Power Tube FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about EL84, EL34, and 6L6

power tube faqHave you been scratching your head about 12AX7, 12AT7, and 12AU7 Preamp Tubes? Well, our most frequently asked questions about them are answered here.

Power tube FAQ about just what they are

Many of our power tube FAQ begin with an inquiry into just exactly what they are. A power tube, also known as an output tube is an electrical component, very similar to a transistor, that is built inside of a vacuum-sealed glass tube. Inside the glass tube are a filament, an anode, and a cathode.

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Push-Pull Pot FAQ – Coil-Splitting a Humbucker Pickup

push-pull pot faqIf you have ever thought about using a Push-Pull Pot to split a humbucker guitar pickup, you may have a few questions. These are the are most often asked Push-Pull Pot FAQ

Push-pull pot FAQ: What is a coil-split pickup?

Push-pull pot FAQ often include inquiries into coil-splitting a humbucker pickup. A coil-split pickup is a humbucker that is split in such a way that it only uses one of its two coils. This is useful to guitarists who use humbuckers but occasionally want a single-coil sound.

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Pickup Parts Needed – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part III

pickup partsLearn about all of the parts you’ll need to build your own guitar pickup

Hello again, and welcome to our ongoing series of articles discussing how guitar pickups work and how you can build your own. In the last article we discussed how the magnets and coil work, and how they work together to create the sound that you hear. This time around, we are going to look at the tools, pickup parts, and other things that you will need to build your project from scratch.
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Distortion – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

distortionWhen a signal is sent into a device like your amplifier with too much Gain, the signal begins to “clip.” This clipping gives the sound its characteristic buzzy sound that is what we call distortion

Overdrive

Overdrive is usually a naturally occurring clipping of the signal. It is often created by turning the volume up too loud on the gain stage of the amp, or by using a gain-boosting pedal that makes the signal too hot going into the amp or another pedal. This will oftentimes drive the later stages of the amp too hard and the signal will begin to clip, or chop off the parts of the signal that are too loud. This distorted sound is oftentimes a warm, pleasing tone that also adds a little compression to the signal. Continue reading “Distortion – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”

Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Pedal

dunlop gcb95The original Thomas Organ Cry Baby pedal is an American branded version of the Vox Wah. The Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Pedal is the modern version of the Thomas Organ Cry Baby.

This modern interpretation features several technical improvements over its vintage namesake and it was created by Jim Dunlop when he bought the Cry Baby brand from Thomas Organ in 1981. This Cry Baby pedal uses the legendary red Fassel inductor that was used in the vintage wah pedals, and combines it with a more focused high end, and a more aggressive and accentuated wah sound. Continue reading “Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Pedal”

Modulation – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

modulationModulation effects are those that change over time. Parameters of the effect are tied to a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO)

If you don’t know a Low Frequency Oscillator is, think of a clock and a light bulb . When the hand is on the 12 the light is all the way Off, as the hand moves past 1 the light begins to turn on; when the hand is on the 6 the light is all the way On and starts to turn off again as it moves past 7 back to Off at 12. This cycle repeats indefinitely, and you usually control how fast the clock spins. This is basically what is happening internally with each of these effects.

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Delay – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

delayTime based effects deal mostly with some kind of delay in a signal. Echo and reverb are two effects in this category

Delay is created in many ways, including electronically, using springs, (Bucket Brigade), in addition to tape (like in a cassette tape or audio reel).

Delay/Echo

Delay is a very common effect that creates an echo of the original signal. Delay can often be set to very short time, creating a “guitar doubling” effect, or it can be set for very long times creating a “Grand Canyon” type echo. It can also usually be set for a single echo or “Slap Back,” or for multiple or even infinitely repeating echos. Take a look at the MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay, or Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal.

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Filter – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

filterFilter effects are a subcategory of Dynamics and they deal with controlling the volume of certain frequencies

Equalizers are one of the most common effects in this category and you can find an Equalizer almost everywhere that you find a Volume Control. It is built into your amp, your mixing board, almost everywhere you look. EQs work by using different values of Capacitors to target a certain range of frequencies, and a slider or Volume knob to “Turn Down” (filter to ground) those frequencies. Most EQs are passive, meaning they can only turn down the volume of the frequencies that they target.

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Windings and How They Affect Tone & Output – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 2

windingsLearn how windings affect the tone and output of a guitar pickup

In the last article we discussed all of the different guitar pickups available to the guitar player. So, we should now have a good idea why we would use each type and we should also have a rough idea of how each type works. And from that last article, we probably also remember that the most popular kind of guitar pickup is the passive type, and that it uses a magnet and the windings of a wire coil to create your sound. Continue reading “Windings and How They Affect Tone & Output – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 2”

Line 6 Firehawk 1500 Stereo Guitar Combo Amp

Line 6 FirehawkThe Line 6 Firehawk 1500 Stereo Guitar Combo Amp is a wonder in the guitar amp world. It is the only 1500-watt amp that I can think of. It has four internal amplifiers that combine for 680 watts continuous (1,500 watts peak) power.

The Line 6 Firehawk features a full range six-speaker system that accurately replicates tones at any volume, and can be used for acoustic and electric guitar. You can even use the amp as a Bluetooth speaker. Continue reading “Line 6 Firehawk 1500 Stereo Guitar Combo Amp”