Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cover Guitarra Magazine

Cover Guitarra magazine - the Brazilian Guitar Magazine!

This edition contains:
Steve Vai and new band, Jeff Beck interview and transcriptions, Home Studio special part III, CDs and DVDs reviews, columnists (Kleber K. Shima, R. Scarton, Pollaco, Luiz Cláudio, Andre Martins, Gariela Gonzalez, Mateus Starling, Marcio Alvez, Mello Jr, Steve Fister, Roger Franco).
Transcriptions: Burn(D.Purple), Give me The Night (G.Benson), This Cat´s on a Hot Tin Rool (B. Setzer) and Blue Bossa (P.Martino).
Gear test made by me: Sound Maker Amplifier Destructor 210 model.
My column: OFICINA about gear, equipments and guitar repair.

From the next edition, many changes in editorial.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Henry Ho signature guitar pickups!

According to friend request, here you are a text and some pictures of my electric guitar pickup signature: HH777 Hellbucker (bridge position).
This text is referred to process of making a pickup, all planning, tests and about my partnership and sponsor: Malagoli Electronics Products
In 1994, I was a part of a luthier team that was involved to pickup projects in Japan. Matsushita´s Corporation that produces pickups to companies as Yamaha, Gotoh, Ibanez, Fernandes, ESP, Tokai, Greco and Stafford sponsored this project. It was a period of a good learning and an exquisite experience. Until then, my knowledge about electromagnetic pickups was a bit narrow-minded in terms of differential equations related to Faraday´s induction law principle and “perceived” sound by ear. We have utilized the war arsenal: lot of guitars, valve amplifiers, multi-track recorders, microphones, spectrum analyzer, voltmeter and a lot of meter. We always “surfed” on sine curve produced in the oscilloscope screen. To destroy notable pickups is an ingrate routine in benefit of a noble cause. This magnetic day after day required almost twelve months and when the projects were concluded the “black box” with all information was “strategically” with me. To understand how a pickup works it is not a thing that belongs to other world. However, to project them is a little complicated. When I came back to Brazil and established my Guitar Craft School I was already thinking of produce pickups by my own. I was searching by a know brand and brazilian manufacturing, but the partnership conditions don´t make me satisfied. Later, I knew Érico from Malagoli Electronic and perspectives of reciprocal work were favorable. It took a long time to become real and now here we are… involved in this saga!
We started with projects in the middle of last year. The first prototypes were tested in that time at Brazil´s Music Fair 2005. Hellbucker HH777 is a high end double coil pickup. We started the test producing several prototypes, experimenting magnets, coils, cables blending and other technical details. We have accomplished comparative tests, parameters monitoring and when the results started to cross the acceptable boundary to a desirable, we started to accelerate this development. I don´t like to use the DC R as a primordial reference. I prefer to handle magnetic flux and work with resonance peak values. Subtlety related to pickup building will also follow a technical reasoning. I have opted to utilize screw poles: Minus & Allen mark (instead of taper pole) by account of magnetic flux image that have timbre incompatibility inside high frequencies.
In relation to coils, all items are analyzed and tested: The reels (stuffs, poles spacing, internal spacing, durability and finishing); copper wire (stuffs, depth, cleanness, tension, weight, external covering, resistivity, etc,) poles (stuffs, diameters, highs) covering tape, external conductor, shield and soldering tasks. In relation to magnets, the HH777 utilizes a variation of magnetos with ALNICO V AND ALNICO VII formulas.

Technical details:
Sound Hellbucker pickup HH777 – for bridge position
Magnet: rectangular ALNICO bar – in millimeter: 60X4X12.
Poles: Minus & Allen screws.
Reels: in ABS: white, black, yellow, green and cream pigmented.
Coil wire: 44 AWG cradle: brass and nickel version.
External conductor: Standard Belden RG – 4 conductors + ground. (It allows a configuration type: serial, parallel, coil cancellation, out of phase binding, inverse phase binding).
DC R: 16.8 Kohms.
Inductance: moderate – predominance of low passages.
Values used with Gauss-meter: measured at the poles surface: 350 measured at the rectangular Alnico 600 bar surface.
Values used with Flux-meter: measured in the magnetic flux of the rectangular bar: 1, 91 mVs.
Resonance peak: 5.2 Khz :
Output: 360 milivolts, spacing poles: the HH777 has an intermediate pole spacing between traditional Humbucker and a Trembucker (SD) or a type of: “Floyd Spaced” (DiMarzio). That is, there is “relevancy” in both situations.
Gain and timbre: in terms of gain, the HH777 is comparable to Seymour Duncan JB (SH-4 or TB-4) or we can refer to it as a Seymour Screaming Demon (SH-12 or TB-12) with more volume intensity. As for sound, the referred is not similar to JB, Custom 5, Screaming Demon or Tone Zone. The HH777 has no keen sound in “cascade”, and not as JB´s medium wall or as Custom 5 model.
In relation to Screaming Demon, the HH777 has more volume, however, will exhale less harmonic (the HH777 has resonance peak lower than Screaming Demon). On the other hand, in the visual aspect, one is similar to other. Compared to Tone Zone, the HH777 has a “biting” less sharp than that one. It is possible to “listen to” similarities from HH777 as a Gibson Dirty Fingers in terms of mids and bass. The HH777 gives me a clean sound and more sweet and a dirty textures that is not harsh. The JB was only sensible to a clean sound and efficient to dirty sound, but mid / sharp went far from. I like high end pickups because I play rock, hard rock and metal style. I use less clean sound, but I have single coils guitars and low end humbuckers and was utilized eventually to recording.
Finishing: I am satisfied to general, the cream reels are pigmented and the result is excellent. Since the beginning of this partnership, Malagoli Electronics has let me to feel free to experiment and exhibit my ideas. The company always showed me available to and careful in all circumstances and job situations. The high-tech process of the company coincided with this project and I have made some fixing in others pickups from Custom and Standard lines. Particularly, I think that is important to encourage brazilian production.
Tests with Humbucker HH777 were done by following equipments:

Fender Strat Plus (Alder body, maple neck).
Stratocaster Henry Ho Custom with Floyd Rose tremolo.
Stratocaster Henry Ho STD.
Stratocaster Henry Custom.
Jackson Custom Japan (mahogany body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard).
Gibson Les Paul Studio 1987 .
Rotstage CJ 50 + cab 2X10”
Rotstage CJ 50 Plus + cab 2X10”
Marshall Slash JCM2555 (with KT88 and José Arredondo´s mods) + cab 4X12” Marshal 1960.
Fender Twin Reverb 1968 (George Alessandro´s mods).
Zepphir GD60
Effects: Boss OD-20 Drive Zone Boss Line Selector LS-2 Hobbertt Simulamp Loop Selector Hobbertt Landscape Tri-Efx Landscape Reverb Pedal board Landscape PB-2 and Pb-1 + Yamaha ED-Stomp Guitartech the Bomb Booster.
Strings: NIG hybrid HH: .010, .014, .017, .026, .038 and .048 DR Extra Life Red Devils: .009, .011, .016, .024, .032 and .042.
Cables: Reference Canare

Meaning of numbers “777”
As soon as I arrived in Japan, I had to choose the ideograms (Kanjis) referred to my complete name. The Japanese choose the ideograms before their child birth, based on several reasons: numerology, meaning, and family tradition, visual letters and etc. In the foreigner case, it is an optional subject. I have decided to do. My Occidental name has seven letters: HENRY HO. Then, I chose 3 ideograms and each ideogram has seven traces. That is, was done the relation 777. The HH are the Occidental initials, name and surname. When I did this project of pickup signature obviously that, I had thought on HH777.

Some pix!

Black HH777

Trad Zebra HH777

Yellow HH777

Green HH777

Custard Cream HH777

Covered HH777

White Room HH777

New Color HH777
World Cup Soccer Version HH777

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guitar Cleaning Products

My new Sponsor - Sobrol Guitar Cleaning Products.
I tested 2 new products:
Fast Fret: good for clean and humidify the fingerboard.
String Cleaner Polish: good to clean the guitar strings.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vinnie Moore Guitar Clinic on Blackmore Rock Bar - May, 30, 2010

After the Brazil´tour with UFO, Vinnie Moore returned to Sao Paulo to do a guitar clinic on Blackmore Rock Bar. It was a cloudy Sunday, I arrived before the time and met a public of guitarists and some fans . Vinnie arrived shortly before the schedule accompanied by the promoters and guitar tech Sylvia, who also made the translation of questions and answers.
Vinnie played instrumental songs from solo albums: "Time Odyssey", "Meltdown" "Out Of Nowhere" and from the latest album "To The Core."
He played with playbacks and used the UFO`s concert backline: the same amps, pedals and guitars. He explained details and functions of each pedal, adjusting of the amplifiers and some details of the guitars. Technically, Vinnie show us a very expressive musical vocabulary. His phrasing has changed since the "shred era”. He played a lot of pentatonic licks with chromaticism, hybrid picking and used an Ebow on certain melodic riffs. He played some songs of his early career with a lot of harmonic minor scales, arpeggios diminished and melancholy phrases.

Vinnie answered all the questions in a good mood! He spoke of feeling when you accomplished as an UFO´s guitarist – "something surreal become guitarist for a band he admire and "copy " the riffs and solos". He explained how was the first tour with UFO, spoke about the pressure and anxiety. And when approached on the track he did for the Pepsi commercial, he didn´t remember how to play that solo! Vinnie said he doesn´t know Brazilian music very much and then ended the workshop playing the beautiful "Meltdown." After the clinic, he autographed CDs and took photos with all the people. Vinnie went to the south of Brazil to do more guitar clinics followed by Hangar´s drummer, Aquiles Priester.

Shred Soloing!!!


Me and Vinnie!
Pix: Henry Ho, Miwa Sato

Thursday, June 3, 2010

UFO Brazil Tour 2010 Report

The legendary British band UFO was in Brazil for the first time. In addition to Sao Paulo, the band also played in Goiania, Recife and Belo Horizonte. The band's current line up includes three members of the classic era: Phil Moog on vocals, Paul Raymond on guitar and keyboards (joined in 1977) and Andy Parker on drums. And lead guitar, Vinnie Moore! He joined the UFO in 2003. Vinnie emerged in the late '80s, an era in prolific technical guitarists. He also played in the Alice Cooper band!
On bass, bassist Barry Sparks replaced Pete Way (of the classic line up), also was replaced by bassist Rob De Luca. Rob played with UFO during their American tour in 2008 and currently member of Sebastian Bach´s band.
The concert was in Sao Paulo at Carioca Club – WOW, an unusual name for a live house in Sao Paulo city, because “Carioca” means Rio de Janeiro!
Hours before the concert the audience was of the old fans, teenagers who like classic rock. Totally mix!
I entered to the room through a side door. Few hours before the show I received a call from Vinnie's roadie, Sylvia Dantonio (my former student, she is a guitar repair woman and guitar technician). One of the Vinnie´s guitars was with a broken tuner!
I went to the Carioca Club earlier to bring spare parts and repair the Vinnie´s guitar.
The band played a selection of classic songs and showed an exciting performance! Set List : Let It Roll, Mother Mary, When Daylights Goes To Town, Out In the Street, This Kids, Cherry, Only You Can Rock Me, Hell Driver,Love to Love, Aint No Baby, Too Hot To Handle, Lights Out, Rock Bottom and Doctor Doctor.
Vocalist Phil Moog continues to sing like the old days. Paul Raymond showed efficiency as rhythm guitarist, Andy and Rob showed an impeccable “cuisine”. As for Vinnie Moore, the expectation was too great and the comparisons with his predecessor Michael Schenker would be inevitable. But he did very well. Vinnie has kept the original licks of Michael, in songs where he really could not modify. He also improvised and imposed his phrasing on others songs that could be modified!
On the beautiful Love to Love, he blended both styles and did a great job. Rock Bottom! He blasts with very technical playing! Regarding the sounds, Vinnie maintained an unique sound pattern!

Backline - Guitars
Dean Vinnie Moore signature model
Lead guitar with translucent red finish. Alder body with quilted maple top. Maple neck and fingerboard, 22 frets higher!
The pickups: Dean DMT Vinnie Moore Signature (bridge) DiMarzio noiselees single (middle) and DiMarzio Fast track1 (neck).
Hardware: Floyd Rose bridge and gold Grover tuners.

Dean Vinnie Moore signature model prototype
Sub- guitar with white finish. Alder Body, maple neck with indian rosewood fingerboard. 22 frets. The pickups: Deam DMT Vinnie signature (bridge) and DiMarzio PAF Pro (neck). Hardware: Floyd Rose bridge and chrome Grover tuners.
Vinnie´s guitars on backstage
Sylvia, Vinnie´s guitar Technician (my ex-student!!!)
Monitor House

Vinnie is sponsored by ENGL amps, but for this tour in Brazil, he rented two Marshall JCM2000 heads and four Marshall cabs 4 x 12 ".

Vinnie uses two delays: MXR Carbon Copy Delay and Boss DD3 Digital Delay in the amplifier´s loop. One is set to short time to give more consistency to the tone and the other is set to provide more depth.
The input of the amp, he uses: Xotic Effects BB Pre-amp/Overdrive, and Jim Dunlop Crybaby Boss TU-2 tuner.
The BB pedal just "pushes" the distortion obtained in the amp´s dirty channel, especially in solos. In the clean sounds, Vinnie uses much the volume knob on the guitar.
Strings and picks
Daddario .010 and Jim Dunlop .88 mm Picks customized.




Thanx to AWO production & management (Fernando, Milton&daughter, Chico, Rodrigo), Sylvia, João Miguel and Miwa Sato.
Pix: Henry, Miwa Sato, João Miguel.