A Modern Vari-Tone Alternative…

Looks like a pot — but it's not!

In the comments on my post on the Mongrel Strat with the Obsessive-Compulsive Tone Control, reader Dave mentioned a related product: The Stellartone ToneStyler. I ordered one and popped in into my dual-humbucker Hamer 20th Anniversary guitar (which still boasts the Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa pickup […]

Twang Bangers, Vari-Tones & More Strat Strangeness

The latest Mongrel Strat (artist's conception).

Welcome to the second installment in the Mongrel Strat Series!

If I were a sensible person, I would have split this week’s experiments into several posts. But much like eating pistachios, it’s tough to know when to stop .

Anyway, this project tackles three topics:

1. Several readers […]

The PAF Strat

As threatened, here’s a closer look at Strat with PAF humbuckers used for my recent “God Only Knows” cover. Most parts are from the long-suffering guitar used for all the Mongrel Strat Project experiments. And this one is especially mongrel-ific, with its blend of vintage Fender and Gibson.

Obviously, Gibson pickups is a Strat […]

A New Tone Control Concept — or Is It?

Hey, smart people — let me get your take on this. I’ve been playing with a new tone control idea that’s so simple, I can’t believe no one’s done it before. (Chances are someone has.)

Here’s the idea: Conventional electric guitar tone controls employ a single pot and single capacitor connected to ground. As you […]

My Top Three Wiring Mods

Premier Guitar just posted my new article on three favorite electric guitar wiring mods. The concepts won’t be new to anyone who hangs out here — I’ve pretty much flogged them all to death! But the new article includes the step-by-step walkthroughs that I never got around to creating for this site, and PG art […]

The Fender TBX:
A Cool 2-Band Tone Control

You can TELL it’s Photoshopped! There’s no TBX!

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in on the “What your favorite mod?” discussion. I got tons of great ideas from your comments.

Like this one, which I’ve been meaning to explore for ages: the Fender TBX tone control circuit, which appears in several Custom Shop […]

Cool Prewired Guitar Electronics

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 […]

Tonefiend “How To” Articles

Here’s a running list of all the “how to” posts on this site, as opposed to the ones where we’re just hanging out talking crap. 😉

How to Install Pickups How to Install Onboard Effects. How to Install “Vintage” Les Paul wiring. How to Direct-Record Guitars. How to Install “Nashville” Tele Wiring on a Strat. […]

“Vintage” Les Paul Wiring: BS or BFD?

Which sounds better: modern or vintage wiring? The experts disagree!

There’s a wealth of information online about the relative merits of “vintage” vs. “modern” wiring in Les Pauls. And after reading page after page on the topic, I was more confused than when I started. So here’s an attempt to pinpoint the sonic differences […]

A Cool Alternative Tone Control for Bass

Looks vintage, but it ain't.

After auditioning so many different tone-control schemes over the course of the Mongrel Strat Project, I wound up with more tone circuits than I have Strats, so I figured I’d victimize a bass — specifically, a 1954 Fender P-Bass reissue with a Seymour Duncan Quarter-Pound pickup, which I’ve written […]