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Esoterica Electrica

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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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Charlie Christian Pickup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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The Unplanned Obedience Test

The Unplanned Obedience Test

January 9, 2013
One of the things I love about the musical-instrument business is how the market itself constantly outwits and torments manufacturers.
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Everything at Hand

Everything at Hand

December 10, 2012
While still in high school, a friend and I embarked upon the creation of an amplifier company in the basement of my parent’s apartment building.
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When Neck and Body Meet

When Neck and Body Meet

November 5, 2012
A guitar’s neck joint is one of the most critical components in the transfer of vibrations—but it’s not always just about tone. One option is the glued-in, set-neck joint,
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Adventures in Tone Travel

Adventures in Tone Travel

October 8, 2012
Imagine your guitar’s tone vibrations as little commuters zipping down the strings with the intention to proceed into the wood grain and then back again.
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Guitars and Pop Culture

Guitars and Pop Culture

September 5, 2012
There have always been commercial products vying for consumer dollars via the lowest common denominator, and musical instruments are no exception.
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The Ultimate Luxury: Experience

The Ultimate Luxury: Experience

August 10, 2012
Most everyone has heard the term “boutique” applied to musical gear.
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Sum of the Parts Guitar

Sum of the Parts Guitar

July 9, 2012
Whether you’re building from scratch or performing an upgrade or mod, there is no shortage of aftermarket guitar parts available for your project. Following simple guidelines may help you
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Keeping Your Head on Straight

Keeping Your Head on Straight

June 14, 2012
Why don’t all guitars sport sturdy, break-resistant pegheads?
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Off the Grid

Off the Grid

May 11, 2012
Analog instruments are links to our most basic and real selves.
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Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

April 6, 2012
Over time, I’ve become fond of what some might call imperfection. It might be a flubbed note on Live at Leeds, or a semitone of flatness on a Neil Young vocal.
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Guarding Your Guitar

Guarding Your Guitar

March 9, 2012
Pickguards are an easy way to customize your guitar, but different materials may slightly affect your instrument’s sound. If you’ve ever wondered why some guitars sport a pickguard and
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Finding the Perfect Fretboard

Finding the Perfect Fretboard

February 10, 2012
There are quite a few fretboard parameters that can be tweaked to achieve a wide variety of outcomes.
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