With my new guitar – an amazing Ibanez FRM25-MF – did begin a new stage for composition in April 2019 with the series »Paeans of Grace«. Due to this new series I did a »reviveal« of my first guitar, a Fender Stratocaster Japan and did re-purchase my Hohner »The Prinz«. See images and background to the guitars below. Last extensive series of instrumental compositions for guitar dates back over 20 years ago to 1999 with the recording of the Praeludien und Ricercare and other compositions for classical guitar. Another new stage for playing and recording guitar opened up with my Mesa Boogie Lone Star. See insights below. Below beginnings of a new series of songs, all sound-layers recorded (partly) live with my Boss RC-300 loop station:
guitars & gear
Ibanez FRM25-MF – The amazing basic shape of this Ibanez guitar model has been the very first genuin Ibanez shape, done by a japanese craftman in 1975. The first series with this shape has been initially labelled as »Artist 2663«. The model has been soon re-labelled as a signature model, in the original Iceman and later appearing as my »reversed« Fireman version, developed by Ibanez with Paul Gilbert 2014 as the FRM25-MF. My enthusiasm for this guitar, particularly regarding the unique formal quality of the shape, refers basically to the japanese origin. Guess one can envision a relation to japanese sensibility for shape based on calligraphical practice.
The FRM25-MF features a flamed maple top with white binding on a chambered mahogany body mated to a set-in mahogany and maple neck with a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with binding and dot position markers. Components include a Tune-o-matic style fixed bridge and tailpiece, Gotoh tuners, Graph Tech TUSQ man-made ivory nut and DiMarzio pickups mounted in a black pickguard with a pair of humbuckers flanking a single-coil, H-S-H configuration: DiMarzio® Air Classic ™ bridge and neck, DiMarzio® Area 67 ™ middle.
The Ibanez FRM25-MF is an anniversary model, referring to the 25 year colaboration with the guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert. Initially crafted – due to several online sources – in a limited edition of reportedly 15 instruments at Sugi custom, Japan. Sugi was founded in 2002 by Makoto »Nick« Sugimoto. Prior to founding Sugi, Sugimoto had worked for many years as head of R&D at FujiGen Gakki, the renowned guitar manufacturing company. Anyway, apart from the original development and manufacturing origins of the guitar, the model has been solely offered in 2014.
Fender Stratocaster, Japan, A-Series 1985-1986
My very first E-guitar, revived 2019 with a beautiful new pick-guard and strap.
Strap: Native Sons / The Copper Penny Guitar Strap, stitched floral rose in copper featuring green foliage
Pick Guard: RightOn, embossed leather
Hohner The Prinz – Telecaster, 1987
Above: Hohner The Prinz with Cashmere Green strap, Italien velvet with cashmere embossement, RightOn! guitar straps
This Hohner guitar model has been my second E-guitar I bought in my youth. Based on my deep admiration for Prince Roger Nelson I did have the occasion to get one. Due to my classical technique and the kind of compositions I did play I did use my Washburn with accoustic strings these days on stage. I felt bad that the Hohner was not in use so much so I did sell it to a friend. One of the biggest mistakes, I realized soon and increasingly for several reasons. Finally, I did get another one 2019, soon after this relieve my Ibanez FRM25-MF. Prince did play this model sometimes even with the »Hohner« logo from the first series (model also available as »Anderson Mad Cat«, Anderson and Hohner did colaborate), for instance at the »dirty mind« tour, 1981. Some of my favourite Prince songs are from this tearly days. The model »Hohner The Prinz« is the second series labelled by Hohner, my model's series number dates 1987.
amp and cabinet
Above: right after the arrival of my Mesa Boogie Lone Star Head and the Mesa Boogie 2x12 Recto® Vertical Slant Cabinet. Below: videostill of the first recording with the Mesa Boogie Lone Star (31st July 2019)
I did test a considerably wide range of possible amps with my Ibanez FRM25-MF and I have been blown away during proximate, meticulous comparison by the outstanding, magical sound of the first Mesa Boogie I did play. I also did test various cabinet brands, types and detail configurations, like speaker types, front / rear mounted, open / closed back. I finally decided to choose the Mesa Boogie 2x12 Recto® Vertical Slant Cabinet with closed back for various reasons.
Above: Ohmless Yara V2 (limited black edition), Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water
Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water
With the Shallow Water I did find a considerably subtle (if used in this way), yet indispensable, magically musical tonal aura device, that transforms the sound in an enigmatic (through random modulation flow), unintrusive, yet peerlessly enchanting way, providing a warm and dark tonal opulence – used particularly for my clean sound for instrumental compositions. Other realms for using the Shalloe Water open up through its more radical setting options, particularly through the reactive LPG envelope for songs that demand deliberately obvious and weird sound manipulation.
»K-field (Simulation mathematics), an undefined, two-dimensional, non-linear field where past and future forces interact at irregular intervals. Shallow Water generates this k-field by randomly modulating a short time delay to create unexpected shifts in pitch. The result is this non cyclical vibrato/chorus/flanger-type thing favouring old tape flavours (...) Shallow Water’s essence could be characterized as uncertain, subtle and nostalgic.« Fairfield Circuitry
»The Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water is a subtle effect. Significant tweaking can get you close to more traditional, effected modulation and chorus tones, but that’s not really what the Shallow Water is about. The subtler shades of the Shallow Water are sometimes more felt than heard (something I can’t say about most modulation effects) and there were times that I forgot it was on until I turned it off and noticed my tone was less sweet.« (...) »The Fairfield Circuits Shallow Water is something rare in the effects world… a truly new effect. On paper, it reads like the Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl or even the Cooper FX Generation Loss, but between the truly random modulation flow and reactive LPG it is entirely its own beast. I found it to be the rare modulation effect that I could imagine always leaving on, but that would of course lessen the magic of having it stand out when it is used. If you are looking for warm, analog lo-fi vibe to add to your sound, or even just a different type of tone thickening, the Fairfield Circuits Shallow Water is a top contender to get you there.« Chris Loeffler, review excerpts
Boss RC-300 loop station, images and recordings following.
Further pedals, details upcoming:
Keeley Instruments / Aria / Compressor and Distortion
Line 6 Dl4 / Delay
Electro Harmonix / Tube Zipper / Envelope Filter and Distortion
»(...) In love, dear love, my love, detail is all.« W.C. Williams, Coda (see below whole poem)
Above: Richter guitar strap, luxury floral black, #1088, width: 2.75 inches
In music, detail matters. Precise performance requires the best gear you can get, a fine instrument deserves dazzling company.
Richter guitar strap, luxury floral black. Handcrafted masterpiece made of supreme quality leather. Vegetable tanned premium buffalo leather, oiled by hand. Leather embossing: Floral. Lined with a breathable, skin-friendly microfiber. The padding is made of special cold foam. Robust saddle thread gives the strap a striking contour.
of wing and breast
dear love, my love
detail is all
As a »person who writes« (Thomas Bernhard), I feel the need to quote the whole poem, actually one of my few favourite texts.
[all works from nicolas constantin © nicolas constantin romanacci]