Saturday, September 19, 2009

it's not just about the instrument

Gary is conferring with Lucille H. during work on her Fender Stratocaster. She plays music in hospitals, safe houses and prisons, and is active in her community as an advocate of music as a tool of healing. A person (who shall remain nameless) painted Ms. H.'s first name in a naive, spidery and white cursive on top of the body of the instrument using entirely too much acrylic paint. She was not amused and came to us to remove the offending (and uninvited) graphic. Here Ms. H. and Gary find a common language in the repair of her guitar.

what kind of a statement do you want to make?

This guitar strap was handmade using custom parts carefully chosen to establish a unique mood.

Friday, September 18, 2009

that's a lot of guitars!

Since January 1st, 2006, we've performed a minimum of 2599 set-ups on various stringed instruments. That's a lot of set-ups, and doesn't account for the other 6500 or so other guitars that we've adjusted, finished, glued, smoothed, replaced parts on, etc. within that same time period.

We love our work.

(pic: Gary carefully guides the PLEK machine through its paces on a child's beginner Brian May solid body electric)

"it's just what I hoped you would do with it"

Here's Jay D. with his now clean playing Fender Tele Deluxe. We used the computerized fretmill device (PLEK) and followed up the process with a hand set-up, as we will. If you require low action and clean playing there are ways our little shop can help!

"I never thought I'd play this guitar again"

Here's Clark A. with his beloved ES 135 after Tim has completed a neck reset and repaired some cracks. "It's surreal...", he was heard to mutter on his way out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ship in a bottle

Why does it cost more when working with the electronics on a hollow body guitar as opposed to a solid body guitar? In this photo Trevor has carefully eased the wiring harness out of the body of a Gibson ES 137 prior to replacing the stock pickups with a new Gibson 57 Plus in the bridge and a new Gibson 57 in the neck. The surgical tubing assists him in keeping track. This way he'll be able to gently extract the disparate parts of the wiring harness and then (most importantly) get it all back into its correct location. It takes more time, but time is something else we manipulate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

lined yellow paper and a pen

With these simple implements our Chief Technology Officer, Kirkwood Rough, whips up a twenty minute design for what he terms a "junk amp." An hour or two of retrospection later, he emails us a new design that he thinks may be an improvement. Kirkwood is the de-facto chairman of our brain trust, always at the ready.

Archtop Fever w/ Tim Frick

This image shows Tim testing out his most recent creation, a seventeen inch acoustic archtop guitar. The top is sitka spruce, the back and sides are European maple and the neck is mahogany. Tim's choice for a pickup is a Kent Armstrong humbucker, carefully mounted to the pickguard so that it "floats," and also including a hidden disk on the underside for volume control. We aren't engaging in hyperbolic rhetoric to call this instrument a work of art. To see a detailed explanation of the building process, please visit his photo essay (with handy informational captioning by the builder himself). Note: facebook registration is required to view the photo album.