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All Stratocaster Pickups 25% off, and Strat Pickup Winner announcement!

Hello Fellow Tone Seekers! It is our pleasure to announce this month’s winner of our Vaughn Skow Pickup give-away of 2017 … (drum-roll) … Brian Downing.   Brian will be receiving the Vaughn Skow Strat set of his choice.    Pickup giveaways will continue throughout 2017; to enter see: THIS BLOG. Strat players who did not win: take heart!  Throughout the month of September, ALL Vaughn Skow Strat sets are 25% off!  No code needed, the prices on All Strat Sets...

Decoded: The HiLo-Tron and Goldfoil (Ry Cooder) Pickups

Decoded: The HiLo-Tron and Goldfoil (Ry Cooder) Pickups Over the past few years I've re-built hundreds of pickups; many are the well known Fender style single coils and Gibson style humbuckers.  However, I also work on and build a lot of lesser known models.  I'd like to talk about two of these, the Gretsch style HiLo Tron and the most famous of all "Goldfoils", the one in Ry Cooder's "Coodercaster".  Ya ready, let's dig in! The reason I decided to group these two very different designs together...

A Tribute To Wayne Whelan

Wayne Whelan was one genuinely cool guy.   In the music biz, everyone trys to be cool; Wayne didn't try ... he just was. An educated electronics engineer, Wane was usually the smartest guy in any room, but you'd never guess it because his intellect was only overshadowed by his down-to-earth modesty.   A true "man of the world" in every sense, Wayne traveled the globe as an electronics engineer with the United States Air Force during his young adult years.  Out of the Service, he became a true loudspeaker expert,...

The Rare And Wonderful BK Butler Mini Boogee / Matrix Tube Overdrive Pedal

BK Butler Mini Boogee Matrix Tube Pedal Hi gang!  So this will be, for the most part a video blog.  I recently sold my stupidly rare Mini Boogee Pedal, but I made a little demo video before shipping her out.  These things are legendary!  There is lotsa chatter about these among serious players, but most folks have never even SEEN one in real life.  BK Butler made only a few of these by hand from 1980-1981, then Randall Smith (Mesa-Boogie) asked him to use another name and in 1982-84 he made a...

A Salute To Megadeth Bassist and Co-Founder David Ellefson

A Salute To Megadeth Bassist and Co-Founder David Ellefson So, as I pen this blog I'm sitting in a small coffee shop on "main street" in my hometown of Jackson Minnesota, which sits right on the Minnesota/Iowa line.  This is farm country plain & simple.  But something seems amiss; the background music playlist is an interesting mix of Metal spanning several decades ... yes, Metal, as in Heavy.  Then there's the clientele!  In a town barely large enough to warrant a dot on many maps, the folks...

A Salute to Buck Owens and The "American" Guitar

Howdy folks, as I pen this blog it is approaching the 4th of July and I just read this fun little blog about "The Most Patriotic Guitars Ever".  It was a fun read ... but ... it left out what I feel is probably the most Patriotic of all guitars, those famous Red, White, & Blue beauties played by guitar pioneer and mentor to sooo many, Mr, Buck Owens.  Let's talk about that. Buck and his right-hand man, Don Rich created the famous "Bakersfield Sound"; many serious Tele string-benders will flat-out tell ya that...

Can Your Gear Make You Play Better (or Worse)?

Can Your Gear Make You Play Better or Worse Howdy my fellow tone addicted friends!  First a tiny jaunt down memory lane (not such a great memory btw).  About six years back I did a toung-n-cheek blog on "How to Achieve Terrible Tone"; in this blog I described a band I ran into where the guitar player had in fact produced the worst tone I had ever encountered.  I thought it was funny as all get-out.  The guitar player had two clip-on tuners, plus two tuners on his pedal-board, plus one built into his amp ......

When Working on EL84/6BQ5 Tube Amps, You MUST know This about Pins One and Two!

Okay Gang, take a close look at these two side-by-side pics.  Do ya see the problem here?  On the left is the current pin designation for a EL84/6BQ5 output tube; what's connected to pin one?  Nothing!  Now, to the left is a detailed look at the way the EL84/6BQ5 tubes are wired on the vintage Kent amp I just had on the bench (read my last blog).  What???  Why are they sending the signal to PIN ONE of those tubes??!!  Don't they know that pin one goes to ... nothing??  Well...

Vintage Kent DR45 Tube Amp - Lotsa Cool on the Cheap!

Vintage Kent DR45 Tube Guitar Amp Amplifier Fiends, I can't say that I've EVER ran across an amp that has me scratching my head more than this Kent DR45.   Most of us above the age of about 40 or so at least recognize the KENT name, as quite a few Kent branded electric guitars were sold during the 1960's and early 1970's.  However, the amps are quite a bit more rare, and this model is nearly rare enough to be termed a "Ghost Amp".  She's a cool ghost, too!  With a pair of 12ax7 tubes in the pre-amp section and...

How to add a “Dog Ear” P-90 Pickup to a Vintage Kay Archtop F-Hole Acoustic Guitar

Hey WGS gang!  Earlier this week I had a sweeeet old Kay in the shop to have a pickup installed (could have just as easily been a Harmony, Silvertone, etc).  We wanted the traditional P-90 in the neck position with a single volume and tone control.  Cool … but, there are some problems with this.  So how did I do it, well keep reading and learn! The biggest issue was that a traditional P-90 is deep enough that it would require cutting a mounting hole in the guitar’s top, and...

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