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Friday, March 9, 2018

Need Help With Your Guitar? Contact us!

At Haywire Custom Guitars you can get help with:

  Adjustments for Acoustic and Electric guitars and... Truss rod adjustments, Guitar Tune-ups, Repairs on electric and acoustic guitars, New guitar pickups, Guitar pickup coil tap switches installed, Treble Bleed circuits for your guitar, Electronics repair, Guitar Neck Shaving and straightening, Guitar neck Re-fretting and fret leveling, Guitar fret re-crowning, Fret polishing, Replacement tuners, add locking tuners, Light weight guitars, lightweight replacement parts,  Intonation settings, Adding guitar strings, Re-building your guitar, Modify your Guitars, lower action on guitars, Guitar finishes, Pick guard swaps, Refurbished guitars, Heavy body replacements with light ones, Replace old guitar bodies with new ones, Adjustments while you wait, Custom guitar knob placement, custom pots and capacitors, Great playing used and new guitars, Custom built guitars, Guitar trade-ins, Guitar neck straightening, Guitar neck replacement, Guitar neck reshaping, thinning or shaving a guitar neck, re-profiling a guitar neck or shaping and duplicating guitar necks, Recessed neck heel for ease of playing guitar, new controls added, pan and blender controls added, rewiring guitar pickups and many more services.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Calling All Customers

A customer called and wanted to price a job on his Bass guitar to lower the action.  He was quoted $35. He said, "Why so high if you're just lowering the saddles?" It occurred to me that he had no idea what was involved but just wanted the saddles lowered to achieve the desired string height. It's difficult to explain to players that reality and their idea of reality are two different things. It's even tougher to explain it without sounding rude. I know what he wanted which is lower action.
He wanted me to do it his way-which was to simply lower the saddles. However, if he already knows how to get the action lower and is asking me to do it, then why should I listen?

This kind of back and forth goes on all the time with customers in our guitar shop. It makes more sense if a customer is going to call an expert for work to let the expert handle it rather than try and "tell him how to do it".  What if we listen to the customer and it comes out badly? Then who's fault is it?  Should we tell the customer we did it the way he suggested and let him think he solved his own problem with some minor assistance from us?  Do we say, sorry you have no idea what you're talking about so we did it the right way?  I often get confused about what to say sometimes when I'm in that situation other than, "what do you like about your instrument and what don't you like"?  Usually while listening I'll get a list started about the likes and don't likes then promise to get everything on the "What I like about my instrument" side of the list before turning it back over to the customer.

We're all customers at some point and need to be mindful that the reason we go to an expert for advice because most likely we tried to remedy it ourselves and couldn't.  Common sense should tell us to shut up and listen, or better yet just describe the problem and ask if it can be fixed, if it's "yes" then say thanks, I'll let you handle it. When will it be ready?  Nothing more needs to be said until it's ready and it's time to decide if the problem has been corrected. If "yes" then that's all there is to it.

 The fix for the above example consists of a several part adjustment process for lowering action starting with the neck, first check the truss rod to see if it's bowed causing higher than normal action, a look at some filing on the nut to gain lower action at the strings near the tuners, then a look at the alignment angle in the neck for some correction, finally lowering the saddles for a four pronged approach that will make him a happy player and provide a long term fix. Apparently the customer didn't know about the other three ways to lower action so was the quote too high?  No, it was very reasonable with many more operations involved than the customer realized.

Let's all try and be better customers always!
We may learn something in the process.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

What Do Guitar Players, Guitars and Climate Change Have In Common?

 They all have certain moisture levels that will increase and decrease over time.  Recently I received a message from a guitar player with a problem. He wrote: " it's been several months now since buying my new guitar.  I have a problem with the neck.  Three months after the guitar adjusted to the local climate here, there are a butt-load of buzzing frets. Low E string buzzes in numerous places. B,G,D strings buzz in numerous places and 1st fret E and A strings are horrible". "The neck was virtually perfectly straight when it first arrived… almost all of the points at which the fret wires were cut stick out beyond the fret board a small amount, so that when you run your hand up the neck your fingers bump into each fret wire, on the SIDE of the neck…and the fret wire is sharp so it's a very unpleasant experience. It's present on both sides of the fret board".

Hmmm... this is not an unusual problem. Guitars are mostly made of wood and it is the nature of wood to contain a certain amount of "moisture". When the wood loses moisture it shrinks.
This is just plain physics. The metal parts in and on the neck such as frets-are metal, and hold no moisture and therefore do not shrink.  Although we level the frets, adjust and straighten the neck, dress the ends of the frets before departure, sometimes the guitar is not treated very well upon arrival to it's new home. Guitars need to be maintained in a more humid environment than you may think. Get a digital hygrometer to help you determine the proper level so there will be no guesses.
Image result for hygrometer
A hygrometer will give you an accurate reading of the humidity level of the environment in which you store your guitar, and  will help you monitor it safely. The ideal humidity range for a guitar is 45-55 percent, but 40-60 percent is generally acceptable. There can be either analog or digital.
Image result for hygrometer
 When the moisture leaves the wood and shrinking begins another problem will occur as well.
The newly adjusted neck will generally "Hump" in the middle causing the, "string buzz in numerous places" described above.  It is incumbent upon the player to maintain his/her instrument at an acceptable level of humidity so as to prevent this kind of problem. Of course, players not knowing about the physics of their new guitars will often times blame the builder or manufacturer when in fact they have caused the entire problem.  So be a good friend to your instrument. Respect your guitar, take care of it and it will take care of you.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Why doesn't the tone control work for the bridge-only pickup on my Stratocaster?

Why doesn't the tone control work for the bridge-only pickup on my Stratocaster?

It works on a few, approximately 1% of Stratocaster guitars whether made by Fender or by Squier, or Affinity, Fender Japan, Fender Taiwan, Fender Mexico, American (circa 1991) or Fender China and more have no tone control on the bridge pickup. The tone controls do work for the other four switch positions.

Does this mean your Stratocaster is defective?

No, just a design that was only meant to please the inventor, Mr. Leo Fender.

Leo wanted a pickup position that sounded similar to a steel guitar. So now, the bridge pickup selection has no tone control wired to it whatsoever and no one at Fender Corp. since then has seemed to notice. They have failed to hear what guitarists for years have asked. Can we simply have a tone control on our bridge pickup?

Next time your guitar goes in the shop for any "tweak" whatsoever, ask the tech to put the tone back on the bridge for you. Most likely he'll do it. It's an easy fix. Stop in and see Haywire Custom Shop when you're in Myrtle Beach and we'll fix yours while you wait. 15 minutes and it's done.

The fix is in the highlighted area

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Haywire Custom Shop-Guitar Neck Adjustment Information

Haywire Custom Guitars Neck Adjustment Information

How to straighten your guitar neck with an adjustable truss rod 
The neck of your guitar is adjustable.  It has been made of selected hardwood, and it is kiln-dried to insure proper curing.  The adjustable rod both strengthens the neck and facilitates adjustment of a bowed neck.
Because all guitar necks are subject to great stress as a result of string tension and seasonal change, there are times when a neck could take on a slight bow (or warp) or neck hump.  This will rarely occur.  However, if it does, there is no cause for alarm if you follow the procedure below for proper correction. 

Angled Headstock style of adjustable truss rod (above)

Loosen all strings (it is not necessary to remove strings from guitar).  Pull loose strings to one side so free access to neck adjuster can be gained.
Remove cover (if it has one) so neck adjuster is exposed.  Generally it's an Allen screw or a hex nut.
Sight down the neck from the top (as sighting a down the barrel of a rifle) in order to see just how much of a bow or hump the neck has taken.  Hold the neck up at eye level and sight along the edge of the fingerboard on both treble and bass sides.  It best to place a straight edge on the neck during this process. There are special ones made with cut outs for the frets called a Notched Straightedge below.


 If neck is bowed, tighten the adjustable nut  clockwise    
 If neck has hump, loosen the adjustable nut  counter-clockwise 

Place Allen key or hex  wrench on guitar neck adjustment nut and turn very gently (small fractions of a turn at a time).  Keep checking the neck as you proceed with each nut turn.  Once the neck is straight give the adjustment nut a very slight added turn to compensate for the tension the loose stings will add once they are installed and tuned.  TIGHTEN  for " BOW " and LOOSEN  for HUMP. 
Special Note: Be careful not to tighten the nut too much  ( i. e. when it becomes hard to turn ), because it could result in stripping the threads or perhaps even breaking the truss rod. 

Below: see example of a end of the guitar neck Heel or Buttend type-truss rod adjustment 

On certain models of Solid Body Guitars the adjustment of the truss rod is made at the lower end of the fingerboard called the Heel or Butt  End. The procedure of adjustment on those is same as above, follow the same pattern of correction as outlined.
If there is string buzzing after you are certain the neck has been straightened, locate the fret at the playing position that causes the buzz. Lower the fret by gently tapping with hammer.  If necessary, file fret down, level and re-crown it.

The New Gotoh Side-Adjuster
for Warmoth Pro Guitar Necks




For easy and convenient truss rod adjustment

To make truss rod set-up and adjustment more convenient, Warmoth "Pro" Construction necks feature the Gotoh side adjustment mechanism. Inserted between the usual truss rod adjustment nut at the heel and the truss rod, this ingenious device uses inclines and wedges to adjust the rod tension. Initial set-up is still accomplished at the traditional butt end but future small adjustments are then conveniently done on the side of the neck.
Unfortunately Gotoh does not offer these mechanisms left handed. Lefty Warmoth "Pro" necks only offer heel adjustments on straight necks, and peg-head adjustments on angled necks.

For easy and convenient truss rod adjustment

The factory setting is with the side adjustment mechanism centered within its operating range. To adjust your neck for the first time, use the following steps:
Neck Adjustment Procedure 
  1. Tighten the slotted heel-adjust nut (See A) until the fingerboard is perfectly flat (has no forward curve.) This should cause the side adjust nut to be recessed into the heel approximately 1/16" (1.6mm).
  2. Attach the neck and tune the strings to pitch.
  3. Detune strings and make necessary relief adjustment using side-adjust nut
    (See B)
     and allen wrench. Repeat as necessary.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Have Your Guitar Neck Shaved for A Better Playing Experience

    Uncomfortable with The Feel of Your Current Guitar Neck? Want it To Play Like Your All-Time Favorite?

Ever Have Your Guitar Neck Shaved for A Better Playing Experience?    

Maybe It's Time?

Just one day on our bench..... then back to your door will get your neck shaved to a thickness for more comfort only $135 plus return ship.

 We’ll also replace the finish on the back to help preserve the wood and keep it smooth and beautiful.

 Neck tone is an issue that no empirical evidence has ever put to rest. However, comfort  does affect your playing ability and technique which is what matters most in finding and maintaining your tone. Start with finding a neck that makes playing a joy and enhances your technique in a way that allows you to play your best, then: Find the best amp that suits your ear for the tone you like. However other factors to consider are pickups, effects, speaker enclosures, volume, venue, room size, string gauge, etc.

Neck thickness should be chosen for what best fits your hands, not the "tone" it has.  That should be the major consideration in the choice of your new neck. The timbre of a fat neck is noticeable. However, most of the tone comes from your playing technique-not the wood.
On an electric guitar  tones are affected by everything from the pickups and amplification to pedals, pickups to speaker enclosures.

In a live situation "wood tones"  in an electric guitar will become even less noticeable.  Let's say everything is equal and the guitar is perfectly in tune and intoned.  The overall sound of your guitar may be noticeably affected by a fatter/ thicker neck but generally only when you are playing without the guitar plugged in to an amp.  So...remember high gain electric guitar tone is very much dependent on a players technique and comfort with his instrument and not the thickness of a neck.


Ordering From Haywire Custom Guitars

If you would like to order this or any other custom guitar, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your guitar neck shave needs.



Saturday, August 26, 2017

Haywire Custom Guitars info about guitars, guitar neck shaves, guitar terms, guitar improvements, guitar modifications, guitar repairs

Haywire Custom Guitars Blog-A blog about guitars,Haywire guitars custom shop, guitar neck shaves, guitar terms, guitar improvements, guitar modifications, guitar repairs, guitar necks, guitar bodies, custom guitars,electric guitars, Fender guitars, Stratocasters, Telecasters guitar tips and guitar resources.Great Tips and Ideas for Guitar Players!,,

Welcome to Haywire Custom Guitars-- guitar blog!
While working on guitars, I have found great satisfaction in figuring out how things work, why they work, and how they might be able to work better. Through the years, I’ve been very fortunate in meeting some wonderfully skilled and knowledgeable people that have been kind enough to share their knowledge and expertise with me. In the beginning, I often wondered why some of these people were willing to spend so much of their own time to share their experiences, but as I became older and more experienced myself, the answer to my question became simple as I realized how gratifying it was to share knowledge and experience with others.  
Guitars are fun, and this blog is an opportunity to share some of the things that I’ve learned over the years with everyone. If you’ve ever wanted to know a bit more about all things related to guitars, take some time to browse through the different articles in the blog.
If there is a particular subject that you might want to know more about, but can’t find it in the existing articles, send me an email about what it is so that I can add the information to The Haywire Custom Guitars blog.
Thank you for checking out Haywire Guitar Info.  I hope you find the information useful to you, and find the experience of learning about guitars enjoyable.