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Customer Reviews: 57
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Helpful Votes: 54

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Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus Universal Power Supply - (New)
Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus Universal Power Supply - (New)
Offered by Gear Hero HQ
Price: $169.00
22 used & new from $167.59

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no power switch, December 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
How much more would it cost for an on/off (power) switch? Just stupid to not add that simple function to such an overpriced piece of garbage.

Zamberlan Men's 4041 Expert Pro Alpine Boot
Zamberlan Men's 4041 Expert Pro Alpine Boot
Offered by Backcountry
Price: $420.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa Oh Black Betty... Zamberlan..., November 22, 2014
I've been on the hunt for good boots for the last twenty years or so. From RedWings to TCX and SIDI moto-boots, but nothing has ever come close to these Zamberlans in terms of fit, support, and secure feelings of quality.

Living over here in the States, I'd never heard of Zamberlans, but decided they looked interesting enough for me to take a chance, since these were 50% off retail at my time of purchase. The reviews I could find written in English were mostly high praise.

The color was a little loud for me, so I dyed them with Fiebing's Oil Dye (which only barely tinted the hydrophobic leather into a more subtle, dark olive/army green color - much better!), which isn't the "proper" dye they market for suedes, but I digress...

They fit tighter than the other European sized boots with the same size designation, but I lucked into my pair fitting PERFECTLY. I've never had a more perfect fit (and I ordered them sight unseen from the internet without ever trying any on).

They felt almost TOO tight at first, but I had faith in the padding compressing some, which it did within a day and a half, and I just lucked-out, I guess.

I replaced the too-long laces with black 550 paracord, much better.

Anyway, about the boot: I did not need to fill them with water and walk around in them to break them in, like I've done with RedWings. These just felt too good, right out of the box. No need to mess with a good thing.

They look totally different, now that they're black with a greenish hue. Very burly stomp-kickers at the ends of my legs. The soles are even MORE rigid than my moto-touring boots, which is extremely rigid, but shaped in a way that makes walking a delight. Ankle support is out of this world. I can't lace them wrong - the lacing system is very evolved and efficient.

When removing the shoes, the way the lacing system works, opens up the entire shoe for EASY entry, without having to loosen all the laces down to the toe. It's like magick. The opening gets HUGE and it's so convenient and awesome.

Give me some of whatever the person who said the stitching fell apart is smoking. I have never been more impressed with the fit and finish of a boot before.

Even with the soles being about as rigid as plywood, I feel like running whenever I'm walking in these boots, and I do. My legs just bust into a sprint, on my way to the road to check the mailbox... the boots just want to go, and it's such a weird and welcomed sensation. Very walkable.

At my computer desk, I want to stand. The support these provide, feels like I could do that Michael Jackson dance move in Smooth Criminal, where he leans unrealistically far without toppling over. While doing deep-squats, I never even faltered my balance. In other shoes, doing squats requires far more balance and concentration, but these keep my feet PLANTED, and hold my calves up.

I don't notice the weight of footwear unless I'm just holding them in my hands, up to a certain point - and these are below that threshold.

The look was weird. Took a few days for me to get used to, and it's growing on me - especially after I "murdered them out" (blackened them). Yeah, I could have just bought the black ones with the Norwegian welt soles that more cobblers are apt to re-sole, but those weren't 50% off, so I did what a ghetto-boy had to do. I'm quite pleased with the results.

The only "con" is the name reminds me of a song I don't like, "Whoa oh Black Betty, Zamberlans..." but since I blacked out all the logos, the song is haunting me a little less.

Squier by Fender  Avril Lavigne Telecaster Electric Guitar, Rosewood Fingerboard, Black
Squier by Fender Avril Lavigne Telecaster Electric Guitar, Rosewood Fingerboard, Black

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way better than even possible, amazing value and quality!, October 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wasn't expecting much, coming from "high end" Epiphones and "low end" Gibsons, and I've never been a fan of Fenders, except for the Tele. Well, I didn't know what I was getting when I ordered this at the insanely discounted price of $169, but I know I have an amazing instrument now.

I didn't want to invest much in a "Fender" so I thought this would be on par with Epiphones, but this Squire blows Epiphone away. The pickup sounds a hundred times better than any Epiphone pickup I've ever heard. It sounds good enough that I don't even feel the desire to upgrade it. It's good. A Tele's got to have that single-coil twang, right? Well it's got it. The "pickup selector" switch is three positions, splitting the humbucker for the first coil, then middle position is full humbucking mode, then all the way back is the single/split coil in the bridge position, and in this position it is full-on Tele all the way. (but still not angled and housed inside a metal bridge/plate, like a real tele)

The output jack is in the control plate, and it doesn't have a tone knob, but it sounds so good I don't miss any tone knobs at all. I thought I would be modding this thing all to heck, but it plays, sounds, feels, sustains and growls amazingly right out of the box! (I'm comparing this to much more expensive guitars too)

I chose this Avril Lavigne model for its black headstock, crossbones single inlay fretboard and the insanely cheap price (my cheapest guitar, ever). Oh, yeah... and I also like Avril Lavigne. She's amazing and I love her. She so talented and beautiful and gorgeous and her voice is the best and she's played guitar all her life. I think it's kind of lame that her signature model is so cheap. Why does John 5 get a "Fender" branded one for over a thousand dollars, and his Squire is like 5 times as expensive? Avril deserves more respect.

It's so much lighter than my Les Paul, and really easy to play. It sounds good enough to just leave out and grab for some quick riffs throughout the day. It's only my "beater" guitar, because it was so cheap. It's polyurethane finish is very durable too, the neck is a satiin finish which feels very fast and smooth. The rosewood fretboard is actually more beautiful than any I've seen, It gets all swirly towards the lower frets, like the beginnings of a very huge knot forming in another part of the tree. The grains are tight too, almost like a light colored ebony. Maybe it's not rosewood, but it's grainy, and tight. It looks dry, but feels great. I'm so impressed by how much value this turned out to be, and I seriously don't feel the need to upgrade it. I want to change all the pickups in my Epiphones, maybe not the bass, but the Epiphones all came with nasty pickups... and were at least twice as expensive too. This Squire does not sound as good as my Gibsons, but it's way closer than the Epiphones, and cheaper too. Gibsons are still my favorite, and I don't think I'll buy any more Fenders or Squires, because this little black beauty is a lot of guitar.

If I had to start over and I didn't have enough money to buy a Gibson, and could only buy one guitar. It would be this Black crossbones skull Avril Lavigne Squire Tele. Real Talk.

M87 MXR Bass Compressor
M87 MXR Bass Compressor
Price: Click here to see our price
28 used & new from $160.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Needs a threshold knob, October 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
One of the best Bass Pedal compressors I could find, but it sure would be nice to have a threshold control. You kind of have to mess with the input gain to get the threshold where you want it, which is a bit of a compromise, but it works.

Sound is transparent and clean, and the attack and release controls really let you dial it in to your taste. The pre-set clicks of the ration adjustments aren't infinitely variable, but allows for the most common ratios. Pretty good, for a pedal.

Honestly, I didn't even consider any of the other pedals with less knobs, and this one has the LED metering, which convinced me to choose this one. Sturdy construction, seems like it'll endure my abuse. My first and only MXR pedal (thus far).

It'd be nice if it had a noise gate too though.

Fiebing's Black Oil Leather Dye 32oz
Fiebing's Black Oil Leather Dye 32oz
Offered by Leather Care Supply
Price: $45.65
2 used & new from $33.00

5.0 out of 5 stars "Ebonizing" Guitar Fretboards, THIS is the STUFF!!!, September 25, 2014
Yuppers, this is the stuff to get. Make sure it says, "OIL" in its title. My bottle says, "Fiebing's Black Professional Oil Dye" on it.

Oh wow, it worked wonderfully. My Epiphone LP Studio Gothic had a rosewood f-board against everything else being fully black. I just couldn't stand the contrast (I also wish the only fretboard marker was one fret higher, and said, "XIII" instead), so it got the first coat of dye. I let it dry/soak-in overnight for good measure, then hit it with Coleman-Fuel soaked cotton balls to clean it all up. Wonderful results. Black as black gets and the entire guitar looks so much better now. The color is steaddfast and doesn't rub off once it's gone over with the Coleman (Naptha) Fuel.

Next, I dyed my entire A.B.G. (Acoustic Bass Guitar) black. It had an "oil finish" or maybe it was "varnish" I don't know, I'm just guessing. It's called "natural pore" finish or something like that, I don't remember. Anyway, I just slobbed a bunch of this stuff all over it, without any sanding or surface prep what-so-ever. This stuff just goes right through anything, and soaked pure blackness into the layered mahogany. (The "Fiebing's Leather Colors" I got from Michaels Arts and Crafts Store just didn't work at all, this "OIL" stuff was extremely different)

The Coleman Fuel (Naptha) wipes the frets clean with ease (even after sitting overnight) and the metal tuning machines were a breeze to wipe clean. This dye did soak into the "Ibanez" headstock decal though, and you can just barely make it out now if you squint. It also really darkened the fretboard dot-markers, I'm guessing because they're plastic, instead of M.O.P. or Abalone. I also just slobbed it on the nut, darkening it into a splotchy dark grey color.

It looks like a piano-black, ebony bass guitar now. Not really, because it's more pure-black than ebony sheets that large, without any streaks of lighter shades at all. It's like a synthetic ebony though. It's weird, but I like it a lot. It still looks like wood, you can see all the grain and pores, but it's no longer not-black.

I gotta say, it was a lot easier than painting a guitar, and paint would have added heavy layers to its sound-board, possibly deadening the sound. This is a precariously thin coating (I only used ONE COAT, and it's BLACK as night), that dries in hours, and with less smell and no over-spray or runs to worry about, while keeping the wood's inherent character.

Leather OIL Dye for wood is like my new favorite thing now. WOOL DAUBERS work so much better than Q-tips (cotton) for covering large areas. Something about the way WOOL (sheep's hairs) interact with the OIL... big difference in practice.

SKB Baby Taylor/Martin LX Guitar Shaped Hardshell
SKB Baby Taylor/Martin LX Guitar Shaped Hardshell
Offered by Good Buy Products
Price: $89.00
7 used & new from $73.11

1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible quality, SKB aren't what they used to be, September 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The first one (shipped and sold by Amazon) arrived in a box about three times the size, without any packing material. I realize it's a "road case" but I received it badly scuffed up on its outside plastic. One spot looks like it almost wore through its exoskeleton. The internal pocket is sew very crooked, with way too much material for its hinge, resulting in a super-floppy hinge. I asked Amazon for an exchange, hoping to get a better one.

The next one arrived in a properly sized box, but it won't close without biting into its extruded aluminum channel. A hinge was riveted wrong, or off or crooked, or something, making it an extra step to use both hands to try to get it to close right. Kind of like what would happen if you dropped it and bent its frame. Maybe that's what happened, but I don't want a case that does this when it's supposed to be brand new. I guess I'd understand after many years of service.

I don't know how many times I'd have to drive to the UPS drop-off-location to finally get a useable one, but I give up.

It fit the Little Martin well though, even though its waist section wasn't form fitted, allowing the Baby Taylor's wide-waisted dreadnought shape to universally fit.

Seiko QHL062YLH Japanese Quartz Clock
Seiko QHL062YLH Japanese Quartz Clock
Offered by shopemco
Price: $39.95
2 used & new from $39.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Needs additional 5v DC adapter, September 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This little clock sure does look nifty. If you're close enough to it, you might be able to live without the adapter, but adding the adapter makes it constantly lit-up, bright enough to see across the room, on a dim night. Or in pitch blackness, or in daylight.

It takes a long time to set. It starts from zero and you have to go through a lot of button-holding to get to where you need to be. The alarm is relatively loud, and sounds nice, but it's not enough to wake me up, automatically shutting off after five minutes.

Luckily, I had a 5v power supply with the wrong sized plug, then another adapter with the wrong voltage, so I had to splice them together, as I found it essential for the operation of this clock. Some flux, heat, solder and heat-shrink tubing made me an adapter that keeps the lights on. It's good now, but you should probably figure the adapter into its cost.

Ibanez PCBE12 Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar Open Pore Natural Mahogany Top
Ibanez PCBE12 Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar Open Pore Natural Mahogany Top

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty dang bad, but doable with a lot of work... and still worth it., September 11, 2014
I realize this is a cheaper instrument, hence the better-than-one-star rating, but it was a lot worse than I expected. The good part is, it was worth fixing, because the sound is good and it has good playability. Feels good, but we'll get into the positive aspects a little later. Let's start with all that was wrong with it.

Needed set-up, but that was to be expected, so no deduction there, but it turned out to be a labor intensive ordeal. There are chunks missing from the wood, obviously filled in with some putty. The neck has a wart, or a pronounced bump, and it's pretty noticeable. It's like a huge cyst on the backside. There are abrasions and small chips all around the perimeter. The top is the thickest top I've ever seen on an acoustic. Let me measure it... it's exactly 5mm thick plywood, compared to the normal 3mm laminated tops on my other acoustics, but for some reason, the guitar still sounds GOOD. It has a lot of low-end, and a rich sound.

First, I had to get rid of the buzzing. The initial truss-rod adjustment was SCARY. There must have been some dried glue that seeped into the threads, and that first quarter-turn sounded like I was going to snap the neck in half. I could hear wood splintering sounds, but hopefully it was just cracking the dried glue. I wasn't going to NOT adjust it, since it needed to be done. All's well that ends well, and once it broke the glues loose, everything was fine. Buzz disappeared after minute adjustments. Action was decent, but let me see this saddle anyway... Sure enough, the bottom of the saddle was far from flat and square, so I proceeded to sand that down with a guide to ensure it was legitimate.

Okay, so that's a "normal" set-up on an acoustic, and should have been enough, but there was another huge problem. While plugged in, the G-string was literally about 15 dB louder than the rest. Maybe 3dB or even 6dB might be normal, but this was HUGE. I removed the saddle and checked the bridge's saddle-slot with a depth gauge to find the high side 2.3mm shallower than the rest of the bridge-slot, accounting for the huge difference in the UST's performance.

Without a router, I used a Wiha micro-flathead screwdriver to "chisel" away the excess rosewood. I went very slowly, constantly checking my progress with the depth gauge. This took me about an hour to accomplish. The result: It COMPLETELY fixed the imbalanced UST response, and all strings are now perfectly similar in output. Yay!

I bought an acoustic Bass, to play un-plugged, seems obvious, but there's a caveat with its built-in tuner. It needs to have a 1/4-inch plugged into it for it to function, defeating its usefulness as a totally acoustic instrument. I'd have to carry around an extra cable if I want to use the built-in tuner without an amp. Seems ridiculous to me. Yes, it preserves the battery, but my other acoustics with built-in tuners allow me to tune without such hassles. Anyway, on to the positives.

The bass came with an extra (uncut) saddle, I guess if you feel like removing the UST. It came with an extra bridge-pin and a saddle-shim as well. Neat-o. After all the luthier-type labor, it plays and sounds FANTASTIC, especially at this price-point. The top has a lot of run-out, almost looks like a yin-yang symbol, but that's just aesthetic and I don't mind one bit. It's new, but all the abrasions and scuffs adds to its nostalgic flair. It looks like a new antique, slightly relic'd almost.

It has a wide enough nut to excel in "slappin' da bass" techniques. Its shorter scale of 32-inches makes for easy playability and silky string tensions.

The fretboard extends into the soundhole, making it difficult to fit a rubber soundhole cover (feedback reducer) into it without some modification. For any volume, it needs something to avoid feeding back, but that's okay. It's just the nature of the acoustic beast.

I'll live with the huge cyst on the back of the neck, because it plays and sounds so nice, and was dirt-cheap. I want a case, and Ibanez wants me to buy the SGBE50C hardshell, which Amazon doesn't carry. I only found one online, but they want to charge an extra $20 for "oversized shipping charges" and their price is nearly retail, so I'll have to wait on that. Hopefully it'll show up on Amazon in the near future.

For its small body and medium scale, it has HUGE tone! Lots of low-end and great woody timbre. I really like it a lot (now). It's definitely a keeper, but be prepared to do work, or have work done to make it decent. Or perhaps it's a luck of the draw, and you might get a good one out-of-the-box. Let's hope you do.

I just wish I could use the built-in tuner "acoustically" at this point, but I guess it's not a deal-breaker. Just a slight annoyance. Maybe I'll mod its circuit board, hopefully without adding a parasitic drain on the battery.

It's got a good look and it seems very durable, being all THICK plywood construction. Probably won't need to stress over humidity issues like an all-solid heirloom guitar. You know what I'm saying?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2014 12:06 PM PDT

Korg Soundhole Acoustic Tuner - Guitar Tuning
Korg Soundhole Acoustic Tuner - Guitar Tuning
Offered by AAA Musical
Price: $19.49
18 used & new from $13.44

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Picks up ambient noise much more than a clip-on type, won't work with HPL tops, August 15, 2014
It feels really cheap, and seems like it'll get knocked off and fall into the soundhole at any moment. It picks up all ambient noise, so it's no good for tuning in a loud environment. (I can tune my other guitar, while this tuner is in the guitar on its stand - it picks up the notes from across the room) Those cheap little headstock clip-ons perform better in a crowded bar.

It's sort of hard to access the button, have to hit it with the back of my middle finger because it's at a weird angle. The clips to attach it to the soundboard, were way too spread out for my super-thin HPL top, which is about a third of the thickness of a normal top. I had to shove some pieces of rubber to get a decent clamp going on.

My fingers keep hitting it at first, but I managed to alter my strums to avoid it without too much trouble. It really cheapens the guitar's look but it works really well in quiet environments. I love my Korg DT-10 tuner the best, but this one does the job just as well in the end.

I ended up just putting it in my solid top guitar, even though it says it might marr the finish if left on there too long. The solid top is thick enough to accept the Rimpitch AW-1 without any added spacers. It's stays put better too (the wood provides a rougher surface underneath the top for the rubber to grab onto). It's nice and convenient to not have to take it off and losing it, it just lives on the guitar now. One guy thought it was built-in from the factory, but he was clueless about guitars.

Fortis Men's 658.27.81 M B-42 "Official Cosmonauts" Titanium Automatic Watch
Fortis Men's 658.27.81 M B-42 "Official Cosmonauts" Titanium Automatic Watch

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a piece, May 18, 2014
The entire dial/movement moved when the crown is pushed in after setting the time. The rubberized crown get cruddy and gross after a while. The Swiss movement was too fragile and my watch imploded after a short while. The day wheel was crooked from day one. The matte finish showed scratches like no other (but I did really love the look and feel for the first few months). Lastly, the diver's extension kept popping open, like once or twice a week. It would slide down my hand, and I was able to spread my fingers in time to not lose it, but it has scared me a few times (like hanging my hand out of the car window while driving). It was always annoying, kind of like my entire experience with this piece. My second and last Fortis - went back to good old trusty Seiko.

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