Gibson Guitar USA Make Strategic Investment purchasing 51% of TEAC

Gibson Guitar Corp. announced early this morning an agreement to make a strategic investment into Japan’s TEAC CORPORATION.

TEAC is one of the world’s top names in audio and visual equipment, and a leading producer of data storage equipment and related products. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

Gibson has entered into an agreement, signed today, with Phoenix Capital in which two investment funds operated by Phoenix Capital have agreed to sell to Gibson all the shares they own in TEAC Corporation, or 157,447,000 shares, (54.4% of the issued and outstanding shares), at a price agreed between the parties of 31 JPY per share. As this will result in Gibson acquiring over one third of TEAC, Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Law requires Gibson to undertake a tender offer process.

Thus, Gibson, through a special purpose vehicle, will make an all-cash tender offer to purchase 157,447,000 shares of TEAC common stock for 31 Japanese Yen per share in cash. Gibson will purchase a maximum of 157,500,000 shares. The tender offer period is scheduled to commence on April 1, 2013 and will remain open for 21 Japanese business days.

Today, TEAC’s Board of Directors issued a press release supporting the tender offer.

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SoundToys Little MicroShift free until the 29th of March!

SoundToys is one of the Platinum premiere Pro Tools Plugin companies in the industry. I think the software they author is some of the best sounding available. Until March 29th SoundToys is giving away the Little MicroShift Plugin free. I  downloaded mine this evening and I can’t stop mixing tracks with this little Gem. It sounds amazing in the mix! A must have for guitar players and vocalist, don’t lose out on this.

You must have an iLok and use this code: 406-2024-803 and register your Little Microshift Here: https://www.soundtoys.com/sxsw2013/&rc=406-2024-803

SoundToys Still creates world-class TDM and RTAS plugins for Pro Tools but now all SoundToys plugins are AU and VST compatible. That’s a big deal to Logic and Cubase users and full of win for us that use more than Pro Tools exclusively for DAW.  Go grab yours now!

How to keep your uncooperative beloved guitar in tune

One of the truly most beautiful guitars I own is the one I have the most tuning problems with. I have a Les Paul Standard reissue with a Corian Nut that sounds magnificent, but it’s a bear to keep in tune if I don’t maintain it properly. People always take note and razz the Snark Tuner darn near permanently attached to the headstock, especially me mates I jam with.  Of course in line with Murphy’s sadistic law it’s also the guitar I play day in and day out because it’s sweet mahogany “woody” tone. You can hear the wood chime in this guitar, in fact it rings so loud when not plugged in I could play it around a camp fire if no one was talking. It’s bad ass!

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The largest culprit in keeping any guitar in tune no matter the values and craftsmanship is the nut. Nut’s bind no mater what they’re made of, even the graphite nuts bind a bit. You can hear a nut bind when you tune, it will sound similar to the coil pinging on an electric space heater when you first power it up. That sound is the tension where the string meets the nut releasing. A large amount of slack slipping through the nut “pings” which happens most often when tuning or doing a several semitone SRV or Randy Rhodes monster bend RAWR!

If you search the interwebs many guitar forums say you should widen the slot on your nut with some sandpaper of a file. DON’T DO THIS! Changing the groove on the nut of your guitar is something only a professional should do. Unless you know how to shape, change and fit a nut, do a full fret job on a guitar, truss rod adjust your guitar neck  and intonate it, don’t touch the nut. You have a far higher percentage of having to have the nut replaced AND having your guitars intonation go wonky (that’s a technical term :D) then you do of success. I can do all the above and I still wouldn’t widen the slot on a guitar neck to accomplish this dilemma.

There are a few companies that make what I label as “goop” for your guitar nut. The most well-known brand I’m aware of is called big bends nut sauce with an MSRP of $25.99 and a street price of $19.99. It’s also messy overpriced nonsense! All nut big bends sauce consists of is graphite motor oil. You can purchase a quart at an auto parts store for $8 dollars. Nut Sauce is highly overpriced, Don’t be duped!

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The best way to avoid the cost, mess and over all easy cheesy guitar maintenance for tuning is simple pencil graphite. No, pencils do not have lead, it’s graphite. I recommend going to a gun smith or online and buying powered gun graphite (Wally world has it but hey, I don’t personally do Wally world because they’re raciest, sexist, corporate scumbags). Although if you’re not careful it can to be a wee messy but it’s nothing compared to Nut Sauce. It penetrates well and after two or three applications it adheres with plastic, bone and Corian nuts for years ensuring you’ll lose the tube of graphite long before you ever need it again DOH!

You can also take simple mechanical pencil refill as I’ve done in this example that can be purchased at most grocery, Drug and stationery stores. I didn’t even remove or slack the strings to apply this, I just rubbed it in the top of the strings and the sides of the nut, said abracadabra and whalla! Voilà! There it is! A nut that won’t bind any longer driving you thoroughly crazy with tuning issues.

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Until Next time, Beware the Demons in the pipes!
Demons in the pipes!

 

The Skinny on the Bugera Vintage 22

Mo Money Mo Problems

 

I’ve done some research into why a $375 dollar amp built by Behringer sounds like a very expensive boutique amplifier costing hundreds more. In looking at the specifications I found the amplifier was designed by Joe Delaney who’s iconic in the music business as an artist, song writer, Producer / Audio Engineer, amp designer and the man who singly turned around the infamous Randall amplifier company from obscurity to the company they are today. Joe also designed the Kirk Hamit model Randall that’s been a huge success for Randall.

Joe now fronts the band Joetown but while living in Los Angeles in the 80’s played in St. Thomas soon after finding himself writing songs and playing in the studio for other artists. He’s owns and operates Joetown Inc. a full professional studio as an Artist, Songwriter, Producer and Audio Engineer. Joetown is be heard on the FX hit series, The Shield. Joe is the Brand Manager for Randall Amplification and Eden Amplification and was the Product Manager for Behringer from 2005 to 2009 when the Vintage went into production. He had full carte blanche in the amplifiers design which is clearly why it sounds so bad ass.

Now I clearly see why the amp sounds the way it does and how it being built by Behringer has probably had a negative effect in some ways. The only two criticisms I have on this amplifier is the Tube Bays are built right on to the main board. The amp is also built of High Density Fiber board instead of Burtch ply but it’s obvious both of these are cost control measures to keep costs down. The cabinet is well-built with plenty of metal and wood supports. I took the amp out of the cabinet to re-tube and bias it, the amp chassis itself is heavy! I also took the import compliant tube grate off the casing which rattled almost as though there was a microphonic tube in the amp, it made a big difference.

I’ve taken the Bugera name plate off the amp simply because I thought it killed the look of the amp. I designed a new logo plate for my sweet sounding bargain amp that a local laser engraver is fabricating for me. It’s inspired by my jamming buddy Chris’s poster he has hanging over his bed of Biggie Smalls that says “Mo Money Mo problems.” I thinks it’s perfect!

You can read more about Joe Delaney at the following websites:

http://www.joetown.com/new2/about-joetown.html

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/joe-delaney/b/469/1a

http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Joe-Delaney/710359991

http://www.eden-electronics.com/products/pedals/wtdi.aspx

Mo Money Mo Problems Amplification

 

mo

Fixing Stupid! Making OS X Mountain Lion run slightly better then poo!

Tagged under: sarcasm – The King is Dead! Long live the King! Yes Steve Jobs is dead and so is the “crap” detector at apple inc. Before I show you some tips for making Mountain Lion run decent instead of the bloated piece of garbage it is I want to discourage anyone from buying an apple computer. Why? Because the hardware they charge a huge greedy bloated premiums for is absolute garbage. Was it always this way? No, it’s been in the last 4 years its become the stinking steamy pile of finkel matter it is now which coincides with Jobs illness and long leaves of absences. I know, I have 3 apple computers that have lasted no more than 2 months passed the apple care warranty and I work on the platform every day. The iMac hard drive recall, well it’s because all iMacs run 10˚ to 22˚ hotter then the maximum allowed by the manufactures. If the DOJ would get off it’s arses they would force a recall that’s now being pushed in 3 states by civil law suits I would hail Obama (not going to happen). Sounds like Micro$oft doesn’t it?

Alas I digress, we’re here to fix stupid AKA Mountain Lion. First, if you don’t have a reason to upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion DON’T! Snow Leopard is the best OS apple has ever released, you will regret upgrading the OS. The largest issue with Mountain Lion is it’s bloated poorly written software that takes just an imbecilic amount system resources to run. It schlep’s along poorly on any Core 2 Duo with even 4GB of RAM without an SSD. Plus, the “Pro Model Macbook” now has its memory soldered in which leaves it without being able to upgrade it once you get it home. Hardly a Pro Machine! The King is indeed dead, oh how I miss him.

Here’s a few simple steps to, at least minimally fix stupid aka OS X Mountain Lion.

1) Turn off Notifications. I know you’re probably thinking “but notifications are why I want to upgrade the OS!” Well, if it worked with a darn and didn’t kill all the processing cycles it would be but it doesn’t and it’s not. All Notification does is slow a powerful machine down with poorly implemented code and design architecture. It’s fugly (that’s a technical term!) as all hell too! I’ve been asked to “Make it go away” by almost Evey Mac User I’ve serviced by request. To shut off this atrocious POS open your terminal program and give it these commands:

launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist

Push Return on your keyboard. Next, in Terminal enter:

killall NotificationCenter

2) Fix the resource hogs in the dock settings by opening System Preferences, Dock. Once there turn off the Genie effect by selecting Scale effect. Also Un-check Animate opening applications.

3) Next Download Fredric Wiker’s awesome app Mountain Tweaks and install it into the applications directory by dragging the icon to the folder. I applaud Mr. Wiker for writing this simple little app and have deployed it countless times over the last few months on both Lion and Mountain Lion. This app is free but if you could spare a dollar or two as a donation I’m sure he would appreciate it. I’ve given him donations for every machine I’ve deployed this solution on with no complaints.

On of the things I love about this app is it Fredric re-skinned the contacts and calendar from that bloody wood grain / worn Leather eyesore to good old OS X glass. Although Scott Forstall has been shown the door at apple inc. it’s to little to late since he’s the person who insisted “wood grain Leather look and feel” in Calendar and contacts aka address book was tasteful design (vomit!). Mountain Tweek re-skins both these eyesores, it was the catalyst for me trying the app out because of my general disbelief in how bad it looked (see my previous press here: My Beef with iCal in Lion) I can attest it has run solid for me on every Mac I’ve deployed it on therefore I highly recommend it.

Once installed and running, Click yes on the following buttons on the General Tweaks Tab (see image below):

Show the user library
Enable 2D dock

tweek

Next Click on the Mountain Lion Tweaks tabs and click on the following yes buttons:

Disable Gate Keeper (this is so intrusive for anyone but a complete noob I recommend it).
Remove Leather from Contacts
Remove Leather from Calendar
Display Frame rate for Coverflow
Disable smooth scrolling
Disable Rubber Band when Scrolling (you may not want this option if you’re using a trak pad).

tweek2.1

There are more “Hacks” you can use to fix ol’ stupid here, if you need assistance feel free to contact me on my about page. Happy trails and GO TEAM HACKINTOSH!

Retro electronics fetish

My retro electronics fetish is getting a little out of control these days. No I’m not talking Vintage Betty Page leather or sex toys, I’m taking electronics big daddy nerd style. I never should have put that 60’s Silvertone Sears amp back together, but it sounds brilliant! Pandora’s Box is open.

I was really close with my Grandfather, he would woo me with hours of tales of Scotland (Wince my family came) that left large impressions on my young budding mind. He also had a great voice, I mean stellar! After he passed I often wondered why he never sang professionally, he had the chops boy. When he passed I had scantily anything to remember him by be it a few Masonic items me mums made sure fell into my possession. They Adorne my Samhain alter every year along with other knickknacks of loved one’s passed beyond the veil.

When it came time to help my folks clean out his weekend Cabin in the Mountains I acquired his 1955 Zenith console Television which I watched as a kid and teen while spending family time at the cabin. I think it worked up until 1985-ish or so. It’s made of beautiful Maple that may yet become a guitar neck(s) someday but that was never the catalyst for grabbing it, I wanted to have the wonderful memories of sitting in his lap as a child watching that Tele. It’s adorned my front room for may years now no matter how much my ex protested. Now the unthinkable has happened, I’ve started going through the chassis with a meter. After all, I have plenty of tubes from guitar amps on hand to test with, many are the size and type that run the tuner. I actually have a live Cathode ray tube emitting light, I’m almost there.

November was the month of “take that garbage that you’re not using to the goodwill festival.” As I was going through my racks of old computers I use for work and play I came across a very well packed chest with none other than a 1972 Class A point to point hand wired Stereo Hi-Fi Tuner / Amplifier. It was my fathers whom bequeathed to me when he upgraded while I was in High School. I used it for years to ghetto master recordings from my Tape machines. It has a wonderful subtle line compression that also lifts the volume very nicely in a true vacuum tube fashion with no distortion. This was easy, just one 12-AX-7 tube and a fuse and abracadabra! It’s running like a champ. Here’s the new improved front room of “The Cave” for your viewing pleasure.

retro_fetish

Robotic AI band Compressorhead plays Ace of Spades Live @ BDO 2013

If I had the dream IT gig working on this team would be it. Seriously guys no vibrato? Me thinks you need a guitarist that can write software to help your team out :) You can’t go wrong with a four armed drummer with a chrome spiked Mohawk I don’t care what anyone says! This is dope as hell and better than Cliché wobbles coming from an Ableton DJ all night. This is so Jetsons….

http://compressorheadband.com

VHT 12/20 Review Part 2

I’ve replaced the shite power tubes that came with this amp in favor of a matched pair of JJ 6v6’s from Eurotubes.com. It brought the amp to life in many ways but it’s still lacking a good tone without any versatility.  It’s my Belief that a full set of additional Pre-amp tubes and a decent speaker will make this amp plausible, thus far I’m not nearly as impressed with this amp as I am the Special 6 ultra.

Eurotubes.com – YAY my JJ Tubes are finally here!

Euro Tubes delivered my JJ’s today, thank the Gods! My Egnater has 2 power Tubes out because dam Tourmaster Heads eat them for lunch daily. Most importantly I put new 6v6’s in the VHT Special 12/20 and the thing came alive like a Minuteman missile launching out of a silo. I’ve been playing through the VHT for the better part of the day and it makes a serious difference in the overall tone and string response.

I couldn’t take the brittle bright sound of the cheesy Chinese tubes that came with this VHT Special 12/20 anymore, I haven’t played this amp until today for the better part of a week. It was killing me, it sounded like drunken whale songs and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong I like whales but they have to sing on pitch and play in the pocket :D

I have to thank Bob from eurotubes.com once again because as always his genius when it comes to tube and smooth tone is just about matchless in my book. I’ve bought tubes from him for years and he always bends over backwards to help, he’s a really nice guy. I highly recommend eurotubes.com.

Tonight I will start recording another VHT shootout to post on youtube and the internets in high-resolution audio. The one thing I’m really happy about is the jj 6V6’s really gave a nice creamy tone to the boost section which was so bad I didn’t even use it in the first Demonstration. That will be coming forth soon, stay tuned and stay thirsty my friends.

The World Didn’t END!!!! VHT Special 12/20 Review

I recorded this VHT Special 12/20 Review tonight after waiting for months to hear someone else do the work so I could eat the fruit! The speaker in this amp needs a lot of breaking in, you can hear it’s a little harsh after 10 hours of play time. Still, I can clearly hear now that with a set of JJ’s from Eurotubes.com (Because Bob Pletka kicks ass!) this amp is going to be freaking killer daddy “O”! It very much thrives in a closed back cabinet like a big smoothly.