Sound Test: Wood Neck vs. Aluminum Neck

I’ve been wanting to try this A/B test for ages. I recorded my lipstick-tube “parts” Strat/ Then I replaced the MIM Fender neck with an aluminum neck from Alef Guitars before playing the same music through the same signal chain. The sound contrast is dramatic, consistent, and repeatable.

Is an aluminum neck for […]

Meet the Quesocaster! A New DIY Guitar Experiment.

This is my fifth and latest DIY guitar experiment using Warmoth parts. Most of the tech details are in the video, but I’ll share a few additional experiences and impressions.

I’ve been thinking about making something using the Fender Swinger body profile for a couple of years. My earlier Kitschcaster used Wamoth’s […]

The Best Band I’ve Ever Been In

A bright moment in a dark year was being asked to join Another Night on Earth, an international collective of electric guitarists performing classical music.

They say you’re a lucky musician if you get to work with players who are better than you. If this is true, I’m really frickin’ lucky. […]

The Dobro EBow No No

As if this year wasn’t sucky enough: I tripped on the sidewalk ands fractured my left wrist. I’ll be fine in a few weeks, but I had to put a hold on a couple of projects in progress.

But there are a few things you can play when your forearm is in a […]

Music from A Plague Year

Hi folks! I created this video during my initial COVID quarantine, but I cleverly forgot to post it here at tonefiend.com.

When COVID struck, I was in Mexico City, working on a MTV Unplugged special with one of my all-time favorite bands. (I can’t share the details yet.) But the project was postponed when […]

Will You Be My Friend?

This guitar blog has been around since 2011. The site remains active, and I reply to almost all comments. But I’ve posted here less frequently as my focus has shifted from text to video.

I post frequently to YouTube. Please visit my channel. And if you find anything worth your time, please subscribe. […]

New Pedal: Purr Vibrato

About frickin’ time! I announced this new Vibrato pedal at NAMM 2018. Now it’s time for NAMM 2019, and Purr is finally available and in stock at Vintage King.

Why so long? As soon as we finalized the prototype and designed the new circuit board, a crucial part suddenly became unavailable. ARGH!

It […]

Loopocalypse Day 7 (of 17): “Lujon”

I’ve been obsessed with Henry Mancini’s music for decades. Here’s an example of his “tropical” exotica side.

My Mancini loved deepened after I joined Oranj Symphonette, a ’90s band founded by cellist Matt Brubeck (Dave’s son). It’s fascinating how accessible and catchy all his tunes are, even though you realized they’re incredibly weird and […]

Introducing Cult Germanium Channel

I’ve just tested the first final production model of my long-promised Cult Germanium Channel. As usual, it sounds even better than my funky hand-built prototypes. These will be available in just a couple of weeks from my distribution partners, Vintage King.

There core circuit is the same as in my Cult overdrive. I’ve added […]

Tom Wheeler, R.I.P.

I just learned that longtime Guitar Player magazine editor Tom Wheeler has died. No details have been disclosed yet. [UPDATE: Apparently Tom succumbed to a heart attack while leaving a family gathering.]

Tom not only gave me my first job in guitar journalism — he gave me my first proper job ever. When he hired […]