29/09/2016

Buying an electric guitar, part 1 – Make a plan, make a budget

So, you want to buy an electric guitar? Let Kitarablogi.com help you find the guitar that’s ”the right one” for you.

There are a few things you should think through in advance, before setting out to your local guitar shop.

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What guitar do I really want/need?

• The way you feel about a guitar’s looks and design can be an important factor in making a buying decision, and the same goes for the guitar your favourite artist plays. There’s nothing ridiculous in choosing an instrument for its looks, as there’s always a psychological component to how you approach a guitar. If you really dig the way an instrument looks, you will want to play it, and play it more often. This goes the other way, too – if you feel your guitar is ugly, playing it won’t be as much fun.

• Nevertheless, the most important criterion for buying your guitar should be the style of music you plan to use it for. Yes, theoretically you can play any guitar in any style – as Ted Nugent proves by playing loud Rock on an all-hollow archtop (a Jazz guitar) – but if you choose the ”right” instrument for a musical style, it will make things much easier.

Here are some examples of musical genres:

++ Modern Metal: As you’re dealing with large amounts of volume and gain, the best choice would be a solidbody guitar, equipped with humbuckers. Some prefer active pickups, while others like traditional passive designs more. Lead guitarists often go for a model equipped with a locking vibrato system, like a Floyd Rose.

LTD AJ-1 – body angle 1

Halla Custom SG – Floyd Rose

As many bands in this genre use lower than standard tunings, you could consider opting for a seven-string model (which offers an additional lower string), or even go full-out for a baritone electric.

++ Jazz: Most Jazz guitarists like to stay in the traditional sonic space offered by all-hollow archtops or semi-solid ES-335-type guitars. The preferred pickup choices are humbuckers and P-90s.

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++ Blues: Blues musicians use a wide variety of different guitars, depending on their personal taste. Here the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your chosen instrument, in order to express your feelings without being hindered by your guitar. Locking vibratos and active pickups are very rarely seen in Blues music.

Tokai ES-138 – body beauty

++ Country: Traditional Country guitarists tend to drift towards guitar models with a lot of chime and bite in their tone. Very often this means Fender-style single coils or a Gretsch guitar. Over the past couple of decades there’s been quite a lot of crossover from Rock into Country music, though, which has lead to more variety in the choice of instruments in this genre.

++ Classic Rock: Traditional 1970s Classic Rock is built upon humbucker-equipped solidbody guitars, which offer enough grit and output for this genre. Think Les Paul, SG or Telecaster Deluxe.

ESP USA Eclipse – body beauty

Tokai SG-75 – body angle

++ If this is going to be your first electric guitar: If you’re a beginner, we would suggest choosing a model that won’t confuse you with a large array of pickup- and switching-options. A non-vibrato bridge would also be a welcome feature, as vibrato bridges are generally harder to set up and keep in tune.

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Set yourself a budget and stick to it!

• It is important that you set yourself a budget for your guitar shopping. If you have a good idea of your target price range, you will be able to sift through all the different guitars on offer much more quickly, by leaving out any models that are too expensive (or too cheap). This will make choosing your instrument a bit easier.

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27/09/2016

AKG C3000 – Old versus New

Maahantuoja: Studiotec

26/09/2016

Jam Track: Motown in F (122 BPM)

26/09/2016

Bend It, Shake It, Make It Sing!

23/09/2016

Jam Track: Light Swing in D-minor (142 BPM)

22/09/2016

Finnish Autumn Swing

22/09/2016

Review: Tokai TST-50-FS Modern

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The guitar maker Tokai is known worldwide for its high-quality versions of classic vintage guitars, and the instruments are loved and played by many.

But now there’s an interesting new model, devised by Tokai Guitars Nordic, called the Tokai TST-50-FS Modern (current price in Finland: 1,650 €; hard case included). This is an S-type guitar for the player who wants classic looks combined with modern features.

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Tokai’s brand-new TST-50-FS Modern is available in three different versions, which share the same basic build and features, but which differ in terms of finish and pickup choice.

The Modern is available in a traditional Three-Tone Sunburst

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… a beautiful Sienna Sunburst

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… and in a cool, dark Ebony Transparent.

The TST-50-FS’ body is made from two pieces of beautiful swamp ash, with a – near invisible – centre glue line.

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The new model makes it a jiffy to adjust the truss rod by moving the adjustment to the headstock side of the neck.

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The TST-50-FS Modern sports a high-quality set of Gotoh Magnum Lock locking machine heads, resulting in lightning-fast string changes and rock steady tuning stability.

The neck comes with a thin satin finish.

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We find a rosewood fretboard with a modern radius (9.5″), as well as 22 gleaming medium jumbo-sized frets (Dunlop 6105), making string bending much easier than on a vintage guitar.

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The bridge on the Tokai TST-50-FS Modern represents Gotoh’s view of the perfect updated Strat-style vibrato.

Gotoh’s 510T-SF bridge is a two-post affair made of steel. The height-adjustable posts can be locked inside the threaded ferrules to increase vibrational transfer into the body.

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In terms of its pickups, the Three-Tone Sunburst version is the most traditional of the new trio:

The neck and middle pickups are genuine single coils (Seymour Duncan SSL-1), while the bridge humbucker is Duncan’s vintage-voiced Model ’59 (SH-1B Zebra).

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The Sienna Sunburst-variant is completely noise-free thanks to its stacked-coil neck and middle pickups (Seymour Duncan STK-S4; aka Classic Stack Plus). The bridge unit is a hotter-than vintage, covered JB (SH-4).

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The hottest guitar in our trio is the TST-50-FS in Ebony Transparent, which comes with a pair of Hot Stack Plus pickups (STK-S7) and the sheer force of nature that is Seymour Duncan’s SH-14 Custom 5 humbucker.

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The Tokai TST-50-FS Modern is part of the brand’s Made-in-Japan Premium Series, and all three instruments are perfect examples of the excellent workmanship Tokai has to offer.

The new model comes with a rounded neck profile (Tokai call it ”Thin U”) that feels and plays like a dream. The modern fingerboard radius and excellent fretwork make string choking a thing of the past.

The vibrato feels very precise and stays in tune far better than any vintage-style vibrato bridge ever could.

The ash body, locking tuners and steel bridge give the TST-50-FS Modern a sparkling unplugged voice with a long and clear sustain.

Played with an amp the differences between the three versions become very clear:

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The Three-Tone Sunburst version gives you the tones you’d expect from a factory-modded vintage S-type.

Thanks to the vintage-style single coils – as well as the PAF-inspired bridge humbucker – you get a lot of clarity, dynamics and spank.

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I’d call the FS Modern’s Sienna Sunburst variant the ”LA Studio model”, which will deal with any musical situation by giving you a first-rate West Coast sound.

The stacked coil pickups are free from hum and buzz, and they give you a fine, slightly ”pre-compressed” sound that sits well in any mix. The JB-humbucker offers just the right amount of ”push” to complement the neck and middle pickups perfectly.

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If you look for an S-style electric that will take to high gain settings like the proverbial duck to water, you need look no further. The TST-50-FS Modern in Ebony Transparent simply loves gain and distortion, while still making a great figure when it comes to clean tones.

This is noise-free high gain heaven with a healthy dose of bottom end punch and a chunky mid-range.

The demo track features the trio in the following order: Sienna Sunburst –> Ebony Transparent –> Three-Tone Sunburst. Each guitar plays both the rhythm as well as the lead parts of its section:

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The new Tokai TST-50-FS Modern really made a big impression on me.

This is a fantastic alternative to the traditional, vintage-flavoured Tokai models. Both the playability and sounds this trio has to offer are top-notch, and I’m sure you will find your favourite modern S-type guitar from one of the three alternatives.

Tokai’s TST-50-FS Modern offers you custom shop quality at a very fair price.

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Tokai TST-50-FS Modern

1,650 € (hard case included)

Distributor: Musamaailma

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Pros:

+ value-for-money

+ workmanship

+ three different pickup configurations

+ playability

+ sound

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21/09/2016

Tulossa +++ Coming up +++ AKG C3000

akg-c3000-teaser

Lisätiedot: Studiotec

19/09/2016

Archtop Monday Blues

19/09/2016

Testipenkissä: Tokai TST-50-FS Modern

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Kitaravalmistaja Tokai tunnetaan laadukkaista klassikkokitaroiden uusintapainoksista, ja soittimet ovat löytäneet tiensä monen vintage-fanin käsiin.

Tokai Guitars Nordicin kehittämä uutuusmalli Tokai TST-50-FS Modern (1.650 €, sis. kova laukku) on sen sijaan suunnattu kitaristeille, jotka haluavat tuttua Tokai-laatua nykyaikaisilla ominaisuuksilla.

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Tokai TST-50-FS Modern on saatavilla kolmessa eri versiossa, joiden rakenteelliset ominaisuudet ovat samat, mutta jotka eroavat toisistaan värityksen ja mikrofonien suhteen.

Kitaran värivaihtoehtoina on Three-Tone Sunburst

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… vaalea Sienna Sunburst

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… ja tumma Ebony Transparent.

Kaikissa versioissa runko on veistetty kuvankauniista suosaarnista. Rungot on koottu kahdesta saarnipalasta, joiden (käytännössä näkymätön) liimasauma kulkee siististi keskeltä runkoa.

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Kaularaudan säätäminen on TST-50-FS-mallissa todella helppoa, koska säätöruuvi on sijoitettu viritinlavan puolelle.

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Tässä mallissa on erittäin laadukkaat Gotoh Magnum Lock -lukkovirittimet – kieltenvaihto sujuu nopeasti ja vire pysyy.

Kaulassa on ohut mattapintainen viimeistely.

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Otelaudan radius on selvästi vintagea loivempi, ja ruusupuuhun on siististi asennettu 22 medium jumbo -kokoista nauhaa (Dunlop 6105), minkä ansiosta venytykset vaativat vähemmän voimaa.

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Tokai TST-50-FS Modernin talla on huippulaadukas, Gotohin valmistama modernisoitu versio Strato-vibratallasta.

Gotoh 510T-SF -talla on valmistettu teräksestä ja se on veitsenterälaakeroitu. Vibraton tapit lukitaan kierreholkkeihinsa, mikä parantaa tallan sustainia.

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Three-Tone Sunburst -version mikrofonitarjonta on tästä kolmikosta se perinteisin:

Kaula- ja keskimikki ovat aitoja yksikelaisia (Seymour Duncan SSL-1) ja talla-asemasta löytyy Duncanin ’59-humbucker (SH-1B Zebra).

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Sienna Sunburstin mikrofonivarustus on täysin hurinaton, sillä kaula- ja keskimikrofonit ovat kahdella päällekkäisellä kelalla varustettuja Seymour Duncan STK-S4 -mikrofoneja (Classic Stack Plus), kun taas tallahumbuckerina toimii vintagea kuumempi JB-malli (SH-4 JB).

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Malleista lähtöteholtaan kuumin on Ebony Transparent -versio, joka yhdistää tehokkaat Hot Stack Plus -mikrofonit (STK-S7) Seymour Duncan SH-14 Custom 5 -humbuckerin tarjoamaan täyslaidalliseen.

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Tokai TST-50-FS Modern kuuluu valmistajan japanilaiseen Premium-sarjaan, ja testissä käynyt kolmikko on – jälleen kerran – täydellinen esimerkki japanilaisesta, erinomaisesta soitinrakennusosaamisesta.

Uutuusmallin pyöreä, mutta suhteellisen ohut kaulaprofiili tuntuu erittäin nopealta, ja nykyaikainen nauhoitus ja otelautaradius luovat kevyen soittotuntuman.

Vibratalla toimii sulavasti ja erittäin tarkasti.

Saarnirungon, lukkovirittimien ja teräsvibran ansiosta TST-50-FS Modernin akustinen ääni on hyvin raikas ja pitkällä sustainilla höystetty.

Versioiden väliset erot tulevat esiin vahvistimen kautta soitettaessa:

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Three-Tone Sunburst -versio antaa soittajalle aimon annoksen kustomoidun vintage-kitaran hehkua.

Aitojen yksikelaisten mikkien, sekä PAF-tyylisen tallahumbuckerin ansiosta vahvistettu ääni on tuore ja erittäin dynaaminen. Pletraniskujen naksahteleva luonne tuo väkisinkin mieleen vintage-Straton.

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Kutsuisin 50-FS Modernin Sienna Sunburst -kitaraa LA Studio -malliksi, jolla hoituu sessio kuin sessio aidolla länsirannikon soundilla.

Stacked coil -mikrofonit eivät hurise, ja niillä on oikein mainio, hieman ”esikompressoitu” soundi, jonka saa mukavasti istutettua miksaukseen. JB-humbucker on sekä teholtaan että soundiltaan oiva valinta näiden ”yksikelaisten” rinnalle.

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Jos etsit S-tyylistä kitaraa, joka tarjoaa loistavia high gain -särösoundeja, mutta joka samalla kuulostaa myös mehevältä puhtaasti soitettuna, Ebony Transparent on sinulle oikea valinta.

Tämä kitara tarjoaa hurinatonta high gain -meinikiä tuhdilla alakerralla ja herkullisella keskialueella.

Demobiisissä testikitarat kuullaan järjestyksessä Sienna Sunburst –> Ebony Transparent –> Three-Tone Sunburst. Samalla kitaralla soitetaan aina sekä komppiosuudet että soolo:

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Minun mielestäni Tokai TST-50-FS Modern lunastaa lupauksensa täydellisesti ja avokätisesti.

Uutuusmalli on huippulaadukas, nykyaikainen vaihtoehto vintage-tyylisille Tokai-kitaroille. Soittotuntuma ja soundi ovat enemmän kuin kohdillaan, ja jokainen meistä löytää varmasti kolmesta vaihtoehdoista sen itselleen sopivan.

TST-50-FS Modern tarjoaa custom shop -tasoista laatua reiluun hintaan.

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Tokai TST-50-FS Modern

1.650 € (kova laukku kuuluu hintaan)

Maahantuoja: Musamaailma

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Plussat:

+ hinta-laatu-suhde

+ työnjälki

+ kolme mikrofonivaihtoehtoa

+ soitettavuus

+ soundi

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