Category Archives: The Tone Garage

Is There A “Pop Sound”?

Discussions about how to get “that” tone are usually centred around a particular genre. It’s easy to discuss rock, jazz, metal or country tones, because the genre itself carries an implication about a rough tonal ballpark. When we talk about rock, we immediately bring to mind various overdrive and distortion sounds. Jazz makes us think of that warm, articulate clean tone. Metal is all about crushing distortion, and country musicians can’t get enough twang. Continue reading

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Hot Rod Guitars Of A Bygone Age


The 1980s are a difficult era. On one hand this era was awful: tight lycra pants, big hair, the rise of the synthesizer… One the other hand, the 1980s were amazing! Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Winger’s debut album, Metallica’s first string of albums, Megadeth’s first few albums, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms… Timeless bands and albums, written and recorded in the 1980s. I am sure I missed a ‘few’ amazing 1980s acts and albums! The impact the 1980s had on us, guitar players and guitar lovers, is unmistakable and undeniable. Not in the least due to the amazing guitars the 1980s spawned unto the world! In this article I wish to take a look at some common traits of the best 1980s ‘shredstick’ guitars, as well as some neat wiring tricks those guitars had! Continue reading

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Solving Floyd Rose Troubles With Guitar Surgery!


A buddy of mine bought a replacement guitar for his beloved Strat. The neck was just too worn out and instead of buying a new neck, he just got a new guitar! He chose something very close, a Mexican-made Fender strat, factory loaded with a Floyd Rose tailpiece and a humbucker in the bridge position. Unfortunately he was having major issues with his Floyd: it just wouldn’t return to its neutral point! Continue reading

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Playing in the Present


What? Of course we are playing in the present. I am playing right now! Is that present enough for you? Playing in the present isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds, but it does require some focus and effort. Well, this article will help our playing stay in the present, as well as some tips to play in the past and for the future too. Hold on, as it is going to get bumpy.
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What Are Potentiometers?


As guitar players we’re familiar with the volume and tone controls on our guitars. Potentiometers (pots) – or variable resistors – have been used for decades on guitars, effects and amplifiers. There are two distinct types of potentiometers that we typically use for these applications: linear (often abbreviated as “lin”) and logarithmic (log or audio). Each of these types of potentiometers are used for specific applications, but first let’s break down what a potentiometer is, and how it works. Continue reading

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Reader’s Choice Metal Amps

"...But I'll hurt you worse."

When the question “What’s Your Favorite Classic Rock Amp” was posed to Seymour Duncan readers a while ago, some very clear choices arose. So it seemed the next logical extension would be to detemine readers favorite amps for metal. We knew there might be some crosstalk between lists, but for the most part metal is its own beast, and prefers an amp capable of something way more assertive and aggressive than anything that could be considered “classic.” Some amps are just versatile enough to cover both territories. However, rather than just do another “Top 4″ list, and since readers mentioned multiple models from various manufacturers, we’ll try to expand on many of the amps mentioned in the “metal” realm. Still, it’s no surprise the first choice was the… Continue reading

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What is MIDI and How Can I Use It?


Anyone reading through the specs of an effects processor or has ever bought a keyboard has seen the word MIDI. What is this crazy thing, and will it make my guitar sound like an 8-bit Atari game? Am I going to … Continue reading

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My Versatile HSS Wiring Scheme

Looks groovy but sounds groovier, baby.

Guitars with one humbucker and two single coils always seem to be a compromise. The idea is to get that chimey, jangly, quack from the neck and the middle single coils and the rock and roll from the humbucker in the bridge position. The HSS (which stands for humbucker-single-single) pickup configuration gained popularity in the 80s, much like everyone’s favorite haircut, the mullet. And much liked the maligned mullet, we get, in theory, business in the front and party in the rear. This article is my take on this pickup configuration, and how I came up with a way it could work for me. Continue reading

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New Schecter Guitars in 2014

Schecter KM-7

From humble beginnings on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys, California to their spacious new facility in Sun Valley, Schecter has always been know for quality. At first for their finely-crafted replacement parts, mostly Fender-licensed fare, but seriously, unquestionably top-notch parts. And then anyone who’s a fan or old enough remembers the PT, that classic two-humbucker Tele-styled guitar that Pete Townsend rocked all through the 80s. Continue reading

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Taking It To Passive

Bass Control Cavity

We all do it. Buy a new instrument, play it, say it’s the greatest thing, and then start pouring through the Seymour Duncan website, looking to get that little bit “extra” out of your sound. For many bassists (myself included), this usually means installing an active preamp into your bass. But what about those folks that have an active bass but want to make it passive? Yeah, it happens. Continue reading

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