The Do's and Don'ts of Modifying Guitars. Dipped In Tone Episode 25



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43 Comments

  1. The Km6 mkii is great, I have the one with Seymour Duncans… the Schecter SLS neck is choice. Brandonwound pups are amazing! I acquired a pair of his humbuckers in a guitar and I was immediately hooked.

  2. Speaking of modding a guitar into something it's not: I rescued and restored a double-cut Les Paul Junior-inspired build made by an excellent luthier (Jillard Guitars, he's awesome) that some knucklehead had the brilliant idea to replace the wrap-around tailpiece with a Tele bridge (he also swapped the original custom-wound P90 with a GFS soapbox humbucker, though that wasn't as debilitating as the Tele bridge)

  3. A reality of string gauge which I know from playing classical guitar is that heavier gauge strings provide greater drive for the acoustic response of the instrument. When you're playing nylon string in a performance (not recording) setting you always feel like the sound just disappears and you want all the help you can get. Now volume is not an issue with an amplified guitar, obviously, but consider the acoustic contribution to feel and tone. You may not always want more of this response, but you can get it from a heavier gauge string. Different gauges will be more appropriate depending on the guitar. For instance, for a jazz hollow body I don't think I'd ever use 10's, always 11's. For my Ibanez 335-style I use 11's, for my Gibson ES-335 I use 10's. 10's on the Strat, 9's on a Tele, 11's on another Tele (just because, and it works), 9's on Ibanez RG. I use 14's on an Epiphone 17 " L-5 style which I use for Freddie Green comping with a big band. The point is, if you have a guitar that can "take it" and seems to need a heavier string to take full advantage of what the wood and design can do acoustically, then use a heavier string. I have also had guitars where I could hear that the lighter gauge sounded better, more complex, and had a better feel/response.

  4. Comparing an Epiphone to a Gibson CS is kinda a strawman example (I know. Lots of people make it). I doubt anyone in the CS market is looking at the Epiphone going, "But I could just toss in a couple of pickups into the Epiphone, save $5k, and it's the same thing!" What likely happens more often is the person looking at the $2.5k 60's Standard or the $1.5k Special might be eyeing the Epiphone equivalent asking that question. We know, say, a Fender Player and a Squier CV aren't miles apart in quality, for example. It seems reasonable to move up the line and ask how the CV stacks against, say, an American Performer. The real interesting version of those questions comes at the closer edge cases, not the extremes of the scale.

  5. thanks for mentioning Joe P. just like with video, so much good content you dont even know exists out in the world its hard to keep up with. and also: awesome show, great job!

  6. Love original fuzz straps. I end up buying a strap for every electric I buy then including with the sale if I do end up passing it on. People appreciate it.

  7. I have to pass along the best mod I have ever attempted. A 10 way switch for my strat made by Stew Mac …no drilling into the body…provides 10 pup options including all three active and 5 options using wiring in series or parallel. The series to my ear is a bit louder with boosted mids—need to try this on a 89 HSS Ultra Strat with lace sensors;)

  8. For me, the big takeaway is matching the pots to the pickups. I did a pickup and wiring swap, which overall turned out great, but I didn't know that a standard Les Paul wiring kit might not be the best match for the TV Jones humbucker-sized Classics I was putting in. The pickups sound great for the music I currently play, but the taper is not smooth.

  9. Hey man. 498ts are not that bad. Better than a Duncan Custom. That said mine’s in a drawer.

    You might be thinking of the 500t, which might be the worst pickup though. Maybe that was the pickup you had

  10. Pot Shootout! I’ve been looking into it and there are some choices. Not only that, but companies like CTS not only make pots for other companies, but also have variations within the ones they have available.

    The last Blow Jobamassa video I saw, he said something along the lines of the the Centrallab pot being more imptortant that the pickups in one of his (many) bursts.

  11. Yes….. do the intro track!! 😉

    – about treble bleed – Philip McKnight has a great video about that
    – about upgrading your guitar – Philip talks about this in his podcasts often and it is in line with what Rhett mentioned. Make sure you keep your original parts and if you want to sell your modded guitar – put it back to stock and re-use the parts in another guitar or sell it seperately

  12. Guys, its a pod cast. Were here to hear you talk, not listen to some intro song. Start the stream, question wether audio levels are right for 3 minutes like everyone else, and get into it.

  13. Hot ridding my guitars has always been part of the hobby of playing for me. (Effects pedals and amps too). I love making things mine, something no one else has. Even if that’s just like putting different knobs on a pedal. But the guitars are the fun part. I’m building a Warmoth right now and have been designing it on paper for years. What I want doesn’t exist and I’m very happy to be getting exactly the guitar I want and doing the work of assembling and finishing. It’s a learning experience too. I recommend everyone getting to know the inner working of their instruments and being able to swap a pickup or tuners etc

  14. "Done right and done once."

    Fam, the most recommended guitar tech in my area butchered the neck route on my Coral Longhorn. Twice. I'm trying to build the courage to try and fix it myself, because Like hell I'm going to sink more money into people ruining my stuff.

  15. Mod for function and feel with well formed intentions. Fret and neck work can drastically improve playability. Control mods can add versatility. Both can be very rewarding when finished but they do require certain amounts of research, practice, and patience.

  16. Modifying your guitar makes more sense than ever with the inflated prices of gear these days especially of used. The argument used to be that if you just saved your money instead of modding you could upgrade with a better used guitar. Not as easy to pull of these days. My Squier Affinity Tele was $180, put in new pots, caps, treble bleed, 4-way switch mod, and pickups to bring the total to $350. Now it’s an absolute killer and you can’t get even a beat Mexican Fender for that. Of course there is no resale value – but hell if I care…

  17. A lot of people throw money into a guitar when realistically they need to invest in a better amp. I say this because I’ve chased that rabbit.

    You guys have a great thing going. I look forward to your videos every week. Great content. Great banter. Keep crushing it!

  18. Treble Bleeds are evil. They just sound bad to me. Gibson style 50's wiring all the way to retain treble. I even use 50's wiring in Fender style guitars. It kills on a Tele. It is the only way to go. And Zach is way wrong when he said that a guitar cleaning up is a logarithmic thing — it is actually a signal strength thing. Guitars with linear pots clean up too, you just have to turn them down a little more, which is the whole point of a linear pot – it has a more gradual taper. I use linear pots for volume controls with 50's wiring on all of my guitars. Try it sometime, you'll never go back 🙂 or maybe you will – whatever. Rhett is spot on that tuning gears usually have little to do with tuning stability – 99% of the time it is the nut.

  19. The Troy Van Leuwen Jazzmaster is my current dream guitar and I’ll get it one day. Love it. One of my favorite guitarists who is woefully underrated.
    It still has the Lead/Rhythm control he changed it to a toggle instead of a switch. Idk how no one thought of that before.

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