Saturday, January 14, 2012

Great guitar, useless PSU

click photo to enlarge
A couple of days ago I got a new guitar. It's Washburn's version of the Gibson ES-335, a hollow body electric guitar whose design dates back to 1958. Why didn't I get a Gibson? Well, first of all I'm a cheapskate and wouldn't pay the approximately £2000 asking price. Secondly, it's widely held that other manufacturers' "look-and-sound-alikes" give you 90% of the functionality of the original: what you mainly lose is the cachet of the Gibson name. And thirdly, I'm not a good enough guitarist to warrant the real thing!

However, for a short while on the day it arrived I wondered if I'd made the right choice. When I plugged it in and played it I was very impressed by the sounds that it produced and the ease of the action. The workmanship looked very good. The problem was, my study acquired an odd odour. When I asked my wife what she thought it was she suggested a "burning electrical smell". The current in an electric guitar is minimal but I guessed it was the smell that some new electrical items give off when first used. Either that or something inside the body was in the process of failing. Anyway, we had to go out for an hour or so. When we returned I switched on my computer and powered up the guitar and the smell immediately re-appeared. Then my computer screen went black and it shut down. A quick examination showed that the power supply unit (PSU) had failed and that it was the source of the smell I'd erroneously linked to the new guitar. It was a relatively new replacement too, only installed 5 months ago, so I packaged it up and sent it back to the supplier for replacement under warranty. I'm unhappy about the PSU, but the guitar is great!

Consequently I'm using my second machine for all computer related tasks, including blogging. It's an old PC that came to me because it was superfluous to my oldest son's needs. I've installed the basics for photo-processing, but not the full suite that I usually use, and the monitor is uncalibrated. So, for a short while I'll be posting shots that require only minimal post-processing until my main machine is up and running again, photographs such as today's showing my new guitar. It was taken with the macro lens and is presented pretty much as it came out of the camera.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm macro
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 0.6 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: Off