Saturday, June 21, 2008

the weather is changing (finally)

"read the schematic and tell me if it's right"
"I brought in the Best of Pixar Shorts"
"I'm surprised the Dylan has lasted this long"
"is 104 by 47 Dimarzio?"
"If we have it...go for it...we have to order some more"
"it is hot today!"
"I was gonna shave my eyebrows and draw on some other ones..."
"I have an appointment with destiny, and she's ordered the lobster"
"that's not gay, it's nerdy"
"I only work here for the manly hijinks"
"plek has stopped"
"what's for lunch?"

Friday, June 20, 2008

We get notes

in the guitar cases, sometimes. Sometimes we find other things in the guitar cases but that's a story for another day. Anyway, the notes reveal something about the owner of the guitar but, more importantly, they tell us not only what the owner would like us to do with the guitar but also a little of how they feel about what they want us to do with their guitar. And even if it's weird (and in this town weird is good) we make it happen.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's that busy

It was in the middle of a busy day when he came in, first with three cases and, after depositing those, returning with four more before following up with a final three. A total of ten guitars to drop off at one stroke and we already have a queue of over 175 instruments waiting their turn or in progress. For just the briefest moment I thought to suggest to him that a heads-up would have been considerate when I stopped. This is what we do. Juggling chainsaws is only a part of it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We use this stuff

(and also conductive paint) to shield the backs of pickguards and the inside of pickup covers. Sheilding will help if there's a lot of resonant frequencies picked up by your guitar and then amplified. Sometimes, especially for our locals who live near the Godzilla-prop Sutro Tower in the middle of San Francisco, noise-to-signal ratio makes playing your electric guitar through your amp an unattractive audio experience. Our shop routinely performs full shielding on all manner of electric guitars and it makes a big difference. We're also supportive of the DIY crew, those that like to tinker inside their own instruments. If you are so inclined we sell conductive paint in 4 ounce containers. The copper tape can be acquired from shops that sell stained glass supplies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This would be a cool looking amp

One light, one knob, one logo. Sadly, all those fabulous designs are now on the back bench, in the form of a hot plate, whose metal bowl is a double boiler for heating the wax we use to pot your pickup. Old is good, often.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lurking behind the commonplace

are the weird ones. But we work on those too. Were not afraid of dead tech. We are the Reanimators!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's a small shop...

and we make use of every square inch. Up to the ceilings and down among the corners, climbing up the back stairs and not uncommonly spilling out into the showroom area are guitars, parts of guitars and the myriad supplies to keep them up and running. Of course a guitar will occasionally play that cool game "Hide in Plain Sight" with us, prompting an all-out shop-wide search that always ends in "O! There it is right in front of me."

Friday, June 6, 2008

we've seen worse...

Say there's an old broken guitar in a beat-up case somewhere in a forgotten area where you stay. One day, looking for something else, you come across the thing, dust-covered and somewhat bent. Shaking your head you open the case for the second time in a decade. You ask yourself: what can be done with this thing?

The answer is obvious.

Have us restore the instrument! One time, several years ago, a person brought in his Grandfather's World War II-era Martin OOO-18 (not the above guitar). The sides, top, back and neck were either cracked, broken or simply loose inside a big black garbage bag. It took awhile but it was brought back to life; back to perfect playability, beautiful sound and museum-piece looks. Restore beauty to your surroundings: rescue a guitar.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

current affairs

(anti-clockwise from top right) Here's Trevor installing a Lollar Charlie Christian-style pickup in the neck position of a Tele, Tim ascertaining that one of the coils in this classic Gibson humbucking pickup will need to be rewound and Gary dremeling out a section of the cavity milled in this Tricone to accept a Firebird pickup so that the player can use the instrument at band volume. Watching: Flight of the Conchords first season.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How to offend Tim...

Whoever attempted to repair the binding on this rare old acoustic guitar chudded the attempt to the point where Tim felt as if his reaction might lean toward violence if introduced. In the places where the binding was gone or broken through the silly person had ineptly and hilariously filled it in with putty prior to painting an approximation of the color pattern. Thankfully, Tim's disgust is channeled into the careful rescue of this fine old instrument. Here you can see his hands delicately guiding a chisel along the surface, before gluing in pieces of hand-died binding, tinted to match the untouched original section (seen here in the 3rd photo down).