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Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Swapping pickup covers on a rare lefty Lucille
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Issue 229 November 06, 2014
Swapping pickup covers on a rare lefty Lucille
Making new pickups look old: Brand new pickups looked too shiny in this guitar that had seen a lot of gigs. So Dan Erlewine opened the old pickup and put its cover on the new one. This meant cutting the solder joint and resoldering.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Lindy Fralin on how to set pickup height
Online video available
Issue 208 January 16, 2014
Lindy Fralin on how to set pickup height
Lindy Fralin, of Lindy Fralin Pickups, shows how he sets pickup heights. Lindy shows it's not about measuring, it's about listening. Recorded at last summer's Northwoods Seminar in Michigan.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, 1966 Telecaster pickup torn down and rewound
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Issue 199 September 12, 2013
1966 Telecaster pickup torn down and rewound
Erick Coleman has a 50-year-old pickup that's nearly dead: It's making a little bit of sound, but not much. Erick opens it up to find the trouble, and we get a good view of the guts of this vintage Fender pickup before he rewinds it.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, How to fit a Les Paul pickup ring to the curved top
Online video available
Issue 192 June 06, 2013
How to fit a Les Paul pickup ring to the curved top
Don't ruin your pickup rings by skipping this step! Dan Erlewine nibbles, files, scrapes and sands to create a curve that matches the top of his Les Paul.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Good tone from 0-10: easy clip-on mod
Online video available
Issue 182 January 17, 2013
Good tone from 0-10: easy clip-on mod
Trade Secrets On The Road: Dan Erlewine visits the repair shop at Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He brings back this great, simple tone tip from repairman Brian Delaney.
Fixing (and breaking!) a 1957 Gibson P-90 pickup Issue 175 October 11, 2012
Fixing (and breaking!) a 1957 Gibson P-90 pickup
After 55 years, the original owner sells a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior because the pickup's dead. Erick Coleman tells the story of bringing that pickup back to life.
None of your beeswax? Potting pickups with paraffin. Issue 168 July 05, 2012
None of your beeswax? Potting pickups with paraffin.
Erick Coleman answers a frequently-asked question: how (and why) to wax-pot a pickup.
"I wired this guitar, but it didn't work. Can you fix it?" Issue 162 April 12, 2012
"I wired this guitar, but it didn't work. Can you fix it?"
Is it a good idea when a repair shop recommends that a customer try some do-it-yourself wiring? Erick Coleman's customer rewired a Les Paul, but ran into trouble. Now Erick's re-rewiring...
Mixing active and passive pickups in a jazz guitar Issue 135 March 17, 2011
Mixing active and passive pickups in a jazz guitar
Dan Erlewine wants to install two very different pickups in a jazz guitar. When there's no place to fit active system's battery he comes up with a simple, flexible solution.
Moneytalk: Quickly installing an acoustic pickup Issue 133 February 17, 2011
Moneytalk: Quickly installing an acoustic pickup
In our Money Talk series about operating a repair business, Dan Erlewine tallies up the time and expenses of a profitable pickup installation job.
An emergency pickup transplant for Skeletonwitch Issue 126 November 11, 2010
An emergency pickup transplant for Skeletonwitch
Erick Coleman gets an urgent call on a Friday night: the Heavy Metal band Skeletonwitch needs some custom pickup work in time to head to Ozzfest in 24 hours!
It's a crime to cut pickup leads this short! Issue 100 November 12, 2009
It's a crime to cut pickup leads this short!
Erick Coleman has been rooting around in the parts drawers at Dan Erlewine's shop, and he's found a 1960s Gibson patent-sticker humbucker. It would be valuable if somebody hadn't cut off the pickup lead. Erick shows how to fix that.
Day of the Zombie: curing an undead Telecaster pickup Issue 89 June 11, 2009
Day of the Zombie: curing an undead Telecaster pickup
The multimeter tells Erick Coleman that this pickup is dead, but nobody told the pickup: it's still playing!
New pickups and new sound, with Golden Age Prewired Pickguards Issue 87 May 14, 2009
New pickups and new sound, with Golden Age Prewired Pickguards
Erick Coleman responds to a tech call emergency: "This guitar sounds bad, and I'm supposed to record with it tomorrow night!"
This eBay pickup's a bargain, if you do a bobbin transplant Issue 79 January 22, 2009
This eBay pickup's a bargain, if you do a bobbin transplant
Erick Coleman's used pickup sounds great, but a broken baseplate makes it useless unless this bobbin transplant works.
How to rewind a 1959 Strat pickup Issue 77 December 25, 2008
How to rewind a 1959 Strat pickup
Erick Coleman shows how to rewind a vintage singlecoil in a 1959 Strat.
How to choose the right pickup for your acoustic guitar Issue 73 October 30, 2008
How to choose the right pickup for your acoustic guitar
Erick Coleman clears up the confusion about acoustic pickups: separating them into different types and helping you figure out what's what.
Save time and money with Dan's pickup wiring tips Issue 58 April 03, 2008
Save time and money with Dan's pickup wiring tips
Dan Erlewine's upgrading an inexpensive guitar with replacement pickups. The job's got to be done quickly at a low price, so he demonstrates some time-saving tips.
Fixing an acoustic pickup fast—it has to be onstage in an hour! Issue 57 March 20, 2008
Fixing an acoustic pickup fast—it has to be onstage in an hour!
Dan Erlewine does some emergency surgery on an undersaddle transducer in time for it to make it on stage with Emmylou Harris.
Build your own custom pickups Issue 36 June 28, 2007
Build your own custom pickups
Erick Coleman needed a pickup like a good old Gibson P-90, but sized to fit a 3-string cigar box guitar! Here's how he built it, and how you can build yourself a custom pickup for any instrument.
Acoustic guitar pickups: installation problems to avoid Issue 7 December 07, 2006
Acoustic guitar pickups: installation problems to avoid
In this week's newsletter, bad sound from a good acoustic guitar pickup: the problem and the solution.

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