This beautiful Collings I30 guitar came to us with a non-functional neck pickup tone control. While this is likely a simple repair electronically, as with most wiring repairs on semi-hollow and fully hollow-bodied guitars, the more time consuming task will be accessing and reinstalling the electronics before and after service.
When performing a setup on a bolt-on necked electric guitar, shims are a way to quickly adjust the angle at which the neck joins the body, facilitating the desired action adjustment.
We commonly find improvised shims installed in the neck pocket. They range from purpose-built plastic shims to a hodgepodge of items like sandpaper, cardboard, and/or guitar picks. In our shop, we prefer to make make full length, angled, shims.
There is an easy upgrade option that can dramatically improve the intonation of 3 barrel saddle equipped Fender Telecaster guitars without significantly altering the look or originality of the instrument: Compensated 3 barrel saddles. Compensated Telecaster saddles overcome the limitations of shared saddles in one of two ways. While each string will still not be individually adjustable, the strings will sit at predetermined intervals, much like a compensated acoustic guitar saddle, that are much more conducive to accurate string-to-string intonation.
Electric guitars typically have openings in the body to accommodate the electronics. Manufacturers will typically remove only as much wood as is necessary to accommodate any factory variations of a given model. For example, the above guitar features 3 pickups in an HSS configuration, blade pickup selector switch, volume and tone controls. When modifying an instrument’s electronics to fit custom specifications, it is sometimes necessary to alter the existing cavities, or create new ones, to accommodate the new components
This Epiphone 335 model guitar came into shop with the output jack stuck inside of the body. The nut and washer that had once secured the jack to the top of the instrument had come loose allowing the jack to drop inside. In shop, we call this “sunken jack syndrome”; This happens fairly frequently on hollow body and semi-hollow guitars such as the venerable 335 model produced by both Gibson and Epiphone, as well as various other similarly styled models including many of those made by Gretsch Guitars.
“Shielding” is tool that is used to reduce electromagnetic interference, or “EMI”, in your guitar’s signal. Since most electric guitar pickups are by definition “electromagnetic transducers”, EMI is a frequent cause of unwanted noise in the guitar’s signal chain. Guitars with single coil style pickups are especially prone to these issues.
The Electrosocket screw-in style jack plate offers an improvement on the side mounted style of jack plate that is popular on Fender Telecaster style electric guitars. The purpose of a jack plate is to hold the guitar’s output jack stable so that it can support the guitar cable. When compared to the traditional design, the Electrosocket is better able to handle the stresses of cable insertion and removal, eliminating a common cause of crackling / intermittent signal to your guitar amp.
Strings are perhaps the single most important part of a guitar; Every other part of the instrument is designed to support or enhance the vibration produced by a picked or plucked string. A good set of strings is the first step in maintaining the best sound from your instrument.
Put another way, the guitar string is not unlike fuel to a car; Without them the guitar doesn’t go, they are consumed by the process, and they require regular replacement! As such, basic restringing is a necessary skill that we strongly encourage guitar players to learn how to do for themselves.
Whether playing seated or standing, a guitar strap is a helpful tool for keeping your instrument in a comfortable playing position. Typically attached to two points on the guitars body called “strap buttons”, when new, a guitar strap may be so tightly fit as to be difficult to get on and off of the instrument’s standard strap buttons. Overtime the strap becomes broken in and as the material of the strap brakes down the straps attachment points may eventually become dangerously loose. If the strap fails the guitar may fall to the floor.
The addition of strap locks provide a convenient way to securely install and remove your instruments strap. Though fairly easy to install, it is worth taking a few moments to look at the most popular styles and discuss the proper way to attach them.
Pickup replacements are a popular way for guitarists to personalize their instruments. Swapping out the stock pickups in an inexpensive guitar is often a huge tonal improvement no matter what model of replacement you chose.
While pickup installation may seem as simple as removing and replacing a few wires, there is more to a clean, reliable, installation than meets the eye. Specialized tools and ample experience are required to achieve a dependable outcome.