Guitar Gear Geek

The Best Gear Reviewed by a Geek for the Geeks


Guitar Tone Controls – PTB Control Mod on two Conductor Humbuckers – Out of Phase & Master Series

Guitar Tone Controls PTB Control Mod The best alternative

Guitar Tone Controls - PTB Control ModI made this guitar for a friend of mine. It is a Les Paul guitar type, but with a bolt on neck.

Since I had two BC Ritch humbuckers sporting two conductor wires only, I decided to use them as they are and to test all the possible mods you can do with such pups.

I could have modified them easily into four wire pickups, but doing that requires to wax them back again to avoid microphony issues. I could have wax them too, but since my friend is a drummer, he doesn’t need tons of fancy mods.

The only mods you can do with two conductor humbuckers are:
Out of Phase and master series.

The electronic have two push-pull potentiometers with an independent volume wiring. The two tone pots are the famous PTB Tone Control.

The neck pickup volume sets pickups out of phase, and the bridge volume is a master series.

The two bands EQ is very effective, especially… Continue reading

Artec BCU Test on Active And Passive Stratocaster Pickguard

Artec BCU On Board Active controllable parametric EQ

Artec BCUThe Artec BCU is an active parametric EQ coupled with a booster. BCU stands for Band Control Unit. It’s a small and cheap active circuit that you can install easily on any electric guitar or bass, owning an active or passive electronic wiring. It changes the natural sound of your pickups and expands the possibility from the tone of single coils to a fat and powerful tone of humbucker pickups.

In the video included in this article, I am testing the Artec BCU on two different pickguards installed on two separate Stratocaster.

I performed The first test on an active pickguard featuring two single coils and one humbucker from EMG. I installed it on my LabStrat before installing it on a custom strat.

The Humbucker is an EMG 81 and I have no info concerning the two single coils. I have them since 1988. They were installed on a custom Godin, and I didn’t like them much. I uninstalled them over 20… Continue reading

Guitar Tone Capacitors – Testing Different Values for an EMG SSH Stratocaster Pickguard

Quest for the perfect tone

guitar tone capacitorsGuitar Tone Capacitors is today’s subject. In the video included in this article, I am testing different capacitor values to find the best tone for an EMG Strat pickguard I am building.

I installed this pickguard on the labstrat I made. I modified this guitar heavily to be able to test every possible mod I want. It’s a pain to have to remove the strings or unscrew the neck every time. After a few time, some strings are breaking, or the neck holes screw are getting loose. It’s a waste of time and a loss of money.

This situation forced me to keep guitars that were not fully configured the way I wanted, simply because I did not want to disassemble them an umpteenth time, just to change a switch.

Now with this test guitar, I can swap a pickguard in seconds. I can imagine any weird mod, or stumble on an unusual schematic online and check it right away.

When I work on a… Continue reading

Fender LSR Roller Nut Instructions

How to install a Fender L.S.R Roller Nut on a Stratocaster

fender lsr roller nut instructionsIn this post, I’m going to cover how to install a Fender LSR roller nut on a strat.

Fender LSR roller nut instructions

It is a straight forward job easily attainable. Especially if you install it on a rosewood fingerboard. You only need a cutter, a file, a screwdriver and a drill with a small drill bit.

It is slightly more challenging if you want to place it on a maple neck because that type of wood is very hard. You need a Dremel to remove the extra bit of fingerboard. Using a file is going to take forever and trying to do it with a cutter isn’t going to work. You can hurt yourself, break the cutter, or both.

You can achieve this task within 20 minutes. I already installed a Fender L.S.R Roller Nut on most of my Stratocaster, and it was always an easygoing duty.

To get a perfect tuning stability on a Stratocaster sporting a… Continue reading

Advanced Jimmy Page Wiring with Entwistle HVN Humbucker Pickup – DIY SG Kit Part 5

This article covers the advanced Jimmy Page wiring

Advanced Jimmy Page WiringI made this custom electronic for the SG kit project using Entwistle HVN Vintage Humbucker Pickups.

This article is the fifth and last one of the SG Kit Project series

  • In the first video, I glued the neck and painted the guitar.
  • In the second video, I applied nitrocellulose varnish.
  • In the third video, I created and implemented a waterslide decal logo.
  • In the fourth video, I set the neck, the stetsbar tremolo, and the guitar intonation.

A quick update concerning the issue I had with the intonation setting in the previews video.

I had to reverse the saddles of the low E string and the G and B strings. The issue was certainly due because the kit wasn’t well made. When you buy a DIY guitar pack, a number must be penciled on the neck and in the neck slot, to prove that both pieces have been made to fit together. It was not the case with that one.

Also, the… Continue reading

Stetsbar Tremolo Setup & Guitar Intonation – DIY SG Kit Part 4

Setting up Stetsbar Tremolo and guitar’s intonation

SG-Stetsbar-SettingThis article is the fourth one of the series “how to build your guitar kit”.

A stetsbar tremolo is one of the two systems available for a tune-o-matic guitar type. The other one being a Bigsby. The Stetsbar is simple to install. It needs no modification and delivers more advanced performance than a Bigsby.

Bigsby tremolo is a thing of the past. Some people are hooked on vintage gears due to nostalgia or fame. Because that gear was used by superstars, and became a myth over time. Most of the vintage parts are just old, ineffective, unprecise and noisy. They are nowhere near today’s gears. Hendrix and alike would have been baffled by today’s instruments. They would have thrown out of the window their vintage material to grab the ones of today in a blink of an eye.

A stetsbar tremolo is simple to install. You only have to remove the tune-o-matic bridge and place the Stetsbar block on the four washers. You… Continue reading

Custom Waterslide Decal Headstock – DIY SG Kit Part 3

Create and Apply Custom Waterslide Decal – Build your Own Guitar Kit

sg waterslide decal headerThis post is going to show you how to design a Custom Waterslide Decal and paste it on your guitar headstock. This is the third article in the series dedicated on “how to Build your Own Guitar Kit”.

The Custom Waterslide Decal process should typically happen before applying the varnish. First, the guitar was entirely painted in a dark brown color. It was impossible to add a Waterslide Decal on the headstock because the background was too dark. I knew it was going to happen, but I expected a better outcome.

There’s no white ink in printers. Thus, all colors using white pigments are altered when printed on a transparent support. Because of that, the actual background color replaces the white coloring.

One of the solutions is to use a white transfer paper. The other solution is to change the color of the headstock for a paler coloring.

My first reaction was to keep the guitar logo free.… Continue reading

Guitar Finish – Nitrocellulose Lacquer Spray – DIY SG Kit Part 2

How to Apply nitrocellulose lacquer spray

sg kit 1This post is going to show you how to finish a guitar kit using a nitrocellulose lacquer spray can.

This is the second article in the series dedicated on how to Build your Own Guitar Kit the right way. In the first post, I was explaining how to clue the set-in neck and how to paint the guitar using a nitrocellulose spray paint.

Actually, the nitrocellulose spray paint I used in the first video includes the paint and the varnish. The extra coat of nitrocellulose lacquer I’m going to add in this video wasn’t needed. You can actually skip that part depending on your budget or the model of guitar kit you are working on.

Here is why:

I decided to apply an extra coat of varnish because the SG guitar has a set neck painted with the same color as the body. Nitrocellulose paint is perfectly fine for a body surface, but for the neck, I wanted a smoother finish. Like a pro… Continue reading

Build your Own Guitar – Gluing Set Neck & Painting – DIY SG Kit Part 1

Build Your Own SG Guitar Kit The Right Way

SG Guitar KitI’m starting a series of article on how to build your own guitar kit the right way. This particular project features an SG guitar package. Each post is going to feature a video detailing every step needed to achieve an astonishing looking guitar and listing all the tools required to perform the task ideally.

The SG kit I am going to setup is not recommended for a starter kit. The reason is the set-in neck. Set necks are not that difficult to install, but if you fail, it’s tough to correct yourself.

The idea to make your guitar using kits is to avoid the cost of a luthier. Having to pay one at the first step of your first kit is not wise. That’s why I advise you to start with a bolt-on neck type and to go to a more advanced plan after having gained some experience on easier models.

If you are used to woodwork, you can start right… Continue reading

Portable Acoustic Guitar Preamp – The Nux PA-2

Affordable Acoustic Guitar Effect Processor

Portable Acoustic Guitar PreampThe Nux PA-2 was launch in 2013. It is the counterpart of much dearer acoustic preamps such as the zoom A3 and the new G – natural from TC electronic.

Each guitar effect is limited, and depending on your need, some might fit you better than other. Personally, I had a Zoom A3 not too long ago, and I sold it on eBay because I wasn’t using it enough. I’m an electric guitar player, and at the time, I was using it rarely. I felt it was a waste of money to have such a top unit sleeping on a shelf being use once every blue moon. It was also difficult to use, and the sound was too artificial for my taste. Electronic devices lose value almost instantly and within a few years I’ll wouldn’t have been able to resell it for $50.

Since then, I started to use my acoustic guitars more often, and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the sound I get plugging… Continue reading