Thursday, 28 February 2013

Phil X and the Drills - Live in Manchester 28-2-2013....

 Dan. Randy and Mr Hollywood Phil X ROCKED Manchester's Academy 3....
and they were F**KING Awesome....
Dan, Randy and Phil X....
and Becky Birchall....was Awesome Too....
 DieByTheDrop put a comment on Youtube....
"She's my friend. We went to the Liverpool show last week and got talking to Phil X after the gig and she said she plays drums and we said she is really good, so Phil said ok do you want to play a song in manchester next week, and we told him we were poor students (lol) and he said he would put us on the guest list and she could play communication breakdown with them... btw, it was the first time she had played the song :p"....how cool is that....

also on the bill....StormBorn....first on, but with venom.....

followed by Black Balled....Massive Thunderous Rock....

tonight ended with Dorje...


I was really looking forward to seeing Rob Chapman and his band....sorry we didn't stick around....we have a poorly dog....she has had to have one of her toes removed....
and she has started chewing it....this it how it looked about a week ago....she can get out of a normal collar bucket.....
so she has to wear this....and she f**kin hates this thing....so we wanted to get back and see if the dog sitter had coped....
so we'll have to see you next time....sorry Dorje, I did buy your CD....
I had even taken my Bad Monkey to see if I could get Phil X to sign it....how sad was that....
Thank You....we all had a grand time....t'rah....

P.S.  The Cheese Puff Death Squad on YouTube has posted the full Show....so here it is....

Cheese Puff Death Squad are a groovy beat combo from La-la Land (which is fairly close to Manchester, England).
We are WYSIWYG rock! No airs. No graces. Just balls out Rock 'n' Roll!


and just because it's my ringtone....







Saturday, 23 February 2013

Blackstar Series One v Egnater Renegade 65....

From my other Egnater post this quote made me laugh....
 "Now you can go to Guitar Center and get a $35 piece of Korean crap with distortion."
It sums up the Egnater forum very well, it has it all Guitar Center, Korean "I'll add China" and crap....
I'm sure the Egnater forum is exactly the same as most forums, full of people either loving or hating. The Egnater forum is split into two camps, the hand wired made in the US camp and the made in China camp. The made in China camp does seem to have all the problems and these problems can be split between just a bad tube easy fix type and the more terminal type. The hand wired camp beleive that the China amps have cheapened the Egnater brand and are only too happy to say so, "your problem is you've bought a shit amp" and "you can't polish a terd". It's really a difference between hand wired and printed circuit board amps, one being better than the other, but some of the things you can desgin into a circuit board amp you just can't get a hand wired amp to do. so in the end it all comes down to quality of manufacture and of quality control, a good sounding amp is a good amp. So are the made in China Egnater amps good amps.....

I can't compair US v China made amps as I don't have as US made Egnater "you can't get the US Modular in the UK" but I can compair two far east made amps....

Blackstar Series One v Egnater Renegade 65.
I've had both amps for about 18 months and have given them both a fair amount of abuse.....The Blackstar is made in Korea while the Egnater Renegade is made in China.

The looks department.... the BS is a very cool looking amp, all Black on Black and very Rock. The ER looks a tad retro. But when compaired to a US made Egnater, both look the same, same matt black paint, same font, same knobs in cream and the same black and tan tolex type of covering, it's an Egnater, it's how all Egnaters look. A Blackstar win I think.

Construction....again the Blackstar has it, beefier wooden case and the chassis is made of heavier gauge steel. Both amps have been drop tested.....the Blackstar had been back to Northampton and repaired 3 times and on one occastion came back like this.
I had wrapped the amp very well in its box with it's foam supports then wrapped the box in thick polyurathain. Blackstar sent it back just in it's box with bubble wrap for padding....the bubble wrap didn't work did it.
The BS came through the drop test very well, only one of it's rather large transformers bending it's retaining braket. A word about the BS transformers, they are massive, heavy and both on the same side of the amp making carring the amp a real pain in the arse....I'll say that again because carring it is a major pain in the arse. Blackstar loose a point.

The Egnater, well erm....in it's defense, it had come all the way from China and it looked as if it's chassis bolts had come loose and after several bumps the wieght of the transformer bent the chassis.
 Not good. This first amp I had replaced, it did work perfectly for the two weeks it took to get a replacement. Both amps get a point taken away.
The internals....both amps are very simaller. The BS is very clean, the ER looks a tad messy with it's thick hook up wires....
 I prefer the big thick hook up wires in the ER rather than the thin things that would'nt look out of place in a PC in the BS. Egnater Win....

The Rears....again both amps are pretty much the same on the back with recording outputs, two speaker outputs and FX Loops. The BS has a +4-10db pad switch, the E has it's loop pad switch internally but it's loop is tube buffered. The BS has MIDI for control of other MIDI equipment. The ER has a very usfull tube biasing control so you can bias new power tubes yourself. I call it a draw....

The two channels in the ER are exactly the same with gain, bass, middle, treble, tube mix, channel volume and both with toggle switches for 65watt/18watt, tight/deep, bright/normal. Channel 1 is clean and Channel 2 is the dirty. Both channels have independent reverb controls. The power section has density and presence controls and two master volumes that are foot-switch controllable. The ER has the better F/S only let down by a wired on cable that at some point will break, the amp does need the F/S to work at its best. The F/S has switches on the effects, reverb and Main 2 volume that lets you have them set on CH1 or CH2 or Both.
The BS is a simpler affair, channel 1 just has gain, volume and the two mode switches, bright clean and warm clean. Channel 2 is the overdrive channel with crunch and super crunch modes. It gets a full EQ section of bass, middle, treble and the ISF tube mix knob. The master section has resonance, presence, volume and finishes with the power DPR knob. I'll sit on the fence and say both amps get a point.

The Sounds....both amps try to produce British and US tones but go about it in different ways. The BS uses four EL34 and some very clever EQing and Power Tube manipulation? to do it's thang while the ER uses two 6L6 tubes to do the US tones and two EL34 to do the British thing, very simple....just like having two amps in one box.
The BS sounds awesome, it's four modes are well dialed in, the Super Crunch is killer, the amp is almost plug and play. You don't get much control, it just does what it does. It will never give you a duff tone and for me that's the big problem, after awhile it gets a bit boring. When I first got my Marshall JMP-1 midi pre amp I paired it with a Marshall Valvestate power amp....I went through three of them and they all died the same horrible deaths....after no more than twenty minutes of playing they would go up in a puff of smoke and through the grill in the amp housing you could see a black block of plastic with a hole in it. The processor/integrated circuit or what ever it was that was doing all the clever valvestate stuff had got too hot and blown it's own brains out.
Could it be the same sort of thing under that big heat sink in the BS. Is the BS a modelling amp at it's heart.....Don't get me wrong it's a great sounding amp but the ER is an amp you can keep tweeking and it's tone just keeps getting better. It's an amp you need to learn how to get the best from, but when you know where the sounds are it's really easy to dial them back in. I have never had an amp that sounds as good loud as it does quiet. The BS has it's "Dynamic Power Reduction" and it works very well but it still lacks somthing so you do end up turning the amp back up for some punch. With the ER you turn down the volume and balance the controls to dial in the sweet spot, kick in it's second master volume "Main 2" that adds sustain and grit. It's like adding another gain stage that adds another layer of tubey goodness. On the 6L6 side I keep the CH1 clean and then add the Main 2 volume with CH2 to push the amp into creamyness. On the EL34 side I use the Main 2 volume to dirty up CH1 but than switch Main 2 off on CH2 and turn up its channel volume to add the dirt for more face ripping Marshall tones at any volume.
The ER is an amp that will frustrate at first with all the switches but then will grow with you. The BS is the perfect first valve amp, easy to use but an amp that you will end up selling for something better. Both amps are great sounding and that shows that an amp does not have to be made in the US/UK or be hand wired to be awesome. Of the two I liked the ER best, the BS has been traded in now, something I don't usually do. "I have a room full of stuff". I felt that as good as the BS was I had better sounding Marshall amps already and that for me the ER had more tone and it has now become my main amp.
I have a craving for a DR Z, either a Maz or a Z Wreck. If someone said they would swop their Maz for my Egnater Renegade, without thinking I would say NO, if they then said a Z Wreck for my Renegade I would snatch their hand off and be in the car with it and up the road before they knew what they had done. But....as good as the Dr Z's are, the Z Wreck is too loud and don't do Marshall tones, so one of my Marshalls would come back into play and if I'm being honest the DeVille would come down stairs and before too long I'd have three amps in my rubber wall music room. The volumes would again become a social issue and I'd have to buy another Renegade....it is that good an amp.


More Videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/silanman

Friday, 22 February 2013

Gilmourish Redux....

Panic over....Bjørn is back online.... http://www.gilmourish.com/
"I've been busy being awesome....deal with it...." http://www.airbagsound.com/

 Bjørn....we say thank you for the music....that's not a ABBA reference, wrong country....


Bruce Egnater....



Bruce Egnater, Amp fiddler, The tube guru who plugs musicians in.

Bruce Egnater, friendly, big guy, white-bearded, looks more like Santa than a rock dude, but that's just what he is — a 30-year veteran. As a leader in the amplification business, he's built custom gear for the likes of Steve Vai, Bob Seger and countless other musicians in search of one thing: tone.
If you're not a guitar player, you've probably never heard of Egnater, or Amp Lounge, the little shop on 12 Mile Road in Berkley where he and partner Frank LaMara craft the modular vacuum tube amplifiers that are the duo's stock in trade.

Egnater's made a name for himself over the past three decades as a top engineer, building gear for celebrity musicians, offering classes in amp building and patenting a modular amp that users say is revolutionary for its ability to accommodate different styles of music. He's modest and unassuming about his accomplishments, though LaMara is quick to praise his partner: "They call him an 'amp guru,'" he says.

The shop's a kind of family affair — Egnater designs the circuitry around the vacuum tubes inside each amp with specific sounds in mind, and wife Terri makes the circuit boards. Son Ian, 22, is learning electronics and dabbles in the trade, and 12-year-old daughter Micah has no interest in any of it, Bruce Egnater says, but likes spending time at the shop. LaMara, who's been working with Egnater for about 10 years, is the business manager.

The vacuum tubes at the heart of Egnater's work were standard in most electronics until the 1960s, when transistors, which are cheaper, more efficient and often more reliable, were introduced into the market, quickly replacing the tube in most products, including amplifiers. But for tube devotees, a solid-state transistor amp is a shoddy second-best, trading price for tone.

"Guitarists worship this," LaMara says, holding up a delicately shaded, silvery glass tube. "We're the only breed in the whole world that loves state-of-the-art 1950s technology."
A tube will do stuff solid-state circuitry won't do, says Dan Mayer, guitarist for local band the Sun Messengers and a 25-year user of Egnater amps.

"It has a little push, a little sag, a little delay ... it's more organic sounding than solid state."

Egnater, Mayer says, is the best around.

"It's the way that it's voiced," he says. "Every company has what they consider to be the right equalization. ... Bruce's stuff is voiced at the proper frequency. It's the most musical to my ear. And a lot of people agree."

"He pays attention to retain the sound of the guitar itself," Bugs Beddow guitarist Duffy King says. "It's a plank of wood with pickups, but there's a lot going on inside it."

Egnater says he got his start three decades ago as a Hendrix- and Cream-loving guitarist and electronics student frustrated with off-the-shelf commercial gear that couldn't keep pace with the likes of Iggy Pop, Ted Nugent, Bob Seger and Alice Cooper. Guitar players wanted sounds that were bigger, louder, distorted.

"The equipment and the music were developing at the same time," he says.

In those days, learning the innards of amplifiers was a painstaking task. Egnater says he'd write the company for schematics, most of the time they'd respond, and he'd begin the tedious process of dissecting the amp, learning how it ticked. In the early 1970s, he talked his way into a job repairing gear at legendary Zoppi's Music on Eight Mile Road. By 1975, he'd opened his own repair shop, where he found a good market for repairs and modifications — and started dabbling in new designs that offered musicians more options.

"I said, I'm going to make my own amplifiers because I can't find one that does what I want," Egnater says. "And when you're young, no one tells you that you can't do that."

The result of his experimentation was a two-channel switching amp that allowed guitarists to increase distortion without adding volume — "cascaded gain" in music parlance — one of the first on the market.

For an engineer like Egnater, learning to accommodate musical trends is essential.

"The rock scene has changed but the changes don't go away," he says. "Someone now might be doing '80s metal but also Led Zeppelin," and each style builds on its successors. Some styles, like jazz or blues, remain constant, but modern musicians want gear that can handle all the sounds a guitar can make. Most amps are configured to enhance only one kind of sound, be it the twang of country or the distortion of garage rock.

"The question was how to satisfy different musical tastes and trends," LaMara says. The answer is an amp that comes with different modules, each wired for a different sound. Users can swap the modules out. The result is a flexibility not found in other commercially available amps.
 The pair says no one else makes a comparable product, though a handful of local craftsman make custom amps. And Dan Russell of Blitz Amps in St. Clair Shores is well-known to Detroit musicians, but he spends most of his time repairing gear. Modification used to be in demand, but no more. Russell says, "Now you can go to Guitar Center and get a $35 piece of Korean crap with distortion."

Specialists like Egnater co-exist peacefully alongside music megastores. A newbie musician can get a rig at Guitar Center for a couple hundred bucks. Give them five or 10 years and those guitarists will walk into Egnater's shop, ready to drop between $2,000 and $5,000 on a boutique amp.

Another option: Sign up for one of the semi-regular two-day seminars that Amp Lounge offers throughout the year. The cost is steep — $1,600 for the class — but at the end, each participant has a new, custom-built amp and most importantly, a piece of Egnater's knowledge. In his day, there wasn't anything like it; the field had few experts, and many considered amp-building a trade secret.

Not Egnater.

"I'm getting old," he says. "I'm going to die someday, and I don't want all this knowledge to die with me."


By Nancy Kaffer
10/17/2007 Metro Times Detroit.



Thursday, 21 February 2013

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome.....

Viva Mexico....
Hello and Welcome....
Sweden, my favorite place in the world....
Been to Sweden many times, love the people and love the country, in the summer it's lakes, pine trees and sunshine, in the winter it's frozen lakes, pine trees and snow. I remember being in Malmö and got out of the bus, rushed into the the hotel lobby and realized my nostrils had frozen together....it was -26 outside....lol 


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Gilmourish no more.......

THE BEST Gilmour site is down.......
Bjørn....what the F**K....hate to say this but Gilmourish was the reason that I started doing this load of bollocks. Gilmourish.com did a review of the Red Muck by Jam Pedals and I had to have one... 
This guy is the Dogs Bollocks
 Red Muck used with Rothwell Heartbreaker for my Gilmourish Tone...
 
and then there's me....about 4mins in comes the Red Muck "I think"....dreadful audio from my camera, it's about three in the morning and the Renegade is on very quiet, so quiet in fact you can hear be breathing all through it....7mins in just makes me laugh....

Big Thank You to Bjørn Riis....hope the site down is temporary. Check out Bjørn's band Airbag. http://www.airbagsound.com/ I love them and if I'm being honest listen to them more than Floyd now

Both Airbag CD's are well worth the money, I also have both on 180gram vinyl they are that good.

And this is Just "Holy F**K.... 
Awesome Fan site....actually The Ultimate Airbag Fan Site....http://argonexplosion.com/airbag/