Gear Update Jan 2013:
The 'Fret King Black Label Corona JV Signature' guitar is in the shops - I know you need one (or someone you love does)!
Follow the link to see/hear one:
OK. We're all through testing and here are the results:
first of all the JV_BB Head with Tayden loaded 2 x 10" cabs...
Then the JV_BB 2 x 10" Combo - again with Tayden loudspeakers.
Combo rear view...
And a look around the back - note the specially voiced Tayden drivers - lovely!!
Watch this space for the rest of my stage setups - My Marshall gear is now equipped with Tayden 12" drivers.
The 10s and 12s sound truly amazing together in larger venues...
Tayden - JVs loudspeaker of choice...
I used the special Taydens this week for the first time in proper gig situations and was just blown away - they're excellent!
Paul at Tayden very kindly voiced some speakers especially for me following discussions we've had about what I'm looking for in speakers for my setup, and the results are spot-on.
I like to use a combination of 10" and 12" speakers, but with a particular formula not always found in stock models.
Paul listened to what I had to say and came up with the perfect solution -
specially voiced versions of his 'True Brit' (10") and 'Brit 60' (12") drivers.
I'm proud to endorse these hand-made - in ENGLAND loudspeakers and would say to any guitarist out there looking to improve their setup - try some Taydens - you'll be impressed...
Tayden retail distribution is via 'Lean Business'
Trade and professional enquiries:
It's JV Fret King time!
OK - got the first production model of the Fret King JV - everythings just great, I've gigged it already, and can't wait to get out there promoting it...
Sounded better than I could have hoped - well done Trev (Trev Wilkinson) you're a genius!
The actual guitar will be 2-colour sunburst - no red paint to obscure the vital resonances required to get the authentic JV sound!
Don't be fooled by the 3 single coils - there's a further coil hidden under the scratchplate that ups the output considerably..!
Oh, and here's an early version (VTR) of the amazing signature amp (now renamed Verity!) - what a combination - tone to die for..!
JHS Event - JV at the Fret King stand with the very handsome Lars Mullen!
First outing for the Fret King JV signature, at the JHS Event - with Bob Henrit on drums,
and the amazing Gav Coulson on bass...
OK - we've gone a step further with the amps...
In conversation with Steve at VTR I was saying that the little 18 watt Marshall/Watkins design was one of my favourite amps of all time.
We discussed ways in which it might be made even better, and after several prototypes came up with the Baby Beano head. We also discussed speaker configurations/ possibilities and eventually my favourite combination was a pair of 10" speakers plus a single 12". We tried all three speakers in a single cabinet - worked great! But now Steve is building 2 separate cabs., one for the 10's and one for the 12" - maybe even better!
Currently we're running Celestion speakers in the test rigs but soon we'll take delivery of some Tayden speakers. They come highly recommended - a certain Mr J Beck is using them in his Fender Combo's!
I'll have tried the Taydens in a few days and will report back, but the word on the street is very good...Check 'em out:
Watch this space!
The Mean Old Scene sessions heralded a change of gear, first of all in the the studio and then the stage rig.
Though I love my Fender Prosonics I've wanted to review my setup for some time and early in 2011 started talking to various amp manufacturers about the possibilities.
After much procrastination (big word!) I accepted the offer from Marshall to try out some of their amps - both old and new. I was a Marshall user in the 60s but went over to Fender until this recent search for the 'sound in my head'. I haven't liked any of the current Fender amps I've tried - or Fender Europe's attitude toward professional users so the search was on for an alternative. Marshall have been just great - I've tried lots of combinations but it wasn't until I got my hands on a 1974x re-issue that things started to take shape. The 1974 is Marshall's little 18 watt combo - sounds beautiful but I needed just a little more power. The Bluesbreaker combo was almost there but after much trial an error I arrived at my perfect combination - a JTM-45 head with 2 1974CX single 12 cabinets. Marvellous!
I still wasn't ready to abandon my Prosonics completely though, and had a feeling that the Marshall & a Prosonic would sound great together... So, an AB-Y splitter was the order of the day to link the 2 amps properly and the search was on!
I was so fortunate to find TwinStomp pedals early in my search - they make an excellent AB-Y splitter, and also another couple of pedals that really pulled my new sound together. Those who have followed my career will know that I have an aversity to pedals, as often they can ruin your tone, even when not switched in.
Not so with these TwinStomps! I'm using the AB-Y pedal connect the 2 amps but also the TwinStomp Overdive, and TwinStomp Booster.
Any players reading this should get their hands on these amazing pedals - they sound great, and have no effect on your tone when they're switched out - and they're MADE IN ENGLAND - by hand - perfect!.
The final link in the chain was to get a Prosonic split into head/cab format- I wanted a 4x10 instead of the 2x10 combo I had, and found just the person to do the job.
Steve at Vintage Tube Replicas built both head and speaker cabs in the style of a '63 Fender piggy-back - white Tolex with oxblood speaker cloth. Beautiful!
The new rig sounds amazing - oh & it looks pretty good too..!
Gibson back in my life!!
Well, well people often ask me why they find me using Strats these days after so many years using my white Gibson. I suppose the quick answer is that in the early 80's I decided to 'retire' the Gibbo and asked John Diggins (Jaydee Guitars) to build me some workmanlike instruments which would be perfect for the rock stuff on the 'Interrupted Journey/Rock Solid type material. We came up with the ideal solution - the 'Jaydee Hooligan' - a single pickup, single knob guitar with a whammy bar... Fantastic guitars which I used as my main guitars for many years - I made one fatal mistake though, fitting Floyd Rose trems in place of the JD ones that came with the guitars. My friend Mally Siswick made a great job fitting them but they just don't last - need constant maintenance and repair which is both costly and inconvenient so I moved into Fenderland...
My current Strat is fantastic, and I'll never get rid of it, but my love affair with Gibson was rekindled recently when I got a Les Paul DC Pro - beautiful AAA maple cap, lovely neck & action and that classic Les Paul sound... Electric-wise I've never had a better set of guitars, the Strat, Les Paul, My Fret Kings (including the JV Signature) cover all bases, and in the studio I still have the Jaydee's if I want to behave like a Hooligan! plus a nice Tele (MIJ) and a Jazzmaster (MIJ) for good measure.
For unplugged work I've been using my Vintage acoustics but there'll be a new kid on the block today- A Gibson Montana J-45 Goldtop Limited Edition!!! Fantastic, what an amazing guitar - plays like a dream and it's probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!!! Can't put it down...
Next in the collection will be a new 12-string acoustic - a Gordon Giltrap signature. I'm awaiting delivery, so more on this later. We used a 12-string on 'Say Why' - it sounded great but I foolishly bought an acoustic-only Washburn J28, and now I'd like to start using a 12-string in the unplugged set (not strictly speaking 'unplugged' you see - you wouldn't be able to hear us!)
Those nice people at JHS want me to play at their trade show in the spring so I mentioned that I would be also hopefully be using a 12-string and hey-presto they suggested I use one of their Vintage Giltrap signature models - job done! The 'Giltrap' uses my favourite 'Fishman' electronics, so should sound just fine...
VERITY - rise like the phoenix
JV's equipment for these sessions comprised:
Guitars - Fret King prototype 'JV Signature' model. Fret King Eclat 2. http://www.fret-king.com/ Fender 50th anniversary Strat.
Amps - Fender Prosonic. Fender Princeton Reverb. Fender Super Champ. Blackstar HT5
Effects - Blackstar HT-drive. Vox Wah Wah. Digitech GSP 1101. Heil Talkbox.
1. Say Why
Basic rhythm track was the Fret King JV signature straight into Fender Princeton Reverb.
First solo same setup but with the HT-drive pedal to lift it a bit...
For the second solo I used my standard gigging rig - Fender strat into Vox WahWah then a bit of stereo chorus and delay using the Digitech GSP 1101, then finally into a pair of Fender Prosonics (LOUD!)
Basic rhythm track same setup as Say Why - Fret King/ Princeton.
Solo Fret King signature into 2 Fender Prosonics with delay & chorus from Digitech GSP 1101.
3. Time of the Season
Basic rhythm track I played using the the same set-up as before as we laid down the track, but after Griff added the acoustic guitar parts I decided to get rid of most of my original part, just keeping the 'stabs' on bridge/ chorus sections.
My first solo is Fender Strat through the Prosic rig as before.
For the second solo, and the fills throughout I used the Fret King signature through the Blackstar HT-5, with a genuine Heil Talkbox - sound great but makes you want to throw up when you're using it!!
Basic rhythm track as before - Fret King signature/ Princeton.
Solo/ fills Fret King Eclat 2 straight in to a pair of Fender Prosonics.
5. If this is Love
Guitar 1 Fret King signature through Blackstar HT-5
Solo guitars Fret King signature into HT-5 drive pedal, then Fender Princeton Reverb
6. Too Hot to Hug
Fret King signature into Fender Superchamp - all guitars on this track
7. Stay With Me
Fender Strat into standard gig setup - 2 Fender Prosonics with Digitech chorus in GSP 1101
8. Out With The Boyz
Guitar 1 - Fret King signature through Fender Princeton Reverb with Digitech DSP 1101 chorus setting.
Guitar 2 - As above but with DSP 1101 on Leslie setting.
Solo/ fills Fret King signature through Fender Prosonics.
9. Got My Eyes on You
Rhythm tracks Fret King signature through Fender Princeton Reverb
Fills and solo guitars Fender Strat through 2 Fender Prosonics with chorus (delay in solo) from Digitech DSP 1101.
That's all for now folks!!