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Polishing Frets on a Howard Roberts

I hit upon a lucky eBay find, and managed to acquire a mid-1990's Korean-made Epiphone Howard Roberts for a great price.  It's a terrific jazz box, and is really fun to play.  As with many older guitars, the frets were tarnished and dull, so I decided to polish them using the Dremel tech... read more →

De-rattling an Intelli Guitar Tuner

Soon after buying my Breedlove acoustic guitar, I decided to buy a clip-on tuner.  There are many clip-on tuners available at all price ranges, and they all basically work the same way.  They pick up the vibration of the strings through the guitar body and neck, and display the current pit... read more →

Unchaining the EVH Flanger Pedal

I used a Boss BF-2 flanger pedal for years.  It’s a great pedal, especially if you can find one of the older Japanese-made models.  But it could never really do that over-the-top sound from Van Halen’s Unchained.  Eddie used an older MXR flanger pedal on that classic riff, and Dun... read more →

John Pearse Guitar Strings

When I got my new Breedlove guitar last year, I ordered my usual set of Thomastik-Infeld strings from JustStrings.com (my favorite place to buy strings). Unfortunately, the brand that works so well on my electrics and older acoustics didn’t sound right at all on the Breedlove. The normally soft an... read more →

Guitar Rig Circa 2001

My Guitar Rigs [guitarrig1987, guitarrig2001, guitarrig1992] I put this rig together over several years, culminating around 2001. I was considering a new half-stack or combo amp, but couldn't find the right combo of preamp, reverb, and speakers, so I cobbled together some racks to suit my taste... read more →

A New Axe to Grind

For the past few months, I've been looking for a nice-sounding concert-sized acoustic guitar. I have a fine Takamine Dreadnought, but the size is uncomfortably large for me to have in my lap while I practice on the sofa. I played a lot of guitars, but was stunned to discover the value and quali... read more →

Roland CUBE 30 Speaker Upgrade

I decided to shop around for a lightweight guitar amp, and the Roland CUBE 30X hit the sweet spot perfectly. Very affordable at under $250, the amp has a 10" speaker, the usual BOSS/Roland COSM amp modeling system, and weighs just under 20 lbs. The only downside to the amp is an issue common t... read more →

Shiny Frets

After neglecting my Takamine acoustic guitar for a few years, the frets became tarnished and dull. Many guitarists would recommend rubbing steel wool against the frets to polish them up, but that's a fairly barbaric way to treat an axe. Not only will it booger up a nicely finished fretboard, b... read more →

Fat Ibanez TS7

If you're in to the Tube Screamer sound for your guitar playing, the bargain pedal from Ibanez is the Tone Lok TS7. At around 40 bucks, it has the same circuit and IC as the more expensive $100 TS9 Tube Screamer and the ridiculous $170 TS808 "Tube Screamer Reissue." (I'm personal... read more →

EVH 90 Phase Shifter

I received a much-coveted MXR EVH 90 Phase Shifter pedal as a birthday gift. Wow, this pedal really rocks! You can totally get the Van Halen Atomic Punk sound, as well as crank up more modern "spacey" phase shifting. And more, the phasing is so clean that I've decided I can use thi... read more →

Guitar Rig Circa 1987

My Guitar Rigs [guitarrig1987, guitarrig2001, guitarrig1992] Here is my first guitar rig. I put together this collection of guitar stuff when I first started playing guitar, around 1986, and had the complete set in 1987. I still have the original amp and guitar, though all of the pedals were stole... read more →

Guitar Rig Circa 1992

My Guitar Rigs [guitarrig1987, guitarrig2001, guitarrig1992] I've had three main guitar rigs since I started playing guitar as a teenager. Here is my rig circa 1991-1992, when I was the rhythm guitarist in the seminal Hayward band, Mystic Rage. I no longer have any of this rig - I sold the lot... read more →

Looking for an Everyday Acoustic

I have two acoustic guitars, a Martin Backpacker and a Takamine G330 dreadnought. I like both guitars a lot, but I'm looking for something a little easier to play, and more versatile and durable as an "everyday guitar." The Martin Backpacker is a cool little guitar. It even sounds l... read more →