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 — [...]

Happy Humbucker-Sized P-90s!

Just in time for the single-coil holiday season: my comparison review of 16 humbucker-sized P-90 pickups is live at Premier Guitar. This heartwarming holiday fun-fest has it all: Mouth-watering adjectives. Freshly baked audio clips. Irate manufacturers. Don’t miss it!

This was a fun, if challenging project. Comparison pickup reviews are such cans [...]

Blood on the Workbench

Small puncture, big pain.

I was trying to decide which self-indulgent experiment fascinating project to demo this week when my hand slipped, driving a sharp soldering iron tip into the meat of my fretting-hand index finger. It didn’t hurt all that much—until I tried to play. Ye-OWCH! (No, of course I wasn’t using the [...]

A Lo-Fi Acoustic Guitar Pickup

Part acoustic, part electric—but 100% bitchin’.

This post is inspired by in interview I just did with Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson, a cool dude and a deep player. I’m digging the band’s new album, World Boogie is Coming. (And for better or worse, that praise comes from someone who hates almost all modern [...]

Tonefiend Book Week is Coming!

Next week at tonefiend we’ll be talking about our favorite guitar/music books. I’ll write about some of the titles I find especially useful, inspiring, or entertaining, and I hope you’ll chime in with some of your recommended reading.

Since there’s so much potential material here, I suggest we focus on a different book category [...]

Grüße aus Musikmesse

It’s wet. Will it be wild?

Howdy from Frankfurt, where I arrived this afternoon to attend Musikmesse. United Airlines was its usual scuzzy self, though a nice flight attendant found a place for me to stow my guitar. And my pedalboard seems to have arrived in fine shape, even though I had to checked [...]

Demo: Fishman TriplePlay Wireless MIDI Guitar System

I’ve installed TriplePlay on the homemade strat.

For the last few months I’ve been working with Fishman on the documentation for TriplePlay, their long-awaited wireless MIDI guitar system, which will finally ship this quarter. I had a blast demoing TriplePlay at MacWorld a few weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to doing so again [...]

Who Dares Predict Our Fretboard Future?

We care about the future, because that's where we will be spending the rest of our lived.

“We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” — Criswell, Plan 9 from Outer Space

UPDATE: Wow, I can’t believe all the cool stuff folks have been posting to comments. I find myself feeling quite inspired about the future [...]

The Great Epiphone Swindle

You don't have to spend $6.706 to sound like a punk.

You don’t have to spend $6,706 to sound like a punk. And don’t ask what the six cents are for!

My pal Linda B. is a killer rock and roll drummer who also plays a pretty mean guitar. She’s decided to form an all-female Sex Pistols cover band, with her assuming the duties of [...]

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 [...]