My current setup

My cab came in today, and it’s really big. I mean – I knew the dimensions, but I never really thought about how those numbers would translate in terms of sheer size. I took some pictures of my amp/cab, as well as my current pedalboard setup.

I haven’t had a chance to try the new cab yet, but I should get a chance to give it a little workout this weekend.

The board is pretty basic, but it handles pretty much everything that I need. I had another overdrive and a tremolo on there for a while, but they didn’t really fit with what I do. So the chain is wah/tuner/distortion/boost/delay. Nothing exciting, but it sounds pretty good to me.

Jack’s Blog

Last week, we bought a new iMac for my wife. She’s a photographer and she has been using an old 17″ iMac G5 for her editing. It has been painfully slow over the last few months, so we decided that it was time for an upgrade. We got the new 24″ iMac and it is unbelievable. The screen is huge and it looks unreal. We decided to give our 6 year old son Jack the 17″. He is very excited about having his own Mac.

We bought a new desk to go along with the corner unit that we currently have. the 24″ iMac is in the corner desk, the 17″ iMac got moved onto the right side of the new desk and my MacBook goes on the left. It’s starting to look like the Apple store in the office now.

My wife and I have been blogging for a few years now, and now that Jack has his own computer, he has decided that it’s time to get a blog of his own. It’s got some pretty funny stuff on it. He dictates what he wants to write and we type it verbatim. He also has a couple of polls on there. He’s somewhat obsessed with Star Wars (and the new Wii game The Force Unleashed) so he decided to name his blog The Jack Unleashed. He’s a funny kid.


I bought a cabinet today. It’s an Avatar vintage 2×12″ like I was looking for. It comes loaded with two Celestion G12H30 70th anniversary speakers. I don’t really need the speakers, so I should be able to turn around and sell them for ~$80 each. I only paid $275 for the whole thing (including shipping) so I think I got a pretty good deal, especially after I unload the old speakers. It shipped today from California, so I may get it by the end of the week. We’ll see…

The only downside is that it’s a closed-back cab. I wanted an open-back, but this one had such a good price on it that I didn’t want to pass it up. I think that Avatar sells replacement back covers for their cabs, so I’ll probably just pick one up from them.

I’ll probably go a little nuts with recording clips and stuff when it comes in, so be prepared for that.

Daraja Children’s Choir

This weekend, our church hosted the Daraja Children’s Choir. They were amazing. Many of the children in this group are orphans, having lost their parents to disease or abandonment. In spite of their situation, they were some of the happiest, smiling-est kids I have ever seen. It was humbling just to be in the same room with them.

This morning, we had the privilege of sharing the stage with them. We played an old Newsboys song “He Reigns” along with them and it was pretty amazing. I had goosebumps pretty much the whole time. Afterwards, they sang a couple of songs – one in Swahili and then they sang “Everlasting God.” It was pretty awe-inspiring and it took a concerted effort to keep my eyes dry.

This evening, they did a concert for us. Our building was packed – I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many people in that room. It was a good night.

More Speaker and Cab talk

I have made my speaker decision. I found a Weber Blue Dog (ceramic) for $50 on The Gear Page. The Blue Dog is Ted Weber’s take on the classic Celestion Blue – lots of chime with a big low end. I decided to go with a ceramic magnet since alnico magnets (supposedly) don’t really shine with low-wattage amps. I’m going to put the Blue Dog in a cabinet with a Greenback. It should sound really nice.

I need to decide on a cab. I’m pretty sure that it’ll be one of the Avatar Vintage 2×12 models (the one that looks like a Marshall Bluesbreaker). Any thoughts? I would take that Avatar logo off – it’s just unsightly.

Stulce Head for sale (not mine)

I came across this posting over in the classified section at a forum that I visit, and it’s a pretty great deal if anyone is interested.

The guy is selling his Stulce SA-10H head along with a Rock Hard road case for $700. I paid $900 for mine just a few months ago and it didn’t come with a road case. I also had to wait like 6 weeks for Jason and Kendall to build the thing. I wish that he was selling when I was buying.

I don’t know this guy and I don’t have any affiliation with him, so I’m not getting anything out of this. I just wanted to pass along some info on a great amp at a pretty ridiculous price.


For some reason, I had pretty much forgotten about Eminence speakers. I know that Maury is a fan (he has a couple of 10 inchers in his Goodsell cab). Does anyone have any input? They’re pretty well-liked over on The Gear Page.

I’m currently looking at a Celestion Greenback/Red Fang combo. The Red Fang is an Alnico speaker based on the Celestion Blue, a popular choice for Vox-style amps. The Greenback should help to balance out the bell-like highs of the Red Fang.

Speaker Cabinets

I have been severely neglecting this blog lately. Sorry about that – things have been kinda busy lately.

Anyway, I have been looking at speaker cabinets lately. I have an Avatar 1×12″ that I use at church. It’s one of the smaller cube (traditional) models that they have. I generally leave it at church because it’s too much of a hassle to bring it home every week. Unfortunately, this means that I can’t play my amp at home. I think I’m going to pick up a new speaker cabinet to use at home.

I’m probably going to get another cab from Avatar, but I don’t want to get the same G112 cube that I already have. For one thing, the cabinet itself is a little too small and boxy sounding. I either want a 2×12″ or an oversized 1×12″.

As far as speakers, I’m kind of in the dark. I’ve never experimented with speakers all that much, even though I know that they’re a huge part of the overall tone. I’m currently using a Hellatone 30 from Avatar, which is basically a broken-in Celestion G12H30. I’d like to try a Weber Blue Dog or maybe a Blue/Greenback combo in a 2×12″. I’m looking for a Vox-like sound and I know that the Blue-style speaker would take me in that direction, but I don’t want it to be too trebly.

What are you guys using? Any tips or suggestions? I’m on a budget, so price is a factor.

I love my amp

Today’s service was a lot of fun, and I was having a great time with my amp. My Stulce just kills. I’ve been playing with the gain settings, and the setting that I used today is pretty much golden. I had the first gain at 12:00 and the second at 2:30ish, iirc. I was getting this great chimy (I know that people totally overuse this term, but if the shoe fits…) clean tone with a fair amount of grit – really nice stuff. I used my boost quite a bit to fatten things up and the io came in quite handy for the “guitar hero” moments.

Anyway, it was a good tone day and I just had to share.