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Reviews Written by
Big Ben "fly_mo" (Bedford, UK)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Fosmon Sync and Charge USB Data Cable Compatible with Palm Treo 650 700w 700p Tungsten T5 Tx Lifedrive - Black
Fosmon Sync and Charge USB Data Cable Compatible with Palm Treo 650 700w 700p Tungsten T5 Tx Lifedrive - Black
Offered by theWireless USA
Price: £3.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality cable, well made., 26 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good cable, does the job well, and it fits the Palm Tungsten E2 perfectly.
Recommended!


AHS Alcohol Hand Sanitiser NHS Grade Gel (5L) - Comes With TCH Anti-Bacterial Pen!
AHS Alcohol Hand Sanitiser NHS Grade Gel (5L) - Comes With TCH Anti-Bacterial Pen!
Offered by The Chemical Hut
Price: £32.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good gel!, 26 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is excellent stuff, and it works well for us.
One should probably not use a Sanitiser Gel for all hand-washing, but it does a thorough job where it is needed. Particularly handy in toilets that lack a basin. Recommended!


Elite Cycling Project Men's Road Racer Gel Fingerless Gloves Gloves White XL'
Elite Cycling Project Men's Road Racer Gel Fingerless Gloves Gloves White XL'
Offered by GetYourselfFitter
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good gloves, but XL is not that big, 26 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good gloves, well sewn, and the gel pad is good too. But the XL size is a bit tight on me - they'd fit my wife OK, and she takes a Medium in Marigold Gloves! I can get them on, so I hope they stretch a bit in use.


Godin LG XT ( Synth Access )
Godin LG XT ( Synth Access )
Offered by Wildwire Guitars
Price: £1,399.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable guitar for the technically adept or those who are determined to give it a go., 24 Jun. 2016
This is an exceptional guitar with stunning technical features, more about those features lower down..
It's a heavily built solid body guitar made from premium Canadian timber and registers a solid 4.1Kg on our scales.
A Parker Fly it's not, and a good quality strap is recommended, details below.
The mahogany neck and ebony fretboard is wonderful and it plays really well, with one exception.

There is only a minimal description given on this page, so it is worth looking up the details at godinguitars dotcom where you can also download a .PDF of the owner's manual.
This LGXT looks identical to mine apart from the colour, but be aware that there have been changes for the 2016 models that include a "Richlite" composite fretboard. This is going to be a long review, folks. There's a whole lot to cover.

Some info:
It's a 25 1/2" scale neck with 1 11/16" nut width that I find comfortable to play, despite pretty big hands.
Godin tell us that the Silver Leaf Maple body has a Figured Maple Top (on translucent colors) and my trans blue one looks smart. This body is fitted with a pair of Seymour Duncan Custom Humbuckers, a 5-Way pickup selector switch, pickup Volume and Tone knobs, Synth/processor Volume knob, a Synth Program up/down switch and 3-Way Synth/both/Guitar switch. The tuners have individual screw-locks to make life simpler when changing strings.

Inconveniently positioned (for me) on the lower edge of the body are the three connectors - the Magnetic Pickup Output (standard jack like a normal electric guitar), the 13-pin Roland-compatible Synth Output connector and another standard jack for the RMC hex-Bridge/Mix Output.
This brings us to the RMC hexaphonic piezo Bridge with Pre-Amp EQ sliders for piezo Volume, Treble, Mid-Range and Bass which are situated near the top strap pin.

The difference between this LGXT and the LGXSA is that this one has a tremolo arm. This seems to stay in tune pretty well, but it's not something I use nowadays, which is just as well - see below. The XTSA model is much the same as the LGXT but with an extra single-coil pickup installed between the humbuckers.

Why is the connector array inconvenient for me?
Because when the cables are plugged in the connectors project far enough to conflict with the floor - or with a guitar stand, so it's a hard guitar to park safely. I'm sure that there's some stand that will fit neatly, but I have yet to find it. Any suggestions, folks?
....and when sitting in my comfy chair the connectors usually find a tender spot below the belt. <ouch>

So a good strap is essential for me, it keeps the connectors clear when seated if I adjust it short. Your seated position may differ, of course. Given the weight of this instrument, I chose a (Canadian-made) "Levy's" padded leather strap and a set of strap-locks to fit the neat Schaller locking pins already fitted to the guitar. But if you don't like the Schaller pins you'll need to budget for replacing them with your own choice.

Plugged into an amp or modeling box, it does sound good when using the Seymour Duncan pickups.
It worked well with my old Marshall VS as well as the PAIA 9210K SiaB valve rack unit and an early Korg AX10 box.

I'm used to SuperStrat pickup configurations (G3T, MG510, etc) and struggled a bit at first to find my tone with the two humbuckers (which switch to single coil in some positions of the switch) , but after starting from first principles (rather than trying to fudge my existing amp settings) it was pretty easy to get a whole range of killer tones. Nice pickups, very little microphony and a tonal range from phatt to filigree.

The Piezo bridge pickup adds an extra dimension to the magnetic pickup sound - alone it can sound a lot like an acoustic guitar, or it add sparkle to (say) a fat overdrive sound, your choice. My favourite trick so far is to turn up the bass on the piezo and use the <bump> from that to add a bass percussion feel with the heel of the hand. Your speaker system needs to be bass-rated for this to work best. We use a 15" 600W subwoofer and 2x200W stereo when playing live, but good headphones work OK for rehearsal.

So what about the 13-pin thing? That's what I needed most, but it's not for everybody.
If you don't have a 13-pin box already, you'll need to get one. It's what this LGXT is for.

The current almost-affordable full-feature Roland 13-pin box is the GR-55, which does two PCM synth layers and a COSM modeling layer which can then be added to the separate magnetic pickup and piezo pickup sounds. That's five layers. There are now five times as many things to go wrong or sound lame as there are with a standard electric axe. You will need a stereo mixer to get the best results - the Behringer 1002 does what we need.

You will need to read the GR-55 manual! Fortunately it's a pretty good one, but there's a lot in it.

Alternatively...
If this is your first venture into 13-pin Roland territory, why not pair this guitar with an older used Roland GR or VG box rather than their latest box? Even the venerable GR-1 delivers a fantastic stereo sound and can do things like... a bass on the E & A strings, fruity sax on the D &G strings, and octave-down organ on the B & E strings. Add the LGXT Seymour Duncan pickups and a hint of RMC piezo to taste...
The early 13-pin GRs are mostly pretty good, although the GR-50 is not my favourite.
Later ones are often better. All are cheaper than a recent GR-55, and most are simpler to set up.
Visiting the Vguitar forums can help a lot with finding your way around this stuff.

If you can get the hang of the technology, the reward could be a solid wall of sound that delivers dynamics and complexities that defy the expectations of a 'normal' live solo guitar performance.
It's not easy, but when one of these guitars is up and running well with a Roland GR/VG box, it's a gas, and I recommend it heartily to those willing to invest the time, effort and money into doing it properly.

Now some bad news...
The bridge on mine is fixed in the wrong place. How could that happen at Godin?
I knew there was a harmonics problem when I bought it used,. All one has to do is ping the harmonics at the octave and then fret the note to see if it changes. It shouldn't, but it did on all six strings.
Not unusual, but I'd normally be able to adjust this out in the usual way.
Unfortunately the bridge saddles just won't *quite* go far enough to play perfectly in tune at the octave unless I tension the trem block so that it sits at maximum travel. Bit disappointing, it's fortunate that tremolo is not something that I really need.

Some less-than-wonderful news
Not the fault of Godin - but the Roland GR-55 (amongst others) has a flaw in the COSM system. The high-pass filters fitted to earlier COSM VG engines have been omitted - some voices (like the GR-300 ones) are not usable on a hex-piezo-equipped instrument. The reason is that the bass thud (that I enjoy so much) confuses the digitisation/DSP hardware/software so that the response is unmusical in the extreme. Earlier Roland VG/COSM hardware had this filter array, but later ones omit it. The good news is that these filters are probably obtainable online. I'll update this when I know more, since one of the suppliers has just retired.

In conclusion, a stunning technical tour-de-force with a big meaty Seymour Duncan humbucker sound as well as the delicacy of the RMC piezo bridge. 13-pin access to Roland and other synths/MIDI stuff/COSM opens up almost endless possibilities. Beautiful detailing and top materials should justify 5 stars, but the inability to bring all the harmonics into tune at the 12th fret without compromising the tremolo costs the Godin LGXT one star.

Be sure to check out your instrument carefully if you decide to buy one.


Yamaha GL1 Guitalele - Ukelele-Size Guitar With Bag - Natural
Yamaha GL1 Guitalele - Ukelele-Size Guitar With Bag - Natural
Price: £52.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely instrument that fits the smaller hand., 22 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a really super instrument, but it is best suited to the smaller hand.
The sound is very good indeed, almost as full and resonant as our much-loved Yamaha G-280A from the 1970s.
But the neck is just too narrow for my fingers - it's 43mm across the nut, and 37mm from 1st to 6th string.
The gap between the strings is less than 6mm (about 1/4"), this means that my fingertips always touch an adjacent string (or maybe two) when playing, which is a pity. I've offered it to other blokes, same result.
it's not just that my hands are huge (they are fairly big) - and I do play a lot of Ukulele these days.
Was hoping that this would be a fun addition to the collection, but the string-to-string spacing is significantly less than my smallest uke, so it'll become a gift to someone with smaller fingers - it'd fit my wife fine, but she's not interested. Prefers drums....
Brilliant idea, well made, well finished, decent bag, but one size does not fit all.
Recommended for those of us with smaller hands!


Spear & Jackson 3765LM Razorsharp Log Splitting Maul, 6.5 lb
Spear & Jackson 3765LM Razorsharp Log Splitting Maul, 6.5 lb
Price: £24.00

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a maul, not an axe, and we like it!, 9 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a proper log-splitting maul, not a wood axe - not intended for chopping down trees, it's a specialised tool for splitting wooden logs, and ours does this exceptionally well. Wikipedia says: "A splitting maul (is) also known as a block buster, block splitter, sledge axe, or go-devil" and goes on to explain that it is a properly heavy wedge on a stick, rather than a blade.
My mate Ron advised me to keep an oily rag tied to it, since wedges of all sorts work best with a spot of lubrication, and he's right,
Neighbour Pete has shown me how it is used by an expert - which was impressive!
I'm not that strong or skilled, but I get the job done, albeit slowly.
Together with a shiny new 'grenade' wedge (XTools Wood Splitting Log Grenade Bomb Wedge - Splits In Four Directions} we have done serious damage to nearly a ton of firewood in the recent springtime cold spell.

We used to have fibreglass-handled wood axes in the past, and this is a big improvement - recommended!


XTools Wood Splitting Log Grenade Bomb Wedge - Splits In Four Directions
XTools Wood Splitting Log Grenade Bomb Wedge - Splits In Four Directions
Offered by Hot UK Stuff
Price: £7.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Clever wedge!, 9 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These wedges are new to me. I'm used to the older chisel wedges, and thought it worth a go.
The first log looked to be partly seasoned and about 16" across - I set it up on the chopping block and tapped the point of the wedge in with the heel of our splitting maul ....
And then welted a good one! ....and another.
It penetrated OK, which overcame my worry that it would be hard to drive in.
But soon it was almost all the way in - and the log remained un-split. The bubbly ooze from around the wedge showed that the wood was not seasoned, in fact it was almost green. Not really ready for splitting. My bad.
So the log went on its side, and I dropped the axe blade along the grain of the log - and it fell apart with a loud pop!
Even on this large, unseasoned hardwood log, it worked well.

This wedge does the job, and we find can it works effectively on larger logs that will not split easily with axe alone.
Recommended!


Master Class Soft-Grip Stainless Steel Pizza Cutter Wheel, 20 cm (8")
Master Class Soft-Grip Stainless Steel Pizza Cutter Wheel, 20 cm (8")
Price: £3.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It rolls!, 9 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good Pizza Wheel, well made and does the job.


260 Meter 1mm 150D Leather Waxed Wax Thread Cord Craft for DIY Tool Stitching
260 Meter 1mm 150D Leather Waxed Wax Thread Cord Craft for DIY Tool Stitching
Offered by YOKEYS
Price: £4.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile waxed thread., 9 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very tough waxed thread - ideal for using with a sewing awl, or for bindings lashings and rope whippings.
Recommended1


Raspberry Pi 3 Official Desktop Starter Kit (16Gb, Black)
Raspberry Pi 3 Official Desktop Starter Kit (16Gb, Black)
Offered by Almost Anything Ltd
Price: £43.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Good value kit for RasPi 3, 9 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Top quality kit to get anyone started with the new (10x faster) Raspberry Pi 3 - you'll need a TV or a Monitor and a USB Keyboard/mouse to get going with this remarkable card-sized computer.
Recommended!


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