Saturday, September 22, 2007

Axe Murderer

Having felt, for some time, quite jealous of Silky's beefy tone (note: possible solo live album title for our rhythmn player) and having been, for some time, keen to impress G-to-the-showizzlewick's guitar tech fellow. I decided to embark on the thin end of the slippery slope that is guitar customisation. I paused momentarily before hacking my Duo-Sonic to pieces as it is all original but a quick ebay proved that the world is stuffed full of such antiquities and so long as I kept all the bits there would be no harm done. SO! I went and bought me a DiMarzio humbucker squished in to the size of a single coil, a soldering iron and some solder (turns out flux comes inside solder these days). Having made the obligatory cup of tea, I stared at the instructions...feeling not confident at all I unscrewed all the bits...you can see in the photo above (which unusually for me is an actual record of the event I am writing about) the situation which faced me...anyway I soldered on regardless. To cut a long story short (the tricky bit is those slider switches by the way) I plugged it in and I didn't get electrocuted and it works but I am not sure this phase business is right. I may still take it to the dudes who sold me the pickup and get them to redo all the wiring as it is looking about as fresh and lubed as an old man's testicles.

15 Comments:

Blogger Paddy said...

That does sound exciting. That sort of work might be frustrating and troublesome. Did you enjoy the process? You seem not to have enjoyed the outcome.

24/9/07 10:42  
Blogger Paddy said...

Oh, and “axe murderer”, “soldered on regardless”… Sweet. Don't think nobody noticed.

24/9/07 10:43  
Blogger gigglewick said...

I'm personally of the view that the less one gets electrocuted by ones gear, the better.

But then, I'm by no means a professional.

24/9/07 11:44  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

I enjoyed it very much indeed. Great fun. Easy to burn yourself with a soldering iron, mind you. There is a great thrill when you turn it on and it actually works (and you don't get electrocuted). The reason for my considering professional help is that the pick up sits quite high due to all the cable underneath it and I didn't want to shorten it too much in case I messed it up. And as the wiring is from 1967 it is all a bit old and brittle and could do with some refreshing...I may even swap out the neck pick-up for some other monster whilst I am at it.

24/9/07 12:38  
Anonymous Mr Fix said...

Does the Humbucker have a 4 core wire? If so there's a great little 'vintage guitar friendly' mod you can do to the two slider switches that allows you to get three sounds out of the humbucker with the rear pickup switch and it turns the neck pickup switch into a 3 way pickup selector switch. Very handy.. and there's no accidentally turning the guitar off which is an annoying feature of Mustangs and Duo-Sonics.

Regards,

Mr Fix

24/9/07 15:16  
Blogger gigglewick said...

Hee! Look at how I'm bringing people together on the internerd!

* gloats *

24/9/07 16:19  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

Mr Fix! This is exciting and kind. I worried that I may give myself too many options and never have the tone I am after. I am guessing this must be something to do with the two wires I soldered together which is all part of this series or parallel business. The instructions came with three (three!!!) different wiring configurations and none of this, for good reason, took in to account that you might be dealing with a duo-sonic. I guess those two wires are connected to the switch somehow.

And ah yes...the guitar turning itself off...one of my favs...mine sometimes does it when I rock out just a bit to hard and is soon corrected with a well-aimed sitcom like blow to the body. It is a bit daft that they turn off.

If you do grace these pages again, one peice of advice I would like is, is it worth me putting on in the neck position as well, or is that just crazy talk? I like my new found dirty omnipresence very much.

25/9/07 09:53  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

that is supposed to be "one in the neck position"

25/9/07 09:54  
Blogger silky-D said...

I don't know about everyone else but in my mind Mr Fix looks like a cross between Don Burke and Carlos Santana -- knowledgable, helpful but also a flaming sexpot of hot rock. He needs his own info-tainment show...

25/9/07 22:13  
Anonymous Jimbo said...

MDP, I would feel safer for the band's sake if you could assure me that you had a screw or two left over after the surgery. I subscribe to the one-screw-left-over philosophy of toaster fixing. Second thoughts, you aren't trying to toast things...

26/9/07 14:45  
Blogger gigglewick said...

SD,

There are fewer multicoloured jumpers, but basically, you're right on the money.

UT,

Paddy has Mr Fix's details if you want to contact him directly he's happy to give you the advice you require...

27/9/07 15:17  
Anonymous mrazzy said...

Jimbo and I just saw the preview for Air Guitar Nation. Will Squid Ink be holding a band excursion to learn the finer arts of stagecraft?

1/10/07 13:14  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

I have a fix on Mr Fix thanks to P-Borg. I am yet to call as I am in a state of unrest but it can't be far away.

Mrazzy...I am stunned - nay flabbergasted - by the suggestion that our stagecraft needs work! In addition these air guitarists can pose to their heart's content as they don't have to worry about actually playing the guitar...which takes my single-tasking brain a fair bit of effort.

1/10/07 21:44  
Anonymous mrazzy said...

I was thinking more along the lines of a conference among experts, a meeting of minds and mixing of creative juices. Glorious as your stagecraft is, surely you don't want to get bogged down with yesterday's moves?

3/10/07 10:03  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

Just to keep everyone in the loop...I had another go and it is much more successful. The strings no longer press against the pickup (which is a victory) and it still works. I have the hot wire around the wrong way as the phase switching is now reversed but it just means I need to have the sliders in opposite directions instead of the same to be in phase. Mr Fix will get contacted as I would feel mean depriving him of the good belly laugh he would get from seeing my handy work but I am waiting until I have the cash to buy another pick up and then get the whole re-wired.

I also changed my saddles out for a set of brass ones that don't have the little rifling which seems to cause so many string breaks...so the intonation is now in a position that may also inspire merriment from true guitar hipsters.

9/10/07 19:56  

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