Archive for September, 2016
Here’s the schedule for October. I hope to see you at a show!
1st: Solo-Acoustic – Culinary Dropout (Waterfront Location – Scottsdale & Camelback) 8-11pm.
6th: Solo-Acoustic – Janey’s in Cave Creek, 7:30-10:30pm.
7th: Solo-Acoustic – Culinary Dropout (Tempe-Farmers Market) 9-12pm.
8th: The Pete Cummings Band at the Irish Wolfhound in Surprise, 9pm-1am.
13th: Solo-Acoustic at Dynamite Grill at Troon North, 5:30-7:30pm. Smokehouse BBQ Night! Open to the public!
14th: Solo-Acoustic – Anthem Country Club (Ironwood Clubhouse), Member event, 6-9pm.
15th: Solo-Acoustic – Wicked Six at Sunridge Canyon Golf Course, 5:30-8:30pm.
20th: Solo-Acoustic at Dynamite Grill at Troon North, 5:30-7:30pm. Smokehouse BBQ Night! Open to the public!
21st: The Bill Dutcher Trio at Janey’s, 7:30-10:30. $10 at the door.
22nd: Solo-Acoustic – Culinary Dropout (7th St. Yard Location) 8-11pm.
28th: Bill Dutcher & Bryan Hawkesworth (Acoustic/Percussion Duo) at Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse , 7-10pm. 3375 E. Shea Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85028 602.996.4228
29th: Solo-Acoustic at Salty Sow, on the patio, 7-10pm.
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I’m excited to announce that I recently received my new Synergy X7 Artisan harp guitar from Alistair Hay at Emerald Guitars! This instrument is a great addition to the arsenal for several reasons; a great working instrument for the hot, dry Arizona climate and for its compact size, when flying to gigs. It’s roughly the size of an electric guitar and comes with a high-quality soft case with backpack straps and storage compartments.
Due to its carbon fiber construction, it’s much more durable when dealing with hot temperatures and dry climates. It has a short scale neck that makes long stretches with the fingers much easier. The soft case is perfect for transporting it to local gigs and it’s great for airline travel, as it fits in the overhead storage bins, quite nicely.
What impresses me the most about Emerald Guitars is that Alistair can create just about any idea you come up with. The flexibility of adding custom options, along with impeccable workmanship is what drew me to Emerald Guitars, in making my idea a reality. My J. Thomas Davis harp guitar has six sub bass strings and I’ve always found myself wanting that one extra low sub bass note. Alistair was able to add a seventh sub bass along with Dunlop jumbo fret wire. I like jumbo fret wire because you can do vibrato much easier and you don’t feel the fret board as much when fretting. I had a second input jack installed for another pickup system along with traditional string posts installed on the harp headstock, near the sub bass tuners.
The instrument came with a Dual B-Band UST system that uses two under-the-saddle pickups wired to a stereo output jack that has a built in preamp. Using a stereo Y-cable, you can run each pickup into separate channels and get great separation between the guitar and sub bass strings. This allows you to run different signal processing on each channel and get some really cool results. While the B-Band set up provides a crisp, clean sound, I’ve always preferred the sound of magnetic pickups for their deep bass response and initial attack produced from the string. This, along with a contact transducer is my preferred set up. I find that magnetic pickups are more feedback-forgiving in live situations and they allow you to get high volume levels without feedback issues that arise from piezo/type under saddle pickups.
The issue for me was finding a 7-string magnetic pickup that was low-profile in size and that would work with phosphor bronze strings. I worked with Bill Arnsparger at Arnsparger Guitar Pickups, in Columbus, Ohio, to design a prototype. This magnetic pickup is about 10mm high and attaches to the face of the Synergy with double-stick tape. It’s passive and has adjustable pole pieces which really helps with dialing in the string balance, when dealing with phosphor bronze strings. Bill makes all kinds of custom wound pickups and I recommend you check him out if your looking for something new for your instrument.
The issue I’m dealing with in terms of getting comfortable with the Synergy is the string spacing on the sub bass strings. They’re a little wider than my J. Thomas Davis harp guitar and I have to reach a little farther when plucking a sub bass string. I’ve got to relearn all the muscle memory for all the tunes I do and it’s coming along…just need to hit the woodshed some more. 🙂 I’ll be posting some performance videos soon so stay tuned!
In conclusion, if your looking for a durable, workhorse instrument with exceptional features, sound and craftsmanship, check out Emerald Guitars line of unique instruments. The only limits are your imagination and as Alistair said to me in the beginning, “If you can think of it, there’s a good chance we can do it.”
Oh yeah…You’ll also get a cool Emerald Guitar coffee mug when you purchase an instrument!
#emeraldguitars #alistairhay #synergyharpguitar #billarnspager #arnspargerpickups #harpguitar
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