It's 11-2-2016 and as I sit here in the studio pondering life and the past year I am full of anticipation. I anticipate the new year with renewed excitement and the new avenues it will present. That's the great thing about life; every day is a new adventure. As I approach my 13th year anniversary of business I am so thankful for the people that have been a part of my success.
First to my wife Susan and to my two blessings, Erin and Jacob. They are the motivation for me to get out of bed each morning. And part of why I do what I do. My other motivation many would feel is money and they would be partly correct. We all have to feed our families. But for me that is only part of why I do what I do. The fact is, I Love the Guitar! But not just guitar, I love all aspects of the instrument. I love playing music with my Church Choir.
I love sitting and brainstorming just how I can improve my muse and the instrument itself. Yes, it's hard work running a business. Many are not aware but monteallums.com, LLC is not my main job. My main job is being a father but I also work a full-time job as a Pre-Press Tech for a local printer. So I get up at 4:30am head to the studio check e-mail and fill a few orders and answer a few e-mails.
I then head off to my 40 hour plus day job where I work until 5pm. I come home work out for 30 minutes on my Treadmill, take a shower and head back to the studio where I spend the next few hours answering e-mail and filling orders, ordering parts, doing research, illustrating, digital photography and of late also editing video.
All this from a Apple Mac Pro. When I started out 15 years ago I knew a good bit about guitar, having played since I was 11 years old. I was also pretty good at recording and producing music on a Mac. That was my passion along with playing with the choir at church. At the time Susan and I had no children but we decided we wanted to start a family.
But we did not want to give our children over to the state to educate. We decided Susan would quit her outside-the-home job and raise our children. That meant there would be a big hole in our income. So I decided that I would try and use my knowledge of the guitar to make up for the loss in income. There was a piece of electronic equipment at my day job that would output printing proofs and as a waste hypobaric would leave these 30" x 25" metallic sheets of material.
Since the company would throw these away I thought why not repurpose them. I got the idea one day of using them to cut out shielding to place on the back of pickguards. I started placing them on eBay and selling them. They sold so well that I eventually sold enough of them to become an eBay Powerseller. Eventually I created a website and the rest is history. While pickguard shields were eventually what got it all started, pedal mods is when business really took off.
I have no electronic engineering degree so I made a ton of rookie mistakes. But what I lack in knowledge I make up in tenacity. I am a pretty fast learner, okay I'm a slow learner, ;-0 and eventually learned to read schematics. I have recently decided to start designing pickguards and I am currently in the process of having a few initial designs manufactured. I am also in the initial stages of creating instructional videos. The wheels are always turning. I am always looking for new ways to enhance the playing experience for myself and for others. I look toward 2017, and the future, with a sense of renewed anticipation. But most of all I want to say Thank You for all your support over the years. May God richly bless you and yours! Monte Allums
When I'm not working or doing that family thang you'll more than likely find me working on my motorcycle or riding the back roads of northwest Mississippi. Click on the pic for an up close and personal look at my ugly mug. Monte Allums
As a guitarist of some 50 plus years I am a devoted student of the instrument. Always searching for ways to enhance the playing experience. The eNut and my alternative tuning offsets are two of those enhancements. If you haven't tried them please let me encourage you to. For those that have an ear to hear, it is a revolutionary advancement in guitar tuning. And the best part, it's a paultry $20. It will be the best $20 you will ever spend on your guitar.
Tweaking the tone of inexpensive stomp boxes is an obsession of mine. I started modding mainly because I refused to spend $200 to $300 or more to achieve great tone.
Most boutique pedals are clones of other inexpensive pedals anyway with the main difference being higher quality components. By upgrading the signal path and changing a few component values here and there, cheap inexpensive pedals can be drastically improved.
Take for example the Boss DS-1. You can buy them new for $40. I've personally bought used DS-1s off eBay for $25. Add one of my mod kits and for well under $100 and a little soldering time you've got a pedal that will rival pedals costing five times as much.
Add to that the fact that YOU personally took a very bad sounding pedal and made it usable. There's a certain level of self-satisfaction that I get knowing that I added a personal touch to a piece of gear that I use.
Take my new Chip Adapter Mods. You will not find these types of mods available from any other modder. This is a major breakthrough for DIY. The opamp is where the tone takes shape. Upgrading the toneless inline chips with a more Hi-Fi Dual Opamp such as the Burr Brown OPA2134PA will transform the tone of my already popular mods into even better mods. Add to that the ability to swap out different opamps and you've got a very effective tone-shaping tool.