The Goncalo Alves Neck: A Nice Rosewood Alternative

goncalo alves neckRosewood is great for guitar necks, but there are other dark woods out there that are worth considering. One of the really good ones is Goncalo Alves.

Also known as “Zebrawood” or “Tigerwood,” the species that yield this wood go by such barely pronounceable Latin monikers as Astronium fraxinifolium and Astronium graveolens. But who cares about lineage, right? What we want to know is how does it feel and sound? Answer: Great and Great, which is what we want to hear when we consider the Goncalo Alves neck.
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Guitar Pickups That Changed My Life

guitar pickupsGuitar pickups that transformed both my playing and my tone.

This is a celebration of my favorite guitar pickups. The title may seem a bit much, but it is true; these pickups absolutely changed my playing style as well as my tone. I am a bit of a pickup nut. At one point I owned over 100 different pickups, but had only about a dozen or so in a guitar. This is a pretty clear indication of obsessive compulsive disorder. But, at the same time, there are many worse ways of spending one’s time and money.
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Fulltone 69, the Fuzz that Roared

Fulltone 69 fuzzIf you are in the market for a truly amazing, world-class Fuzz pedal, look no further; the Fulltone 69 is your baby.

Of all the fuzz pedals I have tried, the Fulltone 69 is really the king. This is an incredibly transparent pedal with a top-shelf fuzz that can be easily rolled back for great tonal variations. Here’s more of what you should know about this impressive pedal:

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Reader Question: Strat Bridges and Claw Mounting Screws

claw mounting screwsDon't worry too much about claw mounting screws. Set them so your string tension feels right, then you can pretty much leave them alone.

Mark Writes:

Can you please tell me the what’s and hows of the claw mounting screws on the tail of the bridge? That is, when you’re putting a screw in and the thread of the screw is facing the neck and the head of the guitar, and the head of the screw is facing the rear of the body. I have some adjusting to make with the action and need to adjust each string to the curvature of the neck. I have a pretty clear understanding of how to do this, but have not yet gotten the idea of the claw mounting screws mentioned.  Continue reading “Reader Question: Strat Bridges and Claw Mounting Screws”

Reader Question: Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker Problem Sounds

Gibson 57 Classic humbuckerIf your Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker produces a thin, humming sound, then perhaps you have a wiring problem.

A reader has asked about problem sounds with his Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker.

Sven Writes:

I have a Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker, which has a really high output of 9K!! and it’s NOT a classic+, which I know. I installed it by itself in the bridge position, with the selector on treble, and it sounds thin, very quiet, and is humming slightly. What could be wrong?
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Building Your First Guitar From Scratch

Building Your First Guitar From ScratchBefore you start your first guitar building project, take a few moments to think through some important details.

If this is new ground for you, you’ll find that there’s just nothing quite like building your first guitar from scratch; you’re in for a real adventure! Some prefer to buy something slick and shiny off the rack that has been assembled by the best “master builder” in the universe. This is fine. Something to consider, though: there are few things more enjoyable than the feeling of, for the first time, tuning up a guitar that you have just built yourself. The pickups are exactly the ones you wanted, the wiring / switching is per your wishes, you have chosen a neck that feels perfect in your hands, the sound is 100% you. It’s a great feeling!
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Best Websites for Guitar Parts

Great websites offering vast selections of guitar parts and accessories.

Whether you are building a new guitar from scratch, or just need a hard-to-find item, you’ll find that these sites offer an incredible array of parts and accessories.

Acme Guitar Works

http://www.acmeguitarworks.com

Their flagship product is their Pre-Wired Pick Guard Assemblies, but they have fantastic inventory of guitar pickups, electronics, and hard to find hardware.
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The MXR Phase 100 M-107 Guitar Pedal

The MXR Phase 100 M-107 Guitar PedalThere is a good reason why the MXR Phase 100 M-107 Guitar Pedal is still around!

Maybe you have an MXR Phase 90, maybe you are thinking of buying one, or maybe you are considering an upgrade. Either way the MXR Phase 100 M-107 is a great alternative to the Phase 90 if you want a bit more control over the overall shape of the wet signal. As the older cousin of the MXR Phase 90, the Phase 100 offers the same great tone but a few more features. The biggest difference is the notch control that lets you select the wave pattern. In conjunction with the speed control, you can dial in the exact phase sound that you want.

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MXR M78 Custom Badass ’78 Distortion

MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 DistortionThe new MXR M78 Custom Badass is a damn good distortion pedal that offers true bypass and a warm sound, at a very reasonable price.

OK, this MXR M78 Custom Badass thing is pretty good. The kicker is that it retails for under $100. At that price range, true bypass and warm analog distortion is definitely a feature set that should impress anyone. Of course this is all very subjective. You have to factor in your setup, taste, and playing style. That said, all things considered, it’s a strong pedal.  I’m not too sure what the ’78 stands for. I guess I don’t really care, but I am curious.
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