guitar

Jessica Coats Swimsuit Modeling Photos

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Jessica Coats Swimsuit Modeling

This project was a collaboration between model Jessica Coats-Saenz, photographer Kreston Clark and myself. The photos were taken out in the desert in Southern California in tricky mid-day lighting. My goal for the first photo was to smooth out the look as much as possible to help make the harsh lighting less obvious. Apart from that, I smoothed out the skin tones a bit and touched up the areas around the knees. Other details included fixing one of the swimsuit top straps that was twisted, straightening the shot, removing a piece of re-bar that was showing over the top right corner and adding a subtle vignette.

Looking at the original photo, it looks like the window frame Jessica had to climb up on was quite dirty! I had to clean some dirt of her hands as well. Haha.

Jessica Coats Modeling Before and After

The photo on the right has all the improvements. I went for a smoother dreamglow effect as well. Click to view larger.

In the second photo below, I experimented by smoothing out the photo with a dreamglow effect, however I then used an unsharp mask to sharpen it again. I wanted to completely clip her out of the shot in order to be able to use the image over marketing material I was working on for FloatWays.com – I experimented with a couple of logo locations. In the end, I ended up using various versions on the site itself as well as on the site’s Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Jessica Swimsuit with Background

Jessica Swimsuit with FloatWays Logo

Sanyo Pedal Juice Rechargeable Power Supply for Guitar Effects Pedals

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Sanyo Pedal Juice Power Supply

Here’s a neat little device!  A rechargeable power supply for 9 Volt guitar effects pedals.  These days, anytime I hear or read the word “rechargeable” I take note!  Guitarists all over understand that one thing we go through a lot is 9V batteries.  Not only do most guitar effects pedals out there work on 9 Volt batteries, but as pedals have gotten more sophisticated so has their power consumption.  The battery inside a classic analog distortion pedal might last about 10-15 hours or more of playing but modern digital delay pedals for example, will eat up a battery in as little as 2 hours.  That’s a lot of batteries.  And… a lot of money wasted.

Sanyo has come up with a solution for guitarists who prefer batteries to AC power supplies to power their 9V stomp boxes.  This power supply is not only rechargeable, but will last much longer than standard batteries.  This unit is the Sanyo Eneloop Pedal Juice™.  This modern and sexy looking little white box is one of the best ways to save batteries and power your guitar effect pedals reliably.  Sanyo claims it can power classic 9V pedals for up to 5o hours and high current draw digital effects up to 27 hours on a single charge.  The unit will also warn you if it’s in need of a charge.  It will display an orange light when it has about 50% charge left and then a red light when it’s getting dangerously close to fully discharged.  That way you know way before it shuts off.  The specs also say you can use it to power other 9Volt devices such as certain recorders, synthesizers and drum machines.  The Sanyo Pedal Juice™ will accept a current draw up to 2Amps (2,000 milliamps).  That is enough to power a good number of pedals at once if you need to.

Sanyo Pedal Juice Zoom

I don’t believe all that I read and I’m not about to simply plug a new power supply into my precious collection of pedals without testing it.  So, I took my unit and plugged a multi-meter to it to test it out.  The multi-meter read 9.21 Volts out of each of the 2 available ports.  Impressive!  That’s a better reading than some brand new batteries.  So I hooked it up to an MXR EVH Phase 90 and turned the unit on.  Simple enough.  The pedal is powered and it’s nice and quiet with no external noise whatsoever.

“I found it goes great in combination with my current AC power supply…”

I tested the unit again after an hour of playing and then again after 2 hours.  The output reads exactly 9.21Volts every time.  I found this to be a nice little feature.  The problem with most batteries is that after a few hours they start losing power quickly and no longer produce 9 Volts.  So far it seems the Sanyo Pedal Juice™ will provide a steady supply of power at the same voltage until it is completely drained out.  This assures your pedals will perform at their best even when the unit has only 20% power left.

Output jacks

My first impression of the unit and it’s 2 outputs left me wondering if I might miss having more outputs.  But, since it will handle a current draw of up to 2Amps you can easily daisy-chain a couple of pedals out of the outputs and you’re golden.  Since there is no AC power transformer as in conventional “wall outlet” power supplies there is no 60 cycle hum or noise introduced into your signal chain.  If you are on a tight stage with a limited supply of wall outlets, you only have to worry about finding a spot to plug in your amp.  No need to plug in your board.  Plus, once you are done you simply plug it into its included charger and again… you’re golden.  No need to remove a bunch of batteries and replace them.  And for those who argue that they use individual 9V rechargeable batteries for each of their pedals… Well, there’s no need to take each of them out, one at a time and charge them.

Sanyo Eneloop Pedal Juice Image

There is one great advantage to using the Sanyo Pedal Juice™ and it’s the one that has been working for me the best.  I built my effects pedalboard with great care and the best components and I’ve found I get no hum or added noise from my AC power supply.  But, the size of my board and power connections is limited.  I have a bunch of effects pedals that I love yet don’t live on my pedalboard.  I find myself not using a lot of them as much as I would like to because of the hassle of dealing with batteries.  Oftentimes I’m working on a song and I realize there’s an effect I’d like to use which is not on my board.  I’ll go fetch it out of storage only to find it has no battery.  By the time I find one that actually has power left and plug it in I’ve lost my train of thought and muse.  Now, with my new Sanyo Pedal Juice™ I can simply plug in the pedal and continue with what I was doing.  At any point, I can dig up another pedal out of my collection and quickly plug it in and continue playing in a matter of seconds.  I found it goes great in combination with my current AC power supply for this very feature.  Last thing I heard, this little unit is selling for around $200.  Due to the reliability, battery savings and sheer convenience, that sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Win your very own Sanyo Pedal Juice!

Yep Yep!  I’ve have a brand new unit, in box and ready to power up your guitar pedals.  Click on the image link below to go to the official giveaway post!

Sanyo Pedal Juice Contest Image

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Win a New Sanyo Eneloop Pedal Juice Guitar Effects Pedal Rechargeable Power Supply

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Sanyo Pedal Juice Power Supply Contest

Update: November 7, 2010: The contest is over. The winner has been picked and I will be announcing who the lucky person is soon. To be fair, I used an automatic chooser software that shuffles entries and picks a random name. Three runner ups were also chosen just in case the winner cannot accept the free power supply.
Update: November 13, 2010: Announcing the winner of the Pedal Juice™ power supply… Roberto Valdez from Novi, Michigan! It took a bit of time to get a hold of Mr. Valdez, mainly because he couldn’t believe he had won. But, there you have it folks! One stoked winner of the first contest ever on dannycruz.com!

Sanyo Pedal Juice Giveaway Winner

Pedal Juice™ Giveaway winner, Roberto Valdez of the band Stroller Goat, at Hard Rock Café in Detroit.

This is it!  I have a brand spankin’ new Sanyo Pedal Juice™ guitar effects pedal rechargeable power supply to give away to one lucky reader!

The giveway is for 1 Pedal Juice™ in original box with it’s charger, patch cables, polarity conversion cable and carry pouch.  I will include free ground shipping anywhere in the continental USA.  If you are in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or anywhere else but the contiguous 48 states, you can still win it but you must pay shipping.  I’m not making any money out of this, so those are the rules.  If you, the winner, cannot accept the prize for whatever reason then it will go to the runner up… and so on and so forth.

Pedal Juice FeatureTo sign up: Simple.  Just fill your email, first and last name into the form below and you’re entered!  Is there a catch? Yes, by doing that you are signing up for my email newsletter for updates on new blog posts.  That’s what I get for giving this little prize away ;)  But, don’t fear! I do not sell or give away your addresses, so don’t worry about spam.  Oh yes, and don’t forget to click on the email confirmation you’ll get after signing up otherwise I won’t be able to get your email to draw for the prize.

That’s it.  This is a grassroots, close-to-home little contest.  There are no complicated rules or fine print.  Good luck and have fun! -Danny


Sign up right now!

Sanyo Pedal Juice Contest

I'm not giving away any of the pedals, just the power supply!

The contest is open from now until November 5, 2010.  I will do the draw that same weekend and I’ll announce the winner the following week.  I’d like your name and city in order to make a good enough announcement. That should be fair enough, right?

For more on more on the Sanyo Eneloop Pedal Juice™ check out the review here.

Pedal Juice Power Supply

Again, I'm not giving the Phaser away, just the Pedal Juice!

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