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March 2011 Letters

March 2011 Letters

Readers weigh in on the January and February 2011 issues.

Twisted Hero
Talented musician, devoted father, wonderful human being—Jay Jay French [“The Pinkburst Project,” February 2011] gives true meaning to the term “guitar hero.”
—Alison Richter
via Facebook

Heartbreaking and inspiring!
—Robert DiMaio
via Facebook

Thanks for the support of the magazine. The article looks great and really addresses the disease in more depth than I expected—and that is the most important thing to me. Uveitis is the leading cause of blindness among American girls, third outside the US. Thank you, Elianne [Halbersberg, “The Pinkburst Project” author] and the whole staff.
—Jay Jay French
via email

Thanks, Jay Jay. We were honored to be able to help share a touching, important story and stoked to be able to show PG readers/viewers such an amazing collection of gear. We send our sincerest condolences and wishes for a bright, healthy future to you, your family, and all other uveitis sufferers.

Ned Steinberger on Rick Turner

When I first met Rick Turner [“The Father of Boutique Guitars,” January 2011], near the beginning of my career, we were on opposite sides of a dispute about the use of molded graphite in guitar necks. His business partner at the time was ready to hang me from the rafters when Rick wisely stepped in to defuse the situation, saving us all from a costly and disheartening conflict. Later, I had a chance to work with Rick when he took a job as a consultant for Gibson, where I learned that his knowledge of guitars and the physics behind them is nearly boundless. From acoustics to wood and composites to pickups and electronics to strings and setup, Rick has studied and absorbed the art and science behind it all at the very highest level. Beyond that, his generosity in sharing his knowledge with me and many others should serve as a model for all of us who care about making the best possible tools for musicians. In the instrument-making world, overrun as it is with worn-out myths and misinformation, Rick is a beacon of reason and originality.

Rick is also a very talented writer. If there is any way that Premier Guitar could persuade Rick to share his technical and artistic insight in a monthly column, your readers, myself included, would be the richer for it.
—Ned Steinberger
via email

All I Got Was This Lousy Tour

You didn’t mention how darned nice everyone is at Ernie Ball [builder profile, January 2011]. I’m the very happy owner of a Music Man Axis Super Sport, and about 10 years ago my wife and I were driving down the Pacific coast on vacation. The road signs said “San Luis Obispo,” so I said, “That’s where they made my guitar. Let’s see if the factory will sell me a T-shirt or something.” We found the EB factory and the very nice woman at the reception desk told me they didn’t have any T-shirts, but asked if I could wait for a couple of minutes.

A few minutes later, someone—it could have been the factory manager—came out and apologized for the lack of T-shirts and asked if I would like a quick tour of the factory while I was there. We got a 30-minute tour of everything, with explanations and introductions to the people working there. It was wonderful. For someone at a company, any company, to take time out of what I’m sure was a busy workday just to talk to a customer and show him around the place was, to me, amazing.
—Jim Colburn
via email

While we don’t encourage fans of gear brands to bust into factories and workshops unannounced when standard tours aren’t already offered, we have to say that your experience is encouraging, And, in EBMM’s case, it’s not surprising. Unit sales aside, most manufacturers dream of having customers loyal to the point of wanting to take a factory look-see while soaking up some brand mojo. Thanks again to EBMM—and to all manufacturers who open their doors to factory tours for PG employees and readers.

In “The Pinkburst Project” [February 2011], we mistakenly referred to Jay Jay French as Twisted Sister’s rhythm guitarist when, in fact, he and Eddie Ojeda split guitar chores equally. We apologize for the error. In addition, after the issue went to press, the Pinkburst Project auction date was changed to May 1 to avoid conflict with Easter Sunday celebrations.

In our January 2011 profile of luthier Tom Ribbecke, we neglected to list CFO Len Wood as a key part of the partnership that formed Ribbecke Guitar Corporation. Sorry Len, Tom, and everyone else at RGC!

In the December 2010 Ask Amp Man column [“Souping up a Bassman 10”], we mistakenly omitted a phrase in the last half of the second paragraph under the heading “Getting Down and Dirty.” It should have read: “Another change you can make is to locate the .0047 capacitor that connects the Treble pot wiper to the CW leg of the Volume pot. This cap is limiting some of the Studio channel’s frequency range. Removing it and replacing it with a short wire will give the channel additional punch.”

Keep those comments coming!
Please send your suggestions, gripes, comments, and good words directly to You can also send snail mail to Premier Guitar, Three Research Center, Marion, IA 52302. Please remember to include your full name. Selected letters may be edited for clarity.