Gibson P90 – Best Guitar Pickup Ever?

Bob Leggitt | Tuesday, 27 January 2015 |

Since the 1980s, it’s been possible to walk into a guitar shop and come out with pretty much any type of guitar pickup you could imagine. I daren’t even calculate what I’ve spent over the years on these small but often very expensive items of hardware. But when I consider what might be the best guitar pickup ever made, I frequently find my mind zooming straight back towards a positively ancient design which pre-dated the retrofit market by a good three decades. Introduced by Gibson as the P.U.90, but now overwhelmingly known as the P90, this immediate post-war single coil could well be the true king of electric guitar pickups…
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Session Sessionette Guitar Amps in the 1980s

Bob Leggitt | Saturday, 24 January 2015 |

If you were part of a local band scene in the 1980s, the Session brand of guitar amplifiers is almost certain to be lurking in the depths of your memory. Particularly in the early part of the decade when factors such as pre-amp gain, compactness and portability were first becoming more fashionable considerations for guitar amp buyers, Session ticked a lot of the boxes other manufacturers were slow to acknowledge.


Above: The Sessionette 3 was a step on from the classic Sessionette 75, and is seen here in a 1988 advert. These updates were, however, beginning to look like too little too late, as the rest of the market forged ahead. By the 1990s, the brand was well and truly vanishing from the scene.
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K-Meleon: A Lightweight, Low-RAM Browser For Old PCs 2014 - 2015

Bob Leggitt | Saturday, 18 October 2014 |

Since the update of the Opera browser to a Chrome-based architecture, and the continued insistence by major browser providers on cramming as much superfluous crap as humanly possible into your PC’s memory, I’ve struggled to find a viable option for very old PCs. I’m sure it’s a familiar story for you too: you scour the web for a light browser with low RAM-use and streamlined operation, you find various suggestions, you download them, and they’re all the same. Bloated, derivative, and sometimes disingenous in their claims about being light on resources.

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The House Piano Sound Explained

Bob Leggitt | Friday, 17 October 2014 |

It’s not rocket science, but the Italian house piano sound, which drove so many iconic dance music tracks from the late ’80s and the ’90s, does often raise questions among younger musicians. The overall sonic package was really a product of minor technical failure on the part of keyboard manufacturers, who were trying to replicate real pianos in the digital domain, but due to technological limitations, ended up with a synthetic-sounding approximation. In this post I’ll document the main charactistics of “house piano”, the keyboard types that were used, and some info about the playing style…


Above: Okay, so she didn’t play the keyboards, and she wasn’t even the real singer, but I figured most of you would rather see some 1989 pics of glamorous pin-up and face of Black Box, Katrin Quinol, than a boring old Korg M1. Black Box sent the “house piano” concept stratospheric with their controversial but undeniably brilliant track Ride On Time.
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What Was The First Digital Piano?

Bob Leggitt | Wednesday, 8 October 2014 |

I remember being incredibly jealous when a mate announced to me back in the mists of time that he’d just acquired a Yamaha electric piano and would be gigging it with his band at the weekend. At that time I was very young and I had little concept of model codes. I didn’t know a CP-70 was called a CP-70, but I’d seen them in use and sounding very impressive with professional artists, and that was the vision that came into my mind when I heard the news.


Above: Delivering in digital form what people can get from sitting in front of one of these things has been a monstrously difficult task. This is a 1970 Welmar upright acoustic piano. A pain to record, perhaps, and I wouldn't remotely consider transporting it anywhere, but as a personal playing experience it has something electronic instruments still can't duplicate.
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