Secret Room: The Big Countdown

Can you believe it’s almost March? But February won’t officially creak to its conclusion until we announce the winner of the first big prize in our Secret Room giveaway. Yep — come the first, we will be awarding a $1,000 Godin Natural Summit CT to the author of the most most popular user-submitted tone […]

Meet Mongrel Strat #1

Three "mismatched" Duncan pickups in an off-the-rack Mexican Strat. (Left to right: Lipstick Tube for Strat, Alnico II Pro Staggered, Twang Banger)

As previously threatened, here’s the first installment in a series on unusual Strat pickup combinations, inspired by a big box of Duncan pickups and a couple of prewired “BYOP” pickguards. I tried […]

Expensive Picks, Part 2: V-Picks

Sixteen Current V-Pick Models (clockwise from upper left): 1. Ruby Red Traditon Ultra Lite; 2. Tradition Lite Sapphire Blue; 3. Chicken Picker; 4. Euro; 5. Nite-Glow Medium Rounded; 6. Pearly Gates Medium Round; 7. Medium Rounded; 8. Dimension Buffed Smokey Mountain Series; 9. Ruby Red Medium Pointed; 10. Dimension Junior Buffed; 11. Pearly Gates […]

The Mongrel Strat Project!

I've got a box of strat pickups and I'm not afraid to use it!

Okay, this should be an interesting experiment!

I’ve scored a box stuffed with wildy varied Seymour Duncan replacement pickups for Strat™ guitars, plus a couple of the company’s just-announced BYOP Liberator Pickguards. (These are prewired pickguard assemblies, minus the actual […]

500 Dirty Cool Secrets!

It’s official — we now have over 500 cool users’ tone secrets over in The Secret Room. Want to learn a foolproof method for adjusting your pickups? Great advice on surviving soundchecks? Simple but brilliant wiring mods? Words of wisdom about technique and musicianship? It’s in there — along with lots of hundreds of […]

Vintage Meets Not-So-Vintage:
The 59/Custom Hybrid Humbucker

Seymour Duncan's 59/Custom Hybrid humbucker is a compromise between a vintage PAF and a higher-output pickup.

My ears perked up when I heard about Seymour Duncan’s new 59/Custom Hybrid bridge humbucker. I’d never tried a pickup that combined coils from two very different pickups — in this case, the ’59, a vintage-accurate PAF, and […]

The Secret Room, Week 2

There are a LOT of secrets out there . . .

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a week since we launched the Secret Room site. Hundreds and hundreds of guitarists and bassists have posted cool tone tips. Thanks to all those who’ve been generous enough to share their secrets. I can’t believe […]

About Those Expensive Picks . . .

UPDATE: I’m proud to announce that the first part of my report on high-end picks has been selected to appear in the debut issue of Pure Guitar, a new digital guitar mag whose editorial staff includes my two music journo mentors : Tom Wheeler and Jas Obrecht. Also on […]

The Secret Room, Day 2

It's a world of secrets out there . . .

Holy cow! I had no idea there were so many secrets out there, and so many players eager to divulge them!

In other words: The Secret Room project is off to a roaring start, with hundreds of cool submissions, and I’m working overtime to […]