• 920D Custom Shop Clapton Mod Stratocaster

    0 comments / Posted by Sigler Music

       Our goal with this Stratocaster is to recreate the sound of the Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster, but with a more modern feel and affordable price. We start with a MIM Fender Standard Stratocaster. We upgrade the tuners to either Fender vintage style, vintage locking, or modern locking tuners. The pickguard assembly is replaced with our Clapton pickguard, with either Lace Sensor or Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups.

       Clapton used Lace from 1986-1999, and switched to the vintage noiseless in 2000. We use the same Fender TBX circuit for a master tone control, and the Fender 25db midrange boost kit for the bottom tone knob. This boost can really push the front of a tube amp into a thick overdrive tone. We keep the Fender vintage style bridge on most models, but tighten the trem claw all the way down to keep the bridge from moving.

       The battery to power the boost fits neatly underneath the pickguard, and only needs to be changed once a year or so. The main difference between the two guitars is the shape of the neck, the EC signature has a soft “v” shape neck, and ours has the standard “c” shape. I own and gig both guitars, and the sound is the same between the two guitars. If you want the Clapton strat sound and versatility for about half the price, this is the one for you.

    There are several to chose from, but here is a top pick:

    As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

    Eric Mathews, 920D Custom Shop

    emathews@920dcustomshop.com
    800.281.6607

    920D Custom Shop Eric Mathews

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  • Seymour Duncan Guitar Pedals

    0 comments / Posted by Sigler Music

    I’m not the kind of guitar player that likes to use a lot of pedals.

    However, sometimes in a small venue, I’m not able to crank my amp to get the overdrive I like. We recently got in a few of the new Seymour Duncan effect pedals, so I took them to a gig at a small venue last night to put them through their paces.


    First in the signal path was the 805 Overdrive. It was very tube screamer-ish, but with more EQ controls. I set them all at half, and it gave me a very transparent sounding overdrive. I had the drive turned up about 75%, and this gave me a very thick and creamy lead tone, but cleaned up very nicely when I backed the volume off on the guitar.

    Next up was the Shape Shifter Tremolo pedal.  This pedal has way more features than what I would ever need. Tap Tempo, Wave adjustment, and Shape adjustment. I set those two knobs right at half, set the speed right at half, and the depth a little less than half. The sound I got was a very warm, Blackface style tremolo sound.

    Another cool feature is that even when the pedal is off, the speed knob pulses a blue light to let you know how fast the tremolo is set.

    Finally, I had the Vapor Trail analog delay. I’m not much of a delay user, but even I could get a usable sound from it. I set the repeats very low, the mix fairly low as well, and the delay long. It gave me a nice Eric Johnson lead tone delay sound. The delay knob on this pedal also lights up to show you how long you have the delay set. All three pedals sounded great, and are well built in sturdy metal casings. I powered them all with batteries instead of a power supply. I can’t think of anything bad to say about these effects. If you want boutique pedal sounds at a lower cost, made in USA, and from a company that’s made excellent guitar products for all our favorite guitar hero’s, check out the new line of pedals from Seymour Duncan.

     

    Seymour Duncan guitar pedals

     

    As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

    Eric Mathews, 920D Custom Shop

    emathews@920dcustomshop.com
    800.281.6607

    920D Custom Shop Eric Mathews

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  • Perfecting Pickup Height

    0 comments / Posted by Sigler Music

         We get a lot of questions regarding how to properly set the pickup height on our 920D Custom Shop loaded pickguards. There are many ways to set the pickups, depending on how you play and what kind of sound you want. As a standard guide, this is how Fender suggests the pickups should be set.

    http://www2.fender.com/support/articles/stratocaster-setup-guide/

         This is a very good starting point, but it can vary quite a bit between different pickups models. However, we have a simple method that works on most pickup models. If the pickups are too low, you won’t get much volume out of them, if they are too high, the magnets can pull the strings out of tune. So how do we find the right balance? Listen. I like to start by setting the neck pickup where the cover is a few millimeters taller than the pickguard. Play a few chords and licks to see how it sounds. Slowly bring up the pickup until it sounds the best. It needs to sound full, but also maintain clarity. The rest is easy. Just set the middle and bridge pickups where they match the neck pickup in volume.

         Check to make sure the bridge pickup magnets are not affecting the intonation. If they are, lower all three pickups a few turns. You may lose a bit of volume, but having the guitar play in tune is more important.  This being said, Jimmy likes to set them in the opposite order. Setting the bridge pickup first, and then moving the middle and neck to match the volume. There really are no rules on which pickup you start with, the important thing is to listen and make sure the pickup is in the sweet spot for tone. Your guitar may come with the pickup height already set, but it is still good to experiment a bit. You might find a whole new array of tones. Typically vintage voiced pickups can be placed closer to the strings, and the more powerful pickups can be set a bit lower. This method works for all guitars, not just stratocasters. It’s amazing how minor adjustments can make the difference between great and terrible tone.

    As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

    Eric Mathews, 920D Custom Shop

    emathews@920dcustomshop.com
    800.281.6607

    920D Custom Shop Eric Mathews

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  • Blender Pot vs. 7-Way Switching

    0 comments / Posted by Sigler Music

    Today I’m going to explain the difference between using a 920D Custom Shop wiring harness with a blender pot, and using a harness with 7-way switching.

    The 5-way is wired traditionally:

    • Bridge
    • Bridge and Middle
    • Middle
    • Middle and Neck
    • Neck

    With our 7-way option, we install either a mini-toggle switch or a push-pull pot that gives you two additional combinations. With the switch off you get the standard 5-way settings.

    With the switch on, you get:

    • Bridge and Neck
    • Bridge, Middle, and Neck
    • Middle and Neck
    • Middle and Neck
    • Neck

         Positions 3 through 5 are redundant, but you do achieve two new tonal options in the 1 and 2 positions. The bridge and neck at the same time gives you somewhat of a telecaster type tone. Using all three pickups at the same time is a smoother quack than the standard position 2. Think Robert Cray.

         A blender pot will achieve the same sound combinations as our 7-way switch. However, with a blender pot, you get to choose how much of the additional pickup signal gets blended in with the other pickups.

         Bridge pickup, with the ability to blend in the neck pickup Bridge and middle pickup, with the ability to blend in the neck pickup Middle pickup Middle and neck, with the ability to blend in the bridge pickup Neck pickup, with the ability to blend in the bridge pickup.

       The only difference in the way the two harnesses are wired is in the one control. On the 7-way, the first tone control will affect the neck and middle pickups. The second tone knob will control the bridge pickup. On the blender harness, there is a master tone control in the first tone position, and the blender is in the second tone position.

    Links for the harnesses are listed below.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

    Stratocaster 7-Way Wiring Harness

    Stratocaster Wiring Harness with Blender Pot

     

    Eric Mathews, 920D Custom Shop

    emathews@920dcustomshop.com
    800.281.6607

    920D Custom Shop Eric Mathews

    Read more