I wanted to wait a few weeks and do some gigs before I said anything. Let me say right from the start that I have been a fan of Grace Design from their preamps and recently Felix and now AliX. If I have a gig and I’m going to amplify with a pickup on my guitar, I won’t leave home with out the AliX. My flamenco guitars are equipped with the LR Baggs Dual source, UST Element and mic blend. I can adjust my bass so I have no low end feedback. Tame and boost my mid frequency (love the fully parametric eq) and I can pull my treble or boost to the liking of my ears and what the room needs. The elegance of the design just oozes pure beauty and grace with roadworthy strength. I waited for the AliX and put off buying other preamps. I wanted a small single Chanel preamp. I’m so glad I waited. Everyone who has heard this magic box is blown away with the clarity and precision of the tone sculpting. One of the best things is you a clearly defined tone. There is no loss of tone when you use the eq. And all of the knobs are functional. I have used gear where I can’t hear anything change when I move the knobs. The High Pass Filter allows for taming the bass in any situation. The preamp is so smooth and silky in the tone that is produced. Another one of the super cool things the design team did. and I think it’s a first, is they put an extra jack that allows you to power your pedals without wall warts or another power supply. I am able to power my Line 6G30, Strymon blueSky, and Digitech Jam Man, all from AliX. I just think this shows how the team at Grace is not just making a box with knobs but actually thinks what do musicians need their gear to do to make life easier and more musical. Then there’s the nice effects loop that is a TRS. For me all my gear mounts onto a pedaltrain pedalboard. When I get to the gig I just plug in my power and XLR out and I’m good to go. The boost switch is great for solos or when you need more this one does not just go to 11 it goes up to 10db of boost from where you are. I have used the AliX with my Bose Compact, Bose L1II w B2 sub, QSC Speakers, and House PA systems including TubroSound, JBL, QSC, Mackie and every time my gear sounds great, and I get complements, tips,and rebookings. If you are serious about your tone on your instrument and want to learn how to make it sound it’s best, then as far as your preamp search goes, look no further, it’s here, Grace Design. Sweetwater took care of the transaction and got the AliX to me. Thanks Grace Design
For me my microphone of choice when playing live is the DPA 4099G when I play my Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra. I have used it with the Bose L1 S system with great results only needing to cut a few decibels on the bass (4-6db) for live playability without feedback.
I just put a DTAR Ducan | Turner Acoustic Research Multi- Source Pickup and Microphone System into my Córdoba F7 Paco guitar and I really like it. I set the action on the low e at 2.7mm and on high E 2.6mm I left the preamp at 3db on bass and 0 on treble. My main purpose for doing this was to keep my Lester Devoe and Jorge De Zofia guitars safe from the cold and humid temperatures and have a good giging system. I will be using the guitar with a Line 6 Wirless to a TC Mico Tuner- TC Spark- DigiTech Stereo Looper out to either Bose Tone Match or Yamaha MG10XU. This setup can be split but for my desired purpose I blend the mic and pickup in the preamp and run it out mono. I am very happy with the woody tone and the blend of the mic. I will post more in a week or two.
To me this Córdoba F7 Paco is a fantastic find. For those of us who have beautiful instruments and find ourselves wanting to play in conditions where our prized guitars would be in danger of cold, heat, humidity or other environmental dangers. This guitar can possibly come to the rescue. The Córdoba F7 Paco looks and feels fantastic. Did I day looks good? The attention to detail that Cordoba did on this guitar really shines through to the matched back& sides (laminitis) and how they match each other in regards to the woods grain patterns. The finish is not so thick to dampen the tone. To the normal eye this looks like a fine flamenco guitar that is been handcrafted. The top is solid Cedar while the back and sides are laminate’s of Rosewood. The guitar has been decorated beautifully with trim (Maple Binding) that accentuates the two woods from Cedar top to Rosewood back and sides. The guitar is easy to play with low action 2.7mm on bass and 2.6mm on treble, and a very comfortable neck with a standard with 52 to 53 mm at the nut. The fretboard is a Rosewood fingerboard. Include gig bag is light and easy to travel with but does not offer the gigging or traveling musician good road protection. I did change the strings to the D’Addarío EJ25B. For my purposes I will be putting a pick up with a under saddle coaxial and a small microphone. I ordered a DTAR Multi-Source pickup coaxial 18v and Omni mic. DTar is now Seymour-Ducan. I’ve enjoyed playing the guitar over the last five days and I enjoyed hearing the guitar played by a friend who also enjoyed the feel and the tonal richness of this guitar. Córdoba did a fantastic job with this model and it’s worth checking out if you need a good travel/ student/ giging guitar for environments where you don’t want to take your real babies out. I will be taking it to play tonight in Long Island NY (it’s going to below freezing tonight)
I’ve used the guitar now live and really like it, with a mic such as a Shure KSM 141 or DPA 4099G I rolled of the bass and just a little on Mics to get a very usable tone live without feedback.
Finished repair on cracked back on a 2014 August Jorge De Zofia (JDZ) guitar should be good to go, thanks to John Stein and Bill at ” It’s A Set UP”. This guitar is had its fair share of bumps traveling from Florida both times they were a few mishaps with the shipping USPS and packaging of the guitar. This may have caused the crack to start both Luthiers that looked at the guitar said that it was not due to humidity (I keep my home at 45% and 68-72 in the case I use a Planet Waves Humi Pack in a BAM Case) or problems in the case we’re playing. The guitar is young one a few months old. I don’t play hard on my guitars. I do tap in the style of Ottmar Liebert and a few other flamenco techniques but none of these should harm or start a crack in the back of the guitar. For the repair the wood was pushed and glue was put inside the crack and then leveled and sent to dry.
Recently with some travel gigs I’ve wondered if I could strip down my pedal-board and get something very small to fit on the pedal train-nano pedalboard I’ve been able to do so coming in from my guitar cable I go into a TC electronics poly tune then the TC electronic spark then the Neunaber Wet stereo reverb then the Digitech jam man solo XT out to my Bose tone match mixer.
I’ve also come across a new string that I’m really enjoying on my DeVoe Negra and my JD Z Blanca they are the D’Addario Pro Arté Composite Core EJ 205B strings they are silverplated wound on a copper core, and black treble strings. I think they feel great they look great especially the black trebles with the cedar top guitars. The strings are very smooth and the tone is very warm with the base being very snappy and bright with a quick response. Thanks goes to my friend Yannakie Arrizzia for sending me a set of D’Addarío EJ49 That set made me want to try the D’Addarío EJ25B.
I have for years been looking for that usable tone live that excites me as well as the audience, I have found that sound that inspires me to “Just Play” and push the limits. The new gear that is helping so much is the L.R. Lr Baggs Lyric (Classical) and LR Baggs Venue DI. On my Córdoba 45FP and Bose L1S system the sound is just amazing.