in a pinch to remove the oil dirt and debris so that they get some of their original quality back. The downside is that this is time consuming and only somewhat effective. So even though I was only pay a few bucks for a set of strings I found myself changing them every month or so.
Prymaxe Vintage Boutique is one of my favorite online stores for buying guitar gear and if you're like me you scour the internet for reviews of your favorite pedals and effects before plunking down all that hard earned cash. This post features two of my favorite OD pedals, both of which were purchased from Prymaxe Vintage Boutique.
The two pedals I want to talk about today are the Providence SOV-2 and the Tone Monk Pheonix.
I have both of these on my board and I love them each for a variety of reasons which I will detail a little later. I have also provided some video reviews below for you to check out as well.
I was introduced to the Providence SOV-2 by a good friend of mine while at a Matt Schofield Show at Peter's Players in Gravenhurst Ontario. Matt was playing there and my daughter and I went to check out the show. It's a very small venue which seats about 100 people and I was keen to be first there. I am a HUGE Schofield fan so I was elated to be seated about 4 feet from him for the entire night! I was even lucky enough to meet him and shake hands. Anyhow the point of the story is that I got a close look at Matt's guitar rig. Anyone who know's Matt's music knows he has fabulous guitar tone. The Providence SOV-2 was part of that guitar rig. Below is a picture I took of his board and one of the many photos I took of Matt that night. What a show!!
The Providence SOV-2 for me is a great pedal because it is SOOOOOO transparent. It's your guitar tone only more. A lot of OD pedals tend to change the tone of your guitar but the SOV-2 leaves it in tact. It offers great dynamics and touch response and, as if that wasn't enough there is now a Matt Schofield signature version!
There are a few different versions of the pedal also. The FTT (Free the Tone) version is a handwired with no PCB boards and is often the pedal of choice for tone purists. The Matt Schofield Signature model comes in two versions as well. The hand wired version or the standard version with the PCB board. Check out the video review below:
If you're like me you go through a lot of guitar picks. Now I happen to be very particular about my guitar picks. I even file them to get the edges just right however my three year old son is a LOT less discerning. He's forever losing my guitar picks. PICK PUNCH to the rescue!
The Chord Buddy is the ultimate guitar learning tool. It's perfect for the beginner as it helps you learn the basic fundamentals for quickly and comfortably playing guitar!
The Chord Buddy is a complete learning system that includes:
Think of it as training wheels for guitar.
My wife and I first saw this on Shark Tank and we were immediately intrigued.