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Five Guitar-Tool Sets You Should Check Out

Whether for maintenance, repair, or setups, you're bound to get stuck between a rock and a hard place without the proper implements on hand.

Is there anything better than an excellent guitar setup to spark creativity and improve your (and your guitars’) performance? Doing it yourself and not paying for it! We’ve rounded up five stringed-instrument tool kits that provide everything you’ll need for basic repairs to setups.

GROOVETECH

Guitar Player Tech Kit
Complete with everything needed for a DIY setup, this kit also includes a quick-reference guide for setting action, intonating an instrument, adjusting a truss rod, and more.
$60 street
groovetechtools.com

STEWMAC

Guitar Tech Screwdriver and Wrench Set
This compact, no-spill case is only 5" long, but manages to squeeze in a 36-bit set that’s designed specifically for fretted-instrument hardware—from pickups to bridges to tuners.
$52 street
stewmac.com  

JIM DUNLOP

System 65 Complete Guitar Setup Kit
Jam-packed with everything needed for a quick string change or a complete guitar setup, this kit includes components such as a gig light, multi-action tool, a string winder, and more.
$80 street
jimdunlop.com  

ERNIE BALL

Musician’s Tool Kit
This all-in-one tool set houses everything from a 6-in-1 screwdriver and durable hex-wrench set to a microfiber cloth and some of the company’s Wonder Wipes.
$30 street
ernieball.com  

D’ADDARIO

Planet Waves Premium Guitar Maintenance Kit
A convenient way to keep your necessary guitar maintenance gear in place and at the ready, this deluxe kit includes a neck cradle, multi-tool, and a string winder.
$80 street
daddario.com
The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview
The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview on Johnny’s New Songwriter Album

The Man in Black returns with the unreleased Songwriter album. John Carter Cash tells us the story.

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This 1968 Epiphone Al Caiola Standard came stocked with P-90s and a 5-switch Tone Expressor system.

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (guitarpoint.de)

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (guitarpoint.de)

The session ace’s signature model offers a wide range of tones at the flip of a switch … or five.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. Not long ago, I came home late from a band rehearsal, still overly excited about the new songs we played. I got myself a coffee (I know, it's a crazy procedure to calm down) and turned on the TV. I ended up with an old Bonanza episode from the ’60s, the mother of all Western TV series. Hearing the theme after a long time instantly reminded me of the great Al Caiola, who is the prolific session guitarist who plays on the song. With him in mind, I looked up the ’60s Epiphone “Al Caiola” model and decided I want to talk about the Epiphone/Gibson Tone Expressor system that was used in this guitar.

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Slinky playability, snappy sounds, and elegant, comfortable proportions distinguish an affordable 0-bodied flattop.

Satisfying, slinky playability. Nice string-to-string balance. Beautiful, comfortable proportions.

Cocobolo-patterned HPL back looks plasticky.

$699

Martin 0-X2E
martinguitar.com

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Embracing the idea of an acoustic flattop made with anything other than wood can, understandably, be tricky stuff. There’s a lot of precedent for excellent-sounding acoustics built with alternative materials, though. Carbon-fiber flattops can sound amazing and I’ve been hooked by the sound and playability of Ovation and Adamas instruments many times.

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The GibsonES Supreme Collection (L-R) in Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst.

The new Gibson ES Supreme offers AAA-grade figured maple tops, Super Split Block inlays, push/pull volume controls, and Burstbucker pickups.

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