Category Archives: The Tone Garage

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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The Difficulties In Amplifying An Acoustic Guitar


Acoustic guitars have always presented a problem when playing at higher volumes. Back in the day (as the kids say), if you wanted a louder acoustic guitar, you bought a bigger acoustic guitar. Bigger bodies = more volume, as there is more wood to vibrate and project the sound towards the listener. But what if you have to play a big club or theater with hundreds or thousands of people? Huh? HUH? You could get a guitar the size of the stage itself, but I bet you wouldn’t like how it sounded! This article will explain some of the difficulties that acoustic guitarists face when wanting just to be heard. Continue reading

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Know Your Amp: Different Kinds of Tubes


If the transformers are the heart of your amp and the preamp is the brain, then the soul must be the tubes. But the thing is, there are so many tubes available, how can we discern the differences? Continue reading

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How Do Humbuckers & P90s Differ?

The humbucker, with its single bar magnet under the coils, is generally less gritty, crunchy, raunchy or dirty than the P90. Let’s compare a few ‘vintage’ styled pickups Seymour Duncan has to offer. Continue reading

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What Is The ‘Woman Tone’?

Gibson Les Paul with Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickups

The world of guitardom has all sorts of cool descriptive words to characterise tone: The Brown Sound. Djent. Crunch. Chunk. Quack. Spank. Wah Wah. It’s all part of the unique vocabulary we share amongst ourselves. The Woman Tone isn’t quite as self-descriptive as the others though. Personified by Eric Clapton’s tone on various Cream Tracks such as “Sunshine Of Your Love,” it’s a harmonically rich, slightly muffled, honking, squonking tone. Continue reading

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Bass Tone Caps: From The Top

P Bass Closeup

Many guitarists know the simple truth; change your tone voicing by switching out the capacitor on your tone pot. This has led many guitarists on a long quest for finding the ultimate cap to achieve their tone. Usually though, most bassists never think that changing the capacitor on their tone knob will unlock the tone that they’ve been seeking. We’ll talk about some of the benefits of using different value tone caps in your bass, as well as a couple of easy tips to give you some more options. Continue reading

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Cage Match: Individual Pedals vs Multi Effects

The EMS Synthi Hi-Fli...the first multi.

Guitarists have long wanted to affect the sound of the electric and acoustic guitar with outboard gear. Whether it is compression from analog tape and the tube-powered mixing console itself back in the day, to the staggering array of pedals and devices available today, guitarists can at least agree that there are no lack of choices. While the outside world (I mean, non-guitarists) don’t understand our obsession of arguing what sort of transistors are in our fuzz boxes, or how many effects we can have on at once, we get it. Almost to a fault. While this article is certainly not for the guitar-cord-amp type, it splits up the effect argument into 2 well-matched camps, the individual pedals and the multieffects. Remember though, words can only go so far- in the end, you have to plug in for yourself. Continue reading

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The Mysterious Disappearing Les Paul of the 1960s


The Gibson Les Paul remains one of the top selling guitars of all time. It attracts young and old alike, and whether it’s early Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, or relative newcomers like Slash, the Les Paul seems to transfer mojo from deep within the Mahogany itself directly into the player. However, in the 1960s not all was rosy in Les Paul-land. This article is not about one particular guitar, but an entire line that, for a time in the 1960s, was not the iconic instrument it is now. What happened to the mighty Les Paul some 50 years ago? And how did it come back? Continue reading

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