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An Epiphone Blues Custom 30 Fidelity Testimony by Gary McGill

Last week I was noodling on my Epiphone JV-200 and decided to do two things. I tuned the guitar way down to Bb (normal tuning Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-F-Bb) and then plugged it into my GP-8 and then into my Epiphone Blues Custom 30. Wow! This was one of those off the beaten track kind of experiments that I do once in a while and I thought that I would relate it here because although not everyone is going to do this, as acoustic guitars are the domain of amps specifically for that purpose, the necessity to use a normal guitar amp might come up in a pinch.
 
The pickup in this guitar was a stock Epi pickup from an 80’s Epiphone acoustic and to that I dialed in a chorus patch on my GP-8.  What was amazing to me was that I kept shaving off treble and it was still quite clear. I don’t know if it was the direction of the amp against an opposing wall, or what, but it filled the room with big, airy, slow relaxing tones, chords and harmonics. I toggled to the A/B class mode at 30 watts and with all the treble off, the mids at 9 o’clock and the bass at about 4 o’clock, I had the biggest, fattest, warmest tone you could imagine. It honestly filled every cubic inch of air in the room. The low tuning coupled with the size of the strings (12-53) and the twin 12 inch speakers gave it "sonic purchase". I can't explain it any better than that.
 
I’m of the opinion that this frequency range is somehow rarely addressed by acoustic guitar amplifiers. Most acoustic amps of this genre have a couple of small speakers, a horn or two and solid state circuitry. It’s good, it does its job, but this was different.  Different enough to be awe inspiring. It wasn’t loud, just ‘BIG’. Big, clear and warm.
Here’s a few examples of something I was playing using the above signal chain tabbed in standard tuning
 
Asus4 resolving to A
E -----------------------                           
B -----------------------
G ------‹7›----6h------
D ------‹7›-------------
A ------‹7›-------------
E -----------------------
Hit the 7th fret harmonic over the G, D and A strings, then depress the 6th fret on the G string, let the other two ring, and you've resolved from an Asus4 to an A chord.
 
Dmaj/C
E ------------------------
B ------‹7›--------------
G ------‹7›--------------
D ------‹7›--------------
A ------------------------
E --------------8h-------
Let's say you want a polytone, D Maj with a C in the bass. Hit the D triad harmonic on the 7th fret (G,B,D) and then hammer on C on the low E string and you've got your polytone.
 
<7> = play harmonic at 7th fret
h  = hammer on

Posted: 3/3/2009 1:23:23 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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