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Izen Ears

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About Izen Ears

  • Rank
    Hero Member
  • Birthday 05/25/1972

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  • Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • About
    I love non-capey comics, experimental noise music, and horror movies. And I once played guitar in an instrumental surf band in Boston, we rocked.
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes

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  1. He seems like a super great fella. Sa-weet Danelectro Longhorn on the wall! (Or maybe it’s a Hondo.) I wish I’d had the scratch to get one of these way back before I built my own... I considered it but it was like $7500. Worth every penny I’m sure!
  2. Hey it’s New Orleans everyone’s deaf! But seriously, we practice in my basement super super loud, and play out super loud. Possibly quieter than practice! I leave a big bag of earplugs at the door for patrons. I’ll post a practice recording at some point. The drummer pounds the crap out of the skins and we all dial up to where we can still hear him. Sometimes during practice I suddenly realize I can’t hear the drums at all haha! That beautiful clean tone had me in a spell. Those cabs are actually blonde tolex - those white ones you speak of could have been originals that faded into white! I’ve seen the 12” tone ring, but not in real life. I read they’re exceedingly rare. But they readily make them now, including 10” tone ring cabs! I just got back the 1963 Oxford 12T6 12” speakers for the blonde Twin. Dang job means I haven’t had the chance to install and hear them yet. I’m super excited because I’ve only heard JBLs (and Weber Californias) and some people rave about the Oxfords. Aw! Bummer about no recordings! Can you imagine hearing yourself back then? I mean talking between songs, hearing your young man voice in there. The music too or course! Do you still play? I absolutely *love* your question about vintage mics!!!! Somehow in all this tonequesting I forgot all about that! I have an original 55s and a couple of those bullet looking mics from the 60s. I feel like a lot of those old records were ribbon mics on the drums, very awesome warm. This opens up another giant can of worms! I’ve been using most dynamic mics, the AKG D112 sounds really nice on the brownface cab, pointed between the doping and the cone. Drum mics seem to sound really good on these guitar amps! I wonder if there are studios that record the “old way” of just a handful of ribbon mics for drums and such?
  3. I’ve not seen that wood bridge before! That must change the tone compared to steel? Here are the amps Blood Reef uses!
  4. YESSSSS! You went to the Rendevous Ballroom that’s AWESOME!!! I am super jealous. Any recordings of that garage band? I am so grateful for your posts, thanks a lot! So great to read. Btw here’s the rig, but just this past weekend I picked up a 2x15 JBL cab that I’m going to replace that 15” tone ring cab with. The reverb is a 1963 tank with a new cab, and the showman is a 1962 but it also has a new cab. The only original cab is the 15” tone ring.
  5. I mean it does sound great, but there’s a warmness to the tanks. I bring one to shows as a backup! Hey I forgot to say I enjoyed your tune way upstream! One of the phrases is very similar to something in one of my recent tunes. The tone reminds me of 1991 where me and a pal played surf through a JCM-900! Dan Izen
  6. I’ve got two of the pre-made ones. Some folks got really crazy with building the kit version. They use MosFET and sound good, but once I got the tube tanks those are loaned to pals! The tube tanks just have more bass and warmth. Many surf folk use these + Quilters and a small cab...
  7. Man, I’m kind of on an “alternative to JBL” quest. Got some ‘63 Oxford 12M6 but apparently the 12T6 speakers are better matched to the Twins. I wonder if the 12T6 is an updated version of the 12M6s with more wattage? I have a pair of 12” Weber Californias and they sound pretty good. They don’t have the “gut punch” of the JBLs tho. But steel strings are waaaaaaaaay too bright for me. I’m a rogue and use acoustic-electric strings! They’re 1/2 bronze and 1/2 nickel-plated steel. They are perfectly “not piercing.” I’m almost at the point where I want to try flats, but I just love those DR Zebra round wounds. Both the JM and Jag have Mastery bridges, which I’m happy with... Crap I keep forgetting to post some photos...
  8. YEAH!!!!! Thanks for posting this is fascinating!!! Man! I am jealous. If you were there at that time, you could have found f-ing prototypes!! They do that, every so often a guitar factory will dump a few one-offs and prototypes into local music stores. I’ve even read about folks regularly finding guitars and parts in dumpters! I have some questions if you don’t mind, sir. Did you notice a big difference after the Beatles broke? Do you remember any shows or bands in particular? Where were you the first time you heard Penetration? Do you know how cool I think being there was?!! Am I ever going to travel in time and see surf on tv? In other news, I’ve lost two cats in the last six months, super sad. But weirdly, I’ve also composed two super awesome new-heights type of surf songs! Maybe when the band gets some good versions I’ll post em. Dan Izen
  9. Really fun thread Jim! It’s about time we discuss stuff that MAKES noise instead of cheap crap that only records it! I too am a tubes-til-the-end guy. But many surf purists sing the praises of the Quilter amps. If I were a touring artist I’d probably get into them; I can’t see dragging an ultra-rare 1962 Dual Showman (factory Triad 90w Tweed Twin OT!) around the country. But, I could easily see myself dragging that Carl’s Amps 6G14! Blood Reef only plays every six or eight weeks, so we can treat that as kind of a performance art thing. Part of the spectacle is the sight of those huge cabs and heads and to hear those cranked tubes y’know? This past Sat was the first band practice with that *monstrous* 460w all tube Mesa Strategy 88 AND the Carl’s Amps 6G14 - and the band never sounded so good. WOW. The greatest tone for both the guitar and bass. The organ goes through the 1974 Twin, which is a 120w version that cannot break up at all (with guitar), and is kinda bassy. It produces a perfect tone for the organ, with cool dark non-surf reverb. The line out from the organ is hotter than a guitar and that *can* get some pleasing dirt. I prefer a completely clean guitar tone, so Showmans and Twins are perfect. After hearing the two brownface circuits together I decided I just don’t need the blackface tone. Too shrill, too bassy, I guess just too scoopy. So I’m gonna dump the ‘64 Showmans eventually. I’m not familiar with this artist you guys are talking about, so I can’t comment on that tone. I’ve very recently had some huge revelations about guitar tone as it relates to music I like, but it’s a but much to go into! The tiny bit of research I did on attenuators was mostly forum reading, and nothing clearly rose to the top. It’s a cool idea though! I wish I understood speaker loads. It really does suck how the tone is very thin and sort of “blanket over it” until the gain is increased. The moment the amp opens up, I need earplugs haha! Thanks to this forum I’m very happy with the Etymotic earplugs. I ordered a few hundred bucks of different brands and those sounded the best. They also reduce the least, but if I keep them jammed in it’s fine for super loud crap.
  10. Jim - that Milkman 6G15 + harmonic vibrato box they sell is super, super tempting. I just read some great things about that on SG101! The Victoria box looks fun too but apparently it’s not a faithful 6G15. I’ve got a Mesa Strategy 88 and an Eden WT-300 for bass, but seven of the eight (gasp!) guitar amps are Fender... Just offered to trade one of the 1964 Showman for a blackface 2x15 JBL D130f cab haha! But I want to build and repair tube amps, as a hobby and a little minor income stream. These beautiful and heavy amps, they are almost 100% repairable and if maintained can work flawlessly for another fifty years! Dan Izen
  11. Yay there are other surf music fans here! I dunno, some of the best threads are others who share common interests on unrelated-to-the-board subjects. I am still hoping to hear from say, RVD or some other dinosaur here who may have stories about 1960 - 1963 and surf music. (Love you Rich!) Before I continue, if any of you want to join a forum of folks who love surf, join up here. (I’m DeathTide!) Actual surf legends have posted until they died on there. https://surfguitar101.com/ So, I’ve been pouring my energy into this 10-month per season, 24-hour-long-ep series these past few years, and I have no debt and no kids. A little over a year ago I realized I had the means to seriously upgrade the rigs! Enter: Reverb.com. Oh yeah... Oh heck yeah that 6G14-A 1962 Twin + the ‘63 tank is a great tone, but once I started playing Showmans through the 15” tone ring, the Twin kinda went to bed forever. Those low E string palm mutes feel like they’re coming from the deepest depths with the 15”. My current 3x15” Showman stack absolutely destroys, but I do wonder if adding a 12” or pair of 12” speakers would help somewhere. I used to play with 2x Showmans and 2x Twins haha! Now it’s just two Showmans. I also have a 1970 Twin that’s just got the beefiest tone, it’s like a gut punch. The other Twins sound completely different, but all are stock OTs. (Got a ‘72 and a 120w ‘74 that cannot break up at all - we put the organ through it!) The tone is solid throughout all four though, but I completely agree about the on-board reverb. I have a few Surfy Bears but the tube tank sounds way better, warmer and more full. Have you seen the trick where you reroute the Twin reverb output through the normal channel? (Just need a RCA F to 1/4” M adapter.) With this the “reverb” pot = dwell, the normal channel volume = mix, and the tone pots work instead of the single 6G15 tone knob. Haven’t tried it since I read about this after I already had the tanks. Hey have you tried the silverface mid 70s tanks? They have four tubes. I got a ‘76 tank truly in like new condition (in the box with the hang tag) and it’s a very different reverb. Super super dark and scary, but no drips! Just yesterday I removed the 1964 Showman from the stack - I prefer the brownface tone all around. Now the stack is the ‘62 Showman + a 6G14 clone made by Carl’s Amps (which sounds SO GOOD, no old caps n cracked solders!). The Showman is dry, no reverb (but what a tone!) and the 6G14 is wet. Soooooo wet; the drip is just massive. I have it at 10-10-10 (heh heh), because with the dry amp I can still hear every stroke. The sound recharges my soul. Oh dude, you really thumped my heart with a hammer. I want to learn how to build and service tube amps, so badly. I want to build a harmonic vibe / 6G15 box (six tubes?) eventually. You’re so right about kind folks helping with builds! I frequent OSG, TDPRI, and TalkBass and there are so many knowledgable folks there!! Even a fellow who is high up in Mesa, who is active and helps the littlest guys. I need to set up a permanent shop area. I was thinking a Champ or non-reverb Princeton would be a good first project. Best of luck on your journey!!! I was shocked to learn that in Tokyo, there is a guitar store that exclusively sells jazzmasters!? Yeah man Japan does love 60s guitar music! I mean, whattabout those amazing 90s garage bands?! Guitar Wolf, Teengenerate, 5, 6, 7, 8’s, Mad 3, etc. I agree that the sound on that Venture Live record is great! Three tracks TOTAL?!!! No way. It’s so weird that they constantly claimed to not be a surf band... I guess they wanted to avoid being caught up in “pop” music. But lots of their stuff feels very surfy. I want to try a 60s Mosrite but I feel confident that I will not like playing it. For two reasons, firstly because apparently they can barely handle 10s, and I currently play with 13s. Secondly because the strings are super close together. My finger tips are a little fat, but my knuckles are pretty bulbous. I’m sure the tone would be heavenly though... Dan Izen I forgot to add that Werner - that Spotniks song and video is really great!!! There’s a megathread on SG101 about gems from the dawn of surf with tons of super obscure songs like that. I just posted that on there, so thanks for that!
  12. I apologize, I was asking strictly about instrumental surf, no vocals. I really don’t care for much vocal music! I also will 100% disagree about the Princeton, but then again we’re talking about different styles. The kind of surf I like is CLEAN with zero “hair” or “dirt” or “breakup,” just the normal (awesome) tube harmonic distortion and all the noise that comes with a 6G15 reverb tank... That said, I am gassing pretty hard for a 5f2 Princeton for some reason... I’ll have to reach out to Wave Invasion! My outfit’s called Blood Reef. Dan Izen
  13. Oh yeah I know Hunter, he’s a True Fan Of Surf! (I’m totally not; there’s a ton of surf I find unbearably boring.) He was at that festival I mentioned above, which is why he couldn’t come to our show this past Sat. My last outfit played on his show in 2013 and we were so loud it maxed out the mics, and turned the songs into psychedelic fuzz! It sounded really awesome though... I’m *always* working on Mondays when his show airs, today was no exception.
  14. Just curious. I play an AV65 jazzmaster & a 2003 AVRI jaguar through both a ‘62 and a ‘64 Showman (with D130fs of course) and a ‘63 reverb tank. (I’ve also got a ‘62 Twin but no place to really use it at the moment haha!) I love spring reverb and surf. My mom grew up in the Bronx and was 19 in 1960 when surf started in Southern CA, and she never heard surf on the radio! So sad. I grew up in Hawaii (mid 70s - 80s) and also never heard surf on the radio. Lots of you are in Southern CA and I am super jealous! They just had a three day surf festival around LA this past weekend. I’d say surf is a style more than a genre, because let’s face it: Wipeout is a rock song, and so is Pipeline, Penetration, etc. Miserlou however, is a Russian folk song adapted to rock / surf! That’s my flavor, minor key and dramatic, not 1-4-5 blues jams. Dan Izen
  15. I have never felt bad about turning down 2-person jobs. If they are receptive I’ll explain, but most of the time it’s “bye.”
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