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Mark Blanchard

Lets see your axes

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If I’m sitting down, I stick the lower wing under my right leg, and the upper one above it. I rest my right foot on something to raise the leg up a bit. That does the trick, although I have the three SG’s to use as well for practice purposes at home. Of course stood up, it’s no problem, and because I can stand it up against a speaker without fear of it falling over, I never bother taking a guitar stand with me. Not that we go out much these days, but when you’re old and knackered like me, it’s something less to carry!

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That was a great looking Jackson V!

I couldn’t get on with the Fly V.  Difficult to play sitting down, but worse was it was a Faded and had nasty baked maple finger board, which felt dry and cheap, so it was sold.  I had a Gibson SG Standard too but sold that also, as when standing the headstock and neck seemed heavier than the body, and the guitar seemed to drop headstock first. Must have sold around 25 -30 guitars over the last few years, mostly Strats and Les Pauls, the come and they go.

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And the guitar spam continues...

RG721RW. My main axe for the past year (wrote an entire album on this thing - it's that good, bone stock bar the kill switch). This thing is a CITES nightmare. Good thing they're readily available in Europe. Note the finish on the fret edges... 

IMG_20180310_173306 IMG_20180310_173312

The JS1200CA:

IMG_20171104_150334 IMG_20171104_145904

 

ESP Horizon NT. Absolutely inhuman in terms of build quality this one... 

IMG_20171104_190359

.

IMG_20171104_190801

 

Edited by Vanya
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The body is American Basswood topped off with a veneer of rosewood. The neck is flat but not dead flat - it's less flat than a Super Wizard neck and not as thin either. It's 18 mm thick at the nut vs the stupidly thin 17 mm Ibanez usually equip their guitars with. The only gripe I have with all Ibanez RG's is the 43 mm neck width so if you use your thumb to play bass notes it's a bitch (unless you have giant hands). But I find that it's worth the compromise because the tone is so wonderful out of the box.

Haven't checked the resistance of the pickups but I absolutely love them - they're CAP VM, Ibanez' own and I find them amazing. Great output, but focused gain - hard to describe. In my opinion they blow most other stuff out of the water - hence why I haven't switched them out for anything else. In fact I'm actually trying to buy sets people have taken out of their guitars so I can put them in some of my other axes. To be honest I think a lot of the "focused tone" also comes from the bridge which is fixed bringing some positive contributions to the table. Another thing I love is the wiring in the position right before the neck pickup - it's parallell and gives a really nice blues sound which I've used a lot. 

If you want sound clips let me know. 

 

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16 hours ago, Mark Blanchard said:

That was a great looking Jackson V!

I couldn’t get on with the Fly V.  Difficult to play sitting down, but worse was it was a Faded and had nasty baked maple finger board, which felt dry and cheap, so it was sold.  I had a Gibson SG Standard too but sold that also, as when standing the headstock and neck seemed heavier than the body, and the guitar seemed to drop headstock first. Must have sold around 25 -30 guitars over the last few years, mostly Strats and Les Pauls, the come and they go.

My V is a '67 Reissue, and has a rosewood fretboard. I don't have any problems with that. But it's wine red nitro finish, not faded.

My favourite fretboard is on my Yam SG3000. Ebony that's smoother than a Kashmir cod-piece, and so dense there's virtually no discernable grain. Very sexy!

 

 

 

SG3000.JPG

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Always loved the Yamaha SG3000, but they're crazy money.  Way out of my league.

I had a Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop but it was so mint I never played it fearing the first ding, the neck was a bit chunky too.  So it sat in it's case for years and I ended up flogging it.

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So went looking for an Ibanez RG721RW today on ebay and was just about to buy one, when I saw a nice vintage 1986 Charvel Model 3, so bought that instead :)

I'll post up pics when it arrives.  Haven't told the wife yet, wish me luck.

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13 hours ago, Mark Blanchard said:

Always loved the Yamaha SG3000, but they're crazy money.  Way out of my league.

I had a Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop but it was so mint I never played it fearing the first ding, the neck was a bit chunky too.  So it sat in it's case for years and I ended up flogging it.

Errr.............I confess I have the same fear with the SG3000. I bought it new, hung it on the wall and I've only ever used it for one rehearsal and one gig. I believe it could be the last one sold, but very difficult to say. I bought it after I dithered like a twat about a black one in DV247 which I'd tried. The following day it had gone. Having been bitten by the SG bug, I contacted GAK, who said they would try and find a new one, which they did, in a warehouse in France. I arrived about a week later. The quality, feel and finish is astonishing, but I just never play it.

As an aside, I remember trying the first SG1500 - 2000's in the late 70's - 80's at Len Stiles in Lewisham. Don't recall much else except thinking how bloody solid an heavy they were!

 

Reference Charvel - the proper guitarist in our band has a Model 4 and 6. He was in one band for 10 years and says he only every played the Model 6 during that time. VERY nice guitars.

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13 hours ago, Mark Blanchard said:

So went looking for an Ibanez RG721RW today on ebay and was just about to buy one, when I saw a nice vintage 1986 Charvel Model 3, so bought that instead :)

I'll post up pics when it arrives.  Haven't told the wife yet, wish me luck.

Technically the wife shouldn't be too mad - I've never lost money on a second hand guitar, ever. It beats consumer electronics and car parts. You can always say you'll at least get the money back. 

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My Charvel Model 3 arrived today!  It's 32 years old and it's almost mint.

These guitars were almost twice the price of US Strats back in the mid 80s.  The build quality is better and the neck's are as smooth as silk.

Very happy :)

25958967987_c1b7209f28_b.jpg

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Never had a Charvel, but I always liked them.  The one I wanted back in late 80s was priced at $2,500.  It had a checkerboard/tic tack toe pattern.  It was white with a thin blue grid pattern.

But that was just too much for a young 20 year old.

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Did these always have Floyd Rose tremolos on them?  Eddie Van Halen used these before switching to Music Man, correct?

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The original Frankenstrat was pretty much a parts guitar wasn't it? A lot of them were, but then there have been "Stripes" variants for every manufacturer that Eddie endorsed. Kramer and then Charvel at some point...

But yeah, always flush-mounted Floyds.

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Awwwww shit it's been over 2 months since I've posted any guitar porn! Shame on me!

Here's my latest:

IMG_20180407_094013 IMG_20180407_094021 IMG_20180407_094026

And to go along with the pictures, here's a track recorded in its entirety using this guitar, completely stock, using every pickup position throughout:

http://vanyamerc.com/demos__unreleased_tracks/s/echo

Edit: It's a dirt-cheap guitar that in a lot of ways looks better than it plays, but honestly, it really ain't that bad for something that cost £200. Even the trem system holds tuning pretty damn well, +/-6 cents during abuse.  

Edited by Vanya

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I think it's real. Not sure. It isn't anywhere near as deep as a more upmarket quilted maple top but it does the job. Neck is actually "relatively" curved. I say relatively because I spend a lot of my time playing 400-430 mm radius Ibanez necks (irritatingly flat at 430). Width at nut is also a humane 42 mm which means I can comfortably use my thumb over the top....unlike an Ibanez..... 

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Another day, another axe:
RG870QMZ, the same as my #1, but with an Edge Zero II trem system:

IMG_20180513_093440 IMG_20180513_093459 IMG_20180513_093613

What makes this system interesting is that it's done away with the three spring tremolo claw system and replaced it with two primary springs attached to a threaded bar, which can then be adjusted with the thumb via the wheel to the right. So no more getting out the screwdriver to set the trem level after changing string gauges, nor having to add/remove springs. Switching from 9-42 to my preferred 10-46 after delivery took a fraction of the time it normally would.

What's more there are two additional springs which are there to help set the trem back to zero. Some people hate this system since you cant make those outlandish noises when you press the bar down and release it, but for ease of use it's a real step forwards. 

Also, for reasons unknown, Ibanez stud locks as standard on these. By stud locks I mean the two posts the trem system pivots on have tiny grub screws in them which extend below the posts and "dig in" to the wood, thus locking the posts in place and generating (supposedly) improved stability. Yet my far pricier Team J-Craft JS1200 and Jem777 have posts without locks. Hmmmm... 

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Definitely.  Very cool binding on body, neck, and headstock including the trapezoids. Custom, Gold Top, natural back. Really high gain pickups, a pleasure to play.

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A family pic from a couple of years ago, still got most of them

the Green Parker is by far and away my favourite, plays like a dream.

Recently bought an 8 string for shits and giggles

D576152A-50EE-486F-9E93-A550A71150CD.jpeg.f08769c630ad94dde29af4908b6cde27.jpeg33046BE7-A77A-4FF8-A6EF-A1AF8C0E7D31.thumb.jpeg.b5a266e5d4d03419eb69cf8e11e0f811.jpeg

Edited by Tommo7
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