z Gear Stories episode 5

Gear Stories 5, My favorite amp, and the keyboard that didn’t feel well…apparently


Hey everybody!  Time again for Gear stories!  And what are the two basic rules of Gear stories?


1.  If you  don’t like it, don’t get mad, just tell me not to send it to you!

2.  I always start with an item that is on the more affordable side, and end with a higher end item that stands as an example of what we can all dream for!


Part One:  My  Favorite Guitar Amp!


We all have it… somewhere in the back of our minds… our very own perfect guitar sound!  Everyone’s is different, but everybody’s got one… To find yours, just think about what a guitar is supposed to sound like, and imagine.


I think that what the sound actually IS depends a lot on where and when you were born and what your parents listened too…  So I guess that makes me a behavioralist…  I don’t think we’re born with it.


For me, you can hear it by taking a beat up old fender strat and plugging it into a vox amp with the top boost on and ripping out a bunch of Beatles riffs!  (Once again revealing approximately how old I am)


I remember in the studio the first time I recorded a Vox amp… My eyes lit up… I dare say my heart leapt!  I remember the song it was on… I still have it on my hard drive.  The richness and color!  The clarity in the high end!  Wow!  I was blown away.


So far, I’ve found that from the bottom to the top, they all sound GREAT!  So when My brother and his wife came to town to visit over Memorial Day, I gave them a tour of the place and we stopped in the guitar gallery and plugged in an Awesome Telecaster into all the vox amps in the room.  We had a lot of fun that day!


However, one of the reasons he came to visit was to take back his really cool guitar amp that I’d been “taking care of” for the last fifteen years… the dirty rat… that left me ampless!  But right now, I don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on a new amp, so as we were playing, I plugged the guitar into a little Vox DA5 and I was amazed at what I heard!


First of all, this thing is tiny… like LUNCHBOX tiny!  It even runs on batteries if you want, but the sound it made was HUGE by comparison!  Instantly, my studio ears imagined what it would sound like with a GREAT mic in front of it, blasting through my monitors, and WOW…. next check, I’m buying one!  I’ll be able to stick it in the closet with mic in front of the speaker and make it sound like I have a multi-thousand dollar rig!  It also has a lot of built in effects and modeling features, but best of all… it sounds like a VOX!


Check it out here…




Generally, I put in a discount price here, but our agreement with the distributors of Vox will not allow me to print prices lower than our advertised prices… and vox makes a LOT of amps, ranging up into the stratosphere when it comes to prices, but suffice it to say that if you call me about ANY vox amp this month, there will be a significant savings for you!  Check them all out here…




Part Two:  The Keyboard that didn’t feel well…  apparently


I genuinely like talking to my customers,  (that’s you guys) but I will admit to some form of favoritism… I have a handfull of you guys that I enjoy talking to a LOT!  One such fellow is this really cool guy that lives out in the desert in Arizona named Mark, and he recently bought a Nord Stage 73.  After he got it, I emailed him and asked what he thought of it.  He e-mailed me back that it was sick… really sick.


Those were his exact words.  I instantly (and again showing my age) called him up and asked him what was wrong with it.


Much to my chagrin, he very kindly explained that that meant he liked it.   …ooops.


He explained that the sounds were very “phat” and the keyboard felt great, and he loved it!


So now, to take the focus off my lack of hipness, I will explain that is the same reaction I get from everybody I know that experiences a Nord (including myself when I take a break and play in our demo room!)  The keyboards are not made to feel like a piano… they are definitely Synth keyboards, but actually, they more resemble old organ keyboards that just feel smooth… but the thing everybody raves about are the sounds.  They are rich and lush, and very thick and interesting.  They do killer organs and classic analog type sounds … perhaps they’re not for everybody.  They do have a distinctive “old School” vibe, but it is not the cheesey analog synth vibe, but the really COOL old school.  Generally, Nord keyboards are on the high end of the scale as far as price, but once you start playing one, you know exactly why.  They make a wide variety of models within their particular niche, like the Nord C1 organ, which is a dual keyboard unit, with all the classic organ sounds, to the super cool Clavia Nord Lead limited Anniversary edition with the funky reversed black and white keys  (the black keys are white and the white keys are black… not to be played by people who easily get seizures!)


Take a look at their whole product line and choose your favorite!  Call me for great deals on Nord keyboards through the end of June!




I look forward to your comments and reactions, and to talking to you… no favorites… well.. maybe a few…


Until next month, that’s it for Gear Stories!


Thanks for reading!


Jon Gillespie, Sweetwater Sales Engineer


800 222 4700 x 1352

260 432 8176 x 1352 (outside the U.S.)

260 432 1758 FAX

[email protected]