Friday, March 30, 2007

La Patrie Concert Cutaway with Carlos CP-1 High End

Amazing gig tonight. At this micro brewery I play on Thursdays, I'm usually done by 9:30 PM because most folks have eaten, drank and split by that time (Ladies night at the Railroad Blues just down the street). But, every now and again, the place is rocking until 10:00 PM (My "official" quitting time). I played until 10:15 tonight. There were two huge groups in, one of which was a group of Harley tourers. Lots of fun.

It just so happened that tonight was the first night I decided to play an entire gig with my new La Patrie Concert Cutaway, which I have now put the Carlos CP-1 High End co-axial undersaddle pickup in.

As much as I love my two Anthony Murray concert classicals, I just can't perform any serious gigs with them anymore. I compose way too much stuff that goes above the twelfth fret, and playing my set on a non-cutaway is simply more trouble than it's worth now. The La Patrie is the perfect solution for me.

You may notice that I have a metal wound G string on the guitar. It works better on this instrument with the Carlos - a nylon G wolfs out for some reason, sounding twice as loud as the rest of the strings. I'm thinking it may be the compensated saddle. I'll use it this way for now, but I may find a fat, uncompensated saddle and see how that works, but the nylon G was simply unusable. Like I say, at least twice as loud as all of the rest of the strings (Which balance perfectly). The Carlos is... highly strung and temperamental, I'm afraid. Like this girlfriend I used to have who was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Beautiful, but touchy.

One nice fringe benefit is that, since the Carlos CP-1 is so incredibly sensitive and has such a ridiculously wide dynamic range, the super thin German Spruce top on the Murray made it difficult to control - it would feed back way too soon, and my ham-fisted playing made it a.. er... "challenge" to hold an interpretation together. The thicker Cedar top on the La Patrie gives the CP-1 plenty of dynamic range - more than any other nylon string system out there for sure - but it provides more control (And, fewer feedback problems) as well as a darker, woodier tone. One of my regular listeners said, "It sounds just like an acoustic guitar!" Exactly. The Godin Grand Concert Synth Access guitar with the RMC Polydrive does not sound acoustic - it sounds electric - but I like that: It will remain my main axe for the forseeable future. The La Patrie/Carlos CP-1 setup will just broaden my tonal palette.

On a tangentally related note, the fretted Glissentar has a solution now too, which I will work out in the coming months. What I need there is more gain and tone control, so I'll use the preamp of the Lexicon Signature 284, which will up its anemic output (Which is a result of the semi-solid nature of the guitar, and not a shortcoming with the Carlos CP-1A Professional pickup). For that I'll need to get 1) another Signature 284, and 2) a Lexicon MPX-1 to replace the MPX-G2. Should be fun: I love to play with gear. But... it will be expensive. *arg*

I also now have an endpin in the La Patrie, so I'll be able to play it standing up.

I did a few gigs standing up a year or so ago - and I want to get back to that - but I need to re-arrange my rehersal space (Spare bedroom) to allow me to practice standing again. One of the things I learned to love as a rock guitarist was playing standing up, and for big stage gigs (Hey, I can dream) there is nothing like it. Mucho fun.

I also have a truss rod in the La Patrie, so I can FINALLY use extra hard tension strings on an acoustic. Now my dream of using the same D'Addario EXP44 sets on both electric and acoustic guitars is finally a reality. Hooray.


Finally, I am going to Tucson to play at El Ojito Springs tomorrow, so no more posts until next week sometime.

Hope it's not too hot in Tucson... Then again...


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