How to guide - What do I need to do to my Tele neck pickup for it to work with 4 way switching?

How to guide - What do I need to do to my Tele neck pickup for it to work with 4 way switching?

4 way switching for a Tele is a fantastic way to retain the existing, classic 3 pickup positions of neck pickup only, bridge pickup only and neck & bridge pickups in parallel. But if you've fancied achieving a slightly beefier, almost humbucker esq sound too but didn't want to compromise the rest of your Tele sounds as they are, 4 way switching offers you an additional position: Neck & bridge pickups in series! Putting the two pickups in series as opposed to parallel creates a louder and chunkier sound and it can be great fun to have this available to you without compromising the traditional 3 position tele sounds.
Jennings Guitars Announce 'Navigator' - Their homage to an icon

Jennings Guitars Announce 'Navigator' - Their homage to an icon

After months of work, I was really pleased to see Jennings announce their latest guitar, The Navigator last week. I was lucky enough to be sent quite a few teaser photos whilst Chad & Devin were working on this model, and you could definitely tell they weren't content with simply making another 'Tele'. Sure, it would be very important to be true to the design, the reason why the Tele works as well as it does after all! But do so with their own stamp, as well as an interesting ethos behind why they wanted to approach a classic design as opposed to another unique shape to their lineup.

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McNelly Charlie Christian Soapbar Pickup demo!

McNelly Charlie Christian Soapbar Pickup demo!

Using traditional components, true to the original CC Pickup design but of course in typical McNelly fashion, trying to further improve on it too. This pickup is beautifully clear and very transparent, whilst also being incredibly responsive to touch and tone/volume settings. I recorded this clean demo (which also shows it mixed with a T-Bar bridge pickup for example purposes) to hopefully show what a beautiful sounding and versatile pickup this is. Charlie Christian by name and design, but a whole lot more than just a swing/jazz sound!

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Meet The Maker - Social Distortion to Luthiery, a chat Drew Walsh of Walsh Guitars

Meet The Maker - Social Distortion to Luthiery, a chat Drew Walsh of Walsh Guitars

I began to notice a bit of a transition in the guitar market over over the last few years. One that saw guitar buyers yearning for something a little different to the norm. Instrument designs that perhaps break the conventional molds, and I think the times we are in at the moment, those alternative choices available have never been better. 

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Mason Stoops, A Walsh Tele and bunch of other lust worthy gear

I came across this great video this evening so I thought it was worthy of a share over here on the blog.
Mason Stoops, a session player is no stranger to killer gear. The white Tele in this video is actually a Walsh Guitar and it gets it's fair share of coverage across social media, it's one popular Tele! As is Mason for his great playing.

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The latest 'Fifty - The fun begins

The latest 'Fifty - The fun begins

With the first 'fifty fresh off the work bench, demo'd and showcased at the Guitar Show, I decided to get moving on the second one! Home of Tone build #3, which is a nice thing to be able to say!
I wanted to do another 'fifty, but taking on board some of the comments & feedback from the many customers who kindly played & chatted with me at TGS. Not just to refine details, but more to just make new exciting ideas that interested me as much as you folks! One detail a lot of players asked over the course of the weekend was, 'Could you make one with body contours, that'd be comfy!' and the answer was most definitely a yes. 

Home of Tone Fifty - Body Contour

So after choosing the main body wood, which for this build I went with a slightly denser American Ash rather than the first 'fifty's Swamp Ash body. This will be explained why shortly. I set to work shaping the body & hand carving the tummy contour. I achieved this using a rasp & file, then various grades of sand paper bringing it to a smooth finish. It came out lovely, and sits nicely. Hope you folks who commented about having a T-Style guitar with a contour like what you see!

Next step was deciding a pickup combination. The Duckling/A5+ was such a killer set in the first build, textbook Tele combined with a really versatile S-Style tone at the neck. For this I wanted to step slightly further away from traditional and had my heart set on a McNelly Soapbar P90 at the neck, and possibly the new 'Duel Blade' in the bridge position. Which is why I chose the slightly denser American Ash. I felt the heavier, denser grain would suit these beefy pickups.
Chunky LP Junior tones paired with those searing Danny Gatton esq sounds, a nice combination right?! So I dug the router out and got the cavities cut out ready to house those pickup choices...

Home of Tone Fifty - Pickup cavities

Came together rather nicely indeed. After a few hours sanding, wet sanding, sanding again, with some more sanding. We're ready for grain filling, and guess what? More sanding. It's all worth while when you get a nice finish though, especially with the wood dye & oil technique I do. 

Home of Tone Fifty - Paper Scratch plate!

I'd had some ideas & inspiration in the form of T-Type Deluxe & Thinline models in terms of the scratch plate. I really love those models for that 'swoop' shape guard, in particular I love the slighty shallower 'horn' cutaway. So I decided to get some scrap paper and draw out a few styles. I'm going with a usual ashtray bridge so the little corner shape is to suit that. I settled with something like the photo above, which I've absolutely fell for! By all means share what you think, but I'm confident this will be the shape I'll be cutting for this. Just need to decide on the material, which all depends on the colour finish.

That's all for this update, but stay tuned for further blog posts as this build develops. Also, this guitar can be reserved in advance, so please get in touch if you're interested and I'd love to chat to you.

James

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