Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: August 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 Nashville Amp Expo

My wife and don't take road trips nearly often enough, so when we get the chance we always try to fit one into our schedule. On a whim I thought it would be fun (for me, at least) to drive up to Nashville and check out the Nashville Amp Expo. As it turns out my wife, who is not a player, ended up enjoying the experience as much and I did!

More and more trade shows are being held in hotels instead of big, expensive convention centers. Organizers rent out most (or all) of a particular hotel for a certain numbers of days and vendors then setup shop in the individual rooms of each floor (as well as give seminars in the meeting rooms, etc.). I can think of no better way to host an amp show than this, because guitar amps can get very loud (and because most guitar amps only sound good very loud). So having individual rooms in which to demo each amplifier brand is genius!

There were literally too many awesome things we got to experience to list them all, but a few of the highlights were Delgado Guitars, Lindy Fralin pickups, Ark Amps, and an incredible "100 watt Marshall Amp" workshop/demonstration where no fewer than a dozen or more 100 watt Marshalls and Marshall clones were demonstrated.

There were also drawings for door prizes and I ended up winning an awesome MW1-Studio Tool courtesy of Creation Labs (the Amp Expo's host). It's an $800 piece of gear!!!

My wife and I can't wait to go to the next one.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pedal Board Bracket Mods

Ever since I bought my Furman SPB-8C pedal board I was having trouble keeping my pedals on it. The velcro strips supplied with the unit, as well as the velcro bottom of the board itself, are woefully incapable of keeping heavy pedals securely anchored to the board. So, I decided to drill some holes in it. :)

I got this idea from a website that sells random guitar paraphernalia, but instead of buying them I decided to make my own… with a twist. My method uses wing nuts for tool-less installation and removal of the pedals. Here's how I did it:

I went to Lowes and bought a couple of packs of 2"-34 mending plates, #8-32 wing nuts and #8-32 x 1-1/2 machine screws. I then attached the brackets to my pedals using the screws already there underneath the pedal housing (most pedals have four of them). You only need two brackets for most pedals, and only one will suffice for the smaller, lighter ones.

Once I had the brackets attached I placed the pedals back on the board, lined them up exactly how I wanted them and then marked the holes for drilling. I used my DeWalt drill and a 1/8 inch drill bit, which is a smaller diameter than the machine screw itself. This helps give the screw some bite and keeps things nice and tight. Warning: Be sure to use something underneath the board lest you drill a hole in your floor! I used a small length of 2x4 that I moved around under the board when drilling the holes. Then I just inserted the screws from the bottom with a screwdriver and the board was ready.

The last thing left to do was to put the pedals back on and install the wing nuts. Viola! Now your pedals are secure and ready for gigging.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Tommy Emmanuel Show, Memphis TN

My wife and I had the pleasure of attending last night's show at Minglewood Hall in Memphis, TN by acoustic guitar genius, Tommy Emmanuel. This guy is simply amazing and has to be seen and heard to be believed!

He ran through most of his classic songs and played them all to perfection. I heard not one mistake the whole night... it is truly amazing to see such virtuosity up close like that (we had front row seats) and in such an intimate setting. My favorite tune of the night was Tommy's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"... awe inspiring, to say the least. He starts the tune with a cascade of right-hand, finger plucked harmonics and plays the song with the most beautiful voice leading I've ever heard. Truly something special to experience.

Check out this YouTube video of another live performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to see what I mean. The man is a genius!