Tech Talk: A Blog About Guitar Repair

Tech Talk: A Blog About Guitar Repair

Our mission is to use this space to answer common questions about guitar maintenance, modifications, and repairs in a clear and detailed manner. These articles are not intended as a step-by-step guide to servicing your own instrument. However, it is our sincere hope that you will find value in the information provided.

Checkout Our Most Recent Articles

Electronic Repairs on Hollowbody Guitars

This beautiful Collings I30 guitar came to us with a non-functional neck pickup tone control. While this is likely a simple repair electronically, as with most wiring repairs on semi-hollow and fully hollow-bodied guitars, the more time consuming task will be accessing and reinstalling the electronics before and after service.

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Taylor Guitars Expression System Repairs

The Taylor Guitars Expression System is a series of proprietary onboard acoustic guitar electronics. Here we will discuss some commonly needed repairs.

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Electric Guitar Neck Shims

When performing a setup on a bolt-on necked electric guitar, shims are a way to quickly adjust the angle at which the neck joins the body, facilitating the desired action adjustment.

We commonly find improvised shims installed in the neck pocket. They range from purpose-built plastic shims to a hodgepodge of items like sandpaper, cardboard, and/or guitar picks. In our shop, we prefer to make make full length, angled, shims.

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erik

Telecaster 3 Barrel Saddle Upgrades

There is an easy upgrade option that can dramatically improve the intonation of 3 barrel saddle equipped Fender Telecaster guitars without significantly altering the look or originality of the instrument: Compensated 3 barrel saddles. Compensated Telecaster saddles overcome the limitations of shared saddles in one of two ways. While each string will still not be individually adjustable, the strings will sit at predetermined intervals, much like a compensated acoustic guitar saddle, that are much more conducive to accurate string-to-string intonation.

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erik

Routing Guitar Bodies For Pickup Installations

Electric guitar pickups are available in a variety of different shapes and architectures. Changes to a pickups magnets and winding specs can have a profound impact on its tone. However, being that the pickups architecture plays a large role in determining the size/style of magnet and the number of coil windings that can be fit on a pickup bobbin, the shape of the pickup itself is a major tone defining factor that cannot be overlooked.

Sometimes an instrument’s body is not built to accept the client’s preferred pickup configuration. In these situations, routing may be necessary before the body will be ready to accept the new components.

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erik

Sunken Jack Syndrome – Gibson / Epiphone 335

This Epiphone 335 model guitar came into shop with the output jack stuck inside of the body. The nut and washer that had once secured the jack to the top of the instrument had come loose allowing the jack to drop inside. In shop, we call this “sunken jack syndrome”; This happens fairly frequently on hollow body and semi-hollow guitars such as the venerable 335 model produced by both Gibson and Epiphone, as well as various other similarly styled models including many of those made by Gretsch Guitars.

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erik

Shielding an Electric Guitar

“Shielding” is tool that is used to reduce electromagnetic interference, or “EMI”, in your guitar’s signal. Since most electric guitar pickups are by definition “electromagnetic transducers”, EMI is a frequent cause of unwanted noise in the guitar’s signal chain. Guitars with single coil style pickups are especially prone to these issues.

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erik

Gibson Hummingbird and J-200 Pickguards​

The pickguard art featured on the Gibson Hummingbird, as well as the “flower and vine” pattern used on the J-200, are defining features of the respective models. Originally the most expensive guitars in Gibson’s catalog, their unique pickguard’s make these instruments instantly recognizable.

In part due to the flexible material used, these pickguards are more likely to lift and curl around the edges than other modern pickguards.

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erik

Acoustic Guitar Bridge String Ramping

An acoustic guitar’s bridge and saddle work together to anchor and suspend the strings on the guitar body. During a setup, raising or lowering the saddle is one of the key adjustments to an instrument’s action. However, there are limits as to how far the saddle can be adjusted in either direction.
An acoustic guitar’s bridge and saddle work together to anchor and suspend the strings on the guitar body. During a setup, raising or lowering the saddle is one of the key adjustments to an instrument’s action. However, there are limits as to how far the saddle can be adjusted in either direction.

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