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Fat Sound

All about guitars and vinyl – Joe Hoyle

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Tech and maintenance

The day I met Tony Visconti

I don’t get out much. But when I do, I like to go large. On Monday 19 September 2016, I met legendary music producer Tony Visconti when I attended the grand opening of the Visconti Studio at Kingston University. Could life get any more exciting? Yep. In 1979 Visconti worked on David Bowie’s album Lodger. I just happened to have a vinyl first pressing of Lodger with me at the launch event, and Tony was kind enough to sign it.
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Offset Mastery Bridge: a must for players of Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars

I have long been a fan of the Fender Jazzmaster. I love its quirky circuit switching, offset waist and range of tones. But I don’t own one for the simple reason that the bridge is a bit crap. Its the only weakness in an otherwise stellar guitar. Recently, however, a chance encounter led me to discover the Offset Mastery Bridge, a beautifully engineered replacement for the stock Jazzmaster bridge. All of a sudden, the acquisition of a Jazzmaster makes perfect sense.
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Gibson introduces “undercut, fret over binding” for 2014 models

Finally, after all these years, Gibson introduces undercut, fret over binding. This will be available on all 2014 models – except the Les Paul Traditional. I have never been a fan of nibbed frets, which have been a key feature of Gibson’s bound-neck guitars for generations. They present a number of problems.
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Guitar scale length: its impact on tone and playability

PRS SE Singlecut Korina
PRS SE Singlecut Korina with adjustable one-piece combined bridge and stoptail

Ask any guitarist what features influence their decision-making when buying a guitar and from most you’ll get the same response: wood, pickups, neck profile, fretboard radius, action, body shape and colour. Apart from colour, all of the above affect playability and tone, which should be the key criteria on which any buying decision is made. However, you rarely hear a guitar player mention scale length, and scale length has a significant impact on both playability and tone.
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Dan Auerbach’s guitars and gear

Guitar tech Dan Johnson gives a fascinating insight into the guitars and rig used by Black Keys’ frontman Dan Auerbach – courtesy of Premier Guitar.

Bias setting for 6L6GC power tubes in a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Ruby 6L6GCMSTR Power Tubes
Ruby 6L6GCMSTR Power Tubes

I recently fitted the power stage of my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with a pair of Ruby 6L6GCMSTR tubes. I gave a full review of the Ruby tubes in an earlier blog post. What I want to discuss here is the bias setting for the power stage in a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.
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How to restring a guitar fitted with vintage style open slot tuners

Vintage tuners on a Fender Mustang
Vintage tuners on a Fender Mustang

I know a few guitarists who have a tech restring their guitars for them. These people are not stupid or lazy. They are quite happy to restring some of their guitars themselves. But they fear the open slot variety of tuner, worried by the technique required to bind the string to the tuning post. But it’s not difficult.
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How to diagnose and fix tube rattle on a guitar amplifier

Ruby 6L6 valves in my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Ruby 6L6 valves in my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

My Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III recently developed a glassy rattle. It was only evident at certain frequencies – prevalent when I strummed low chords or struck low notes. At first the rattle was faint and only occurred occasionally. But over a number of weeks the rattle grew in prominence and occurred almost every time I played a low chord or note.
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Z Cable – the end of capacitance and impedance woes?

Z Cable
Z cable: optimise the performance of your amp and guitar

The more I learn about electronics in relation to guitar and amp setups, the more I find to worry about.
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