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Some Common Sense Rules to Buying and Selling Guitars and Music Gear on Craigslist, eBay, Reverb, etc.

I’ve been buying and selling on eBay for over 16 years, almost since day one of eBay; my history on Craigslist is about the same, and like many of you, I have started buying and selling on Reverb.  And so I propose that I am about as qualified as anybody to offer up some general guidelines for both buyers and sellers, so here goes! Sellers: You must provide GOOD detailed pictures of the item you are selling; expect to field many requests of “I need to see pics”!  If you don’t provide pics we all know that you are either: 1) a crook, or 2) a do-fuss.  Number one...

How To Adjust (Set) Pickup Height on a Telecaster for ULTIMATE TELE TONE!

I recently composed a blog in response to an email from one of my pickup affectionados in Germany asking a question that I realized is of ULTIMATE importance in Strat tone: “what is the best distance from the pickup to the strings for the best results?”  Since that time, I have received several requests to do a similar blog on Tele pickup height adjustment … and so, here we go! Once again, I need to make it clear that I am talking about real-deal vintage pickups and real-deal quality pickups like the ones made by Jason Lollar, Curtis Novak, Lindy Fralin, And myself. ...

Bogner Alchemist – Ultimate Sleeper Amp?

Hi-diddly do fair blog neighbors!  In my first couple years of this blog, I often featured amps that I considered “sleepers” … amps that could be bought for fairly cheap money and deliver more than expected.  I think it’s time to revive the sleeper-amp concept!  Let’s dig in with this week’s choice, the Bogner Alchemist.  Ready?  Let’s go! I clearly remember when the Alchemists first appeared in stores like Guitar Center, and the supporting ads in the guitar mags.  Man, they really caught my attention, at over a grand or so, they certainly were not...

Gibson Guitar's 2016 Line-Up, the Insanity of 2015 is OVER!

Did you hear that loud “Pop”?   For Gibson guitar lovers, it was a sweet sound.  Word on the street is that it was the sound of Gibson Guitar’s proverbial head popping out of a very, very dark place. Just in case you, dear reader, are the one guitar player who didn’t catch it, Gibson really screwed the pooch in 2015, imposing “improvements” upon almost every model guitar.  It was by all accounts guitar atrocities. The most offensive of which were: G-Force automatic tuning systemZero Fret Adjustable Nut Wider neck and compound-Radius fingerboard with flatter...

Search for the Perfect 10 (In a Quilter MicroPro Mach II)

Okay, this harkens back to the early days of my blog.  I’m basically taking you all along for the ride as I search for the best 10” speaker to pair with my new Quilter amp, a MicroPro Mach II.  I fell in love with the Quilter stuff at this Summer’s NAMM show in Nashville, and sweet talked them into selling me a head with an EMPTY 10” combo cab so I could choose my own speaker.  I’m a tube-amp guy, and I make my own … so my ponying up with some greenbacks on a decidedly solid-state amp is quite a statement!  In later blogs I plan to do a full demo on the MicroPro,...

Thiele/Small Sensitivity Specs: When Numbers Lie (or at least don’t tell the whole truth)

Every now and then I get a question on the forum something like this: “Speaker A has a listed sensitivity (SPL) of 99-db, and speaker B is listed at 98dB, yet you say speaker B is the louder one … what’s up with that”.  Okay, that’s an excellent topic for a blog, let’s dig in! In its pure form, Sensitivity is defined as the speakers’ ability to convert power into sound. The standard way of measuring a speakers’ sensitivity is using 1 watt/1 meter, meaning a microphone is placed 1 meter away from the speaker to measure the sound output (in decibels) with 1 watt of sound played through it...

How Much Is A "Partscaster" Worth?

Hi fellow tone seekers, great to be with you once again on this fine day.  Hey, hows about we talk “partscasters”?  In particular, let’s talk about the value of a partscaster in cold, hard cash.  Cool, let’s dig in.The partscaster phenomenon is in full-tilt boogie As I pen this blog, in the summer of 2015, I can say without reservation that the partscaster phenomenon is in full-tilt boogie.  From boutique “builders” charging multiple thousands of dollars for their beat-up and bolted together “custom builds” to the average Joe having a little fun in his garage, this trend...

Rare Gibson SG-Z Bass: From Weak to Whoo-Hoo With a Custom Pickup Replacement!

  I’ve ran into a handful of these super-cool bass guitars; they are in fact a tricked out EB-3 with cool visuals and two soap-bar humbuckers with a pickup switching system that allows both pickups to operate in standard series-coil humbucking, parallel coils, or dingle-coil … for a grand total of 18 separate pickup combinations!  Problem is … and this is a head-scratcher … Gibson put extremely low-output pickups in them … downright stupidly low!   Thundering bass, no way … more like a baby fart hitting a diaper! As a bona-fide tone nut, I Love, love, love the...

How To Adjust (Set) Pickup Height on a Stratocaster for ULTIMATE STRAT TONE!

I recently received an email from one of my pickup affectionados in Germany asking a question that I realized is of ULTIMATE importance in Strat tone: “what is the best distance from the pickup to the strings for the best results?”  Now that’s a question EVERYONE who owns or works on Strat’s NEEDS to know the answer to!I need to make it clear that I am talking about real-deal vintage pickups and real-deal quality pickups like the ones made by Jason Lollar, Curtis Novak, Lindy Fralin, And myself.  Those crappy Ceramic Bars glued next to steel slug things that come standard in so many...

Vintage Burny “Les Paul” … a Fake that’s Better Than the Real Thing?

Over the decades I’ve owned a fair number of what I call “big Boy” Les Pauls; you know,  the kind with full binding, extra-glossy finishes, and multi-thousand dollar price tags.  I have failed to bond with any of them in a sufficient enough manner to justify my keeping them.  It’s quite possible that the problem is that I’m just downright spoiled.  You see, I’ve had opportunity to possess … but never actually own … several 58 and 59 Pauls.  That WILL spoil you, they really are THAT good.  Okay, let’s cut to the chase … A couple months back a buddy of mine...

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