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Articles by Jol Dantzig

Esoterica Electrica: The Right Job for Tools

August 18, 2014
Do you have the right tools to make repairs on your axe?
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Jol Dantzig's Esoterica Electrica: How to Buy a Guitar

July 18, 2014
Some keen advice on shopping for an axe.
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Esoterica Electrica: Control Freak

June 17, 2014
Jol Dantzig ponders control placement on electric guitars.
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Esoterica Electrica: An Axe to Grind

May 13, 2014
Jol Dantzig draws a parallel between the closing of U.S. “axe” factories and U.S. axe factories.
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Esoterica Electrica: Pawnshop Plywood Chic Comes of Age

April 13, 2014
The “mystery wood” warriors of yesterday and today.
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Esoterica Electrica: The Incredibly Smart and Simple Strat

March 13, 2014
What is it that makes the Stratocaster so special?
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Esoterica Electrica: Building to a Price

February 18, 2014
How do builders balance costs and features when creating a guitar model?
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Esoterica Electrica: Dime-a-Dance Guitar Romance

January 14, 2014
When you buy a new guitar, do you expect it to last a lifetime or will you replace it in a few years?
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Esoterica Electrica: How Rivalry Spawned a Classic Shred Machine

December 11, 2013
The design theory and drive behind the super-strat classic Hamer Californian circa 1988.
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Esoterica Electrica: Remake or Remodel?

November 25, 2013
Sometimes a guitar’s visual mojo eclipses its sonic capabilities.
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Esoterica Electrica: The Underappreciated Button

October 21, 2013
How different would the guitarist's world be without this little feature?
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Esoterica Electrica: The Guitar as Cultural Icon

September 23, 2013
What is it that keeps the guitar in our minds and hearts? Is it the instrument’s flexibility or its power to inspire social change?
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Esoterica Electrica: The Yin and Yang of Creating a Limited-Edition Guitar

August 19, 2013
Explore the mysteries of headstock angle and learn what subtle details a luthier has to consider when designing a new model.
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Three’s Company: The Pickup Placement Paradigm

July 18, 2013
Why do guitars have two or three pickups? Why not four, or even six for that matter?
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The Amplifier Wars

June 18, 2013
In the early days of rock, high power and huge volumes pushed equipment to the limit.
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Guitars Worth Leaving Behind

June 6, 2013
An interesting yet disturbing trend of late in the vintage-guitar market is perfectly correct instruments being parted out to meet the demand for rare hardware.
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Sucking the Sap From Tonewoods

May 11, 2013
Because wood is porous, even boards that have been carefully and correctly dried must be stored in a controlled environment or the moisture content will shift. We all love
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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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Standards of the Industry

March 11, 2013
With the availability of standard parts like the potentiometers shown here, along with today’s CNC technology, are most modern-day guitars actually built, or are they really just assembled?
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Private Domain: The Sound Ethics Laboratory

February 4, 2013
Today’s increasingly sophisticated technology is making it easier and easier to identically duplicate the sound of a particular manufacturer’s instrument, amp, or effect. Once cloned, who then really owns
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