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Gear update for October 2013

Zoom R8

Some fairly major changes have happened recently concerning the gear I own now.

2003 Schecter C-1 Classic: Gone.

Yep, sold. Been wanting to do this for years and finally got around to it. I didn't make much, but that's okay. The new owner is very happy with it.

2012 Fender Modern Player Stratocaster HSS: Gone.

This one was traded out. I just never took a liking to this guitar no matter how much I wanted to like it.

Small side note: While the Modern Player Strat HSS gets a "it's okay" review by most people, those who buy the Modern Player Telecaster Plus have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. For whatever reason, Fender is doing Telecasters a lot better than Stratocasters these days. I don't know why exactly, but the Teles always get the more favorable reviews over the Strats.

Officially, I now own 6 guitars, 4 of which are in good working order. The ones that work are my '89 Squier II, 2010 Bullet Strat, 2005 Yamaha RBX170 bass and 2012 Epi Les Paul. The ones that don't work are the '93 Fender USA Standard Stratocaster (the truss rod is busted in the neck), and the Squier Bullet HH which is in pieces that I'm parting out and selling on eBay.

Concerning the '93 USA Strat, eventually I will get a replacement USA neck for it. I just don't feel like spending the $400 to get one (especially since I really don't need it right now). Yeah, I could put a Mexican neck on it and save money that way, but it's a USA guitar, so I'd prefer to have a USA neck on it.

In other words, the '93 USA Strat is the "I'll get to it when I get to it" guitar. 🙂 In addition to the new neck, a new pickup and control set would be going in as well. Around $500 or $600 worth of stuff all together. I'll get to it eventually.

Soon-to-be-gone: DigiTech GSP 1101, Tascam DP-008, BOSS DR-3 and Behringer Xenyx mixer

I bought something recently that for me replaces all of those things, a Zoom R8.

Had I known what the R8 was capable of beforehand, I never would have bought the Tascam or the DR-3.

I will have a full review on the R8 soon, but what I can say about it now is that when you use one of those, you literally need nothing else. It has a full effects unit in it with amp modeling, distortion, overdrive, flanger, phaser, delay, wah, reverb, booster, noise reduction filter and more. It has its own drum machine in it. It has a looper. It has 6-band EQ. It is a sampler. There's a lot more to it, but WOW is this thing full of features.

The R8 is the first multi-track I've ever used where you can literally plug in a guitar dry and the unit has enough in it to make any guitar or bass sound great. And with XLR inputs, using a microphone is easy too.

I only have three complaints about the R8. It feels cheap and plasticy, the pad buttons feel weird and it is one of those "submenu hell" type of units (meaning it has a bit of learning curve). But other than that, the R8 does everything right. It is the ultimate sleeper when it comes to home recording.

I'll put it another way. Imagine for a moment if there was one unit you could use where it simply did everything where you need no effect external effect pedals, no mixer, had its own drum machine and all you had to do was plug in a guitar dry and start recording. That's the R8.

Oh, and bonus: No power supply needed. It's powered 100% by USB, which means a cable to the laptop or PC is all that's needed to power it up.

The R8 is not marketed as a multi-track recorder but rather more of an interface. Believe me, it is WAY more than an interface and can do the job on its own in fine style.

More to come on the R8 soon. Possibly with video.

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Best ZOOM R8 tutorial book
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