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Thoughts on Modifications, Partscasters and Kit Building, and DIY Guitar Making in general

Analysis PlusBen CroweBig Leg CircuitsChristopher OwenCrimson GuitarsDarrell BraunGear MaintenanceGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitar Gear RetailGuitar MaintenanceGuitarsPaul Reed SmithPRSSchallerSeymour DuncanThe Tone KingWarmoth Custom Guitar Parts+-

This article was inspired by a number of things really, but most recently triggered by a few YouTube videos - by Louis The Tone King and Darrell Braun. I’ve been an avid follower of Louis, Darrell and one Ben Crowe over at Crimson Guitars for a few years now. I have watched all of Ben’s crazy guitar builds and have for a long time been tempted to go on one of the Crimson Guitar Building Courses and make my own axe as it were.


In my recent feature about Guitar Tuning ...

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Latest Spaceman Auction Accelerating to a Closing Flourish

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGuitar Gear RetailModulationOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpring ReverbTremolo+-

As reported elsewhere on this blog, I have something of a love-hate relationship with the venerable Spaceman Effects marque and its store-front - Spacelab Orbital Workshop. The latter sees alternating bouts of super limited special flash sales and slightly more leisurely auctions - as is occurring right now on and is the theme of this piece.


I was late to the party on Spaceman Effects, in fact taking a most unseemly hiatus from my teenage years through to just a ...

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Pedal Mania IV - 2018 Mid-Year Update

12 Degrees of SaturationBarn3Bearfoot FXBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioCryBabyCustom TonesDelayDiezelDistortionDr ScientistDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEventideFuzzGuitar Gear RetailHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioMI EffectsModulationMu-TronOrigin EffectsPedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchReverbREVV AmplificationSource AudioSpaceman EffectsStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestUtilityWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-

My pedal chain has never sounded better, and it’s the closest it’s been yet to achieving my end game of having the perfect pedal in every slot. Of course some slots are more multi-use than others, and some have a plethora of exceptional pedals available for rotation. While many slots have pretty much permanent residents now too.


There has been a lot of movement in the first 10 slots, with really only the Tuner at #1 and Compressor at #7 holding firm for now. Even though the...

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Comparative Guitar Pedal Acquisition Strategy - 210 Compact Pedal Edition

Analog.ManBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioCustom TonesDelayDistortionElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFulltone EffectsFuzzGreer AmpsGuitar Gear RetailHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsJRADKeeley EngineeringKHDKMad Professor EffectsMI EffectsModulationMojo Hand FXMythos PedalsNobelsPaul CochranePitchReverbRockBoxSide EffectsTC ElectronicUtilityWamplerWren and CuffXotic Effects+-

I am known for writing lists and cross-tabulating and cross-referencing the contents thereof while I consider which is the best / preferred choice for me. Note that there is never really a ’best’ overall pedal, simply the one that best fits your circumstances and needs. I have lots of characteristics and attributes I look for - including a compact pedal enclosure size, with versatility and added smarts - great tone is sort of a given here. I an one of those tone-tweakers who quite ...

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Preferred Online Guitar Gear Retailers and Why Gear ResourcesGuitar Gear

I think whichever way you cut it, retail is essentially about CHOICE - about your preferences really - what price level you want to shop at, and what is available to you at that price range. Of course the more you know about guitar gear, the wider the range you are likely to be interested in, so it fits that your preferred vendor has the largest product range available within your budgetary preferences.


The internet of course has given you access to far more than ever before - meaning ...

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Guitar Gear / Pedals 12-Point Precision Condition Grading Scale

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There are few things that annoy me more than inaccurate quality gradings (and pricing therefore) when buying a variety of items on various online marketplaces. Over the years I have acquired Vinyl (records), Japanese vinyl figures, art, and various gadgets and devices from all sorts of origination points - Most of Europe, North America, the Far East (China, Japan, South Korea + Singapore) and Australia + New Zealand. And standards of grading can vary significantly from one seller to another.


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Guitar Pedal Directory - Favourite Pedals by Preferred Pedal-Makers

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This essentially started as a companion piece to the previous / associated ’More Pedal Chain Delight’ article. I’ve since tagged on a whole heap of additional pedals which are of interest to me by those brands/makers already covered in my blog posts - these may or may not be universally acclaimed to be the best by said maker - they are purely my own preferences. I have a sort of ongoing dynamically adjusting wishlist where I log potential acquisition targets and weigh them up ...

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The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability

Ernie Ball Music ManFeaturedFenderGibsonGretschGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Gear RetailGuitar MaintenanceGuitarsIbanezJacksonLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsMachine Heads and Tuning PegsMetal GuitarsOffset GuitarsPaul Reed SmithPRSRickenbackerSchecter Guitar ResearchSG-Style GuitarsS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsT-Style Guitars+-

Note - follow up article [here]


Many a owner of a vintage guitar has experienced the difficulty of keeping the guitar in tune. There are a couple of factors here that are critical to tuning fidelity. Firstly, get over the hangup of having to use the original tuners - you really need locking tuners for any reasonable peace of mind. Locking tuners are available in a vast variety of shapes and types, including various vintage-inspired ones, so it should not prove to be problematic to find...

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Gibson Outplays PRS at its Own Game

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When PRS started shipping guitars in 1985 it was as a challenger to the hegemony of the then rather old-fashioned Gibsons and Fenders. PRS always prided itself on quality and versatility, alongside modernity of design and stunning and colourful paint finishes.


I myself had fallen into the trap of perceiving Gibson as somewhat staid in its approach, and even though I am not a particular fan of gloss neck finishes, I have to say that Gibson has hit a major home-run with the 2017 Model ...

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The Guitar Price to Quality Ratio

Guitar Build QualityGuitar Gear RetailGuitar Price to Quality RatioGuitar QualityGuitar Quality AssuranceGuitarsPaul Reed SmithPRSPRS SES-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsStudent Edition+-

As you good readers will know - I already have a full-fat American PRS CE to my name, and I recently acquired a Korean-made Mark Holcomb Signature PRS SE for my Birthday. The PRS SE has a slightly longer scale length (25.5" vs 25"), and a hard-tail tray-style bridge rather than the CE’s classic tremolo, but otherwise the guitars are quite superficially similar.


There’s no question these are both beautifully-made instruments, but there are several subtle differences seasoned...

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