Saturday, January 30, 2010

TRAINWRECK (w/ Kyle of Tenacious D) Tonight, Saturday Berkeley,CA

TRAINWRECK (w/ Kyle of Tenacious D)
Tonight, Saturday Jan 30th Berkeley,CA Shattuck Down Low
They are super fun good time rockin band.
If you are not doing anything, even if you are, bring it
you will not be sorry.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

it works great!

even though some may not consider it a guitar....

Here Gary is testing the circuitry in a Casio PG380 to see if all is working correctly. He appears to have stumbled upon his favorite mood-enhancing sound!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It was falling apart.

So we made it stronger.

This pretty blue Strat is, like almost all solid body guitars, made of wood. The original manufacturer drilled the stud inserts somewhat too close to the pickup cavity. Over time, the tension of the strings on the tremolo was transferred to the studs implanted into the body and subsequently pulled the studs and their inserts forward. This implacable pressure eventually caused the studs and their inserts to burst through the thin wall of wood, causing the tremolo to pitch forward and the guitar to be unplayable.

We removed the inserts, repaired the wood and, to make the repair solid, added a piece of carbon graphite to strengthen the weakened area. Under normal playing conditions (your experience may vary - especially if you're practicing on the International Space Station*) this modification will act as a permanent improvement, over the life of the instrument, which could be a very long time indeed.

* - in space no one can hear your space music

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"My guitar doesn't play in tune...

...even though I've put on fresh strings and stretched them out carefully."

Guitars, as a rule, aren't necessarily precise from an intonation point of view. There are many (and we mean many!) ways to skin this cat. In the example shown in the photograph, it was decided that filling the original one piece plastic saddle bridge slot and rerouting the bridge for a two piece hand cut bone saddle would make the most sense. This way we've changed individual string lengths, relative to fret position, and improved the intonation of the guitar. This is one of many (did we mention many?) modifications that can be implemented on your electric or acoustic guitar (or bass) so that the instrument will play in tune.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I want to play my acoustic guitar live...

...what kind of pickup should I put on it?

We're glad you asked...depending on whether you plan to be competing with your drummer, bassist, stunt guitar player; or, if you're simply playing solo acoustic in a quiet performance environment; or something in between, there's a pickup technology that can be implemented in your acoustic guitar. Our shop carries all the popular manufacturers as well as some obscure brands too. Of course if we don't have it we can get it and, if you prefer to purchase your own parts, simply bring us that pickup system and we're happy to install it for you. We can also combine technologies and parts from various makers into a modification that's appropriate to your guitar.

The main thing, however, is that we do not charge to discuss the appropriate technology and installation method for your unique instrument and your chosen playing environment. Bring your guitar in to the shop when you find a convenient moment and we'll have a conversation about your requirements, we'll ask you some questions and we'll make a recommendation right then and there, while you wait. It's true that the informed player makes the best choices.

Our location and shop hours can be found on our website:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"...but you're gonna have to serve somebody"*

Here Tim is serving the Bodhisattvas of Binding by crouching on the floor with a Les Paul clamped between his knees to painstakingly scrape excess material to match the shape of the guitar body. The close-up photos show a portion of the guitar (prior to him being on his knees with it) after having the new binding heated, bent, glued, taped and clamped to the carefully cleaned and prepared edge of the body using small pieces of wood fabricated to match the curves.

* - thank you Zimmerman!

an homage...

Sent to an orphanage by his Mom (she had to choose between her husband, Art's stepfather, and her own 10 year old son, and chose poorly) Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby has died. He was 89. Raised by the Clokey family in Southern California, he and his wife Ruth created Gumby and the attendant family of characters. As an homage we present the Gumby and Pokey guitars, long-standing denizens of our shop and not for sale.

(top: the guitars, bottom: the Man)

Friday, January 8, 2010

the exploded view

Here Glade is swapping the pickups, shielding the electronics cavities and wiring pathways, and doing a complete set-up on this telecaster. Sometimes it makes more sense to simply take everything apart.

(top: after, bottom: before)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a good guitar is a like a good salad... have to start with quality ingredients.

We're good at recommending the right components for any guitar and within any budget. Just ask us!

(This metaphor brought to you by sunny vegetables.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

like a great white lurking in a shore break...

...the tiny furry mouse, valiantly carving out a habitat for itself and its family in a bag full of environmentally friendly packing peanuts, scrabbles to escape observation, fleeing discovery to live another day for the express purpose of terrifying middle-aged men.

(pic: our nightwatch)