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UKII.... I finally get it.

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Mr. Ovation
Posted 2013-03-20 6:44 AM (#468566)
Subject: UKII.... I finally get it.


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 7130

Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
I've owned several UKII's and for some reason, over the years, any time I've attempted to play one I found the results limited.. Not sure why, probably me and choosing settings and setups that while familiar to me, were not compatible with making the UKII sing.

Damon's performance of No More Tears by Ozzie put the bug in my ear a few years ago that maybe I needed to revisit, but mostly figured the sound he was getting was.... well... because it was Damon and he's played a UKII since forever...

Well tonight, about 5 hours ago, I pulled out a rather special (to me) UKII. It's black, original dual-jack stereo/mono, with pickguard, bowtie inlays, etc... I plugged it into the Rockman X-100 sitting on my desk, tuned and started playing along with some fun tunes. Only Happy When It Rains (Garbage), Machinehead (Bush), then I just started rolling through my iTunes selections.

I began to notice that I didn't miss my Tremolo. I then noticed that any rock song from the 80's and 90's the tone seemed to lock right into what was playing without any adjustments. Basically the only settings I used all night were a fairly standard full-on Rockman sound, a clean sound, and switching between the neck and bridge pickups and occasionally backing off the tone control on the guitar a bit for rhythm parts..

Then things started to get wierd... in a good way I think. I got to Boston on the iTunes list and played Smokin and Piece of Mind and Something About You. Never really played those before but rather than being like tunes I never played, they were sounding more like tunes I just hadn't practiced.

I continued with Aldo Nova, Blue Oyster Cult, Offspring, Minnie Driver (yeah... that one surprised me too) and they were all coming together like old friends yet most I had never played before other than to noodle with.

When I got to Ozzie and I Don't Know, and Crazy Train... both of which I have played before... it REALLY started to get strange. I actually stopped Crazy Train and re-attempted one of the full scale runs (I'm sure Randy actually did real scales) and it sounded ok. I mean I mashed it, I've always kinda a faked it through those runs, but they sounded good. They were wrong, as I was just frantically just trying to pick in time without any real regard for nailing the notes... and it was ok. Maybe not in front of an audience of guitar players, but I've certainly played worse.... and gotten paid for it.. What the hell was going on here.???

Well when I got to Pink Floyd I had to go for Comfortably Numb. Why not.. I've never even tried to learn the chords before. Was it great?? no... not by a long shot... but it didn't suck.. I was bending notes and locking them right into place and decided at that point I really need to figure out what strings are on this guitar.

Would I want to play ANY of the tunes I played tonight in front of anyone, or with any other musicians in the near future... absolutely not. But on a scale of 1 - 10 of how did I play, most were around a 4 with moments of 7's and 8's... but mostly in the 4-5 range. Yeah, that sucks... but on a "strange" guitar, playing tunes, some of which I have never even thought of playing before, I totally expected to be equal to a 2's and 3's at the most. I certainly wasn't expecting to play FIVE HOURS STRAIGHT !!!!! I haven't even picked up a guitar more than 2 minutes to test it or a piece of gear in many months.

So I just wanted to say... I now "get" the UKII. The neck plays like my Moser custom guitars. I even caught myself doing this flat-finger thing with my left hand that I've only seen Damon and a few others pull off, and I have never attempted. I wasn't attempting it tonight either but just noticed I was doing it on some of the faster metal songs where fretting 2 or 3 strings is all that's needed. It was just easy because due to the strings and the setup... there is essentially no action on this guitar, and no string buzz either.

The tone of the UKII pickups seemed to blend with everything I was playing. Just listening to the guitar without any accompaniment sounded ok... nothing special really, but as soon as other music was added, it's like a little engineer locked it into the mix. A couple of times I stopped playing to listen to the cool sound I was hearing only to find out that sound was me, not the recording.

I guess the most ponient observation is that I went for 5 hours.... without even reaching for the non-existent tremolo bar. Of the 100's of guitars I have owned and played, less than 20 don't have a trem. When I played in bands... the "non-trem" guitar was just on stage as a backup, and maybe for one tune. My Viper I use to just flex the neck sometimes if it wasn't modified with a tremolo. Kahler Pro is my choice, but I have mostly Kahler Flyers on everything.

Well.. I guess I made my point. I've apparently been missing out all these years. Frankly even when I was in bands I don't recal EVER playing 5 hours straight.... ever...

So the bottom line... The UKII.... Doesn't suck...

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2013-03-20 2:05 PM (#468582 - in reply to #468566)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15530

Location: SoCal
Better late than never?
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Damon67
Posted 2013-03-20 2:08 PM (#468583 - in reply to #468566)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.



Joined:
December 2006
Posts: 6990

Location: Jet City
Took you long enough.

FWIW, the entire solo on that Ozzy tune is faked. Whatever Zakk is actually doing is MUCH harder.

Your review hit it right on the head. Everything I play just plain plays easier and sounds better on the UKII. You got away easy with 5 hours. Once I 'got it' it was 10-12hrs a day for me... that was a few years back though when my younger joints, knuckles and wrists didn't stiffen so bad.
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muzza
Posted 2013-03-20 7:09 PM (#468588 - in reply to #468566)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.



Joined:
August 2005
Posts: 3736

Location: Sunshine State, Australia
Compared to the rest of the OFC demographic, you're still just a puppy.
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Mr. Ovation
Posted 2013-03-20 10:56 PM (#468591 - in reply to #468588)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 7130

Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
muzza - 2013-03-20 5:09 PM

Compared to the rest of the OFC demographic, you're still just a puppy.


Not sure what you mean...
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2013-03-20 11:09 PM (#468592 - in reply to #468566)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12728

Location: Boise, Idaho
I think he is referring to Damon being a relative youngster.
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muzza
Posted 2013-03-21 1:32 AM (#468593 - in reply to #468566)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.



Joined:
August 2005
Posts: 3736

Location: Sunshine State, Australia
Zackery
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MusicMishka
Posted 2013-04-27 11:03 AM (#469924 - in reply to #468566)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 5563

Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
I liked mine...always sounded huge and the Pups were incredible...great sustain and feedback...Mike L. was the recipient of that guitar in a moment of weakness...but that's cool...it has a good home.
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CrimsonLake
Posted 2013-07-03 7:09 PM (#473129 - in reply to #468566)
Subject: Re: UKII.... I finally get it.


Joined:
August 2006
Posts: 3145

Location: Marlton, NJ
Your moment of weakness was my good fortune :-) My favorite songs to play on it are TSO - like Miles said, it just seems to lock right in.
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