We got the call yesterday during one of the worst snowstorms of the winter.
“Your Kemper is in” was all that I needed to hear.
Time to brave the snowstorm.
It wasn’t easy, but we made the drive to the guitar shop and sure enough, there it was. My new Kemper Profiler and remote.
I brought it home and did the usual computer stuff: registered the unit, booted up the profiler, updated the firmware, quickly parsed through the manuals.
I hooked it up to a passive monitor (I have the powered rack version) and I started to work through a few of the profiles that I had acquired from Mike Britt.
This thing has no right to sound this good.
A couple of hours went by before I knew it. Very impressive piece of gear.
I’m playing out this weekend. And, with a bit of focus, I think I can get it ready to go.
Sure. Keep sending me emails about your new guitars. But really, Collings Guitars, I’d rather you stop sending me the emails and send me just the new guitars. Unfortunately I can only afford a couple of them.
I received an email update from Collings on the new 360 LT M. I almost bought the original model back in 2009 but opted for the CL Deluxe instead. Although a wonderfully made instrument, I never bonded with the polite character of the CL Deluxe. It just did not have much in the way of bite. The 360, on the other hand, had all sorts of bite thanks to the P90 pickups. It was the guitar that I should have purchased.
Here is a video of Anthony da Costa putting the new 360 through its paces. A great looking and a great sounding guitar.
I hit 60 years of age last week. Not quite sure how I feel about that marker. Seems old. My wife thought I needed some cheering up and so she planned a special birthday getaway for the two of us. Off to Las Vegas.
Well, not quite Las Vegas. A little bit outside of Las Vegas. A small town called Techatticup.
The flight down to Techatticup was uneventful although the pilot had a bit of a hard landing.
We love travelling in our Class A motorcoach however, given the short period of time we would be down in Vegas, we decided to rent an RV. It was a bit older than we expected but it did have some character.
We stayed at an RV resort about 200 miles from Las Vegas itself. A bit far from all of the action, true, but you can’t beat the rates at this park. And look at the main reception building. Quality, my friend. Quality.
The owners of the RV resort were a bit different than I expected but then again, the U.S. has changed a lot since Trump was elected president.
Entertainment? Elton John was the headliner. Just not at this RV resort.
And, of course, high end shopping was everywhere.
Sad news. One of my guitar heroes from my youth has passed away at age 73.
Larry Coryell led the charge in pioneering the jazz fusion guitar. He was an amazing player.
I’ve been looking at modellers and profilers over the past several months. Lorraine and I are starting to get ready for retirement in this machine:
We will be spending at least half the year, if not longer, travelling around in our coach during our early retirement years. And I won’t be able to take my amps with me.
Not enough space.
However, I can profile all of my current amps and carry them with me in the Kemper. I can also select some great amp profiles from Michael Britt.
The performance of the Kemper, although not 100 percent of a tube amp, is close enough for me. The convenience and portability of the Kemper is an obvious strength. The ability to mimic and store some great amp profiles is an obvious strength. Having all sorts of choices when it comes to playback volumes and playback sources is an obvious strength.
I’ll start working with the Kemper for some of my live dates. I’ll probably still use my pedalboards although I am going to try to work the unit as is with amp profiles and effects.
When we travel, I hope to use the Kemper as an all-in-one solution for practice, rehearsal, recording and any live work that I will be doing. I’ll probably pair the unit with a set of in-ears for my live work.
And I guess I will enter the digital age of guitar playing.
Nothing like spending some time with the Doctor. In this case, a virtual doctor, using Rubber Gloves to check on my progress.
I had to go full out for 20 minutes on the bike this morning. And by full out, I do mean full out. At my age, 60 in a few days, my maximum heart rate is estimated at 160 beats per minute. Although I can go harder than the estimated max. I held 165 bpm for most of the 20 minutes. No heart attack although that 20-minute interval was unbelievably hard. I’m still not sure how I got through it.
My wattage started strong at around 300 watts and then averaged down to about 220 watts for the interval. My FTP was adjusted from 180 to 211. And what, pray tell, does that mean? Aside from a pretty impressive 31 watt jump from the end of December?
The higher the FTP, the harder the ride.
How my friends at the Sufferfest describe the Rubber Glove ride:
Ah, the old-school days where you just used to bash yourself into the ground day after day hoping it would make you faster. As fun as that was, it wasn’t effective and few have the time for that. With jobs, families, and a life outside cycling (gasp!), we need to make the most of our training time.
Now, heart rate monitors and power meters allow cyclists to establish fitness thresholds and training zones. The threshold, called your “Functional Threshold Performance (FTP)”, can be used to train more effectively, precisely following training plans and getting you fitter, faster and more powerful in less time.
Establishing your FTP requires that you take a fitness examination of sorts. Typically you ride at your absolute limit for a set period of time, take your average effort over that period, subtract a bit, and you have your Functional Threshold Performance (FTP). Our FTP test video, Rubber Glove, is the best in the world, helping you get the most out of yourself.
With a workout designed by Dig Deep Coaching, you get a solid warm-up, some high-cadence drills and then it’s straight into a 20 minute maximum effort interval. Clear instructions will pace you to get the most accurate FTP possible. Once you’re done, we’ll tell you what your new power FTP should be.
Rubber Glove is tough.
With the Tour of Sufferlandria having finished, I will start my 10-week training plan for the outdoor riding season. Although, with luck, I hope to be back on the roads late March or early April.
Two days of recovery before some light spinning tomorrow. Back into harder efforts this weekend.
My son had passed me a link to a video of Bob Wood playing in a guitar shop somewhere in Nashville. My son knows that I am struggling a little bit with turning 60 and he knows that I am a bit concerned as to how much longer I will be able to play guitar with a decent level of skill.
Here is the video of Bob Wood that went viral:
Another friend found a different video of Bob Wood, one that has a much better sound and vibe. He passed it along with this comment:
You seem to mention feeling old now and again, and I thought this guy might provide some good perspective for those times!
Here is that video:
So, I am gradually getting the message about becoming an aging guitarist which was best said by Bob himself:
“God willing, I’ll be pickin’ and grinnin’ until they pat me in the face with a spade,” says Bob.