Just a few of my toys ! Almost all of the following have been built,

re-modeled, or modified in some way, by my own fair hand   

Note the TDB logos on some of them, (Bl***y poser  ).

(Also add to that the fact i`ve named most of them, just how sad am i getting)

My latest re-modelling job, (actually this was one of my first attempted rebuilds, it`s just taken me all this time to get round to finishing it), it used to be a Watkins Rapier 44, (or Circuit 4) until a drunken weekend back in the mid 70`s. I never got on with the pickups, so I changed them---- and then everything else, I like it now ! I just don`t know what to call it yet, I think i`ll just settle for Mr Charlie Watkins.  

Charlie is now fitted with a "Lipstick" type pickup at the neck, and a Gretch Electromatic pickup in the bridge position, and a "Tuneomatic" type bridge, pics later.

                    

New pic of Charlie:

                           

(The colour is all wrong, it`s actually somewhere in between those two-ish-sort-of)

I havn`t managed to have a go yet, as I cocked up the nut whilst trying to be clever, so i`ve got to sort that out before I can have a little play, never mind, worse things happen at sea, or so they say.
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Next up is Tommy, my "go to" guitar, it`s a bit like  a T********r but better IMHO.

    

Tom Anderson pickups, Gotoh bridge and machine heads, Graph-tech string trees, Schaller strap locks, brushed stainless steel saddles, comfort contoured satin finished (back and front), alder body, and a custom wiring loom, what more could you want ?, (Apart from  being able to play it properly  maybe ?).

The blue Squier below is a stock on-line pic of what Tommy looked like before I took a hammer and chisel to him, Tommy`s blue was a bit more royal and metalic, but this one is close-ish.

As hinted at above, the only part of the original Squier that hasn`t been changed somehow is the fret wire.

I only originally wanted the Gator brand case that it came in and I was going to sell the guitar on, but I liked the way the neck felt, (then I changed it to make it feel even better), so I kept it, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

   

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 Frank, my old 12 string, a fusion of parts which I think has come together quite well really.

                             

2018 now, and this one is well overdue for a bit of a re-fit, in the not too distant future.

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This Vintage brand SG type, was a gift from my mate Al before he died,

i`m calling it James as the name ran through his family. 

                           

This one has had a new Dean Nostalgia neck humbucker pickup, chrome plated control knobs and a hand cut "tortoise shell" scratchplate fitted.

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And this one i`ve named Al, as it`s amber on the front, claret-ish on the back and wears a Motherwell FC badge on it`s strap. (Al really enjoyed his football).

                   

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This one used to be a standard 2 pickup Washburn Idol WI 64, (sort of entry level at the time), in ivory finish. I`ve called it Billy, after a mate of mine, who lives in Spain, is also brownish and has got a lot of grunt, (OR he`s got a great tan and is built like a brick s**t house). 

So, 1 set of Schaller locking machine heads, 1 set of Schaller strap locks, 3 Seymour Duncan pickups, a load of switches, and some new chrome knobs, one of which is stacked to give volume and tone to one of the circuits, and this is what you get:

                    

This is what it looked like before I got to it, and promptly knocked it over and broke it`s neck. Which I had to fix before I could do any of the other stuff:

               

I think it worked out OK in the end .

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Shorty, the electric lap steel: Made from a Hohner kid sized guitar body and a Fender Showman standard size neck. I love it, I just wish I could do it some justice.

                

(Bl***y awful picture though   ).

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This is Brandon, (the guitar, not the kid in the pic, he`s called Sam, and he`s not so wee anymore, unfortunately ), and the guitar was once a nice new  Mexican built Fender standard Stratocaster, the only things that havn`t  been changed in some way are the frets. I`ve fitted it with 3 DiMarzio stacked single coil pickups and more switching options than you could shake a stick at, I`m keeping it for when I learn to play properly, (that could be a very long wait indeed  ).

                   

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All played  (not particularly well) through this : 

1969 (51yo as of 2020), Yorkville* YGM 3, (* now re-issued under the "Traynor" brand name), 25 watts of valve power, and with a realy nice foot-switchable tremolo and reverb, not original looking on the outside, but all original on the inside, I`ve now got the Jensen P12 Q speaker in, (which is what it would have been originally sold with, apparently), as opposed to the Mexican made one it had when i acquired it, and it sounds better.

                 

Or This: A 45+ year old King 50 watt solid state head, recently serviced and sounding sweet. 

            

I`ve now got hold of a Celestion G12 Heritage and a Celestion 50w Alnico Gold speaker for this one. (see further down)

 

The YGM 3 has got a bit of "flavour" to the sound, whereas the King can be almost clinically clean if you want it to be, but it all adds to the interest of messing around with guitars.

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And for my next trick, i`ll be attempting to rebuild this old beast :

Side view :

I treated myself to these for Chrimbo (2011) and so i`ve stuffed these little beauties up it.

It`s  rated at about  8ohms and around 60 watts, so perfect for a main cab for the King, or as an extension cab for the YGM3,                                              

Viola ! (or however you spell that word), It`s a bit experimental what with the ports on the front, (as opposed to the open / closed back debate), and it`s a bit on the heavy side, but it sounds great.

And it looks (and sounds) even better like this :

Or indeed, This:

Somehow that amp has managed to get turned round in it`s case, so it`s now facing out of the back of the case ?????

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I`ve had to stop using the amps pictured above in the house as they`re TOOO LOUD. so i`ve started using this one instead: 

It`s a Roland Cube 60, a cracking little amp (which I nearly sold), and it`s got a headphone socket so i can make as much racket as i want without waking anyone up. 

           SORTED, as they say.   

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I was going to start a new project here but i`ve got a new toy to play with, Observe:

                                      

It`s a DeArmond S73 12 string bought from a little guitar shop in Warwick, it`s taking a bit of getting used to as it`s got quite a substantial neck on it, but i`m getting there, I think, 

(I aint dun nuffink to this one, honest guv).

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OK, 2014 now, so I think it`s about time I restarted that new project I mentioned above.

Hmmm, I think i`ll start with one of these, -----------  and maybe one of these as well:

                      

I`ve also got most of the hardware  ready for this one, somewhereso,

Let`s see where we go from here.

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HOLD ON ! Just arrived !!

A new addition to the fold,

                           

The new project has been put on hold, again, while I try to coax something recognisable as a tune out of this little beauty.

It`s an Epiphone ES 339 Pro and I think it`s gorgeous, so i`m off for a little play now, tara   

It`s now got new knurled chrome control knobs to make the push / pull function easier to use, got the idea after doing it to the Burns Double Six for the same reason (see below).

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I`ve now also got hold of one of these, It`s a Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive, (to add to the, far too many other pedals that i`ve got already):

                                

Got it brand new for next to nothing. Everything from bluesy to tearing your face off, or so i`m told, so now i`m off to find out,  

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OK, OK, now this has GOT to stop, but i`ve always wanted one of these, since Adam was a boy, so when this one came up at a little over half price, what else could I do ,   

                      

It`s a (couple of slightly iffy pics of a) Burns Double Six, Club Series, (Chinese built, I think), and It didn`t work properly, and It didn`t have a case when it arrived, both trivial problems and all sorted now, and it`s worth every penny, and i`m a happy bunny , or summat like that.

I`ve now changed the `orrible plastic knobs for some knurled metal ones, so that I can actually use the push / pull function which gives neck and bridge pups at the same time, and i`ve upgraded the cap on one of the tone pots, so when I can get some sounds out of it, it`s sounding great. I`m an even happier bunny now  .

Much to my chagrin, i`ve had to sell this one as i`m running out of space to put them all, (14-7-18), and a few more may be going as well, so grumpy faces all round 

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I`ve decided to knock up a pedal board to try to make me a bit more interesting, (well it`s gonna take somethin`), so i`m going to try this little lot:

             

Don`t laff, I like the cheaper pedals, when you fiddle with `em enough, they make the right kind of noises, if you`ll pardon the expression   . Also, they can change at very short notice, (And they frequently do, my mate Mark won`t be too pleased, as this is about the 3rd or 4th time i`ve made changes to these since Christmas     )

So, let`s see where we go from here ?, could be a bit different, -- or not, as the case may be  

I`ve got absolutely no idea who makes the little delay pedal on the top left, so if anyone can tell me i`d be chuffed to bits, as they say. I don`t have much experience of delays, but it seems to be quite reasonable, seeing as it cost me next to nothing, brand new, so even if it is one of the "cheaper" brands, it`s staying exactly where it is , at least for the time being. The rest of them are made by Digitech, Boss, BBE, Belcat, Line 6, and the little on / off switch by TDB, ie, ME .

Said little on / off switch, (in the front left), is to control an Alesis Nanoverb which i`ve welded (velcro`ed), to the top of my practice amp thus:

                

Seems to work a treat so far, so let`s see if I can do anything interesting with it, 

(I`ve  now got an Alesis microverb III in place of the Nanoverb, but it`s fitted to the stand that the amp is on, so now I can take the little `un with me, if the need arises).

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It`s all very well having a huge wad of pedals at your disposal, (This lot only amounts to about half of what i`ve got stashed away in various hidey-holes), but when it gets to this, it all starts to get a bit messy:

            

That`s a guitar board and a bass board, and that little lot takes up about half of my dining room floor, so i`m going to use this in the house instead:

                            

Much more compact, Digitech RP 50 for guitar to the left, and Digitech BP 50 for bass to the right. Not quite as versatile, but about a quarter of the space, and more than enough to keep me occupied, at least for the time being.    

And i`ll keep the big boards for wherever i`ve got the room to use them.

The big square-ish one in the middle is a double looper thingy built by my own fair hand, (check out the Underfoot stuff page for the rest of my home built efforts), it allows me to switch either or both of the pedals in or out separately or together as required. The little square one is now for the new, (to me), Alesis Microverb III reverb unit.

This one:

               

But as I said, i`ll still keep the little Alesis Nanoverb as it`s a handy little bit of kit.

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Changed again, but only a little bit. I`ve added this:

              

I`ve gone and stuck a Boss PW-10 V-Wah pedal on the side. It wah`s in about six languages, does a few distortions and a tremolo effect, and that`s just on it`s own, AND, it can handle a bass. This little lot adds variation to guitar, bass and any other instrument that I want to fiddle with, (And there`s nothing like fiddling with your instrument, Oooh-er Mrs   )

(I might start selling some of the rest of them, as It`s getting a bit silly again, init  )

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Just thought I`d pop a random pic of my electric 12`s in here,

                                

The one on the left is the one I built myself, the other two speak for themselves.

There`s nothing like gettin` `em out to cheer yourself up eh!

While i`m at it, here`s one of my SG alikes, but none of `em are real SG`s, but never mind, I like them, and that`s enough for me.

                              

Giovanni, (He`s Itialian y`know), Dean and James, and THAT seems to be the wrong way round as well.

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Thinks "I must do one of my Fender lookalikes as well one day".

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Meanwhile ------ `ave a look at this,--- if you`ll pardon the expression,

                                         

It`s a  Tanglewood TBS 800 resonator guitar, and after a little bit of fettling, it sounds pretty good, but this has got to be my last guitar purchase, 

(at least for this year  ) 

If you take a closer look at the headstock pic, it actually says "TB`S", (I wonder how that happened ??)

Spot the bit of  bling:        

Before:     

                                        

And after:                                               

                                                                          Chrome (plastic) cover for the neck pup, and that`s after getting the truss rod cover plate slightly re-modeled, a new set of Schaller straplocks, and a home made leather strap, made from a belt. Well, you can`t leave them completely bog standard now, can you ? . And I know it`s just the angle of the shot, but that looks like two different guitars at a glance. 


It`s now also got a nice new tweed style case, thus:

                   

And just in case. (It looks + fits like it grew in there  ).

                              

Also, a  quick shout out for the  Flightcase Warehouse (google them, they`re well worth a look), who have supplied a pretty good case for the outlay,  cool, as they say.

This one has now been sold to a South London Teddy boy, (I use that term very loosely), who seemed to fall in love with it, so at least it`s being played a bit more now.

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Been at it again, the little pedal board that is. It looks like this now:

     

It`s an EHX Bass Big Muff Deluxe, the only fuzzy/distortiony type thing you need for bass, it`s the dogs ----- really good, but it`s not that great for guitar, (Unless i`m doin` sumfink rong), but the RP50 and the V-Wah deal with that anyway.

So i`m off to make a racket again, tara.

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Major re-jig of the set-up above:

    

The addition of a DigiTech Hyper Phase Stereo Phaser, should hopefully stop me buying stuff for a while, and i`ll maybe get on with trying to play guitars and things.    

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This keeps mysteriously changing,  there`s a Line 6 Otto Filter (I didn`t just buy this one, i`ve had it in my loft for ages, Honest), suddenly materialised on it, thus:

    

There are times when I think that I should just have stuck to playing with those huge boards way up there somewhere.

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I got bored playing around with my pedals, so I did another pic, this time of my semi-acoustics, like this:

                             

What was that about small things amusing small minds ?

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My brother in-law and his Mrs bought me a T-shirt for Christmas, I wonder if they`re trying to tell me something ??

                                      

But if you look closer, (and ignore the fat bits, coz there`s definitely far too many of them  ).

              

Now that makes far more sense, doesn`t it ?    

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With reference to the new project of 2014 waaaay up above, i`ve decided to have another go at it, so, one  Strat style hard-tail comin` up.

And this is as far as ive got, so far, ish, ???

(And I STILL havn`t managed to master my camera, but, hey-ho, whatever,)

                                          

This is gonna be NICE, but Nasty, If you get my drift, when I finally get it finished, not toooo long, hopefully, watch this space. 

And THIS is roughly what it`s gonna look like when I finally get the wiring sorted out :

(And the neck to fit properly)

                                 

I fink i`m gonna need a new 5 way switch, coz this one don`t wanna work, guv.

It`s now been temporarily put away in my loft, as it`s driving me nuts, because the wiring won`t work as all the diagrams i`ve found say it should.

                                                               

I`ll have another go at it, as and when.  

I might need to have a chat to someone about this one. 

I now think it`s an earth problem ????.

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Sitting twidlng my thumbs again, so I thought i`d put this up, it`s a pic of my Fender-alikes. Only the one on the right was a real Fender, (Mexican), the 12 string is a home build, and the other two were of Squier by Fender  origins., all with massively extended wiring looms, and various other changes to the bodywork and fininshes, (see individual descriptions above, and on the bass page).

                

All by my own fair hand, --- and they all work properly,   .

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And while i`m showing off about my big collection of instruments, (that I can`t play properly), this is a pic of a five guitar stand, but if you can be bothered to look close enough, you can pick out ten on there, (there`s actually a mandolin, a uke and a guitalele along the back):

                             

Even I am beginning to ask myself, WHY ???

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Then I go and do this:                                                                     

Yes, I got me one of these, it`s a Gordon Smith GS1. complete with fitted hard case, (I don`t think the case came with it originally, but it fits like it did )              

              

I obviously don`t know who strung it up, but they`ve got three of the strings going the wrong way round the machine head posts, How do you do something like that ???

             

It`s an oldish one, all British design and build, and a brass nut, don`t y`know  

(It`s just a shame that it`s Black,   coz I don`t usually "do " black guitars).

              

Then I changed it, just a little bit, thus:

                                         

Nice old, slightly aged chrome knobs, (I thought they would blend in better with the old wrap-over tailpiece), as opposed to the slightly tacky looking plastic speed knobs that it had. (It`s now got nice new black scratchplate screws on the front and back plates as well).

It also needs a b***dy good clean up, inside and out, with a little check on the wiring while i`m at it. Altogether an hour or so`s work, as i`ve already sorted out the silly high action, (the previous owner probably used it for slide).

Sounds great, so far, (but it really desperately needs a new set of strings), and it will sound a whole lot better when i`ve sorted out the crackle from the dirty pots and socket.

I think this is going to be one of these sort of guitars,      

                                              ----------------------------------------     

I`ve now got it re-strung and working the way it should, after sorting out all of the above, I even polished the brass nut and the frets, and treated the fretboard to a drop or two of lemon oil, and it`s now  `kin brilliant   (If you`ll excuse my French ).      

                                                              

Welcome to the dark side,as someone once said. (But this one seems to be quite happy to do the light stuff as well  ).


Unfortunately, i`ve now sold this one, if for no other reason than to let it get played properly ocasionaly. And to make room for the finished article, the project that was driving me nuts, YES !, I finaly got it done, (and not before time). Also there`s a couple more on the for sale list, but I havn`t fully decided wich ones yet. See pics and details further down. 

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Due to the last project driving me nuts, i`ve taken on a new one. (Which could be just as much hassle, but you`ve got to have something to keep you occupied when you`ve got your leg in a sling). So this is what I found at our local car boot sale.   Where else ???

This was a whole eight quid !!

                                                

It`s a kid sized Elevation, and it`s as cute a well fed sprog with a clean nappy. 

(But It does have that "i`m going to start screaming and crapping all over the place" kind of edge to it  ). It needs re-wiring, a new bridge/tailpiece, (maybe),  and generally tidying up, (and possibly the neck straitening a bit). 

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All done and dusted, and it works pretty well, and no-one`s more surprised than I am, so that`s quite , as far as i`m concerned.

Completely striped down and re-built, cleaned and polished, new saddles, new pickup surround, and re-wired with a new stacked vol and tone pot, and here`s the result:

                                               

Not tooo bad for a total outlay of around £30. The intonation is a bit iffy, but for a relatively inexpensive child sized guitar, it`s OK. I`ve tuned it to open G, and it seems to  be coping quite well, so now i`m off to see if I can get something resembling a tune out of it.

(And, I don`t actually mind this one being black as it probably won`t get used much and spend most of it`s time hiding in a cupboard somewhere).

Let`s hope that when the strings settle, it`ll sound and play a bit better, which would be a bonus, as it wasn`t doing too bad before I attacked it   

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I`ve  also been fiddling with my pedal boards, (they can`t touch you for it ), and this is the result:                 

It deals with guitar and bass, and the smaller one on the left has a bit of extra EQ, some acousticyness, a bit more filth, and some noise reduction to help keep it all quiet, ish.

And one of the little board on it`s own:

               

1-5-2018, Gettin` silly again, init.

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And, THIS is what my new (old) Selmer T+B looks like wired up and ready to go, now that it`s been serviced, generally tidied up, and had it`s knobs polished.

I`m not letting this one go in a hurry      

I`m going to try to stick with this amp because I can run a bass or standard guitar through it just by changing channels, and it seems to cope very well with either of them as long as I don`t try to use them at the same time, hence the A/B switch.

I`m running it through my 2 x 10 cab, and it`s all hunky dorry so far.

                                                                

(By the way, polishing it`s knobs has probably just about halved it`s value, you know what these traditionalists are like, but I don`t care, I like it like that, AND i`m keeping it),  

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 OK, all change in the house,--- again, i`m going to use this lot for practice, 

                      

(at least for the time being). It`s a Roland Micro Cube Bass, and a Roland Micro Cube, the little pedal just off the board is a hand built A/B switch to change from one amp to the other. Right !, let`s have another go   


After having had a little go with this lot, i`m not that convinced, and i`m probably going to go back to my little Ampeg practice amp, and a slightly different pedal board. (I`ll get round to actually playing a guitar or two, -- one day, -- maybe, -- ish).

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So, Instead of knuckling down to some proper guitar playing, i`ve just spent the afternoon making a new dolly for my amp set up, like this:

                              

Cute, innit 

By the way, the amp isn`t squint, it`s my picture that`s wonky, as i`ve said before, i`m worse than useless with a camera      

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As stated abovei`m not that convinced about the performance of that proposed practice set-up. SO, i`ve been fiddling again, as you do, and i`ve come up with this:

    

I`ve re-jigged the pedal board a bit, and tagged the Micro Cube on the end, running from the headphone socket, effectively using it as another pedal or pre-amp, and it seems to work quite well. Could there be yet another project in the offing ??

                                                             

And if it works, is the Bass Micro Cube next ???

The answer to the above question is, NO, I sold that to my neighbour to play his harmonica through instead  

I`ve now sold the other one as well, so that idea has been binned completely.

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Now, i`ve been re-assessing (?) my pedals again, and I think i`ve come up with the last incarnation of pedal board that i`ll ever need. This one covers ALL of the noises i`ll ever need, so hopefully no more wasting money on new pedals. (Yea, Right !), Observe,

    

Remembering that this board is for guitar AND bass,The two little Digitech multis do most of the work, while the rest speak for themselves and just add a bit extra when needed.

We have a Boss tuner, a Boss OD 20 umpteen overdrive and distortion box, a bass OD, and a phaser, both Boss, A BBE Stinger, a Behringer BDI 21, andBehringer DR 600 reverb. The one in the top left is a home built master volume control, and the one in the middle is a home built switch for the two Digi`s.

The one just off the board is a home built A/B box for changing channels on the amp.

And it all works, and nobody`s more surprised than me                

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All great stuff, BUT !

My only real problem now is that I can`t even practice playing with my toys at the moment as i`ve gone and broken my left thumb, and it`s a prize pain in the a----, thumb.

Oh well !, worse things happen at sea, as they say  .

13/6/19.

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I havn`t been on here since ---- Oh!, about then, and i`ve now got me another new, (well, second hand), toy. My problem now is, that I still can`t use my thumb for any length of time, Coz it still `urts !

But here`s a pic of it anyway.

                                         

It`s an Epiphone Blueshawk Deluxe, in midnight saphire, no less. I`ve changed the knobs and the switch tip, sorted out the action and intonation, and fitted new straplocks, and I think i`m getting a set of locking machine heads for crimbo. Well if you aint playin` `em you gotta do sumfink to `em.

I`ve also made a new strap for this one. (Yes, it`s made from a ladies leather belt   )

I always fancied a Les Paul style guitar, but not actually an LP, so when this (fairly inexpensive)  P90 equiped semi hollow bodied beastie turned up, what else could I do ?

I sold my Gordon Smith GS1 to fund this one, but I have decided to sell a couple of others as I have now made up my mind that I actually do have too many instruments.

(And I never thought I would see myself actually writing that last bit ).

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But on a lighter note I also finished my project guitar from way up there somewhere.

So here`s a pic of that one as well 

                                             

It`s got a new bridge on it now, to continue the black and chrome theme. but otherwise it`s exactly as the pic and doing great.

So my main guitars are now, single coils, P90s, stacked single coils and full on humbuckers, with a bass and a 12 strng on the side.

It`s officially "doin` my `ead in" not being able to play them properly, (but then again, I never really could    ).

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And there may, (or may not), be a new amp on the horizon, it`s a very battered old Carlsbro Colt 85 Keyboard amp. we`ll see how that pans out then shall we ?


Well the Colt was delivered, but didn`t work. So, best part of a week later, i`ve now got it back from the repair man, (thanks again to Richard at Electrohill Who only took a couple of days to sort it out), and it works a treat, --- but i`ve pulled the rest of it to pieces, as the vinyl covering was coming of all over the place, and it needed a few other bits and bobs seeing to, but here`s a pic of it as it turned up.

   


There was a socket collar missing, the metal grille was bent and the vinyl was a lot worse than you can see in the pic. I`ve sorted most of it and i`ve just got the finish to see to now and this could be quite an interesting little amp  


Which now looks like this:

                        

At 85 watts, it appears to be a lot quieter than my TnB 50w, but that`s a valve amp, so this`ll do fine for  practice.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------More (quite big) changes coming soon, amplifier-wise.

                                                           

                                 Watch this space !!!

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