David Lamkins picked up his first guitar a long time ago. As best he can recall the year was 1967: the year of the Summer of Love. Four decades later David has conjured up an amalgam of folk, rock and jazz solo guitar music for the occasional intimate Portland audience.
location: Portland, OR USA

Facets: Vibro-King, Boss, attenuators, distortion, effects, @musings info

Vibro-King distortion

This is kind of interesting... I bought a 2.7 ohm Hot Plate for the VK. It lets me crank the amp into overdrive at volumes that are sane for my music room. (I may not get a chance to try this on stage for a while, but that's another story...)

Lately I've been playing clean more often than not. But I still wanted to be able to kick in some extra distortion for hard-rock rhythm and leads, because the VK can't quite get there by itself. If I'm willing to open up the amp without a Hot Plate, I can get close enough - the speakers break up nicely and all that moving air hits the guitar just so. Of course, that's well into earplug territory.

So I bought a Boss DS-1. It sounded OK at the store with a Les Paul and a Super Reverb, so I figured "why not?"... It was used and inexpensive. When I got it home I left everything the way it already was on the VK - volume up to 4 and Hot Plate dialed down to where the room volume was around 95 to 100 dB. And it sounded great!

But here's the interesting part... I got to wondering why people felt the need for mods on the DS-1. I decided to turn down the amp, turn off the Hot Plate and see whether that made a difference in the sound. Boy, did it ever! Where the DS-1 was smooth and fluid with the amp on 4, it was edgy, harsh and brittle at the same room volume with the amp dialed down to 2 - that's the point where the VK is totally clean with humbuckers.

April 10 2004 06:30:01 GMT