Switchcraft coil tap switch (left) and modern donor (right)

In the mid-70s, some Gibson semi-acoustics such as the ES-335 and ES-347 were fitted with coil splitting switches, which shorted out one coil of each pickup to provide a single coil sound. I think this was a nod to fashion as thanks to disco and in particular Nile Rogers, the Fender Stratocaster sound was …

Butterscotch Telecaster with Joe Barden pickups

I put this guitar together today for a customer. The body is from guitarbuild.co.uk and the owner finished it using my Butterscotch nitrocellulose lacquer. I fitted the Joe Barden pickups, with the bridge mounted to the body, G E Smith style. There is a 4-way switch fitted, giving in-series as well as in-parallel pickup …

Skiffle Cat Jazz Guitar

I spent just about all of today rewiring this jazz-style guitar. It was made by Skiffle Cat who may well now be defunct? It’s not the greatest guitar in the world but it is very servicable and now sounds the business. Last time it was here I dressed the frets, gave it a new …

Over the last few weeks I’ve been fortunate to have some unusual 70s basses in the workshop. It was a coincidence that they were all here at the same time, although the two fretless basses were brought in by the same person.   Wal Pro II Bass The Wal Pro series of basses was …

Lucille Varitone true bypass modification

The owner of this Gibson Lucille wanted to get a better sound from his guitar. Although position “1” on the Gibson Varitone switch is supposed to be bypass, it does leave the choke in the circuit which loses volume and precious tone. As the guitar’s owner didn’t find the stereo feature of the guitar …

Hofner Model 4575 65-3

This Höfner Model 4575 “65-3” guitar which dates to 1965/66 and I’ve just rewired it as the controls were unreliable. despite a good clean. Alan at Project Guitar Parts supplied the switches and also a reproduction pickguard and bracket. The pickguard needed to be cut to accommodate the pickups. Eagle-eyed aficionados will spot that …

Gibson L4 CES

This beautiful 1989 Gibson L4 CES was brought in with a bad electrical buzz. I traced the buzz to a disconnected bridge earth wire which I reconnected. I noticed however that at some point early in its life the guitar had been rewired with different pots. The pots have solid shafts and whoever did the …

Epiphone bridge saddles reduced, smoothed and slotted to radius

Here’s a lefty Epiphone Les Paul that I upgraded the other day. The list of upgrades is: Tusq nut fret dress rewire setup Tusq nut The nut on the guitar was a cheap hollow plastic replacement that had poorly cut string slots causing tuning problems. A new Tusq nut sorted that out. Rewire The …

Neck pickup The first job is to find the right postion for the neck pickup. Place the pickup in the cavity and thread the wires through to the control cavity. Place the pickguard on the guitar and position the neck pickup central in the hole. Being careful not to move the pickup, remove the …

Attaching the switch and controls Attach the 3-position switch using the screws provided. Attach the volume and tone pots with the soldering lugs facing. Use the lower nut to adjust the height of the potentiometer. Place the star washer between this nut and the control plate. use a dress washer beneath the upper nut …