Friends of SD: Knaggs Guitars

Knaggs Guitars makes some pretty remarkable instruments. While many of their creations use standard woods that you see with many other companies, they have an eye for the artistic as well. Continue Reading

The Seymour Duncan '59 Trembucker

The Seymour Duncan ’59 is a classic. It’s an idealized representation of THE classic, a Gibson PAF — built to the actual specifications of the original design rather than copying one example of a production original which was built with wide tolerances, not all of which were stellar. These days it’s still the first suggestion when somebody is looking for a classic sounding pickup for their Les […] Continue Reading

Optimising HSS for Distortion

I put two Classic Stack Plus pickups in the neck and middle positions of my Strat, and a JB Model Trembucker in the bridge. I set up some fancy switching to split the pickups at appropriate times, and to change the volume pot from 250K to 500K when the humbucker was active. Continue Reading

The Kramer Chronicles, Volume I: The '59 Set

When I was a kid first starting out on guitar, there was no widespread “DIY” market to speak of. That was just beginning. You basically took what you could get at your local music store, and liked it. Unless you were daring enough to try the also embryonic mail-order market and run with something you found in the back pages of Guitar Player or Guitar World […] Continue Reading

Parallel Axis Trembucker: My Experiences

One of my Les Pauls was in need of new pickups, and I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I usually get PAF-style pickups and I occasionally go a bit hotter, but I decided to try the Seymour Duncan PATB-1 and PATB-2 pickups. I asked Seymour Duncan to change the magnets though. Instead of the Alnico 5 for the PATB-1 and the ceramic for the PATB-2, I chose Alnico 8 magnet bars for both. Continue Reading

The Pearly Gates: Pure Texan Tone

The Pearly Gates model is a recreation of a specific set of PAFs in a particular sunburst '59 Les Paul Standard. Vintage PAFs generally spec out to be low-output by today's standards, and the Pearly Gates is very slightly overwound compared to the typical PAF. The result is a humbucker that sounds slightly ruder than the average PAF, with strong sustain, noticeable warmth and a bright high end which really helps harmonics to sing. Continue Reading

Tremolo Setups: The Care and Feeding of Your Floyd Rose

The Floyd Rose tremolo is one the most popular locking tremolo designs in history, spawning multiple imitations and licensed copy versions. And with good reason - under proper conditions, unless the guitar's neck somehow shifts (say, by you jumping off your drummer's riser) it will not go out of tune. Continue Reading

String Spacing Explained: Humbuckers vs Trembuckers

If you’re upgrading your guitar’s pickups for the very first time, here’s a tip which will help you maximize your tone and get the most out of your investment: Seymour Duncan offers most humbucker models in two sizes: Humbucker and Trembucker. But what do these mean, and how do you know which is right for your guitar? Humbuckers and Trembuckers are actually both versions of the […] Continue Reading