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2014 Darren Hippner NEO KOA Classical Guitar Review/Demo

Don’t adjust your screens, that is actually a 6 string classical I’m playing! I’m playing a 2014 Darren Hippner┬áNEO KOA classical guitar. The 1st video is the in-depth demo/review, the 2nd video contains full performances of some of the music in the review video. Enjoy!


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Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork pedal Demo/Review

Here’s a quick demo/review of the new EHX Pitch Fork pedal

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BOSS Dual Overdrive SD-2 pedal demo

New video up! Video demo of my go-to distortion pedal, the BOSS Dual Overdrive SD-2

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NGD: D’Angelico EXS-1DH archtop guitar


I recently got hired to play guitar for a Big Band version of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Bob Schroder and FASO always have interesting projects and I’m glad when I get called to be part of them.

So I showed up at the first rehearsal with this:

While technically you can tweak the sound to approximate the appropriate guitar tone for this setting, something tells me that a reverse headstock pointy guitar just doesn’t look right in a tux-outfitted Big Band!

After doing my research I decided on a D’Angelico EXS-1DH archtop guitar. The clips I found of it sounded the best in comparison to other guitar in the same price range and it has that look that just exudes class and style!

DAngelico EXS-1DH It exceeds my expectations! It’s a handsome guitar with excellent workmanship and it plays really, really well! The tone is inspiring and exhibits that warm, dark archtop tone while having enough airiness and articulation around the sound to keep things from getting too muddy. I’m so far from being a Jazz guitarist but playing the vocabulary on this guitar just makes much more sense, so much so that the instrument invites me to delve more into that world.


I took it to the most recent rehearsal and this just looks and feels so much better!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and would like to check out this concert, click here for event details.

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Afternoon pedalboarding

Spent this afternoon reconfiguring the big board. Added an Electro Harmonix Freeze pedal and replaced the TC Spark Booster with my Boss Dual Overdrive SD-2. I’ll be using this current setup with my custom Starr ODS-HRM head, which is a clone of a Dumble amp. Here’s a quick video of me running the current setup through its paces. Shot with a Canon EOS-M camera using the onboard mic.


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“Chilean Dance” live video from The Frethouse

Played at The Frethouse in downtown Covina on May 17. It’s a really cool guitar store that’s been around for decades and they host concerts in their basement. While most of their acts are folk/bluegrass/fingerstyle/country, some top CG names like Scott Tennant, Andrew York and Evan Hirschelman have also played there.

Here’s a clip from the 2nd half of the concert. The piece is Andrew York’s “Chilean Dance”, which is off his “Into Dark” CD. It’s not well-known, in fact I don’t think Andy plays it in his concerts anymore. I found a few places in the music which would benefit from the 10-string’s extended range so I made the tweaks.


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Perfecto De Castro 2014 Live Rig Demo

Finally finished shooting this video demo of my live gear. A little lengthy but I give an in-depth tour into my guitar, amp and pedalboard as well as some insight into how I use them to get my tones. Enjoy!

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