You know that sound your electric guitar has when the volume control is turned full up?
…and as you turn the volume down it sounds as if the tone is being sucked from the guitar at the same time.
This little video from Stewart-MacDonald (Stew-Mac for those in the know), shows a cheap little mod called a resistor/capacitor network as used by Mike Stevens who wrote about it in a Fender tech report bulletin. Brian Delaney takes the modification a half step further by adding alligator clips to each end of this simple circuitry allowing the mod to be auditioned on the candidate guitar before making the commitment for a more permanent installation.
Of course, those who own vintage guitars – especially those that are highly collectable, and valued because they are stock – can see the virtue in an instantly reversible clip-on mod. Some collectors of these instruments are so anal that they require totally un-touched solder joints in addition to all original parts on their potential investments. Simply un-clipping the network returns the guitar to its previous state.
The parts required for this mod are two alligator clips, a .001uF capacitor and a 150k-ohm resistor, and some wire insulation. Since this mod is so compact, no addition wire is needed: the length of the leads from either the capacitor or resistor is all that is needed.
A package of 10 capacitors costs $3.49 from Stew-Mac. The resistors, which are not available from Stew-Mac, can be found elsewhere on the net at $3.50 for a package of a hundred. Some enterprising people are selling them for a dollar a piece. The alligator clips can be had for about $3.50 for a dozen. So basically one of the circuits costs about two bucks.
Once installed this mod prevents the high end from being bled off as the volume control is turned down.
Editorial: The world would be a wonderful place if the solution to every problem was as simple and elegant as this one.
For more information visit: www.stewmac.com
Author Jake Kelly
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