Let me get you to think about this scenario. You spent top dollar on buying a new set of Bare Knuckle pickups for your Strat, thinking they will bring new life to your old faithful. You were expecting that they will have "deep bottom end with a bell-like chime in the highs, and rich, wide, mid-range produce a crystal-clear tone without ever sounding harsh or thin.", because that's what the website description says!
Except, when you installed it and start playing those classic licks, you hear none of those! You may hear deep bottom end and maybe a rich mid almost like muffled tone. The bell-like chime is nowhere to be heard. You wonder what is going on and keep tweaking the EQ on your amp and trying to get that dream tone you were looking for from those new pickups! You max out the treble and still couldn't hear the glassy tone! What went wrong?
In between your guitar and the amp, there is just one thing there. You wonder if that's the problem? Bingo! It is your cable! Bad cables suck your tone and usually lose your high frequency. You lose clarity!
So many players never think about their cables. In fact, there are players out there who argue that cables are all the same. Everything is just marketing lies. This cannot be more wrong!
Mixdown Magazine gets to the point of why a good cable is more than just better audio quality. Click HERE to find out more why we all should just spend that little more and use some better cables!
Rotosound! What more do I really have to say? Jimi Hendrix used them; Roger Waters uses them; Brian May uses them; Sting uses them; Gutherie Govan uses them…… Rotosound is the string to use!
These new Ultramag strings are incredible! I use them personally for a few reasons.
They last a long time - I don’t play professionally but I do have a few guitars in my collection. I rotate them and so sometimes the strings would be left on the guitars for months. The great thing about these strings is, they sound fresh even after a few months. They don’t sound dull after long while.
They are corrosion resistant - I have sweaty palm and it doesn’t matter how I wipe the strings after I played them, with normal strings, they’ll go rusty real fast. With the Ultramag strings, I don’t have this problem.
Feel normal - with all these higher magnetic content, corrosion resistant properties and special TYPE 52 alloy, these strings feel like your normal set of pure nickel strings. There isn’t any coating or anything to make them too slippery or smooth.
When I was in my teens, just wanting to rock out with friends, tone wasn’t the first thing come to my mind. I remember using those old multi colour patch cable pack from my local music store when I first got into stomp boxes. Used the cheapest leads we could buy, cos we didn't have much money. They suck tone out more than anything. They were horrible! Then there were the other ready-made patch cables with a massive connectors on them. We guitarists love being cool (at least I do) and good looking gears, but those cables ain’t cool looking at all.
Let’s be honest, how many of us musicians are actually handy with their tools? Let alone soldering iron! I’m definitely not one. I was never going to make my own cables. So when the Planet Waves solderless guitar cable appears in the market back in the late 90s, I jumped straight onto it. I love how I could do it myself and cut them to whatever length I wanted. I also love the kill-switch on the connector for guitar leads! The down side with them was, they were way too thick to be patch cables for pedalboard. Use them as guitar leads was alright, but they were just way too thick to go between pedals on the board.
As I grow up and became more demanding than ever, tone became the priority. I was obsessed with trying out as many guitar leads and patch cables I could on the market. Working at a musical instrument distribution company didn’t help at all. Just allowed me to spend more money and time on testing gears! Over the year, I used a few different solderless cable systems, i.e. Boss, D’Addario, George’s L and Evidence Audio. Each of these systems have their pros and cons. After trying them out on different boards, at the end of it, there are three things I look for:
How do they sound - this can be subjective, but how much high-end do I lose is usually what I look for. Of course the least the better.
Ease of use - how easy or painless to make the cables. Some systems are so finicky. If it is not made correct, it can gives you the unbearable noise problem. Especially when you have many of them in the signal chain.
How affordable are they - when you have a small board, it may not matter as much, but when you start building a decent size board or constantly building boards, things can add up real fast and get really expensive.
Unless money is no object, I think finding a good balance of the above points will help to decide on which system to go with. At Mocha Earth Music, we offer the affordable and easy to use PedalPatch cable/kits. It is a system we believe to have a good balance on the three points I mentioned above. On top of it, the connectors from PedalPatch can make both straight or angled cables. That’s real handy! Check them out here and give them a try to see if they are good for you.
Same thing with guitar leads. Most of us aren't with endless dosh. It only makes sense to get the best value for money cables in the market. For that reason, I think you really need to give Cordial Peak cables a go. To me, they are one of the best and well-balanced instrument cables on the market right now.
Up until the early 60s, recording engineers and producers would make sure that they get the cleanest signal possible in the studio. Distorted signal or going too hot into the desk would have been a no no. In fact, I remember watching an interview of Paul McCartney, he mentioned when they used to turn up their Vox amps high to get the overdriven tone, even when they were all very excited about it and sounded good, George Martin would tell them to dial them down.
It appears that “fuzz” was an unintentional discovery, while tracking Marty Robbins’ “Don’t Worry”, a broken channel strip was used to record the bass solo and stayed on the record. Other musicians wanted this sound for themselves and Glen Snoddy, who was engineering the session, would build a circuit to capture that sound - the Maestro Fuzz-Tone, the first fuzz pedal. (Pedal Crush, page 96)
It didn’t take long for these “fuzzy” tone to become popular and it is the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction, that really brought the fuzz tone to another level.
Here at Mocha Earth Music, if you can’t already tell, we love fuzz pedals. We have a fairly decent range of fuzz pedals, which you can check out here. With this many options to choose from, it can be daunting and don’t know where to start or which is best for you. The good thing is, most of the fuzz pedals we stock were usually derived from some iconic fuzz pedal circuitries. Thanks to our friend, Beginner Guitar HQ over in New Zealand, has written up a great article on how to choose a fuzz pedal and listed out all the famous fuzz circuits/pedals and their characteristic. It should helps you a fair bit on what sort of fuzz pedal is best for your application. Check it out here.