Category Archives: The Tone Garage

My Favorite Low To Medium Output Hybrid Humbuckers

The cool Custom Shop sticker on the back

I love guitars. I love pickups. I love to tinker. So why not combine that? That must have been my thought when I started making my first hybrid pickup – that and the thrill of doing something that hadn’t been done before. I’m always looking for new dimensions in my tone and I believe the two hybrids I’ll describe in this article got me to the point where I believe I have very little need to tweak nowadays. Continue reading

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Schecter Releases The KM-6

Schecter has just announced the launch of the Keith Merrow KM-6 signature 6-string guitar. Based on the design of the highly lauded KM-7 it sticks with the same simple look and annihilating tone that has made it highly desired and recommended … Continue reading

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Reader’s Choice: Top Amps For Blues

"It's a tweed thing, really..."

Generally the blues isn’t about flash or effects. It’s more about feeling. It’s characteristically a down-and-dirty affair: the sound of fingers and strings, wire and wood. Did Albert Collins, Lonnie Mack or Stevie Ray Vaughn need MIDI-switching? NO! (Though to be fair SRV did switch between and combine a couple of amps for his signature tones – nothing wrong with that either). For the purposes of this discussion, however – we wanted to know what one amp would be your top pick as a blues guitarist. Continue reading

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The SD Custom Shop: Bass Edition

Lakland Skyline 44/64 Precision Bass with SPB-4 Pickups

Ever since I got the SPB-4 Steve Harris Signature Pickup in my Lakland 44/64 bass, I’ve been pretty happy. Out of all the Seymour Duncan Precision Bass pickups, this one is easily my favorite and sounded the best out of all the other SD pups that were in my bass. But, restless spirits being what they are, I wondered if I could change the sound again which, after looking at the pickups again, wandered over to the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop to see what they could whip up. Continue reading

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My Favorite Hybrid Humbucker Set

Double Cream... that's as home made as it can get!

I made a hybrid of the JB and the Full Shred for the bridge and a ’59/Jazz for the neck. I was stunned. Floored. One might say, in love. Continue reading

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Reader’s Choice: Cover Tunes That Are Better Than The Originals


The true test of covering someone elses’ song is making it your own. That’s no easy feat, and while there’s a tonne of cover versions of classic and contemporary tunes, only a few stand the test of time. Even more rare … Continue reading

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Best Guitar Pickups For Epiphone


Epiphone is well loved by many for their semi-hollow bodies, their range of selection and affordable prices. You may be ready to pull the trigger your first Les Paul style guitar but your credit card may refuse such a purchase – an Epiphone LP is a good alternative. Continue reading

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SD Mini-Humbuckers and the Hofner Beatle Bass

The Hofner Violin Bass is an icon in and of itself, due to one particular musician that happened to do pretty well in the 60s. It’s also an interesting instrument, because while it is classified as a short scale (30″) … Continue reading

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Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Strats

You want it all? How about the Everything Axe?

The Fender Stratocaster is a pretty unique instrument. I mean, just think: when it came out, natural finishes were all the rage, and other than its cousin the Telecaster, electric guitars contained their acoustic roots in the shapes, colors, and sounds. But the Strat changed everything. Leo Fender heard the music of the 1950s changing. He tapped into the Southern California hot rod culture for his color palette and refined his ‘easy to assemble with a versatile sound’ design in the Strat. While they were still available in natural and sunburst, he later added those colors we now call ’50s colors’ like Shoreline Gold, Seafoam Green, Shell Pink, and Daphne Blue. It is hard to imagine what they must have looked like on the walls of a late 1950s music store. With all the custom finishes available today, we have to give our thanks where it all began. This article is about the top five things I love about a Strat. Now, I’m using a pretty broad brush here, and including Strat-a-likes (I have a Warmoth, as well as an ’82 ‘The Strat’), as well as some shredsticks too, which wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Leo and his design team. Continue reading

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The Ins & Outs Of Effects Loops


If you’ve been a guitarist for more than five minutes, you’re pretty familiar with effects. Effects can morph our plain guitar sound into something from outer space or just make it seem a little bigger than it actually is. There are many different kinds of effects out there, and many theories stating the ‘correct’ order of effects in your Chain of Sonic Domination. Continue reading

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