Posts tagged ‘ES-335’

29/08/2019

Testipenkissä: Edwards EX-125D ja SA-160LTS

Japanilainen ESP Guitars on yksi maailman isoimmista kitaravalmistajista, ja etenkin Rock- ja Metalkitaristien keskuudessa arvostetaan firman luomuksia kovasti. ESP on kuitenkin paljon monipuolisempi yritys, kun mitä eurooppalaisesta näkökulmasta ehkä luullaan, sillä jotkut yrityksen alamerkeistä ovat saatavilla ainoastaan Japanissa – tunnetuimmat niistä ovat varmasti Grass Roots ja Edwards.

Edwards Guitars on ESP:n vintage-tietoinen laatubrändi ja sen mallisto tehdään Japanissa.

Edwards EX-125D (1.139 €; gigbägi kuuluu hintaan) on Edwardsin näkemys päivitetystä Gibson Explorerista, jolla on virtaviivaistettu säädinosasto ja aktiiviset mikit.

Edwards SA-160TLS (1.460 €; laukku kuuluu hintaan) näyttää vuoden 1964 Gibson ES-335:n (Clapton!) suoralta kopiolta, mutta todellisuudessa mallista löytyy yksi ratkaiseva ero esikuvaansa nähden.

****

Kun kävin noutamassa testikitarat Musamaailman päämajasta, piti oikein tarkistaa oliko EX-125D:n topatussa pussissa varmasti kitara. Edwardsin versio aiheesta on selvästi kevyin Explorer-tyylinen kitara, joka minulla on ollut käsissäni tähän mennessä!

EX-125D tehdään miltei kokonaan mahongista – vain soittimen otelauta on pau ferro -nimisestä jalopuusta.

Kaulaliitos ja muut rakenteelliset seikat ovat hyvin uskollisia Gibsonin klassikolle. Edwards on kuitenkin päättänyt jättää alkuperäismallin isokokoiset pleksit käyttämättä, minkä vuoksi EX-125D:ssä myös kolmiasentoinen mikkikytkin on siirretty diskanttisarvesta tallan läheisyyteen.

Testikitaran ohut mattamusta viimeistely (Stain Cloudy Black) jättää mahongin syykuviot kauniisti esille.

Klassiseen lätkämailalapaan on asennettu laadukkaat, mustat Gotoh-virittimet, sekä luusta veistetty satula.

Myös soittimen talla ja kieltenpidin tulevat Gotoh:n tuotannosta.

Mikrofoneiksi on valittu kaksi aktiivista Seymour Duncan Blackouts -humbuckeria, jotka on kehitetty nimenomaan nykyaikaista Metallia soittavan kitaristin tarpeisiin.

Edwards EX-125D:n hintaan kuuluu myös laadukas topattu kantopussi.

****

Edwards SA-160TLS näyttää vanhalta ES-335-kitaralta, mutta sen ominaisuuksissa on yksi hyvin ratkaiseva ero – kitaran kaikukoppaan on käytetty kaiverrettua kokopuista vaahteraa kannessa ja pohjassa, perinteisen vanerikopan sijaan.

Perinteisesti Gibsonin ES-335 – ja sen sukulaiset, kuten ES-330, ES-345 ja ES-355 – käyttävät muotoon prässättyä vaneria, tavallisesti kolme tai neljä kerrosta vaahteraa (joskus löytyy myös poppelia keskikerroksissa, riippuen mallista ja vuosimallista). Edwards SA-160TLS taas on tehty kalliin orkesterikitaran tapaan kaivertamalla kitaran kanta ja pohja kokopuisista vaahtera-aihioista. Vaan kaikukopan reunat on tässäkin edelleen muotoiltu höyryprässätystä vanerista.

Vastapainoksi kokopuisen vaahteran soundilliseen tuoreuteen, Edwards käyttää tässä soittimessa mahonkista keskipalkkia. Kanteen ja pohjaan on jätetty keskipalkkia varten sisäpuoleen pienet ”askelmat”, niin ei tarvita tässä mallissa perinteisiä kuusikaistaleita kopan ja palkin väliin.

Erittäin kaunis puolihimmeä kirsikanpunainen viimeistely on Edwardsin versio Gibsonin VOS-viimeistelystä, minkä ansiosta SA-160TLS näyttää vanhahtavalta myös täysin ilman naarmuja.

Reunalistoitettu otelauta on pau ferroa, yläsatula aitoa naudanluuta ja soittimen virittimet ovat Gotoh:n valmistamia.

SA-160TLS varustukseen kuuluu vintage-tyylinen Gotoh-talla, jossa rautalangasta tehty jousi pitää tallapalojen ruuvit paikoillaan.

Tähän Edwardsiin on asennettu aavistuksen vintagea tehokkaammat humbuckerit – kaulamikiksi on valittu Seymour Duncanin Jazz-malli, kun taas tallamikrofonina toimii Custom 5 -humbuckeri.

SA-160TLS:n hintaan kuuluu laadukas kova kotelo.

****

Koska Explorer-tyylisissä kitaroissa, niin kuin Edwards EX-125D:ssä, on iso ja kulmikas runko, ne eivät ehkä ole luontevin valinta sohvakitaraksi, mutta seisten tämän kitaran kevyt olemus on selvä plussa.

Työnjälki on ensiluokkainen ja säädöt olivat testikitarassa kohdillaan. Kaulaprofiiliksi on valittu pyöreä, mutta maltillisen paksu C – Gibson-fanit kutsuisivat tätä 60-luvun profiiliksi. Edwards EX-125D:n kaula tuntuu hyvin nopealta, ilman 1990-luvun vauhtikaulojen ylimääräistä leveyttä tai ohuutta.

Vaikka tämän kitaran ulkomuoto on 60 vuotta vanha, vaikuttavat mallin aktiiviset mikrofonit siihen, että Edwardsin soundi on nykyaikainen. Duncanin Blackouts-humbuckerit tarjoavat runsaasti lähtötehoa ja selkeyttä, eikä ne ulise runsaalla gainella, mikä tekee niistä hyvän valinnan nyky-Metallille.

****

Kitaraklassikoista ES-335 on – Fender Stratocasterin ohella – yksi monipuolisimmista sähkökitaroista, joka kelpaa lähes kaikille genreille Jazzista Bluesiin tai Countrysta Rockiin.

Edwardsin SA-160TLS on erittäin tyylikäs versio ES-335:stä, jossa yhdistyy 1960-luvun kosmetiikka ja 1950-luvun soittotuntuma. Kaulaprofiiliksi on nimittäin valittu vuoden 1959:n Gibson profiili, joka on melko paksu ja pyöreä.

Työnjälki on loistava ja säädöt olivat kohdillaan. Tämäkin Edwards on kevyt kitara.

Akustisesti SA-160TLS soi hivenen verran kirkkaammalla äänellä kuin mitä odottaisi hyvältä puoliakustiselta. Vahvistimen läpi tämä pieni ero kuitenkin häviää, ja Edwardsin ja referessikitaran väliset pienet soundilliset erot johtuvat varmaan enemmän soittimien eri mikrofoneista kuin niiden perusäänistä.

****

Sääli, että Edwardsit ovat – ainakin tähän mennessä – olleet Suomessa hyvin harvinaista herkkua. Tämän testin perusteella Edwards-kitarat nimittäin vaikuttavat hyvin laadukkailta soittimilta, ja myös niiden hinta on varsin kohtuullinen.

****

Edwards EX-125D & SA-160TLS

EX-125D – 1.139 €; topattu pussi kuuluu hintaan

SA-160TLS – 1.460 €; kova laukku kuuluu hintaan

Maahantuoja: Musamaailma

****

Plussat (molemmat mallit):

+ työnjälki

+ ominaisuudet

+ soundi

+ hinta-laatu-suhdeSave

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

27/08/2019

Review: Edwards EX-125D and SA-160LTS

Japanese company ESP is one of the largest guitar brands on the planet, not least thanks to the popularity of their designs for the Hard and Heavy-crowd. But there’s more to ESP than some of us might realise, because – unlike the ESP and LTD model ranges, available worldwide – some brands, like Grass Roots or Edwards, are only available in specific markets.

Edwards, which is usually available only in Japan, is ESP’s upmarket brands for vintage-style and vintage-inspired guitar models.

The Edwards EX-125D (1,139 €; incl. gig bag) is the brand’s modern take on the classic Gibson Explorer design, complete with active pickups and streamlined controls.

The Edwards SA-160TLS (1,460 €; incl. case) looks like a straight copy of a ’64 Gibson ES-335, but in reality it comes with a very important twist. Read on…

****

When I went to pick up the review instruments at (Finnish distributor’s) Musamaailma’s HQ, I had to take a look in the gig bag to make sure the EX-125D was really in there. The Edwards model must be the most lightweight Explorer (-style guitar) I have come across in my life so far!

The EX-125D is an all-mahogany affair, save for the beautiful slab of pau ferro that serves as its fretboard.

The set neck construction mirrors Gibson original closely, but Edwards has done away with the large pickguard, while also moving the toggle switch, away from the top horn down to the bridge.

The reviewed guitar comes in a very nice matte finish (Stain Cloudy Black) that leaves the mahogany’s grain partially open.

The classic hockey stick headstock sports a set of black Gotoh tuners, as well as a bone nut.

The bridge and stopbar are also high-quality units made by Gotoh.

The pickups are a pair of Seymour Duncan’s active Blackouts, which have been geared especially towards the needs of Metal players.

The Edwards EX-125D comes in its own quality gig bag.

****

The Edwards SA-160TLS might look like a mint 1964 ES-335, but actually offers one distinct change in specifications – a semi-acoustic body made from carved solid maple.

Traditionally the ES-335 – and its cousins, the ES-330, ES-345 and ES-355 – are made from steam pressed plywood, usually three or four plies of either all maple or maple and poplar (depending on model and year of production). In contrast, the Edwards SA-160TLS is built like an upmarket Jazz guitar (or Gibson’s mandolins), by taking two centre-joined maple blanks and carving them into the gracefully shaped curves of the guitar. Having to be bent into shape, the rims are still plywood.

Edwards offsets the spankier basic tonality of the solid maple body by using a centre block made from mahogany, which is glued to steps left on the inside of both top and back (no spruce fillets here).

The superb cherry red finish on the SA-160TLS is Edwards’ take on what a ”closet guitar” might look like. The slightly matte look isn’t too far removed from Gibson’s VOS finish.

We find a bound pau ferro fingerboard, a well cut bone nut, and a set of classy Gotoh tuners.

The SA-160TLS features a vintage-style Tune-o-matic bridge made by Gotoh, complete with the saddle-retaining wire.

This Edwards sports a slightly hotter-than-vintage humbucker pair of a Seymour Duncan Jazz in the neck position and a Custom 5 in the bridge position.

The SA-160TLS comes with its own high quality case.

****

Due to its angular body shape an Explorer-type guitar, such as the Edwards EX-125D, probably isn’t the best choice for sofa noodling, but strapped on this light guitar is a dream to play.

The workmanship is excellent and the set-up superb. The neck profile is what guitar anoraks call a Gibson 60s neck, meaning it is very rounded with moderate thickness. The Edwards EX-125D is a very ”fast” guitar, without resorting to a too flat or too wide neck profile.

While the guitar type is already 60 years old, the active pickups used on the Edwards put it firmly in modern territory. The Duncan Blackouts offer a high output level coupled with a lot of clarity and high feedback resistance, making them just the ticket for modern styles of Metal.

****

Along with the Fender Stratocaster, the ES-335 is known as one of the most versatile classic guitars you’ll find, doing everything from Jazz and Country to Blues and Rock.

The Edwards SA-160TLS is a very classy reproduction that combines Sixties looks with late-Fifties playability. The neck profile is a dead ringer for a vintage 1959 Gibson neck. It’s round and chunky, while still steering clear of the clubby baseball bat feel of, say, a 1957/58 Les Paul.

The workmanship is superb, as is the review guitar’s set-up. The Edwards is also a lightweight instrument.

The SA-160TLS’ acoustic tone is a tiny bit brighter, and maybe even a little louder, than what you’d normally expect from a good ES-335-style semi, but played through an amp I found the differences between this solid maple Edwards and my reference semi to be largely negligible and mostly down to the different pickups. This is a fine version of a ’64 ES-335, and it also sounds like one.

****

It’s a shame that we don’t usually see more of Edwards Guitars’ output here in Finland. Judging by this review there’s a lot to be liked. These are well-made, professional grade instruments offered at fair price.

****

Edwards EX-125D & SA-160TLS

EX-125D – 1,139 €; including gig bag

SA-160TLS – 1,460 €; including case

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

****

Pros (both models):

+ workmanship

+ features

+ sound

+ value for money

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

22/08/2019

The ESP Edwards SA-160LTS video

20/08/2019

ESP Edwards EX-125D: Now on SoundCloud

A short demo of an Edwards EX-125D (Japanese Explorer-style guitar with active Seymour Duncan pickups).

Guitar tracks recorded using a Bluetone Shadows Jr valve combo, a 1990s Ibanez wah-wah, a Mad Professor Simble Overdrive pedal, and a Shure SM57.

19/08/2019

ESP Edwards SA-160LTS: Now on SoundCloud

A short demo song featuring the Edwards SA-160LTS (Japanese ES-335-style guitar made with a body from carved solid maple).

All guitar tracks recorded using a Bluetone Shadows Jr valve combo, a Mad Professor Simble Overdrive pedal, and a Shure SM57 microphone.

07/08/2019

ESP Edwards – Testi tulossa – Working on a review

Edwards EX-125D

Edwards SA-160LTS

02/05/2018

Bluetone’s ”Gothenburg Special” Fried Eye Played By Tuomas Wäinölä

Finnish top guitarist Tuomas Wäinölä demonstrates a few of the Bluetone Fried Eye Special’s tones using a Bluetone 4 x 10″ cabinet.

Guitars used:

• 1968 Fender Stratocaster

• 1967 Gibson ES-335

• 2013 Gibson Custom Shop ’59 Les Paul Standard

Cable used: UTA Vari-Cap

The audio was recorded with a Shure SM57 and an AKG C414 plugged into a UTA MPDI-4 running into Pro Tools HD.

For additional audio clips go to: http://www.bluetone.fi/fried-eye/

****

Audio recorded and produced by Tuomas Wäinölä at Sunbeam Imperial Studio.

Video filmed and edited by Martin Berka for Bluetone Custom Amplifiers.

09/10/2017

Uusi Rockway.fi-katsaus – puoliakustiset

Uudessa Rockway.fi-katsauksessa testissä viisi puoliakustista kitaraa:

Epiphone ES-335 Dot
Green B&B
Hagström Viking Deluxe Custom
Italia Mondial Classic
Tokai ES-60

25/09/2017

Rockway.fi & Kitarablogi – tulossa: puoliakustiset

Rockway.fi-katsauksessa lokakuussa testissä viisi puoliakustista kitaraa:

Epiphone ES-335 Dot
Green B&B
Hagström Viking Deluxe Custom
Italia Mondial Classic
Tokai ES-60

****
Demobiisi pohjautuu Steely Dan -biisiin ”Peg”.
Demobiisissä soolo-osuudet on soitettu kitarat aakkosjärjestyksessä. Komppikitarat – Hagström (vasen ja oikea kanava) ja Italia (piezomikki, keskellä).
Äänitetty Blackstar HT-1 -putkikombolla.

02/01/2017

Review: Juketone True Blood

juketone-true-blood-logo

If you’ve always lusted for a hand-soldered guitar amp you were left with two options until quite recently:

You could either buy an expensive boutique/custom shop amplifier, or – if you’re handy with a soldering iron – opt for a DIY amp kit.

Now there’s a third choice for those of us neither well-heeled nor technically savvy:

British company Juketone offers a range of tasty Fender tweed inspired, hand-wired guitar amplifiers at very moderate prices, thanks to Chinese production and selling direct via the Internet.

****

juketone-true-blood-front-angle-1

The Juketone True Blood (250 £; introductory offer for a limited time only) is the company’s smallest combo.

The True Blood is based on Fender’s legendary 1950s Tweed Champ (specifically the 5F1 version), with a few small tweaks.

Tweed Champs have been built with several differently shaped cabinets over the Fifties, depending on their exact vintage. The True Blood comes in the all-straight cabinet seen on most mid-Fifties originals, while Fender’s current Custom Shop version features the later angled front.

juketone-true-blood-back-angle

The tweed covering on our review sample was very neat and crisp.

The combo’s cabinet is made of plywood, except for the back covers, which looked (and felt) like MDF-board.

juketone-true-blood-valves-and-speaker

The two most important differences between a vintage Champ and Juketone’s True Blood combo lie in the speaker-type and rectifier valve choices.

In addition to the two audio signal valves – a Ruby Tubes 12AX7 and a 6V6GT – Juketone has chosen a slightly less-known 6Z4 rectifier tube. The 6Z4 used in Juketone amps is a Chinese version (aka the Sino 6Z4) that is not compatible with the American rectifier valve of the same name.

Jensen has traditionally been the speaker brand of choice for vintage tweed amps, but their bass response very often sounds a bit flabby by modern standards. In my opinion, Juketone has made a very good decision in choosing a more British-voiced speaker for their True Blood combo. The eight-inch Celestion Super 8 could be described as an alnico-driven version of their popular Eight 15.

juketone-true-blood-electronics-2

Inside the metal amp chassis you will be greeted by high quality components and clean workmanship. This is genuine hand-soldering using soldering lugs riveted to a fibreglass board.

You’d be foolish to expect the wiring to be on the same, insanely high level – in terms of its neatness – as generally seen on boutique-grade amps, but the True Blood is definitely in line with Juketone’s ”affordable boutique” ethos.

****

juketone-true-blood-control-panel

Maybe the most important part in the charm of a 5F1-type Champ (or Champ clone) is the directness of this small combo’s approach to tonal nirvana. There’s no master volume, no tone control, no effects – just a single volume control, and the straightest signal path from input jack to speaker known to mankind.

To some, this type of diminutive Fifties practice amp looks like it’s hopelessly ancient, but the Tweed Champ still has a lot of fans.

The Juketone True Blood’s secret to success lies in the combo’s interactive behaviour. The most traditional way to use the True Blood would be to dial in the maximum amount of volume (and distortion) needed, and then control the amp using the guitar’s own volume and tone controls. Thanks to the naturally rich compression this combo produces when pushed, turning down the guitar volume for cleaner sounds will result in less of a volume drop than expected. Here’s a short clip using a double humbucker guitar (Hamer USA Studio Custom):

If you need more clean headroom from your True Blood (Blues harpists, listen up) than what the factory 12AX7 has to offer, you could easily drop in one of a number of ”cooler” 12A_7-family replacements, such as a 12AU7 or a 12AT7.

Here are three clips of a Fender Telecaster, a Gibson Les Paul Junior and a Hamer Studio Custom, respectively, with their bridge pickups selected. Each clip has been recorded with the combo’s volume control set to ”6”, ”8”, ”10” and ”12”, using a Shure SM57:

The Juketone True Blood’s low volume and tasty compression make this combo an excellent choice for use in the (home-) studio. Just add a little EQ and compression, and season the result with a bit of reverb and/or delay during mixdown, and you’ll be surprised at how big this little chap really sounds:

****

juketone-true-blood-front-angle-2

I can only recommend Juketone’s True Blood warmly for use as a living room and recording amp.

Laying your hands on a hand-wired tweed-style combo has never been so easy or affordable. The warm, big bass response of the Celestion speaker is a definite improvement, at least in my book!

This Juketone combo is a serious alternative to your run-of-the-mill mass-produced practice. It sounds pure and sweet. A hand-soldered combo, such as this, is also far easier to repair (or modify) than a PCB-based design.

****

Juketone True Blood

250 £ (introductory offer)

Contact: Juketone

Pros:

+ affordable

+ workmanship

+ hand-wired

+ sound

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save