Staying up to date on the latest, most exciting, and best electric guitar brands isn’t always easy these days. Individual builders, as well as larger custom guitar brands are popping up all the time.
I’m a big fan of guitars. and I really love fixing up my older guitars. Some people would rather get rid of the old and buy a brand new guitar. However, if you are like me, you probably have at least one older guitar that just sounds and plays great. You might not use it very often because its a little worn out. Maybe it has worn out frets? Maybe its because the volume pots are scratchy and don’t work? Maybe the input jack solder joint detached and you just haven’t gotten around to fixing it? Or maybe its because the old pickups are a bit worn and dull sounding? The last statement is my focus for this post. Older pickups that are worn out, and just don’t sound as bright or as punchy as they used to. My example is my old Schecter Blackjack (from when they used to make them with REAL Seymour Duncans, not the Duncan Design ripoffs.) I gigged with this guitar for several years and it served me well. I still enjoy playing it every once in a while, but I mainly use my G&L Bluesboy. I’ve done my best to keep the Blackjack in good playable condition over the years. I replaced the old neck humbucker with a new Seymour Duncan SH-1N ’59. That brightened it up a bit. I even soldered in some new Bourns 500k volume and tone pots. Its cleared up a little more. Now my focus has turned toward the Bridge Humbucker. Its a Seymour Duncan SH-4 Bridge Humbucker. Its a great sounding pickup, but its a bit old with pitted pole pieces and it seems like the magnets have lost a bit of their pull. So I thought, “I wonder if you can recharge pickup magnets?” As it turns out, yes you can recharge pickup magnets. Boutique pickup makers do this all the time when making their pickups. I learned of two ways to do it. 1. Use an Electromagnetic Magnet Charging Machine 2. Use a “Permanent Magnet” to realign your pickup magnet The method I’m interested in is number two. Using a “permanent magnet” to recharge or re-magnetize the pickup magnet. I found a few youtube videos that walk you through the process. I personally find the first one more helpful. I didn’t have the “permanent magnets” so I found some really strong magnets on various household objects. One was an old stereo speaker, very strong magnet. The other was the magnetic mount on a utility lite. Another was one of those magnetic trays that hold nuts and bolts like you might use in the garage when working on your car I also used a compass to determine which side of the magnets were north and south. Then used the same process in the first video. I only re-magnetized my pole pieces as they were easier to remove than the entire pickup. Believe it or not, it actually worked quite well. I got significantly more magnetic pull from the pole pieces. If you try it but end up with too much charge on your pickup magnets, you can remove some of the charge by doing the process with the magnet reversed. Also be aware that this will change the tone of your pickups, no joke, so take it slow and easy. If this is for a guitar that you rely on, you may not want to do this, it will alter the sound of your guitar. I hope you find this interesting and I hope you get great results. I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy Sincerely, The Axe Dr. Sincerely, The Axe Dr.
I’m a big fan of anything that gives your guitar better tone. Whether it be pedals, amps, pickups, strings etc. I restring my guitars about once a month. New strings ensure I’m getting the clearest tone out of my gear. But there are so many brands and price levels of strings. Does a pricey set like D’Addario NYXLs really sound/play better than their standard D’Addario Nickel Wound XLs? Since I prefer to put new strings on about every month I’ve chosen GHS Boomers. I’ve tried more expensive sets for several months in a row, but honestly didn’t notice any distinct advantage versus the cheaper strings. The GHS Boomers suit my needs just fine, but I’m always looking for ways to improve tone. Is there anyone out there who agrees or disagrees with this? I’m curious to hear from any of you with something to say about pricey vs cheap strings. Is there a benefit to the pricey strings? What strings do you prefer? Please add your comments below.