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Rhett Foster // Artist Interview

Posted by Joshua Koterba on


Where do you play guitar?
Mostly in church. Occasionally, I'll hit up an open mic night and jam a little.

What gear do you use and what guitar have you been playing the most lately?
Gear-wise, I use anything I can get my hands on! Acoustic is my favorite, and I saved up for a long time to get a really good one, but I’ve found lately, the demand for acoustic players is slim to none. Nowadays, I primarily play electric guitar. I have a Gretsch Electromatic G5422t and I'm madly in love with it! I switched out the stock bridge with a rolling bridge and I stay in tune no matter how much I mess with that Bigsby. My swells have never been so tasty!


How long have you been playing guitar?
Going on 5 years now!

What made you start playing guitar?
My mom! Ha! we took lessons together for a couple months and we got burned out real quick. I picked it back up a couple years later, taught myself the basics and I've been playing since.

How do you take your coffee? If not coffee what is your drink of choice?
Black & strong! Occasionally I'll cheat and put a dab of honey in there if I'm feelin' wild.

What are your main influences?
I'm in an internship right now that is majorly impacting my life as far as calling and my next step for my life goes. I'm being mentored by a super solid dude who's teaching me the essentials for leading people in music and getting them to worship. I'm growing so much being a part of this program.


What have you been listening to lately?
I'm a sucker for classic rock n roll! Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Boston, and Dire straits are staples in my music tastes. Lately I've been listening to some more modern/indie stuff. Arctic monkeys, the Killers, the Classic Crime and Kings of Leon are really good bands I'm enjoying.

What Gear Supply Products do you use?
Anything I can get my hands on! Months ago I started off with the Medium+ 10-52 Electric Strings. I loved those so I tried the patch cables, and wired my whole board up with them. When I realized how good those were, I started snatching up anything and everything I could. Love the products!

What was your first guitar pedal?
An old phaser my grandmother gave me. I think it was an old digitech or something.

Whats the best deal you've ever gotten on a piece of gear?
One time I snagged an Eventide H9 Max on eBay for $350. That was pretty righteous!

Whats your guilty pleasure?
Oh man. Occasionally, I'll snag me a Blue Moon and kick back with a premium cigar with the amigos. Good brews, good 'gars and good fellowship is hard to beat.

 

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New 2017 Product Pricing

Posted by Joshua Koterba on

Happy New Year! It’s going to be an absolutely awesome year.
We’ve recently launched a brand new site, and with it come some big changes.

We’re excited to announce:
We’re dropping prices across the board.
We have heard you loud and clear.

Straps, cables, strings, picks, subscriptions, care items, and more.
As much as 25% off.
That pricing is available now.

These are the same high quality goods we’ve always offered,
nothing is changing there.

The biggest reasons for the changes are:
• We get it. We’ve all been musicians, and we know how hard it can be.
• We want to be competitive. We want to offer the best quality goods, but still make your pocket book happy.
• We’ve heard your feedback. You’ve been great about letting us know where you stand on our pricing.
• We honestly think we can make it up in volume. These prices only work if we sell more, so we will need your help to spread the word.

Because of these changes, on new subscriptions,
we’ve begun to charge a small shipping fee, that is on a per shipment basis.
However --- this will be more than offset by the price drops.
This will allow for FULL subscription customization.
For example:

Old System:
Bass 5 string sub: $25
1 Electric Guitar string, 10-46 and .73mm picks: $8
1 Electric Guitar string, 11-48 and .88mm picks: $8
1 Acoustic Guitar string, 11-52 and .60mm picks: $10
TOTAL: $51

New System:
Bass 5 String Sub: $20
1 Electric Guitar string, 10-46 and .73mm picks: $6
1 Electric Guitar string, 11-48 and .88mm picks: $6
1 Acoustic Guitar string, 11-52 and .60mm picks: $8
Shipping: $2.95
TOTAL: $42.95

Legacy plans will need to migrate to the new site in order to take advantage,
which is as simple as canceling your legacy subscription here:
http://subscription.gearsupply.co

And signing up through our new site here: http://www.gearsupply.co

We’re very excited about this change, and are looking forward to hearing your feedback.
We have so many more amazing things coming this year, and this helps pave the way.

Here’s to an amazing 2017!

As always, let us know if you have any questions,
or if there’s anything else we can do.
We’re happy to help.

-Josh Koterba | CEO & Founder

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Humbuckers vs Wide Range Pickups

Posted by Albert Mills on

Most people don’t bat an eyelash when they see a guitar with a chrome covered, rectangular shaped pickup. 
It’s just a normal humbucker. But what about when it isn’t? 
While the standard humbucker may be more visually iconic, tonally, the wide range pickup has been an incredibly influential part of the history of rock and roll in it’s own right.

History of the Humbucker

The first commercially successful humbucker was designed by Seth Lover for Gibson in 1955 in the form of the P.A.F. (patent applied for). Up until this point, guitarists had always had to deal with the 60 cycle hum from standard single coils. This was eliminated in the humbucker design by winding two single coils in reverse polarity from each other. As a consequence of this construction, humbuckers are known for being thicker and having higher output, leading them to be adopted by jazz and rock, and even eventually becoming the go to pickup for metal. While these may be some of the bigger genres known for using these pickups, there isn’t a genre in the world where it’s not used in some capacity. The original model, the P.A.F., is still often times used today but since then, there have been multiple variations of the humbucker introduced, though that’s a blog for another day. It has become arguably the most popular pickup in the world over the years and will be for years to come. 

History of the Wide Range

Surprisingly enough, the wide range was also designed by Seth Lover, but this time for Fender. It was originally intended to be a direct competitor to the Gibson ruled humbucker guitar market and to change Fender's image from being a “single coil guitar company”. While this pickup didn’t change the perception of Fender as they had hoped, it did open the door to create a myriad of innovative music over years, due to a unique sound that had never been used before. Mechanically, the Wide Range pickup is wound on 6 pole pieces that were originally made from an iron, nickel and copper combination contrary to the alnico rail of the standard humbucker. Due to it's rarity, this CuNiFe combination is only used in a handful of pickups still.  Because of this, originals can cost upwards of $300 per pickup. Tonally these pickups have extended bottom end when compared to a single coil but with better high end and clarity than a standard humbucker. They’ve been used in bands like The Rolling Stones, Blur, Ryan Adams, and Arcade Fire.

Tonal differences

While either one is plenty versatile and could fit almost any situation, they do both have strengths and weaknesses. The humbucker is generally known for being tighter and more focused in sound with a boost in the low mids. As we all know, the humbucker is a staple in the rock genre and in a medium to high gain situation, might be the better choice. The wide range on the other hand is a little bit more open and clear sounding. The added treble and high end clarity is great for lower gain crunch or cleaner tones.

Are they interchangeable?

Is it possible to put a wide range in a humbucker guitar or vice versa? In short no. The sizing is slightly different, but due to a strong aftermarket following in recent years,

there are plenty of companies that make wide range sized humbuckers, and humbucker sized wide range.

The wide range pickup and the humbucker are two of Seth Lover’s best and most well known designs. Each one is great in it’s own right and excels in different places. Everyone should own at least one guitar with each in their arsenal. 
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What's the Deal With // The Jazzmaster

Posted by Albert Mills on

In 2016, the Fender Jazzmaster is at an all time high in popularity. This beloved guitar didn’t start its life so revered, though. As the name entails, the Jazzmaster was originally designed as a guitar for the gigging jazz musician when it was introduced in 1958. With its contoured body that catered to a sitting performance, the groundbreaking vibrato design that, to this day, is still regarded as one of the best, and the added versatility of the rhythm circuit, on paper the Jazzmaster seemed perfect. Unfortunately it wasn’t accepted by the jazz community for the most part and largely failed in the Gibson ruled market.

Fender Jazzmaster Body Made In Japan Sunburst Tortoise Pickguard

Who Uses One? 

The Jazzmaster soon found its home in other places, specifically within the surf rock scene that was blooming around the time of its introduction near Fender’s California factory. This model is still one of the most popular among that genre, but very quickly branched out and can now be seen being played in just about any musical situation. The Jazzmaster is famously used by members of Sonic Youth, Wilco, Radiohead, The Ventures, Elvis Costello, and Dinosaur Jr. among many others.

Fender Jazzmaster Headstock

What Makes it Tick? 

The signature Jazzmaster brightness and articulation is so iconic, but, mechanically, it’s one of the more misunderstood industry standard guitars. The pickups are often mistaken for the Gibson designed P90 when they in fact, not only sound totally different, but are also made from totally different components. The P90 pickup is wound on a single bar magnet with adjustable pole pieces in the form of screws, giving it that characteristic mid bite and higher output. With Jazzmaster pickups, the pole pieces themselves are magnetic and are directly wound on. While less so than the pickups, the rhythm section is often the source of confusion and is sometimes completely ignored. Through the use of non-standard value potentiometers and capacitors, the rhythm section cuts off the bridge pickup and makes the neck pickup sound significantly warmer and tamer. There's still the use of a tone and volume control like what's normally available, just in the form of the roller pots. 

Fender Jazzmaster Rhythm Circuit Close Up

Tips and Tricks

Due to the unpopularity of the rhythm circuit, it’s not uncommon to see players cut off the end of a pencil eraser and shove it in place above the switch to prevent it from being activated. This is an easy, cheap and reversible trick for those that dislike the rhythm circuit. Despite having one of the best vibrato systems ever designed, another common complaint comes from the stock saddles. With the stock saddles, most players, even those who aren’t particularly heavy handed, will knock the strings out of the saddles with just a few strums due to the high amount of shallow grooves . This is often times fixed by replacing the stock saddles with those from a Mustang because of the single, deeper groove. This isn’t always a perfect solution, but is a tried and true option that many players have been using for years.

Fender Jazzmaster mustang bridge saddles vs
Fender Mustang Bridge, left, Fender Jazzmaster bridge, right.

Legacy

The Jazzmaster did get discontinued in 1980 due to dwindling popularity in the late 70’s, but was soon after reintroduced in 1984. It's been going strong ever since, and is currently one of the most popular guitars available. This is arguably the most beloved offset guitar of all time, and shouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon.
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Sunn Spectrum I // Albie's Weird Gear Corner

Posted by Albert Mills on

Welcome to the very first installment of Albie’s Weird Gear Corner! This is a place for those who love off the beaten path musical equipment; there wIll be no American Standard Teles, AC15s or transparent overdrives featured here, only things that - hopefully - you’ve never seen before and that will pique your interest. This is the first of many to come and I couldn’t be more excited about not only writing this, but having an excuse to buy more head turning gear.

We’re starting off with a bang on one of my all time favorite amps from my personal collection, this super clean, Sunn Spectrum I tube head.

Sunn isn’t a completely unfamiliar brand to most, but for those who aren’t aware of them, Sunn was a company that made incredible amplifiers from the 60’s all the way until the early 2000’s. They’re known for being well built, sounding great (especially with a good fuzz), and being LOUD.

Sunn Spectrum I Guitar Tube Amp Head

What Makes it Weird?

This one in particular is a lesser known model, even when compared to the somewhat similar Spectrum II. When you combine the fact that these very rarely ever come up for sale, that they were only made for a very short amount of time toward the early years of the company, and that there’s very little information on these amps out there today, it’s an interesting one to say the least. 

Sunn Spectrum I Guitar Tube Amp Head

So How Does it Sound?

In one word? Great. In more words? It’s bright, full of both presence and life in the highs and upper midrange, while at the same time having more low end than the average human being could ever desire on tap. That being said, I often times find myself using it not only as a guitar amp, as it was originally intended, but also as a bass amp. I favor it on guitar due to the lower mid scoop being a little bit outside of my normal bass tone, but it’s still a great sound in it’s own right and I’d happily use it on stage or in the studio with either instrument. Despite being powered by only two EL34s, this amp is loud and has plenty of relatively clean headroom on tap making it a great pedal platform. It still is capable of being pushed into natural breakup if you don't mind angry neighbors and that’s where I feel this amp really shines. Throw in an asymmetrical clipping overdrive or silicon fuzz in front of it and prepare to have your mind blown.

Sunn Spectrum I Guitar Tube Amp Head

Where Did it Come From?

This killer amp was picked up via one of my favorite places to buy gear, the Kansas City Craigslist. Like most of my Craigslist dealings over the years, we met at a well lit, public place, a small gas station near the KC IKEA, and made a trade. Along with the Sunn I also obtained one of those funky Modern Player Jaguars that had no pickguard, and P90s for a CIJ Jaguar Bass that I had gotten in a trade a few months earlier. The Classic Player Jag has since been sent off into the world but this Sunn? Who knows where it's been before, but now, it’s here to stay.

Sunn Spectrum I Guitar Tube Amp Head


Fun Facts and Rating

Anyone who knows me knows that I love both fun facts and ratings out of ten, so it only seems natural I should end my blog with one of each.

Fun Fact: Sunn was founded by Norm Sundholm, the bass player of the Kingsman, because he found that none of his bass amps were loud enough for the gigs they were playing.

I’d be willing to bet $1 that you’ve heard their hit version of the song "Louie Louie”.

Rating: 9.74/10

P.S. Yes it dooms.

P.P.S. You can mail your dollar to:
1111 N. 13th St.
STE 118
Omaha NE.
68102

 

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