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.
Welcome back to those of you who actually follow my reviews! Today I’m checking out another pedal from the boys on the Gold Coast, Big White Monkey!
Now I have mentioned in previous posts that Big White Monkey started out customizing pedals and then branched into low-wattage valve amps, they then brought out their own line of pedals, of which I have played them all.
Big White Monkey Spider Overdrive Pedal
Today we are having a look at the ‘Spider‘ overdrive pedal, which is a Tube Screamer TS808 clone, so we are definitely in vintage territory.
A genuine Ibanez TS808 will retail from $200 to nearly $400 (I have seen them higher!) so I won’t go on about why the ‘old is better‘ and how the pricetags associated with vintage gear determines its quality, but the TS808 tone is possibly the back bone of the Rock n’ Roll era and is a highly regarded staple for nearly every guitarist’s pedal board (or some form of Tube Screamer).
There are two versions of the Spider, the Old and the New, in this review we will have a look at both, but the main focus of this article will be looking at the newer version of the pedal. The main difference between the two is a simple change in the OP Chip, all other aspects are the same.
The pedal is virtually indestructible in its steel casing, which is reminiscent of a ProCo RAT2 Distortion pedal, but a bit longer. Finished in bright yellow with Big White Monkey’s, monkey face logo on the front of the pedal.
It can be powered by a 9v battery or by using a 9.6V Regulated DC300ma negative tip positive ground adapter, which is pretty much the same as the standard Boss sized 9v power adapter (inserts on the right side of the pedal). The guitar and amp input, output jacks are on the sides.
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…
Before we get to the nitty gritty of my review of the Peavey Delta Blues Amplifier, let’s first have a listen to the amp and hear what Darren, our resident Guitar Gas, guitarist has to say about this workhorse from Peavey.
The guitar in the video above is an Aria Pro II Leopard fitted with Seymour Duncan Antiquities. When the amp is cranked in the video, the Pre amp section is cranked to full.
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.