Posts tagged ‘classic models’

10/03/2017

Review: Fender American Professional Series Telecaster & Stratocaster

It’s practically impossible to overstate the significance of Fender’s brand-new American Professional series of guitars and basses:
This isn’t just another new series among many others – the American Professional instruments are replacing Fender’s longest-running, mega-selling American Standard model range.

In addition to several Tele, Strat, Precision and Jazz Bass models, the American Pro range also includes modern versions of the Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars.

Fender’s American Pro instruments feature a multitude of improvements and updates over the American Standard models, but without doubt the most important upgrade comes in the form of the series’ V-Mod single-coils.

The V-Mod pickups have been developed by Fender’s electronics specialist Tim Shaw. The basic idea was to provide pickups that are tuned specifically for the position they are used in on the guitar. Shaw even went as far as harmonising the tonal response between the wound and plain strings inside each pickup, in some cases even using different magnets inside one pickup.

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Depending on the chosen finish, the Fender American Professional Telecaster (price in Finland approx. 1,700 €; incl. case) comes with either an alder or ash body (as on the two-tone sunburst model reviewed here).

You can also choose between a one-piece maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard option.

The American Professional Stratocaster (price in Finland approx. 1,700 €; incl. case) uses alder for the body, and you can choose between one-piece maple necks and rosewood fingerboards, too.

After having used synthetic materials for a long time, Fender have now switched to genuine bone nuts on all their American Pro instruments.

The two-way Biflex truss rods have been kept over from the American Standards.

All Am Pro guitars come with modern tuners with staggered-height posts.

The fretboard radius is kept at 9.5 inches, which gives you an excellent compromise between a vintage Fender-feel and modern playability.

There’s been an important change regarding the fret material, though:

American Professional guitars come with a new fret type that is almost as tall as jumbo wire, but narrower than the frets on the discontinued American Standard models. Again, this new fret profile is meant to give you the feel – and the percussive attack – of vintage fretwire, combined with the bend-friendly height modern jumbo-sizes offer.

The Am Pro Telecaster’s bridge is a brand-new design, which is reminiscent of vintage-type Tele bridges, but includes a few contemporary improvements.

Tele anoraks will be pleased to see Fender reverting back to a three-saddle design using brass saddles. The new saddles sport machined slopes for better intonation adjustment.

For the most part, the sides of the bridge’s base plate are lower than on a vintage-style Tele bridge to make fingerpicking easier. The rear-facing end is higher, though, and Fender even includes a short and snazzy bridge cover (not shown).

Why fix something that’s not broken?

The Am Pro Strat vibrato is basically the same well-designed two-point bridge we all know from the recent American Standard series Strats, sporting vintage bent-steel saddles, and a modern bridge plate and vibrato block.

The vibrato arm is push-fit.

The American Professional models feature a traditional four-screws-plus-tilt neck joint.

The Am Pro Strat’s deep contours make the guitar especially comfortable to play.

The V-Mod pickups on the Telecaster both use Alnico V magnets for the bass strings and Alnico II for the treble strings.

The bridge pickup is reverse-wound/reverse-polarity to give you a hum-free middle (both pickups on) setting.

The V-Mod set for the SSS-Strat is even more involved than the Tele’s set-up:

The neck pickup uses Alnico II magnets for the wound strings and Alnico IIIs for the plain strings, for a tight bass and warm trebles. The middle pickup comes with Alnico IIs for the bass strings and Alnico Vs for the top, which helps retain the sparkle and clarity in switch positions two and four. The bridge pickup has Alnico V magnets for all six strings.

The tone control set-up has been modified to include the bridge pickup as well, by having the neck and middle pickups share the first tone control.

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Fender has given the neck profiles an overhaul, too, and this has clearly paid off:

The new, more oval C-profile feels fantastic, much better than the sometimes slightly generic feel of older American Standard necks. The neck is chunky without being fat or unwieldy.

The workmanship, the fretwork and the general set-up were very good, but for some reason the intonation was off on our test sample. Nothing a digital tuner and a screwdriver can’t fix in a matter of minutes, though…

I look for a woody and throaty basic voice in my Teles, and the new American Pro Telecaster delivers. There’s enough twang in here for Country and early Rock ’n’ Roll, but the sound always stays satisfyingly fat and chunky.

Tweed-style clean:

Tweed-style crunch:

British-style distortion:

The new neck profile also does its magic when it comes to the Am Pro Strat. This is one guitar that’s hard to put down!

You can only admire Tim Shaw for his dedication and perseverance in developing the Strat’s V-Mod pickup set.

Every now and then I tend to veer towards the cynical, when dealing with marketing hype and pickup esoterics. I mean, come on, most traditionally constructed Strats (and S-type guitars) sound like a Strat – bright, sparkly single pickup selections and hollowed-out in-between settings.

Fender’s V-Mod single-coils do clearly make a difference in my opinion. Firstly, the string-to-string balance for each pickup on its own is outstanding, both in terms of level and timbre. Secondly, the in-between settings sound extremely good, too, despite the fact that the V-Mod set mixes three different Strat pickups.

This results in a Stratocaster model with five equally great-sounding pickup selections.

Tweed-style clean:

Tweed-style crunch:

British-style distortion:

The demo track has Telecaster rhythm tracks coming from the left side of the stereo field, and Stratocaster rhythm parts coming from the right. On the first pass the lead guitar part is played on the Tele, for the second pass the Strat takes over.

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In my view, the American Professional Telecaster and Stratocaster are very worthy successors to their American Standard counterparts.

These guitars will doubtlessly set a new standard for high-volume production line electric guitars, just as their predecessors have done since the late 1980s.

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Fender American Professional Telecaster & Stratocaster

Approximate price: 1,700 € each (includes hard case)

Contact: Fender

A big thank you to DLX Music Helsinki for the loan of the reviewed guitars!

Pros:

+ workmanship

+ neck profile

+ playing feel

+ updated hardware

+ V-Mod pickups

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09/03/2017

Fender American Professional Series – The Kitarablogi-video

Contact: Fender

20/02/2017

Comparison: Fender Japan ’62 Telecaster Custom vs Fender American Professional Telecaster

A short comparison clip of a Japanese Fender ’62 Custom Reissue (c. 1990) and a brand-new American Professional Telecaster. Both guitars were played through a Juketone True Blood tweed-style amp (volume at 7) and recorded with a single Shure SM57.

The order is neck pickup, both pickups, bridge pickup. The ’62 Reissue plays the first two chords for each pickup selection, with the Am Pro taking over for the second two chords.

19/02/2017

Fender American Professional Series – Now on SoundCloud

14/02/2017

Fender American Professional Series == Testi tulossa! == Review coming soon!

18/01/2017

More Sounds: Tokai Love Rock LS-100F Pearly Gates + LS-200F-5A

Lisätiedot: Musamaailma

15/02/2016

Review: Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

Hendrix Ad

Jimi Hendrix’ simply doesn’t seem to wane, even though the genial guitar hero himself died in London in 1970 at 27 years of age. There’s still so much interest in Hendrix’ music that he continues to rank among the top ten of best-earning dead celebrities in Forbes magazine.

The Fender Stratocaster was the master’s favourite instrument, so it’s not really surprising that the man has been honoured with a signature model by Fender last year. This guitar is now also available in Finland.

The new Made-in-Mexico Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster isn’t the first Hendrix model that Fender has released:

In 1980 a small, semiofficial run of Hendrix Strats was made, sporting a white body and a left-handed neck with a large headstock. Fender’s Custom Shop came out with 100 Monterey Stratocasters, which where close copies of the guitar instrument played and burned at the 1967 festival. It was a right-handed Stratocaster with a small headstock and a hand-painted body, set up for left-handed playing. Along with the guitar the Monterey Set also included a flight case and a leather gig bag. In the same year (1997) Fender USA started to produce the Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Strat. The Voodoo Strat was in fact a a left-handed (!) copy of Hendrix’ (right-handed) Woodstock Stratocaster, with the headstock decals turned into mirror images, so that you would look (a bit) like Hendrix, whenever you stepped in front of a mirror.   😀

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – full front

The brand-new Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster (approx. 950 € in Finland) also has some features resembling the guitar Hendrix used at the Woodstock festival:

The right-handed alder body is finished either in black or in white, while the neck is a large headstock-carrying, left-handed, all-maple affair.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – headstock

The headstock carries the so-called transition logo from the mid-Sixties, which was much larger than the Fifties’ spaghetti logo, but still gold coloured. By the end of the Sixties the logo was changed to black and the model name was written in large, bold lettering – that would be called the the CBS logo.

Modern improvements on the Hendrix Strat include truss rod access from the headstock side, as well as a flatter, more bend-friendly fretboard radius of 9.5 inches.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – tuners

The headstock’s flip side displays Hendrix’ signature, and a very decent set of Kluson copies.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – neck plate

The neck joint has been kept very traditional, but for the Authentic Hendrix-logo on the neck plate.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – pickups

The most important differences between the Hendrix model and a bog standard Strat can be found in the pickup department:

The Mexican signature guitar comes equipped with a pukka set of American Vintage ’65 Gray-Bottom Fender-pickups, which have been installed into this guitar, as if this were a left-handed model turned over. Both the neck and middle pickup have been flipped over by 180 degrees, while the bridge pickup has been flipped over first, before being installed at a reverse angle. Usually the bridge pickup is placed so that its bass side is closer to the neck with the treble side being closer to the bridge. On the Hendrix Strat the bridge pickup’s bass side is closer to the bridge and the treble side closer to the neck.

This reverse installation means that the magnet stagger is ”wrong”, changing slightly the balance between the strings in terms of output. Furthermore, the bridge pickup will give you a slightly changed range of overtones, due to its reverse angle.

We’ll find out in the listening test, whether these changes really make any discernible difference.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – controls

The controls follow the vintage recipe – master volume, neck tone, middle tone – while the pickup selector on the Hendrix model is a modern five-way unit.

The American Vintage ’65 pickup set is true to the original specs and does not feature a reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup for hum-cancelling in positions two and four, like many updated Strats!

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – vibrato

Fender’s vintage vibrato bridge (the ”Sychronized Tremolo”) sports bent steel saddles.

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – beauty shot 1

Fender Strats are well-known for their excellent ergonomic properties and the Hendrix signature model stays true to this heritage.

Our review instrument was of comfortable moderate weight. The neck’s mid-Sixties C-profile feels great, thanks to not being overly chunky.

The guitar arrived strung with a set of 010s and tuned to E-flat, but the setup wasn’t quite spot-on. The vibrato bridge was tipped a little too steeply, and the intonation was a bit off on the bass strings. But it only took me a couple of minutes (and the correct pair of screwdrivers) to get this Strat shipshape. The result was a great-playing and great-sounding guitar (string height at 12th fret: bottom-E: 2.2 mm/high-e: 1.7 mm).

The flatter-than-vintage fretboard radius really helps to make the Hendrix Strat a very bend-friendly guitar, while also minimising the possibility of fret choke during large-interval bends.

I must admit that I’m not quite sure, whether I really hear much of a difference in the amplified sound of the reversed pickups, though.

Jimi’s guitar tech and effects guru, Roger Mayer, has often stated that Hendrix was satisfied with the sound of his (right-handed) Strats right off the peg. According to Mayer, the only ”customisation” the pair ever did on newly bought guitars, was to take off the neck and remove all possible finish residue inside the neck pockets to improve the stability of the neck joints. Hendrix’ effects, on the other hand, were a regular target for fine-adjustment and electronic customisation.

Anyway, the new Fender Jimi Hendrix signature guitar sounds just like a great Strat should. Here’s a clean clip first:

Here’s an example of the Hendrix Strat’s distorted tone:

I was eager to start recording with the Fender Hendrix model. The first demo track puts the signature Strat into a slightly more contemporary context. The signal chain for this track was: Fender Hendrix Stratocaster –> Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi –> Morley M2 Wah/Volume –> Blackstar HT-1R:

Next I recorded a demo track with a more Hendrix-like arrangement. The signal path was: Hendrix Stratocaster –> Morley M2 Wah/Volume –> Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi –> Blackstar HT-1R. The Uni-Vibe style sound at the end of the track was achieved with a phaser plug-in during mixdown:

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – back beauty

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – body beauty 2

Hendrix’ Live Sound

Even though Jimi Hendrix was known for his avant-garde use of effects in the studio – buoyed by the creativity of his sound engineer Eddie Kramer – his signal chain on stage was surprisingly straightforward. Here’s a short and basic rundown of Hendrix’ live rig.

1. Marshall Model 1959 ”Plexi” stack
Jimi Hendrix used what we now call a vintage-type, non-master volume amplifier stack, which wasn’t especially high-gain by today’s standards. Usually Hendrix had two 100 Watt Marshall-stacks running in parallel, which meant things got very loud. His Strats would cause his amp to break up, but the type of distortion was closer to what we’d now call a 60s Blues sound than to 70s Metal, and far removed from the high-gain saturation of our time.

I simulated this type of amp response by turning my Blackstar HT-1R’s gain control up to get the clean channel to overdrive.

2. Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face

In my view, the fuzz pedal is the most important ingredient in Jimi’s sound, because it adds a lot of oomph, creamy compression, and aggression to proceedings.

A British importer of musical equipment, a man called Ivor Arbiter, came up with the Fuzz Face in 1966, because he wanted to have a fuzz pedal in his product range. He came up with a chunky package by having the Fuzz Face circuit built into the base of a 60s microphone stand. The round enclosure, coupled with the unit’s two controls and single footswitch, looked like a smiley face, which is where the pedal got its name from.

Fuzz Faces are built by the Jim Dunlop company these days. There are also cheap alternatives available, from companies such as Mooer or Rowin. I’m using an Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi for the demo tracks:

3. Vox Wah-Wah

Hendrix generally used his Vox Wah in front of his Fuzz Face, but keeping it behind the fuzz will also result in some cool tones. Great wah-pedals can also be head from Boss, Mission Engineering or Jim Dunlop.

I’ve used my Morley M2 Wah/Volume pedal in front of the Big Muff Pi:

4. Octavia +Uni-Vibe

Roger Mayer’s Octavia-pedal was sometimes used as an additional ingredient in Jimi’s live sound. This strange-sounding effect combines distortion with an artificial upper octave and some slight ring-modulation. Hendrix also used a Uni-Vibe effect, which was one of the first pedals that tried to create a Leslie-like sound in a compact format. 

A genuine Octavia-pedal is only made by Roger Mayer, but Joyo’s inexpensive JF-12 Voodoo Octave stomp box sets you off in a very similar direction.

Korg has introduced the NuVibe, which is a pukka re-imagination of the original Uni-Vibe-pedal. Voodoo Lab’s Micro Vibe is a high-quality proposition at a fair price.

You can also simulate Uni-Vibe-style tones by using a suitable phaser. The Boss PH-3 is a modern and versatile phaser. If you want something even more affordable, you could check out Mooer’s range of effects.

This clip uses a combination of two phaser plug-ins in my audio sequencer:

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – body beauty 1

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – beauty shot 2

If you want to go all the way to ”become Hendrix”, you will need to buy a left-handed Stratocaster and turn it into a right-handed instrument. The result will be authentic, but also much less comfortable than a regular Strat, because the controls are all in the wrong place.

Fender’s new Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster will give you the (very slight) difference a reversed headstock brings to the playing feel, as well as the (very slight) tonal differences of the reversed pickups, while keeping all of the Stratocaster’s great ergonomics intact.

Fender’s Hendrix model is a fine Strat, which you can use for all types of music. Still, it’s the ”Hendrix-thing” this guitar does the best!

If I could only have the maestro’s long fingers and musical imagination…

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

Price approx. 950 €

Contact: Fender

A big ”thank you” goes to DLX Music Helsinki for the kind loan of the review guitar!

Pros:

+ musician-friendly price tag

+ workmanship

+ American Vintage pickups

+ playability

+ sound

Cons:

– factory setup

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – flying

09/02/2016

Testipenkissä: Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

Hendrix Ad

Jimi Hendrixin suosio ei näytä hiipumisen merkkejä, vaikka tämä valovoimainen kitarasankari itse kuoli jo vuonna 1970 27-vuotiaana Lontoossa. Kiinnostus Hendrixin musiikkia kohti on yhä niin suuri, että hän on sijalla yhdeksän Forbes-lehden listalla parhaiten tienaavista kuolleista henkilöistä.

Fenderin Stratocaster oli mestarin suosikkisoitin, eikä ole siis ihme, että Fender hiljattain esitteli uuden Jimi Hendrix -nimikkomallin, joka on nyt myös saatavilla Suomessakin.

Uusi meksikolainen Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster ei ole kuitenkaan firman ensimmäinen kunniaosoitus legendaariselle kitaristille:

Vuonna 1980 tehtiin pieni ”epävirallinen” erä Hendrix-Stratoja (tuotantoerä vain muutama tusina) valkoisella rungolla ja vasenkätisellä, isolla viritinlavalla varustetulla kaulalla. Vuonna 1997 ilmestyi Custom Shopin 100 kitaran erä Hendrixin Monterey-Stratosta, joka oli tarkka kopio soittimesta, jota Hendrix käytti Monterey-festivaalilla 1967. Se oli käsin maalattu vasenkätiselle sopivaksi muutettu oikeankätinen Strato pienellä lavalla. Monterey Strat -settiin kuului myös flight case -laukku, nahkahihna, sekä nahasta tehty topattu pussi. Vuonna 1997 ilmestyi myös Fender USA:n Jimi Hendrix Voodoo -Strato, joka oli oikeakätiselle tarkoitettu kopio Hendrixin legendaarisesta Woodstock-kitarasta. Voodoo-Straton juju oli, että kitaran logo oli alkuperäisen peilikuva, minkä ansiosta nimikkomallin käyttäjä näytti peilin edessä enemmän Hendrixiltä.   😀

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – full front

Upouudessa Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocasterissa (hinta-arvio noin 950 €) on myös vahvoja vivahteita mestarin Woodstock-kitarasta:

Tässä tapauksessa kitaran leppärunko on saatavilla joko valkoisena tai mustana, ja siihen on liitetty yksiosainen vaahterakaula isolla, vasenkätisellä lavalla.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – headstock

Viritinlavalta löytyy ns. transition logo 60-luvun keskiväliltä, joka on isompi kuin 50-luvun spaghetti logo, mutta vielä kultainen. Logo muuttui 60-luvun lopulla mustaksi CBS logoksi.

Nykyaikaisia parannuksia Hendrix Stratocasterissa ovat lavanpuoleinen kaularaudan säätöruuvi, sekä otelaudan loivempi kaarevuus (9,5 tuumaa), joka helpottaa kielten venytyksiä.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – tuners

Lavan kääntöpuolelta löytyy Jimi Hendrixin nimikirjoitus, kitaran sarjanumero, sekä sulavasti toimivat Kluson-kopiot.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – neck plate

Kaulaliitos on hyvin perinteistä sorttia, mutta kaulalevyyn on kaiverrettu Authentic Hendrix -tuotteiden logo.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – pickups

Tärkein ja ratkaisevin ero rivi-Stratoon piilee Fender Jimi Hendrix -mallin mikrofoneissa:

Meksikolaisessa nimikkomallissa käytetään laadukkaita American Vintage ’65 Gray-Bottom Fender-mikrofoneja, jotka on asennettu niin kuin tämä kitara olisi vasenkätinen. Kaula- ja keskimikrofoni on siis käännetty 180 asteella. Myös tallamikrofoni on ensin käännetty, mutta tämän lisäksi se on myös asennettu käänteisen kulmaan. Tavallisesti tallamikin bassopuoli on lähempänä kaulaa, Hendrix-Stratossa taas mikin diskanttipuoli on lähempänä soittimen kaulaa.

Tämä toimenpide kääntää mikrofonien erikorkoisten magneettien järjestystä, ja se myös muuttaa tallamikin tapauksessa mitkä ylä-äänet mikki poimii kielistä.

Vasta käyttötestissä selviää onko ero kuultavissa.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – controls

Säädinosasto on vintage-reseptin mukainen – master volume, kaulamikin tone ja keskimikin tone – mutta Hendrix-mallissa on nykyaikainen viisiasentoinen kytkin.

American Vintage ’65 -mikkisetissä kaikki mikrofonit on käämitty samaan suuntaan, niin kuin aidoissa 60-luvun Stratoissa. Tämän takia yksikelaisten hurina ei poistu mikkiasennoissa kaksi ja neljä, niin kuin monissa nykyaikaisissa Stratocastereissa!

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – vibrato

Vibratalla on Fenderin vintage vibrato (”Sychronized Tremolo”) teräksisillä tallapaloilla.

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – beauty shot 1

Fender Stratot tunnetaan niiden hyvästä ergonomiasta, eikä Fender Jimi Hendrix -malli poikkea tästä linjasta.

Testiyksilö on mukavasti keskipainoinen ja sen runko hyvin sulavalinjainen. Fender on valinnut 1960-luvun C-profiilin tähän Hendrix-Stratoon, joka tuntuu todella hyvältä kädessä myös hyvin maltillisen paksuutensa ansiosta.

Testikitara saapui Es-vireessä 010-satsilla, mutta sen säädöt eivät olleet täysin kohdallaan suoraan laatikosta. Vibratallan kulma oli hieman liian jyrkkä ja myös soittimen intonaatio oli bassokielillä vähän pielessä. Oikean kokoisilla ristipääruuvareilla ongelmat hoidettiin nopeasti ja helposti pois päiväjärjestykseltä. Lopputulos oli erittäin hyvin soiva sähkökitara mukavalla tatsilla (kieltenkorkeus 12. nauhalla: matala-E: 2,2 mm/diskantti-e: 1,7 mm).

Loivasta otelautaradiuksesta (9,5 tuumaa) on todellakin paljon hyötyä bendaamisessa. Kielten venyttäminen on helpompaa, eivätkä kielet rämise isoissa intervalleissa ylimpiä nauhoja vastaan kuin usein kuperammalla vintage-radiuksella (7,25 tuumaa).

En ole ihan varma kuuluuko käänteisten mikrofonien soundillisia vaikutuksia ratkaisevasti Hendrix-Stratocasterin sähköisessä soundissa.

Hendrixin tekniikon ja soundigurun, Roger Mayerin, mukaan muusikko itse oli tyytyväinen tuotantolinjan Stratoihin. Mayer on sanonut useissa haastatteluissa, että ainoat toimenpiteet, joita tehtiin juuri ostettuihin soittimiin, olivat kaulataskujen siivoaminen lakkausjäämiltä. Sen sijaan Hendrixin efekteihin tehtiin kaikenlaista kustomointia.

Oli niin tai näin, uusi Fender Jimi Hendrix -malli soi kuin laadukas Strato. Tässä ensin puhdas pätkä:

Ja tässä esimerkki Hendrix-kitaran särösoundista:

Halusin ensin kokeilla Jimi Hendrix -Stratoa nykyaikaisessa soundiympäristössä, ja äänitin tämän pienen demon. Signaaliketju on Hendrix Stratocaster –> Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi –> Morley M2 Wah/Volume –> Blackstar HT-1R:

Äänitin sitten vielä toisen, Hendrix-tyylisen demokappaleen. Signaaliketju on tässä Hendrix Stratocaster –> Morley M2 Wah/Volume –> Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi –> Blackstar HT-1R. Kappaleen lopussa simuloin Uni-Vibe-efektin soundia nopealla phaser-efektillä miksausvaiheessa:

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – back beauty

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – body beauty 2

Hendrixin live-soundi

Vaikka Jimi Hendrix oli – ääniteknikko Eddie Kramerin avulla – melkoinen edelläkävijä efektien käytössä studiossa, perustui hänen live-soundinsa yllättävän pieneen efektiarsenaaliin. Tässä todella lyhyt johdanto Hendrixin signaaliketjuun lavalla.

1. Marshall Model 1959 ”Plexi” -stäkki
Jimi Hendrix käytti mitä tänään kutsutaan vintage-tyylisiksi stäkeiksi, joiden vahvistimissa ei ollut high-gain säröpiirejä, eikä master volume säätimiä. Hänellä oli tavallisesti käytössä jopa kaksi 100-watista Marshall-stäkkiä, mikä tarkoitti että äänenpaine oli melkoinen. Stratollakin nämä vahvistimet menevät särölle, mutta soundi on enemmän Blues-tyylinen, kuin mitä saadaan nykyaikaisista high-gain stäkeistä.

Simuloin tätä soundia kääntämällä Blackstar HT-1R -kombon clean-kanavalla gain-säätimen reilusti auki.

2. Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face -säröpedaali

Fuzz-tyypinen säröpedaali on mielestäni Hendrix-soundin kannalta ratkaisevassa asemassa, koska se lisää soundiin sekä lihaksia ja kermaista sustainea että runsaasti rosoisuutta.

Englantilainen musiikkilaitteiden maahantuoja Ivor Arbiter halusi saada firmalleen 1966 oman säröpedaalin. Hän keksi Fuzz Facen rakentamalla fuzz-piirin mikrofoniständin jalkaan. Pyöreä jalka näytti kahdella säätimellään ja yhdellä jalkakytkimellään naamalta, josta pedaalin nimi tulee.

Fuzz Faceja valmistaa nykyään Jim Dunlop. Edullisia vaihtoehtoja saa myös Mooerilta tai Rowinilta. Itse käytin tässä Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi -pedaalia:

3. Vox Wah-Wah

Hendrix käytti Vox Wahiaan tavallisesti kytkettynä Fuzz Face -särön tuloon, mutta myös fuzzin jälkeen saadaan monta käyttökelpoista soundia. Hyviä wah-pedaaleja on saatavilla esimerkiksi Bossilta, Mission Engineeringiltä tai Jim Dunlopilta.

Itse käytin tässä omaa Morley M2 Wah/Volume -pedaalia (ennen fuzzia):

4. Octavia +Uni-Vibe

Lisämausteina Hendrix käytti vielä Roger Mayerin rakentamaa Octavia-efektiä, jossa säröefekti ja yläoktaaveri tuottavat hyvin erikoisia soundeja, sekä alun perin Leslie-simulaatioksi tarkoitettua Uni-Vibe-pedaalia.

Oikean Octavia-efektin saa vain Roger Mayerilta, mutta Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octave -tuplapedaali tarjoaa hyvin edullisen vaihtoehdon.

Korgilta saa nykyään NuVibe-nimeä kantavan Uni-Vibe-uusintapainoksen, mutta pedaali on melko kallis hankinta. Voodoo Labin Micro Vibe on jo hieman edullisempi, mutta silti laadukas ratkaisu.

Uni-Vibe-tyylisiä soundeja voi simuloida myös phaser-efektillä. Bossin PH-3 on nykyaikainen phaser-pedaali monipuolisilla ominaisuuksilla, kun taas Mooerilta saa hyvin edullisen phaserin.

Esimerkkipätkässä ketjutin miksausvaiheessa kaksi phaser-plugaria audiosekvensserissä:

Tässä vielä LINKKI Kimmo Aroluoman erinomaiselle jutulle Hendrixin signaaliketjusta, sekä toinen LINKKI pro-luokan Hendrix-pedaalilaudan testille.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – body beauty 1

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – beauty shot 2

Jos haluaa soittaa kitaraa täysin autenttisesti Hendrixin hengessä, pitää hankkia itselleen vasenkätisten Strato, vaihtaa (tai kääntää) kitaran satula oikeankätiseksi ja soittaa sitä kitaraa sitten väärinpäin. Lopputulos on autenttinen, mutta samalla ergonomialta ongelmallinen, koska esimerkiksi säätimet ovat huonolla paikalla.

Uudelta Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocasterilla saa vasenkätisen viritinlavan tuomaa (hieman) erilaista soittotuntumaa, sekä käännettyjen mikrofonien tuomaa (hieman) erilaista perussoundia oikeankätisen kitaran ergonomialla.

Fenderin Hendrix-malli on todella hyvä Strato, jolla voi soittaa myös muuta musiikkia kuin vain Hendrixiä, mutta Hendrix onnistuu kyllä erityisen hyvin.

Nyt pitäisi ”vain” olla mestarin pitkät sormet ja Hendrixin idearikkautta…

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

hinta-arvio noin 950 €

Lisätiedot: Fender

Kiitos DLX Musiikille testikitaran lainaamisesta!

Plussat:

+ muusikkoystävällinen hinta

+ työnjälki

+ American Vintage -mikkisetti

+ soitettavuus

+ soundi

Miinukset:

– tehtaan säädöt

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster – flying

14/09/2015

Testi tulossa +++ Review coming soon +++ PRS SE Custom 24 30th Anniversary

Video by Vincenzo Lodolini.

SE-Custom-24-30th-Chestnut-e1427368372517

Lisätiedot: EM Nordic

24/10/2014

Review: Tokai ES-138/SR • ES-145G/BB • ES-162/TB

Tokai ES-162 – and case

Tokai Guitars have a well-earned reputation for making high-quality electric guitars and basses, often ”inspired” by vintage designs. This time we got three semis from the very top of Tokai’s Japanese model range for review.

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Tokai ES-138SR – full front

The Tokai ES-138 (current price in Finland: 1,368 €, incl. hard case) is the company’s version of a 1958 Gibson ES-335, available in either see-through red or piano black.

Tokai ES-145G – full front

Tokai’s ES-145G (current price in Finland: 1,431 €, incl. hard case) is a lightly updated variation on the theme, which comes equipped with gold-coloured hardware and a black finish.

Tokai ES-162TB – full front

The Tokai ES-162 (current price in Finland: 1,628 €, incl. hard case) is the most expensive model of the three on review. The ES-162 comes with post-1962 style small block markers, brass bridge saddles, and a light aluminium stopbar. The icing on the cake is this model’s vintage-style nitrocellulose finish – you can choose between a tri-burst and red.

Tokai ES-138 – headstock

Tokai use top-drawer Gotoh tuners on the three tested models.

Tokai ES-138 – tuners

The ES-138 and ES-162 come equipped with vintage-style Kluson-copies.

Tokai ES-145G – headstock

Tokai ES-145G – tuners

For the ES-145G Tokai have chosen a set of modern enclosed Gotohs.

Tokai ES-145G – fingerboard

These Tokai Japan -instruments all come with a one-piece mahogany neck, complete with a vintage-correct, steep headstock angle (17 degrees).

The bound rosewood fretboards on the ES-138 and ES-145G models sport dot markers.

Tokai ES-162 – fretboard

As the ES-162 is Tokai’s version of a 1962-’64 ”Block Marker” ES-335, this guitar comes with small rectangular inlays made of pearloid.

All three instruments come fitted with medium-size frets.

Tokai ES-138 – bridge

Tokai’s ES-guitars come with Gotoh Tune-o-matic-bridges and stopbar tailpieces.

Tokai ES-145G – bridge

On the ES-138 and the ES-145G we find Gotoh’s LS-series hardware – die-cast (Zamac) parts with steel bridge saddles.

The ES-162 goes one step more ”vintage” by using a Gotoh HLS -set, comprising an ultra-light aluminium stopbar tailpiece and chrome-plated brass saddles on the bridge.

Tokai ES-162 – pickups

This guitar trio is equipped with the same pickups – a pair of Tokai PAF-Vintage Mark II -humbuckers.

Tokai ES-145G – controls

All the electronic components are top quality Japanese parts.

Tokai ES-case

Certain Tokai Japan -models are now sold in Finland complete with Tokai’s cool hard cases.

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Tokai ES-138 – beauty shot 1

The cherry red semi-acoustic is one of guitardom’s most iconic electric models. For many this curvy and well-rounded body, made from heat-pressed maple plywood, is the most beautiful body style ever.

Tokai’s ES-138 recreates this classic guitar in its earliest guise (c. 1958), complete with dot markers and a long pickguard, which extends past the bridge.

Even though an ES-335-type body is comparatively large (but thin), many of the best semi-acoustics are surprisingly lightweight. The Tokai ES-138 is very comfortable to play – both seated and strapped on – and balances superbly.

This model’s neck profile is a medium-thick ”D”, which feels great (at least in my hand). The fret job on the test sample was excellent, the set-up spot-on, and the action very light (with a set of 010s). The ES-138’s acoustic tone is typical of this type of guitar – very hollow and nasal with a clicking attack.

Tokai’s own rendition of the classic PAF-humbucker is superb, there’s no two ways about this! The output signal is moderate, and the basic sound is very open and dynamic. The neck pickup has a warm, round tone, but doesn’t mush up. The middle position on the selector switch gives you a very balanced and open sound. The bridge humbucker on its own sounds fresh and crispy, with not even a hint of annoying mid-range ”nagging”.

Tokai ES-138 – body beauty

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Tokai ES-145G – beauty shot 1

The black-and-gold ES-145G sure looks very stylish – this is the distinguished gentleman in Tokai’s ES-range, who keeps his cool and looks dapper, no matter what.

Our test sample was the heaviest guitar of this trio, but still much, much lighter than may lesser contenders.

The ES-145G’s neck profile is also the chunkiest. This D-profile is a real palm-filler, giving you a real taste of late-Fifties goodness, and managing to stay just on the right side of ”fat”.

The workmanship displayed, and playability offered by the ES-145G are simply superb. Played acoustically there’s not a lot of difference between the ES-145G and the ES-138.

Through an amp, the ES-145G sounds just like a quality semi-acoustic should – humbucker power, balanced by a clean mid-range.

Tokai ES-145G – body beauty

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Tokai ES-162 – beauty shot 1

Our review sample of the Tokai ES-162 is a real featherweight!

The ES-162’s Block Marker -personality is completed by an authentic early-Sixties style neck profile. It’s an oval ”C” that is less of a handful than the ES-138’s neck.

Top marks for the ES-162’s workmanship, finish and playability – this is a first-rate instrument.

This model’s thin nitro lacquer, its lightweight tailpiece, as well as the brass saddles on the Tune-o-matic combine into a very open-sounding and dynamic acoustic performance.

Standing in the same room with your amp, it is easy to notice an added degree of 3D-depth and scope in the guitar’s amplified tone. Interestingly – as is so often the case – recording the sound doesn’t seem to fully convey this added tonal dimension. You have to experience the ES-168 ”in the flesh” to get the full picture; the recordings sound remarkably similar to the other two models’ performances.

Tokai ES-162 – body beauty

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Tokai ES-162 – label

The reputation of Tokai Japan -instruments has been legendary among players and collectors ever since the 1970s. This trio of ES-semis makes it crystal-clear that Tokai actually deserves this reputation thanks to the superb quality of it’s Made-in-Japan guitars.

Tokai’s ES-138, ES-145G and ES-162 offer you genuine Japanese quality at very fair prices.

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Tokai Japan semi-acoustic electrics

Tokai ES-138 – 1,368 € (hard case included)

Tokai ES-145G – 1,431 € (hard case included)

Tokai ES-162 – 1,628 € (hard case included)

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

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Pros:

+ Japanese workmanship

+ one-piece neck

+ superb finish and set-up

+ Gotoh-hardware

+ authentic tone