Over the years I have seen the Fernandes brand pop up from time to time and I have often thought that these Japanese made “Law Suit” guitars looked pretty cool.
So recently, I managed to get my hands on a late 80s (possibly early 90s) black on black 70s Fender Stratocaster copy, which we’ll obviously be looking at. So let’s dive in, I’ve got a heap of cool pics for you to checkout, but first off, lets hear how she sounds….
In this first video Darren is playing through an all original USA made 1980s Silverface Fender Twin Reverb. The tube Screamer mentioned in this video, as with the rest of the following videos is the made in Japan TS9DX Turbo Tubescreamer version, the Rat pedal is the USA made version with the LM308 OP chip.
Something different today at GAS, a pickup review! I must admit, like a lot of guitarists, I love pickups and tinkering with them to achieve ‘that sound‘.
PRS Dragon II Treble Humbucker Review Underside
Now today we’re checking out the PRS Dragon II Treble, which is fully made in the USA with ‘PRS USA‘ embossed underneath the pickup. This particular pickup has the chrome/nickel cover, you can also get them with a Gold plated cover.
Now I won’t waffle needlessly so I will get right into it, Firstly I tested this out on a Gold-top MIJ Orville Les Paul with a mahogany body, so a typically darker toned guitar which will of course color the tone coming through the pickup.
This pickup was in the bridge position for this review and the guitar was strung with the standard 10 – 46 gauge strings.
There is a video below that has Darren, our resident Guitar GAS guitarist showing the features of this PUP., make sure you check it out.
Greco Spacey Sound SE450 : Is this Japanese Vintage at its best!
I have mentioned before that I love a nice vintage Japanese Strat clone, or Les Paul, as they made absolute cracker instruments. It is also well noted by many amateurs and experts alike that a lot of these instruments were on par or surpassed the US made gear at the time with their quality workmanship, components, feel and tone.
Okay, before we get to deep into my review, let’s see and hear how she sounds when Darren plays her through a Marshall JCM800…
Recently on YouTube I was having a conversation with a guy about how Darren dials in the Marshall JCM 800 settings to get his great Rock tone, so yesterday I asked Darren to do a couple of videos explaining how he finds the amps sweet spot for getting a great Rock sound out of the Marshall JCM800 combo.
In this first video, Darren goes into a fair bit of detail on the process he goes through to find the Sweet Spot when he dials in his amp. He also explains the difference between the treble and presence and how to get a good balance between the two.
In this next video we go from using the fender Custom Shop Fat 50s single coils in my Fernandes “The Revival” to the Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers in the Fernandes Gold Top “Super Grade” Les Paul.
Here is a pic that I took straight after shooting the video, the Marshall JCM 800 Settings are the exact same settings on the two videos you see above.
If you are one of my many YouTube subscribers, you may have noticed by all of my uploads Yesterday that I spent the day doing some videos with Darren. While I was there, Darren gave me one of his CD’s, If you want a free copy, you can grab a download of it by going to his website here… www.dazofoz.com
Anyways, back to the guitar…. So here we are, at Darren’s house shooting some vids of all of the different guitars I have in stock using a Marshall JCM-800, when Darren decides to get his guitar out to see how she sounds through the amp.
Now I’ve got to mention at this point, I’ve only known Darren for about a month or so, and I’ve heard him talk about his MIJ Strat before, and how he’s done a few mods here and there, but I’ve never actually seen it, so when he came walking out from the hall with his Strat hanging from his shoulder I was, to say the least a little surprised by what I saw.
Firstly, let’s check out this video. In it, Darren shares a little story about his guitar and some of the mods his done to it.
Disclaimer:In this post I refer to Fender and Stratocaster, I want to make it perfectly clear that this guitar is not a Fender, none of the parts are Fender and if Fender come knocking on my door wanting me to re-word anything on this web page then I will do it, no questions asked.
This is my first ever Tokai. It is a beautiful Tokai Silver Star that is in great shape for a vintage Japanese guitar. I am not 100% sure of the date of manufacture, it could be late 79ish or early 80s, but based on the information on the Tokai registry site, because it has the spaghetti logo and the 5 digit serial number it was definitely pre 1982.
In any case it’s a beautiful guitar, it has a good weight to it and plays like a dream.
Let’s have a listen to how she sounds through a Peavey Delta Blues. In the next couple of videos, Darren puts her through her paces.
Here’s a beautiful 2006 crafted in Japan Fender Stratocaster 62 Reissue I picked up some time ago. I was so surprised by the quality of this guitar when I first saw it, this axe plays and sounds so good, and the quality would easily be comparable to a U.S.A model.
There’s a heap of pics in this post, but first lets hear how she sounds, this first video is Darren playing through a Marshall JCM-800…
Here we have a nice, slightly damaged 2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition, which was made at the Qingdao Plant (Epiphone) in China in June 2008.
First Up lets see and hear how she sounds through a Peavey Delta Blues amp.
Now let’s see how she goes through a Marshall JCM-800
Now for the pics….
Check out the Vintage style burst on the Maple cap. I read on the MyLesPaul forum that the Limited Edition is merely a limited run of a particular color. In any case the vintage orange burst with the typical Custom Gold hardware does look pretty sweet.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition
The quality of the Chinese Epiphones in my opinion doesn’t really come up against the Korean made Standards that I have had in the past, but there are some distinct features on this guitar that caught my attention, in particular the triple edge binding.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition binding
The Mother of Pearl block inlays look to be authentic, not plastic, embedded nicely into a dark rosewood fretboard. The fretwire looks to be medium jumbo.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition Mother of Pearl Inlays
The Gold Hardware and the Black plastic knobs and scratch plate really do look impressive with the Burst.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition Body and Neck
There is some slight aging on the Gold pickup covers.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition Pickup selector switct
Although it’s a gloss finish, it doesn’t seem to be a high gloss, the finish kinda looks somewhere between gloss and slightly matte.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition Finish
The headstock is typical for the Custom model, Mother of Pearl Custom Logo and Edge binding.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition Headstock
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the slight damage is to the binding on both the top and bottom, here are some pics. The lacquer, coating the binding on the top looks to have slightly DE-laminated.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition binding damage
Whereas the damage to the binding on the bottom seems to have happened from being dropped on the edge, causing the binding to be bent slightly. The damage doesn’t seem to affect the integrity of the structure of the guitar in any way. By that I mean the wood hasn’t spit, cracked or chipped.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition binding damage bottom
The neck is a nice slim-ish tapered neck and the wood grain in the back of the body comes through the finish nicely.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition back
It’s a relatively light weight Les Paul, easy to handle and it has a good balanced weight to it.
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition back of body
The Grover tuners on these Les Paul Customs are great, they feel really strong and sturdy and keep the guitar in tune for ages. In these next pics you can see the serial number and the Epiphone Limited Edition Custom Shop logo, along with the Inspection sticker from the factory in the U.S..
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition Grover tuners
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Shop Limited Edition logo
All in all for a made in China instrument it’s a nice guitar, I’d say it would be best suited for a beginner or young student looking for something a bit better than a no-name knock-off, or a spare guitar that you wanted as a backup.
The post covers a multitude of options available for your Telecaster, including…
Hot Tele Neck Pickups
My obvious favorite is the P-Rails, only because that’s what I have in my Tele, you can check out some videos of all the different Pick-ups on the Seymour Duncan post, but here’s some video’s of how my P-Rails sound in the neck position of my 99 US Telecaster through a Peavey delta blues.
The bridge pup is the Quarter Pounder for Tele, just in case your wondering.