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Bass Guitars

Bass Guitar Shopping on a Budget

Squier Vintage Modified ‘70s Jazz Bass is a bass for all levels of player. If you’re a young player just startin’ out, you’ll be extremely lucky to have this be your first bass and it’s not one you’ll grow out of anytime soon. If you gig and don’t want to take an expensive instrument on the road, you might just wanna take a look. […]

Gibson vs Epiphone Les Paul Guitar
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Gibson vs Epiphone Les Paul – What’s The Difference?

Both guitars feature thin, 60’s style mahogany necks with rosewood fretboards. This same mahogany is also used as the underbody for each of the guitars. The top material of Gibson’s Les Paul is constructed of maple wood with a nitrocellulose finish, while the Epiphone uses a maple veneer with a standard gloss finish. This actually serves to make a huge difference in the tone of the guitar. FYI, random but relevant fact: veneer is created by gluing a multitude of thin sheets of wood together. While this creates a product that is less likely to crack, it in many ways seems to slightly alter the dynamics and removes a bit of the lower mid warmth. Since the maple top and the tone associated with it is one of the most ICONIC parts of the classic Gibson Les Paul, this point of contention seems to indicate at least one area where Gibson’s Les Paul is demonstrably better than its Epiphone cousin. However, wood is only as good as its protection, and as you may know, these two guitars have entirely different finishes… […]

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History of BC Rich Guitars

B.C. Rich have eventually settled (down?) up to create guitars for metal guitar players–from flamencos and acoustics, mind you. However, we cannot know for sure what to expect from the company in the future. New heavy metal guitars could be a pointer death ax, or BC Rich could go conveniently-style guitars, which haven’t really worked out that well for B.C. Rich Guitars. Either way, history will be made! […]

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Ibanez JS2PRM – Rare Ibanez Joe Satriani Chromeboy Guitars

In 2005, the JS2PRM was Ibanez’s third attempt to recreate the chrome guitar. Ibanez’s first two attempts, the JS2 and the JS10th, both were unsuccessful due to finish problems. The process of bonding a chrome finish onto a wood bodied guitar is an extremely difficult process. The JS10th (2nd attempt) a luthite body was used, which is similar to plastic, and the results were better than the original JS2 Chromeboys, however, they were still beset by water marks and peeling and sounded nowhere near as good as the basswood body. […]

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Top 5 Christmas Guitar Songs For Guitar Shredders

little extra free time to brush up on some mad guitar chops and maybe learn some new guitar chords and guitar songs that aren’t already in your arsenal.
I thought it might be fun to compile the top 5 Christmas guitar songs on YouTube from guitar shredders all around the world […]

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Acoustic Guitars

Ultimate Recycling: Building The Cigar Box Guitar

1. Basic Shape of the Neck at the Bottom. The neck and the body of the guitar should fit together very snugly. Also, you want the neck to come up flush with the body, so you need to cut a notch exactly as long and deep as the lid. Here’s how to do it: Take the neck of the guitar and line it up with the box lid so that the bottom of the neck (where the strings will be coming up from) is an inch or so from where the box lid ends. Make a mark on the neck there and where it protrudes from the other end of the lid. These marks designate where the lid groove needs to be carved so that you can get the neck to line up perfectly with the body. Cut out the area between the marks, as deep as your lid is thick. I used my wood file to do this. It was slightly tedious, but gave me great depth control. After reaching proper depth, I used sandpaper to smooth out the rough spots so the neck would rest evenly on the body.

2. Preparing the Body for the Neck. The body of the guitar needs to have notches so the neck fits snugly, and also needs sound holes drilled in it so you can hear the twangy goodness you create. This next step preps your body. Take the cigar box and measure halfway across each of the left and right side. From that point measure ¾” towards and away from the lid. Even though the wood for the neck is called a 1X2 it’s really a ¾ X 1½. At each of the endpoints you just drew, draw a line ¾” towards the bottom of the box, then connect those two lines. This will guide you for cutting out the notches for the neck to fit into. Be sure to cut just inside your marks and not quite as deep as you think you should. Try to fit the 1X2 in the notch, and when it doesn’t quite fit use the file and sandpaper to widen and deepen the notches.

The idea is to have the tightest fit possible. Remember, you want the lid to close easily over the neck of your guitar with no bowing of the lid (notch not deep enough) and no space between the neck and the lid (notch too deep). Once you have the notches cut to perfection, you are ready to drill out the sound holes in your guitar body. Any number of techniques can be used including the use of a scroll saw. I personally don’t own such things, so I just drill holes in the lid. Don’t make holes where the neck goes, since the neck will end up covering them. I don’t really have anything intelligent to say about how you should prepare the sound holes as I have not experimented with this much. One caution: be careful not to crack the lid of your cigar box while drilling madly.

3. Working on the Neck. The top of the neck will be comprised of a headstock and a bridge. This next part discusses how to prepare those parts. Remove the neck from the body of the guitar. Make a mark around 4 inches from the top of the neck. This will be where the headstock ends and the fretboard begins. Before you shape the headstock, I suggest you drill the 3 holes for the tuning pegs. This is because you need to be sure you don’t cut the headstock too thin (the tuning pegs won’t screw in snugly). Drill 2 holes on the left side of the headstock and one on the right. The two holes on the right should not line up with one another, one should be slightly offset so the strings don’t interfere with one another when you string it. I offset my top hole about 3/8? further in than the bottom hole. The holes are about 2? apart. I drilled the left hole between the top and bottom right hand holes to make sure the headstock strength was not compromised. You can make a template with paper or business cards so you have the holes lined up properly before drilling.

Next, the shaping of the headstock is in order. I like to use the wood file because I can file away little bits of the headstock at a time without going overboard. I use it and the pocketknife to shape the headstock into the shape I want. After that, you can round out the back of the neck for a more comfortable playing experience. Just don’t mess with the neck portion that goes inside of the body of the guitar since nobody will see that part and since you want to retain a snug fit between the neck and body.

4. The Bridge and String Holes. The last manipulation of the neck piece is the drilling of the sting holes at the bottom of the neck and the creation of the bridge groove. Drill 3 very small equidistant holes at the bottom of the neck, approximately ½” from the bottom, this is where you will thread the strings. On the top of the neck, ½” below where the headstock begins, use the wood file to cut a small round groove across the neck. This is where the bolt you use for the bridge will sit. The groove should be deep enough that 2/3 of the bolt is above the plane of the neck and 1/3 is below.

5. Staining and Prettying Up the Neck. Remove all hardware from the neck. Sand it down nice and pretty and get off all the rough spots, nicks etc. Stain and seal it.

6. Attaching the Neck to the Body. Use the wood glue to affix the neck of the guitar to the lid. After it has dried, you might want to use a few finishing nails as well. Be careful that you don’t crack the lid when doing this. Use the finishing nails to close up the lid. I like to drill pilot holes so that everything goes in straight and easy. (Note: If you want to wire this baby for sound, see the note at the end of these instructions. Don’t do this step yet!!)

7. String Her Up! Using acoustic guitar strings is recommended by Shane Speal, the King of the Cigar Box Guitar, and I’m not one to argue with the king. He uses Martin Darco acoustic guitar strings, gauged .045, .035, .026. Place the bridge bolt in place, as well as the eye bolt at the bottom of the guitar and tune it up. Shane suggests a few different types of tuning including: A (A, E, A’); G (G, D, G’); A7 (A, E, G’); G9 (G, D, A’). A note about the strings: The first guitar I made has some grooves cut into the wood by the strings, directly above where the three small holes I drilled in the bottom are. The stress put on the strings is causing them to cut holes up from those I drilled. I’m trying a new design where I use 3 small washers at the base of the holes. I’m hoping this will keep the strings from cutting too deeply into the wood.

Making the Guitar Electric

Note for those interested in making the guitar electric I have found one of the cheapest ways to do this and still get a reasonable sound. You can wire your cigar box guitar for about $3.00. You will need the following: A Radio Shack Piezo Transducer (part number 273-073 or 273-073a) and a ¼” output jack.

The transducer is in the section with the buzzers, not the microphones. Connect the transducer to the jack via two wires.

Simply glue the buzzer to the inside of the cigar box lid and drill out a hole for the jack to mount to. Voila, electric cigar box. After doing this, continue following directions 6 and 7. The transducer has a somewhat bass bias, in that sounds come out somewhat deep sounding. I found that turning the bass tabs on my amp fixes this problem. Also, running it through various pedals nullifies the problem (chorus pedals etc.) […]

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Hamer Newport Hollowbody Electric Guitar Review

There are some guitars that stand out from the bunch, and Hamer worked out a way to produce just that kind of instrument. Newport Pro is truly an amazing guitar that performs well and sounds terrific. You may safely head over to online music store and grab yourself one of these without ever trying it, if you believe your fellow musicians who gave this instrument the highest grades. Newport Pro really deserves those, and will surely make you a happy guitar player!

This guitar is fitted with all the features you could possibly wish for, for a playing style that goes with this kind of instrument. Carefully chosen features leave no guitar player’s desire unfulfilled, which makes Hamer’s Newport Pro an extremely well featured guitar with which you’ll be thoroughly pleased. Highest grades for Newport Pro’s features!

This beauty has virtually no flaws. Hamer surpassed their traditional level of quality and produced an instrument that is built great, and built to last. The finish is amazing and the hardware easily adjustable to fit any kind of action. The neck is superb and smooth while playing. Newport Pro stays in tune 99% of the time and responds well to various playing styles.

If you’re willing to believe your fellow musicians, then you should trust that Hamer’s Newport Pro is one highly reliable guitar, that will perform well both in studio and on stage. It is durable as well, given the fact that you take the usual care of your instrument. Newport Pro is really a great choice if reliability/durability is one of your concerns. […]