Friday, March 20, 2009

Rock Inn, Shinjuku

The latest in a continuing but rare series of posts (this is the second one, isn't it?) about guitar stores.
Rock Inn has a few stores around Shinjuku, with the main two right across from each other in the alleys of 3-chome behind Mitsukoshi (I say this to remind myself for next time). They have a decent selection with a fair number of boutique items thrown in - Suhr guitars but not Andersons, for instance. Today they had a couple Dr Z amps, on which I rocked out using a 52 Tele reissue.

The Z-28 is basically a Deluxe - 22 watts of 6L6 power. With a Tele bridge pickup it just starts to pick up some edge at 12 o'clock, but it's already kinda loud for open-store testing. With a boost pedal it got a bit more hairy, but of course nothing _too_ saturated. Should have tried a humbucker, but it was plenty fun, balanced and snappy, with the Tele. It's a good thing it sounds good, because the bass and treble knobs (and the guitar tone knob) were all marked 'crappy', as in 'change at your own peril'. Couldn't get that neck-pickup Tele jazz sound.

The Mini Z was a bit less fun; at 5 watts of EL 84, it's subjectively pretty loud in the store with the volume at 12 o'clock. By that point it's already well-saturated and very compressed; the boost pedal pushed it immediately into pick squeals and the like. But the top end had a nasty buzziness to me, and the tone knobs on the boost pedal did nothing to tame that. The amp is blessedly free of suchlike encumberances, having only Volume and Attenuator, so there's no help there either. I'd sure like to rock the heck out of one of the Doctor's bigger EL-84 numbers.


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