December 2016

Guitar & Bass Mods

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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Humbucker Pickups in an Esquire, PT. 2

December 10, 2012
Fig. 1. Wiring diagram for 3-way operation of the Chopper T Bridge pickup. Diagram courtesy of dimarzio.com In last month’s column, we began exploring options for installing a humbucker
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Humbucker Pickups in an Esquire, PT. 1

November 5, 2012
In recent months, we’ve been exploring wiring options for the Fender Esquire. This time around we’ll continue our journey by investigating Esquire-friendly humbuckers.
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Bass Necks: Adjustability and Resonance

November 5, 2012
Fig. 1: Do you like to experiment? Try shifting a neck’s resonance by adding temporary mass with a clamp. In their quest for tone, most bass players experiment by
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The Tapped Esquire Wiring

October 8, 2012
Fig. 1. This schematic shows how to wire a tapped Telecaster bridge pickup into an Esquire. Diagram courtesy of seymourduncan.com For the last few issues, we’ve been investigating the
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DIY: How to Set Up a Fender Stratocaster

October 8, 2012
Arguably the world’s most popular electric guitar, the Fender Stratocaster is a marvel of sonic and mechanical engineering. But setting it up correctly can be a challenge, even for experienced players. Here, ace Nashville repairman John LeVan walks you step-by-step through the setup process and shows you how to make your Strat play like a dream and ring like a bell.
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The "Luthercaster" Esquire Wiring

September 5, 2012
Nicknamed the “Luthercaster,” this is the guitar I play onstage with our local Johnny Cash tribute band.
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DIY: How to Convert a Flattop to Nashville Tuning

August 10, 2012
Turn your spare acoustic into a sparkling wonder that transforms songs from mundane to magical.
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