Friday, June 25, 2010

Guitar: Basic Buying Tips - Finale

Index:
  1. Guitar buying tips: Intro!
  2. How much is your budget, and how flexible is it?
  3. What exactly do you need?
  4. How do you rate yourself?
  5. What do you expect from your kit?

Time has come for the final post in the series. It's been fun :D
Now lets take out the last thing to consider, your expectation!

4. What do you expect from your kit?
Are you buying the kit as a one-time investment (read my views on it in Q. 3)? Plan on upgrading/modding it later? What kind of sound do you want? All these are covered here, briefly. For a detailed outline on what all factors affect the sound/intonation, wait up for the Guitar: Technical analysis series! I also got a Cort X-11. There's going to be a review on it soon.

Modding:
For those planning to mod their axe, here’s a short example breakup of the costs (I can only tell the online cost estimates, it’s up to you to see if there is a cheaper source!):

  • Custom paint jobs:
    These can be a costly affair, and may not be available for your guitar, so it’s easier to get a Special/Limited Ed if it has a color option you prefer.
  • Pickup upgrades are a crazy expense:
    Pickups often tend to cost 50-60% of the guitar when you are in the <$500 range when bought separately. Keep that in mind!
  • You cannot upgrade the wood
    The wood is the guitar. If you change the body/neck, then you could have as well bought a custom from the start.

Here’s an example: Cort X-6 (Rs. 12.4k) comes with Mightymite BlueBuckers and the general opinion is that they suck. An upgrade to EMGs would cost Rs. 8000; a custom paint would be likely around Rs. 1500, and a change in the body a stupid thing to consider. The Cort X-11 comes at Rs. 19.5k and has EMGs, a custom paintjob, and Flamed Maple top*.
* The difference in body if preferred, costs about Rs. 3500 when making a custom guitar.

In International figures, Cort X-6 comes at ~$260 and Cort X-11 at about ~$350.
EMGs (the ones X-11 has): $55x2-$35x2 = $40
Custom Paint: ~$30
Flamed Maple top: $700
I’m sure you can do the math…

Sound:
The sound of a guitar is most influenced by the Amp and not the guitar. More precisely, the sound comes in this order:
Amp>>Pedal>>Pickup>>Body>Neck
So if the guitar isn’t a instrumental handicap on your playing abilities, upgrade the Amp, and get a pedal first.

Remember the kit can’t make music for you. Expect less, research a lot and spend wisely.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guitar: Basic Buying Tips - You

Index:
  1. Guitar buying tips: Intro!
  2. How much is your budget, and how flexible is it?
  3. What exactly do you need?
  4. How do you rate yourself?
  5. What do you expect from your kit?

It's been a long time since I've posted on this topic. But it needs to be done. And what better time than when you're awake at 4 in the morning! Depending on you, the answer might vary to today's issue.

3. How do you rate yourself?
Now this is a completely different question, hmm? Nothing to do with guitars in this one. What I mean by this is that you should know whether you’re a Novice or a Pro, whether you intend to continue further, what you are looking for (Q. 2), etc.

If you're a beginner, don't make it a one-time investment, because you may realize you need something different after playing for a while. One-time investments are usually costlier (“high-risk” to my finance mind) and to be made with a lot of care.

And of course my argument doesn't stand if you've had plenty of experience and know what you are doing. Sites such as Ultimate Guitar, and Harmony Central have some amazing reviews. You would be able to feel the guitar without even touching it once! (But that doesn't mean you don't touch it at least once before buying)

PS: I myself went against this golden rule when I bought my first, and now my second EG! It's like I said, don't do something stupid. If you know what you're doing, you should be fine.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Review: Elfen Lied - 4.5/5

I'm a veteran of many anime... Yet I’ve seen few that can convey so much, and throw out such an elaborate plot in s screen time of just ~300mins. It is a Horror/Action anime with some Romance. But that can tell almost nothing about this anime. In fact, once you see the series, you will realize how deep the entire plot really is...

I had just watched Shingetsu Tsukihime, and had that hollow feeling, the one you get after completing a good anime. And what is the best solution to it? Watch another one!! I’d seen a lot of wallpapers of Elfen Lied, seen some user ratings and such; So, I was kinda interested in trying it. To cut the story short, that’s what I did.

Watching a naked girl ripping people to pieces was never my idea of an anime. Little did I know that was what I would get. I really couldn’t leave it without watching the first episode. So, I carried on. And I never looked back. 6 hours on this in the morning, and I had a hollow deeper that when I’d started...

The anime derives its name from the tune played by Kohta’s music-box, Elfenlied (literally ‘Elf Song’). That one tune itself is beautiful, a perfect blend of pain, suffering, mystique and horror. The visual quality and the character designs are amazing. The opening theme, Lilium (Latin for Lily) is one of the best I’ve heard.

The plot revolves an insensitive guy, Kohta, his cousin, Yuka, and a Diclonus, Lucy/Nyu. There are many others, who play important roles, but it’s a pain to mention them all due to the sheer number of people that keep dying...
Nyu                                                                Yuka                                                           Kohta

It begins with some crazy scenes, leaving us to wonder what’s going on. We eventually realize the girl was held captive, and is attempting to escape. She takes a bullet to her head, as she’s about to escape. Then we are introduced to Kohta and Yuka, who have met after eight years. Yuka drags him to the beach. They are chatting, when the girl (the same one) suddenly appears in the water. She doesn’t have any clothes on, (leading to some funny moments) and it looks like she has lost her memory. Eventually, she is taken by the two to the hotel where Kohta was going to stay. This is when the story starts off...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bleach: Sousuke Aizen

In my opinion, he might become the best ever Antagonist... He's definitely up there, on the top... With greats like Magneto and Joker...

Courtesy: OneManga

Infact, I'm gonna try to photoshop this pic up.. Dunno when though :)

Latest Scans: Kyōko Kamogawa

I've been working on this one for some time now, and the photoshop transformation is almost done.. so I thought it's time I put the scan online... 35MB is converted to 350KB. I hope picasa won't mess this up for me :|


Well what a surprise.. It did not (and it usually doesn't)... Artwork to be uploaded sometime soon...

PS: Working on the next guitar post in the series, a mobile review, 2 anime reviews and a POEM :S
Got some work besides that too..
And here I thought I could study for the placements!

Update: Check the colored version here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guitar: Basic Buying Tips - Need

Index:

  1. Guitar buying tips: Intro!
  2. How much is your budget, and how flexible is it?
  3. What exactly do you need?
  4. How do you rate yourself?
  5. What do you expect from your kit?

I hope the previous post would've helped someone, or will help someone someday. Anyways, I'm just posting to make a record for myself (^_^) It's a personal blog after all. Well then, I guess I should move on to the second question I'd mentioned.

2. What exactly do you need?
It can be more specifically framed as “What do you play?” or "What do you want to play?" If you’re clueless, then think up what kind of music do you prefer, and if you’re aiming to play those. If it’s still too hard to figure, then choose a flexible guitar...

MetalYou can get a good Metal axe by sticking to Cort EVL/X series and the Ibanez GRG series in the lower ranges. If you intend to spend Rs. 25000+ ($500), then you can explore a lot of options such as Schecters, ESPs, Ibanez Prestige and Jacksons, or heck, even Signature Guitars (Kirk Hammet Sig guitars come at Rs. 35k and the more expensive one at Rs. 90k)
Technically, you should be looking for Double Humbuckers, Good Harmonics, Thin neck for shredding, and maybe a less noisy Clean tone for those Acoustic-like sections.

JazzWell, this would be a Fender specialty (Given that this is about Solid-Body Guitars). If not, an Arch--top is the way to go. Getting down to the lower ranges (for whom this guide is actually made,) it would be good to go with a Strat replica, such as the Yamaha Pacifica, or maybe Fender Squiers. I really can’t say much but here are some important things to look for: Single coils for that Fenderesque tone, Noiseless cleans, etc. Some pros prefer a humbucker at the neck for the best sound. Remember, the guitar needs to produce a clear, consistent, and resonant tone when it is played moderately.

Some general stuff most players prefer in a guitar are:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guitar: Basic Buying Tips - Budget

Index:
  1. Guitar buying tips: Intro!
  2. How much is your budget, and how flexible is it?
  3. What exactly do you need?
  4. How do you rate yourself?
  5. What do you expect from your kit?

Ready with your response? It would be better if you did your homework. Well anyway, let’s address the first  issue now:

1. How much is your budget, and how flexible is it?
This is probably the most important aspect, given you’re not buying one just ‘cuz you have too much cash. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, the best guitars available would vary, and with them, the features.

Keep in mind that you will need an amp too (more about that later.) Here’s a short breakup of the price ranges (Rupees in thousands):

Monday, June 7, 2010

Guitar: Basic Buying Tips - Intro

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now… help you people decide what kinda guitar to buy if you’re looking for a new one… or just to spend all that extra cash. This is specific to Electrics, though I’m not saying you won’t benefit if you’re planning to splurge on an expensive Acoustic either. (More specifically, it’s written keeping Solid-Body Guitars in mind.)

Well then… Let’s roll.

These are a few things to consider before you go. Keep them in mind.

  1. How much is your budget, and how flexible is it?
    This doesn’t require an explanation I’d presume.
  2. What exactly do you need?
    Put simply, what kind of music do you intend to play.
  3. How do you rate yourself?
    Not just how well you play the guitar, but also what do you want, what kind of an investment it will be, etc.
  4. What do you expect from your kit?
    After all, a kit can only get you so far…

Get a rough idea of your response to the above Qs. I’ll be posting a solution to each point in the coming days. Do follow if you intend to buy a guitar sometime soon. You won’t regret it. After all, I’m writing this after spending about 14 months on deciding which one I want to buy…