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steve | Laptopsunder500bucks.com

About steve

steve has been a member since August 23rd 2011, and has created 7474 posts from scratch.

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Your Questions About Asus Netbook Review

Ruth asks…

Is it a bad idea to buy the old MacBook air?

I don’t have the money to buy the new one but practically any computer is better then the one I have now! So I was thinking of getting the MacBook air 13.3 inch laptop (old version) for $500 it only had one bad review out of 30 but I’m worried since this was from 2011 I think that the computers will be damaged or something!? Opinions

steve answers:

It depends what you are looking for.
Macbook owners generally only use the canned programs that come with it. They are mostly internet access computers. MacBook Air batteries (most MacBook batteries) are not user replaceable and wear over time. MacBooks in general after the first two years are industry average in reliability and cost of repair is high.
Just as new MacBooks cost double for the CPU, graphics, ram performance compared to thicker Windows systems, the used ones also cost double and equivalent Windows one. You get no warranty in a used MacBook.
Here are specifications of MacAir


Here is CPU performance:


If you can get a MacBook Air 13 of 2011 for $500
MacBookAir4,2 A1369 1440 × 900 with HD 3000 graphics 1.7 GHz (i5-2557M)
Core i5-2557M @ 1.70GHz2707
vs: Core i3-2350M @ 2.30GHz2702 as a 2nd gen core i3 for laptops also with HD 3000
4GB RAM and probably 128GB SSD
at about 3 pounds.
ISight (640 × 480) camera VGA level

They are susceptible to damage and spills. Anything you buy should be checked.

It just depends what you are looking for.
Here is also $500


Asus – Ultrabook 14″ Touch-Screen Laptop – 4GB Memory – 500GB Hard Drive – Black/Silver
3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i3-3217U processor is slower. No optical drive. About 4 pounds.

A netbook running Chrome can be bought for $300 and do a lot of the same things.

“reviews” are based on new laptops, and while under warranty, Apple products are good.

Chris asks…

What’s a good notebook for HD movies?

I have a Dell XPS M140 that is finally about to crap out. I was looking to get a notebook computer instead of a laptop because i want long battery and light weight. The only thing I need is to play HD movies and do some minor editing… Any recommendations? What should I look for?

Also, any brands I should avoid? I had bad experiences with Compaq and HP in the past, and my Dell has been great so far…How’s Acer?

steve answers:

Well, laptops and notebooks are actually the same thing. If you mean netbook then I can’t be sure if there is one that can be used for HD movie editing. The thing is, it needs a graphic card to make it run smooth and netbook usually don’t have it.
Acer is okay. It’s not the best choice but it’s okay. I’ve heard that people like Toshiba. I did a review myself and it seems decent. The specs and designs are good. I use Gateway and so far I haven’t got any major problem except for overheating (due to congested dust in my laptop’s fan) and OS problems. Asus make great laptops too. Look in that area or you can stick with Dell. Price wise, Acer might be the cheapest.

Steven asks…

What is the cost of an Asus G46VW equipped with an intel® Core™ i7 3630QM Processor?

please provide source

steve answers:

Computers, netbooks, phones, tablets and many other items are always being reviewed in Consumer Reports
magazine. Go to your Public Library or look on line and look at the last
few issues, there are several out there to pick from.
You have to get familiar with specs to be able to judge.
Sony, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba there is little or not way to say one is better than the others it is more important to get the one that fits your needs. (I am a tech with
several years of repairing all brands.)




Source: CompTIA A+ Certified Computer Professional

George asks…

Is this a good laptop, based on what I tend to do on computers?

I’ve been looking into buying a new laptop, but I know little-to-nothing about them. So I’m going to ask other people.

The laptop I’m currently looking at is a X201E-DH01. It’s an Asus, which is a brand I’ve never heard of before today. So anything anyone knows about them would be cool.
Also, it runs on Ubuntu Linux, which I’ve never used before, though I’ve been told it’s great, although, I think it’s more for people who, you know, know what they’re doing with computers…which I don’t. So any quick little reviews of Linux would be awesome, too.

I really only use my computer to browse the internet and type stuff up in Word, so I don’t need anything too bad-ass. Just an affordable laptop that’s not too crappy (and not a Mac).
A problem I have with a my current computer (a 2-year old Presario CQ62) is that when fiddlefarting around on Imgur and similar websites, it freezes up and stops working for a couple hours. No one else I know has this problem, so I’m assuming it’s a problem with the computer and not the site.
Also, I use Netflix a lot, so I need a computer that’s Netflix-capable. I’m not entirely sure what that specifies.

Thanks to any tech-savvy people who decide to help me out.

steve answers:

ASUS is a great puter company and make quality products. The only thing I would advise is that netbooks are not that reliable. If your looking for a puter for what you do with Windows and want to jump up to around $530, take a look at these HP.

Two HP that can be customized to what you need


http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-Pavilion/B6C46AV;pgid=c7twGfjc0ptSRpIq7ZUcoGXQ0000ptFcn-Ce;sid=UfkUk5vYup7bi8p-xu5OB0LXZeXRxq_ElKxaT319WyKZOCFLk0_Q5UIX?HP-Pavilion-g6z-2200-Notebook-PC Your choice of 5 colors

These are not customizable


HP SleekBook AMD Quad-Core A8-4555M APU AMD Radeon HD 7600G 4 GB DDR3 500 GB SATA (5400 rpm)

Buying advice.

Apple makes a good quality laptop. The problem comes when it requires service or minor upgrades. It is near impossible to do anything with them. They even glue the battery and hard drive down so you can not change it. They solder the ram to the logic board so you can not increase it. They lock up most of the software so your stuck with what they approve.

Lenovo has serious stand behind their product problems. They bought IBM PC division and proceeded to drive the quality of the system into the ground. Their customer service is well below par. They even makes Dell customer service look good. The last and final thing to remember about them is they are a Chinese Government own company. It is up to you if you want to trust them.

Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony should be avoided because of their heavy modification of Windows and the drivers. If you remove some of the bloat they install, you can cripple the system.

Acer, Gateway, and eMachines should be avoided period. Low end system that are driving the race to the bottom.

Dell once made a good system and fell from grace. They are now struggling to regain their place in the market. Customer service is one of many problems with this company.

Alienware are glorified Dells and are more name then product. Priced extremely high for what you get. They do perform but you can get the same for less by looking around, just not packaged to be eye candy to the gamers.

Samsung has a history of using cheap parts in critical areas. Capacitors has been one area Samsung has a known history of going cheap, causing units to fail early. For that reason I would avoid them.

ASUS and HP do not modify Windows as bad as the other manufacturers. They have excellent build quality. They might add a lot of bloat but they also makes it easy to get rid of it.

Ultrabooks are the higher end of Wintel laptops but they have some of the same concerns as Apple. They make it next to impossible to change any hardware in them. Service of them will have to be done by the manufacturers. With most of them, you can not change your own battery or hard drive. They are designed to catch your eye but they are not any more special then other laptops except for the fact that they are slim or thin. Your paying for it being thin and slim. For the money your going to spend on it you can buy a much better laptop with more power.

Tablets are just toys to me. They can not handle the work load like Laptops and Desktops and do not have the storage capacity you will end up needing.

Hybrids are the worse of the worse. The flip or detachable touch screens are just a disaster waiting to happen.

Never buy an All In One. They are far worst then laptops of any kind to service and they have a higher failure rate. My experience with them are limited because the few I worked on made me think they were designed in such a way as it would take a blow torch and a jack hammer just to disassemble them.

Choose wisely.

Linda asks…

what is the thinnest and best looking mini laptop on the market?

also with good memory, video quality and good battery life

steve answers:

Depends on wat u consider gud bat life, memory, vid quality…
As u demand more features the laptop gets thicker.

Macbook air is an option but there are alternatives. Also macbook air is NOT the thinnest laptop.
Macbook air = 0.76″
mitsubishi pedion = 0.71″ (1998, cancelled)
voodoo envy = 0.70″ (available)
sharp muramasa (2003, cancelled)

voodoo envy pros:
-excellent build quality – carbon fiber and u can get it custom painted (but this is expensive)
-up to 1.8ghz (gud for sumtin so thin)
-free superdrive
-free wifi device built into ac adapter (so u dont use up a usb port to conect to internet where theres no wifi – like with mac air – also mac air only has 1 usb port so if u wna b connected to internet u cant connect any other usb device to it unless it has wireless or bluetooth)
-2 usb ports and 1 doubles as an eSATA port (thats rare on laptops)
-user replaceable battery rated at 3hrs (comes with a spare battery for free. Mac air doesnt let u replace bat, u must take it to an apple store and pay for the bat and service to replace bat wen it dies out)
-instant on OS (boot up a linux based OS in 5 seconds while vista boots up in backround)
-cheaper than macbook air if u consider all the free accesories u get with it (eg: free superdrive, there r more)
-dolby sound which is stereo. Mac air only has a mono speaker so if ur watching vids u hear better sound quality coming from ur laptop. Also music sounds much better
-backlit keyboard
-big multitouch enabled touchpad
-proximity sensor on the keyboard. This senses wen ur fingers r over the keyboard and disables the touchpad while ur fingers r above the keyboard

if u want better specs/features go for an alienware (gr8 specs), falcon northwest (v gud specs and lets u custom paint ur laptop), puget systems (several customizable choices, lifetime warranty on the product), or velocity micro (high quality build, hand assembled)

if those r too expensive and u ment a netbook:
sony p-series lıfestyle (looks v nice)
asus eeepc http://eeepc.asus.com/global/products.html?n=0
netbooks r small but hv no place to insert a CD/DVD. Also they hv less memory and usually a small screen. However a lot of them hv gr8 battery life.

There r some reviews of netbooks here:

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Your Questions About Windows 7 Professional Key

Mandy asks…

Windows 7 Professional Product Key online?

Could somebody tell me where to buy the windows 7 professional product key? I need to activate my windows 7 professional right now. Thanks, very urgently.

steve answers:

Hi windows 7 professional is easy to use. Thanks. I would like to suggest you the microsoft official site first. It is most people would think of it. But here I would like to suggest you this online MSDN Windows Key Shop: http://windowskeyshops.com/windows-7-professional-product-key-p-3527.html , it is fast shipping and working perfectly. Maybe you have no idea about what is MSDN, just go to here to have a look: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx , it is the best service that microsoft has supplied to us customers. Best wishes to you.

James asks…

Can I reuse my OEM Windows 7 Professional Product Key? (64-bit)?

So I bought an OEM Windows 7 copy from a retailer and I was wondering if I can reuse the product key if I used it on this computer, deleted the OS, and re-installed Windows 7, can I reuse the same product key? It’ll be on the same computer, and the old OS would be gone. Just wondering if the product key would still work.

steve answers:

I am not exactly sure what you mean by this … If your oem windows 7 has ever been installed on another machine or a different motherboard then no, you cant. Even if it was erased from said machine it won’t work because oem windows is locked to the motherboard. Retail windows 7 does not lock, it can be installed on any one computer at a time. If you bought a new copy of w7 and erased the current OS on the machine and installed your copy then yes. The whole re-install is a nit confusing, makes it sound like you are trying to reuse a copy of w7. And that won’t work, after 30 days it will tell you your copy of windows is not genuine.

Chris asks…

Where can i buy a windows 7 professional product key?

My product key for windows 7 professional has been considered invalid during the activation process and i cant find the section of the Microsoft store that sells new cd keys could somone provide a link to where i could buy a valid key?

steve answers:

Hey, guy, i compared about ten online stores, like ebay, amazon, microsoft.com, newegg, and some independent sites, like Windows7onlinestore.com .
You will be assured to purchase from ms online store, but from my once experience, their service it not that good. So I decided not to go there.
The price on ebay and amazon seems a little high. They i google it, and found many sites selling it.
It’s really hard to recognize which one sells the genuine key. Therefore, i sent emails to several sites i’m interested.
Windows7onlinestore.com was the fastest site to reply to my email. And i continued to ask many questions, about the ligelity, payment, guarantee, and refund policy.
I was very satisfied with the reply, ps. They gave me 10% discount as i need two, aha. So I decided to try to buy one first to check.
In 20 mins, i received my key and download links. What happened? It worked perfectly… And then i bought another one with 15% discount they gave me
really a happy online experience, so i recommend you.

Mark asks…

Can I reuse my Windows 7 Professional Product Key?

I want to completely delete my OS and reinstall it because the current version I’m using is not genuine, but my entire computer right now has a bunch of issues I can’t seem to fix, and it has nothing to do with malicious software, adware, malware, worms, viruses or anything. Just weird corrupted programs and features of windows 7 itself.

So I want to know, if I use my product key now, but delete my OS and redownload Windows 7 but genuinely with the new CD and the product key, will the product key work again? The old OS would be gone btw.
Yes the Key and CD is legit, and I think its retail since I bought it from a retailer.

steve answers:

If the product key is legit, it is good for up to 3 uses I believe.

*EDIT: 3 uses on 1 system.

Lisa asks…

question using my windows 7 product key?

ok so… on my desktop i have windows 7 my brother installed it (illegaly) im assuming and it says i have to activate my product key whenever i get on my computer but i can just hit activate later on it like i can still do everything get on internet and upload files and everything else but i might get a laptop and i want to move windows 7 from my pc to my laptop but i dont have any of the papers so is it possible? also my mom bought a laptop from rent a center with windows 7 on it already and i need to clean out her laptop so i just want to uninstall everything but the product key and everything is smudged/ faded away except for the number above the barcode could i somehow get the info from it?
also how do i find the (i think its the product code) on my computer i thought you could find it without going to a website..? is it possible?

steve answers:

You can work on your computer even if you don’t have a genuine windows key but the pop ups are very annoying. You can transfer data from the PC to your laptop, you just cant do it yourself. You need to take your PC to a local Computer Shop and have them transfer the data.( or call an professional over to your house). If you want to get the Barcode info just use Barcode Scanner, its an app both for iPhone and Android. (assuming you have one ) You can find lots a keys on the internet. Search for them on The Pirate Bay or KickAss. Also you can find them on Youtube, just search Windows Genuine Key. Of course you can use the key for a while but then it will ask you for a genuine key.

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Your Questions About Gucci Watches

Sandy asks…

I have money saved up and want to spend it?

I recently broke my watch accidently and i am lost without one. I also need a new laptop because I’m starting sixth form soon. I have around £900-£1000 saved up and would like to buy a nice gucci watch that would look stylish and last a long while. But I also would like a laptop. Any ideas? And before you guys say to buy a cheaper watch and get a laptop, the watch I saw was pretty awesome and my hearts set on that. Any ideas on what to do? My dad said he MIGHT consider buyin me the watch for my eighteenth

steve answers:

You’ve answered yourself! Your dad might be buying you the watch. Just be patient and take the gamble. You can still buy it later if he doesn’t. Win/Win!

I wouldn’t buy a watch that is made in the same factory in china as everything else. Following brands is being SOLD to. This is why that rapper in the song on the radio rants about £$50 for a T-SHIRT!?” don’t get conned buying a Gucci watch. No one will be able to tell.

As for a laptop. Again don’t be sold to by marketing. Most laptops are Intel inside. Don’t spend double on a Mac/very high end model that has the same hardware under the bonnet.

Technically laptops doubnle in power and half in price roughly every two years. If I had £1k for a laptop… That’s right. Id spend 500 now. And then another £500 in a few years time.

Put £300 in the bank.
Let your dad buy the watch
Spend no more than £500 on a laptop.
Spend the leftover £100 quid on treating yourself for being smart about it :-)

Meanwhile the £300 in your bank kicks off saving for your next object of desire!

Good luck!

Sharon asks…

can i identify my gucci watch, i have the model # and serial #?

I need to identify the year (age) of my Gucci watch. I have the model and serial #’s

steve answers:

That information is good to have, but pictures on here or a link to the pictures would help. Do you still have the box and/or papers that came with it?

Susan asks…

What are the most popular luxury watch brands worldwide?

I’m doing a bit of ad-hoc research, and was wondering what the most popular luxury watch brands in different countries were.

I read a report that said Rolex and Tag Heuer were at the top for the USA.

Does anyone know what the top 5 are in places like Britain, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia etc?


steve answers:

Tag Heuer
Kenneth Cole
Patek Philippe

George asks…

What are a list of well known & lasting quality watches?

Hey guys I’m interested in purchasing a new watch for around no more than $1000 dollars at maximum and i was just wondering if anyone out there has some advice for maybe a certain brand / model but I’d be thankful of i could grab a list of well known brands for their quality etc.


steve answers:

tag heuer (my favorite!) – they last forever (think your son’s son could wear it someday), the warranty is excellent, service is superb and people recognize the tag.

Nancy asks…

Where is the cheapest Duty Free shop to buy a watch?

I’m thinking of buying a nice watch as a gift for my father, something like an Omega or Tag. In your opinion, what is the best place to buy one in Asia/Middle East?

steve answers:

In Karachi I bought a ‘Gucci’ diamond/gold ladies wrist watch for $50 off a guy in the local market.

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Your Questions About Titans

Thomas asks…

How much longer should Chris Johnson keep holding out on the Titans?

He definately out played his existing contract last year gaining over 2,000 running the football. But the Titans seem so far not willing to re-structure his contract. Last night at the ESPY awards he seem to open the door to temporary contract in order to participate in training camp. Do you think he should stick to his guns and keep sitting out? Or should he admit he wants to come back and just report to training camp?

steve answers:

99.9 percent of the time i dont believe in hold outs, but Chris Johnson is the exception to the rule. He is undoubtedly the best RB in the NFL right now and is getting paid less than some back ups, including his own. Football is a dangerous sport, and if he gets hurt seriously in the first game of the season, where does that leave him??? I say hold out until he gets his money.

Charles asks…

Is anyone else rooting for the Titans to do good?

Besides the teams in the AFC south I think this is a great story for the NFL starting out 0-6 then reeling off 5 straight. Then the amazing drive to end the game today. Im not a Titans fan, but I hope they beat the Colts next week. Anyone else agree?

steve answers:

I’m a Cowboys fan; but since the Titans don’t play Dallas this year I’m kind of pulling for them, too. Good for them; this has the making of a nice comeback story for both the team and Vince Young.

Daniel asks…

Who do you think wins the TItans Patriots preseason game?

I have to think it’s the Titans. They are approaching it like a regular season game and they do have Vince Young playing for four series. Not to mention they have to face Bullocks wrath after the Patriots crossed the line with unproffesionalism in their postgame celebration of the 2006 final game.

steve answers:

Here’s the key word,”PRE-SEASON” coaches honestly do not give a rats ass if they win or lose in the preseason. You dont want to show to much and you dont want to risk injuries.
So flip a coin and you have a good chance of being right. But we all know who the better of those 2 teams is!! Pats would kill ‘em. And i totally dont like the pats. I’m a seahawk!!!

Maria asks…

What is the order of the teen titans go comic books?

so i wanna buy the teen titans go comic book series but i dont know the order of the books. i dont want to depend on wikipedia cuz i know they mess up sometimes.

steve answers:

1: A Kid’s Game (#1-7)
#2: Family Lost (#1/2, #8-12)
#3: Beast Boys and Girls (#13-15, Beast Boy #1-4)
#4: The Future is Now (#16-23)
#5: Teen Titans/ Outsiders: Insiders (#24-26, Outsiders #24-25, #28)
#6: Life and Death (#29-33, Teen Titans Annual #1, Robin #146-147)
#7: Titans Around the World (#34-41)
#8: Titans East (#42-47)
#9: Titans of Tomorrow (#50-54)
#10: On the Clock (#55-61)
#11: Changing of the Guard (#62-69)
#12: Deathtrap (#70, Teen Titans Annual #2, Titans #12-13, Vigilante #5-6)
#13: Child’s Play (#71-78)
#14: Hunt for Raven (#79-87)*

Robert asks…

How can I write to the writers of Teen titans on cartoon Network.?

I am personally outraged by the ending to the teen titans series and i need some answers. I thought the best way to do this would be to write to the creators of teen titans. I realize that The Teen Titans was discontinued but i still have hope that maybe they could continue the series. The point is I need some kind of address for the creators of teen titans i need a way to get in touch with them so that they will respond. Thank you for your help.

steve answers:

Teen titans was my favorite cartoon. Tell the writers how much money they’d make if they made a teen titans movie in theaters. If they made a movie the cartoons will probably show up on t.v. Again kind of like spider-man, x-men, batman, etc.

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Your Questions About Pedal Board Setup

Nancy asks…

I’m having trouble with my pedal board configuration. whats the best way to arrange pedals?

I have a Ibanez WH-10 Wah, Boss CE-1 Chorus & BD- 2 Blues driver. I also have a Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion on the way. I just dont feel im getting the crystal clear sound i want. I also have a MG 10 series Marshall and a Fender American Standard Stratocaster.

steve answers:

In general you want buffer, tuner, then compression to start your signal chain off. After that the rules are less set in stone, but my suggestion would be:

Guitar – BD2 – CE1 – Wah

This would follow the “standard” rules… Distortion then modulation then time-based. I have noticed that putting a chorus pedal before the distortion pedal can be interesting when both are on, but I prefer still prefer it after. Likewise a wah can be interesting before either of the others, but I tend to prefer it afterwards….. Especially if it has a volume or solo boost function, that way I can stomp on it and get a volume boost for single note solo stuff, if the song calls for it. Even without, the sound is better using the wah if it’s last in the signal chain.

I’ll tell you this… Tone does not come from pedals. The biggest impact on tone is your speakers and your amp, in that order.

If your amp has smaller than 10″ speakers, no pedal you can get will make it sound good. On the other hand, a couple of 12′s will really open up the sound and push more air.

As far as your settings go on your amp, it can be very easy to bog your tone down. If you want clarity, then you need to make sure you that don’t push too much bass and keep the gain down. More gain = less clarity, less dynamics, and more noise, which are all anti-clarity. You should only use as much gain as you absolutely need. If you feel that you can’t get enough crunch without diming the gain, then you need to get hotter pickups. Push plenty of treble, keep mids no lower than 50% (mids = volume, no volume = no clarity), and feel free to play around with the countour knob. I play harder stuff, so I like to keep it more to the right, but that’s up to you.

I would also recommend lowering the bass side of your pickups a bit. Reducing the bass response improves clarity, since it’s the bass frequencies that saturate a gain stage first. More room for treble = more room to hear wtf is actually happening in your sound. Less bass also = less mud for the other instruments you may be playing with.

Doing this reduces the “chunk factor” somewhat, and may or may not require messing with the gain knob. The goal should be to never have the gain knob over 75%.

Also, reducing the gain of your other distortion sources (the distortion pedals) will increase clarity overall as well. Of course, balance this against the type of sound that you want.

Since you didn’t say what type of sound you were going for, I can’t make too many assumptions, but usually the biggest issues with a setup come from level, gain, and eq differences.


Helen asks…

I’m starting my pedal board & need help. What’s best for the tone I’m going for?

Ok, so I have a peavey 6505 running through a marshall 4×12 (soon to be a mesa boogie). I play my ltd EC-1000 with EMG active pickups & it sounds amazing. Now I am somewhat new to pedals. I want to achieve a heavy yet melodic sound, somewhat like the bands adaliah, the ghost inside or for the fallen dreams. Like this: http://youtu.be/cx0ZOfB_HK4
So, I am think of getting a boss ch-1, dd-3 & a digitech digiverb to start off because they are all around 40$ used which is around my budget. Would those be good choices for the tone I’m going for? Would I need a noise suppressor for those pedals (I always thought you need the noise suppressor when you add a distortion pedal but am not sure)? Is there another forum page where I could ask this question & get some feedback? I have read elsewhere that a maxon od808 or Ibanez ts9 & a bbe stomp box maximizer would help get that high end when recording (With a noise gate of course). ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED :)

steve answers:

Definitely a Maxon OD808 or an Ibanez TS9 and a noisegate. ISP Decimators are great noise gates, but pretty expensive.

My setup is a Line 6 POD HD500 into a 6505+, and I use a screamer (based on the TS9), a delay (I forget which one, I think it’s a tape echo), a reverb (I dislike the amp’s spring reverb), a phaser (MXR Phase 90 copy), a digital chorus for cleans, a Wah (think it’s an Ibanez Weeping Demon copy), and two noise gates, a hard one and a soft one for technical reasons that I don’t really want to/need to explain.

David asks…

guitar pedals?

just wondering ive got a line 6 spider II amp and am intending to buy a few boss effects pedals. i was just wondering how would i run the setup and is my amp ok for putting the pedals through?

steve answers:

You have to run patch cords from the Line 6 into one of the Boss pedals, then from that one into the next etc. Most every amp should be able to handle the pedals. If you get crazy buying pedals, consider buying a pedal board for easier connecting your collection.

Carol asks…

What guitar effect pedals are being used in this picture?

This is the setup of guitarist Nick McCabe (of The Verve). What guitar pedals/effects are shown in this picture? What’s his setup?



steve answers:

I can only pick a few of them out.

The big green pedal in the upper left-hand part of the pedal board is a Line 6 DL-4 delay modeling pedal. The orange pedal in the lower right-hand section looks like a Seymour Duncan distortion pedal of some kind. The wah pedal is a Morley. There’s also a Voodoo Labs power supply on the board as well.

The orange box laying on it’s side in front of the pedal board is probably an MXR Phase 90. The long white pedal to the left of the pedal board is the controller for a Gibson Echoplex.

It’s not a very good picture, that’s all I can pick out.

Greetings from Austin, Tx


Ruth asks…

What type of guitar pedals would you recommend or would you use these ones?

I’m looking at creating my own pedal board. I have been playing guitar for about 3 years now and have just upgraded my guitar and amp. I did have an Epiphone Special II Les Paul and the little 10w practice amp it came with when I first started out. Just recently I saved up my money and bought a Gibson Les Paul Studio with a Vox Valvetronix 30watt amp. The Vox has a few effects built in but I’ve always had a bit of a thing for pedals and would now like to create my own pedalboard. So what I’m asking is what is the essential pedals to have? So far I would like a “Way Huge” Swollen Pickle Fuzz Pedal, Boss Blues Driver pedal and a Slash crybaby wah. They’re just the ones I have tried with my LP and have really liked the sound that they produced, powered by a Dunlop DC brick.

Do I need things like an equalizer or enhancer pedal? I’m not looking to buy a million pedals and go over the top, just a few that I quite like. Is there any other pedal I should add? Thank you!

steve answers:

Personally, I’m a big fan of KISS (keep it simple, Saul!). After spending a few years gigging, and having just about everything wrong happen that could happen, I went from a rack-mount setup with multiple MIDI-controlled preamps, at least six pedals, and multiple EQs, to no more than four pedals and a power amp.

Try to figure out the exact sounds that you want to make, and go from there. I’ve found that I like the *clean* sounds that many multifx pedals can supply – in that sense, something like my Boss GT-3 absolutely rules. I get an onboard tuner, compression, chorus, delay, EQ, all that junk, and I can use a separate wah and distortion pedal and get everything I need.

When I’ve had an only-analog-pedal setup, I’ve had a a distortion pedal (usually a Boss Metalcore, but after modding my Boss Metal Zone, I’ve been going back to it more often), a wah, a chorus, and a delay. A Dunlop 535Q wah, everything else is Boss. The CE-1 chorus is a great pedal. Another spectacular pedal is the H20 (made by…?), it’s a combination echo/chorus, really a gorgeous sound.

I really like having EQ, I think it is a good way to get a wide variety of tones, especially when put after a distortion pedal. If you like to tweak your tone, this is a great way to go about it. It’s better, in my mind, to have an EQ pedal than to buy pedal after pedal looking for that “perfect tone”… Sometimes a bit of tweaking with an EQ pedal can deliver the tone you’re looking for.

If your amp does not have an effects loop, then I would not get an enhancer pedal. They work best in an effects loop – they can give a lot of sparkle and extra “pop”, but.. Well, yeah. In an fx loop you’ll hear it, in your signal chain you won’t hear much of a difference, if any.

So, to wrap up…. I would say that you need a solid distorted tone, one or more “modulation” effects (chorus, flanger, phaser), a wah pedal, and a delay pedal. An EQ pedal is optional, but useful if you like to tweak your tone and want more usefulness/variety from your gear.

Something I’ve found is that I like to put my wah pedal after my multifx unit, rolled back just a little. This helps “smooth” out the sometimes-digital tone, and gives it a bit of mid emphasis, useful for cutting through the mix.

My two cents,


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