Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

Bourns Model 82 Potentiometers in the Shop

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

There is no better upgrade to a budget or mid priced guitar than installing professional grade electronics: switches, pots, and jacks, or even taking the plunge on some high quality pickups.  These upgrades will make a big difference in tone and long term reliability of your instrument.

Here in the shop we make sure to use high quality parts like Switchcraft jacks for example, and Bourns potentiometers.  Recently I was turned on to a great product that we are also now stocking in the shop: the Bourns series 82 high quality potentiometers.  This item is part of Bourns highly touted Pro Audio line of potentiomters for guitars, amplifiers and audio equipment. 

Now you will notice right away that this item has a different look than your standard guitar style pot which has been used for about the last 60 years. First, it has a sealed body which is permanently lubricated.  It also uses a conductive plastic resistance track instead of the basic carbon track.  Both of these features insure that the series 82 will not wear out or get that annoying scratchy sound, and makes them very noiseless and transparent.   Put one of these in and you never have to mess with it again. I recommend highly using them on all volume pots since that is what usually gets most of the use.  For tone pots, which are usually not adjusted as often we usually stick with the std units.

For more info on Bourns check out their website at

Buzz Feiten Tuning Goes Iphone/Ipod

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

A quick update from Allen, our contact over at Buzz Feiten Tuning.   Here is what Allen has to say,

“You should be aware of the DAddario/Planet Waves
ProTune which is an iPhone/iPod app that includes BFTS(Buzz Feiten Tuning System) as an upgrade. So, now there’s a full tuner with our system
(no acoustic intonation of course) for less than $25.
Plus, BFTS and all our licensed partners will be exposed to
an enormous marketplace due to our inclusion in Apple’s
marketing on iTunes. This is a very significant breakthrough.
Check it out:
Planet Waves also makes the TruStrobe pedal tuner with BFTS that
retails for $89. We are now very affordable.

In Depth Articles on Intonation, Scales and Tuning

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Check out this link my luthier buddy Sean emailed me.   I too find that intonation is the one issue that I get the most questions about and that people have the least understanding.   These articles may be a little more in depth than most people care to read, but hey, you asked the question…well, maybe you didn’t. 

This also leads to a discussion about the Buzz Feiten Tuning method, but that is for another day.

Improving Acoustic Guitar Tone!!

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Ok, of course starting with the finest materials and having the guitar built by the best luthier would also improve your acoustic guitar tone, but for those more realistic or on a budget check this out.  

Replacing your stock guitar’s plastic Saddle and Nut with ones made of harder material and custom fit for your guitar will add volume and clarity to any acoustic guitar you have,  even lower priced models.   In our shop we use either bone or corian for both saddles and nuts. These are hard materials that can handle guitar string pressure and wear, and will transmit the strings’ energy  to the guitar top and body where it belongs.

It is a basic concept but a harder  material will transmit energy(in this case vibration) more effectively than a softer material that will dampen and aborb more of the vibrating string’s energy. 

For more detailed information check out my article on this topic at our FAQ and Tips section of our website.