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 […]

Hey, Gang! Let’s Design a DIY Amp!

Let’s not just talk about one-knob gear — let’s design some! Any interest in conspiring to create a minimalist DIY amp?

Frankly, the intensity of the reaction to my recent One Knob Manifesto startled me. I had a general sense there was a growing interest in minimalist gear, but I was no idea the sentiment […]

The Lipstick Lab
New Experiments with Old Pickups

Do you ever get an idea that you just know is going to work out brilliantly? And then discover you were totally wrong?

That’s how it was when I finally reassembled my generic Mexican Strat with Duncan lipstick tube pickups. After I recorded a demoing of it here almost two years ago, the guitar lay […]