Monday, 22 April 2013

The nightmare of a semi....

If you don't own a hollow body guitar these photos will probably seem like the funnest things you've seen all week....
 
If you do own one, the horror. But once you start trying to work on the controls of one of these guitars you can very quickly loose control and resort to murder....

First things first....get the knobs off....
Best way to do this is wrap a towel under the knobs and slowly pull them off....
Do not use spoons....they will dint your top....and make sure if it's a push/pull switch knob that it's in the up position or you'll pull the shaft through the switch....

Next tie strings round the control posts, loosen the nuts and drop the controls into the body and out through the F-hole....
Next repair the wiring loom or make a new one up....
But before you dive into replacing the loom, try and I can not say this enough....try to repair the existing controls first....remember the first couple of photos and ask yourself why someone would take a saw to the back of their guitar....it could be a bad solder joint or a broken wire, both are a lot easier to repair than a full rewire job. If your problem is a scratchy pot all it could need is some Deoxit to clean the contact and brush.
Do not flush the pot with masses of cleaner, all you'll do is wash out the grease at the bottom of the shaft and pot base. It's this grease that make's the pot feel smooth when you turn it....no grease no smooth. What I do is spray some cleaner into a cans top and use a  pipette to put the smallest amount of cleaner onto the pots contact and quickly turn the pot shaft back and forth to hopefully move any crap that's making the pot sound scratchy. This guitar is a Yamaha SA700 from 1978, over thirty years worth of crud, the Deoxit helped but didn't fix, so a proper job needs doing....BUGGER....
After you have the controls out make sure to label the pickup leads. Then make up a template for your original controls, this will show you how the hook wires sat in the cavity so you can make up a replica loom that will go in the same way as the old came out....
For my new loom I used CTS 450 pots and better quality Sprague Orange Drop capacitors. I didn't use the premium CTS 450 pots with brass inserts as I wanted to keep the tone of the original loom if  possible. If it's going to be your first semi rewire I wouldn't advise you to use the braided wire. Stick with normal, the braided stuff can be a real pain to get in place....
If your going to use the braided hook up wire your going to need a good soldering station to put some heat into the braid. They are not that expensive anymore and being able to raise the temperature for soldering pot bases then lowering it for hook up wires is a god send.

How a soldering iron works is by transferring heat from the irons tip into the thing your soldering. A low power soldering iron is great for wiring up hook up wires to pot tabs but you'll need to hold that lower temp iron onto a pot base for a long time to get enough heat into it to get the solder to flow, that's a good way to kill a pot. It's better to have a high power iron to solder pot bases and use it to heat up fast, get the solder flowing and get the heat off fast.

I use silver solder, its just as easy to use as normal solder. I use a small dab of electronic flux "not plumbers flux" for the braids and pot bases to help the solder flow better but not on pot tabs because you don't need it. A soldering stand will let you keep a free hand and the gold pot in the photo is full of brass wire for cleaning your irons tip, a damp sponge will over time destroy your soldering tip....the brass wire does a better job and lasts for years.
If your upgrading from Alpha to CTS pots you will need to drill out the holes so that the larger CTS pots will fit. I use a wood rose/counter sink bit to drill out the holes, you will get a cleaner hole. A normal wood drill tip will rip the wood. You could put some sticky tape on the guitar top but this can also rip finish off when you remove it....
Before you install your new loom it would be best to check that your wiring works first....solder on the pick ups and plug into your amp and play....check the volume, tone and switch all work how they should. Spending the next two hours install the new loom only to have to remove it because a tone and volume has been soldered onto the wrong pot tab is not funny....
When your installing the loom....the input, neck tone and volume will go in first. It's best to do it in stages so you only need those strings tired on, anymore strings and you can get into a tangle and you'll need to start again....Remember the grip washers need to go on before you tie on the installing strings. 
The best thing I've found to pull the input through the body is a small bit of Q-tip, this will easily fall into the cavity when your done with it. A bent up zip tie is great for grabbing at things. Push in the switch but don't install it, the bridge tone and volume go in next and then after these are fully installed you can finish off with the the switch. Take your time but I'm not going to lie to you, rewiring a semi guitar is a mother of a job and will take you all day. I have done lots over the years but have never got any better at doing them. Every one I've ever done at some point has had me yelling abuse at the top of my voice....

Some of this may seem like common sense but after days of struggling, sawing a hole in the back of your pride and joy made common sense to someone too.
This photo makes me laugh every time I see it....oh the humanity....

BLOG UP-DATE No 1 - This web page has been sent to me over Twitter....guitarfritz.com....Thanks Rachel.
At the bottom of the page is a Yamaha SA700, A very nice looking SA700 with no dings in it that I can see....Just one awesome owner....Just f**kin awesome....
http://www.guitarfritz.com/yamaha-4/

Hope this helps....k.j.

You can now follow My Bollocks on Twitter....





Thursday, 18 April 2013

Follow Bollocks on Twitter....

I'm going to start putting the random crappolla on Twitter, makes more sense and easier for people to say hi than on Google and YouTube....


Find me here on Twitter. k.j.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Egnater Footswitch Mod...

If your Egnater Footswitch has come with a hard wired cable...it will eventually crap out. Why they had to use 2 stereo jacks to plug it into the amp I will never know....when a easily bought everywhere midi cable would have worked so much better. I have posted this mod on the Egnater Forum but thought I'd post it hear as-well....


Mine broke in the cable near the footswitch so I had to mod it with a new detachable cable and a breakout box made from a Jacky D tin for coolness.


Anywho....if you go to my Photobucket page I've put up 25 photos that will clearly show how I've done it. The things you are going to need is 2x Chassis Socket, Din, 5p 180....that's a
female midi socket you can find off eBay. I used ones with a screw down locking ring but that was overkill....clearly. Midi cable of any length you think you'll use, a cheap 1 meter TRS cable to cut in half and use for the breakout box and a cool tin for the said breakout box.


It's another simple mod that shouldn't take too long....once done you'll never need to do it again....

Hope this is of use....k.j.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

9v Power Trip....

I always hated using 9volt batteries in my pedals....they were a pain changing them and it gets real expensive when you forget to un-plug a string of pedals. I first used a Dunlop Brick, I remember having a couple of them, they had a habit of stopping working.


I was then given a Diago Power Station 9v daisy chain power supply. I still have it and it goes to gigs with me as a back up.


I have also made up some quick plug-in 9v and 18v battery snaps for emergencies.

I carry a couple of these to every gig....plug and play

But over the years have ended up with a lot of pedals that run better on 18v "OCD-Amp Eleven-Heartbreaker".


I then got myself a T-Rex Fuel Tank Chameleon that rather annoyingly has been less than reliable, the power LED has died twice, went from a cool green colour to a same as everything else blue and then it really died and had to be repaired. "lucky it came with a 3 year warranty".

collectors item in 50 years....rofl 

For the last couple of years I've had a Voodoo Pedal Power 2 Plus that has powered all my pedals very happily with no problems.
5 year warranty with the Voodoo
The Power 2 Plus has a Auxiliary AC outlet that I have used to run both my Valvulator and my TC G-System through with no problems.
Pete Cornish thinks these are the Dogs Bollocks
I make up my own power lines for pedals that need 18volts and this is how you make them....
to use a 18v cable your power supply outputs needs to be "Isolated"
The cables are easy to make up yourself....hope this is of use....k.j.




Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Comments Please....

I've been waiting for a comment....from anybody....is there anybody out there....
Turns out I had not switched them on in the blog settings...."what a boob...."

"Hello World and Thank You for reading my blog...." k.j.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Guitar Mag 1984....

Trying to find something else, found this in the loft....

I remember thinking this bass was the most awesome thing I had ever seen....it's still awesome....
If you see something in the mag you want to have a look at, leave a comment and I'll post it up for you....for all you Yamaha fans....




I have 100s of old mags and I'll post anything interesting....

Marshall 800 and a SG, they still do it for me....
It's funny looking through them and seeing how crap the layout and design in them was....Adobe and Apple have made the world a better place to live in after all....lol. k.j.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Taxi for Mr X....

This appeared on the Phil X Twitter page yesterday....

my ride yesterday
Then today in the news....
from Gigwise
Do we think Mr Reed is back....




filling shoe's
the boy done good







"Good luck on the Jovi Job Mr X" k.j.






Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Mexican Scrape Off....

If your guitar neck is moving in its body cavity this will give you tuning issues and when it moves will also cause your strings to fall of the fretboard. This is more common on the bass side due to the string pressure being greater on that side. You will eventually strip the threads in the neck through constant loosening and over-tightening of the connecting screws. If your neck is moving it is usually down to two things....the paint coating or a factory sticker. By removing the paint on the neck heal you will stop the neck moving but you will also get a better connection between the body and the neck giving you better tone transfer....giving you more sustain.

This is a Mexican Fender Strat with a polyurethane coating that has to come off....

this sticker is not helping....



mark with tape where you need to stop....



box cutter blade as a diy scaper....


it will get messy....


down to the sticker in no time....



stop when your down to wood....



time for a light sanding to keep things flat....



blow out the holes and add some glue to harden threads....



finish off with wax and buff to seal the wood....




Work slowly and stop when you get down to wood....don't be tempted to use a power sander....a box cutter blade will easily scrape the coating off in a couple of minutes....I also like to drill out the threads on the body so that the neck screws pass through the body freely, this gives you a tighter hold on the neck with no binding in the body. This strat was a couple of years old and the back of the neck was still very shinny so I gave it a quick sanding to take off the glass-like finish for a better playing feel...it all helps. k.j.