Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Guitar!! Gibson 2001 R7 Les Paul Black Beauty "Historic/VOS"

I did some wheeling and dealing with some of my old gear to snag a gorgeous 2001 Gibson R7 Les Paul "Black Beauty". It looks to be totally stock and definitely has some gig battle scars, but overall it's in excellent condition and plays beautifully. The acoustic tone is loud and full, and the playing action feels solid and effortless.

This 9.5 lbs. Black Beauty Historic model (the official Gibson name for this line of guitars in 2001... it has since changed to V.O.S - Vintage Original Spec) is the dual pickup version with 7-ply binding on the body, bound ebony fretboard, fat 50's neck, Grover tuners, all gold hardware, block pearl inlays and solid mahogany body and top. The last feature is interesting to note... the body of a Les Paul Custom is a single piece of mahogany with no maple top. The original idea for this model was allegedly from Les Paul himself with the goal of creating a "classier looking" Les Paul that would show nicely on television, which Les Paul was doing a lot of in his career at the time.

I have not even so much as changed the strings on this guitar yet, but I can already tell it has exceptional tone and wonderful playing action. The neck is the extra fat '50s profile and the whole guitar just feels really solid (due, no doubt, to its heft).

I definitely plan to mod this one. It will get locking Grover tuners, an RS GuitarWorks complete electronics kit and new pickups (likely Duncan Alnico IIs).

I'll be posting an update on this once I get all the stuff!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pickup Swap on a Brubaker B-2 Doublecut Guitar

It was a real pleasure and a treat to have a Brubaker custom guitar pass through the shop. These legendary, highly customized guitars are made of the finest quality parts and woods by hand, often using special tools designed by founder Kevin Brubaker himself.
This particular specimen needed the bridge pickup reverted back to the stock original hand-wound Brubaker pickup it shipped with from the factory. I particularly liked the all wood pickup cavity cover and the single, over-sized slotted screw to remove it (big enough to accommodate a coin if you were at a gig and in a pinch). Beautiful, functional design.

The real fun, however, was getting to play it after the installation! The maple neck has a gunstock oil, satin finish that provided a fast feel and fret work that is simply stunning! One the best fret jobs I have ever seen, without a doubt.

The deep cherry-red Spanish cedar body has a snappy, bright tone that just screamed "Tele" to me... and those Tele tones really leapt out of the guitar in the bridge position. The middle and neck produced fantastic Strat-like tones, despite all three pickups being single-coil sized humbuckers (think Duncan Hot Rails).

It was hard to put the B-2 down once I started playing it, but eventually it had to go back into the case and back to the owner. I think I can definitely see a Brubaker in my collection in the near future. :)

Traded Gear

I ended up trading my Gibson ES-339 and my recently acquired Gibson Explorer Pro to my singer, Doug, toward some items from his collection.

These were great guitars, but I ended up not playing them very much so I figured it was time to move 'em on.

Got some great stuff coming, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Premiere Guitar Magazine debut

I can't believe it! I ended up appearing in Premiere Guitar magazine's November 2009 issue. Thanks to Fretworld's Wade Laycook for pointing it out to me. Otherwise, I might have missed it entirely.

Premiere Guitar has a new section in their monthly magazine called "Highlights from the Gear Page". The Gear Page is a great online forum where guitar and bass gearheads flock to discuss, buy and trade all things guitar gear related. It's truly a great source of information for anyone crazy about guitar gear from total beginners to experts.

In the November issue my post on guitar rooms was featured. Someone posted asking about guitar rooms and what advice should they consider when putting one together. My advice was to make sure you've got a good workbench. I love my workbench and consider it a must-have in any guitar room.

So, there you go. I can now say I've been published! :)