Double Varitone: A Two-Headed Tone Control

Awesome as it is, a double Varitone is unlikely to improve your sex life.

I was kind of stoked about my latest wiring experiment: a “double Varitone” scheme I installed in my DIY “Kitschcaster.” I’ve written about these multi-capacitor tone switches a lot on this site, but this is the first time I’ve tried using a similar scheme to cut bass frequencies. The result is a lot like the […]

Capacitor Smackdown! Does Cap Type Matter?

Cap Pot

Oh man, I’ve been wanting to do this test for ages! A direct comparison between capacitor types in a standard guitar tone circuit.

So who’s right? The Tone Illuminati who discern dramatic tone improvements after installing vintage/audiophile caps? Or skeptics who say those perceptions are delusional? Does cap type matter at all?

You tell me.

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Kitschcaster: An Experimental Fender/Gretsch Hybrid

I just completed my third DIY guitar experiment using Warmth parts. This one is a wacky Fender/Gretsch hybrid with a semi-acoustic Fender Starcaster body, a reverse, angled Strat neck, and various Gretsch-like elements, including TV Jones Filter’Tron pickups, a Bigsby/Vibramate vibrato, and a vulgar silver-sparkle finish — a tribute to the Gretsch Silver Jet, […]

A Cool Wiring Diagram Worksheet

Check it out! Reader Mike Taylor tried to share this cool wiring diagram worksheet in the forum, but sadly, my meager WordPress forum plug-in doesn’t support uploads. It’s so handy and nicely done that I present it here. (Right-click to download.)

It’s an MS Word file, with the graphic elements for pickup wiring […]

Next Victim! A New DIY Guitar

Look what UPS left on my porch: the neck and body for my latest ill-advised “parts” guitar project. I’ll be slapping it together in the coming days, but I couldn’t resist showing off the pretty parts. The body is Warmoth’s Mooncaster model, which is based on Fender’s semi-hollowbody Starcaster, a quirky cult guitar if […]

DIY Zero Hour!

You can build an awesome-sounding designer distortion pedal for about $45. (Joe’s hand sold separately.)

Have you been reading about DIY guitar effect projects for years and thinking about giving one a shot?

Here’s a good excuse: Premier Guitar just published my “Build Your Own Stompbox” article, which just may be the most ambitious […]

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 […]

Museum of Lost Effects:
Interfax Harmonic Percolator

Few guitar pedals can rival the cult cachet of the Harmonic Percolator, a singularly ugly distortion stompbox produced in minuscule numbers in the early ’70s by Interfax, a small company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And guess what? They sound ugly too, though they’re ugly in a cool and useful way.

They don’t get much […]

Odds & Ends & Pixies

Oh man — the gods have been generous this week.

I just received from Warmoth all the parts for my next DIY guitar. I loved testing eight sets of P-90 pickups for Premier Guitar, but I don’t own any P-90-eqipped guitars.I will soon, though!

This one will be a bit of a platypus — […]

Bigsby + Vibramate + Les Paul

It’s a holiday miracle! The 30-minute Bigsby tremolo installation.

Sometimes it pays to write for a guitar magazine!

My old pal and Premier Guitar colleague Andy Ellis hipped me to the Vibramate, an adapter that allows you to install a Bigsby tremolo on many types of guitars with no drilling or other permanent modifications […]