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Taylor 114CE and 524CE Acoustic-Electric Guitars

Taylor 114CE & 524CE Guitars

Taylor 114CE & 524CE Guitars

Beautiful, natural-sounding acoustic-electric instruments with the “wow” factor

The Taylor 114CE

The 114CE guitar is of the Grand Auditorium shape that has a Venetian cutaway allowing your hand to get to the upper frets. Designed by Bob Taylor in 1994, the shape of a grand auditorium guitar is wider than a dreadnought. (A dreadnought, a large bodied guitar shape, is named after the British battleship HMS Dreadnought). It was developed in 1916 and manufactured by C.F. Martin. The lower bout has a skinnier waist and forward bout that makes it a very comfortable guitar to play. My 114CE is laminated walnut on the back and the sides, with a solid sitka spruce top. The pickup is behind the saddle and has piezo-electric sensors. The guitar is powered by Taylor’s Expression System 2 (ES2).

Overall, with Taylor’s custom-designed pre-amp, the result is a natural acoustic sound with incredible range. The pickup also has a switch for feedback control, which is located on the pre-amp board inside the soundhole.

The Taylor 524CE

Right off the bat, this guitar is just amazingly beautiful. You can’t deny that. The sound quality is amazing, and I will explain how this is a little later. The cost is much higher than the 100 series and for good reason – they start at around $2800 brand new. Look around on EBay as I did, and you can get a great used one for around $1700. I bought mine from a reputable guitar store in Florida who has a great feedback history. I am extremely happy for making this purchase. When it arrived, it was in a beautiful hard case and was even in tune!!

The 524CE is a dark, rich-grained mahogany (a stronger wood) with a Venetian cutaway in the Grand Auditorium style, the same as the 114CE. Because of the fine mahogany wood, combined with the V-class bracing, when playing the 524CE, the sound that emanates from the guitar is unique, long-lasting and more beautiful than the 114CE because of the resonating tone. When you play the 114CE and then play the 524CE, a genuine appreciation for the 524CE will give you the wow factor.

A demonstration of the Taylor 524CE (by Tom Culbertson)

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Wally Heider UA610 Studio Mixing Console

Wally Heider UA610 Console

Wally Heider UA610 Console

A famous mixing console with a big-name rock-and-roll history

Originally located at Wally Heider’s Studio C, 245 Hyde St., San Francisco

Wally Heider was a recording engineer, whose career started in the 1940’s with the big bands and orchestras.  He learned from his mentor, Bill Putnam, (a leader in modern recording at the time), at United Western Recorders, Hollywood.
After some time, and making a name for himself, he decided to venture on his own. In 1966, he did recordings at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and then went on to opening his first recording studio in 1969 at 245 Hyde Street, San Francisco. He quickly built up a reputation as an in-demand recording engineer in his own right, producing high-quality work.

The UA610 Console at Audio Garden

Wally Heider UA610 Studio Mixing Console at Audio Garden
Frank DeMedio built all of the studio’s custom gear and console. He used  UA610 (Universal Audio) amplifiers to build the console. It has 24 channels with an eight channel monitor and cue, military grade switches, level controls, and one preamp for everything in a channel. The monitor speakers were modeled after Putnam’s design. It included the Altec 604-E speakers, powered by McIntosh 275 Tube power amps.

This famous console has a lot of history. This is where Jefferson Airplane recorded their album, Volunteers. Other well-known artists such as: Grateful Dead, Steve Miller, Santana, and many more also began here. Perhaps the most famous recording at Studio C was Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young‘s album, Deja Vu. Creedence Clearwater Revival was so impressed with the studio that they named their record, Cosmo’s Factory, after Heider’s studio.
Bill Halverson, Stephen Barncard, and Glyn Johns were other well-known engineers on staff at Studio C at the time.

Wally Heider, Recording Engineer Extraordinaire

Heider’s work spanned from the Big-Band era to rock bands, for which he was best known during the 1960’s. Regardless of the eccentricities requested by various artists, he was quite accommodating for any need they had, no matter how unusual it seemed. For example, when Grace Slick wanted to sing surrounded by light at a Jefferson Airplane session. To facilitate, Heider brought a ring of lighted cans into the studio.
Heider had planned to build four studios — A and B on the ground floor and C and D upstairs. Studio B was never finished and became a game room. Audio Garden has recently acquired all of Studio C and part of D.

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Egnater Mod 50 Guitar Amp at Daryle's House

Egnater Mod 50

Egnater Mod 50

A rockin’ custom guitar amp with swappable modules for a flexible sound

Who is Bruce Egnater?

Before we begin on the the Egnater Mod 50 amp, let’s get some history on Bruce Egnater, for whom the amp is named.

Bruce is from the Detroit area and was a guitar player in the late 60’s and early 70’s, aspiring to be a rock star influenced by his love for Hendrix and Cream. Things did work out for Bruce to be a rock star, just not as a musician. Instead, he became a rock star in the amp field.

Bruce became more interested in gear and especially amps. He was always tinkering with amps and looking for different tones. Bruce first went to the University of Detroit Engineering School and also worked at Zoppi’s Music on 8 Mile Road in Sterling, Michigan. He was working on amps and set up their service department (Zoppi’s is not far from where I once lived, which is pretty cool). After graduating, he decided to open a repair shop in 1975 fixing and modifying amps. He was playing around with various amps to understand them because amps were a new fad as nobody really had a lot of in-depth knowledge of them. One day, Bruce combined a small Gibson amp with a Marshall head and discovered that he was finally heading in the direction he wanted. Bruce used a load resistor from the Gibson and took the signal from there and put it into the input of the Marshall. Word got out about what he was doing and soon became in demand. To this day, his amps are still a popular item to have.

What is the Egnater Mod 50?

The Mod 50 is a modular, tube guitar amp head that Egnater no longer has in their production line. It is still a popular item in the used market for around $1,400. Unlike most tube amps, what makes this unique is that it has modules that can be swapped out for different tones that the player wants. For this discussion, we will be looking at the TD (Twin Fender Deluxe), COD (California Overdrive), SL (Super Lead), and EG5 modules. There are other modules listed below that can be interchanged. The amp allows you to plug in any two modules at a time. Each module has two channels and its own Master and Gain knobs for each section of the module. They both share bass, middle, and treble. I have provided a link to the manual HERE.

Jimi Alan (Rockslide Studios, Bubba Grouch, and Damn the Torpedoes) helped us to review his Egnater Mod 50 to get a personal perspective of what this amp is all about.

MUSICXPLORER — Jimi, can you give us a run down of the amp?

Jimi — Sure, the Mod 50 is basically a 50 Watt Power Amp. It’s not a metal amp, and as you mentioned, it has interchangeable modules that have some flavor of a circuit from another amp, but they always have the Egnater touch to them, of course. I have the TD (Twin Fender Deluxe), COD (California Overdrive), SL (Marshall Plexi / Super Lead), and the EG 3/4 modules. The amp itself is very dynamic, very touch sensitive, and if you play gently, it cleans up really nice. If you dig in, it gets grittier. I typically don’t even use the full 50 Watts of the amp. I usually run it half power or 10 watts. This allows me to get a little more power tube saturation. The Head has 5881 tubes, which are based on the “American” type amps. The tubes are a little bit more compressed and don’t have as much bite as the smaller EL34 tubes that give you a British-sounding type amp. The amp can also use 6L6 tubes, as well as others. The Pre-amp and the modules use typical 12AX7 type tubes.

Does the amp have any built-in effects?

Jimi — The amp has no effects, and it doesn’t have reverb either. It is dry as a bone, so you need to get a pedal if you want any effects. The amp does have a serial and parallel effects loop.

What are serial and parallel effects loops?

Jimi — The effects loops basically run between the pre-amp and the power amp section. The serial loop breaks the path and inserts something, meaning it breaks the signal path, runs through the effect, and then returns to the circuit. The parallel loop does not mess with your tone as the serial loop does. It sort of splits the signal and it doesn’t break the signal as an insert. The parallel loop allows you to blend in the overall amount of effects, whereas, the serial loop, you need to carefully set the levels.

Getting back to the modules — what do you like about the modules you have?

Jimi — The Fender Twin has a bright, clean sound, while the Deluxe is warmer and breaks up more. What I love about the California Over Drive is the way the notes just sustain, especially when I turn it up. It’s a very “creamy” lead tone based on the Dumble ODS and Mesa Mark IIc. You can get some killer feedback and it’ll go on forever. The SL is based after the Marshall Super Lead. It’s a great sound for rhythm and lead guitar and has great medium gain. It can get pretty hairy too. Very British. The E/G 3/4 module is based off Bruce’s signature, Tone of Life amps, and channels three and four, respectively. It’s not a bright sounding module like the Twin, but a darker sounding module. The EG5 is a super high-gain module, and I relate it to the Soldano. Great gain with clarity.

The other cool thing about the modules is that you can also swap out the tubes, right?

Jimi — Yeah, the modules can be interchanged with different tubes that can give you different feel and tone. For instance, I currently have Groove tubes in the EG5, and for my SL module, I have Chinese 12X7’s. I have JJ’s running in the TD and COD. Bottom line is that you will get something slightly different out of every tube.

Do you like any of the other modules?

Jimi — I definitely want to get the Vox module. It just has “that” sound and gain.

Egnater COD and EG5 Guitar Amp Modules
The COD and EG5 Modules
Inside the Egnater COD Guitar Amp Module
An inside look at the COD Module

How did you come about having the Mod 50 as your main amp?

Jimi — I first had the Egnater Rebel and loved the tone of that amp. I soon as I tested it, I took the money out of my pocket and said, “It’s mine.” I then checked out the Renegade. The Mod 50 I have now was a fairly recent purchase, as I’d been looking for a long time. My Renegade took a shit on me at a gig. It literally caught on fire. Not a real fire, but smoke and fireworks. The area that my amp was in was dark, and I think it had something to do with the power, because the owner was messing with the lights, and all of sudden, I looked on the back wall where my amp was, and saw the flashing. It was like a Christmas Tree, Dude! I noticed a flash of light from the back wall where my amp was. I looked over and saw fireworks, sparks, and smoke everywhere. It was like a Christmas tree all lit up, but it wasn’t on fire. I mean it was smoking, and it was a lot of fireworks, but no actual fire. With that being down, it was motivation to really find and get the Mod 50.

That sounds pretty weird?

Jimi — I know, I’ll never forget it!

What drove you to like the amp?

Jimi — I love the fact the amp is a tinkerer’s amp, and the fact that you change modules and tubes. I also love the Egnater mid-range. There is something there that just really appeals to me.

Is there anything you do not like about the Mod 50?

Jimi — I don’t like that each module has to share the EQ (bass, middle, and treble). I am going to have Jaded Faith in Bordentown modify the modules. For example, for the twin side, maybe they’ll put another bass or boost knob. The other thing I don’t like is that the serial loop runs a hot signal, line level, to the effects. I recently picked up an Ebtech line level shifter to remedy that, though.

Egnater has discontinued making the amp, but it seems to still be popular on the used market?

Jimi — Yeah, they stopped making the amp in the early 2000’s to be more focused on a model that was more commercially viable. Used mod 50’s are hard to get. There is a new company called Synergy that is picking up where Bruce left off, and he had consulted with them when they started out. Synergy is now building new modules and amps and working with guys like Friedman and Metropolous. Some killer sounding stuff that is all compatible with the Mod series.

Other Modules:

  • B’Man (59 Fender Tweed Bassman)
  • SL2 (Hot-Rodded Marshall Super Lead)
  • VX (Vox AC-30)
  • ERect (Mesa-Boogie Dual/Triple Rectifier)

Thanks, Jimi, for helping out with the rundown of the Mod 50.

More Guitar Amp Sites:

The Sweetwater video interview with Bruce Egnater

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Dave Oxenburg's Massive Paiste Cymbal Collection

Man Of A Thousand Cymbals — Dave Oxenburg

Man Of A Thousand Cymbals — Dave Oxenburg

A semi-pro drummer and collector from New Jersey

Dave Oxenburg has been playing drums since he was a kid, with an older brother as an inspiration. He has been involved in many original and cover bands. He has been a fan and collector of Paiste cymbals for a very long time. Our focus for this interview is Dave’s passion, knowledge, and love for Paiste cymbals.

MUSICXPLORER — Hi Dave. What is the story behind you and all the cymbals?

Dave — I started playing the drums when I was young. One of my older brothers had played drums, and he was my inspiration. In December of 1983, I was listening to the new album, 1984, by Van Halen, and I just couldn’t believe the sound that he got from the drums and cymbals. When the video for Jump came out, I was able to see what kind of cymbals he was using, and then went to the Willowbrook Mall and bought my first Paiste cymbal, a 14-inch, 200 series.

So, Alex Van Halen was the main reason you use Paiste?

Dave — Yeah, definitely. I was somewhat familiar with the red logo, but I was very intrigued when I saw that Alex was using a Paiste cymbal with a white logo. After I bought the 14-inch Crash, I went back a couple of weeks later and got the 16-inch Crash. I just got interested in the different series of the company and finding out the history of how they make cymbals.

Why is Paiste your favorite? Have you played other cymbal brands?

Dave — I think Paiste really just has that “sound.” It definitely has a certain sound. It’s just a preference really. There are so many drummers that use Paiste; Stewart Copeland, Nicko McBrain, and Bill Bruford. I’ve played Zildjan, Sabian, and others. I don’t have a problem with them, it’s just a preference.

You have multiple cymbal racks. Why do you have so many?

Dave — I have five Paiste cymbal racks, and over 150 cymbals. I just have a love for Paiste cymbals.

How long have you been collecting cymbals?

Dave — Well, I guess I started, probably in the mid-eighties. Somehow I found out about Ritchies Music Center in Rockaway, NJ, and they always had a lot of different Paiste cymbals in stock. I then found out that Ritchie’s is one of two Paiste’s Super Sound Centers in New Jersey. I met George Sigler, who was in charge of the drum department, who helped me to understand the different series of Paiste cymbals.

I guess you could say you are a serious cymbal collector. Do you have any gongs?

Dave — Yes, and all my gongs are Paiste, symphonic gongs. I have 20, 28, and 32-inch size gongs. One is even older than me.

20 inch Paiste Symphonic Gong
20 Inch- Symphonic Gong

Before we talk about the different series of cymbals there are, what kind of cymbals are in your inventory?

Dave — I have many different series of Paiste cymbals. Mostly 2000’s, 2002’s, 3000’s, Alphas, Signatures, and Rudes. I have many popular cymbals and many rare finds.

17 inch, 2002 Paiste Medium Prototype
17 Inch- 2002 Medium Prototype

Explain the cymbals in a kit.

Dave — For the basic Rock set up, you would have one Ride, one set of High Hats (the two cymbals that you have with the pedal, typically on the left side of the kit), and a Crash cymbal or two.

What do the different cymbals do?

Dave — The Ride cymbal is used for a more open sound, especially say, when a guitarist does a solo, that’s when you’ll be on the Ride most of the time. Then, of course, you can hit the Ride at the edge like a Crash cymbal, or you can hit it on the shoulder or hit it at the bell. All in all, you can get different sounds on different parts of the cymbal.

Explain the High Hats and the Crash.

Dave — The High Hats are two cymbals that are controlled by your foot to open and close the sound. A Crash cymbal is used to put an accent in a song.

Tell us about the different series of Paiste cymbals you have.

Dave — First up, I have the Rude series. These came out in the early 80’s, and were made as a higher volume, thicker cymbal to cut through music like punk rock (which is really loud compared to rock) or loud amplifiers.

Is the Rude series for straight-up Rock n’ Roll as well as punk?

Dave — Yeah, and I believe that the Rude series, with the white logo, was actually taken from the alloy that is made from what the 2002’s are made (2002 Bronze). The Rudes are an unlathed, hammered cymbal. They also have a raw finish to them.

12 inch Shred Bell, Paiste Rude Series
12 Inch- Shred Bell, Rude Series

What are the 2002’s?

Dave — The 2002’s have the red logos. I think these started in ’71. They came after the Giant Beat series that John Bonham used. Since the 2002 series came out, they have used slightly different alloys throughout the line. When I say a different alloy, I mean different combinations and percentages of what kind of metals they use to make these. These were created to be able to cut through loud amps, geared towards electric bands.

I see you have the Signature series. What’s that about?

Dave — The Signature series came out in ’89, and is made of Paiste Signature Bronze alloy. They are high end, and have the black letters on them. They are called Signature because one of the Paiste brother’s signature is on them. They’re a very intimate sounding cymbal. In other words, they are versatile for electric and acoustic music. They are generally a thinner cymbal and well suited for a variety of musical settings.

12 inch Paiste Signature Flanger Bell
12 Inch- Signature Flanger Bell

You mentioned earlier that your first cymbal was of the of 200 series. What is the 200 series?

Dave — The 200 series came out in 1985. It’s a decent cymbal at a lower price point.

What others do you have?

Dave — I have the 2000 and 3000 Series. The 3000 series is a higher-quality series that started in ’86, and their logo is red. The 2000 and 3000 were discontinued in ’94. They were a popular series for Rock n’ Roll at the time.

So you have the red 3000 series and the blue 2000 series?

Dave — Yeah. So the red 3000 series was supposed to be like an improved 2002 series to replace and take over from the 2002’s. But they were so different that people really wanted the 2002’s back. I think they were kind of like an experiment and were meant to take over from the 2002’s, but that just never happened, because the demand for the 2002 was so high.

16 inch Paiste Power Crash, 2000 series
16 Inch- Power Crash, 2000 series
21 inch Ride, Paiste 3000 series
21 Inch- Ride, 3000 series

What does the blue logo mean?

Dave — It is just to differentiate the two series. The 2000’s were similar to the 3000’s, just slightly lower priced.

The 2000’s and 3000’s were made for a new audience?

Dave — Yeah, but they only lasted like eight years. They stopped making them and went on to other things. The Paiste company is constantly updating, changing, and coming up with new ideas. This company is just doing so many things with cymbals and coming out with different applications and different series all the time.

What is the Alpha Series?

Dave — The Alpha Series was introduced in 1991. Derived from the 2002 bronze alloy. These cymbals are semi-professional cymbals. A quality cymbal at a fair price.

What’s your favorite cymbal to use?

Dave — I will have to say that it just depends on the musical situation. In other words, if I do an outdoor gig, the sound is going to just dissipate. So you will want a bigger cymbal or a heavier cymbal. If I’m playing a little bar, maybe I’ll use the Signature series that is a little thinner and has a more intimate sound. So it depends on the setting you know, and what kind of application to use, may it be sticks, brushes or rods.

What are Rods and Brushes?

Dave — Rods are wooden dowels that are bundled together,and  they create a softer sound than sticks. Brushes are usually made from metal and create an even softer sound. You can now even buy plastic Rods and Brushes.

Various Types of Rods
Various Types of Rods

How long have you had the cymbal racks?

Dave — The first one I guess, I probably got roughly 10 years ago or more. I wrote the company and they sold me one. Years later, I ordered four more.

Are they hard to get?

Dave — They have them in the music stores to display cymbals. I contacted Paiste, and I asked if I could buy some.

Nice! How did Paiste react?

Dave — I wrote Paiste, and said, “I heard the best way to keep your cymbals from warping is to hang them.” Hanging a cymbal is much better than leaning against a wall. You would think that the pros hang their cymbals. The cymbals in the racks are only half of what I have. Paiste wrote me back and said that they don’t normally sell cymbal trees to the public, but they were impressed by the amount of cymbals I owned.

So what does your drumming future look like?

Dave — I would just like to continue meeting and playing with new musicians. Drumming is therapeutic and so much fun!

Thanks, Dave, for sharing your knowledge of Paiste cymbals and the good stories.

Contact Dave

Check out these other Sites:

Check out the Paiste Video!

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Sebastian LaBar and Custom 1980 Les Paul

Sebastian LaBar-1980 Gibson Les Paul Custom

Sebastian LaBar

(Tantric guitarist) talks about his Gibson Les Paul

Who is Sebastian LaBar?

Sebastian is the guitarist for the band,Tantric, that he joined in 2017.  Previously, he was with the Philadelphia based band, MACH22. Sebastian’s father, Jeff LaBar, was the guitarist for the band, Cinderella.

Seven guitars. One has to be your favorite.

Sebastian has a number of guitars, including the Gibson Les Paul Custom his father gave him. Jeff gave Sebastian a lot of his guitars, but the Les Paul in this interview is his favorite. There are a lot of stories behind the guitar and Sebastian discusses some of them. He gives us a taste of how the Les Paul sounds through a Supro amp.
As mentioned, his favorite guitar is the 1980 Gibson Les Paul Custom that his father used on the Cinderella albums and when he was on tour. The guitar has a lot of history. Unfortunately, it was damaged a few times and even had the head stock sheared off, but still sounds great.

Influences

Sebastian’s influences are, of course, his father, Jeff, George Lynch, Randy Rhodes, Zakk Wylde, Angus Young, and Doug Aldrich to name a few.

Check out the full video interview below

Here is the trailer

Full Interview

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