2016: The Year of Reckoning!

2016 was an odd year, full of surprises, and joys, and some disappointments. We want what we need, but sometimes we get what we do not deserve. Where do we travel from here, together, as a nation — while split apart at the inseams of belief, shredded in the threads of faith, and torn asunder by the warp and woof of radicalized empathy?

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Acoustic Guitars Strings Review

When you play guitar, you are always on the hunt for just the right set of strings for your musical expression.  Now that I’m back in an acoustic guitar swing, I have been on the hunt for just the right acoustic guitar strings and I’ll share my limited, but varied, journey with you now.

I learned over the past few weeks you just can’t beat the John Pearse acoustic strings. I use both the 600L and 700M sets and they both have such a wonderful chimey, echoey, glistening, chorus when you play that once you put them on, you’ll never want to take them off your guitar — even to change strings to the same strings!

Somehow, the John Pearse strings start off sounding grand and then only build their greatness as the weeks pass by — a complete reversal of the normal aging strings progression.  There’s some sort of magic going on, and the bright is right for focused experimentation.

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Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno Signature Polished Roundwound Strings Review

Other than the guitar, the most important factor in creating a great Jazz guitar sound are the strings you wind up tuning on your box.  I have reviewed many guitar string sets here on Boles Blues in order to find the best match for the style of music I want to play.

I have been partial to the Thomastik-Infeld strings because they last forever, but with the acquisition of my new Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno Jazz guitar, I had another set of strings to try —  The Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno Signature Set 13-52 — and here’s what I initially said about setting up my Gibson L5 with the new Sadowsky Bruno Strings:

When I picked up my Sadowsky Bruno today to play it — the guitar had morphed into a deeper, richer, tone and the playability was just a bit keener. Was the guitar getting acclimated, or was I bending my ability to better match its setup? The guitar is already starting to come into tone and I’ve only had it since Friday.

Now my new 1998 L5 sits there gently weeping at me. I picked it up for the first time today — to install Sadowsky “Jimmy Bruno Set” 13s on it! I will report back in a week or so in a new strings review!

I’ve been playing the new Sadowsky Bruno strings on my Bruno Jazz guitar and on my Gibson L5 archtop for a week and the sound is just grand.  The strings stay in tune and, like the Thomastik-Infeld strings, they grow warmer and richer the longer you play them!

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The George Benson GB114 Thomastik-Infeld Nickel Flat Wound Jazz Strings Review

I am a massive George Benson and Thomastik-Infeld fan and combining both of them into a single product creates a perfect storm of compressive talent and expansive harmonics.  George Benson GB114 Nickel Flat Wound strings by Thomastik-Infeld are my new, favorite, standard guitar strings.  I use them for Jazz and Blues and Rock.

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Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing 13-53 Flat Wound Guitar Strings Review

A month ago, we reviewed the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz BeBop 12-50 guitar strings, and today, we are reviewing their heavier brother, the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing 13-53 Flat Wound guitar strings — the heaviest gauge guitar string TI makes in that cycle.  As I dip deeper into Jazz, finding the right tone is another ongoing mission, and the TI Jazz Swing flat wounds are uniquely different in three ways than the previously reviewed Jazz BeBops — other than just being all-around thicker.

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Thomastik-Infeld Jazz BeBop 12-50 Guitar Strings Review

In the comments stream for my — How to Salvage a $5,000 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty Guitar with a Radical Truss Rod Adjustment — article, reader Samuel Broom suggested I try the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz BeBop 12 gauge guitar strings.  I decided to take him up on his advice and I am amazed to say these are absolutely the best-made guitar strings I have ever had the pleasure of stringing up.

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The Right-Angle Monster Cable Studio Pro 1000 Review

I have written a lot of instrument cable reviews.  I love Evidence Audio.  Mogami make high-quality cables.  Many guitars you buy include free cables.  Some people don’t think you can hear a difference between brands of cable, but I can.  An Evidence Audio cable always sounds better and deeper and brighter than a Fender cable.  I can also hear how a cable changes my guitar tone from amp to amp — so I’m a big believer in your gear making a difference in your sound.  As well, guitar picks also influence your overall vibe.

When I received my fantabulous Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno guitar, I was frustrated that, for the first time in my guitar acquisition syndrome career, I did not have the right cable in hand to effectively and comfortably play that guitar.

I was delighted when expert luthier Roger Sadowsky commented on my Boles Blues review of his guitar to suggest the following:

Thanks for the nice review, David. Glad you a happy with your guitar.

Regarding the location of the jack, may I suggest a right angle plug. Structurally, this is the best and safest location for a side jack. I have repaired too many broken ribs in my career from side jacks in their normal locations.

I promise you I will check for strings sticking in the nut slots more closely from now on!



I was on a mission to find a right-angle guitar cable and, to my grateful surprise, Monster Cable read my review and offered to send me the right cable from their Studio Pro line:

Continue reading → The Right-Angle Monster Cable Studio Pro 1000 Review