Amplify this!

Sorry, no entry for yesterday. Too much happening again.

The Secret Project got an unexpected jolt today, which I hope to address on Monday morning. Hope it goes well.

Decided to go out and buy myself a birthday gift – a new amplifier for the live music section of the household.

Grabbed Mrinal and trudged off to M.G.Road. Found reasonably priced ones, and had Mrinal listen to a selection so that we could take a decision.

The choice was between an 80 Watt Stranger Cube80 and a 100 Watt Stranger NS100. The former had two way speakers, the latter more power. Pricewise, there was about 1000 bucks difference, which really didn’t mean much in the context.

Decided on the 100 watt amp. Which appears to have been a mistake.

Back home (after an incident a couple of hundred metres from my house – more later), Sony and I checked out the sound. While the amplifier is perfect for a single guitar, the sound is completely dead and flat when it comes to keyboards and vocals. No amount of fiddling with tonal controls on the amp or the mixer could get the sound to life. Also, for some reason, the amp’s internal spring-reverb cannot be turned off completely.

In comparison, I switched back to the old Cube20 that was placed strategically in a corner – crystal clear sound, major presence, though of course not too boomy.

Looks like I’ll have to go and return this amp and pick up the 80 Watt unit instead. Mrinal had commented on the fact that the Cube80 appeared better suited for non-guitar amplification. I just hope the guys in the shop cooperate. The place is run by the guys from Thermal and a Quarter, BTW.

On the way back from the city, and after dropping Mrinal home, I came within a few hundred metres of my house when a dark blue Maruti van came belting out of a side street in reverse, barely missed hitting me and another car in the front, then managed to scrape my front left fender as he straightened out. Needless to say, by the time I stopped the car and got out, he was a quickly disappearing dot on the horizon.

The damage isn’t heavy, but it is a scrape, and on a freshly painted car, that hurts badly. ^%$^%@$^$@^$^%!!!!!!

Mrinal promised to drop in on Sunday for a final “pre-40″ jam. I hope he makes it. These days he is busy with his alternate “big group” Cryptic, where he plays the keyboards. I haven’t heard them yet (and this is another group without its own web site ;-) , but I hear they are good. They are apparently off to Bombay next weekend for a competition, with Mrinal in tow. This of course means that we will miss him at our birthday/anniversary bash.

The women in the house are watching the Filmfare awards – that annual, pre-decided and self-congratulatory event touted as “The Indian Oscars”. As usual, it is loud, slightly incoherent, and definitely not something I’d sit and watch, so I am going to bed.