GUITAR SET-UPS

Set-up Procedures & Helpful Hints

  1. Intonation is related to truss rod adjustment & is influenced by temperature and humidity conditions.
  2. Strobe tuners are the only way to go when setting intonation.
  3. All guitars with a spring loaded tremolo will produce their own reverb chamber, clashing with you digital effects and  can cause unwanted feedback.
  4. Springs can be muted for those dead stops i.e. the 'Heavy Metal Chunk' your studio work will come out cleaner and  you'll avoid feedback at high volumes.
  5. I specialize in repair or restoration of all tremolo systems especially Floyd Rose with hard to find parts to maintain and modify these systems.
  6. All set-ups include a detailed check for loose frets or worn out string nut. complete finish cleaning w/ wax, fret cleaning, fingerboard cleaning/ conditioning, clean and tighten all hardware, lube tuner knob bushings & adjust tension, check electronics (if applicable), re-string, adjust truss rod and set intonation.
  7. Acoustic guitars receive an internal inspection for loose or broken bracing,  warped soundboard and any other structural defects.

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FRETWORK

Re-fretting

Common defects that cause fret/ string buzz.

Truss rod adjustment usually isn't the problem, but is related.

Loose frets, because of the fingerboard drying out.

Heavy fret wear is a common contributer to string buzz.

Using a capo chews up frets fast!

Worn string slots in string nut or incorrect nut mounting.

Incorrect bridge saddle radius.

Neck angle/ tilt (bolt on necks).

Twisted, humped or warped necks will cause fret buzz.


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ACOUSTIC NUT & BRIDGE WORK

Special Nut & Bridge fabricating materials

Throughout the years many Nut & Bridge making materials have been used, all with their own unique tonal characteristics.

Some of the more highly sought after materials are Organic such as Fossilized Walrus Ivory,  Mastadon Ivory, Bone and Dear antler to name a few. Pictured is a fang from a Walrus that lived over a thousand years ago. It is the preferred  material I use as an upgrade for Bone, Micarta & Graphite.

Better sustain, tone and durability than other organic materials and warmer sounding than 'Micarta 'or 'Tusq'.

Remember, only Fossilized Ivory is legal Ivory.

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PICKUPS & ELECTRICAL

Upgrades & Modification Facts

  • An inexpensive guitar can sound like a million bucks with a pickup swap.
  • Neat and consolidated wiring with clean solder connections are key to quiet operation of any pickups.
  • 2 conductor single coil pickups (Strat type) are inherently noisy and are are frequently replaced with 3 or 4 conductor pickups.
  • The battery in an active circuit has the best ground, eliminating the need for ground wires  and producing the quietest operation.
  • Alternate wiring mods can help you personalize your tone.

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Routing & Channeling

Applications

  • Pickups & Pickguards
  • Battery compartments
  • Channeling for wire consolidation
  • Tremolo bridges &, locking nuts
  • Acoustic Saddle Slotting
  • EQ/ preamp modules for acoustic guitars
  • Fret & Inlay work
  • Binding repair or installation
  • Tuning peg holes
  • Customized body design mods

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GUITAR AMPLIFIERS & PRO AUDIO

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Tube Amp Tips

Tubes lose their tonal quality long before they actually burn out.

Signs your tubes are weak include noisy operation (crackling/ popping),  loss of power and or loss of EQ.

Proper Bias adjustment and ventilation prolongs the life of your tubes and gives optimum performance overall.

Mixing Console Common Problems

Scratchy or noisy faders and pots are by far the most common issue.

Jacks and other receptacles are next on our list. 

Some digital effects issues can be as simple as changing out a sub-assembly PC board

Powered Speakers Do's & Don'ts

Don't plug a powered signal into your powered  speakers.

Powered speakers don't last long when left on 24/7 and I've repaired some that have even caught fire.

Do keep your speakers away from digital processors (laptops), florescent lights and cell phone signals to get the cleanest sharpest output.

Keyboards

Most problems are broken or sticking keys, broken pots and damaged displays.

Just as vulnerable to injury as any other instrument, your keyboard should have at least a padded zip case.

Poweramps

Common defects arise from too much heat.

Continuous high output operation above the clipping level.

Just like a vacuum cleaner, these high rpm fans drag in lots of dirt clogging the fan blades and blasting it into all the components, resulting in excessive operating temps and component failure.