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.
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.
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.
Potential sources of EMI are all around us: cell phones, radios, computers, and fluorescent lights are just a handful of common sources. To compound the issue, the human body is a natural antenna for electromagnetic interference.
To eliminate the EMI that a player inherently adds to the signal, a wire is attached in such a way as to connect the guitar strings to the instrument’s electronic ground.
While the player touches the strings, this wire effectively cancels out the noise that a players body adds to the signal by giving it a path to ground. This crucial length of wire is known as the “String Ground Wire”.