| home | about bosse norgren | original music | gear | links | contact | PB-50 mod |

Gear

What would a musician's homepage be without a thorough walkthrough of the equipment they use? Exactly, incomplete! So, here we go with some retrospect into the past and a more detailed look at the present.

The past

Wurlitzer 200A
In the beginning of the Seventies, I owned a Wurlitzer piano. This was what I would call my first 'real' electric piano. Back then, I hit the piano keys very hard. For a few years, I had played acoustic piano with different trad jazz bands. Playing an unamplified upright piano when three to five horn players do their best to howl down the rest of the band, had me hitting the keys like I was practicing karate. I still had these chops when I started to play the Wurlitzer. This piano has small, thin tines that produce the tone. If you hit them too hard, they break. About once a month, I went to a music store at Odenplan to buy replacement tines. Then I sold the piano and I told the buyer about this problem. To be on the safe side, he went to this store and asked the seller about breaking tines. "No", he replied, "I wouldn't say I've heard this should be a common problem." Then he thought for a moment. "Come to think of it, there's a guy in Bromma..." Yeah, yours truly...

Fender Rhodes and Rhodes stage pianos
My first piano from this family was a Fender Rhodes 88 Mark I. It was heavy, to say the least. Felt a bit like carrying a coffin. On top of that, the action was sluggish and the sound was muddy. A terrible specimen.

The next one was a Rhodes 73 Mark I. Much lighter, much easier action and much clearer sound. The black Tolex was very worn down, so I simply ripped it off, sanded the wood down and worked it over with a mahogany-colored stain.

Rhodes Suitcase
In 1978, I went to California with two musician friends. We stayed with the fourth member of our band, Ken, who was then working there. I bought a brand new Rhodes Suitcase 73 Mark I and payed $1.000 for it. Considering that the exchange rate was one USD for 4.40 Swedish kronor, it was a fantastic deal! And I didn't even have to pay for the freight from San Francisco to Stockholm. A couple of months after I left California, Ken quit his job and moved to Sweden. He had bought a Pontiac TransAm and had rented a container to transport that and other stuff on a cargo ship. My Rhodes went in the same container and to make a long story short I actually managed to smuggle a Rhodes Suitcase piano into Sweden without paying either customs or VAT! Those crimes are long since statute-barred. I sold it around 1995 for SEK 8.000 and the funny thing was that the buyer had recently played with Monica Törnell!

In 2018, I bought a Rhodes Stage Piano 73 Mark II. It lacked the leg assembly, so instead I built a Suitcase cabinet. I was also lucky enough to be able to buy an incredible preamp by the name of Speakeasy from a friend. It was built with the same specs as the original Suitcase preamp. The cabinet contained four Beyma 12GA50 12" speakers and a Behringer power amp. Although I didn't really want to, I sold the piano in the Fall of 2019. A Rhodes with a suitcase cabinet is a bitch to carry and it can only produce one sound, so I simply bit the bullet and let it go. I didn't have enough room to keep it. You can see pictures in the 'original music' page.

MiniMoog
In 1975, I found a used MiniMoog model D in a music store namned Dieke Musik. If I remember correctly, the asked price was SEK 5.000, money I certainly didn't have. I called my mother and asked if I could borrow from her and thanks to her, I became the happy owner of my first Mini!This was a Model D of the first generation, which didn't have temperature-stabilized oscillators. Which meant it constantly de-tuned itself, not only the pitch but the internal tuning. I had no manual and didn't have the address to the manufacturer, so I simply took a chance and wrote a letter describing my problems and addressed it to 'Moog Music Inc, Williamsville, NY, USA'. This 'address', I found on the back of the synth. After a couple of months, an original user manual arrived in the mail and I learned how to tune the Mini. Later, a friend who was an electrics engineer, fixed an inboard power supply instead of the two AC adapters that came with the synth. This solved part of the de-tuning problem, but not all of it.

I bought the next Mini in the beginning of the Nineties. It had none of the de-tuning problems of my first one. Unfortunately, I needed money to buy my first Harley in 1994 and sold it, a thing I've regretted until 2017 (more about this below).

Other keyboards and different modules
During the years, I've owned a few other synths, rack modules and drum machines.

Among the synths, a Moog Prodigy, a MicroMoog, a Korg Polysix and a Yamaha CS1x are worth mentioning. With all four, I could shape the sounds pretty much in the way I wanted them. Not like with a MiniMoog, but still...

I've also owned a couple of modules, one Yamaha TX1P which was a pure piano module. The other was a Roland MT-32, a little wonder first released in 1987, actually before the MIDI standard was implemented. It sounded surprisingly good!

The Kawai R100 was a programmable drum machine which was kind of the poor mans solution to getting good drum sounds on an affordable budget.

Recording
In the mid Seventies, I bought a TEAC A3340-S, a four track reel tape recorder. With it, myself and a couple of friends recorded an LP (see under 'original music' where  you can hear some examples of what it sounded like). I used it for home recording for ten years and bought a remote control for it. This came in handy when doing so called 'punch-in' recordings, where you listened to the music and punched the 'record' button and then started playing on a track that already contained recorded sound.

In 1987, I bought my first computer, an Atari 1040st. This was a real nice little machine. I used it to write my first novel, 'Livsfarlig last' (which will be published in English early 2018 under the title 'Lethal cargo'), and also to record music. The thing that was special with the 1040st was that it had built-in MIDI. So what I did was record synths and drum machine via the Atari MIDI interface and analog instruments and voices with the TEAC 4-track and the mixed the two together. This gave me much more channels on which to record than when I used only the tape-recorder.

For quite a few years, I didn't record any music at home. I had sold the Atari and didn't use the TEAC. This dark period in my life must have been going on from somewhere around the early Nineties and the end of that decade. In 2000, I bought a PC (yeah, I know, speaking of the dark side...) and used Cubase SE as recording software. You can easily say that a new world opened itself.

It didn't take long though, before I switched to the Mac OS platform and the native software GarageBand. GarageBand is fantastic, considering you get it for free when you buy a Mac computer. However, it felt limited, and I bought Logic, which then still wasn't owned by Apple. And that takes us into...

The present

Keyboards and related stuff

Here are a few pictures of my setup as it looked on 2020-03-01:

From top to bottom:

MiniMoog model D.
In 2016, Moog Music started to build a re-issue version of the Model D. It uses the exact same specs as the original ones, but with some improvements. It has a MIDI interface, it has a hard-wired overdrive circuit, it has a dedicated LFO which means you can use all three oscillators for sound and still get a vibrato, only to mention a few improvements. It feels and sounds exactly like an old Mini, but better! The re-issue MiniMoog was discontinued in 2017 and I'm really happy I had the opportunity to buy one. This one, I won't sell!

Physis Piano H3.
A 73-key stage piano with weighted, hammer-action keys with an Ivory finish. It has a bunch of great sounds from the beginning in a few different categories like Piano and Electric Piano. But the great thing is that you can edit a lot of parameters directly via a color display and a touch screen.

'Suitcase' stereo cabinet.
I built a new cabinet when I bought the Physis piano, since the one you can see below was more suited for use with a Rhodes piano. Since the Physis piano is much smaller, I built the cabinet so that I put my feet into a 'compartment'. In it, I have a small sustain pedal on the right, a volume pedal in the middle and another pedal on the left, with which I control the amount of stereo tremolo on the Rhodes sounds. Or the Leslie simulator speed. You can also see the Behringer A800 power amp. 2X400 watts of power and convection-cooled = no fan that sounds like a jet turbine engine! I re-used the four Beyma 12GA50 12" broadband speakers that I put in the Suitcase cabinet I built for the Rhodes.

A detail picture showing the 'shelf' I built. In this case, I use it to host my 10-channel Yamaha mixer with built-in effects. Also, you can see a MacBook Air that I use for synth software which I control with one of my latest purchases:

Roli Seaboard RISE 49


You can read more about it on the 'original music' page where I first used it on the tune 'Another time'. It's probably the most revolutionary way to change the way of playing keyboards since I started playing the piano in, like, 1963...


In this image, you can see my Viscount Legend with bass pedals and the MiniMoog. You can also see three members of the UN band. To the right, of course, Peter whom you can hear playing his guitars on many of the tracks on the 'original music' page. To his left, Lelle who plays the drums and the bass and even sings and plays rhythm guitar on some songs. In the yellow Hagström T-shirt, Greven, who plays the drums.

Leslie 142N



This is a real Leslie, although a little lower than the cupboards you usually see behind Hammond organ players (which means a few kilos lighter). Mine is still lighter since I've discarded a damaged, heavy hi-fq driver and replaced it with a Motorola piezo-electric horn driver. I've also transfered the original Leslie 122 tube amp with its two large transformers to another Leslie (which I sold) and use an external Genz-Benz Shuttle 6.0 bass amp. This is a 600W amp with a tube preamp, weighing like a large carton of milk, just over 1,5 kilos. This Leslie is actually quite portable and sounds very good! And for recording or live miking via a PA, I've mounted three drum microphones that fold out on little wooden pegs. Just plug in the cables and connect them to the mixer. And since I've listened to experts in a Hammond group on Facebook, saying that there's a lot of stereo signal in the bass rotor as well, I've mounted a fourth microphone since this pic was taken.

Recording


This is my current recording setup. The heart of the studio is a Mac Mini with 16 GB:s of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. I use two 24" monitors and a BlueTooth keyboard and Magic Mouse. Below, I've built a 'shelf' where I put either this M-Audio Keystation 61 (the one I used in my home-built two-manual Viscount DB3, see below) or the Roli Seaboard.

Other related equipment

Viscount DB3



Originally a single-manual clonewheel organ which I bought in 2005. A few years ago, I tried connecting another MIDI keyboard to it, to get two manuals. It worked quite okay, so I bought a 61-key MIDI keyboard and stripped it down, built a new enclosure and suddenly had a Viscount DB3-2X61 or whatever you should call it. I've used it as a rehearsing organ. In 2019, I put the DB3 and the M-Audio MIDI keyboard back in their original shape, since I had better use for them that way.

Yamaha MOTIF synth module



This is really an incredible piece of machinery. I use a handful of the 800 sounds that are actually in there. My favorite is a guitar sampling named 'Crunchoid' which you can hear on several of the tracks on the 'original music' page. Since I bought the Roli Seaboard, I actually haven't used it.

Harley Benton Slider

This is not the instrument I use most frequently, but since it cost almost nothing, it's nice to have. So far, I think I've used it for a couple of recordings.

Electric basses

Harley Benton PB-50

It all began when I decided that I wanted to go back to playing four-string bass again. Preferably with passive electronics and only one volume and one tone pot. You can read much more about it on the dedicated page 'PB-50 mod'. After looking at prices of parts on the gitarrdelar.se web page, I started to look for other solutions and by chance stumbled on Harley Benton's version of a 50's P-bass. So I ordered one in the spring of 2019 and had to wait for like two months before it arrived. It was out of stock and I can understand why it's so popular... during my search, though, I also looked at the vintage Telecaster bass. And finally, the beauty below turned up for sale...

Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Bass

Squier presented this re-make of the beautiful Telecaster bass in August 2012. It was only in production for a couple of years, so they're pretty hard to come by. But lo and behold, in February 2020, I found this instrument on the Swedish buy-and-sell site Blocket. Apart from the obvious difference in body design, it's quite similar to the PB-50 above. One difference, though, is that it is medium scale. 32" instead of the ordinary 34" scale length that both the green one above and the red one below have. But not quite as short as my home-built short-scale bass below, which has a scale length of only 30 inches.

When I bought the Tele, it had a one-ply black scratch guard, but I thought that a tortoise one would match the body's cream color. So I ordered a rectangular piece of scratch guard material and manufactured the one you can see in the picture.

What can I say? The ultimate bass, both regarding design, playability and sound!

SX Precision bass

I bought this fretless Fender Precision neck in the end of the Seventies. And built an oak body that was formed like a violin. It had two Jazz Bass pickups. When I tried it a couple of years ago, the sound was full of crackle and hiss. A little like the sound of bacon frying in a hot skillet... first, I thought I'd buy a P-bass body, P-bass pickups and other hardware from gitarrdelar.se, an online store that sells kits for guitars and basses. But then I realized that it would be cheaper to buy a budget P-bass replica and replace the neck with my old fretless one. And when in the store, I thought, why not buy something colorful? So that's why this bass is a beautiful Fiesta Red with a tortoise shell scratch guard. Since this picture was taken, I've put fret marks on the neck with a thin, permanent marker and coated them with a couple of layers of transparent lacquer. This because I'm too unused to playing a fretless bass with only a few dots on the side of the neck. But if and when I get more sure of what I do, I can only sand the lacquer and the fret marks away.

Ibanez SR506



I bought this in March 2010. I've used it a lot and it's fantastic to play on since the neck, although being quite wide to accommodate for all six strings, is very thin. Since I bought the four-strings above, though, I haven't used it. Not that I dislike five or six strings, it's more a sense of wanting to go back to basics.


Ibanez GSR205BF

I bought this one since I wanted five strings and fret marks. But since I added the fret marks on my red Precision bass, this one is also hanging on the wall.

Home-built bass with a Fender Musicmaster neck



The neck comes from my first bass guitar, a Fender Musicmaster that I bought in 1975. It's a short scale neck and has proved to stay straight throughout the decades. The body sported what looked like a guitar pickup and I wasn't pleased with the sound. Therefore I built a very small oak body with a DiMarzio P-bass pickup and no volume- or other controls, just an on-off switch. A few years ago, I tried this bass and realized that the body, apart from being quite hideous, was too light-weight, so the neck weighed down. I then went to Fanerkompaniet (the Veneer Company) and bought a solid maple plank that had been carefully dried. I built this body and with a complete different and better array of tools, I suddenly had a much better bass altogether! It still has the Seventies DiMarzio pickup and the same on-off switch and is a quite nice little piece of bass...

Bass rigs

This is a pic of my two main rigs (2020-03-01):

From left to right:

Ampeg V4BH and Ampeg SVT212E

This is a re-issue of the classic 100W all-tube V4B amp, this one from the late Nineties. The cabinet is a 2X12 in which I replaced the original speakers since one of them was destroyed when I rolled the cabinet over a 5-meter long foot-scraping grid. The coil was probably damaged. I went for Eighteen Sound speakers which I use in all my bass cabinets. This rig sounds just like a 100W tube amp rig should sound. Fantastic!

Genz-Benz GBE 600 and Behringer BA210 + BA115

My first Genz-Benz amp, 600W with a tube preamp. This sounds pretty much like the smaller Shuttle 6.0 below, but has more adjusting capabilities. The nicest one is that you can use either the tube or the solid-state preamp or mix them. Together with the two cabinets, a 2X10 and a 1X15 equipped with Eighteen Sound speakers, I get so much volume and punch that I could probably easily shatter the windows in my studio if I wanted. Not to speak of my eardrums...

And here, my 'mini' bass rig:

Genz-Benz Shuttle 6.0 and 1X12 cabinet

My second Genz-Benz amp, this one also with 600W and a tube preamp. Up until now, I've mostly used it to power my Leslie 142N. But then I realized I needed a small rig for kind of 'troubadour gigs'. That is, only me on the bass behind a singer/guitarist. The cabinet features a Beyma 12GA50 broadband element. The same speaker as in my Suitcase cabinet. When I bought it, the sales guy at HiFi Kit turned out to be a loudspeaker designer, so he calculated what size I would need for the cabinet and the size and length of the bass reflex ports. I can tell you that when you stand in front of the rig, at a distance of a meter, crank the volume up a bit and hit the E string, your trouser legs actually flutter from the movement of air. The power of this rig compared to its size is amazing! And it weighs in at just below 12 kilos!

PA

Behringer Xenyx X1222USB



This is a 12-channel mixer with built-in effects and is excellent for vocals and amplifying keyboards. Quite cheap, too!

Laney 15" active monitors



I bought these in 2005 and they have served me flawlessly since then. Playing live gigs, I usually put them on tube stands. I've never felt that 2X150 Watts is too little. I've actually never had the volume pots at more than 3 out of 10...