Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Myriad Ways... which people and organizations express their love for Gary may include items suitable for framing.

awwwww.  Imagine what the walls of his garden shed must look like.

Tone Candy


Among other things they control how much high end gets cut when you turn down your tone control.  They can also help to equalize the tone of your volume control so your tone will not go to mush when you turn your volume down.

The type and value of a capacitor can go a long way to personalize your guitar's tone.
We have a "Decade Box" that allows you to sample what different capacitors will sound like in your circuit.

More photos and tech info on guitar tone applications soon.
"Orange Drop" capacitors & others
New old stock "NOS" Black Cat capacitors. Note cool old box!
NOS Black Cat capacitors, inside same box
Very cool vintage Russian paper in oil (PIO), Teflon & other NOS capacitors
Many were made for Russian Military!!  More paper in oil (PIO), Teflon & other NOS capacitors
Mmmmm...tone candy

Stop by and see what you might be missing from your tone controls!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

what's going on...

...busy busy busy...

Tim Laminates A Flying V

Gary Wrangles A Sustainer Install

Trevor Realigns Bridge Studs

Glade Reattaches An Ovation Rosette

another reason to love your job

Here is Trevor holding two instruments that he is full of love for.

We apologize for ending that sentence with a preposition.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Space is the Place

for bass!

Here Allen is displaying a lovingly custom painted bass. Originally a drab polyester matte-finished bottom of the line Yamaha five string bolt-on and purchased for a song, it's been transformed into the Space Bass, and ready for the world.

paint by: Nicholas del Drago of Vicious Cycles

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our customers like to provide us with information...

...and sometimes this may take the form of a long and involved treatise.

We like to avoid ambiguity.  Who doesn't?  Keep those cards and letters coming!

Friday, August 20, 2010

establishing the scene:

Somebody's got a funky old Fender Musicmaster, well loved and well played, and, late one night maybe everything starts to get to them, the war, their relationship, the way people don't use their turn signals while talking on their cell phones without a headset...and they snap.  They grab a screwdriver and start to repeatedly slam the business end into the red paint on the back of the blameless guitar, again and again.  And after they're done, they play tic-tac-toe. They win.

In the right hands a guitar can express so many facets of a person's character.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun stuff at the shop, gluing fingerboards, laminating necks.......

Glued carved and ready for laminate
Tim doing some arm exercises.  That's red hot in there.
Prepped and ready to glue
Many many clamps makes even pressure
See alignment pin
Here are a few in process jobs.  The newish white Gibson Explorer that had a rosewood fingerboard is being rebuilt with an ebony Les Paul Custom style fingerboard.  Along with the large pearl inlays we are putting on black binding to go with the black upcoming finish.  The Gibson V neck has been broken twice.  One great way to fix the neck is to cut away along the break, then laminate nice long grain wood along the area and re-carve the neck back to it's original contour.  Tim is bending the lamination over a wood bender Gary inherited from a luthier he was learning from back around 1976.  Gary was building dulcimers and bending walnut on it for the sides.  We will show the 2 guitars a little more as they get finished.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

a Tele fiesta!

Jim Campilongo (noted tele player and sideman for Norah Jones & Martha Wainwright) has been friends with Gary for decades. Here he's testing out a couple of prototype Teles (sent to him by Fender, matching Jim's original 1959 Tele - unique for, among other things, being the only year strings could be threaded through the back edge of the bridge as opposed to all the other years' Teles which thread strings through the body) as Gary removed the treble bleed capacitor and switches the tone control capacitor (Jim favors paper and foil .05). We also cut down the bridge height screws so they do not stick up above the saddle to keep from cutting your palm, and did some slight setup work. The twang is in the house!

Friday, August 13, 2010

bringing the diagnostic

Here Gary is sending signal from Bruce Cockburn's green Linda Manzer guitar to a small ProTools desk (kept upstairs just for small emergencies like these) to test input line level signal. Bruce has been at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley recording an album and the staff engineer suggested our little shop to suss out unwanted noise in the guitar pickup's output.

That Metal Show, with love......

My wife and I are big fans of the weekly talk show on VH-1 Classic, "That Metal Show." The show is hosted by Eddie Trunk with Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson. The show moniker is "All things hard rock & heavy metal." They have alot of knowledge and opinions on the subject and in my opinion deliver with enough guests and sarcasm to keep the interest high. It has been on the air about 4 years and has gotten so much attention that this September the show goes from 30 minutes to a full hour. You can also see all of the episodes on-line at VH-1's website. Fernando who runs the shop part time had a gig at a metal-fest and happened to run into Eddie. Fern knowing our love of the show mentioned it to Eddie and they were nice enough to send us some love..... in a text photo....from the show. That's Fern and Billy from Jet Boy in the photo sending their love with Eddie.
Also check out Torturing Telemarketers by Jim (a Jerky Boys kind of thing aimed at Telemarketers)
Lots of laughing out loud.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Very cool Guitars come out of fun places

Finding my dishwasher on the fritz I check out Yelp for a few recommendations on who to fix this essential item. I went with Bill who on the phone seemed to know what he was talking about. Of course somehow our conversation turned to music and guitars (I wish I had a recording so I know how that happened) and he mentioned a very unique guitar he had, and offered to bring it by. He came by the house and did his dishwasher whispering thing and fixed it right up with the ease of someone who had done it a million times before. Then we proceeded to check out this guitar. Apparently it was made for the original owner who's band played regularly in the Bay Area. The guitar quotes a few older builders (Bigsby, Moserite,etc..) but still has a thing of its own. The case speaks for itself!!!

hell yeah.

Erich W. is picking up his 62 Tele, repaired and ready to go. All guitar cases should have the Sleeping Bag interior option.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

nice people are nice

but even nice people might sometimes forget, so here's a reminder:

Always Bring Your Instrument in a CASE!

thank you.

The Standard Gibson Neck Break (part #47)

Here Tim firmly pulls the headstock back as he injects wood glue deep into the separation prior to clamping the pieces back together. The instrument will come back together very well and sound and play identically to how it was prior to the break. Looks painful but the guitar is an inanimate object and does not feel pain.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ever wonder what a Brazilian Rosewood log looks like?

I was out and about a few Sundays ago and as usual could not resist a garage sale. Turns out the guy had some Brazilian Rosewood left over from a job a while back. He said he was working with another guy who brought the wood in and he milled it up into guitar wood. Unfortunately it was not at garage sale prices, he knew what he had, and it was nice.
That 1/2 log would make a nice supply of acoustic guitar bridges.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

sometimes a little diversion

at the shop is necessary. We found this DVD floating around on a shelf. It holds up, too.

the right tool for the right job

Here Trevor (l) and Kirkwood level their prodigious observational and diagnostic powers to fully apprehend the statistical density of a MOOG guitar. Hacksaws really do serve a purpose when working delicately on oddly shaped circuit boards crammed into tiny cavities in solid wood.

We jest, certainly. There is nothing wrong with the circuitry or functionality of this remarkable instrument. We did a set-up for the owner and, upon plugging it in, came on to a swoon of endless cosmic trance sustain, as well as just about any other sound that can possibly be imagined.

Cool stuff!