My Quiet Little Neighborhood

I finished up some post on little amps, and then went for a evening stroll around the block.

The Last Affordable Vintage Amps?

You can probably get cool tones from any old crap with a tube in it, such as this ’60s PA amp.

You can probably get cool tones from any old crap with a tube in it, such as this ’60s PA amp.

There were lots of interesting replies to last week’s post on small amps. Thanks for all the tips about some of today’s best tiny terrors!

The discussion reminded me of a cool old [...]

Small Amps for Small Spaces?

I've got a Tweed Champ kit, and I'm not afraid to use it. Or at least not VERY afraid.

I’ve got a Tweed Champ kit, and I’m not afraid to use it. Or at least not VERY afraid.

Why do they make amps so damn loud?

It’s not just a cranky question from a guitarist who’s drawing depressingly close to the “Get off my lawn!” years. I ask sincerely: Why?

Big amps make [...]

A High-Tech Plastic Guitar —
from Half a Century Ago

Plastic guitars are not a new idea!

Plastic guitars are not a new idea!

In comments to a recent post on 3D-printed guitars, we were discussing the pros, cons, and general aesthetics of instruments molded from plastic. But this isn’t exactly a new idea.

Back in the 1950s, luthier Mario Maccaferri conceived a line of plastic guitars and ukuleles. (This was [...]

3D-Printed Guitars?

The Atom guitar body was created on a 3D printer.

The Atom guitar body was created on a 3D printer.

During the Maker Faire a few months back, I wrote about the new wave of absurdly inexpensive 3D printers, and fantasized a bit about a not-too-distant time when many of us will be printing our own guitar parts at home.

Create Digital Music — [...]

Museum of Lost Effects: Klon Centaur

Klon hands

Overdrive from Heaven? Or hype from Hell?

Has any stompbox ever been as steeped in myth and legend as the Klon Centaur? Doubt it. Original Centaurs are extremely collectible, currently fetching around $1,500 on EBay. But for every player who drools over the prospect of obtaining this rare creature, there’s another who’s foaming at [...]

Cool Prewired Guitar Electronics

Prewired replacement electronics provide access to many popular wiring mods, minus the soldering.

Prewired replacement electronics provide access to many popular wiring mods, minus the soldering.

Larry Santellan of Santellan Sounds, maker of the Elec-Trix tone modules, sent me some samples to check out. These pre-wired circuits offer quick access to some of the “greatest hits” of alternate wiring, with an emphasis on Strats and Teles. He [...]

Those Mysterious Burns Pickups

A unique pickup in a "unique" guitar.

A unique pickup in a “unique” guitar.

I’ve never owned a Burns guitar, and I have only one with Burns pickups: a funky mid-’60s Baldwin Virginian I scored for $100 some 20 years ago. It’s a cheap plywood piece of crap — but it’s my piece of crap, and I’m quite attached to it.

[...]

A Tale of Two Pedalboards

Joe Gore's mostly analog pedalboard.

Is it just me, or do many guitarists these days find themselves alternating between separate analog and digital setups?

I’m posting some pics of my current pedalboards (bearing in mind that, for reasons I’ll get into in a sec, my pedalboards only tend to stay “current” for a few days at a time). Both were [...]

Museum of Lost Effects:
Morley “Oil Can” Wah

The mighty Morley Rotating Sound Wah

The mighty Morley Rotating Sound Wah

Two indisputable facts about Leslie rotating speaker cabinets: They sound awesome, and they’re approximately the size and weight of Rhode Island. Since the ’60s manufacturers have attempted to mimic the spinning-speaker effect in a more modest package. And one of the best mimics is the second exhibit in [...]