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Guitar & Bass Mods

The Fabulous Four: Mods for your Strat, Tele, Les Paul, and "Super Strat"

August 1, 2013
Looking for the coolest, simplest mods for your Strat, Tele, Les Paul, or “super strat”? Then look no further—Premier Guitar’s Mod Garage columnist Dirk Wacker walks us through the tastiest tone tweaks for the most popular guitars on the planet.
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How to Install a New Tune-o-matic Bridge

July 26, 2013
No matter what style Tune-o-matic your guitar has, it’s important to regularly inspect the bridge for wear. Eventually, you may need to replace it.
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Factory Telecaster Wirings, Pt. 2

July 19, 2013
Exploring the post-1967 wiring, referred to as the “modern” or “standard” Telecaster wiring that's is still in use today.
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How to Set Up a Floyd Rose-Style Trem

June 29, 2013
When a Floyd Rose-style tremolo is tilted back against the body—as shown here—you can’t use the system to its full potential.
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Factory Telecaster Wirings, Pt. 1

June 21, 2013
How Fender's factory Tele wiring evolved, and ways to mod them.
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How to Intonate a Three-Saddle Tele

June 14, 2013
Vintage-style, straight-bar saddles will never intonate properly—we find a way to fix this issue that doesn’t involve replacing the entire bridge.
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How to Convert a Flattop into a High-Strung Guitar

June 11, 2013
In this step-by-step tutorial, Nashville guitar tech John Levan shows you how to convert a standard acoustic flattop into a high-strung guitar. He also offers valuable tips on checking neck relief and action, carving a bone string nut and filing nut slots, and carving and a bone saddle. Bonus! Want to hear a high-strung guitar in action? Check out the short demo following this how-to video.
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Fighting Feedback in a Telecaster

June 8, 2013
By addressing two of problematic areas, the following mods will dramatically reduce the chance of feedback.
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Preparing Your Tele for Future Mods

May 11, 2013
In anticipation of all the Telecaster mods we have in store, let’s devote this column to getting your pickups ready for the adventure. For starters, unstring your Tele and remove
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Time for New Bridge Pins?

May 11, 2013
Okay, you’re restringing your acoustic guitar and discover that a bridge pin is stuck. Now what? It could be time for new bridge pins or this could signal problems with
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Import Tuning: 3 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Strat

April 15, 2013
Replacing key components—such as the pickups, string nut, and tuners—can turn a workhorse guitar into a killer axe!
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Guitars from Thin Air

April 15, 2013
Imagining and drawing an instrument is only the beginning. You have to make sure that it will physically work. Shapes that look great on paper can be impractical to replicate in the real world.
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DIY: How to Convert Your Electric Guitar to a Baritone

March 27, 2013

In this step-by-step tutorial, Nashville guitar tech John LeVan demonstrates how to convert an electric guitar with a bolt-on neck into a growling baritone. He also offers valuable tips on installing tuners, adjusting a truss rod, filing nut slots, balancing pickup output, and setting intonation.

Also see our photo and text tutorial here.


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The Two-Pickup Esquire Wiring

March 11, 2013
Also called the “Broadcaster blend circuit,” this wiring is the transition circuit between the single-pickup Esquire and the Telecaster with its well-known dual-pickup configuration.
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The B-String Extender Myth

March 11, 2013
While adding higher-pitched strings to a bass was a no-brainer, the low B often caused problems.
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PRS Makeover: Blasphemy or Alchemy?

February 4, 2013
A longtime Premier Guitar fan scores an autograph-laden ''80s CE and struggles with the dilemma of keeping it all-original or having the PRS Technical Center update it to current specs.
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The Ultra-Flexible Esquire Wiring, PT. 2

February 4, 2013
Last month, we began a special project: We wanted to squeeze as many useable sounds as possible from a single-pickup Esquire [“The Ultra-flexible Esquire Wiring, Pt. 1,” February 2013]. And
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Squier Tele Makeover: Surf-Twang Tweak-a-Rama

February 4, 2013
Guitar guru Bill Hook turns a Squier Tele into a customized twang machine at a fraction of the price of custom-shop axes.
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DIY: Yuri Landman's Flying Double Dutchman Crunch Project

January 30, 2013
Experimental luthier Yuri Landman shows us how to turn a cheap axe into a raging sonic ghost ship with just a handful of parts and a generous helping of reckless abandon.
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DIY: How to Change Guitar Pickups

January 22, 2013

In this step-by-step video tutorial, Nashville guitar tech and bass builder Tony Nagy demonstrates how to replace an electric guitar pickup and offers valuable tips on disassembling, wiring, and reassembling a Fender Stratocaster.

Bonus! Curious what a Strat sounds like strung with medium flatwounds? Check out the short demo following this how-to video.


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