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Repair LoG Les Paul Gold top copy SN: xxxxxxxxx ‘Made in U.S.A’ actually made in China
14/08/17 Copyright reserved Terry Relph-Knight
Supplied fitted with a set of 0.009, 0.010, 0.016, 0.023, 0.030, 0.040 strings ? With a black hard case branded ‘Gibson USA’.
Value – £90?? Weight – 3.2kg. 7.054lbs.
This guitar is not a re-branded knock off, rather it is a fake, as it attempts to look like a genuine Gibson gold top Les Paul. On a cursory glance from a few feet away it is surprisingly convincing. The owner did not tell me how much he paid for it, but it was obviously not a lot of money. As delivered this guitar had not been carefully assembled or set up. The interesting thing is that, once the various problems had been fixed and the set up adjusted, it became a really fun guitar to play. It felt and sounded good and had a charm all its own. Initially this was a rush job as the owner wanted the basic problem with the output jack fixed before leaving the country for a few weeks.
Body – Made of mystery wood, certainly not mahogany, hard to tell how many pieces (one join line is visible at the edge of the body). The exposed wood surfaces inside the guitar are quite pale – it could be poplar or pawlonia. Overall the guitar is very light weight for a ‘Les Paul’. Gold top with cream binding on the top edge. Back and sides in a very dark red translucent finish. The back of the guitar appears to have a mahogany like veneer across it to disguise any joins in the body pieces
The carved top is almost certainly two or more separate pieces Carving / sanding is a little crude in places – there is a gap under the top edge of the bridge pickup.
Neck – Also mystery wood. Cream binding on a quite black fretboard, again of mystery wood, but has the appearance of something between ebony and rosewood (possibly black dyed). 22 flatish jumbo frets. Quite sharp fret ends. Moto flared parallelogram fret markers.
The serial number and the Made in U.S.A have been laser cut down to the wood through the finish. A technique that Gibson has never used. The headstock is not quite the right shape, it is too narrow. It does have the ‘Gibson’ logo inlaid on the headstock in abalone shell and Les Paul model in the gold script (actually does not look quite gold, it is more of a dull yellow). Very crudely cut and too small truss rod ‘bell’ cover with Les Paul STANDARD roughly hot stamped in silver. Moulded plastic nut, obviously not Corian.
Hardware – Crude copies of the Gibson Deluxe / Kluson tuners with rather grey ‘green’ plastic tulip head buttons. Spacing and fitting of these tuners is quite sloppy. Two open top black bobbin humbucker pickups with flush steel poles in each pickup (no adjustment screw poles) and probably ceramic magnets. Chrome plated copy of a Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge with chromed zinc saddles. Bridge posts are 6mm with slotted screw heads. Chrome plated stop bar – screwed down as far as it will go to the body. Gold bell knobs. Rather yellow moulded plastic elevated pick guard.
No internal screening paint or screened cables. Very crude disc around the pickup switch with RHYTHM and TREBLE seemingly dyed in to the surface. Strap buttons have a very shallow flare.
Problems – A wire to the output jack has snapped. The jack socket itself was loose and had probably rotated, snapping the very flimsy connection wire.
The low E and the G tuners are loose on their attachment screws. The tuner post push in ferrule for the G string is loose in its hole.
Generally sharp fret ends.
With the strings removed was possible to see that the rear side of the plastic nut was quite rough where the strings slot had been hacked into it.
Last minute problems with high and low frets above the 12 fret.
Work done – Unsoldered the jack socket completely and cleaned up the solder tags. Fitted a toothed lock washer to the jack socket, tightened the retaining nut onto the jack plate and then dabbed on some clear nail varnish to the nut and threads on the outside to inhibit future loosening. Cut back re-stripped and tinned the connecting wire and re-soldered the connections to the jack socket. Screwed the jack and its plate back onto the body.
Plugged in the guitar to check for proper function and playability.
Second phase of work done – Hammered down the high threaded bridge insert, so it is at least flush with the top of the guitar. Removed the two loose tuners, plugged the over large screw holes with toothpicks and superglue. Glued in the loose G ferrule with a dab of super glue and refitted the tuners. Cleaned and polished the fret board and frets, including smoothing down the fret ends.
Rubbed down the rough spots on the nut and cleaned up the string slots with nut files and then ‘flossed’ them with the old strings coated in metal polish to polish the string slots.
Converted the existing stop bar bolts into a ‘poor man’s’ locking system by cutting off the bolt collars with a mini-hacksaw and supporting the stop bar on a stack of steel washers (instead of a neater looking Faber spacer).
Re-strung with the D’Addario NYXL 10 to 46s. Set up the action and set the intonation.
Fret problems – hammered down and smoothed various high frets above the 12th. At first G 15 was high then D has 15 low and 16 high. String buzz on the D string only at the 15th fret.
Third phase – 29/11/17 Filed and polished frets 16 and 17 so all the frets in that area read level. Changed the D string, which I had damaged in my haste to hammer down fret 15, and was still buzzing even with the frets levelled.
Diagnostics – All the electronics in this guitar are of low quality and the wiring is rather elementary. The control potentiometers are the small 16mm diameter case types and the pickup switch is the low quality ‘box’ type rather than a leaf spring switch.
The bridge is set up at an angle with the bass side higher than the treble (9mm bass and 6.5mm treble – from underside of the bridge end to the top surface of the body). The treble side thread insert has not been pressed all the way into the body, it sits about 1mm proud of the surface.
Tuners have quite a lot of backlash in the gears (the tuner on the D string in particular).
On closer examination while re-stringing the low E and the G tuners are loose on their attachment screws (the two small screws that fit through the tuner ears on the back of the headstock). This is because at least one of each pair of screws isn’t threaded into wood – they are just spinning in an over large hole and the press in ferrule on the G string tuner is loose and will just fall out. Loose tuners do not help with tuning stability. Tuner spacing is quite irregular, particularly for the high E tuner which is spaced away from the other tuners.
The stop bar bolts are rather short – only 18mm to the lower collar.
Intonation as delivered
In this test (with the old strings) each string is tuned exactly to pitch and then the pitch at the fretted twelfth fret is measured. The results are the error from the perfect octave, in cents.
In this test, each string is tuned exactly to pitch and then the length of string between the tuner and the nut is depressed until it touches the headstock and then released. The figures are the change in pitch in cents following this test.
Intonation adjusted for zero error and tuning stability much improved after the nut slots were polished.
Repair Log – April 1983 Squier Vintage Precision Bass SN:JVXXXXX made in Japan
15/06/17 Copyright reserved Terry Relph-Knight
Current value – £500 to £600
Delivered with a very worn gig bag.
One of the excellent Fender Japan Squier Precision Basses made in the FujiGen Gakki factory, this instrument has been gigged hard for all its life and this is the first time it has ever been serviced. The only user modification made to it is the replacement of the original tortoiseshell pick guard with a white 3 ply guard.
With the exception of another new cream pick guard the owner wanted to keep this bass as original as possible, so all the old hardware was removed, re-furbished and then re-fitted to the bass.
A U shaped route in the body below the truss rod nut was revealed when the white pick guard was removed. This is a very useful feature because it allows easy adjustment of the truss rod without any disassembly of the bass. A matching cut out was made in the new cream pick guard to allow easy access to this feature.
Body – Four piece body, possibly Japanese Sen (Ash) in Arctic white finish, with a 3 ply white pickguard (Owner tells me this replaced the original tortoiseshell guard). White self adhesive neck shim at the bottom of the neck pocket printed Fender 83 4. The body is in reasonable shape but it does have numerous scratches and dings. The largest is through to the wood on the edge above the forearm contour. Three standard conical strap buttons, (two fitted with rubber strap stops) one below the bridge, one on the upper horn and one on the back of the headstock. Body has a U route in the bottom edge of the neck pocket for easy access to the truss rod adjustment.
Neck – 12 inch radius C profile one piece maple neck with a slab rosewood fret board. 20 small vintage frets, white dot markers. Date 4 13 ‘83 hand written on the end of the neck. A stamp – 5 . EX T on the back of the neck heel. An L shaped brown wear mark on the headstock shoulder below the E tuner, possibly from a hanger. Four bolt, chrome plated, thin steel neck plate, with the serial number stamped on it. The four neck ‘bolts’ are (very rusty) cross head. They are the older tapered style with a smooth shank above the threaded portion.
Truss rod adjusted by a cross head barrel nut at the heel. Tightened by about one half turn as received.
Fairly heavy fret wear down to the 9th fret.
A small gold label reading – C D Music, 6 Westwick Crescent, Sheffield S8 7DG (0742) 377967 is stuck on the back of the headstock. Another one of these labels is stuck to the middle underside of the scratchplate.
Repair Log Squier Vintage Precision
Hardware – 4 riveted clover leaf, nickel plated tuners with Kluson style hole and slot string posts. All four tuner base plates are bent upwards in the middle by around 1mm. Tuner posts, the worm and all tuner parts, apart from the round brass gear, are made from steel. One old style circular string tree. One split humbucker PB pickup, covers are quite worn, height screws are rusty and support rubber may need replacing. Volume and tone controls with knurled flat top aluminium knobs, originally chrome plated (most of the chrome has worn off).
Volume control is 286.4K Tone is 279.9K both 20% curve. Tone cap is 104 (0.1uF) plastic film with green resin dip.
Top loading Fender bridge (really filthy) – chrome plated, bent, 1.5mm steel base plate, attached to the body with five chromed cross head screws (it was rust city under the bridge plate). Four 5/16 diameter, threaded, nickel plated brass, saddles with slotted head height adjustment screws at either end. Each saddle with a 1.5inch cross head intonation screw and spring. All bridge screws are nickel plated steel.
Strung with Thomastik-Infeld JF344 Jazz Flatwound 34inch long scale 4-String Bass Guitar Strings, 43, 56, 70, 100 Long Scale at £54.99 from Strings Direct (actually paid £45.73 from Thomann).
Action – clearance at the first fret with string depressed at the second is zero. Open string height at the 12th is 2.5mm on the E and 1.75mm on the G. Maybe 0.5mm relief. Open string pickup clearance is 5mm on the E and G. The two halves of the pickup are tilted to follow the fretboard radius.
Intonation as received
Distance between back of saddle and front of bridge fold
A 0 19.0mm
D +2 22.0mm
G +4 22.0mm
After re-furbishment and with new Thomastik strings, intonation at the 12th fret was adjusted to zero error.
Fender set-up guide
Bass SideTreble Side
Vintage style 8/64″ (3.6 mm) 6/64″ (2.4 mm)
Noiseless™ Series 8/64″ (3.6 mm) 6/64″ (2.4 mm)
Standard “J” or “P” 7/64″ (2.8 mm) 5/64″ (2 mm)
Special Design Humbuckers 7/64″ (2.8 mm) 5/64″ (2 mm)
Neck Radius String Height Bass Side Treble Side
7.25″ 7/64″ (2.8 mm) 6/64″ (2.4 mm)
9.5″ to 12″ 6/64″ (2.4 mm) 5/64″ (2 mm)
15″ to 17″ 6/64″ (2.4 mm) 5/64″ (2 mm)
Adjusted this bas to 1.75mm 1.75mm
Possible new parts
Wilkinson bass bridge – £11.99 plus post (with grooved brass saddles) from Northwest Guitars
(Fender Vintage bass bridge – £53!!!)
Pair of knurled knobs – £4.33
13 pickguard screws – £1.52
4 stainless steel necks screws – £1.60
Thomastik JF344 are £54.99 inc post for Strings Direct or £48.08 via Amazon inc post, or even £46.51 Thomann.
An aside – Rogers Waters apparently uses Rotosound ’77 Jazz Flat strings. These are diagonally flat wound with Monel alloy tape.
Work done – Bridge removed, disassembled, cleaned and reassembled (including the saddle with the jammed screw – now replaced) with all four saddles reversed so that the old worn string grooves are underneath and the unused side is now upwards. Rusty patch on the body under the bridge polished smooth and clean. Neck removed and dirt (literally!) scraped from fretboard, fretboard smoothed, cleaned and polished with a little beeswax. Truss rod nut removed, thread lubricated and replaced.
Tuners / machine heads removed, polished and lubricated. Volume and tone pots sprayed with DeOxit.
Knobs removed, cleaned and polished.
Original fitting of the machine heads was incorrect and the baseplate’s were bent. The bearing hoops that hold each end of the worm gear are attached to the base plates by folded tabs. These pass through the plate and are bent over to hold the hoops in place. These tabs protrude below the base plates by about 1.5mm. Unless small routes are made in the back of the headstock to allow clearance for these tabs, the base plates of the tuners will not sit flat on the headstock. Clearance routes had not been cut in this headstock and as a result, when the four corner attachment screws on each base plate were tightened, the base plates bent so their centres stood proud from the back of the head stock. I marked and drilled the tab positions, re-bent the plates so they were flat and then re-mounted each tuner.
Pickup removed, magnet poles cleaned, very scratched dual pickup covers sanded smooth, old rubber support pads on brass dogleg carrier replaced with new and the brass polished to remove corrosion. Pickup output wires replaced with a short length of screened cable. Pickup securing screws replaced.
All electronics wiring replaced with silver plated wire with PTFE insulation. All electronics cavities in the body of the bass lined with grounded self-adhesive copper tape, shielding against electrical interference.
Output jack socket cleaned, polished, re-tensioned and coated with DeOxit (the inside of the jack ferrule had a lot of green corrosion in it).
Control pots sprayed with DeOxit contact cleaner.
Frets with high ‘sprung’ ends treated with superglue. Neck adjusted to ‘flat’ using the truss rod and the Technofret leveling beam and three spacers. Frets then milled flat and all wear dents removed using the Technofret sanding beams. Frets re-crowned with a crowning file, then polished using the Crimson Guitars set of abrasive blocks.
New cream (Ivory) pick guard fitted and trimmed to fit the neck pocket. U shaped slot cut to allow access to the truss rod. Truss rod U route in the body trimmed smooth and coloured black.
Bass strung with Thomastik Infeld 344 Jazz flatwound strings. Action and intonation adjusted with the new strings.
Neck pocket shimmed with copper tape on the lower left side and in the right corner, so that under string tension the neck will now naturally sit in the pocket so that there is equal spacing from the E and the G strings to the edge of the fretboard.
Looking at the back of the headstock you can see all four of the tuner base plates are bent upwards.
Owner says he has some fret buzz on the E at the 5th and 13th frets.
Looking just at the E string under loose tension there are two very clear permanent bends in the string above the bridge and just below the fretboard (the two positions where the string is plucked most). It is likely that these bends alone are contributing to the fret buzz.
Looking at the frets there is a lot of wear up to around the 9th fret, certainly the buzz at the 5th could be all down to fret wear, but by the time the 12th and 13th frets are reached there is a lot less wear. However checking with a fret rocker tool I can feel some high fret ends on the E side. Under magnification I can see they have lifted a little. I have tried tapping them down with a fret hammer but they still spring high. You can see them moving (11, 14, 15 & 16) because when struck with the hammer the dirt trapped under the fret is squeezed out. Fret 7 was low.
This bass has the standard P Bass two coil split humbucker pickup. Each coil has Forbon fibre end cheeks, friction fitted onto four 3/16 inch diameter Alnico 5 rod magnets. The coils are not wax potted.
Rectangular plastic covers, with height adjusting mounting screws at either end, are a loose fit over the coils. Each coil is held in place in the cover by the pressure of a section of dense black rubber foam under the coil ‘bobbin’ which also provides the upward force against the mounting screws.
A dogleg brass plate is dropped in to the bottom of the pickup route in the body and the two strips of rubber foam are stuck to this plate. The plate is also part of the ground return to the controls – a wire from one coil end is soldered to the plate and a wire soldered to the plate goes to the control ground.
E – A coil
L in HenrysQR in K
120Hz 2.76 0.4270 4.991
1000Hz 2.763 3.272 5.313
D – G coil
L in HenrysQR in K
120Hz 2.757 0.4198 5.069
1000Hz 2.762 3.211 5.411
Both coils in series connected finish-start to start-finish
L in HenrysQR in K
120Hz 5.616 0.4304 10.07
1000Hz 5.611 3.269 10.80
13 pickguard screws – £1.50
4 stainless steel neck screws – £1.60
4 pickup screws – £2.80
New rubber pads for the pickup – £ 1.00
New pickguard – £20.50 inc post
Thomastik JF344 strings – £45.73
Parts total – £73.17
Mastering the Pentatonic Article 3 – BB King 6th and the BB Box
The Pentatonic Scale is the holy grail for guitarists. It’s easy to play and it sounds amazing.
This series will show you how to get the most out of our favourite scale, and how making small modifications will get you sounding like the pros and their signature sound.
In this article we will look at BB King’s unique note choice when soloing, and articulation techniques synonymous with the blues legend. Below is the A minor pentatonic scale.
Here are the notes and intervals of the scale:
A(root) C(m3) D(4) E(5) G(m7)
BB King 6th and the BB Box
BB played these notes to great effect. But he also added different ones and incorporated them into an incredibly user-friendly “box” to solo over dominant blues progressions. It’s called the “BB Box” (see below).
On the B & E strings, you can see familiar Minor Pentatonic notes (plus the 2nd). What gives this box the specific BB “flavour” is the use of the 6th on the G string, a note not found in the Minor Pentatonic. This box is also very versatile as you can play the Major 3rd as well with just a small half bend on fret 13. The blue note (b5) can also be added in between fret 10 and 12 on the E string.
This box will give you a brand new set of licks, as this formation of notes isn’t found in your usual pentatonic shapes.
On the right is a BB styled lick using the “BB Box” in A.
BB had his own way of bending notes and using vibrato. His vibrato is incredibly fast and achieved by almost hanging your whole hand off the neck. BB would also make these huge leaps up to the tonic note of the key. These ideas are demonstrated below.
These ideas can also be seen in the opening lick of “Lucille”.
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Build Log: Pedal board build
Terry Relph-Knight copyright reserved.
The commission for this guitar effects pedal board build was to build a fairly compact, rugged and portable effects board based around effects pedals the client already owned and regularly used. Both the sequence of effects connections and the layout was to be optimised without the physical order limiting the connection order.
A Pedaltrain Pro Junior was chosen for the base, being both light and strong and available with a tough nylon carry case. Nine volt power is provided by a small and economically priced switching supply, the Diago Powerstation. Rather than rely on plugging the mains power lead into the small two pin figure of eight connector on the side of the Diago, the mains lead from the Diago was wired to a standard 3 pin IEC connector, mounted on a bracket at the back of the Pedaltrain base. Nine volt power distribution is via a 6 way Diago daisy chain cable. For the original board layout with seven pedals the seventh power connection was provided by an extra cable that plugged in to the auxiliary power output on the back of the BOSS Chromatic Tuner.
The pedals were attached to the Pedaltrain base using conventional hook and loop self adhesive Velcro with the hook tape fitted to the Pedaltrain and the loop tape to the pedals.
The only pedal modification was to the VOX Wah Wah. This pedal had been previously restored – cleaned, pedal polished, base re-painted and a new control pot fitted. For use on this pedal board it was fitted with an external 2.1mm power jack, having previously been battery only.
Pedal connection order
Right to left – Guitar in to ….
Crowther Audio Hot cake …………….. white to Tuner in
VOX Wah-wah ……………………….. green to Tremolo in
BOSS Chromatic Tuner TU-2 ………… blue to Compressor in
BOSS Compression Sustainer CS-2 ….. black to Wah in
BOSS Tremolo TR-2 …………………. yellow to Delay mono in
BOSS Digital Delay DD-6 …………… red from mono out to Reverb in
Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Nano Reverb …. to amp
Hot cake eventually replaced by BYOC Tube Screamer and Boost
Diago Powerstation 9V switching power supply
Pedal board components and costs
Pedaltrain Pro Junior frame & soft case £86.99
Diago Powerstation 9V switching power supply £61.88
9V power extension cable £05.50
Postage returning the faulty Powerstation £04.10
Patch cables £04.99
1 x IEC mains cable £05.00
IEC socket and custom mounting plate £03.90
Cable tie bases £05.00
10/02/18 In for a clean up
As received –
Guitar to Uber Scream Tuba
Tuba to BOSS Tuner
Tuner to Cali 76 compressor
Compressor to Viscous Vibe
Vibe to EP Booster
Booster to BOSS DD6 Delay
Delay to Holy Grail Reverb
Reverb to amp
Delivered with the VOX Wah to be restored to the board.
The Hot Cake is an always on buffer pedal. With the Hot Cake missing the pedal chain is no longer fed from a buffered signal. It seems the BOSS TU-2 may also have an always on buffer.
New connection order
Guitar to Tuner
BOSS Tuner to EP Booster
Booster to Uber Scream Tuba
Tuba to Cali 76 compressor
Compressor to Wah Wah
Wah Wah to Viscous Vibe
Vibe to BOSS DD6 Delay
Delay to Holy Grail Reverb
Reverb to amp
Repair Log: 30th of July 2010 SN:NCxx Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition ‘51 Nocaster made by Fender in Corona USA
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Copyright reserved Terry Relph-Knight 01/10/17
Current value – Can be found on offer for £1,700. Purchased from Wunjo’s for £2,000.
Delivered with a rectangular cream and maroon Fender Custom Shop hard case, including a custom shop certificate and other documentation.
Strung 10 to 52 Ernie Ball STHB
Description – A Fender black guard Custom Shop replica of a 1951 ‘Nocaster’ Telecaster, reliced with all slot screws.
Body – Light swamp ash body in the traditional blond finish. Relic wear under the forearm and around the back edge. The black 5 hole pick guard does indeed appear to be made of a thin (0.0625 inch 1/16) sheet of un-bevelled phenolic material and the top surface is lacquered to make it look blacker and shinier. A small area below the top E string has been rubbed away to simulate playing wear.
Neck – One piece, fat soft V, maple neck with a walnut skunk stripe. Wear through on the lacquer up to the eight fret. 21 thin vintage frets. Headstock carries only the script Fender logo in silver with black outline, Fender Custom Shop V logo on the reverse.
Repair Log Fender Custom Shop 51 Nocaster
Hardware – Kluson style tuners. A single round string tree next to the G tuner. Custom Alnico 3 Tele pickups (bridge pickup has flat magnets). Nickel plated folded thin sheet steel bridge with three brass barrel saddles, 4-40 height screws?. Through body stringing with flat ferrules. Four bolt, chrome plated steel neck plate stamped with the NC77 serial LIMITED EDITION and the Fender Custom Shop V logo. Standard Tele control plate with a three way switch and solid nickel plated brass flat top (slight edge radius) knurled knobs. All cloth wired. Tone and volume controls are modern CTS pots. Unfortunately these pots have no stress relief clip, the pot shaft slides in the collar and is only held in place by the locating post into the middle of the steel clip on cover.
This guitar as shipped from the Custom Shop was originally wired to the ‘51 Nocaster schematic with a 15K (wired between neck and middle on one half of the switch and an 0.05uF cap (wired from the other half of the switch – neck terminal – to ground). These components have been removed and the guitar re-wired to modern Tele wiring by a previous owner.
The original ‘51s had no variable tone control. The wiring offered –
Neck pickup with a set bassy sound (no variable tone control)
Neck pickup with no tone control at all
Both pickups with the second rotary control acting as a blend for the bridge.
The neck pickup has the North of the magnet poles up and the bridge has the South up. The pickups do seem to be arranged for hum cancellation in the middle position.
Centre saddle low E to middle 12 fret 327mm, 325mm high E. 257mm front edge of bridge to middle 12fret. Bridge plate is 3 3/8” long.
Problems – Brought in for noise (hum) and a loose output jack. Guitar occasionally produces loud crackles and hums. Seems related to the tone control.
Work done –
Tightened up the nuts on all the controls, on the switch and on the output jack. Dabbed on some clear nail varnish to help lock the output jack nut in place. Replaced one of the rusted ‘reliced’ pickup screws with a clean screw. Re-bent the cover tabs on the tone controls loose cover, shifted the output jack ground over to the back of the volume control where all the other circuit grounds are. Sleeved the long bare wire on the tone cap. Placed an M3 nut inside the Tone knob as a spacer to stop it scraping on the control plate. Replaced the missing switch tip with a barrel tip (the original barrel tip was included in the case, but the slot for the switch arm was so gouged out that it would no longer fit securely).
Having removed the strings in order to lift the bridge I removed the saddles, sanded them down to remove old string notches and soaked all the screws and springs in WD40 to remove dirt and rust. Also cleaned the bridge plate. With the saddles re-assembled and replaced on the bridge plate I set up the action and intonation.
Diagnostics – Loose output jack. Missing switch tip. Pot nuts are loose. Control plate screws loose.
A quick fret rocker test shows fret 8 is high in the middle and one or two other frets further down the neck are a touch high. Fret surfaces look as though they have been levelled fairly recently, but not re-crowned.
A continuity test showed that the bridge plate and strings weren’t connected to ground. Removing the strings and lifting the bridge plate revealed that the ground jumper between the pickup ground lead tag and its elevator plate was intact. It turns out that all three reliced bridge pickup screws were so rusty they no longer made an electrical connection between the pickup elevator plate and the bridge.
Input jack tip contact seems slack, jacks don’t make a positive insertion. Ground lead from tone cap (cap added by previous owner when the guitar was re-wired to modern wiring) is not sleeved and runs over the top of the volume wiper where it could short out.
The tone control seems loose and repeatedly rotating it fully anti-clockwise often produces loud crackles and hums. Looking closely the steel back cover is loose on its four folding tabs. Ridiculously, the only ground return for the output jack is through a black cloth covered wire that is soldered to the back of this cover. With the tabs to the cover being loose the output jack ground has only a very sketchy and intermittent connection to the guitars circuit ground. Perhaps the 1950’s pots had more reliable connection to ground from the cover, the pots in this guitar are of course modern CTS pots. CTS do seem to have changed to using a thinner, softer steel for the pot casing and the fixing tabs are quite easily loosened through down pressure on the pot shaft.
Along with the bad ground connection to the bridge plate the grounding scheme seems very poor. Fender may have been intending to exactly copy a ‘51 Nocaster, (the Fender shop wiring drawings do show this as how the ground was wired) but in the process they seem to have done some really daft things.
Screws – American guitars have either 4-40 or 6-32 saddle height adjustment screws. The first number indicates diameter and larger numbers greater diameter. The second number indicates thread count – 40 is more per inch than 32.
4-40 is 0.112 inch clearance
6-32 is 0.138 inch clearance
4-40 are smaller screws found in Strat saddles.
So 6-32 is the larger size found in the early Tele 3 saddle bridges.
My DeTemple titanium 3 saddle Tele set has ½ inch long screws in the centre and 3/8 long on the two outside saddles. My Rutters is 3/8 and 5/16.
Bridges like the Wilkinson are metric and use M3 screws. They seem to be all 10mm long.
Black barrel switch tip.
Further work – 20/12/17
The original slot head saddle grub screws stick up and are sharp and uncomfortable under the palm of the right hand. I replaced the original screws (six 7/16” long 6-32 slot head) with two stainless steel 1/4” long 6-32 hex head screws for the high and low E strings and four stainless steel 3/8” long 6-32 hex head screws for the other four strings (1/16” hex key for adjustment).
Article 2 – Carlos Santana – blend Dorian
The Pentatonic Scale is the holy grail for guitarists. It’s easy to play and it sounds amazing. This series will show you how to get the most out of our favourite scale, and how making small modifications will get you sounding like the pros and their signature sound.
In this article we will look at how Carlos Santana adds two notes to the pentatonic to create the latin-blues mix he is known for. Below is the A minor pentatonic scale.
The two notes we need to add are the 2nd (B) and a major 6th (F#). Our scale now looks like this (see right).
These new notes create semitones within our pentatonic scale. This interval is key in sounding like Santana. If you were to add these two notes in both octaves of the pentatonic you would now be playing the Dorian mode, but more on that later!
We will now look at song examples where Santana strides between the pentatonic and Dorian:
Oye Como Va” Intro melody:
The song is in the key of A minor, hence our use of a minor scale. The melody ascends, making full use of the 2nd (B), before falling back to the tonic note. Syncopated (off-beat) notes also give this lick a latin flavour.
“Oye Como Va” Main melody:
Here Santana uses the 6th (F#) on the 7th fret of the B string. He mixes this dorian lick with a classic blues motif in the second bar.
“Evil Ways” Solo: (transposed to Am)
A quintessential Satana lick; starting on the “and” of beat 1 gives the lick a real syncopated feel. The first bar is strict Dorian, followed by a classic blues lick in bar 2.
“Samba Pa Ti” Main melody:
One of Santana’s most famous instrumentals. The following three licks are all taken from the opening section. Here we introduce a new Santana technique of grace notes. These quick notes add another latin flavour. Lick 1 is the opening melody, lick 2 its response, and lick 3 is a turnaround used to get back to chord I.
Repair Log – 1996 Fender Pro Junior valve amplifier
Terry Relph-Knight copyright reserved.
The Pro Junior is a 15W combo amplifier with two 12AX7 dual triode valves and a pair of EL84’s in push pull for the output. The power transformer is rated for 230V and a solid state rectifier produces around +319V for the B+. Note – check if this particular amp has an export transformer with adjustable input taps. Checked and it does, but only for 110V and 230V.
The semi-open back cabinet on this amp is of particle board covered in much worn lacquered tweed. A 10 inch 8 ohm loudspeaker is mounted on a ‘floating’ baffle board with a brown synthetic grille cloth with horizontal baize highlights. Top mounted controls on a chrome plated steel panel with white silk-screen legends – Input jack, volume, tone, power indicator and power toggle switch.
Various problems – Crackling and chronic instability. Also distorted output. Broken handle, and later on a ripped out input jack.
Fender Pro Junior
Work done – When first seen I simply replaced the blown Fender branded 10 inch loudspeaker with a new Eminence Legend 125 and cleaned all the valve bases with contact cleaner. The crackling problems seem associated with the old phenolic bases being fried by the output tubes idling at high dissipation. Later replaced all 4 mini Noval valve bases with ceramic bases and installed an output tube bias adjustment. Set bias to 2.7V (for that particular set of output valves) across one half of the output transformer.
The ripped out PCB mounting input jack was replaced with a floating nylon jack connected via two short wires to the PCB.
At some point the output tubes were replaced with a matched pair of JJ’s and a new handle was fitted.
4 x ceramic mini Noval valve bases – £ 13.44
1 x 50K preset – £ 1.64
Stripboard and wire – £ 2
Parts total – £ 17.08
Later on – A problem with almost no output. Turned out the phase splitter DC balance was completely out of wack. One triode was hard on the other off. This problem was extremely difficult to diagnose. It was eventually found to have been due to leakage currents through dirt on the PCB surface. Cleaned the PCB with isopropyl alcohol and the phase splitter returned to proper D.C. balance.
July 2017 – Latest problem – the amp squeals when flat out. First 12AX7 is microphonic. Swapping the first valve with the second cures the problem. However one of the set of JJ EL84 output tubes is running hot – the red silk screen logo on the valve is burnt brown (and the heater filament flares bright yellow at the pin connection when the amp is turned on !!!!).
Work done – Replaced all the valves with new Electro Harmonix valves.
Mains voltage setting check – The amp appears to be set to 230V and this is the highest primary voltage available.
As wired 110V230V
Blk/Blu S1B S1B S1B Power Neutral, trans to switch
Black from switch CP4
Blk CP5 CP10 CP6
Blk/Red CP7 CP7 CP7
Blk/Grn CP9 CP9 CP9
Blk/Yel CP10 CP8 CP10
Blk/Wht CP11 CP5 CP11 Fuse SW and Power Live
CP5 connects to CP6 on the PCB and both go to the fuse and eventually mains power Live. CP7 connects to CP8 on the PCB, CP11 is an isolated connection parking point on the PCB.
The transformer windings are; BLK/BLU one end of the thermal protection, BLK/RED the other end of the thermal protection and the end of the tapped winding, BLK/WHT is the tap, BLK/GRN is the start of the tapped winding, BLK/YEL is the end of the second winding and BLK is the start of the second winding.
Fender schematics aren’t available at – https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/articles/212774686-Fender-Guitar-and-Bass-Amplifier-Owner-s-Manuals-and-Schematics-Hard-Copy-Archives
You have to ask for them!!
With a complete new set of Electro-Harmonix valves fitted and before any re-biasing, measured B+ 340.8V, red to blue 94.7 ohms 3.6V, red to brown 96.7 ohms 3.13V. Primary currents are 3.6/94.7 =
0.038014784 amps and 3.13/96.7 = 0.032368149. So idle power is 12.818585165 Watts and 10.930723917 Watts. Maximum idle dissipation rating for the EL84 is 12Watts, so before re-biasing right on the dissipation limit for these valves.
Re-biased to 2.2V red to blue we get 2.2/94.7 = 0.023231257Amps or 7.866103485 Watts.
Output power test into an 8 ohm (5%) resistive load. 34V peak to peak @ 1000Hz = 18.0625 Watts
Temperatures of the output pair at 23 degrees ambient, left 130 and right 165 centigrade (viewed from the back of the amplifier).
07/07/17 Ordered a complete set of Electro-Harmonix brand valves
EHX-12AX7-FT 2 £23.00
EHX-EL84-Pair 1 £25.00
Shipping & Handling £4.25
Grand Total (Excl.Tax) £43.54
Grand Total (Incl.Tax) £52.25
Article 1 – Eric Clapton; add a major 3rd
The Pentatonic Scale is the holy grail for guitarists. It’s easy to play and it sounds amazing. This series will show you how to get the most out of our favourite scale, and how making small modifications will get you sounding like the pros and their signature sound.
A key ingredient to Clapton’s sound is blending the major and minor pentatonic. This can be most clearly heard the solo of Cream’s Robert Johnson cover “Crossroads”. The key notes we need to add are themajor 3rd and the 6th (see right), although I would recommend learning box 1 of the major pentatonic in its entirety.
“Crossroads” Lick examples
This lick starts with a hammer on from theminor 3rd to the major 3rd. Not only a quintessential Clapton move, but a very bluesy sound also. We also have a half bend between these two notes in bar 2.
This example utilises the 6th at fret 7 of the B string. This lick is almost split into major pentatonic in the first bar and then minor pentatonic in the second bar. Add vibrato to the C crotchet in bar 2 and pull off the semi quavers.
Clapton loves groups of three. This stye of lick can be heard in the guitar ad-libs at the end of “Bad Love”. Use hammer and pulls offs when playing the triplet on the B string
Clapton’s solo playing is full of string bending, both huge full tone bends and subtle smaller bends. With the full bends, I would always recommend having multiple fingers push the string (1st and 2nd behind the 3rd finger that bends the note). The half bend on the 5th fret of the G string can be achieved with just your 1st finger. Listen to“Cocaine” to hear this in action.
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