Confidentially, I Pulled A Few Strings...

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Too Many Notes
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
35,205
Location
Michigan
Yesterday I realized I had a real problem on my hands.

Oh, we've all had problems like this. One day you pick up a guitar you thought you really liked, and suddenly realized you weren't 'bonding' with it after all. Not only that, but you were prepared to sell it that very second, take a bath on the price, and take a different bath on something else.

Never happened to you? OK. I almost believe you. But it's happened to me a gazillion times, and I figure I could have bought a nice cottage on a beach for what I've lost moving guitars along over the years. Because every time this happens, exactly what I do is make an instant decision, sell the guitar at once, and get on the horn to my guitar dealer looking for something different.

Eventually this very problem catches up to me every time I buy an electric guitar with an ebony fretboard: After the honeymoon is over, I want a divorce. But you know what, I'm tired of paying that sell/loss alimony. "There's a reason I bought this guitar in the first place," I told myself. "I just need to get it right."

The first thing I did was fuss with the controls on all my amps. A little better, but still not what I wanted to hear. I got out my other guitars and compared them. They were more like what I wanted to hear, because they were all made pretty much the same way. That's why I bought them in the first place. I'm used to that type of tone.

"Do I really want yet another version of something I already have." I asked myself? "Different isn't always worse."

So this time I decided I needed help. In desperation I called on the Great Godfather of Tone in person, and said, "Godfather, I have been a good friend over many years, and have asked you for nothing, But I have a problem, and respectfully request your help."

The Great Godfather of Tone looked over to his consigliere. The consigliere nodded.

"Because you have been a good friend for many years, and have done me many services, I will help you. Consigliere, please call Les and get this problem solved."

"I am Les," I said.

He looked me up and down as I held my $400 baseball hat in my hand, trembling. He nodded.

"OK, then, my friend Les," he said. "I'll pull a few strings."

I went home. Within an hour, a mysterious package arrived at my door. I opened it. Inside was a package of strings and a note. The note said:

I have told D'Addario to back off. You know what to do.

I immediately knew what he meant. I've always used the D'Addario or PRS-brand D'Addario nickel-plated steel strings on this guitar. This package of strings contained a vintage style, pure-nickel wrap set. I usually use this type of string on my other guitars, but for some reason, on this particular guitar I felt that the brighter, plated strings might be best, and that, after all, is what the guitar came with, so it wasn't exactly a stretch (I always stretch my strings, you see what I did there).

So yes, I pulled those plated strings. Pulled them right off the guitar. And installed the pure nickels the Great Godfather of Tone sent me.

I plugged the guitar into my pedalboard, tuned up, and then used the amp switcher to send the signal to each amp, one after the other, as I sat playing. A feeling of joy started to grow deep inside what remains of my mind.

"Not much of your mind remains, Les."

"Shut up, I'm concentrating."

The guitar sounded less zingy on the note attack. The fundamental of the note was a little stronger, the overtones more controlled.I played for a few hours, going from amp to amp and setting them for this guitar.

It was better than couples therapy.

I called the Great Godfather of Tone. "From the bottom of my heart, I thank you Great Godfather of Tone. What can I do for you in return?"

"When the time comes, I will call on you," the Great Godfather of Tone replied. Then he hung up.

I looked over at the guitar. "Your ass is saved," I said.

"Sounds to me more like your ass is saved, since if you sold this guitar and bought a new one, the 'Godfather' your wife would have called wouldn't be the one with Tone in his name. Just sayin'."
 
Yesterday I realized I had a real problem on my hands.

Oh, we've all had problems like this. One day you pick up a guitar you thought you really liked, and suddenly realized you weren't 'bonding' with it after all. Not only that, but you were prepared to sell it that very second, take a bath on the price, and take a different bath on something else.

Never happened to you? OK. I almost believe you. But it's happened to me a gazillion times, and I figure I could have bought a nice cottage on a beach for what I've lost moving guitars along over the years. Because every time this happens, exactly what I do is make an instant decision, sell the guitar at once, and get on the horn to my guitar dealer looking for something different.

Eventually this very problem catches up to me every time I buy an electric guitar with an ebony fretboard: After the honeymoon is over, I want a divorce. But you know what, I'm tired of paying that sell/loss alimony. "There's a reason I bought this guitar in the first place," I told myself. "I just need to get it right."

The first thing I did was fuss with the controls on all my amps. A little better, but still not what I wanted to hear. I got out my other guitars and compared them. They were more like what I wanted to hear, because they were all made pretty much the same way. That's why I bought them in the first place. I'm used to that type of tone.

"Do I really want yet another version of something I already have." I asked myself? "Different isn't always worse."

So this time I decided I needed help. In desperation I called on the Great Godfather of Tone in person, and said, "Godfather, I have been a good friend over many years, and have asked you for nothing, But I have a problem, and respectfully request your help."

The Great Godfather of Tone looked over to his consigliere. The consigliere nodded.

"Because you have been a good friend for many years, and have done me many services, I will help you. Consigliere, please call Les and get this problem solved."

"I am Les," I said.

He looked me up and down as I held my $400 baseball hat in my hand, trembling. He nodded.

"OK, then, my friend Les," he said. "I'll pull a few strings."

I went home. Within an hour, a mysterious package arrived at my door. I opened it. Inside was a package of strings and a note. The note said:

I have told D'Addario to back off. You know what to do.

I immediately knew what he meant. I've always used the D'Addario or PRS-brand D'Addario nickel-plated steel strings on this guitar. This package of strings contained a vintage style, pure-nickel wrap set. I usually use this type of string on my other guitars, but for some reason, on this particular guitar I felt that the brighter, plated strings might be best, and that, after all, is what the guitar came with, so it wasn't exactly a stretch (I always stretch my strings, you see what I did there).

So yes, I pulled those plated strings. Pulled them right off the guitar. And installed the pure nickels the Great Godfather of Tone sent me.

I plugged the guitar into my pedalboard, tuned up, and then used the amp switcher to send the signal to each amp, one after the other, as I sat playing. A feeling of joy started to grow deep inside what remains of my mind.

"Not much of your mind remains, Les."

"Shut up, I'm concentrating."

The guitar sounded less zingy on the note attack. The fundamental of the note was a little stronger, the overtones more controlled.I played for a few hours, going from amp to amp and setting them for this guitar.

It was better than couples therapy.

I called the Great Godfather of Tone. "From the bottom of my heart, I thank you Great Godfather of Tone. What can I do for you in return?"

"When the time comes, I will call on you," the Great Godfather of Tone replied. Then he hung up.

I looked over at the guitar. "Your ass is saved," I said.

"Sounds to me more like your ass is saved, since if you sold this guitar and bought a new one, the 'Godfather' your wife would have called wouldn't be the one with Tone in his name. Just sayin'."

I thought you had a “string butler” now?;)
 
Strings can make a world of difference in both feel and tone. Glad you got it sorted.

I tend to have the opposite situation. I start thinking about selling something I haven't played for a while and when I pull it out and paly it for a bit, I remember why I bought and kept it and put it back in the closet and say, man, I can't sell that guitar. It is too good to let go of. I am going to try to get past that this year and thin some out. I have two that I have pulled out and put back to stock and that is as far as I have made it. They have been ready to sell for about two months now... So, I am still failing at the moment.
 
Strings can make a world of difference in both feel and tone. Glad you got it sorted.

I tend to have the opposite situation. I start thinking about selling something I haven't played for a while and when I pull it out and paly it for a bit, I remember why I bought and kept it and put it back in the closet and say, man, I can't sell that guitar. It is too good to let go of. I am going to try to get past that this year and thin some out. I have two that I have pulled out and put back to stock and that is as far as I have made it. They have been ready to sell for about two months now... So, I am still failing at the moment.
I've done that, too!

I have plenty of fails using either approach! ;)
 
that's happened to me. I have sets put aside I've bemoaned the presence of. But, I know things like that can happen. (Curt Mangan, Fender).
 
“What does it mean?”

”Les sleeps with the fishes…”

Fish-Guitar-For-Slideshow.jpg
 
My dear friends, you might wonder if this thread has a purpose beyond mere humor. I'm wondering that myself....hmmm...

[insert clock ticking for about ten seconds]

OK then! After giving it a few seconds of thought, the thread originally had several purposes. In no particular order they are:

- To have a little fun on a day when there's a serious snowstorm and there's nothing much to do; and,

- To remind myself and others that sometimes a really simple, inexpensive, change can accommodate the tone needs of the moment; and,

- To create an irresistibly humorous/disgusting reference to one's yarbles; and.

- To add a concept from a movie that I actually saw in a real movie theater back in the day; and,

- To remind myself that the solution to a guitar tone issue isn't always 'Sell The Damn Thing'; and,

- To divert your attention to me, me, wonderful me! Though you might well feel differently about the 'wonderful' bit - and I don't blame you, because I'm sick of myself, too!

;)
 
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