NEVER Use Guitar Pedal Couplers!

Guitar pedal couplers are those straight metal male/male 1/4″ jacks that seemingly allow you to connect all your pedals together using minimal space on your pedal board. Yes, this may seem like a great idea on the surface, but it should never be done under any circumstance!

Why? Because not allowing any flex between connections of pedals, different jack height (even slight) and the constant pressure of stepping on the pedals, will destroy jacks as well as the circuit boards they’re soldered to! Needless to say, you do not want to do this.

Instead, use something like these patch cables. This way you will have flex between each connection, and there will be no risk of destroying your investments! You’ll thank me later!

 

The Danelectro Amps of 1998 – Dirty Thirty, Nifty Fifty, Nifty Seventy

The company Danelectro was started by a man named Nate Daniel, he made amps and guitars from the 50s until 1969, then sold the company to MCA, who closed it down just one year later. In 1997, Steve Ridinger who had made Gorilla Amps and Banana tuners bought the trademark for the name. They started making pedals first, then guitars, both of which were a HUGE success. Then in 1998, the new Danelectro briefly dipped it’s toes back into the amp making waters. They produced a trio of amplifiers, two for guitar and one for bass.

The guitar amps were called the Dirty Thirty and the Nifty Fifty. The bass amp was called the Nifty Seventy. As far as I can tell, these amps were only made for a single year (correct me if I’m wrong). They were all solid state, and all came in a really cool looking tan and brown retro-looking cabinet. The amps were very inexpensive when they came out, and still have not gained much value, but are starting to gain a cult following. You can usually find them on Reverb for between $100 and $200!

The naming scheme for these amps is completely confusing and misleading. Is it possible this is why they weren’t much of a success upon their release? The Dirty Thirty is 10 watts RMS, the Nifty Fifty and Nifty Seventy are both 15 watts RMS, however all three are far louder one might think.  I personally own a Nifty Fifty and it is far too loud to play past 1.5 in my apartment. I have also owned a Dirty Thirty in the past, and it was also quite a beast. The only one I’ve never personally owned or heard is the Nifty 70. I would love to have one though. Need to move to a bigger place first haha.

 

The clean tones on the Fifty are especially nice. Especially when I pair it with a compressor pedal and some light chorus and reverb.

If you have any information you would like to contribute to this page, such as more accurate history and backstory, as well as technical specifications, please comment below. I feel like these amps deserve a place on the internet.

Hearing Yourself Without Delay While Recording

I read this probably 10 times a day in comments on my YouTube channel. “when I’m trying to record my vocals, hear a an echo or delay through my computer”. My answer to this is always, yes you do, and you always will if you’re trying to monitor yourself through software on your computer.

So how do you fix this? With hardware monitoring, that’s how. If you want to hear yourself through the microphone with no delay, you need to hear it though the audio interface BEFORE it is processed though the computer. This is the ONLY way to do so. Some people will claim they used to be able to hear themselves through their computer with no delay, then suddenly they can’t. But I’m sorry, this is not possible. There is always going to be latency when audio is processed though a computer. Sure, some is less noticeable and shorter than others, but it will ALWAYS be there. This is just the nature of computer recording.

So how do you get ‘Hardware Monitoring’? The answer is quite simple. You need an audio interface that has this feature. Nearly all USB audio interfaces designed for audio production will include this feature. How does it work? See this short video below for an explanation.

So how do you fix it? You need an interface that can do it. The Motu Interface pictured in this post is a good example of one with hardware monitoring, and that big knob is how you turn it up and down. 

As well as almost anything in this list will do it. Just make sure you see Hardware Monitoring as one of it’s listed features before buying. 

 

Knowledge is the key to setting up a guitar better than ever

Recently I picked up a Squire Bullet Mustang, that I absolutely love. But compared to my Les Paul, the feel really doesn’t compare. This is to be expected from a $170 guitar compared to one that is much more expensive. But why does the Les Paul feel so much better?

I got my LP used and one of the things that made me fall in love with it was the feel of the guitar. It didn’t just feel great because it was a Les Paul, it felt great because it had a very professional setup done to it before I bought it.

So back on the Mustang; when I bought this guitar I had full intentions of doing some pretty heavy customizations. I’m still waiting on a lot of parts, but my goal is to make my Mustang play as good as my Les Paul. I knew to do this I would need to learn a lot about setting up guitars.

I watched several videos on YouTube, and got some good information. But I wanted one easy to understand guide. In my search I found this amazing guide on Amazon, and got it for only $4.99 and could read it instantly on my Kindle Fire Tablet.

This book is absolutely amazing, it has such clear instructions of everything from setting your neck relief, to bridge adjustments, frets, pickup adjustments, and everything you need to setup your guitar perfectly. It also gives you a list of all the tools you’ll need to do all the work to your guitar to make it play perfectly. In addition to that, there are templates to to print out and make your own measurement  tools.

Even before getting my parts to finish my guitar I managed to make my mustang feel so much better within minutes after reading this book. Knowledge is the key! Don’t give up on your instrument if it doesn’t feel the way you like, you can fix it!