Posts Tagged ‘Mod’

Guitar :: An Essential Cry Baby Mod

crybaby-after

I’ve had my Jerry Cantrell signature Cry Baby for a couple of months now, and it’s easily the best wah I’ve played or heard (if you don’t believe me, just ask Guthrie). Whether you like Alice in Chains or not, this thing quacks, rocks, and takes care of just about every other type of wah-wah action you might conceive of, with style. I’ve tried posh wah pedals with boosts, sweeps, different inductors, fancy pots etc… before, and come away unimpressed, but for some reason the JC just gets it right: the depth control is wide enough to be super flexible, but narrow enough that you can notch it just right, and unlike quite a few Cry Baby pedals I’ve played, it’s dead silent at the footswitch and the pot.

But even this Baby has a flaw, shared with all of its kin – when it comes to clicking on and off, it takes a real stomp, which is difficult to accomplish when sitting down, and really goes against the nature of most gearheads (I’ll drop a Telecaster without a second thought, but for some reason I just don’t like stomping on stompboxes).

To rectify this problem, take a knife, and carefully chop away the rubber feet on the toe of the pedal. I say carefully, because you want to get a clean cut across; hacking away at the rubber isn’t the end of the world, but I’ve cut myself doing so more than once. You have been warned.

See below for a before + after shot of my wah. I learned this mod, weirdly enough, from a video of Zakk Wylde, and I’ve used it on every wah I’ve had. I’m sure there’s a good reason why some people might want the difficulty of the standard pedal, but really, who switches a wah on by accident? Hopefully this tip will rectify an irksome attribute of an otherwise wonderful pedal for you. Until next time…

before-after

 

Guitar :: Fixing the Telecaster Jack

For me, the Telecaster might just be the best designed anything, ever – the two-pickup configuration, the slab body, inline-6 tuners on the headstock, three-way switch, and a pair of pots on the control plate have remained constant for more than six decades. It’s simple, it’s functional, and it’s beautiful, and that ticks all of the boxes I care about when it comes to products that I want to use every day. The Stratocaster comes close, but it’s just too fancy; as an instrument and as a product, the Tele is number one. With that in mind, I present the following alterations to the Telecaster not necessarily as ‘improvements’, but as ‘customisations’ that make a great instrument – for me, at least – better.

The Jack Solution

A problem I’ve found with the Telecaster is the loosening over time of the jack socket, probably one of the most annoying things that can happen to your guitar. This started happening to my white Tele a few years ago, and is an issue which has more recently afflicted my butterscotch US deluxe – as an aside, the fit and finish on the US deluxe instruments is clearly superior, in my experience, to the US standard, so I was a bit surprised to see it succumb to the loose jack problem.

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