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Artec PP-607 Transducer Ceramic PIEZO Pickup on a Harley Benton Custom Line ResoKing

New Piezo Transducer pickup – Artec PP-607 Ceramic PIEZO Pickup

This article is an update of the post I made about the mods I did to the Harley Benton Custom Line ResoKing guitar.

I was unhappy of the original piezo included in the guitar. Despite adding a custom JFET Tillman preamp, I add weird and unsolvable outcome.

The strings’ volume was unbalanced. The two lower strings were much louder that the remaining strings and the G string was dead.

I tried to play with the bridge placement to find a spot where the G string was louder, but the D string was losing volume, and the high E string was positioned too close to the edge of the fingerboard.

It was a lost battle. The problem was caused by the shape of the piezo. Each string has a section separated by a slot in the pickup, and it wasn’t possible to align it properly. They probably used a regular first price piezo made for acoustic guitars, and the resonator’s string… Continue reading

Artec Electronics Active EQ & Booster on a 24 Frets Custom Guitar – Artec MP3 & Artec QTB

artec electronicArtec Electronics Onboard Equalizer and Booster

Artec Electronic offers a great alternative to customize a guitar for a low price with high-quality components. The only hassle is to find or create a place to put the battery. Most of the passive electric guitars do not have such free spot, and on a Stratocaster type of instrument, it can be a PITA.

I have built this guitar using a kit from Aliexpress. I paid it 161$ shipping included. It’s a 24 frets hollow-body guitar that looks like a sort of PRS. I don’t know what the model of that guitar is. Normally, with kits, it’s always a copy of a known instrument such as; SG, Telecaster, Les Paul, etc…

This one I have no clue… But it’s a fantastic kit.

As I say in the video, I changed the hardware completely. I only kept the tuners, selector and jack plate. Everything else is new. The hardware included in any kit is first price quality.

If you only build a kit using… Continue reading

Modified Electronic on a Harley Benton Custom Line ResoKing

harley-benton-resokingHarley Benton Custom Line ResoKing – Turn a first price resonator into a beast

Harley Benton Custom Line ResoKing. I bought this guitar at Thomann website for the low price of 198€, shipping included.

The guitar in its original version was ok. The action is set low, and the neck plays fast. But the electronic was really poor.

Neck Pickup

The original mini humbucker didn’t sound too good, and it was a two wires pup that I had to modify into a four wires pickup to split coil it.

I already had Belcat mini humbuckers I already changed into 4 wires, so I switched pickups for the best. Belcat is an excellent brand even if yo can get them incredibly cheap compared to superstars established brands like Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio.

Series/parallel switch

I installed a series/parallel switch on the neck volume pot. Every time I work on a humbucker I install a three position toggle switch to have series/split/parallel. When I lack room to had an extra switch, and… Continue reading

Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone Test – TS9 TS808 Tube Screamer by Demon

Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone - Affordable Classic Overdrive Tone Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone. The problem we face in commerce is as soon as a product become famous, the price gets incredibly high. Guitar pedals, even more than an electric guitar, are built with few dollars of equipment. We are paying for the brand and of course the creativity of the product; Clone Pedals Even if I consider normal to pay for the intellectual property, I find the price they are charging ridiculously high when you know the cost of components included. Especially for a factory that buys them by the tons. You can make your own Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone for peanuts if you are willing to invest in parts and time to do it. As I say in the video, if the circuit board and components used are the same, it can't be a different product. There are tons of free schematic online you can get to build any pedal and get the same outcome. Overdrive and distortion pedals are exceptionally easy to make. Effects such as chorus or delay are much harder to assemble, but a distortion pedal can be constructed in few hours if you know how to solder properly. Problem making your clone The only issue I have making pedal clone is; with every effect you need specific components. Even if I buy them cheap at Aliexpress, you can't buy one capacitor or one resistor at a time, so you end up buying 1000s of each value to use them maybe once in a while, or never again. Especially if you intend to build clones for your use only, the massive amount of components ends up overwhelming. Buying ready make kit is not attractive. The price of it is higher than the purchase of a ready-made clone. Buying a kit is fun only if you like building pedals. It's quite easy, and you can make your art and look of the casing. Selling Clone Also selling clone on eBay and alike is not a successful business plan. You won't be able to be competitive with Chinese factories who are making a much better job. When you are making clones, you are using handmade PTB. Companies are making their printed circuit board. The result is much more professional and stable. The Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone is the way to go to get an identical tube screamer pedal for a fraction of the price. You won't have to fear customs issue since it's not a fake Ibanez pedal but a Demon. If you don't mind having the brand name Demon plastered on the pedal instead of Ibanez, you can have a Tube Screamer for 36$ shipping included. TS9 and the TS808 versions They also included the two popular version of the pedal into the same box. The TS9 and the TS808. As demoed in the video the difference between the two is so minimal that nine times out of ten you can't hear the difference. Despite the lack of contrast, I prefer the TS9 version. I think there's more output than the TS808 mode. You can set the same sound in the TS808 by boosting the gain and volume, but it gets a little noisier than the same sound laid down in the TS9 mode, despite the pedal being exceptionally silent compared to other overdrives. Difference between the TS9 and the TS808 When I first tested the pedal I had a bigger discrepancy in volume and tone between the two modes. It depends on the guitar used and the overall setting. In the video, I just used a Cathedral reverb and the Tube Screamer. Sound beeing all about frequencies, the outcome is going to be entirely different is you add other effects in the chain, like a phaser or a flanger. Then the difference between the two available setting is going to be bigger. How I use my Pedals Personally, I set my stompboxes once and for all, and depending on the guitar used, the sound is different. That's why I demoed the effect using three distinct type of pickups. A vintage strat with passive single coils, an SG with humbuckers and another strat sporting active EMG pickups. Different Overdrive Sounds I have three sources of overdrive; that let me set three different tones. I use the lead channel of my amps for a fat crunchy sound, my Soul Fool for an almost clean overdrive sound, and my Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone for a brighter tone. I boost any of these setting using either my Centaur clone or a compressor. I can also use the Soul Food to boost the Tube Screamer or my amp's lead channel. It all depends on the type of pickups used and the sound I want. Low pickup output delivers a bluesy sound; high pickup output renders a heavier sound. Because I have built a lot a different guitar owning totally different wiring, there's always a guitar that does not sound too good with an individual setting. I just don't use it on that guitar instead of editing the effect. Link to buy the Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone If you want the real Ibanez Tube Screamer Please send me your two cents if you have anything to add or ask about the Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone. Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone – Affordable Classic Overdrive Tone

Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone. The problem we face in commerce is as soon as a product become famous, the price gets incredibly high. Guitar pedals, even more than an electric guitar, are built with few dollars of equipment. We are paying for the brand and of course the creativity of the product;

Clone Pedals

Even if I consider normal to pay for the intellectual property, I find the price they are charging ridiculously high when you know the cost of components included. Especially for a factory that buys them by the tons. You can make your own Ibanez Tube Screamer Clone for peanuts if you are willing to invest in parts and time to do it.

As I say in the video, if the circuit board and components used are the same, it can’t be a different product. There are tons of free schematic online you can get to build any pedal and get the same outcome. Overdrive and distortion pedals… Continue reading

Tony Iommi Pickups Magnum 4 and hyperflux 5 & Guitar Roller Nut – Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit Update

John Birch PickupsTony Iommi Pickups by John Birch – Amazing Upgrade

Tony Iommi Pickups were one of the few pickup’s types missing to my arsenal of guitars. If you remember my previous article about my last build, I had installed Tonerider Rebel 90 pickups on it.

Everything was fine, and the beauty just sounded perfect. The only problem was, my SG equipped with neodymium Entwistle pickups have the same sound when set to split mode. Considering the SG has a Gibson scale and sports the same tremolo, it was a duplicate.

Why upgrading a brand new built?

Even if I look like a crazy shopaholic guitar collector, I’m not. I know I have way too many guitars, but still, each and every one of them is unique and sounds different from the other 19. I spend my time trying new mods on my test strat to make them as different as possible. I had probably rebuilt each of them 3 or 4 times already.

The Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit was,… Continue reading

Electric Guitar Kit – Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit – Tonerider Rebel 90 pickups & Artec BCU

Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway

Electric Guitar Kit

This article is about my latest build. A Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit featuring two ToneRider Rebel 90 pickups and an Artec BCU.

The BCU is a Band Control Unit onboard frequency booster that I already reviewed on two different guitars in this article. Check it out if you want to have a deeper test of this unit.

The Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit

I bought this kit on AliExpress for the small price of $179, shipping included.

The regular Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit features only one P90 pickup routing, an Adjustable Wraparound Bridge, and a tiny cavity for two potentiometers only. A Volume and a Tone pot.

I knew before ordering that I’d be installing a Stetsbar tremolo that requires a Tune-o-Matic support (4 holes), two humbuckers and a four potentiometer electronic with a 3 position Metric Toggle Switch.

So, before ordering, I contacted the seller to know if he could do those mods for me and at what cost.

About AliExpress… Continue reading

Stratocaster wiring diagram – Two Volume Strat Plus Schematic & Demo – GFS Brighton Rock Pickups

Stratocaster wiring diagram – Brilliant & Unusual Approach to the five positions selector

two volume strat plusStratocaster wiring diagram, the Two Volume Strat Plus Wiring diagram I did on my custom Stratocaster is based on a schematic by John Hewitt.

John Hewitt is a moderator at the great guitarnuts2 board. He delivers many guitar wiring diagrams that are effective. A lot of diagrams you can find on boards are often not working or poorly drawn. Not his.

I modified this diagram to fit my needs, and also because I don’t like certain options he chooses. My approach is not better, only different.

In his original diagram, he opted to do a traditional volume pot wiring and to add treble bleeds on both volumes potentiometers.

Two Volume Strat Plus Schematic

I don’t like regular volume pattern. If you roll down one volume pot completely, the guitar is totally shut down. I prefer the independent volume wiring. It allows dialing a total volume balance between the two volume pots. I mean, if I invest into… Continue reading

Artec VTC Review – Onboard Active Guitar Tone Control

Artec VTC TestArtec VTC review – Cheap and easy to install onboard booster

The Artec VTC is an effective onboard booster you can easily fit on any electric guitar or bass, sporting an active or passive electronic circuit. VTC stands for Active Tone Controller.

In the video included in this article, I demoed the Artec VTC using an HSH custom made Stratocaster featuring GFS Gold Foil pickups. The wiring I made for this pickguard is as follow:

  • Neck switch
  • Series-split-parallel for each humbucker
  • Solo switch
  • 0,010uF capacitor using a 50s wiring on a 250k potentiometer
  • A brass sustains block
  • A Fender LSR Roller Nut
  • Planet Wave locking tuners

The body is made out of zebra wood, hence the name of the guitar: Red Zebra. It’s an excellent guitar easy to play with a low action.

You can listen this guitar in action in a song called Red Zebra on Deezer:

Artec VTC in the video

The only effects used in the video are: the crunch sound of my amps, Ramhead handmade fuzz… Continue reading

Artec EXP Review – Artec Expand to Peak Controller – Onboard Booster

Artec EXPArtec EXP & EX3 Expand to Peak Controller review

Artec EXP is an excellent and affordable onboard booster that you can easily install on any electric guitar and bass.

It owns three functions in one device.

  • First: the frequency expander
  • Second: mid-band peak control
  • Third: flat booster

You can get two different version of the Artec EXP. The regular EXP model mounted on a push-pull potentiometer and the EX3.

The EX3 is the same circuit with a three positions toggle switch instead of a push-pull. It gives less control than the pot version, but if you lack room on your instrument, and you can’t add an extra potentiometer this is the way to go.

The frequency expander

When the potentiometer is on 10, it is a bass and treble boost. It gives a crystal-clear tone to the guitar.

Mid-Band peak control

When the pot is on 0, the EXP acts as a mid-boost.

Flat booster

When the pot is on middle position it is a neutral boost. It increases the… Continue reading

Red Special Wiring Schematic Using Only 3 On-On-On Toggle switches – PTB Tone Control & Solo Switch

red special wiringRed Special Wiring Plan – The Best and Easiest Wirework

The Red Special Wiring is a popular pattern. It has been popularized by Brian May on his famous Red Special handmade guitar. I don’t think he invented it, out of phase pickups were famous in the 50s, but he is the first one to have used it massively in rock. Well, at least the first well-known artist.

Is it because of a lack od knowledge or because the On-On-On toggle switch didn’t exist at that time? Whatever the reason was, Brian May used 6 ON-ON slide switch to achieve it. Because of that, today most people doing this wiring are doing it the old way.

The six toggle switch wiring is more complicated to perform, cost more money, require a heavier pickguard modification and is a PITA to run.

The switch needed to assemble the Red Special wiring using only three switches are 3, three positions double pole (DP3T) ON/ON/ON toggle switch.

Also, because I’m a gear geek, I am… Continue reading