Jamming with the BOSS DR-80

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Guitar in general, MK guitar style and licks, Recording

The BOSS DR-80 is an astonishing little device with a vey high fun-factor. In short, it is a digital 8-track multitrack recorder with a lot of effects, and at the same time a virtual bandΒ  with a great number of jam grooves. And maybe the most astonishing feature is the price which is just about 200 Euros.

I already had a lot of fun with this little device. Here are two spontaneous jam videos that were created with nothing but the effects and grooves from the device. Partly I even used the suggested effects and amp simulation for the backing tracks, without any further editing.

 

"Buy me a beer" - donate for the site via PayPal. Or buy a backing track in my online shop πŸ™‚

Simple trick to meaure neck thickness with strings on

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Guitar in general

Recently I wanted to measure the neck thickness of some of my guitars. I was surprised to find something as trivial as this to turn out to be rather difficult job. The strings always hindered my calipers from lying flat against the neck surface, no matter how I tried.

I solved the problem with the help of a little battery that turned out as the ideal tool to help with the job:

neck-thickness-0
Tricky job: string hinder the calipers
neck-thickness-1
Take a little battery (here an AG13) and set the calipers to zero
neck-thickness-2
Place the battery between the strings…
neck-thickness-3
… and measure neck thickness.

"Buy me a beer" - donate for the site via PayPal. Or buy a backing track in my online shop πŸ™‚

Easy way to cure a scratchy voice coil in a guitar speaker

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Amps

I recently had a problem with a Music Man HD130 amp (the one Mark Knopfler used in the early days of Dire Straits). One speaker was creating a scratchy, distorted sound, surprisingly only at very low volume while it was fine at medium or high volume. I managed to cure it with an easy trick, nothing too special or secret but nevertheless something I want to share in case someone runs into similar problems with his amp.

When I removed the speaker to have a closer look at what might be wrong with it, I immediately noticed that infamous scratchiness when moving the cone carefull with two fingers. It was worse when pushing more on particular places while it disappeared when doing so at some other spots. I quickly came to the suspect that the problem came from “standing” upright for decades (it was a 1976 amp with original speakers). The voice coil is not really a heavy part but still it has some small weight, and after years this weight can deform the cone slightly so that the voice coil scratches on one side. For the same reason you should always store speakers horizontally but who stores a combo amp or a speaker cabinet this way?

mm-amp-speakers
The speakers after turning and swapping – the two ‘Music Men’ on those stickers with their heads down now – but the speakers feel happy again

The solution was very easy and inexpensive, even without any costs at all: all I had to do was turning the speaker for 180 degrees, so that what pointed to the top became the bottom end. I did the same with the second speaker, not only to prevent similar problems with it in the future but also to make the connectors of both speakers look to the middle between the speakers again, which means I also swapped the left and the right speakers. Hopefully it will work fine for the next 41 years now πŸ™‚

Of course this easy fix does not always work, if the cone or the voice coil is damaged only a recone job will help. But before doing so you should give it a try.

"Buy me a beer" - donate for the site via PayPal. Or buy a backing track in my online shop πŸ™‚