The Best Gear Reviewed by a Geek for the Geeks

Guitar Electronic

SSS Pickguard – Women Tone, Bass Cut & 2 Vols

SSS Pickguard - Women Tone, Bass Cut & 2 VolsSSS custom pickguard for Stratocaster- Women Tone, Bass Cut & 2 Volumes

This SSS custom pickguard is the latest creation of mine. I always like to try new settings and test them.

I got the bass cut and women tone idea from a Hagstrom Retroscape Impala guitar I have. It simply adds a resistor or a capacitor to the circuit.

A 12K resistor on the women tone switch (on/on), and a 0.003Mf capacitor on the other On/On switch. (bass cut).

The pickguard features

2 volume pots

  • The first volume works on the neck and middle pickup
  • The 2nd volume pot works on the bridge pickup

The tone pot is only active on the neck and middle pickups.

3 Toggle Switch

  • First switch

The famous Gilmour switch. It activates the neck pickup no matter what, giving seven possible settings

  • Second switch

The women tone. A 12K resistor added to the circuit.

  • Third switch

The bass cut switch cuts out the bass frequencies and renders a more treble sound.

Take a look… Continue reading

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

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

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

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