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Upkeep

ARTICLES

Bass Bench: The World of Finishes

October 12, 2018
Wood requires protection—especially from moisture—and there are many ways to get the job done.
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Mod Garage: Fighting Fret Wear

June 22, 2018
What does a vintage barber shop have in common with advanced fret maintenance?
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Acoustic Soundboard: Just Say No to Cracks

April 23, 2018
A crack on your prized guitar might feel like the end of the world, but it can be remedied if you follow a few easy guidelines.
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Mod Garage: How to Shield Single-Coil Pickup Covers

March 2, 2018
Can you get benefits of shielding without sacrificing high-frequency shimmer? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
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Cheap Thrills! 12 Hacks Under $12

February 16, 2018
It’s easy to repurpose everyday items to help you maintain your equipment and play better. Just learn to think sideways.
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On Bass: Low-End Life Hacks, Part 2

January 31, 2018
Even good habits can be hard to break, but if you occasionally try, you might discover a better bass modus operandi.
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Acoustic Soundboard: Humidity—Friend and Foe

January 16, 2018
Tips for maintaining a moisture level that will keep your acoustic guitar happy and healthy.
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The Environmentally Conscious Guitarist

January 5, 2018
Sorry Kermit, it is easy being green. From recycling and repurposing old gear, to the larger movement for harvesting sustainable woods, we explore ways players can soften their impact on the natural world.
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Speaker Geeks: Got a New Speaker? Show It Some Love

December 25, 2017
As with all things guitar, a little patience can yield big dividends.
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What’s in a Neck?

November 30, 2017
If you’re lucky, your guitar neck can feel as familiar and comfortable as an old pair of jeans, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Discover the ABCs—make that the CUVs—of this crucial appendage.
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Bass Bench: Horror Stories from the Repair Shop

October 6, 2017
Sometimes it makes sense to acknowledge your limitations.
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Mod Garage: Build a Pickup Phase Tester, Part 2

June 25, 2017
When installing replacement pickups from different manufacturers, it’s a crap shoot whether they’ll be in phase with each other. This fun DIY project helps you avoid out-of-phase nightmares.
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Ask Amp Man: A Space-Age Gibson Titan Gets Relaunched

June 11, 2017
A rare find from 1964 lands on the workbench and is up and running after a little ground control.
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Mod Garage: Build a Pickup Phase Tester, Part 1

June 2, 2017
Do you like to try out different pickups in your guitars? This handy, inexpensive device will spare you a lot of potential grief.
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Bass Bench: Yo! Another Universal Guide to Great Bass Tone

May 23, 2017
Is there a shortcut to great sound and feel?
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Bass Bench: Gig Preparedness

May 5, 2017
Being ready to step onstage involves more than knowing the material and how to dial in your tone.
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Speaker Geeks: Wiring Up a 4x12 Cab

April 19, 2017
When it comes to moving air, it’s hard to beat a 100-watt head driving a full stack. Here’s how to manage the series-parallel wiring at the heart of this classic configuration.
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DIY: How to Refinish Your Axe

April 18, 2017
StewMac tech guru Erick Coleman on how to give your instrument a sweet new look in five easy steps—sans fancy tools.
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DIY: How to Set up Jazzmasters & Jaguars

April 12, 2017
Offset addict Michael Adams reveals setup secrets for making Fender’s ingenious, sorely misunderstood axes sing.
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Acoustic Soundboard: Imperfect Pitch

April 4, 2017
Being perfectly in tune is virtually impossible, but understanding all the factors involved (and a little cheating) will help you get as close as possible.
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