Swing Guitar

Dedicated to pre-bebop jazz guitar.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm Back, again - no really....

So, I finished my last final yesterday, so now I have some time to put up several posts I've had planned.

First a gear update. So, last time I mentioned using a 1947 Dearmond FHC Guitar Mic and a 1936 EH-150. Well as I mentioned both of them had problems. The Guitar mic had a short in it somewhere leaving the output about a quarter of what it should be - which is not even remotely enough to use with the amp. The EH-150 had a blown speaker and other problems. I had the speaker reconed and the circuits cleaned up and it worked pretty good and sounded fantastic. But the big problem was that the cabinet was falling apart and the bottom was falling out, I used it for months and it was worth the hassle.

Since I couldn't use the two together, I got an 1965 Guitar Mic off ebay and started using that. Now that sounds great! Oddly enough the 60's Guitar mic seems as though its balanced for nickel (read:electric) strings, not bronze, whereas the 40's pickup sounds balanced for bronze strings and has a compensated B string. I guess in the 40's people where just sticking pickups on their otherwise acoustic guitars with bronze strings, and by the 60's people where more interested in the elctric sound and kept nickel strings on their jazz boxes all the time.

So now I had a working pickup that sounded great paired with the Gibson amp. But I was still dealing with a very, very fragile amp that was falling apart. So. next I bought another EH-150 on ebay, this time a Style 3 1937-1940, with a 12". Another selling point was that this amp had its back cover. But when the amp arrived, I realized that it was not a 150, but a very, very rare EH-160 - the AC/DC version. The thing has 11 tubes in it, a battery bias, and a bunch of other wierd features. Plus, get this... its a shock hazard! So I had to get an isolation transformer - which is like 15lbs - to keep from killing myself. Anyway, my bass player Wally gave the thing two different going overs and now it sound unbelievable. It has more bass because of the 12" speaker and I used it on our new record (recorded mid november - still in post). Of course, there are still some problems, the main one being that the bizzarre circuit in the 160 is actually only 5-6 watts, so its too quiet.

I tried to have the 1947 Deamrond rewound, with mediocre results. I don't know what I'm going to do with it now. As it stands I've got the '65 guitar mic on my blonde Eastman 810CE, and nothing on my sunburst Eastman 805. I've been taking the EH-160 to gigs and I'm planning to get a cover for it from studio slips. After christmas, I'm planning on getting either another regular EH-150 with a 12" speaker or an Epiphone from the era. I'm also planning on having my 1936 EH-150 reconditioned, and having the cabinet reglued.

I'll post sound samples when I get the rough mixes from our last recording.
More to come!


  • At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Since you're back I'll make a lesson request. I want to know how to approach the old school chord solos. I'm not talking about chord melody arrangements, I mean like the Freddie Green solo you posted. It seems the old acoustic guys were just able to start improvising in full chords instead of single line notes.

    I can get something similar by doing some very full comping high on the neck, but it doesn't sound as nice as vintage recordings.

  • At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was reading yor comments and wanted to let you know I have a huge stock of DeArmond pickups for sale. I also sell the best reproduction CC pickup in the world. It is made from all prte-war parts by a company in England and I sell for them in the United States. My name is Gerry Beaudoin and I am a jazz guitarist by trade. I can be reached at 781-894-7984 or by email at gbeaudoin@rcn.com Keep o0n swinging.,Gerry

  • At 2:51 AM, Blogger Jones Henry said…

    Good quality info. Lucky to me I came to your website not on purpose, but now I have bookmarked it. Moon Jams


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