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  1. #51

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    I would love to compare side by side a 1611 and my (13 years old and all ready refretted once) 1511 to test the IRA treatment. But the 1611 is very expensive.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    That would be interesting. I think it worth your paying for the 1611, just so that we on the forum become more knowledgeable
    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 06-18-2021 at 06:13 AM.

  4. #53

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    I played a 1511 from 2006 until late 2020.

    And....I wish I'd kept it!

    My story around the Mike Stern model started when I walked into a local big box music shop to get
    strings or something and saw what looked to be a nice ash coloured Tele. On closer inspection
    it turned out to be a Yamaha ...a 311 Pacifica I was told [sexy names they come up with] Picked it up and found it played nicely and asked if
    I could plug it in. Hmmm, very nice. So I asked the assistant if this was the Mike Stern signature that I'd
    seen an ad for in a magazine. He said that this was the entry level model and the 1511 MS was much
    more expensive.
    So I asked them to get that one in for me to check out.
    Got a call a few days later and was shown this gorgeous instrument,resonant as hell acoustically - plugged it in and it killed!

    Great fat jazz sounds on the neck p/u, funky rhythm sound in the middle position and a bluesy bridge position sound
    that easily kept up with the '59 SD at the neck. Swish binding on the top edge and a slight cut for the right arm.
    I played it through many high end amps and a Fender Twin RI similar to mine .....that was it....bought it on the spot and
    went on to play a range of performances with it


    On the initial down side, I found I didn't like the 7 1/4" radius or the vintage fret wire. [Got put off both of those when I had one of the
    very first Fender Relic Nocasters. I'd immediately put a Duncan Seth Lover HB in the neck position of that one, hardly a new
    mod by the early 90's but sold the Relic after a few months. We just weren't compatible.

    So I took the Yamacaster to my luthier and had the radius flattened to 12'' and Gibson type fretwire installed.
    Also replaced the output jack and p/u selector switch with Switchcraft parts. [The pots were left as original, so expressive throughout their sweep]
    Lost very little wood off the fingerboard in the radius change.
    Bonding complete.

    2020....Covid lockdown, moved from one city to another where I didn't know anyone...bought lovely old house, too expensive to
    maintain....sell house to move to a new apartment that wouldn't be ready until December.....two moves later got settled in
    this apartment....,.had done a huge "downsize" with each move, just ball breaking and ended up with a nice Ibanez GB10 and a
    a Yamaha THR3011 with the wireless unit that's it for the foreseeable. [Oh I will get another Tonemaster Twin though]

    What happened in all the shuffles I sold the 1511MS, and I bitterly regret it as there's only been 2 or3 brought into NZ.
    I went so far as to contact the buyer and ask if he would consider selling it back to me....no reply.

    Keeping in mind that I was neither looking for a Telecaster,my main guitar was a Heritage 575, or a particular Mike Stern
    fan, I was not looking to get the classic Tele nor MS sound but get a range of sounds. I used to call it my "rainbow guitar"
    because of the wide range of sounds available....friends would call me Yamacaster San ha ha.

    And I bloody sold it....and now this thread has got me hunting to find another one, I don't care 1511 or 1611.
    My feeling is that the "treatment" the newer model gets won't make much difference.

    BTW, no one has mentioned the weight, my one was super balanced and one of the lighter Tele types that I'd played
    and I've had "a bunch" as Mike would say.
    When Mike toured NZ I got a chance to meet him,but he was busy doing the merch thing after a concert; a local
    guitarist acted as an informal guitar tech for him and mentioned that he [MS] had quite an "unusual" setup on his
    guitar,quite high action I think he meant.

    To sum up the 1511MS and quite likely the 1611MS are gems that will be sought after.

    But the caveat as always, try before you buy if at all possible.

  5. #54

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    I feel for you, Moonray! Many of us rue the day we gave away a great guitar. Well, I hope you get another some day. I can't find any for sale in the UK. The ones on UK eBay all come from Japan or the US. There's one in Italy but without a case. So I've asked Yamaha London when they will get one in. At one point their website said "no longer available to order", which made me think they'd discontinued the model, but now they are saying you can order one. Hopefully they will clarify things for me. Not cheap, but a top-line Fender 52 is more expensive here.

  6. #55

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    Moonray, nice story thanks for sharing!
    Indeed it is "rainbow guitar" , very versatile. I sold my Gibson Midtown for that very reason.
    Mine weighs about 3.7 kg which is average I think.

    Rob, be patient if you can and don't pay full price for the 1611 unless you try it first. Uk is a big market and I believe one will come up soon enough.

  7. #56

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    Yes, I’d rather not pay the full whack. And there really is no great hurry...I suppose

  8. #57
    I met Mike in Clarksville,Tn and he sets the SPX one half up and one half cent down Im pretty sure. On zero I dont think it would do anything but for anyone who has a Yamaha SPX 90 , I used to , just try it and you will know for sure.Magazines make mistakes sometimes. Im not sure about half cent but it can go up 12 increments up or down and uses both with the smallest increment. IMHE But I agree he should leave it off more a lot of people hate it.

  9. #58
    Also if I remember correctly its on Detune not Chorus ,

  10. #59

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    In his Premier Guitar rig rundown, the interviewer (John Bolinger) tells Mike that the Boss pedal (probably the Harmonist, because it has a Detune setting) has a setting that will do the same thing. Mike seems like a great guy, and the whole interview is great.

    FFWD to 17:40 for the info


  11. #60

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    The pedal board shown in post 24 has a harmonist on top. It doesn't look connected but maybe Mike took Bolinger's advice. It certainly would make maintenance and traveling easier, which was his complaint if I recall. He said he likes Boss because he can go anywhere and get a replacement if needed.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave24309
    The pedal board shown in post 24 has a harmonist on top. It doesn't look connected but maybe Mike took Bolinger's advice.
    Good call, Dave! That interview with Bolinger was in 2018-3 years ago now. Maybe when that photo was taken, MS was trying out the Harmonist. Would be interested to see a more up to date picture of his board.

    Doug

  13. #62

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    That PAC 1611 is a nice instrument. I had one for a while and I agree with the earlier comments. I could not deal with the pencil thin neck and it was built solid as a rock. I don't believe mine had the torrification process. if I'm not mistaken, the process was added to the 1611 a few years ago and mine was a bit older. I sat 3 feet from Mike at Blues Alley several years ago during a show and I wanted to be like Mike - alas - no such luck!

    Joe

  14. #63

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    Thanks, Joe. That was pretty mean of him not to let his genius rub off on you!

  15. #64

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    As mentioned by HarryPm, I use a Warmoth conversion neck on my 1511MS and its original neck with a no-name Telecaster body I bought from ebay.

    All parts perfectly compatible, no problems there. Of course, the bridge is no longer original on my 1511MS, and neither are the volume/tone knobs. One thing that used to keep coming up in connection with this guitar was a cheapo three-way switch. I can confirm this: it was no good, so that has been replaced as well.

    One asset that perhaps isn't documented much is that you can actually remove the pickguard from the 1511MS.

    I was surprised at how clean the ash surface looked underneath. The picture I am posting exaggerates the difference in darkness between the previously covered versus uncovered areas; in fact, I am suprised that the photograph brings out something I am unable to visualize in real life.

    Being left with the exposed screw holes, I used these as a mock-up, for lack of a better idea:
    Jockomo 1/4" Dot Fret Markers BP – Thomann UK


    Mike Stern Yamaha Guitars-20210202_141230-jpg

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piedaddy
    That PAC 1611 is a nice instrument. I had one for a while and I agree with the earlier comments. I could not deal with the pencil thin neck and it was built solid as a rock. I don't believe mine had the torrification process. if I'm not mistaken, the process was added to the 1611 a few years ago and mine was a bit older. I sat 3 feet from Mike at Blues Alley several years ago during a show and I wanted to be like Mike - alas - no such luck!

    Joe
    I wouldn't call pencil thin the neck, quite the contrary. it is more beefy than any other Pacifica but not as thick as some Nocasters. But I am referring to 1511. Maybe they changed it on the 1611 model.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryPm
    I wouldn't call pencil thin the neck, quite the contrary.
    I would second that. U-shape, quite a handful, but the width at the nut being very narrow (noticeably less even than the three Fender MIM Classic Series Teles I used to own at one point).

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome
    As mentioned by HarryPm, I use a Warmoth conversion neck on my 1511MS and its original neck with a no-name Telecaster body I bought from ebay.

    All parts perfectly compatible, no problems there. Of course, the bridge is no longer original on my 1511MS, and neither are the volume/tone knobs. One thing that used to keep coming up in connection with this guitar was a cheapo three-way switch. I can confirm this: it was no good, so that has been replaced as well.

    One asset that perhaps isn't documented much is that you can actually remove the pickguard from the 1511MS.

    I was surprised at how clean the ash surface looked underneath. The picture I am posting exaggerates the difference in darkness between the previously covered versus uncovered areas; in fact, I am suprised that the photograph brings out something I am unable to visualize in real life.

    Being left with the exposed screw holes, I used these as a mock-up, for lack of a better idea:
    Jockomo 1/4" Dot Fret Markers BP – Thomann UK
    thanks for the confirmation!
    Many times I was tempted to make your mods but I haven't yet found the right neck replacement.
    The ash grain is incredible indeed and I considered also to take away the pickguard.
    I thought mounting the pickup directly to the body of the guitar but your way (pickup ring) is classy!

    I confirm the faulty 3 way switch. In fact I have upgraded the whole wiring and pots.
    Last edited by HarryPm; 06-23-2021 at 09:30 AM. Reason: 3way switch

  19. #68

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    "Armed robbery"
    Yikes!
    Id like to hear the story, though.
    I wonder where all these famous stolen guitars end up.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome
    ....Being left with the exposed screw holes, I used these as a mock-up, for lack of a better idea:
    Jockomo 1/4" Dot Fret Markers BP – Thomann UK
    you could go the Cornell Dupree way
    Mike Stern Yamaha Guitars-71hnwbjcnil-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images Mike Stern Yamaha Guitars-image-asset-jpeg 
    Last edited by HarryPm; 06-23-2021 at 10:09 AM. Reason: original guitar picture

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome
    I would second that. U-shape, quite a handful, but the width at the nut being very narrow (noticeably less even than the three Fender MIM Classic Series Teles I used to own at one point).
    yes, I agree. And 7.25 radius. I think that potential buyers should consider that the neck shape and size is not what a lot of players prefer. I’m a Mike Stern fan, and the guitar looked great. But I hated the neck.

  22. #71

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    Of course, it's not the MIJ *signature* model, but I have the Pacifica 311MS model, in the light blonde finish. I've owned it for years now, eventually upgrading the pickups (actually quite nice as stock) to a Duncan Jazz in the neck and an older out-of-production Duncan 'rail' PU that I swapped from another modded Tele™ (bought that way so I've no idea of the Duncan's name). Anyway, the guitar both plays and sounds so sweet. Alder body, Ash top (likely a veneer, IMO). I've not had the pleasure of experiencing the upper-end MIJ models, but I'd sure love to someday. Speaking of necks, the radius of the 311MS (along with all the specs) is shown here as 13.75"...

    https://www.axebition.com/electric-g...pacifica-311ms

    I have several various Yamahas, and IMO, each one is absolutely wonderful, going from higher end Pacifica Super-Strats and a Weddington (think upper-end LP) to a great 'Martin Taylor' sig AEX1500 archtop and even a wonderful classical guitar. My 311MS is officially the "least" of them (going by Yamaha's naming system), but it's absolutely a keeper, right up there with the rest.

    In my experience and opinion with the brand going back over twenty years, I'd have to say that, overall, Yamaha guitars are real sleepers, and I've really yet to play a 'bad' one. Hope any of this helps someone. Cheers!

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    In case you haven't seen this they talk about Mike's sound extensively here.
    One little correction about this interview (for anyone who's interested). At 0:47 Mike is talking about his first Telecaster bought from Danny Gatton. The interviewer interrupts him at 1:17 saying, "It's kind of a partscaster, right?"

    Actually, the partscaster came much later. Mike's original Tele was pretty much stock. You can see it in this video from Blood, Sweat, & Tears from the 70's. There's a good shot of it at 0:43.


  24. #73
    Thanks Doug for the Smokin Stern trax with that overused detune turned off. They are very refreshing!!!