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Entry for September 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!


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Everything posted by Ronkirn

  1. to me choosing ash, mahogany, maple, alder.. et al., to define a specific tone is analogous to choosing a specific ethnicity to define a specific logic... Sure as a whole a Native American (I'm part such) may have a basis for logic defined by their culture,, but its not a fact that all Native Americans would come to a uniform conclusion simply because they're Indians,,, the same is true of Asians, Africans, Europeans, Inuit, Latina, etc, etc.. while each culture will have produced a specific "coloration" to their logic,. it not "carved in stone" that they do so. Our World is replete with those of one culture that meld easily into another... same for the woods... while not quite as the predicate for heated discussions, a piece of Swamp Ash, usually "accused" of being snappy sounding, can easily be used in a guitar with other more predominant, characteristic... it's just not cast in stone.. Or... just because you use Alder, your guitar is not gonna sound like your favorite guitarist that also plays an alder guitar... rk
  2. well, ya see.. that's a subjective call.. if you don't care for Carlos, no harm, no foul, you simply avoid Santana.. as for me, I personally I like him and would give a boatload of whatever is required to play like him with his apparently sucky tone... Point is, I rather doubt that anyone ever walked up to him, short of a producer or sound tech, and told him is tone sucked... with any of all those different guitars he's been seen with over the years... Wood does contribute to the sound.. but it does so in concert with everything else that is also contributing... It contributes in the same fashion different ingredients contribute to a complex "dish" a chef may be preparing... How does a tomato taste? If you grew up as a Latina.. you have one composite reference... say, Salsa. or as an Italian, quite another... yet there are very few actual ingredients that change the taste of Spaghetti sauce to that of Chili .. You can only take very basic knowledge to the shop to choose a guitar with a very generic tonality based on the wood its made of.. I can guarantee ya there';s a lotta Mahogany bodied guitars with humbuckers out there playing very convincing "Metal." and equally, a lotta solid heavy Alder with active pups playing amazing Jazz, Blues, C&W ... If you cannot use the information to actually steer the construction of a guitar to produce a specific tone, or choose a guitar made of a specific wood with the assurance it will make you sounf=d like that wood is supposed to... it useful as nothing more than academia for conversation on a forum.. Like, Mahogany sounds how?? Jerry Garcia? Peter Frampton? Chet Atkins? they all played Mahogany enough times to be identifiable..yet none sounded even remotely similar other than .. drum roll please.. They all sounded like electric guitars... It;'s NEVER gonna be the guitar or what its made of that dictates the style music or how it sounds... Never... its YOU .. you at your best will sound like you... the guitar, . . any guitar is your "paint brush" it gives you the opportunity to be a Matisse, a DiVinci, a Picasso, a Dali.. none of those guys were defined by the paint brushes they chose.. they were artists.. how "bout you? Now.. go make sawdust like a real artiste r
  3. the internet is now replete with examples of guitarists playing guitars made of bazaar materials. Stuff like Concrete, Cardboard, sheet metal, plastics, carbon graphite, etc., etc., etc. in every case there is one common denominator... a good guitarist... Not once in my over 50 years of being involved with guitars have I ever seen a demonstration where a sucky guitarist was handed a superb guitar, he stumbled through a few riffs, and every one stood there amazed at the horrible playing BUT stunned by the amazing tone... not once... in every case when someone is demonstrating superb tone... there is a superb guitarist at the helm... funny how that happens . . . every time,, but the way guys speak about their favorite wood, pickups, paint, caps etc... you would think all you gotta do is screw 'em on/into your's and bingo, you instantly become a virtuoso... the gear's got very little to do with how you sound,, very little.. in the early 60's I met a luthier that maintained Andreas Segovia's guitars.. as a Kid I was not impressed by Segovia, but he owned what became my personal Mecca for things guitar... the American Music Store here in Jacksonville, his mantra was... Tone is defined and generated in this order... The guitarist's skill and talent,, the amp, the acoustic signature of the room in which the guitar is being played.. after you get through that rather significant labyrinth.. you start to encountered the physical makeup of the guitar.... since there is such a complex consortium of materials contributing, it's a useless proposition to try to quantify what is doing what... its not individual parts.. it is A guitar.. the guitar has a voice.. you hear that, not some piece of wood, a bit of dry paint.. some glue joint... the pickups... you do not hear parts you hear the sum total of it all.. If you cannot take some knowledge of a part's sonic contribution to the shop and order a guitar that makes THAT sound the predominant tonality... then any discussion of such is useless... the parts sonic contribution is only a random occurrence.. you want a guitar that sounds good... that's the purview of the luthier.. you do not want a guitar that sounds like some bridge or a set of pickups... because no one gives a hoot... there's been a lots of home projects assembled from the finest "stuff" that wound up sounding like cack... until it falls into the hands of a good guitarist... it's, can you play or can you not? IF you can, no one cares what you're playing our how, and what its made of... they just wanna be amazed by the superb music... and if you cannot, no one cares either, they just want you to stop making noise... No one has ever, to my knowledge, walked up too a superb guitarist and said, Man,, you rock, but the tone of your rig sux.... and no one to my knowledge has ever walked up to a poor guitarist and said, Man you suck, but your tone is drop dead gorgeous.... What's the common thread in that calculus? the guitarist... You can do more for your tone by practicing religiously for a few months than by burning your rig and stealing Clapton's .... Its not the gear, its never gonna be the gear, its 100% what you can do with the gear you presently have at hand.. However should you feel the need for something astounding... there's this old fat bald guy in North East Florida . . . rk
  4. that's exactly how I do it... however note.. to do so you must have your parts available... despite all the hoopla, parts guaranteed to be to specs.. are usually specced out in Chinenglish .. not SAE standards.. Having your parts at the ready allows you to "dry fit" them as you proceed, that way you know when the lacquer is dried and polished, everything;s gonna work out within the margin of correction allowed for by the adjustments ., r
  5. actually that's misinformation, Poly is very nasty stuff... and I'd take huffin' Nitro over Poly any day if the choice was mandatory. r
  6. I would try Lowes or Home Depot and see if either one offers Deft... in the Spray can it's available as a real solvent based Nitrocellulose .. it is among the easiest to use... the "stuff" you selected uses the humidity in the air to cure... all I could say is try it on a test piece. if it cures hard enough to sand with 240 or so.. then it'll be fine. But some of the rattle can Polys can take an extended time to harden, all the time acting as a "fly paper" for any thing floating around in the air.. r
  7. place the neck plate on the back of the body... get it visually straight etc... mark the center of the holes... drill them... DO NOT worry if they are not exactly evenly spaced on the back of the neck.. that doesn't mean squat.... you cannot see them.. you CAN see that neck plate. get THAt straight.. Drill the holes through the body with a 3.16 inch bit... it's pretty much the "industry standard" After that.. I clamp the neck in the pocket.. take a 3/16 brad point drill. then stick it in the hole.. tap it lightly, the brad point will leave a mark on the heel of the neck... drill your 1/8th pilot hole,. and you can figure the rest... r
  8. think of it like golf... lotta amateurs buy a set of clubs, yank the driver outta the bag and hit the driving range pounding balls every which-a-way except straight.... and continue until their hands bleed.... thing is.. the driver is used maybe 10 times a round..(for those that have a basic understanding of the game) . . . however the putter.. something few ever practice seriously, is good for about 30 = 40 strokes a round for the amateur..... a little practice with THAT thing and you can shave some real numbers off the old handicap... Learn the unglamorous stuff first.. its where the real difference between a "store bought" and a good project guitar exists.. r
  9. that's close to absolutely correct.... but I'd suggest just finding a beater first... take it apart... do the frets.. and put it back together.... several times... focus on mastering the fret leveling and setup... without that anything you build will be little more than an assemblage of parts... it takes the setup to convert that into a musical instrument... here's some "stuff" I did decade ago.. perhaps it will help;p as you enter our hobby.. Ron Kirn http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Tele_template-illustrated-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Tele-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Setup-reader-spreads.pdf http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/201556-fret-leveling-yer-tele-101-a.html http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Strat-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Strat_template-illustrated-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Nitro-New-reader-spreads.pdf http://www.tdpri.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/104487-ok-so-i-promised-here-ya.html
  10. If you're building a conventionally available model.. like a Stat or Tele...get your hardware, pick guard and neck, unless you're making it... then use the parts to make sure everything aligns visually on your drawing... little things like the bridge not being situated evenly spaced in a cutout in the pickguard like on the Strat or Tele can scream amateur... as can having the margins around the edge of the pickguard uneven relative to the edge of the body.. just little things... here's some "stuff" I did a number of years back that might help.... http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Tele_template-illustrated-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Tele-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Setup-reader-spreads.pdf http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/201556-fret-leveling-yer-tele-101-a.html http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Strat-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Strat_template-illustrated-reader-spreads.pdf http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Nitro-New-reader-spreads.pdf http://www.tdpri.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/104487-ok-so-i-promised-here-ya.html Ron Kirn
  11. just for the record..that "Strat" is as phony as a room full of politicians... probably nothing on it that OEM Fender.. rk
  12. I have to agree... I've seen some of his other posts over the years... Generally the "science" is based more on internet hooplah than actual reality.. the simple truth is the tremolo has inherent flaws... to advert them you have to have a deep understanding of the mechanical fiuunctionality AND the metallurgical properties of the alloys used to make the strings... fortunately... superb guitarists have managed to navigate the foibles of tremolo annoyance and still produce superb music, through the years, you can too.. there is no magic spring placement, etc that will solve the problems.. and as long as the guitar is setup well.. You will do well... one point, where he says "string tension on the top has to equal spring tension on the back" is absolutely correct.. but what he apparently is unaware of is that tension is "filtered" through the tremolo pivots... or . . . you cannot have more tension on the treble side and less on the bass side... the cumulative tension of all the strings collide with the mechanics of the fulcrum point(s) and the string side "sees" it as all the same, not a bit from one string, and more from the next string.. The number one problem with Tremolo issues is the way guys use them... Dick Dale used them correctly, most of the "banger" groups use them incorrectly... If you try to rip the mechanism from the guitar to achieve some kinda dramatic effect you will be successful, the effect will be consistently out of tune guitars... Its a tremolo, its NOT an FX . . rk
  13. I'm sorry but a mechanism that has moving strings trying to glide over fixed brass is gonna be problematical at best.... every time you hit the Bigsby, the guitar will return to an out of tune condition... Its bad enough with a tremolo and a bridge designed for them, but over a fixed bridge... I hope no one in the group can hear tuning anomalies acutely... r
  14. the problem is the strings "dragging" back and forth across the fixed saddles... talk about tuning issues.... you're far better with a bridge designed to move in sync with the strings.. here's a few to give ya some ideas.. rk
  15. well. . next time.... file the slot.... heat the screw with a solder tool... that melts the resins in the wood which acts as a glue when you first run the screw in... back it out... always drill a pilot hole.... and use wax on the screw to act as a lubricant when you run it in... and pro tip . . NEVER use the screws that come with parts.... with the possible exception of a few of the better known boutique parts makers, they all use the cheapest junk they can find.. made of inferior steel... replace the screws with quality Stainless steel screws,, you can usually find them at the local large chain Hardware store, Like Ace or True Value.. or the monster stores like Home Depot or Lowes... or on line at MCMaster-Carr .. the only time I use the original supplied screws is if there are no Stainless substitutes available,, and then, I;m really very careful. rk
  16. one of the primary issues with thin wooden pick guards is the warpage.... I circumvent this by laminating a veneer to a piece of bakelite, then shaping the pick guard from that.... stays dead flat for as long as its a pickguard.... It can be finished in many ways... rk
  17. Quite possibly the finest, most articulate, well balanced and most versatile of all pups can be found here,.,, http://wildepickups.com And at the insanely low prices Becky still asks, they are the "deal of the Century" rk
  18. I don't know what ya have in mind, but you may wanna explore Q-Parts knobs, the have quite a proliferation fo different "looks" and are of superb quality. rk
  19. On LP types the slot depth is the thickness of the typical headstock veneer, about 1/16 inch on the headstock side and whatever that dictates on the fingerboard side... the precise depth is not even remotely important as long as there is SOME depth to it on the headstock side. You also must keep the truss rod nut in mind... you want enough wood to receive the truss rod cover screw IF your cover has a screw located in the center. rk
  20. don't sweat it.. take a piece of sandpaper about 100 grit (not particularly important) place it on the neck fingerboard then scrub the nut back and forth until you achieve the raidused bottom.... this is a pretty common solution. rk
  21. Yeah, the UK,, sit it out to dry and year later it may be more damp than initially.. r
  22. One of the main mistakes guys make in creating their ultimate guitar is incorporating too much in the way of electronics... the signal can be compared to a stream... the water flowing will seek any and all areas where it can leak out, or become turbulent... While, all the time water arrives at the mouth, seemingly undisturbed... However if it was possible to seal all the places where it leaks out or becomes turbulent.. the volume and intensity at the mouth would increase substantially,, Similarly... the induced signal.. flowing along the circuit.. every time it encounters some kinda interruption, some signal leakage occurs... the more "junk" ya have in the path, the more of the signal leaks off... Unfortunately, the part of the signal leaking are the higher frequencies... and that's where positive attributes like articulation, clarity, presence, and that "cut through the mix" characteristic all are found... Chip away at those attributes enough and you wind up with a beautiful guitar that sound as bland as yesterday's cold grits.. one other factor many aren't aware of.. when you split a Humbucker... you decide the DCR, usually around 7.5k in half... in the split mode, you only have a coli of about 3.? k.. which results in a precipitously lower volume. Since the human ear perceives lower volume as inferior sound, particularly when compared up again a higher volume... instantly by pulling the switch.. more times than not the split mode is a bit of a disappointment. were it me, I'd find a considerably less complex circuit and let the signal free... rk
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