Billy Zoom's Jet Set

Billy Zoom guitar setup

26

As a rule, people who don't like Melitas are people who have never used one and just don't like the looks of them. A lot of people seem to obsess about the materials they're made of rather than just trusting their ears.

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As a rule, people who don't like Melitas are people who have never used one and just don't like the looks of them. A lot of people seem to obsess about the materials they're made of rather than just trusting their ears.

– Billy Zoom

Well I definitely think they look cool! Im hesitant to screw any of the bridges down until I land on a setup I can permanently live with, does the melita work as well floating or does it really need to be pinned? I also haven't experimented with changing the pickup pole heights

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I switched from a Space Control to a Melita and I haven't had it move at all. I am careful when I change strings and do it one at a time though. If I took them all off for any reason, I'd mark the base's location with blue tape for proper alignment. My Luthier has in the past put down double sided sticky tape under them on some of my Guitars, but the Melita base's are built well. I love the Melita, the screws I was talking about are the top screws that adjust the saddles, not screwing my base in. I've found its better with flat top screws up there, doesn't get in the way of palming.

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I gave the Melita a chance a couple of times, and I liked some things about it, but I went back to the bar bridge. I'm going to give it another try right now, though, thanks to this thread.

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Hmmm... I like it this time. We'll see if that lasts!

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Is the plastic base metal inside? It looks like it's threaded

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I don't understand your question. It's all just what it looks like. This is one of mine so it has the countersunk mounting holes where I put the big screws into the top of my guitars. I was just showing the flat screws. I had to order a thousand so if anybody needs some, let me know.

34

Gotcha, about to pull the trigger on the gretsch/melita bridge, I don't think I'll be screwing it down though. Have you kept your silver jets set up the same since the early days of X, or have you experimented with different strings etc? I read somewhere some X recordings were done on a strat, any truth to that?

35

I did a lot of experimenting in the beginning. I had 2 1955 Silver Jets and would constantly compare them with various changes. They've been the same for the last 35 years though because I found what I wanted.
The Silver Jet was the main guitar on all X recordings, but I used the Strat, 6120, 6121, and Epiphone for various overdubs. There's also a Rickenbacker 12 string on parts of White Girl.

36

Wow! I never would have guessed you used a Ric 12 on anything. As per your recommendation, I put the lighter pure nickel strings on my jet today and got some white pearl fender mediums, loving the strings and the new sound im getting! I use a tweed fender blues jr. 3, you have any experience working on them or any good mods? Its 15 watt all tube and I love it, actually traded a 40 watt Marshall dual super lead for it, that amp had one speed only and it was distortion, waaayyy happier with my first fender amp, and 15 watts is plenty loud

37

There used to be a guitar shop in Philly called Howard Herbert Music and the late owner, Mr. Herbert was an old school chord melody player and guitar tinkerer and he swore by Melita bridges for many of the same reasons as Billy. Mr. Herbert also knew the inventor/designer of the Melita bridge, Sebastiano "Johnny" Melita who was also from Philadelphia.

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They got a bad rap because some people think too much and listen too little.

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Billy, do you or did you ever use any pedals, or do you always just go straight to the amp? I use minimal pedals, but can't live without my echo and compressor

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I use a DeArmond volume pedal a lot. I have used tape echos, but they're a pain to maintain. I haven't ever found a delay pedal that sounded good enough. I've never used a distortion pedal...they all sound crackley on top. A tube amp IS a compressor. That's why they sound so good.

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If you haven't heard one and get the chance, check out the Way Huge Aqua Puss, that's the delay I use and I love it! Supposed to sound kind of like tape echo. I never use distortion pedals for the same reason, but I do have two overdrives I love, both from electroharmonix.

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These are good too, but you have to mod them a little:

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Gotta admit Billy, I was surprised by the 12 string Ric on White Girl, but I re listened and I'm pretty sure I can hear it on the refrain, funny, that just happens to be the next Guitar I'm looking at, the relatively new P. Townsend 1993 plus model...I love the Ric 12 sound, always have, but the fretboards have always just been to narrow for me, until this model.

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It's just on the high lead thing.

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Haha that's pretty cool! Looks like my washing machine, what years are those? Billy, did you ever use any tweed fender amps with X? I've been loving the tone im getting with my tweed with the nickel .10s

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I stumbled upon this, a strat through a Marshall? Was this temporary or something? I love strats, got rid of my Marshall though

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1977-That was the first Masque benefit. There were at last 20 bands and we all used the same backline. I didn't have the Silver Jet yet and the 6120 fedback too much. Do you like the pickguard I made for John's Jazz Bass.

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This is what's it's about right here ,a plethora of detailed info and R&R history! Much respect to Mr Z and I wish I could vote this thread up a dozen times. I can't think of hardly,if any time I've heard or read an artist/well known guitarist giving out so much and even playing technique! Also @ Chmason, if anchoring the bridge is a no for you try bow rosin.Personally I found that works better than double tape,which is what I used to use on all mine.However,tape and the feet on the Melita bridge are not a good combo,under tension it will slide like it has snail snot under it.

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Billy, details please on the Jazz bass pickguard.

Drum wrap?


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