High Decibel

Louder Than Hell 



W. S. Cool

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Pictures of the Instrument Arsenal (ie, Toys)!


"Gibson L5-S" 

A musicians dream! Say no more!  

A 1975 Model.

S/N = 415890


Shown is a 1997 Made in USA Fender Double Fat Stratocaster.  A very excellent guitar.  It was a god send at a great price.

Guitar S/N = N7261586 

Shown is a 1976 Epiphone Crestwood ET290N electric guitar.  To me, a collector's item.  This guitar is identical to the 1st electric guitar I purchased "new" in my school days.  This guitar (particular S/N) was obtained later in life as having one was missed.  I question that the silver tailpiece is original.  The wood is in good shape.  However, someone got happy with a screwdriver over the life of the guitar and the small Phillips screws look worn on the heads.

Serial Number:  1030355


On (or about) the summer of 2005, I went to a music store and witnessed a customer "Trade In" a vintage Fender Stratocaster for a Tradition Guitar.  That "Made in USA" Stratocaster must have been worth a mint, 2 to 3-Grand minimum.  The concept of letting go of that Made in USA turquoise Stratocaster never left my mind.  Why would someone trade in a made in USA Stratocaster for a Tradition?  In early 2009, I bid on eBay and won the used Tradition Jerry Reid electric guitar on the left.  It is pretty good.  The neck is easy to play with hot pickups.  It records pretty well.  I have spent a lot of hours comparing this to a real strat.  While the real Stratocaster has better signal to noise ratio, this is not too bad.


Guitar S/N = 05040171


Guild D-25M

Amazing and Excellent Sound.  It is outfitted with a K&K Sound microphone, bridge transducer and pre-amp. See:



Serial Number: 177632

Shown is the very core of "High Decibel" recording studios, an excellent addition to the collection.  The head is a Genz-Benz El Diablo 100.  The bottom is a Genz-Benz 2-12" G-Flex Enclosure.  A very phenomenal  combination.   Some consider this combination as being the Mercedes Benz of guitar amps in today's market place.  Sorry Marshall and Mesa Boogie, you're no longer representing the cutting edge of technology.

Head S/N:  033832T0

Speaker S/N:  57768

Presented is the Holy Grail of Jazz Cornets.  This is a 1914 Lyon and Healy Jazz cornet which was purchased by W. S. Cool in January of 2008.  The bell on the cornet is labeled "Lyon and Healy, American Professional, Chicago".  This cornet, SN 5165, is identical to the cornet used by artist Dominic James "Nick" Larocca.  Nick Larocca and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded "THE" first ever "Jazz Recording" in 1917.   The link below provides some historical information surrounding the use of this model of cornet:


And then the day came when W. S. Cool could no longer lift his old Altec Lancing Voice of the Theater speakers.  In order to resolve the issue, a pair of Yamaha S15e speaker enclosures were obtained.  Each enclosure has a 15" speaker and a high compression horn.  Sitting on top is a Sunn SR-6100 powered mixer.  Nice combination for small jobs.


Shown is an Anton Schroetter Violin made in Bayern, Germany.  No date of manufacture can be found.  After purchasing and/or going through about 5 violins, this violin has the most remarkable sound I've ever heard (well, of any violin I've ever had in my hands).  I also know that not all Anton Schroetter violins sound the same.   It has a rough edge on the lower portion of its body and a pair of repaired cracks on each side of the tail piece.  Someone must have dropped it where it impacted on the end pin.   I am in awe by its melodic, deep, rich sound.  This was a lucky purchase off eBay. 


Shown on the left is a 1923 Lute Bradbury violin.  Totally amazing.  

On the right is a 1958, Model A211, Scherl and Roth violin.  This violin is loud and could easily do some concert work in a hall setting.  

If a selection was required for a church playing situation, it would be a tough grab.

No S/N for the Lute

Roth S/N: 8-1388

On the left, a Maggini violin copy (in the white).  The Maggini has a really nice sound.  Perhaps an older wood sound. It just needs to be refinished. 

On the right a Stradivarius Copy.  The Strad copy has a thin top plate.  It can "Squalk" during the craziest times when you use it for practice.  It is on the waiting list to have a new top carved.  The rest of the body is excellent. 

Overall, just another photo of what an engineer can do under impulse purchasing techniques.  No serial numbers associated with either of the instruments.

The label inside the viola.


Shown is a Johann Albrecht viola, made in Bayern (Bavaria).  This is an end of the line instrument.  That means, you really can't trade up and do much better in tonal quality.  This was a lucky purchase off of eBay for $54.00.  Research revealed that the instrument was originally purchased from Brobst Violin Shop in Alexandria, VA.  There is no history from the time of purchase to its final eBay sale.  A URL for the original seller's site is provided.  Click on the URL and look at the comparable sale price.  The Johann Albrecht violas start at $1,895.00 now days.  How about that for a $54.00 eBay Deal? 



Shown is an ASPEN Mandolin, model number MF-A-8, made in Japan.  Research indicated that ASPEN did an impeccable job of recreating instruments made by big names such as Martin Guitar Company.  Rumor also had it that during the mid 70's, Martin tried to sue Japanese companies because of their perfection of copies.  This little baby sounds great!


Fender Precision Bass (Made in Mexico).  This began as a lower end item from Fender.  However, the P-Bass pickups were exchanged with Seymour Duncan "Bass Lines"  Pickups.  This caused a great deal of improvement in tonal quality and sustain. More uniform forgiveness is experienced when the user plays each string.  Equivalence in string volume is found regardless of applied string pressure. One's tonal concentration, from string to string, can be minimized to get a consistent and great sound. 


Takamini F-400 12-String

Nice guitar, nice sound, not a lot of volume for those times of "Just Friends Around" open air jamming.

Kawia K-1 Keyboard

It does well for filling in the synthesizer sounds. 


Fender Champ 12, E.V. BK-1632 Stereo Console, Alesis Microverb III, Altec 24-Channel stereo graphic EQ, Altec 1270B Power Amp, Alesis HR-16 programmable drum machine, Zoom 505II guitar effects, Ibanez stereo chorus, Zoom 506II bass effects box.

The Zoom products are excellent.

At the time of this picture, an Alesis 3630 Compressor / Limiter / Noise Gate was on the UPS truck.

Ross 6-channel mono powered mixing console, Kustom combo bass amp, Ampeg V-4 bass head, and Peavey 800 Booster power amp.


Another picture of the Jam Room.

Yes, that is a pair of Altec-Lansing Voice of the Theater speakers in the background.  Not shown, is the second set.

Residing on the computer, Cakewalk Home Studio 2004 software w/M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card.

Shown is a Story and Clark piano.  The piano was built in 1940.  This piano sounds pretty good.  Some of the spinet pianos sound too "Thudy/Dead" or way too bright.  This piano is acoustically right in the middle and has good presence.  Just spent $450 on it for some repair work and had it tuned.

S/N:  167496

More Photos to come.