Which strings for the Sultans of Swing sound? – Comparing 010 and 009 strings

Listening to Sultans of Swing in 1979 was one of the reasons I started to learn the guitar. From this time on I wanted to get that magic guitar sound. One major component for a guitar sound is the right string gauge. I guess you all have heard about using heavier strings to get a fuller sound. On the other hand thinner strings are easier to play, and they give […]

Speaker shoot-out for the Mark Knopfler sound: Electro Voice EV 12L, Celestion Vintage 30 & G12M “Greenbacks” in 4 x 12 cabinets

I recently had three different 4 x 12″ cabinets here to play around with. They all were different, and they all had different speakers. In the video below I am playing various licks and chords over the three cabinets, it might be helpful to find out for yourself what you like most. But first, the candidates are: Electro Voice EV 12 On the left you can see a birch cabinet […]

The Vox Vintage Coil Cord – and why I love spiral guitar cables

When I started playing the guitar in 1979, spiral guitar cables were common. Many players favoured these spiral – or coil(ed) – cables because it is very handy not to have meters of cables lying on the floor between your feet and your effects. The spiral cable shortens automatically to a few feet, while it allows distances up to several meters when stretched out, and they don’t wrap themselves after […]

Fender discontinued the 150 super light strings

After almost 40 years, Fender recently dropped the 15o SL strings from their product range. For me bad news because the 150 SL (pure nickel, 008, 011, 014, 022, 030, 038) are the strings of choice on most of my Stratocasters. 08-strings had their popularity peak surely some decades ago. They were favoured especially among country players since thin strings made all those fancy banjo-style rolls and licks easier and […]

New site shop launched

Some of you might already have noticed that this site has its own shop since a few days. You can enter the shop with the MK-Guitar.com Shop button on the right side of the header section. After some initial beta testing I am proud to announce that you can  buy stuff like * Gear (partly vintage stuff) Ernie Balls, Morleys, effects, instruments … mostly used, ocassionally new stuff Not too […]

Trying to recreate that Sultans of Swing sound – The gear I used on the Puresolo competition.

Like many others,  I recorded an entry for the Puresolo competition (you could play your solo over one of the following backing tracks:  Sulans of Swing, Calling Elvis, or Speedway at Nazareth). I always find it a bit frustrating to take part in such a competition because as it seems nobody knows before who decides basing on what criteria (authenticity, accuracy, originality, creativity, …??) Anyway, as the backing track was […]

Pictures of Dire Straits live in Rotterdam, October 19, 1978

The radio concert of Dire Straits live at the Schouwburg in Rotterdam, October 19, 1978 was one of the earliest Dire Straits live bootlegs, and for this reason has been known for long among fans. However, I have never seen pictures of this concert (at least none with realizing that they were from this gig). Yesterday when browsing Dire Straits pictures at Getty Images I found some which were specified […]

Old Geocities Dire Straits Guitar Page down – Please update links and bookmarks

On October 26 Geocities finally closed. Geocities was one of the first hosts for free websites. They were taken over a few years later by Yahoo who now finally decided to drop Geocities forever. When I built my very first website in 1996, it was Geocities who hosted my original “Dire Straits Guitar Page” at http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/3399/. Although hardly updated within the next years, it was nevertheless one of the first […]

Guitar refinishing – nitro vs poly and how to remove a polyester finish

Over the last days I was working on a Strat project. I had some parts from a 70ies Japanese Strat copy, which together with an American Fender neck and a loaded pickguard should make a nice part-o-caster. In the seventies many guitars were finished with polyester. This finish is like a coat of hard plastic (actually it is rather a resin). It is easy to apply because you can sand […]