So, I'm into guitar synths. I bought the Roland shit to start with, but it just wasn't cutting it after a while.
I play Ibanez Sabre guitars, and they're way too thin to install any kind of onboard synth access. So, I used an Ibanez Xiphos instead.
The back story is this: I bought a used Xiphos for $200 with the case. The Edge III was garbage, so I figured I would buy Graph Tech's LB63 floyd since it was only $180 at the time and I would spend that just for an OFR.
I had to buy a 32mm brass trem block for it, and of course it didn't fit right so I had to mill out the screw holes in the baseplate.
Once I had the trem in and functional, it was time to test it for a few gigs to make sure it was gonna work. Once I did that, it was time to buy the synth stuff. Adam (Elysian) hooked me up with a solid deal. Here's the install.
The subject, with the tone pot removed so I have a place for the synth volume:
Marked the size and location of the hole for the 13-pin jack.
Time to tap this bitch.
The gory details. You'll notice I went past the electronics cavity. I need all the room I could get in there.
Need a hole for the momentary switch which sends program commands to the Roland unit.
This intermission brought to you by Graph Tech.
I get everything installed, and it doesn't fucking work. The ribbon cable will not seat on the hexpander board. I get no audio, the volume knob is sending program changes, and the momentary switch isn't working. It seems to me the ribbon cable should not double back on itself, and it's the only I can put it in.
So, I email Adam.
The guys at Graph Tech suspect I have two problems. The guide pin on the hexpander board wasn't cut short enough, so they want me to trim it further with a pair of wire cutters. I do that, and the ribbon cable seats fine on the board.
The second problem is that they've encounter ribbon cables that were keyed wrong and they suspect I have one. I send them the following photo showing how the cable double backs on itself
And this one, which shows how the cable is keyed.
They confirm that the cable is indeed keyed wrong. They order a replacement be sent to me, but they're charging Adam's account $10.50 if I don't send the defective part back to them. Since I had to send it back to Canada, which meant standing in line at the post office, filling out forms, paying postage, and buying a padded envelope, I just sent Adam $11.00 via PayPal. He said I didn't have to pay him, but I didn't think he should be stuck with the bill. Hell, I don't know why Graph Tech is making me pay $7 to mail back a defective part.
So, the day finally arrives when my package arrives:
I open it up, and there's a surprise! I can haz string saver saddles too?
Graph Tech was nice enough to send me Adam's whole order. The cable I needed, AND some saddles that he ordered for someone else. That puts Adam in a bind, so I went ahead and sent the saddles to him.
Thank you, Graph Tech, for sending out defective parts, making the customer pay to return them, sending the customer someone else's fucking order, and putting the onus on the customer to send the rest of the order along to make it right.
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I installed the momentary switch and the new ribbon cable, and it all works perfectly
Of course, some poindexter will ask why I put the jack on the underside of the guitar. You see, when you play a guitar shaped like this, it lends itself to metal poses. I couldn't have the jack in the back because then there would be no room for my leg when I'm throwing down metal poses.
Ibanez Xiphos with case: $200
Graph Tech LB63 bridge with piezo inserts: $179
DiMarzio JPM 3-way toggle: $30
32mm brass trem block: $35
Graph Tech hexpander kit: $185
Postage for Graph Tech mistakes: $18
Not bad for a MIDI guitar with a floyd.
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