The GAS Must Be Crazy

Snapshot after drinking coffee at Yobz Office. (l-r) Yobz and Danzoy of Mitochondria Iligan with Yobz "Axes," a B.C. Rich Mockingbird and a Dean "DIME" Razorback Lightning Guitar (Photo courtesy of Yobz Tolentino)
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Guitar Acquisition Syndrome: “it’s just an interesting psychological phenomenon!”

“GAS: it’s priceless”

That beautiful GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Store’s Washburn Heavy Metal Series, WV40 Vindicator’s acquisition would have made a lovely addition to the collection.

Washburn HM Heavy Metal Series, "Vindicator" Silver Metallic V Electric Guitar (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Washburn HM Heavy Metal Series, WV40 “Vindicator” Electric Guitar (Photo taken with permission from Yupangco’s staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

But since the “priceless” had no “price” I just had to give myself a bit of advice, hoping this strange phenomenon will go into remission.

2008 Model WV40 "Vindicator" (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

“…the ‘priceless’ had no ‘price.'” WV40 “Vindicator” (Photo taken with permission from Yupangco’s staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

With a Custom-made one already done and next in line, still another one.

Custom-made Z MetalMan Series Inspired Axe (Courtesy Sir Edgar R. Rabago's FB)

Custom-made “Z” inspired Axe (retrieved from Sir Edgar R. Rabago’s FB)

I was under the impression this GAS will soon be over and come to a conclusion.

“I was sadly mistaken!”

“GAS up!”

After having Yobz Tolentino’s “Axe” in my hands on my day of visit, talking to myself in my head before going to bed, I said “The GAS Must Be Crazy,” it’s here to stay, Mercy!

Yobz and Danzoy

Yobz and Danzoy

So after passing up a good one, and four days of acute GAS exacerbation, this GAS sufferer finally came to a decision.

“Never pass up a good thing!”

GAS: “it’s just an interesting psychological phenomenon! ‘It’s a thing!'”

GAS: "it's just an interesting psychological phenomenon! 'it's a thing!'" (Photo courtesy of Yobz and Danzoy)

GAS: “it’s just an interesting psychological phenomenon! ‘It’s a thing!'” Rock On! \m/  (Photo courtesy of Yobz and Danzoy)

If thoughts of having no means and money at the moment is enough to stop ones case of GAS attack in its tracks, then that is so funny.

This affliction could not be contained in remission and eventually became a primary mission.

"'lovely and pointy' Dime ...became a primary mission" (Image courtesy of Yobz and Danzoy)

“‘lovely and pointy’ Dime …became a primary mission… ‘of mine'” (Image courtesy of Yobz and Danzoy)

So the Piggy bank was emptied for every last coin and dime… coz’ I had to get me that “lovely and ‘pointy'” Dime.

"Touch down"

“Touch down!” Rain or shine I have to make you mine, you “Dime” so fine (Razorback Lightning “Dime” from Dean Guitars).

“Full of surprises have you up your sleeve Trooper!”

"GAS sufferer, more to say, have you? Try this on for size and 'May the force be with you' (Kzzt!)"

“GAS sufferer, more to say, have you? Try this on for size and ‘May the force be with you’ (Kzzt!)”

"Oh look Commander! An egg. Won't be long till this one will hatch and bring forth another bout of them "Wild GAS Chase!"

“Oh look Commander! An egg. Won’t be long till this one will hatch and bring forth another bout of them “Wild GAS Chase!”

Axe “Tameshigiri” by Yobz Tolentino

Yobz Tolentino, a highly-skilled guitarist holding his guitar "Astro" (Courtesy of Yobz)

Yobz Tolentino, one of Iligan City’s highly-skilled guitarist holding one of his guitars “Astro” (Courtesy of Yobz)

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome: “it’s just an interesting psychological phenomenon!

I thought this “GAS” case was about to pass and just about it, but after getting a hold of Yobz’s “Axe,” “I never heard the end of it.

Well, our GAS sufferer here felt he was so on top of it, however, this GAS is a “fiesty” one I admit it.

But, hey, who says we can’t have fun as we go on our next guitar hunt, in this insatiable desire to get the next one.

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“If you’re one true “musikero,” sooner or later ‘GAS’ will eventually get you!”

 Thank You!

Written by: Kuskus Balongus

 GAS – Guitar Acquisition Syndrome or Gear Acquisition Syndrome

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GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store: A Customer Review from Mitochondria Iligan

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)
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4 out of 5 Stars (Retrieved from Amazon Rating Factors at grahampmarsh.com) High-end Instruments, Good Customer Service, July 21, 2016

By Mitochondria Iligan  Courtesy of Iligan City's Mitochondria band

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About 15 minutes on foot from McDonald’s at H.V. Dela Costa to the Yupangco Building at Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila, I arrived at the GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store at 8:00 am.

I was greeted by the guard on duty who asked what my business was… then told that the “Showroom” won’t be open until 9:00 am.

Thanking him, I went on my way.

At Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave/Buendia Ave with Mapua Institute of Technology Building and SMDC Jazz Residences Tower A in the background.

At Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave/Buendia Ave with Mapua Institute of Technology Building and SMDC Jazz Residences Tower A in the background.

The SM Jazz Mall nearby won’t open until 10:00 am so I went inside the 7-Eleven convenience store located at the Ground floor of Crown Center, Jupiter Street across the Yupangco Building to get something.

SM Jazz Mall. Nicanor Garcia, Makati, Metro Manila (Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

SM Jazz Mall. Nicanor Garcia, Makati, Metro Manila (Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

 

I sat outside the 7-Eleven store at exactly 8:10 am and waited for one hour, giving a full 10 minutes after 9:00 am to make sure the GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store was already open.

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The guard smiled at me when he saw me coming and welcomed me, which made me very excited to see what they have in display.

As I walked inside the showroom, I saw a small office on my right and another office ahead with a woman behind a desk (I presumed was the manager) and a gentleman talking and three other staffs near them.

As I look around and stopped to check out some items on display nearby, I realized I was the second customer in the store after they opened.

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

The woman and the gentleman from Butuan City at the office were talking about making arrangements on how to ship the grand piano the gentleman just bought.

Afterwhich, the woman stood up and lead the gentleman to the other office and referred him to another employee to further assist him with his transaction.

When she returned back to her desk she turned her head and greeted me and asked me how can she be of any assistance.

I greeted her back and answered that I was still looking around in the store, and thought, wow, their showroom’s big with lots of products on display.

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

GA Yupangco Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila [Photo taken with permission from staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Guitars, Basses, Percussion instruments, Professional Keyboards, Upright and Grand Pianos, and an Organ, Amplifiers, Gadgets, gears, various accessories.

High-end Instruments!

Brands like Zemaitis, Fender, Godin, Seagull, EVH, Washburn, Yamaha, MarkBass, Boss, Roland, Sabian and many more.

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After spending almost an hour looking around, I finally called one of their staff for assistance.

Having a thing for “pointy and horned” electric guitars and basses, two guitars on display caught my eye.

Washburn HM Heavy Metal Series, "Vindicator" Silver Metallic V Electric Guitar (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Washburn Heavy Metal Series, “Vindicator” Electric Guitars at GA Yupangco Co., Inc.Showroom Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Although they also had “Jackson” guitars like the JS32T Rhoads, King V and Warrior on display (which were on Clearance Sale for only P9,999.00 each)…

Jackson Guitars at GA Yupangco Co. & Inc. (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Jackson Guitars at GA Yupangco Co. & Inc. (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

…the two “Vindicator” guitars caught my attention not because of their rare Offset/Modified Flying V shaped bodies but both have cracked guitar necks.

Seeing that they had an ongoing promo and hoping to get a bargain on any of these two damaged guitars, I had to ask the staff how much they were selling the guitar’s.

Promo (Retrieved from yupangco.com)

ongoing promo (Retrieved from yupangco.com)

The staff replied that “the guitar’s are for display only and not for sale because of their cracked necks.”

“How much was its price then before…?” I rephrased my question and added that I’m really interested in buying it.”

He told me that he will check it out for me but before he left, I asked, “Is it okay to take pictures?” he replied, Yes, and hurriedly went to the office to get more information.

2008 Model WV40 "Vindicator" (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

2008 Model WV40 “Vindicator” at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

When he got back he told me that they no longer have that information and that the guitars are “for display only because they’re no longer ‘playable’ and that there are no luthier’s near that can fix it.”

Abalone Stars Inlays, Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Abalone Stars Inlays, Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

So I said to him, “What if I know of one ‘Master Luthier,’ who’s not from here, who can fix that, are you still going to sell it ‘as it is’ if I’m really interested to buy it?”

“Actually, the price and detailed product information is no longer found in our computer database,” he answered.

Okay, I said and then I just moved on to take more pictures.

Professional Keyboards and Upright Pianos Abalone Stars Inlays, Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Professional Keyboards and Upright Pianos at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

As I was walking towards the left-hand side of the showroom, towards the rear, where other professional keyboards, digital percussion’s, pedals and effects were displayed I could hear the song “Harvester of Sorrow” by Metallica being played on an electric guitar.

When I reached the spot, I saw that it was another employee playing the guitar. He then stopped playing the guitar when he saw me, greeted me and asked what was I looking for.

Digital Percussions, Roland Professional Keyboards, Boss Stompboxes & Multi-Effects at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Digital Percussions, Roland Professional Keyboards, Boss Stompboxes & Multi-Effects at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

I greeted him back and said that I’m just taking a look around for the moment.

Grand Pianos at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Grand Pianos at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

As I was about to leave, I went back to the office to thank the staff for his help, he nodded his head at me and said, “One of our fellow employee knows the price of the guitars but he’s not here. It’s his day off.”

So I said, “Okay, I really appreciate that” and turned to leave.

MarkBass Cabs & Combos, Washburn Bass guitar at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

MarkBass Cabs & Combos, Washburn Bass guitar at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

On my way out, I also thanked a couple of employees on the office near the exit who were busy talking but managed to turn their heads when they heard me and thanked me also, and yes, the guard thanked me too, when I got out.

Rodgers Artist Series Organ at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

Rodgers Artist Series Organ at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from staff/Courtesy Mitochondria Iligan)

“Overall, my visit to GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. at their Yupangco Building Showroom was positive. I really had a good time and received ‘good customer service.’ Their showroom is big, and that doesn’t include the section of the store inside I didn’t mention, that was cordoned off for renovation. The friendly staff was really patient and helpful in addressing my ‘probing’ queries. Too bad the Washburn’s HM Series, WV40 ‘Vindicator’ had no price, would have bought it otherwise. If money is no object, then this is definitely one of the stores to get high-end instruments.”

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Washburn Heavy Metal Series, Model WV40 “Vindicator”  Electric Guitar

The “Jackson” guitars on sale offered bargains galore.

Pointy "Jackson" Guitars: JS32T King V, Warriors and Rhoads [Photo taken with permission from Staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan]

Pointy “Jackson” Guitars: JS32T King V, Warriors and Rhoads [Photo taken with permission from Staff (PTWPFS)/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan]

Tantalizingly “Pointy” as the Jackson guitars may be, one can always find them in any JB Music branch nationwide, as they are now the “exclusive” official distributor of Jackson Guitars.

"two 'pointy' guitars..." (Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

“two ‘pointy’ guitars, WV40 ‘Vindicators'” (at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. PTWPFS/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

But as for the WV40 “Vindicators,” It was the first time I saw it in person.

“Hot Licks!”

These rare “Offset/Modified” Flying “V” shaped body guitars somehow looks like a slightly smaller variation of one of them “Limited Edition ‘Reverse’ Flying V” of Silverhawks Lt. Colonel Bluegrass’s “Hot Licks.”

Lt Colonel Bluegrass, 2nd in command and pilot of the Silverhawks with his Sonic Guitar "Hot Licks." His pilot aid and weapon (retrieved from Tuesday Toonsday: Get to know the Silverhawks, Oct 14, 2014 at saturdaymorningcartoons.com)

Lt Colonel Bluegrass, 2nd in command and pilot of the Silverhawks with his Sonic Guitar “Hot Licks.” His pilot aid and weapon (retrieved from Tuesday Toonsday: Get to know the Silverhawks, Oct 14, 2014 at saturdaymorningcartoons.com)

A “groundbreaking” guitar built specially for shredders, the Vindicator’s bottom “pointy tips” seems to be in a “directionally oriented position,” making the guitar appear to take flight.

Stock Humbucker Pickups: Randall (UL Neck, Ultra XL Bridge), Stop Bar Tailpiece (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Body: White with Black bevels, Tune-o-matic bridge, Stoptail bar, Passive Stock Humbucker Pickups: Randall (UL Neck, Ultra XL Bridge), (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Feels like this “Bluegrass’s ‘Sonic Guitar’ reverse look-alike” can give you that “Sonic Boom” boost, defy gravity and blast you, sending you whizzing through space as you shred away.

“Master Luthier”

Regarding the two Vindicator guitars “cracked neck” issues which made me look it up in the net, I found out that there was one that had a broken neck that got damaged after shipping but was repaired, and one that had a crack in its headstock.

Repaired Washburn Vindicator H.M. Series (WV40 repaired broken headstock damaged from shipping, retrieved from https://reverb(dot)com/item/544398-repaired-washburn-vindicator-h-m-series)

Repaired Washburn Vindicator H.M. Series (WV40 repaired broken headstock damaged from shipping, retrieved from reverb(dot)com/item/544398-repaired-washburn-vindicator-h-m-series)

The cracked necks of the Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Musical Instruments Store didn’t really pose much of an issue, they would’ve been easily repaired by any “Master Luthier.”

Vindicator with a crack in headstock (retrieved from ebay(dot)com/itm/discontinued-washburn-wv40-vindicator)

Vindicator with a crack in headstock (retrieved from ebay(dot)com/itm/discontinued-washburn-wv40-vindicator)

A Master luthier like Iligan City’s Renowned Custom Guitar Maker, Sir Edgar R. Rabago, who said, “the reason both guitars had similar cracks on their necks at the same spot is that maybe because both their necks were made of or came from the same batch of wood.”

“Priceless”

In my research I also found out that these Washburn WV40 Heavy Metal Series Models, released in 2008, have been discontinued already.

Too bad those “rare” Metal machines were “for display only” at the GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Musical Instrument Store.

Washburn HM Series Vindicators, WV40 Model, "for display only" at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc., Showroom, Yupangco Building,Poblacion, Makayi 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

“Priceless” Metal machines, built for shredders, The Washburn HM Series Vindicators, WV40 Model were “for display only” at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc., Showroom, Yupangco Building, Poblacion, Makati 1200 Metro Manila (Photo taken with permission from Staff/Courtesy of Mitochondria Iligan)

Too bad they didn’t have the “price” for a guitar that’s seemingly “priceless” today.

Because getting any one of them would’ve made a great addition to ones collection… a short-term cure for ones Symptoms of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.).

GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) Propulsion System

These GAS thrusters anew has propelled me to pay an old friend a visit in another one of this case induced episodes.

Yobz Tolentino, currently one of Iligan City’s talented guitarist, had one guitar that drew out this GAS case from remission.

Yobz Tolentino, currently one of Iligan City's talented Guitarist with his Dean ML Axe (Photograph Courtesy of Yobz Tolentino)

Yobz Tolentino, currently one of Iligan City’s talented Guitarist with his Dean ML Axe at Pinch (Photograph Courtesy of Yobz Tolentino)

During my visit to Yobz, I was astonished to see he had quite a collection of Axes.

When he brought out his Razorback Lightning Guitar from its case, I couldn’t help but feel that GAS building up relatively quickly.

Snapshot after drinking coffee at Yobz Office. (l-r) Yobz and Danzoy of Mitochondria Iligan with Yobz "Axes," a B.C. Rich Mockingbird and a Dean "DIME" Razorback Lightning Guitar (Photo courtesy of Yobz Tolentino)

Snapshot after drinking coffee at Yobz Office. (l-r) Yobz and Danzoy of Mitochondria Iligan with Yobz “Axes,” a B.C. Rich Mockingbird and a Dean “DIME” Razorback Lightning Guitar (Photo courtesy of Yobz Tolentino/Mitochondria Iligan)

Like being struck by lightning (holding it in my hands), I only wished I had the means that time for a “Dime!”

Sadly, I had to pass up a good one.

Adept

A former neighbor and classmate in classical guitar that lasted for only a couple of sessions, Yobz was able to get a classic red “Stinger” electric guitar thereafter that really helped him start out.

Mitochondria was able to purchase their first guitar, also a Stinger, sometime later.

Yobz soon moved to Iloilo City to study and while he was there, Yobz became a member of a College Rock band named “Turning Point” which later on became “Mjah,” playing their own compositions and was able to release a record on their own.

He was able to jam with Mitochondria Iligan (more than a decade ago) after he got back from Iloilo City playing his recent acquisition, a “PRS” style Custom Made Guitar.

Yobz Tolentino with his guitar "El Tigre" (Photo Courtesy of Yobz, retrieved from Yobz's FB)

Yobz Tolentino and his Tiger looking “Jimi” Guitar (Photo Courtesy of Yobz, retrieved from Yobz’s FB)

His dynamic guitar skills kept growing since then and like the current guitars in his collection, it was quite surprising.

Yobz Tolentino’s “Spontaneous Aeolian Metal Bliss of the Senju Clan” (Courtesy of Boboy Tolentino’s Youtube Channel)

Having joined several bands and done countless sessions with other musicians, Yobz has become one of Iligan City’s highly skilled guitar players to date.

Currently, he is a member of a band named “Agalon.”

Agalon – Playing Gods Excerpt (bass and 2nd lead guitars) Video Clip – Courtesy of Boboy Tolentino’s Youtube Channel

Thank You

Crazy about Guitars

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(Guitar Acquisition Syndrome)

Nowadays one can easily find musical instruments like electric guitars and basses in the market coming in from China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, India, Indonesia and the United States.

Some guitar brands are quite heavy for ones pocket yet some are economical, a great deal, or just a steal and light on the budget.

Although a guitar’s price may be nominal, not to mention it’s brand new. Before purchasing one though, here are a few things one may want to consider:

  1. The kind of wood used

Most solid body guitars use species of tonewood that have been commonly used for a long time to make guitar bodies, neck, and fingerboard like Alder, Ash, Basswood, Ebony, Korina, Mahogany, Maple, Poplar, Rosewood, Walnut, and other Exotic woods.

However, some manufacturers may use alternate species of tonewoods depending on availability.

Since guitars are mass produced, with increasing demands in the global market, sometimes newer guitars may end up with wood that may not be well seasoned.

Well seasoned in a sense that they are Kiln dried, using heat to dry the wood and accelerate the aging process.

Unlike vintage guitars that use more stable wood that have been “air dried” and aged for a long time.

Kiln dried wood doesn’t retain as much moisture as air dried wood . Without enough moisture guitars are prone to warping and cracking.

So when checking out guitars, if you see a slight bow in a piece of neck wood this might signal that the wood had stabilized in the proper orientation for resisting string pressure.[1]

neck relief

Neck relief (retrieved from haloguitars.com)

If a fingerboard has that tiny amount of up-bow/forward bow or relief then the amount is just right because a little more than that may mean it’s a warped neck.

 

warped_neck learningtoplaytheguitar.net

Warped neck (retrieved from learningtoplaytheguitar.net)

 

Another factor also is that since guitars have become world travelers, the different climates also play a major role on a guitars “wood” health.

This is due to ones atmosphere’s relative humidity.

When guitars are introduced to a high-humidity environment like in tropical areas, a backbow may occur as well as the deterioration of glue or wood itself.

And the smallest amount of fingerboard straightening or backbow may cause considerable adjacent fret-buzzing.

basic set-up instructions adjusting up-bow backbow stewmac.com

basic set-up instructions, adjusting up-bow, backbow (retrieved from stewmac.com)

In a very low humidity area like in temperate regions the effects are more serious. This can cause moisture loss in tonewoods that produces wood shrinkage, uneven stress that relieves itself by producing one or more cracks plus glue joint failures.

Solid wood are more vulnerable to humidity change and may twists, warp, or crack. With changes in humidity they have the tendency to shrink or expand and this expansion and contraction ultimately affects the sound.[2]

twisted neck closeup littleguitarworks.com

twisted neck (retrieved from littleguitarworks.com)

Electric guitars come in different brands, shapes and colors and it’s really hard to tell the kind of tonewood used judging by the body’s weight alone.

Even if the guitar’s body has a natural finish, if one is not an expert or knowledgeable on the appearance of the different common tonewoods used, it’s pretty difficult to determine its kind.

Some guitars use Plywood for its body. Although plywood is only a mediocre as a tonewood, surprisingly plywood can withstand considerable atmospheric abuse.[3]

There are even guitars that have “Hardboard,” a type of fiberboard used for their body.

If you are living in the Philippines and plan on having a guitar custom-made for you, one of your best choices for body tonewood should be Mahogany.

For Mahogany is a wood that ages really well, it becomes better sounding every year, it’s a stable wood with less chances of warping over time than most other species.[4]

mahogany ratcliffe.co.za

Mahogany body (retrieved from ratcliffe.co.za/articles/bodywoods)

  1. Who is the Manufacturer?

If the guitar you’re planning on buying is made by a world famous Guitar Company then most likely you’ll be getting a good one.

Because these famous guitar makers are not only known for the quality of work and materials used but are also known for the type of tonewoods that they use.

High-end guitars may be expensive but one can at least be sure that the tonewood used is good.

And one should always think twice before purchasing a brand new guitar of the well known brands here.

If the price of the guitar is not right, if it’s a cut-rate then definitely it is a copy.

It may look genuine… a genuine copy.

In spite of that, we may see guitars that are moderately priced in the market that are of the top of the line brands that are made in Asian countries like China, Indonesia, Vietnam or Korea.

Although these guitars are crafted in these countries the materials they use are from the famous Company itself.

“Companies like Fender, Gibson, Washburn, Tanglewood actually get a large percentage of their guitars made at the same few companies in China. Washburn for example get some guitars made at a company which is known as Aiersiguitar, Devonmusik and Sinomusik.”[5]

Washburn Guitar

Washburn Guitar-Made in China

The factories that build them are either a franchise or branch of the larger company. And the guitars that are assembled there may use wood parts that are locally available in that country.

If you are from the Philippines and get this kind of guitar coming from another Asian country, this may actually be a good thing since the wood used come from an area of the same climate zone, i.e. tropical.

This is in fact advantageous in regard to your guitars “wood” health concerning relative humidity and its effects compared to a guitar that is brought in from a country that belongs to a different climate region, temperate like the United States.

Be that as it may, this still doesn’t mean one should just leave ones guitar readily exposed to the elements.

  1. How long do you plan on using it?

If you’re just starting out and plan on getting a better brand later then a cheapo may be worth it.

There are a lot of good cheapo’s out there, some of which are as good as their U.S. counterparts.

Because branch companies like those in China for one, make and export guitars to the U.S.A. as well as in other countries.

But the downside to other cheapo’s is that, their bodies may not be as resonant or sustaining and capable of enhancing any particular frequency range and overtones because of the kind of wood used.

If by some mathematical error the bridge of the guitar is not properly positioned or the bridge slot has not been routed accurately this can cause poor or inaccurate intonation and is not easily fixed.

Fact is, a high action can be remedied but inaccurate or poor intonation that result in bad scales are not uncommon among cheapo’s.

A misplaced nut that throws the entire scale off is also a problem that cheapo’s have, some of which may never be able to get corrected.[6]

If you ask any serious musician you know of, who takes their instruments seriously, they’ll surely ask you this query, “Is it quality? Will it be worth your every penny?”

So if you plan on becoming a serious musician and if your budget permits then you should get a good brand or save up for the good one.

Will a second-hand or used musical instrument of a known brand be just as good?

Used instruments at a bargain price may just be around you waiting to be found. If you go around you may find one with a great sound.

They may be old… but looking at them you’ll find a story is told.

DSC05948

And if you’ll find one that’s authentic then that would be fantastic!

Old means vintage and wood seasoned and aged.

So when choosing a guitar, one should consider its wood stability, sound quality, and overall durability, or better still its playability.

References:

[1] http://www.pjguitar.com/articles/humidity-guitars-health/

[2] http://www.ratcliffe.co.za/articles/bodywoods.shtml

[3] http://tonewood.com/luthier-resources/care-of-wood.html

[4] http://www.ratcliffe.co.za/articles/bodywoods.shtml

[5] https://www.guitarzone.com/forum/topic/194808-so-where-was-my-guitar-actually-made/

[6] http://www.koivi.com/guitar-intonation.html

Guitar Craze: The Quest For Musical Instruments

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To what extent does one go through in life?

This is how it all began.

As the Mitochondria band today reassemble and muster up the energy to rekindle that passion-driven fire within them to revive their original compositions.

Renewed efforts of getting themselves together again however, would be nothing but futile if an ensemble goes on without the necessary musical instruments to channel their musical creations.

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Take your pick.

Having left with no amplifiers or stringed instruments now the band is out to find new sets of gear and equipment.

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The Guitar side…

But such a call to arms wouldn’t mean it’ll cost one a leg or an arm, that is, in acquiring instruments it doesn’t mean it has to be high-end implements.

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…or the Bass-side?

So let me tell you a short story, a real Mitochondria story entitled, “Guitar Craze: The Quest For Musical Instruments.”

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Look! It is your destiny!

It’s a story about what two band members had to go through as they travel around in a craze that came out of the blue.

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See you soon in Episode VIII

Now, I shall have to take you back with me in time to the year Two thousand and seven when the band was at its year eleven.

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Mitochondria Band

It was a warm summer day when members, Danzoy and Ckinzki, first set out on a quest in search for their quarry.

beautiful bass

Danzoy and Ckinzki

So on their bike they took a ride, heading east through the countryside. Withstanding dust and heat, the beautiful countryside was the treat.

Following directions and clues like the Amazing race, Alas! they found a beautiful bass.

two basses

(Left) First P-Bass, (Right) Fernandes Bass, what a beauty.

Since that first find thereafter it all started and almost all Churches using musical instruments in Iligan City and neighboring towns they visited.

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Along with a Black Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar and a DOD Death Metal Distortion Pedal got traded to a Lazer Drumset (2008).

Asking fellow musicians, friends, and strangers they even dropped by the homes of studio owners.

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“Amber is the color of your energy” -311. Extraordinary sounding pickups… Sold (2008).

In their efforts they never let-up and once they got lucky to get a whole band set-up.

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Sold (2008).

As their acquisition turned to buying damaged or junked instruments, somehow they needed someone to fix them worn out equipment’s.

Ibanez Guitar

Guitar sold in 2008

Upon hearing of an Iligan City good luthier they ended up selling junk bottles, plastics, and metals so the master can fix their hoarded gear.

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Sold along with a 30 watts guitar amplifier (2008).

In this former search for used band equipment’s, to great lengths the two went in their procurement.

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Pawned to buy a flock of Australian Love Birds (2010).

Because having a thing for used musical instruments for the two, that time, meant disregarding any impediments.

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Sold as is (2010)

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LPC sold in 2011 along with a 30 watts guitar amplifier… Change of hobby.

GAS up! It’s going to be a fun ride once again.

Thanks