Crimson Guitars cigar box build competition

Today, Crimson Guitars is publishing a series of videos showing a competition between four of their luthiers.  Each of them will build a cigar box from one of their kits, and they will be judged by an independent expert at the end of the day.  Here is the first video in the series – I hope you will enjoy them; I’m sure I will!

They also published an introductory video a week ago which explains the competition.

Unboxing parts for my Crimson guitar build

This morning I got a parcel with the first components for my forthcoming Crimson guitars build at the end of October.  I made an unboxing video to show the bridge and tuners, and have put it on a new article where I will link to all of the unboxing / preparation videos.

Planning my guitar build – unboxing videos

The Circle of Fifths and its implications on tuning

I started writing a post on this subject today but it turned out to be too long for a post, so I’ve published it as an article.  It concerns tuning with the circle of fifths, and why that doesn’t quite work.  There’s a bit of maths involved (which I’ve done for you), and some interesting conclusions.

Article: The Circle of Fifths and tuning


Where it all started – my Chapman bass review

This website is an evolution of my YouTube channel, and today I return to the beginning of that.  My first YouTube video was a review of my Chapman MLB-1 bass guitar, which was one of the first of the Chapman basses, and I made that video because there were no reviews or other videos about this bass apart from the ones from the Chapman guys themselves.  It is the most watched of my guitar-related videos, with almost 9,000 views (one of my videos about my Audi A4 has supplanted that as my most watched video of all, but that’s not the subject of this site).

Now I see that there are a couple of other short reviews and demos from other players, but there still isn’t much out there about this bass which is a real shame, because I still think it’s an excellent bass for the money.  I’ve had no desire to replace it by a better bass and I heartily recommend it, after 18 months.  It’s a shame that Chapman Guitars has not built on this by releasing more basses, perhaps with different pickups, different finishes or 5 / 6 string versions.

As a side note before the video, I’ve been adding articles to the My Gear section of this website (the Chapman Bass article will go up soon!), so please take a look there for pictures of and the stories behind my guitars and other gear.

If you are interested in buying one of these basses or reading the specifications, you can find them at Anderton’s or Thomann, or at your favourite Chapman retailer if you’re outside Europe (although those retailers will ship worldwide).


Crimson Guitars – The 12-Hour Build

Crimson Guitars is where I will be going at the end of October to follow a week’s course in guitar building, and I will build my own guitar (see the articles beginning “Planning my Guitar Build part 1“).  They do a lot of instructional videos on luthiery skills, and recently Ben Crowe, the Master Luthier, attempted to build a guitar in 12 hours.

The whole build was filmed and made available in all of it’s 12-hour glory on YouTube, and I’m afraid to say that, apart from skipping through some of the sanding, I watched the whole lot.  Thanks to Ben’s commentary and the interest of watching the whole process of making a guitar, it was actually rather interesting!

Below you will find the first episode, “Preparing for the 12 Hour Guitar Build”, which preceded the 24 half-hour episodes.  They are also going to produce an hour-long highlights version, but for those with the stamina, the full 12 hours are worth the watch.

Ben is obviously certifiably mad and I’m looking forward to meeting him!

Luthiers in the UK

I have added a new article today which is a list of luthiers working in the UK.  This list is based on recommendations I have received, and focuses on small individual luthiers or companies, rather than bigger brands.  It includes all areas of the UK plus Eire.

Please do comment and tell me about your favourite luthiers (even if that’s you!), and I’ll add them to the list.

Article: UK Luthiers

More on the Rob Chapman Forum

Some of you will already know the Rob Chapman forum because at this stage probably many of my readers come from there.  For those who don’t know it, the Rob Chapman Forum (RCF) is an internet forum for guitar lovers, started by Rob although he only appears very occasionally on the site.  Rob Chapman is one of the best known YouTube guitar bloggers / presenters, best known for his work with Anderton’s.  Recently, Rob has been working with his band Dorje, and he also heads Chapman Guitars, one of a very small number of UK-based guitar brands (as opposed to luthiers, of which there are plenty in the UK).

The RCF is one of my two favourite forums (the other is AVForums), and the people on there are generally helpful and sarcastic in equal measure!  It’s also the home of the RCF jams, as posted a couple of days ago.

The Chapman guitars are partly responsible for my YouTube videos, since my first video was a review of the Chapman Guitars MLB-1 bass in January 2015, and I just continued from there.  It’s a really nice bass, and I think it’s a shame that CG hasn’t made more bass guitars!

Here are some links to the Chapman forum and other Chapman-related sites:

Six Mikes

Today I made another video which I’ve been meaning to do for a while.  I recorded myself playing a short piece through my Marshall Mini Silver Jubilee head, and I recorded the sound through six different microphones.  I had three “proper” mikes pointed at the speaker cabinet, and then I used the DI output from the amp and finally the sound and video from my camcorder and my mobile phone.

If you aren’t used to recording, the differences in quality and tone might surprise you – even between the three “proper” microphones (which are decent although not top professional quality).  For me, it shows how difficult it is to record good sound.  I think my favourite was the Shure SM57 – what’s yours?