Category Archives: Gear Talk

Gear talk!

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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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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Perfecto plays an LSL Instruments Saticoy XT

SaticoyXTI dropped by the LSL Guitars booth at the NAMM Show today and checked out their new Saticoy XT and boy what an AWESOME guitar!

This particular guitar has a bound Swamp Ash body with a baked Maple neck and is equipped with an original Floyd Rose locking tremolo and hot wound LSL humbuckers. The overdriven tone grabs you by the throat with its heavy and aggressive yet articulately clear roar. Rolling back the volume yields a chimey, barely-breaking up bluesy voice that tugs at your soul. There are no dead spots on the neck and notes sustain forever regardless what string or fret you’re on.

Imagine my disappointment when I found out the this guitar is already spoken for! But Lance assured me that they can build me one exactly like it if not better! Check out the Saticoy XT in action in the video below.  This is my solo on Mystic Reign’s “Ride Hard”, now available on iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon

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Wah Rocker + Micro POG = Tha FUNK

Here’s a quick demo video of one of my favorite pedal combos on my board: Guyatone Wah Rocker and Electro Harmonix Micro POG. Funky Fun!

If you haven’t done so yet, please donate to my fundraising efforts for the Bohol Earthquake relief. More info HERE.


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New amp day!

I’ve been looking for a suitable amp for live use and have settled on a Hot Rodded Plexi type of amp. After several weeks searching, the stars aligned and I’m now the proud owner of a 1979 Marshall JMP 2203 100w head. The bonus is that it’s already modified by Dave Friedman of Friedman Amplification with his “kitchen sink” mod. I’ve played through Friedman’s amps at the 2013 Winter NAMM and was thoroughly impressed so it’s awesome that this amp came to me with the mods I wanted.

PDC RigHere’s a photo of the Marshall along with my other gear. The cab is a Mesa Stiletto 4×12 loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s. The pedalboard is a PedalTrain Pro with the following pedals: Dunlop 95Q Wah, Guyatone WR3 Wah Rocker, Dunlop Hendrix Tribute Univibe, Danelectro Milkshake Chorus, MXR Script Phase 90, MXR Micro Flanger, Earthquaker Devices Hummingbird Tremolo, MXR Classic 108 Fuzz, TC Electronic Spark Booster, Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive, Xotic RC Booster, TC Electronic Flashback X4 Delay/Looper, TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb, This1smyne Buffer, One Control Iguana Tail True Bypass loop switcher. Everything is powered with a Joyo Power Supply mounted under the board.

Here’s a a quick and dirty walkthrough the amp and the different pedals.

I might shoot a completed demo video in the future but in the meantime I’m having a great time blasting through this rig! Enjoy!

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