Alan to Kevin, 9/24/97

From: Alan
To: Kevin
Date: 9/24/97
Subject: RE: Instead of around the world, couldn't we just go through

Putting our correspondence on the web site of course assumes that anyone ever finds the web site and is interested in reading our correspondence, two statistically independent events that are each alone as unlikely as an abandoned rubber tire in the street at the base of the Empire State Building is to get struck by lightning. Since I started really keeping track of the number of hits on the Gig Page, it is a whopping 159. And that includes all the times I go to it to test a newly added page or edit !! I just love having my web page information so accessible to an world wide audience.

Let me know what you think of that...

As for the amps. I did try your Twin early on, but for some reason which I right now can't remember (I haven't retried it since), I wasn't happy with the sound. I think the amp has to be turned up fairly high before its "real" sound comes through. Also, I have gotten used to playing through my little compressor stomp-pedal. I really like what the compression does to the steel sound. Anyway, I tried it with the compressor and it distorts. My amp did the same until I ran it through the effects patch between the pre and post amp. The Twin doesn't have a patch and so the pedal distorts the signal before it enters the amp. Some guy told me that tube amps have a sort of natural compression (at higher volumes) but I'm not sure I believe that.

Anyway, since everyone in the world who has a Nashville 400 hates the sound of it, Peavey came up with a $20 kit that has capacitors, ICs and resistors along with a schematic and you just solder this here and that there and poof, it sounds good. Those who have tried it and mentioned it on the "Pedal Steel Guitar Forum" like it and I figure I can probably do the work myself. (I think the reverb on my amp is a bit flakey too, but that will have to be done by someone who knows about these things. I just have no idea who in Ann Arbor does electronic work on amps that I can trust).

After the sound modification, there is the issue of the pickup on the steel. The "SuperSustain II" that came on the MSA guitars in the late 70s and early 80s is known to be a crummy pickup to put it mildly. So, there is a guy who everybody raves about. George L makes pickups for steels and the 12-string version of one of his pickups is the guy for me. It is probably about $110 and probably worth it. I think that should do it for me.

There is a third option, which other people rave about. Some other guy in Missouri I think does _real_ sound mods for the Nashville 400. He used to work for Peavey and knows the insides of the amps, er ... inside out. For $150 he really gets in there and when he's done the sound is no longer sharp and harsh but warmer with more string separation and so on. I think I will hold off on that option.


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