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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:55 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 pm
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Location: UK
Well, just got back from a terrific gig. Set my amp up as usual, about 10' behind me. I use an Amp Standback to angle the amp at my head, rather than the back of my legs. With the beam blocker in, I had terrific sound dispersion on stage and it could be clearly heard everywhere. On top of that, the amp sounded *AMAZING*. I've never been completely convinced that the LoneStar Special was the one for me, no concerns about that now. For info, I have already changed the valves out to Harma Cryo Valves and love the sound of those.

Also gave me my first opportunity to use my recently upgraded Les Paul at proper volume. I have had the pickups (BurstBucker Pros) replaced with a matched set of BareKnuckle Mules. I also took the opportunity to swap out the pots for CTS 500k ones and also add Luxe Repro Bumblebee caps.

I could not get over my sound tonight. That guitar twinned with that amp was heaven. I did take my pedalboard with me tonight, but was very brave and left my OD pedals at home! I wanted to force myself to get used to using the guitar volume to switch between nicely breaking up and clean, rather than just kick a pedal in, and also to bathe in the glory of Channel 2. I've always struggled to get a good sound out of the second channel. I know there are some mods being put forward that have been met with great success, but I really loved the sound of it tonight. I had a friend go through the amp settings with me and how they all interact. He used to sell Boogie gear and is extremely knowledgeable as to how to get the best out of them. Couple of hours with him and I'm loving the sound and advice that he's given me. I would never have guessed to set the controls where they are - my bass is practically off!

Anyway, thought I would just share the joy of a wonderful night's gigging!

Simon

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Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special
Gibson Les Paul 2002 Standard
Fender 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
Fender '52 American Vintage Re-Issue Telecaster
Fender Deluxe Vintage Player ‘62 Stratocaster
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:42 pm 
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Want to get rid of your Burst Bucker Pro's?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:07 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 pm
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Location: UK
Nomad wrote:
Want to get rid of your Burst Bucker Pro's?


Thanks for the offer, but not at the moment. I'm a real hoarder and never know when I'm going to need something. All the stuff I've ended up selling, I've usually wanted again within a couple of weeks of letting it go....

Simon

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Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special
Gibson Les Paul 2002 Standard
Fender 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
Fender '52 American Vintage Re-Issue Telecaster
Fender Deluxe Vintage Player ‘62 Stratocaster
PRS 513


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:32 am 
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fox5150 wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Want to get rid of your Burst Bucker Pro's?


Thanks for the offer, but not at the moment. I'm a real hoarder and never know when I'm going to need something. All the stuff I've ended up selling, I've usually wanted again within a couple of weeks of letting it go....

Simon


10-4 If you should change your mind Let me know. I love those PUPS.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:55 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 pm
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Location: UK
Image

If anyone's interested, this is how I had it set last night.

Simon

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Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special
Gibson Les Paul 2002 Standard
Fender 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
Fender '52 American Vintage Re-Issue Telecaster
Fender Deluxe Vintage Player ‘62 Stratocaster
PRS 513


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:52 pm 
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Single Recto
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:20 pm
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Location: CA, Mojave desert
Yeah, thats the way u set em(controls). Nice looking pig! I built my own Beam blockers, The larger they are, the better. To a point that is. It's a real hassel gettin them in a lonestar. cuz I mounted mine in the front baffle instead of the rear.

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Plan-x
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:00 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 pm
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Location: UK
plan-x wrote:
Yeah, thats the way u set em(controls). Nice looking pig! I built my own Beam blockers, The larger they are, the better. To a point that is. It's a real hassel gettin them in a lonestar. cuz I mounted mine in the front baffle instead of the rear.



I've got the 4" Weber Beam Blocker in there. It's doing its job as I no longer have the horrid ice-pick beam taking my head off!

The install in the LSS couldn't have been easier. Two back panels off, unplug speaker, speaker out, beam blocker in, speaker in, plug speaker back in, panels back in. Easy!

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Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special
Gibson Les Paul 2002 Standard
Fender 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
Fender '52 American Vintage Re-Issue Telecaster
Fender Deluxe Vintage Player ‘62 Stratocaster
PRS 513


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:08 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:51 am
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Location: Portland, Or
I've never heard of the beam blocker until just now... I like the idea, is this a popular installation?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:12 pm 
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Single Recto
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Location: CA, Mojave desert
pmtrub wrote:
I've never heard of the beam blocker until just now... I like the idea, is this a popular installation?

Eh? There are some guys who can't stand em. But if the directional sound of guitar amps bother you, then you'll love em.

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Lonestar Classic (LSC) 2x12
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Plan-x
https://myspace.com/wichmanbrewster/music/songs


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 pm
Posts: 103
Location: UK
pmtrub wrote:
I've never heard of the beam blocker until just now... I like the idea, is this a popular installation?


I'd had trouble hearing myself in the mix, without turning up to silly levels, and had a scoot round on a variety of forums and the Standback amp stand was recommended. It leaves your amp on the floor but allows it to be tilted back so that the amp is directed at your head instead of the back of your knees. Exactly what I was after. Took it to practice and, true to form, could hear myself, but I found it really harsh. Again scooting round on the forums I came across Weber Beam Blockers. There seems to be a split of opinion on 2 things - firstly, whether they make any difference. Now I think this is down to the characteristics of the speaker. I found that with the Beam Blocker fitted I no longer have the harsh, "ice-picky" beam that I found quite uncomfortable. Secondly, whether to get the Weber Beam Blocker or make your own from a variety of different materials. This was simple to me, I'm too lazy to muck about making one when the Weber comes pre-made. Lots of people take pleasure in making things, but as I said, I'm lazy!

Anyway, that's a quick description of how I ended up with the Beam Blockers. For me, it was a worthwhile investment, but as always, YMMV.

Simon

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Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special
Gibson Les Paul 2002 Standard
Fender 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
Fender '52 American Vintage Re-Issue Telecaster
Fender Deluxe Vintage Player ‘62 Stratocaster
PRS 513


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:22 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:04 am
Posts: 83
cool! Thanks for sharing the settings- is the drive on or off?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 pm
Posts: 103
Location: UK
jrkooshman wrote:
cool! Thanks for sharing the settings- is the drive on or off?


Just in case the mini-switch settings haven't come through:

Drive = ON
Normal/Thick/Thicker = Normal
Channel 1 = 30W
Channel 2 = 30W
Loop In (FX Loop is engaged)

I also had the following effects:

Keeley Crybaby -> Boss TU2-> Keeley Katana -> Keeley Compressor -> Line6 MM-4 ->Amp. Line 6 DL-4 in the Loop

I used the Katana to slightly boost channel 1 when I wanted a nice just about to break-up sound. I also used it to goose channel 2 when soloing, it adds just the right amount of extra saturation, rather than gain. The other effects only came into play when necessary, most of the night it was just the amp.

Hope this helps,

Simon

_________________
Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special
Gibson Les Paul 2002 Standard
Fender 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
Fender '52 American Vintage Re-Issue Telecaster
Fender Deluxe Vintage Player ‘62 Stratocaster
PRS 513


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:11 am
Posts: 144
Location: Pacific Northwest
fox5150 wrote:
I have had the pickups (BurstBucker Pros) replaced with a matched set of BareKnuckle Mules. I also took the opportunity to swap out the pots for CTS 500k ones and also add Luxe Repro Bumblebee caps. Simon


Hi Simon!

I have considered doing the same or similar pickup change on my LP. How would you compare the Mules to the Burstbucker Pros?

And if you have time, could you possibly post a picture that shows how the Bumblebees were installed and where they were placed?

Thanks, Simon,
Bill
Mesas and more


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 pm
Posts: 103
Location: UK
Bill11 wrote:
fox5150 wrote:
I have had the pickups (BurstBucker Pros) replaced with a matched set of BareKnuckle Mules. I also took the opportunity to swap out the pots for CTS 500k ones and also add Luxe Repro Bumblebee caps. Simon


Hi Simon!

I have considered doing the same or similar pickup change on my LP. How would you compare the Mules to the Burstbucker Pros?

And if you have time, could you possibly post a picture that shows how the Bumblebees were installed and where they were placed?

Thanks, Simon,
Bill
Mesas and more



Image

Here's the Bumblebees installed! They've been wired using the vintage method, rather than the modern method. There are differing views on the best way. For me, I had carried out lots of research and decided to try it the vintage way and as I was going for the vintage vibe, I thought why not. This may not be for everybody but it suits me. I can't take any credit for any of the installation as I had my luthier do it - I don't trust myself with a soldering iron anywhere near my instruments. I haven't done it since secondary (high) school and don't intend to re-learn on my beloved guitars!

As for the Burstbucker Pros, over the last few months I had found the bridge pickup to be really lacking something, not sure what, but it wasn't setting me on fire. I love the sound of humbuckers - that's the sound in my head when I'm after guitars - but this one just wasn't doing it for me. I found it very harsh and not particularly smooth. Now the neck pickup, that's something completely different. I loved that pickup, my complaint with it was that once I'd got the amp set for the bridge pickup, when switching to the neck pickup, there was way too much bottom end and it got muddy very quickly. EQ the amp just for the neck pickup and I was in heaven. As I mostly play live, this isn't really an option. So after plenty of research on the subject, I'd decided on BareKnuckle. Tim Mills (MD Bareknuckle Pickups) had wound a custom pickup for a friend of mine's SG and he raved about the pickup and the service so it was a natural choice to select BKP. Everyone recommended getting in contact with Tim and discussing what I didn't like about the current set of pups, what I was looking for in the new set and the type of music that I like to play. I didn't know what I was looking for, just that I wasn't too keen on the bridge BB Pro and the issue about switching between the pups. After a few emails over the course of a week we decided that the mules should fit the bill. Tim also recommended that I upgrade the pots to CTS 500k. Ordered the lot, received them the next day. Took them to my luthier to install.

I've had the guitar back about 3 weeks and have played it lots at home and at 1 gig. There are several things that I have noticed. The pups are now wonderfully articulate, the bridge pickup has got plenty of grunt, but is much more smooth and has no harshness to the sound. The big thing for me is that I can now switch between pickups and not have to touch the amp, which is a vast improvement.

The only slight downside is that when I roll the volume back below 8, I get a drop in treble, on both pups. I've gone back to Tim about this and this is a normal side-effect of the upgrades. Some people love it, others can't stand it. I haven't made my mind up yet as I'm still getting used to the new configuration. Tim suggested that if I wanted to preserve the treble, to upgrade to 1000K pots, but that this can cause it to sound overbright when on 10. My luthier suggested the treble bleed mod. I haven't made a decision about which way to go as I still don't know whether I like the effect or not.

Anyway, that's my honest opinion of the upgrades. It's difficult to assess the different upgrades individually as I did the lot at once. My recommendation would be that if you're running everything stock, to just change out the pots and caps first. Lots of people have commented on this making a significant change to the guitar. I'm intrigued to know what difference this would have made to the stock BB Pros as lots of people rave about these pickups. There are various places where you can get the components from. RS Guitarworks seem to be very popular. My choice would be to go to Donovan Whittemore who runs Luxe. The service and advice I received from him has been amazing and I would heartily recommend him to anyone who asks. He pointed me at his eBay shop, which can be found at http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Luxe-Guitars

Hope this helps,

Simon

_________________
Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special
Gibson Les Paul 2002 Standard
Fender 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
Fender '52 American Vintage Re-Issue Telecaster
Fender Deluxe Vintage Player ‘62 Stratocaster
PRS 513


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:11 am
Posts: 144
Location: Pacific Northwest
Hi Simon!

Thank you for the detailed response and the picture. These will help!

With this help you have provided I will plan to make these changes in the coming months and will reply with the results.

Thanks, again, Simon.

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Bill
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