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 Tips

  • Get your own personalized sound with a pickup swap or wiring mods.
  • Neat and consolidated wiring with clean solder connections are important for 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. There are shielding options , shielding tape and conductive shielding paint which is much easier and allows you to reach the inside of wiring channels and other hard to reach areas. 
  • The battery in an active circuit has the best ground, eliminating the need for grounding and producing the quietest operation.

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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.

Mixing Console Common Problems

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

Jacks and other receptacles are next on the list. 

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

Keyboards

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

Just as vulnerable to injury as any other instrument, your keyboard should have a padded zip case or hard shell 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, heat sinks and the other components, resulting in excessive operating temps and component failure.