Sunday, April 29, 2012

Epiphone AJ-500RE Masterbilt Acoustic Guitar Review


Many musicians sniff when they see the Epiphone name on low-priced imported guitars, but I have found some fabulous Epis over the years. This AJ-500RE has to be one of the best ones I have played, and it is certainly a fantastic value

The Epiphone of today is owned by Gibson, as an avenue to provide cheaper imported version of their iconic US-made guitars. These include electrics such as the Les Paul and SG, as well as basses and acoustic guitars. The current Epiphone Masterbilt (yes, that is really how they spell it) acoustic guitars are homage to the original Masterbilts that were introduced in 1931.

This AJ-500E is a jumbo-sized acoustic (AJ = Advanced Jumbo) that is made of pretty much nothing but good materials and parts. It is a solid wood guitar (no pressboard or laminates here), with a Sitka spruce top, rosewood sides and back, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard and bridge. The guitar is finished in a natural satin finish, which you will see as “NS” on the label.

The neck has a pleasingly thin D shape to it, and an easy-playing 14-inch radius to the fretboard. Epiphone laid 20 medium frets along its 25.5-inch scale length neck, along with tasteful pearloid dot fret markers and stickpin inlay on the headstock. Of course it has an adjustable trussrod.

The hardware is also very good, with a bone 1.68-inch nut and bridge saddle, and gold-plated Grover Sta-tite machine heads. It looks very classy with a tortoise pickguard, bound neck and headstock, and a multi-ply bound top.

This vintage-inspired guitar comes with a first-rate and innovative electronics package. The heart of the system is the eSonic2 preamp, which is a collaboration of Epiphone and Shadow of Germany. The control panel is on the upper edge of the guitar; it includes a chromatic tuner, (which also mutes the guitar), volume, a slider to blend the two pickups, tone knobs for both of the pickups, and a phase switch. The pre-amp/tuner takes two 2032 lithium batteries that may prove tough to find at the last minute if they crap out. Be sure to unplug the guitar when you are not using it, and keep some spare batteries on hand.

One of the pickups is an under-bridge Nanoflex that incorporates active amplification at the pickup to improve signal quality. The other pickup is a Nanomag at the end of the fretboard (over the sound hole) with three samarium/cobalt magnets to provide a wide frequency range.

These pickups are output through two ¼-inch jacks, and if only the main one is used it will be a blend of both pickups. If both jacks are used one will be for the Nanomag and the other will be for the Nanoflex – stereo, baby! I cannot imagine that anybody would ever use this feature, though…

But the sum of the parts are nothing if they are not put together well, and Epiphone’s Chinese craftsmen did a very nice job on this instrument. The AJ-500RE has hand-scalloped Sitka spruce braces, as well as a hand-carved dovetail neck joint and hide glue construction. Plus, look at the tremendously awesome fretwork they did!

The good parts and workmanship come together to make a very nice-playing and great sounding guitar. This one played well right out of the box, and has a warm tone with a very deep and full sound, as well as clear mids and highs. It is not perfectly balanced from high to low, but as the top ages I suspect the strings will have a more even tone. I like the tone of a rosewood guitar more than mahogany, other things being equal.

My complaints about this Epiphone guitar are few and far between. The matte finish looks a little cheap and certainly collects smudges quite easily. My other beef is that it seems to go through batteries at a ferocious rate, and they are not cheap nor readily available. A 9-volt would have been nice.

Anyway, these things are not deal breakers, and the AJ-500RE is a keeper, at least as much as this is possible for me. These guitars (actually all Epiphones) are backed by Epiphone's Limited Lifetime warranty as well as Gibson Customer Service for the original purchaser.

It might be a bit tricky to find these, though, as they have been discontinued. They originally had a list price of $1100, but you can still find a few new ones out there discounted to around $600. It will be hard for you to find a guitar that has the same specs, tone and playability for the price.


1970s Aria Les Paul Guitar Copy


I have owned scads of Japanese Les Paul copies, and have had great luck with all of them. This very nice 1970s Aria is just as good as any of the copies I have played before.

Aria was ones of many Japanese companies that ripped off Gibson’s (and others’) designs in the 1970s and 1980s. These copies were very well made, and quite a bit cheaper than the originals, so there were a few lawsuits to get them to desist.

I bought this from a guy on Craigslist who lived in a travel trailer in a storage yard, amongst his collection of washing machines and cats. It was in unusually good condition, and was well worth the few hundred dollars I paid for it. These guitars usually have hard lives and are the subject of many needless modifications, and this one somehow escaped that fate.

I think it from the 1970s, but I cannot be sure. All of the dating conventions say that the first digit of the serial indicates the year it was made, but 90% of the Japanese guitars I see have serial numbers that start with “0” (as does this one), and I cannot believe that almost all of these instruments were made in 1980. I am going with mid to late 1970s because of the logo and the construction.

Although this is a copy, it has everything you would expect to find on a real Les Paul Standard, except for a set neck (this one is bolt-on). There is very little play wear, it appears to be unmodified and there are no signs of repairs.

The non-chambered body appears to be made of ash, with a bound maple top. It is finished in a gorgeous glossy iced tea burst.

As I said before, this one is equipped with a bolt-on neck, which appears to be made of three pieces of mahogany. It has a bound rosewood fretboard with mother-of-pearl trapezoidal inlays. As usual with these Japanese copies, the frets and nut are very well done. The neck is thick and nicely rounded, with a definite 1950s Les Paul feel. There is a simple Aria logo on the headstock, and it is loaded up with chrome sealed-back tuners that hold well.

The pickups are original to the guitar and have strong output with plenty of crunch. The rest of the electronics are nice and quiet, and the controls are set up with the expected 3-way pickup selector, two volume and two tone controls. By the way, this one uses pots that are attached to a printed circuit board, much like Tokai and Greco Les Pauls I have seen before. If it ever breaks I will replace it with caps and CTS pots so fast it will make your head spin.

This is a fabulous playing guitar with a low action and killer tone; it does everything a $2000+ Les Paul can do. I do not notice any degradation in tone or sustain from have a bolt-on neck or the ash body. Plus, as an added bonus, this Aria weighs in at around 8 pounds, 9 ounces which is very light for a non-chambered Les Paul.

If you ever see one of these in a pawn shop or on Craigslist, be sure to try it out. You will be surprised how much guitar you can get for the money.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Little Dot Mk III Headphone Amplifier Review


I have been using a CMOS headphone amplifier for awhile now, and have really enjoyed the way it brings my Sennheiser cans to life, even though it is digital and not super warm. But, I recently had the opportunity to pick up a quality tube-loaded Little Dot Mk III headphone amplifier, and I am hooked.

Little Dot amplifiers are sold directly from the manufacturer in China, so you are looking at $199 + $45 shipping to the US for a Mk III; they even take PayPal. You might be a little worried about dealing with anonymous faces overseas, but it is not a big deal in this case. They have been selling to satisfied US customers for years, and they pack the amps well and ship them out quickly.

For your money, you will get the amplifier, RCA cables, a headphone adapter, an industry standard power cord (like the one on your computer or monitor), and an owner’s manual.

Just looking at it, the Little Mark III is a really cool unit. It had four glowing tubes with polished bezels around their bases, a machined aluminum front plate, and a crinkly-painted transformer cover. All of the screen printing is clear and it is a solid piece of work, coming in over 6 pounds. Everybody that stops by wants to know what it is.

It is chock full of good parts too. There is an Alps pot, a passel of Rubycon capacitors, and the world’s brightest blue LED. Not to mention two GE5654 NOS driver tubes and two Soviet 6H6PI power tubes. Everything is neatly attached to the circuit board, and the workmanship is first-class on this thing.

The frequency response specs for the Little Dot Mk III are impressive: 12hz to 100 Khz. Of course I have no way to verify this, but the frequency range is robust enough for normal listeners out there. The amplifier will support loads of 32 ohms to 600 ohms, which pretty much covers the spectrum of quality headphones that are out there. Output is understandably low, from 100mW to 350 mW, depending on load. The whole thing uses 30 watts during normal use, which is half of what your Playstation is pulling.

I mostly use this amplifier with my iPod Classic and my Sennheiser HD280 headphones, so I read through the Little Dot Owner’s Manual and adjusted the gain dip switches to match up with the impedance of my headphones. I also cleaned the tube terminals with De-oxit, as this was recommended in the owner’s manual. Apparently this product is not available in China, but I always have some on hand.

And right away I was blown away by the tone of the Little Dot. The tubes were not fully burned in yet, but the sound was warm with amazing dynamics. I was expecting good bass and sharp highs, but the full mids were stunning. As I dialed in more volume with the amplifier (I leave the iPod dimed), it was not the increase in volume that was more impressive, but rather the blossoming of tone.

As I burned in the tubes, I used my usual selections of music, from funk to metal to rap to classic countrified rock and blues, and it all worked well with the Mk III. And as the tubes burned in, I found that the bass lost its boominess, the mids smoothed out a little and the highs became much more defined. I consider the tubes to be fully burned in at this point and the overall tone is very balanced and the sound stage is very true.

I think the folks that designed this amplifier used pure genius when it came time to pick these tubes. I do not think they could have done better in choosing tubes that are affordable, yet sound very good with a wide variety of musical styles. And my god these things sound warm and analog, with no added signal noise (I am a recent tube covert, BTW).

This being said, I am sure that there is some benefit to tube rolling and optimizing tubes to the types of music being played (and spending a boatload more money). But I am happy enough with what I have here, so I am ending my quest and will enjoy this amplifier just as it came from the factory.

That does not mean that I am not going to experiment a little more. I plan to try this out as a preamp with my guitars to see what it can do for me.

I have used this amplifier quite a bit and have been trying to come up with something I do not like, but have come up dry. That is rare for me, maybe even a first. So, if you want to pick up a Little Dot Mk III, I highly recommend it. You can find them (and a few other models) at and they are all reasonably priced. You will be glad you did!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Rita Engedalen Chapels and Bars Album Review

Hi there!

Here is a review I wrote that was published in the February 9 issue of Blues Blast Magazine. Be sure to check them out at

Chances are good that you have not heard of Rita Engedalen, but probably only because she is a continent away from you. She has been called Norway’s Queen of the Blues, and with good reason; Rita has released 4 well-received CDs and even earned a Norwegian Grammy award for her 2006 album.

With her latest release, Chapels and Bars, she has another winner on her hands; after a few listens I could not find any songs that I did not like, and had at least 3 of them stuck firmly in my head. This is not strictly a blues album, but more of a compilation of different southern and Appalachian folk music styles. I hear delta blues, pop, gospel, soul and even some southern rock.

This is no problem for Rita as she is the real deal and has the voice, emotion and soul to carry tunes from all of these genres. Her band members and guest musicians also prove to be very talented, with some fabulous guitar picking, and appropriate amounts of mountain fiddle and mouth harp applied only where necessary.

She also has solid songwriting skills, and wrote the lyrics and music for nine of the twelve tracks on Chapels and Bars. Her original works have personal themes to them that bring them home to the listener, and are truly blues lyrics, even if they are not all blues melodies. This is probably a good time to mention that though she is Norwegian, the songs are all performed in English.

The album kicks off with “Chapels and Bars”, which was a great choice as it is one of the best tracks on the album with a tight delta blues groove and plenty of driving steel guitar. Plus I can relate as I have spent plenty of time in chapels and bars.

“My Hill Country Blues” is one of the most mainstream tunes on the album, and could almost be a pop or country radio hit. It is a southern rock at its best with tight drums and Creedence Clearwater-inspired guitars. This is rock and roll, baby. By the way, I heard my 10-year old son singing this song after we got out of the car yesterday, and saying “Mississippuh” just like Rita. That is how catchy this tune is.

And Rita Engedalen just keeps rolling from there. “Sara’s Kitchen” dives back into Mississippi blues, “Last Talk” is a sweet ballad (every album needs one), and “Holy Land” provides a little gospel choir. All of these original tunes provide a little something different for the listener, and are not the least bit boring or tedious.

Chapels and Bars also includes three cover tunes: Jessie Mae Hemphill’s “Lord I Feel Better”, Irma Thomas’s “Don’t Mess with My Man” and Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball and Chain”. Not only are these three very good songs, but they also honor the pioneers of the fantastic womens’ blues music that we enjoy today. “Ball and Chain” is an ambitious song to tackle, and I feel that Rita’s strong and deep voice outshines Thornton, but still cannot top Janis Joplin’s cover. There is no shame in that; she has chosen a strong crowd to run with and can hold her own.

As I said, there are many different types of music on Chapels and Bars, but do not think that it does not hold up well as an album. The songs are all well-written with solid musicianship, and Rita Engedalen’s unique and beautiful voice brings all of the songs together into a single entity that is a pleasure to listen to. I am confident that if you check out Rita’s music you will be impressed too.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Two Years of Rex and the Bass


Today marks the two year anniversary of my first post on this blog, and I owe all of you many thanks for checking Rex and the Bass out. I started this blog as an exercise to get more writing practice, and it has grown into something that means a lot more to me. I have met a lot of great people, learned many new things, and even gotten another writing gig as a result.

So far there have been 292 posts published, with a total of over 138,000 page views. I am in awe that around 500 people stop by to look at the blog every day.

Since day one I have maintained that I would only continue this project until I got tired of it, and that has not happened yet, nor have I run out of things to write about. That being said, if you have something you would like me to write about or if you would like for me to review your album, please drop me a line.

Again, a big "thank you!" you to you all.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark 1928 to 2012

Dick Clark has died at the age of 82, bringing an end to an era. He was a hard-working, good, and genuine man, and I never heard him speak poorly of anyone or dwell on the negative.

His gracious manner when working with music and musicians helped bring people together: both the older and younger generations, as well as people of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. I wish that more people in today's society could be as forward and understanding as he was.

He will be missed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne Album Review


Even if you do not like rap or hip hop, you might find something to like in Watch the Throne, a collaboration of the crown princes of the genre: Jay-Z and Kanye West. This album came out last summer, but I put off listening to it until recently (not for any good reason, really). Its contents are diverse and include a little something for everybody.

Watch the Throne was a long time coming, mostly due to the troubles of trying to get the two busiest guys in the business into the studio. They were not alone in this project either, as they had collaboration on almost every track from heavyweights such as RZA, Swizz Beatz, Q-Tip, Beyoncé, Sak Pace, Elly Jackson and Justin Vernon. Yes, the same Justin Vernon that is in the god awful Bon Iver.

But, the most notable guest artist on this album is Frank Ocean (from Odd Future), who is definitely going to be our next superstar. Mark my words. You will find him setting the hook on “Made in America” and “No Church in the Wild.”

With the backgrounds of everybody involved and the first-call producers for each track, you would expect great things from Watch the Throne, and generally it delivers. This album is slick and chock full of high-profile samples, rich synthesizer parts and the bold lyrics of two clever and egomaniacal artists.

And overall, the sound of this album tips towards the Kanye West side of things, with more instrumental input than you would find on a Jay-Z album. This is not a slam on the Z man – the overall tone is just different than any Jay-Z releases I have heard. But then again, Kanye has not made any albums as edgy as Watch the Throne, so I had better give a point to Jay-Z too.

My favorite track on this album is “Otis”, though the concept sounds kind of corny when I try to describe it. It is one of the more cheerful tracks, and includes vocals from the late (and great) Otis Redding and James Brown. Seriously, it does work…

”No Church in the Wild” is also a great track with darker eternal themes juxtaposed with temporal material obsessions. These guys know all about material goods, with shoutouts for products that are so expensive and out of my realm that I had to use Google to figure out what they were. Watch the Throne has tracks that fall between these two extremes, and listeners can revel in the eccentric lyrics and stylings of two men who are at the top of their game.

But, if there was anything that I didn’t care for it would be the excessive shoutouts to everybody under the sun (Dale Earnhardt?) and the constant parade of product endorsements. These made the lyrics feel shallow, and perhaps highlight the idea that a little more time could have been spent with the pen before they started recording.

There was a great deal of hype before Watch the Throne was released that this would be the ne plus ultra hip hop album (mostly because of who made it) , but there is no way it could ever live up to these high expectations. But, it is still a strong album that all Jay-Z and Kanye West followers can get behind, and even if you are not a fan it is still worth your time.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shure SM58 Microphone Review


Today I am writing about the Shure SM58 microphone. But this blog post is more homage than review, because this is one of the best-selling microphones in the world, and it sales volume speaks for what a great product it is.

The SM58 is a unidirectional low-impedance microphone that was introduced in 1966, and my understanding is that it is the same microphone as an SM57, with a built-in spherical filter to reduce wind noise and popping.

This microphone has an XLR connector with balanced output, to minimize unwanted noise and hum and a cardioid pickup pattern so it can isolate the target sound source and without picking up very much background noise. This microphone has a frequency response of 50 Hz to 15kHz, according to Shure.

SM stands for “Studio Microphone”, and I see these used for picking up amplifier cabinets and wind instruments, but the SM58 really shines for live vocal performance. They effectively cut out background noise and are shock-mounted to reduce mechanical noise. They also have a well-earned reputation for durability, and I have never seen one break.

By the way, there are also a few variations of the SM58, including wireless models, a Beta version, and one with a built-in ON/OFF switch.

If you do not have a Shure SM58, you need to have at least one around. They have a list price of $188, but you can buy them all day long on the internet for $99. As always, be careful if you see a deal that looks too good to be true, as these microphones are now being counterfeited overseas.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Roku LT Review


This is not a music-related product, but I am pretty stoked about the Roku LT and thought I would share my experiences with it.

I had been increasingly unhappy with the amount of money I was spending on television service each month, and decided that enough was enough. Netflix has more than enough television and movie programming that can be streamed over the internet, and it is less than 10 bucks per month, but I needed a good way to get it to my TV.

Today you can buy televisions that are equipped with wi-fi that will play Netflix wirelessly, but my TV is a bit older (and kind of on the cheap side), so I needed a way to get the programming to my set without stringing a cable across the room. My boss suggested that I pick up a Roku box, which was sage advice indeed.

I found that there are four different models, so I did some research, and decided on the Roku LT. It is their entry-level model that will only do 720p video, but I am not terribly picky and I figured for the price I could give it a try.

I bought mine through Amazon and ended up paying $49.99 with free shipping, which is the same as buying it directly from Roku. But, I also ordered an HDMI cable at the same time for 3 bucks and Amazon gave me free shipping for that too. Check the ridiculous prices of HDMI cables at Radio Shack or Best Buy. Geez.

When my Roku LT arrived, I opened the box which contained the box (about the size of a hockey puck), an AC adapter, the remote, 2 AAA batteries and a 1/8-inch to RCA A/V cable. It took me less than a minute to get it hooked up to my television, and a bit longer online to create my Roku account and link my Netflix account to the box. In less than 15 minutes my kid was watching old episodes of Star Trek and American Pickers.

And the Roku LT works flawlessly. I must say that I was concerned that the programming would load slowly and hang up like a YouTube video, but there have been no such problems. After selecting a show, it takes a few seconds to load and plays with no trouble. Then again, I have really fast internet service (Verizon Fios), so it should work well.

Also, keep in mind that the Roku is not just for Netflix, as it will stream content from Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Crackle, HBO Plus and Epix.

My only complaint is that the remote is a bit clunky to use, and entering text for searches is tedious, but for the price I am willing to let that slide.

If you are not streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime to your TV, you should give it a try – it really is a viable alternative to subscribing to a television package.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

1980 Aria Pro II SB-900 Bass Review

Hi there!

I love the early 1980s Aria Pro II Super Basses, and have owned dozens of SB-700 and SB-1000 models over the years, but only one SB-900. In fact, this SB-900 is the only one that I have ever seen.

The original run of Aria Pro II Super Basses were made in the 1970s and 1980s, and were the top of the line basses coming out of the Matsumoku factory in Japan. They were kind of a poor man’s Alembic, with multi-laminate neck-through construction and trick electronics. Aria found some high profile endorsers, including Jack Bruce and John Taylor, which gave them instant credibility.

At the time, all of the Super Basses had single pickups except for the SB-900, which had two MB-II double coil (humbucking) pickups. These were wired through volume and tone controls, as well as a rotary 3-way pickup selector and two “dual sound” (coil tap) switches.

But, unlike the SB-1000, the SB-900 did not get active electronics, so it is really more like a two pickup SB-700 pr an SB Elite II.

Aside from the electronics, the SB-900 received all the same good stuff as the other Super Basses. This includes a rosewood fretboard, a brass nut, a brass high-mass bridge, Gotoh tuners, and a nicely-figured body finished in natural, black or trans red.

I found the one you see here at a music shop in New York City about 10 years ago. According to the serial number it is from 1980, and it bears the original “The Aria Pro II” moniker and the early batwing-shaped headstock tip so this is an early example.

The overall condition was very good, with the usual dings and scratches as well as a relocated strap pin, but the electronics were unmolested and the original frets were in fabulous shape. The weight was not too bad for this one, coming in at around 10 ½ pounds. I have seen some Super Basses that weigh as much as 12 pounds. Ouch. It even came with the original hardshell case.

This all sounds good until you factor in that it had a weak tone with no mids, which made it too much like an SB-700, and I really prefer the SB-1000 tone. If I could have found an 18-volt SB-1000 or a MusicMan Bongo pre-amplifier to put in this thing it would have made a formidable instrument, but as it was, it was uninspired.

Fortunately, it was rare (which made it collectible), so despite its mediocre sound I did not have any trouble selling it. This SB-900 eventually went to an Aria bass collector (there are such people), which was probably the best result I could hope for.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Flying With your Bass

Buenos dias, amigos!

I have travelled a lot with my basses over the years, and I have to say that it is not getting any easier. In their efforts to maximize profits and use every cubic inch of cabin room, the airlines have pretty much forced us into paying a ton of money or putting our basses at risk.

In the good old days if you carried your bass onboard there would be ample closet space to store it safely. But, these closets are smaller now and are often times filled up by the first class and elite status flyers that board the plane before you. Many of the overhead bins are not big enough to store a regular scale bass, and again they will probably be full before you board. That means you will be checking your bass at the gate in a soft case and putting it at the mercy of the baggage handlers. Boo.

Of course there are small bass options that will fit in overhead bins, such as the old Steinberger L series or the new Status composite basses, but you will have to sell your children to pick one of those up these days.

Another option is checking your bass in its hard case, which will certainly result in having the case broken or badly scratched. I have never had one come through baggage claim without serious damage, and they always make you sign a waiver when you check it. And don’t forget that the airlines will charge you for this service as free checked bags are a thing of the past.

The safest choice is to use a custom-made flight case such as the ones from Anvil or Jan-Al. I have flown with these cases many times with no damage to the bass or the case. Be prepared to spend between $300 to $400 for a new flight case, or a bit less for a used one from Craigslist. Also, these cases are very heavy, so you will probably end up with a heavy bag charge of $125. Each way.

So, there are not really no good choices. My best advice is to not travel with you bass, and borrow one from a local friend when you travel. But, if you must, choose a bass that is sturdy and not terribly special, and carry it on in a nice padded gig bag. Precision basses fit the bill nicely.

By the way, I have pretty much given up on flying with my basses, and now carry a ukulele with me for my own entertainment.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Inventory Update: Second Quarter of 2012


I am sure that this is no surprise, but my collection is quite a bit different than it was on New Year’s Day. Here is what is around today:

1. 1977 Aria Pro II Precise Bass. This Precision Bass copy is in the shop for some fret work.

2. 1980 Aria Pro II SB-1000. The Jack Bruce/John Taylor model.

3. 1982 Fender JV Precision Bass. This early Japanese Fender bass outshines its contemporary US-made brothers.

4. 1983 ESP P-J Bass. Serial number 0008, formerly owned by Masayoshi Yamashita of the Japanese metal band Loudness.

5. 1983 Tokai Love Rock LS-50. Decent pickups and wiring really woke this guitar up.

6. 1986 ESP PPJ-160. Also formerly owned by Masayoshi Yamashita of the Japanese metal band loudness.

7.1980s ESP 400 Series Jazz Bass with EMG pickups. This one is one the chopping block. Drop me a line if you are interested. It is a peach!

8. 1980s ESP Custom P-J bass. Formerly owned by Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith.

9. 1980s ESP J-Four. May be on its way out, but it is a beautiful bass.

10. 1992 Fender Precision Plus. This boner bass is for sale; let me know if you are interested.

11.Kala solid mahogany soprano ukulele. A great travelling companion and a fond souvenir of Hawaii.

12. Kala solid mahogany tenor ukulele. Ditto.

13. Simon & Patrick Songsmith dreadnought. A consistently popular post for this blog.

14. Simon & Patrick Woodland 12-string acoustic. Also up for sale…

15. Orpheus Valley Guitars Rosa Morena. A sweet Bulgarian Spanish guitar.

16. Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray Classic. Really the only bass I need.

17. Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 with two 12-inch Shuttle cabinets. This one is still hanging in there!

18. Ampeg SVT-CL and SVT-810. Thunder of the gods.

19. Cave Passive Pedals. These are the still the only products on my pedalboard besides my trusty Boss tuner.

20. Fender Blues Junior III amplifier. The best small tube combo for the money.

Thankfully I only do this once a quarter…