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Entry for May 2020's Guitar Of The Month is open - ENTER HERE!


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About NoSaintNick

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  1. Hmm, I'm using the latest firefox, is anyone else using it?
  2. Is the post body text bolding random characters for anyone else? Other text fields seem fine. It's also kind of strange that a two sentence post now takes up 90% of the screen real-estate.
  3. I definately agree with your philsophy of work and pricing. It's hard to gauge these things on your own sometimes but ultimately your working to provide for yourself so you need to charge accordingly.The fact that people view this as a dream job/hobby can unnecessarily cloud my judgement sometimes. It is a great way to spend your day no doubt.
  4. Thanks for the insite Rhoads. Would you say your market is big, small, lots of competition?
  5. So I recently had an inlay job that I think I undercharged for. It was my first time doing a full inlay retrofit so I wanted to be conservative in case I was a bit sloppy. It turned out great. The customer was happy, I was pretty happy (though it could have been 2% better if I paid closer attention on a couple cuts). It was an Ovation with basic dots. He wanted a set of pre-cut abalam blocks installed from the 1st all the way up to the 17th. I did have to recut one of them for a more consistent look (wider in one dimension but not thinner in the other like it should have been) so there was small bit of unexpected work. Being my first time I gave myself plenty of time, telling the customer four weeks. I had other things to finish up before I could start, in all the job took two. The process was enjoyable once I figured out how to approach it. I use a parot vise attached to a beam that extends out the edge of my bench. The jaw pads are pine so I planed those flat and clamped the neck in the vise. The jaws acted as a base for the dremel. I traced and scored all the blocks and got to cutting. There was plenty of hand work invloved even though they were simple block shapes. I died the glue and set each one in being careful not to get too much sqeeze out while making sure any gaps were filled. With each one set and dried I started filing and sanding them smooth. This was the bulk of the work. With the frets still on you have to file and sand across the fretboard grain, clean everything up going with the grain (a slow process only having an inch or under between each fret wire), and this being a black dyed rosewood board I had to dye everything I worked. Anyway, all said and done I charged $150 which works out to be $18.75 per inlay. Even though they were pre cut I think it was worth at least $25 per if not $30. What would you guys charge? (some pics of the finished job for reference)
  6. I agree though I think it has as much to do with the lower range guitars being used these days too. There's a certain smooth grind to SS distortion that I really like in the right context. I don't want to step on anyones toes or get into an argument about what sounds better but I always laugh at the strange attitude some guitarists have when it comes to tone, especially considering the analog vs. digital or tube vs. solid state arguments. Guys will poo-poo SS amps yet swear by "analog" pedals, without really ever realizing or caring that they're precious pedal board is mostly solid-state. I think SS amps just got a bad rap over time given the economics behind the technology. Amp makers saw they could build cheap amps in quantities they weren't able to achieve with tube amps and probably didn't pay as close attention to quality engineering or over all sonic appeal of each model since it was quicker and cheaper to get that many more out the door. It's certainly possible to make high quality, nice sounding SS guitar amps but not too many manufacturers bothered. Musical trends were changing too, popular musicians didn't cesessarily need great high gain amps when the switch started. New Wave was the new thing, clean chorused guitars where in, Robert Plant was crooning about big logs... As far as maintenence goes, certain models may or may not be more sturdy than some tube amps. nothing about the technology would make it more vulnerable. It's just that a lot of amp techs HATE working on surface mount boards, which modern tube amps may use as well, but it's even more difficult to deal with when everything is surface or through mounted on a dual layer board. So it's going to be more espensive to fix if you can even find a guy in your town who will deal with them. Most of the techs around here just don't bother anymore. Cheap amps (cheap anything really) just aren't made to be reparable. Anyway, I started to like the last Peavey Bandit I had. The last iteration of the "trans-tube" topology was pretty damn decent. All still solid state before they made the switch to the digital modeling vypyr seriers (which isn't bad itself).
  7. An electric passive pickup will probably scream like a banshee. The b-band doesn't have an aditional pickup input on board. The jack is already a TRS since the battery and and ground leads cannot be common when unplugged. Any blending would have to be done with a blend pot taking the output from the board and passive pup to the tip terminal of the jack. Then of course you have to deal with the impedance mis-match. If you can find a switching acoustic jack you may be able to pull it off without the extra pot and just use a Y cable to diffent amps but I'm not aware of any supplier making switching acoustic jacks (with the strap button and all that).
  8. First thing is to ask the customer which synth he'll be using. The VG-99 requires a an add-on board to accommodate piezo pickups. The GR-55 can use piezos natively but there are bugs. Go over to the vguitarforums and have a look at the issues that have popped up with the ghost/rmc systems. I'd sooner go with an internal GK kit. He'll have a few extra knobs and switches to deal with but it will give him less hassle in the long run, (not to mention that most people find the roland gk just sounds better with the modern guitar synths). edit: this explains the options in detail concerning the GR-55 http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=5043.msg34288#msg34288
  9. I haven't copied this myself, but this is how I would do it. The big thing with you gotta remember is to keep the inside bearing surface parallel to the outside surface or the retainer nut won't hold it tight. In the S it's hard to measure because the body is tapered and won't work as a point of reference. If you're building a flat body guitar then this isn't an issue and you can measure off the body itself and just wait to carve the body until after you've completed the jack step. Pick an angle you want the jack at, tape a T-Bevel set to that angle adjacent to where you'll be drilling to use as a rough guide. I'd probably drill the through hole first then come back with a larger brad pointed auger bit with a large pilot tip, (to help keep it stable), for the countersink. You may or may not have routed the control cavity yet, probably doesn't matter as long as you leave enough meat for the inner bearing surface. I think to get this surface you could rig up a router jig at the correct angle or if you have high quality chisels and know how to keep them sharp then it shouldn't be too difficult to copy the angle. Just go slow and keep checking your progress with the T-Bevel.
  10. I'm sorry to take this off topic a bit but do you have any plans for that router jig?
  11. I tried this with a shellac finish. The shellac was cut with alcohol so I used an alcohol soluble dye (black) thinking I could make it opaque. It doesn't work. Like Ken said, you need too many layers but it will also streak, especially if it's hand applied. The guitar I did this too turned out to look vintaged so I left it as is. Being my first guitar I was a bumed it didn't look as good as it could have but it is pretty unique to say the least.
  12. We use All parts wire in my shop. Check out the 0877-000. I have no idea what it's for but it's nearly twice as tall as the next size so I had to try it. Biggest pain I've dealt with. Too big for the bender, too hard and thick even for my bolt cutters (almost anyway, busted my knuckles when they'd snap shut). Once I got them in I just took the neck to the belt sander to dress the fret ends. They're in my Indian Jackson 7 string. Needed a new nut to accommodate the extra height. After all that hassle it feels great! Bends are smooth and effortless even with 11's. Instead of holding the note down towards the board and dragging the string across the fret you can really get under it and push without your fingers touching the board.
  13. If you already have a set of EMG's with the separate terminal block you won't have to solder anything. If you don't have the quick connect block you will have to do some soldering. Skill level is nill if you can solder and understand the diagram. If you don't yet have a soldering iron it's important to realize a good one will make a world of difference. Most beginners will do horrible solder jobs just because they have a POS radio shack iron that's either too cold for soldering ground connections to the backs of pots (this is especially true with emg pots!) or too hot (because there is no temp/voltage control) and end up burning everything. Here is a decent and affordable station with a voltage controller. tiny.cc/0iv4j
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