Samick Motherlode

December 2014

Articles by John LeVan

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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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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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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Understanding Frets and Fret Wear

March 11, 2013
The condition of your frets will determine how well your guitar plays.
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Fighting the Humidity Battle

February 4, 2013
Have you ever wondered why your guitar plays great one day, yet feels completely different on another? Suddenly the fret edges are sharp or the action has shifted and the
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Time for a Neck Adjustment?

January 9, 2013
With a few simple tools, you can adjust your neck and be back in business in just a few minutes.
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How to Balance Pickups on Strats and Teles

December 10, 2012
Adjusting pickup height sounds simple, but pickups that aren’t adjusted properly can cause problems.
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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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