New music gear

I just picked up a new (for me) guitar – a 2003 Fender Telecaster Deluxe 72 Re-issue. (You can check out the details at Fender’s site, on Wikipedia and some reviews on Harmony Central).

This is the first electric I’ve had since I was a teenager – I’ve been playing a lovely Maton Performer acoustic (more reviews) for some time, but decided to pick up an electric to fill out our live sound now that we’ve recorded the Fuzu EP.

Like any new instrument, I’ve been bitten by the bug on this one, and have been playing it heaps since I picked it up. It’s got a lovely tone across the 3 pickup combinations, though I’m finding I’m settling for the neck pickup an awful lot. I was looking for a guitar that handled the type of open chords I enjoy playing – with a bit of dissonance – and it does the job beautifully.

I read in the Wikipedia article that switching out the pots (behind the volume controls etc.) to a different impedence helps a lot, so I’m probably going to get a friend to help me give that a try. Overall I’m stoked with the guitar especially at the price I got it for.

I also picked up an MI Audio Tube Zone at the same time and it’s awesome. I really wanted a nice, character-ful tube-like distortion that could range from just biting when I dig in to being pretty rocky too, and it does the lot (thanks for the demo Damian). I highly recommend it.

I also picked up a Line 6 Toneport UX 1 (thanks, again, to Damian) that I’m really digging as a practice rig (my practice space is right where my computer is, so I don’t mind having to hook it up to my iMac to get it to work). It’ll work great for demo recording too (already started playing with some ideas). Solves a couple of issues with my home studio setup too – leaving my Presonus dedicated for live.

Next on my list is an amp – gonna crawl for a secondhand one, but failing that probably look at a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (more reviews). Looking forward to gigging again soon (Tobes is due back in a couple of weeks).

Update: Two quick things – one of the things I really love about the tele is the neck. It’s really chunky, which for me, coming from bass guitar and acoustic, is perfect.

The other thing is that the Toneport keeps randomly dropping out, esp. when using it in Ableton Live (which I just upgraded to v6). Because the Toneport appears to offload some of the FX/amp emulation to the hardware, it needs a custom driver (a rare thing on the Mac as far as hardware goes). I suspect it’s a bug with the driver, but not 100% sure. Gonna see if I can reproduce it consistently and report it to Line6. It isn’t a major deal at the moment, given I’m using it for practicing and demos, not live performance. But annoying all the same…

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