The Pickle Jar Pickup

I just saw a post by Seymour Duncan from last year talking about an experiment that they did at Billy Gibbons’ suggestion.  They dipped a Pearly Gates pickup into a pickle jar to see if it would work, and it did….so they put it back, and pulled it out from time to time, and it continued to work.

That was back in May 1978, nearly 40 years ago!  According to the story, the pickup is still there, and it’s still working.  I’m not sure that I’d be rushing to put it on one of my guitars, though!

40 years of.....something nasty!
40 years of…..something nasty!

Cigar Box Guitar – the headstock

I was on holiday last week (hence the quiet patch on this website) and so we missed out a weekend on the cigar box guitar build.  Last Sunday, though, we continued and the headstock was born.

This was virtually all my son’s work – my input was rather low this time, just helping out with a couple of small things.  The headstock was roughly cut to shape with the jigsaw, and then he used rasps and files to bring it down to the exact size that he wanted.  He worked out exactly where the tuning heads should go, so that they will be in line with the strings and the heads can be turned beside the headstock, and I think it will look great when it’s finished.

Because this was a rather simple process (even though it was still about 3 hours’ work), I won’t do a separate video but I’ll include the little bits of video from this session in the next video update.  I will therefore simply leave you with a picture of the nearly finished headstock (it will still be sanded and oiled towards the end of the build).


Next weekend he may come over on both Saturday and Sunday, so then we should have a major update, and hopefully the end of the build will be in sight.  My own guitar build is now less than five weeks away!

Spotlight on Luthiers: Waghorn Guitars

It’s Monday, so that must mean it’s time to focus on another luthier (not that I do this feature regularly on Mondays, but never mind that).  This week I decided to look at Waghorn Guitars, who are based in Bristol.  Tom Waghorn is the founder of the company and he works with another luthier, who he took on to address his growing waiting list.

Waghorn Guitars make acoustic, electric and bass guitars (all the instruments you need, really!) and they make a signature model for Alex Hutchings, who is quite a well-known professional guitarist from Bristol.

They make some really beautiful instruments, like the one depicted below.  You can see many more photos of their guitars on their gallery pages – they have separate photo galleries for acoustic, electric and bass.

A seven-string Waghorn guitar
A seven-string Waghorn Corax guitar


The cigar box guitar build continues!

Another session last weekend on the build of my son’s cigar box guitar…I have a new article  – Cigar Box Guitar Kit part four – which describes what we did.  The main activity this week was carving the back of the neck.

I’ve also uploaded the usual video to YouTube which you can see below.  These videos will probably total around two hours by the time we finish, but I’m also thinking of making a shorter video to summarise the whole process afterwards.

A genuinely new type of pedal?

I don’t normally make posts about new pedals because they are usually variants on existing themes.  However, TC Electronic has just announced a new pedal called the Mimiq Doubler which seems to be a genuinely new type of pedal.  It replicates your guitar sound with tiny variations in parameters such as the pitch or timing in order to sound as though you have doubled (or trebled or quadrupled) the guitar track.  It splits the guitars into a stereo signal, arranged depending on the number of dubs, and really sounds impressive in their video demo.


Go to the TC Electronic Website for the Mimiq Doubler product page.  It is supposed to be available this month (September 2016) for $129 / €129 (maybe around £110) although I haven’t yet found it on retailers’ websites.  Congratulations to TC Electronic for managing to innovate in the pedal market!



Spotlight on Luthiers – Raygun Relics

I chose something a little different for today’s Spotlight on Luthiers entry.  Raygun Relics makes relicked guitars (that’s the past tense of “relic”, not “relick” – as far as I’m aware, they are uncontaminated by spittle).  These guitars aren’t really to my taste, to be honest, as I prefer my guitars to look new, but many guitarists love an instrument that looks well-used.

Their website is not particularly active, but Raygun Relics – which looks like it’s just one guy but that’s not clear – is a more frequent Facebook user, and posts regularly on the Raygun Relics Facebook page.

If you want a Tele for some authentic Britpop, you know where to go!
If you want a Tele for some authentic Britpop, you know where to go!

Alter Bridge – Show Me A Leader

Alter Bridge is probably my favourite current band, and they have a new album coming out very soon.  They are also going on tour, and I’ll be seeing them in a few weeks’ time, which I’m really looking forward to.

This is the first video of a song from the new album, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint, with some great guitar work!  It doesn’t hurt that they use my favourite guitars too… 🙂