A guitar building project update

Way back in 1994 or 1995, I purchased a Gibson guitar in Kansas City. I’m a little fuzzy on the exact year. That is something I can look up. I guess the pattern is YDDDYRRR. My serial number is 93055698. Based on that it is for sure a 1995 and not a 1994 built guitar. Apparently it was stamped on the 305th day of the year or November 1, 1995. I always wanted it to be a different, more custom shop guitar. At the time, I did not really know any better. However, now that I am armed with a bunch of life experiences I have a better idea of how I want the guitar to be configured. To that end, my Les Paul studio guitar project has been completed this summer. 

Pickups were swapped out from the stock Gibson variety to a set of Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckers. Those pickups have 4 wires and support more advanced configurations. To utilize that more advanced wiring a Free-Way “Pickup Switch” with a 6 way control was added. That gives me a couple of out of phase options for the pickups. The rest of the guitar updates were more or less just aesthetic choices including a new black TUSQ XL nut, a black nickel Graph Tech PS-8863-BN ResoMax NV2 6mm Tune-o-matic bridge with string saver saddles, and a black chrome Gibson accessories stop bar tailpiece with studs and inserts. I had previously changed out the tuners to upgrade them to a set of black Grover ones. Between the string setup changes and the new pickups it sounds like a totally different guitar.

My 1995 Gibson Les Paul serial number

A bit of birthday writing nonsense

I’m all set to sit down and write today. Today started out a few minutes early. My alarm was set to go off a few minutes earlier. That was a part of my big plan to sit down and do some typing this morning. Anything that could be done to avoid getting to the business of writing was pretty much done. I’m talking about a solid 30 minutes of just nonsense. Even just now I took the time to edit that last block of text down to fit into a single Tweet size format. Avoiding the process of getting into a bit of writing seems to be the order of the day. 

Hitting the return key to get to a new paragraph does not seem to have helped out toward a better set of pathing. Maybe I need to begin to consider the very nature of things. Digging deeply into the safety of philosophy might be the way to unlock this bit of writing. At this point, even a bit of editing occurred for the above prose. Yeah, I stopped typing and went back to read this partial page of nonsense. That pretty much means the first block of text has been edited twice already which is beyond what is required for sure. Maybe it is time to try to move on to a new paragraph and see if things move in a positive direction in terms of writing. 

Yesterday a 24 pack of Rabea Massaad Jim Dunlop branded guitar picks showed up at the house. Oddly enough FedEx noted that this package was delivered on Friday, but it must have gone out as a delivery to one of the neighbors. Thankfully it showed up yesterday. I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever need 24 total guitar picks. A lot of them will have to be misplaced to need to buy more at this point. I did not need to buy a variety pack to see what guitar pick would be the best for my everyday playing experiences. I have been pretty happy with the previously mentioned guitar picks. The only real wear or damage I have done to the ones I’m using each day is to slowly make the logo disappear. 

I’m still enjoying a Nespresso Vertuo coffee pod each morning. That is part of an effort to mix it up from my normal routine of two shots of espresso. Sometimes it is better to just accept the routine and really work toward making the most of it compared to trying to mix things up. When it comes to writing and shifting from waking up to getting things done in the morning that is something that is probably wholesale true. The desired outcome is to sit down with reasonably good posture and engage in the act of typing on my mechanical keyboard to produce prose. That is the aim of the activity. It is the desired result of the writing process.

Working on that writing focus

Yesterday I spent some time looking at the Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent guitar. How exactly that ended up happening is a bit of a mystery, but a bit of online window shopping did occur. It looks like a pretty fun guitar. You all might know that guitar buying season happens during the end of quarter one of the year and is strictly reserved that window. I’m also trying really hard to only buy one guitar a year given that the size of my guitar collection only seems to grow. 

During the course of my day off yesterday I spent some time pondering trajectory statements and exactly what that could entail. The general premise was to write a statement that could be read at the start of the day every day to frame up where things need to go. For the most part I tend to sit down in front of the computer and allow my mind to wander wherever my thoughts might take me in a type of string of conconsiness type of writing effort. The only continuity to this is that the writer is always the same, but the direction could go anywhere at any time. This would be a wholesale departure from that approach and a move to really focus on something every day at the very start of the day. It is something that I might consider picking up for a week or so to see what happens. 

My writing schedule for the most part involves writing the weekly Substack post for The Lindahl Letter every Saturday morning. Revisions and edits are made during my Sunday morning writing session. That means that my weekend morning writing sessions are pretty much devoted to that effort and whatever else gets going at that time. Working on that content is planned out pretty far in advance based on weekly topics. Getting into the flow of doing that work does not require any type of trajectory statement as that work is well planned and understood. It simply has to be done and requires time and focus to complete. Maybe it is the weekday focus in the morning where I really let my mind wander that should become a more targeted writing enterprise.

A bit of audio work

For some reason over the last couple of weeks I have not really wanted to write on a daily basis. My daily writing routine has been disrupted. I had a pretty good writing streak going and then it fell apart. Right now I’m listening to the Colorado Avalanche hockey game on the radio. Earlier today I was struggling with my Pro Tools First recording setup. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (Gen 3) runs via USB Type-C and pretty much just has to be plugged into the computer. That part of the setup seems to be working fine. Every once in a while the input level needs to be adjusted a little bit up or down, but for the most part it requires very little interaction to work. Exporting audio from Pro Tools First seems to work, but the file takes up storage space and has no volume to it at all. It is super frustrating to try to figure out. I’m probably going to un-install the software entirely and try to set it up again. 

An upgraded tremolo block

Overall I have been very pleased with the new upgraded brass tremolo block on my guitar. Adding such a heavy block of brass to the tremolo block where the strings attached to the guitar made a huge difference in sustain. A solid chord or a single note will ring for about 30 seconds which is fairly amazing considering all that was added was a block of brass. Maybe playing guitar is my method of daily meditation these days. With the amplifier or just freshly plucked off the rack without amplification I’ll play for a few minutes and then go back to whatever I was doing. It has gotten to the point where I don’t really think about what I’m playing on the guitar. Playing just sort of happens without a ton of effort. That is probably the key to why the whole process resembles a little bit of meditation. Something that has drawn my attention is a degree of contemplation about the change in tone moving from a pot metal block to a pure brass block. The change in sustain and tone overall is evident. You can feel the change in the vibration being passed along to the body to the guitar. You could say the tone is tangible based on feeling the vibration of the entire guitar.   

Thinking about a new speaker cabinet

At the moment I’m thinking about setting up a new guitar speaker rig. The speaker cabinet will be the Orange PPC212 vertical 2×12. It is probably my favorite cabinet at the moment and I’m pretty sure that is what I’m going to buy to replace my Marshall MG15HCFX mini stack speaker setup. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end up pairing that with the newly released Orange Terror Stamp 20W value hybrid guitar amp pedal. My guitar pedals should run into the 20W Orange Terror Stamp with no problems and it should be pretty easy to use or store away. That setup should allow me to get the Victory amplification Kraken preamp pedal… which should be an answer addition to my ability to create soundscapes.