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Fender Stratocaster




Boom Boom Boom Boom-Bang Bang Bang Bang
Boom Boom Boom Boom-Bang Bang Bang Bang


Banjo Willie's
Guitar Gear
Those wonderful planks of wood

Steel-body Dobro™
Image of a speakerclick for music

How's it goin'? This is the section of my site where I get to talk about something that I really love -- GUITARS! Not to mention amps and stuff too. Are you like me? You just can't get enough of those things, can you?

First off, I guess I'll tell you something about the gear that I have. Some of it I use frequently, some of it not so much. Anyway, below is a list, in case you're interested, of my stuff. Eventually, I'll get around to taking some pictures and getting them posted here (I swear!). Let's just take this in sections, shall we?


~Guitars~

Japanese Fender Squier Stratocaster (c.1984)

This one is kind of a Lake Placid blueish metal flake color with a maple fingerboard and a mother o' pearl pick guard. I LOVE THIS GUITAR! It's always played really well, but I was never very happy with the sound of it. So I installed a set of Fender Texas Special pickups and a TBX tone control and now it sounds KILLER. It's my number one guitar. It's also strung with Ernie Ball .010 through .052 guage.

Japanese Fender Squier Stratocaster (c.1983)

Olympic white with a maple board. I like this one because it's patterned after the '72 model Strat; three-bolt neck, large CBS headstock, bullet truss rod, etc. It's got Seymours in the neck and middle and a Dimarzio HS-3 in the bridge. Also has .010 through .052 guage strings. I really like this guitar because it has a very cool vibe to it and I've used (and abused) it on many, many gigs without it ever letting me down. Unfortunately, the frets are as flat as a pancake and it is in desperate need of a refret. (One of these days.)

American Fender Stratocaster (c. early 90s)

This one I bought for around 250 dollars. It's candy apple red with a maple board, and the previous owner replaced all the hardware with aftermarket gold parts. On this guitar I did a wiring mod so that besides traditional pickup switching you can also have either the neck and bridge pickups or all three pickups on simultaneously. Speaking of pickups, I've also replaced the weak stock ones with Seymour Duncans -- two vintage style singles in the neck and middle and a hot rail in the bridge. Like the previous guitars, this one is also strung with Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky .010 through .052's.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard (c.1997)

This is my newest guitar. It has a dark honeyburst finish and it's, well, what can I say? This is just a fantastic guitar! Such a great deal for what little they cost (around 500 bucks) compared to a Gibson (around 2,500). You just can't beat that Les Paul chunk. Strung with .010 through .052 Ernie Balls. This one is my number two.

Charvel 725 Jumbo Acoustic (c. recent)

This is my nice sounding, not-too-fancy acoustic. It's a solid spruce top with mahogany sides and back. Nothing special really, but it gets the job done. At gigs I amp this with a Dean Markley Pro-Mag sound hole pickup (sometimes going into a reverb or a chorus pedal) into the P.A. I'd like to get a really nice acoustic someday, but they're soooooo expensive.

Old beat-up no-name banjo (c. who knows?)

This is just an old open-back that I picked up from some old guy for a little of nothin'. I can't play it very well (Oh no! the secret's out!), but I do like to noodle around on it occasionally.

I also have a coupla' off-brand junkers, one that I can't remember the name of and one J.C. Penney Harmony-type guitar that has the neck heel stamped 1968 (not that this guitar is worth anything). I also have an older Ibanez cheapie acoustic that never sees the light of day, as well as a homemade guitar that I built from spare parts. It's set up with two-foot-high action, and I tune it to open chords for messin' around with a little slide.


~Amplifiers~

Fender Blackface Band Master (c.1965)

This is an old "piggyback" style head and 2x12 cabinet I picked up a couple of years ago, and it has since become my main amp. It has a really nice tone and the speaker cab is loaded with two Celestion Vintage 30s. A great amp.

Fender Silverface Pro Reverb (c. mid 70s)

This 2x12 combo was my first honest-to-goodness tube amp and was my main amp for several years until I acquired the Band Master. When I purchased the Pro Reverb, it was in pretty sad shape. I had to replace the output transformer and the speaker grill cloth, and I had to scrounge up a lot of the trim and hardware. This amp and I have played many songs together and it has seen many repairs along the way, but never once have I ever heard it complain.

Crate 1x12 Combo (c. early 80s)

I just recently acquired this amp from my drummer for 20 bucks. It's one of the original series Crates that looks like an actual wooden crate. Nothin' special, and I don't use it for much else other than practice (not yet, anyway), but its tone isn't too bad for a solid-state amp -- when it's turned up loud anyway.

I also have an old 70s Gibson Skylark amp that a friend of mine gave me. Once again, nothing special, but kind of neat nonetheless.


~Pedal Board, Effects, Etc~

In this section I'll just describe my signal chain.

First thing in the chain is an Arion Stage Tuner which feeds the signal into an Ibanez Tube King and a Boss Blues Driver. The Blues Driver is my main overdrive, and I kick in the Tube King for solos and for heavier parts. Next, the signal goes to a Dunlop Univibe Reissue. I really like this pedal; it's got a good sound and I like to "freak out" with it (Woodstock Hendrix to a T!). After that are a few more Boss pedals: a CH-1 Super Chorus; a BF-2 Flanger, which I also love; a DD-5 Digital Delay, an excellent delay pedal with LOTS of flexibility; and an RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay, also a very good sounding, versatile pedal. I also use the tremelo on the Band Master here and there and whenever the "surf's up."

All of this mess is mounted in a custom-made (by me) pedal board which is completely wired for AC power -- no batteries! -- I hate having to keep buying those little copper-topped nuisances. They'll rob you blind! Anyway, this thing took me quite a while to design and build, but once it was finished I was very pleased with it, and believe me, it was well worth the effort. Everything is all wired up and ready to go; all I have to do to set up is remove the lid and plug in a couple of cords and I'm good to go. I just love convenience!

Besides what I use regularly, I also have a few other assorted pedals and things, for instance, a Dunlop Crybaby wah, a ProCo Rat, an Ibanez Soundtank Tube Screamer (the el-cheapo model), a DOD Classic Fuzz, a Boss PH-2 Super Phaser, and an Ibanez CSL stereo chorus. And let's not forget about that old Hiel Talk Box (Haven't used that thing in years. Maybe I should get it out and fool around with it again sometime.) and an OLD Maestro phaser (the one with the big yellow, orange, and blue speed switches) that sounds really good but is too big and bulky to be practical.

Well, there it is. Quite a comprehensive list of my gear/junk (maybe too comprehensive ...). I never intended to ramble on so much, but you know how it is when you start talking about gear. Maybe I should sell some of this stuff ...

Yeah, Right!

Come back again sometime when hopefully I'll have more guitar and guitar-related stuff to tell you about.

e-mail me!
banjowillie@webtv.net


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