Growing Up

Not really in the mood to talk (like you’ll believe that…don’t worry, there’ll still be some U2 videos at the end); in deep mourning over here. Pretty much all my gear is dead. I could blame it on getting caught in a rainstorm going up to the conference this last week; could blame it on those stupid boutique builders who do shoddy work and then sell it for a lot of money; could blame it on bad luck. However, none of those would be entirely true. (Especially the boutique builders one…I love all you guys! As long as you keep putting those blue led’s in the pedals, I’ll keep buying ‘em! ;) ) The truth is that I’ve been trying for too long to have my cake and eat it, too. No money invested in maintenance or protection, just tone, tone, tone. Which is wonderful…when the gear works. I used to do a lot of maintenance and such…but after a couple years of nothing breaking, I think I’ve gotten lazy. It’s a very awkward thing to look at your gear and go, ‘You know, if this worked, it would sound amazing!’ So, one amp with an uncontrollable ground hum, one splintered headstock, another amp just completely shot, an acoustic with a pickup problem, three dead pedals, and possibly a humming power supply later, it’s time. Especially since I was working this week with some of the most talented people I have ever worked with (whose credentials frighten me just a little bit…rare that you work with a worship leader who can show you up on solo’s and a keyboardist who thinks your pedalboard is small because he’s recorded Tim Pierce), and every other piece of gear I turned on it seemed wouldn’t work. You just can’t buy life lessons like that, folks. lol

To be fair to my gear (of course), it’s been with me all over California this summer (San Francisco, San Jose, the sequoias, etc.); and it’s probably a tribute to it that it’s held up as long as it has. However, as more and more of these opportunities come up, and I get churches inexplicably not calling me back after offering to fly me out for a workshop and then me telling them that of course I’ll do it for free as long as they purchase me the 18 ATA flight cases (come on, that’s reasonable, right? hehehe ;) ), it’s time to grow up.

Hopefully, some of you can benefit from said growing up. These are first come, first serve via EMAIL. My email address is at the link in the topbar, or the little email envelope icon in the sidebar. These will be here first, Gear Page tomorrow. Shipping and Paypal is included in all the prices, as I hate math ruining the gear-buying experience. :D I’ll try to give some decent prices on these, but at the same time, my Prairiewood is calling woefully out to me and needs a new neck; and I just can’t say no to her.

  • EH POG (original version…because ‘original’ sounds way better than ‘older’)…SOLD…thanks, Adam!
  • Subdecay Quasar Phaser…$125
  • Boss RV3 reverb…$110…Spoken for
  • ZVex Ooh Wah…SOLD…Thanks, Christian!
  • Damage Control Timeline with Rocktron Midi Mate…$600
  • Paul Cochrane Tim…$250 (sorry to the price-gouging police, but that’s what I paid for it)…Spoken For
  • Diamond Memory Lane (original version again, hehe)…SOLD…Thanks, Adam!
  • Dr. Scientist Tremolessence (original version again…wow, I’ve been happy with my gear for a while)…$150…Spoken for
  • RAWoods solid pine (dovetail finger-jointed) 1×12 cabinet with Weber alnico 12A150B…$350 (beautiful finish…couple scratches)

So, there ya go. Offers via email. Offer lower, and I’ll consider it; offer higher, and get a group hug from me and the Matchless. (Which may go too, but she needs to be fixed first. Unfortunately, a working Fender in a road case sounds better than a dying Matchless. All things being equal, though…uh…Matchless. ;) hehe Sorry, can’t change who I am!)

And for what it’s worth, the conference was incredibly awesome, and some of the most fun I’ve had. Would’ve been more fun with gear that worked, but now we’ve got fun and life lessons! What could be better? ;)

Oh, and I need to practice more. Very, very, very, more.

And with selling all this gear, remember all those times I’ve said that music is melody? That had really better be true. hehe :D

Splendid.
Karl.

P.S. Oh, and because I promised:

Yep…you write a song like that, and you don’t need gear. Well, maybe a delay and a good amp. ;)

P.S.S. And as much as I joke about rain and ‘stupid builders’, this post is entirely about me. I’m kind of a flighty, happy-go-lucky person, and I’ve been playing with fire without protection for my gear for about 7 years now. haha It finally caught up to me. So, learn from my mistakes:

1) That whole roadcase thing? Ya. Do that.
2) That whole loosening your strings when changing altitudes and temperatures? Yep, that one’s true.
3) Always have a Squire and a Valve Jr. in your car anywhere you go. Like, anywhere. ;)
4) Practice so much.

57 thoughts on “Growing Up

  1. Ouch. Well, good thing you were starting a minimalism kick as this happened. I’m in the process of selling gear as well and if I come across any extra money, I’ll try to buy something off of you. And hey, if Fender worked for hundreds of bands for years, you can make it work for you.

  2. Dude. I cant begin to tell you how bummed I am for you… :/
    Im going to try and sell my Timmy and Empress VMSD so I can snag your Memory Lane and POG… you wouldnt happen to sell your Timeline minus the midimate would you?

    And if there is anything else I can do to help, let me know!

    Cheers
    Adam

  3. Thanks, bro! Really appreciate it. Um, I’d prefer to sell them as a set, but I guess I could do $500 for just the Timeline. I think that’s there going rate about now?

    Thanks again! Ah, gear…can’t live with it or without it…so, that song’s gonna get posted soon. hehehe

  4. haha If I ship ‘em in the same package it’ll save money. I can do $800 for both. Plus, the Timeline’s glowing tubes are upgraded to JJ’s…hehehe

    But honestly, don’t let me sway you. The Timeline will probably sell on Gear Page tomorrow, I just wanted to give first shot here.

  5. i understand the growing up and all … but you, Karl, selling your timeline?!?! what has happenned to this world! hehe

    and, yes, i believe that thing about melody is true ;)

  6. Hey Karl,

    All the way from Sydney but have to say your blog is an awesome resource for all those budding young guitarists stuck in this “gearterial world”.

    Things like this always happens for a reason hey? Or so I’d like to believe. And God is the God of new beginnings!

    Anyway, no gear offers from me (I just pulled the trigger on a Strymon Bluesky hehe) but looking forward to the next part of your tone journey.

    Shawn

  7. I would be down with buying the Timeline, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be ready for the big ol’ midi mate. Just out of curiosity, if you were to sell just the Timeline, how much would you charge? I never see them on GP. I just don’t know what they are going for.

  8. Wow. You KNOW it’s serious if Karl is selling a Timeline (I wish I could afford it…I’d LOVE to help you re-home that baby)! Really sorry to hear about the technical difficulties though brother. Look at it this way, you’ll have far less back pain in your later years.

  9. I hear taps playing in the back of my mind for the splintered headstock. I also can picture a native american dude with a tear running down his cheek like in the old commercials for … I can’t actually remember what those were for. Forest fire prevention? Oh well this one is for the broken gear. I am also pouring out some of my 40 (32 oz gatorade actually) in remembrance of yestergear.

    I know how it is though. I am having my hollowbody re-fretted next week and buying a decent case for it too. Long overdue. Hmm – re-fret and case or timeline? Who needs to hit the chords when you have more delay, right?

  10. Sorry to hear about that. Glade to hear you still had a good time.

    Maybe add an M9 to that Squier/Valve Junior rig? Actually… I think I could make that work. Wouldn’t be the worst rig I’ve ever played through that’s for sure. Especially if it was a “Classic Vibe” Squier.

  11. I’m hoping it all works out for you. I know you’ve got a trusted amp tech, but do you know a good luthier?
    If you would have sold your hartman, I would have bought it.

  12. Kevin–haha Well then, don’t look when I probably sell the second one next week. ;)

    Rhoy–I never thought I’d see the day. But…it sucks when you’ve said for 7 years, ‘I’d sell all my pedals in a heartbeat if it meant keeping a good guitar and a good amp!’ And then your amp dies and the headstock splinters on your guitar. It’s like, ‘Oh.’ haha Ah, well…I get to try out some new, albeit Guitar Center-style, gear. ;)

    Shawn–thanks for the kind words on the blog, and the encouragement! And actually, I’m kind of looking forward to this part of the gear journey as well. Post coming Monday on my frantic Guitar Center used runs yesterday, and the gear I ended up with. hehe I got back late Thursday night from the conference with now no guitar, no amp, and a considerably less amount of pedals, and I had to play last night, tonight, and all day tomorrow. lol Thank goodness Guitar Center still sells used stuff!! Fun journey indeed.

    Sal–that one’s yours! Texted ya last night. :)

    David–I could do just the Timeline for $500. That’s the rate I think I’ve seen on ebay lately. Let me know if that seems fair or not. I don’t want to be gouging, but I also can’t bear to look my Prairiewood in the eyes right now. hehe :)

    KennyG–haha Yep!! The board is already apart and probably never to see the light of day again. It’s Riglet Part III until I can get a Pedaltrain Pro or something.

    Adam–thanks, bro! Just emailed ya. They’re yours if you still want ‘em.

    Sam–now that is always awesome! So true. :) Yep, post coming Monday on the used stuff at Guitar Center I had to play while my stuff is down. Good times at GC!! hehe

    CT–the Prairiewood’s heart is moved by your sympathy. Thank you. Thank you.
    :)

    And I’m pushing for you to get a Timeline over a re-fret, but then again I think I’m biased. If everything I’m saying on this site is actually true (lol…nope!), then a re-fret is unfortunately more important. :)

    Keith–ya, I keep hearing good things about those Classic Vibe’s. Gonna try one out, methinks. :)

    Gtr1ab–she humbly accepts your sympathy, my friend. :D

    Don–you know, I cannot seem to find a good luthier around here. Granted I’m really picky too, but ya…it’s tough. I’m actually going to send the Prairiewood back to the builder in Minnesota and pay him to take care of it…especially something as integral as putting a new neck on it. Maybe ask him to make a few little modifications on it while he’s in there, too. ;)

  13. I’m looking forward to your guitar centre mad dash post.
    And sending you guitar back to the builder sounds like a good idea.
    Hope you’re able to keep your sense of humor through all this.

  14. I hope you get your guitar back soon and it plays like brand new.

    It’s amazing what guys like Tim Pierce can come up with in the studio. I remember asking the guitar player in Remy Zero what it was like working with Tim Pierce (credited in the liner notes). He said, Tim who? I guess the producer just snuck him in the studio to record some parts and charged it to the band! These guys didn’t even need the help.

  15. Andrew–lol Absolutely. Keyboardist: ‘Hey, I did the score for this movie. What did you do?’ Me: ‘Oh, I can make beautiful ambient sounds with this pedal. Wait. That doesn’t work. This pedal. Oh, that doesn’t work either. Well, these chords. Wait, why is there no sound from my guitar?’ hehehe Well, it wasn’t that bad, but quite close. ;)

    Don–hehe ya, I’m trying to. Actually, it’s easier when things like this happen. Someone cuts me off on the freeway, and I’m all angry. But all my gear goes out at the same time? Only thing you can do is laugh! :)

    And the builder, Robert Dixon, has been really, really cool about it all. It’s going to be expensive, but he’s still giving me a great deal. Because I was half-expecting him to say just trash and then have me pay to buy a brand new one. But he’s actually gonna do the work to take the neck off, fashion a new one to my specifications (I bought mine used, and there’s a couple things I’d like different).

    So, to everyone out there, if you’re thinking about ordering a guitar, definitely go to Robert Dixon at Prairiewood. Best customer service ever!

    Dan–thanks, man. Me too! Actually right now, I’d settle for it playing at all. hehehe

    And the producer really did that?? That’s so rad!! Ya, the guy I was playing with was telling me stories about Tim Pierce’s 3 pedalboards and six heads going into a Tonebone cab switcher and all this stuff. That was after the drummer told him to look at my pedalboard and he said, ‘Eh, I’ve seen bigger. What kind of cables are you using?’ Total old-school gearhead. It was awesome. Except for when he showed me up with every minimalistic note he played. ;)

  16. I agree about Robert Dixon… he was exceptionally helpful with me when I was just asking him for different options with the intent of ordering much later! He spent tons of time with me discussing options and such. Very cool guy. Karl I’m so sorry to hear that your guitar and amp have died… what happened to the amp? Is it an expensive fix as well? Are you selling all of your pedals to fund fixing your guitar?

  17. Awesome! Stoked to hear someone else with good experiences also. :)

    And the amp is buzzing and popping. Probably due to being out in the rain. I don’t think it’s gonna be as expensive as the guitar, but probably still fairly expensive. Just the bench charge is usually at least $50-$75. And yep! That’s why the pedals are going. I’ve been curious about cheaper pedals sounding good as long as you have a good guitar and amp; but I was going to test it out slowly…guess not! haha

  18. I really like that you are experimenting with less expensive gear. You will find the experience eye opening. You have gotten to the point where you have good tone in your hands and it will only take a bit of color (read pedals) for you to enhance your tone. Been their done that as have a lot of players who follow this blog.

    The search has hit a new era…

  19. Hey Karl, sorry to hear about the terrible loss bro. I’m gonna be selling a guitar soon, and I’ll have a little left over cash (not much though) and I’d like to help you out. How can I send you a donation?

  20. Hey Karl. Condolences on the loss and forced relocation of your family…I mean gear…same thing. ;)

    I know the feeling. For financial reasons (specifically the lack of finances), I’ve moved from a huge boutique rig and several guitars to only a few pedals, 2 mid-priced guitars and a small valve head. It takes a lot of getting used to when you’re accustomed to having plenty of tonal options, but it does force you to play with a bit more forethought and care to sound great. Plus it becomes much more important to use dynamics in your playing and to use pickup selection and the guitar volume to give you different tonal flavors. Especially when you’re used to being able to use ambient sounds when you’re not sure what to play – you know what I’m talking about. Now there’s nowhere to hide!

    All you really need for worship is one or two drive pedals, tap tempo delay (one with presets also helps), pedal tuner, guitar and amp.

    It will force you to become a better guitar player, so there is a define upside.

  21. i am really looking forward seeing your new board with inexpensive pedals and still be able to talk about tone and minimalism … if you pull this off, a lot of people, including me, will find that we can get extra cash by selling all our boutique stuff :)

  22. Karl, did I hear you say pedaltrain pro? Have you not thought about how fun it could be cramming all your pedals onto a pedaltrain 2?! Then when you think you need more gear, which you don’t, you have no space to put it anyway. Hence the world is a better place. Okay that is a bit subjective. +1 for the pedaltrain though.

    Here’s mine – http://plixi.com/p/50078131 . Top right is the the first overdrive I made a couple of years ago with my old man, it’s leaving soon to make room for a tap tempo tremolo when the IC arrives for it.

  23. My condolences!!! I have to say that you’re pedalboard is the most impressive I’ve ever seen. Looks like it took awhile to build! Mine is of the smaller, humbler kind…wish I could say that it was because I play well enough to not want as many. That would be a lie…if I my way (and the money for it) I probably would have a good amount of the same gear. An old recording engineer/guitar player once told me “Kid just practice more and you don’t need all that crap!” I kind of know what he meant…but mmmmm…delay…no substitution for it! Well you know. Good for you!!! Keep the good stuff and get a good case. Every time I’ve bought a new guitar, my insists that I get a bomb-proof case with it. I want pretty, she wants indestructible! …wise women…can’t live without them, can’t live…yeah!
    ditto splendid!
    Shawn (from cali)

  24. could you tell me a few resources to learn about U2? (i thought you might know this one) i’m doing a report on them he he, i’m so lucky

  25. Karl… Breaking the headstock on your #1 – taking the edge thing a little too far… Just kidding, but seriously, that’s a bummer. Is it playable right now?

  26. K-

    What is it exactly that’s wrong with the neck?

    The upside is you’re getting a neck made to your own specs, something that’s kinda rare on a LP-style guitar. It’s a hell of a thing.

  27. Sal–haha I don’t think tone is in these hands…maybe in the knowing how to set a dotted 8th. lol ;)

    Tim–cool :)

    Bryan–if you really want to, there’s a donate link in the sidebar up towards the top. But if you have a little extra money, I’d rather you get something out of it. Any pedals you’re interested in? I may be putting a few more up in the next couple days. :)

    Andrew–haha We’ll see…it might be sad…

    MikeZA–lol Love the family comment.

    And I’ll hide behind ambience with just one delay. hehehe You’re totally right on the pickup selection thing though…huge tonal differences in that.

    Sal–I think ‘better’ can be used in a variety of ways, in reference to both more and less gear. :) I mean, how do you all know that I’m not selling one Timeline and then going out and buying 34 DS-1′s? ;) hehehe

    Rhoy–there will definitely be some blind test videos. :) :)

    James–your board looks great, my friend! :)

    Ben G–anything with a top is fine for me at this point. haha

    And stoked for ya on the Tim!

    Jtheyouthguy–it’s sold, but I’ll email ya anyway. :)

    Shawn–thanks, bro. And gotta love the old engineers. Everyone always feels like they have to choose sides. It’s like, ‘Can’t I have good sounding hands and a lot of gear?’ or ‘bad tone plugged straight in?’ haha

    Nater2– http://atu2.com is one of the better sites. Also, if you can come by a used paperback copy of the U2byU2 book. :) Or ask me some questions. ;) Sad, I know.

    Keith–I like that site; the guy has done his homework. :) However, I feel like he may go just a little too in-depth and start to report on things that are natural phenomenons of sound rather than something Edge purposefully did. I could be way off, though. What are your thoughts?

    Ben G–cool!

    Ryan–haha Ya, isn’t his main touring Explorer a repair job on the headstock? And no, it’s completely unplayable. It’s flying back to Minnesota right now.

    Hippie Killer–the truss rod punched through the back of the neck and the headstock splintered right off. It’s basically the strings holding it on right now.

    But ya, I am excited about the changes. I’m getting the neck slightly smaller and slightly more strat-like, and then with dots on the fretboard instead of big inlays. The inlays look better, but when I hold sustain/feedback with my finger on the board, it sounds better when I’m on wood.

    • yeah i’m not buying that edge planned out how far away each amp was from his mics in order to create a delay effect from one set of sound waves reaching the mic after another. but if you’re looking create the EXACT sound it’s great info. it’s also where i discovered the echo park which is by far the cheapest, easiest way to approximate the u2 sound.

      funny story, the first Sunday i used my echo park, we played I Am Free, and yes I did pretend it was “Streets.” Volume swell into the intro and everything. Our youth pastor at the time came up to me afterward and said, “That was awesome! It sounded just like Angels and Airwaves!”

      • lol I love that Angels and Airwaves ripping off U2 is the only way some people know that sound now. haha Great story!

        And ya…I agree on the site. There is some good info there, if you’re okay with assimilating it for yourself and not just taking everything there as gospel, which unfortunately I’ve heard some folks do with a less than pleasing final result. lol And by ‘some folks’, I of course mean ‘me 10 years ago’. haha

  28. ‘Can’t I have good sounding hands and a lot of gear?’ or ‘bad tone plugged straight in?’

    Yes and yes. Fortunately you have a solid base to work with. Your ears have heard and your heart has felt… good luck with the next 40yrs…


  29. Karl:

    The inlays look better, but when I hold sustain/feedback with my finger on the board, it sounds better when I’m on wood.

    interesting info … i’ve never had a guitar with inlays so I wouldn’t know but I didn’t think it would matter much.

    man, you are real tone junkie … and I didn’t mean that in a bad way :)

  30. Andrew–haha I’m trying!! But it’s hard!!

    Sal–haha Well, I’m planning to live to about 110, 111, so maybe by 105 I’ll have it all figured out! hehehe

    But excellent points and comment, my friend. :)

    Rhoy–haha Yep. Strike…strike true. But I meant when I do that pseudo-ebow thing with your finger on the fretboard…and it’s scratchier and not as smooth on the inlays because you’re vibrating so intently.

    Nater2–sure! Just don’t look at my big boy crush posts on the message board part. ;)

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