So, what is Ebony? With a broad focus, its considered one of the finest, most ornamental woods that money can buy. Most people think of it as a very dense, black wood that could pass as plastic from a distance. When held up close, it’s easier to see grain, and few pores depending not the direction of the cut. It’s used on any type of luxury item you can imagine, from furniture, to clocks, to frames, to carvings, to jewelry, to gun handles, to guitars! Anything that can be made from wood and is made from ebony carries a price premium compared to say Maple, Mahogany, or Rosewood. The stuff polishes up to almost a mirror shine, so seeing it as a fingerboard with some gorgeous inlays looks phenomenal over a basic rosewood and dots board.
Pau Ferro has garnered interest, notoriety, fame as of lately since Fender started using it as a fingerboard replacement for Rosewood starting a couple years ago. However, its use in the guitar world goes much farther back than many know of. One of my favorite examples is the early 1990s Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Strats. These guitars were built with either Brazilian Rosewood or Pau Ferro fingerboards.
In this blog post, I'll attempt to construct a Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Electric Guitar Pickups. Single Coil, Humbucker, P-90, Active, Passive, Lipstick, the options and related vocabulary are exhausting! There has been an explosion of new pickup winders, from cheap to boutique, and it seems like an endless parade!
Alder is a lovely tonewood for several reasons. From being easy to work with from a manufacturing standpoint to taking a finish incredibly well, to being able to run the tonal gamut depending on what pickups you have installed in the guitar, Alder is Vanilla. And Vanilla is awesome because you can add whatever you want to it to make it even more awesome-er!
Another term that brings confusion to many players is Scale Length. Nope, it’s not how many frets you covered in a scale, it’s actually the distance from your bridge saddles to the nut. This length of the string that is ‘in play’ accounts for an instruments given scale length. The number is an approximation and if you look at the individual saddles you’d see that each string needs to be compensated forward or backward depending on which string you are talking about and the string gauge for that specific string.
There are plenty of terms in the Guitar World that warrant some explanation. This time around, we cover the Scalloped Fingerboard! A rarely seen odd-bird spec, popularized by Yngwie Malmsteen and Ritchie Blackmore. The scalloped board require a different touch, much lighter than what the average player doles out.
The Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Stratocaster Pickup Set gained notoriety thanks to their installation in the Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster. From that point in the early 1990s, this pickup set has gone on to be the go-to for anybody looking for a screaming hot but still decidedly single-coil sounding pickup. We love them so much we have been ordering the hardwired Custom Shop version in our 61 Stratocaster’s for quite sometime! So let’s dive in and learn all that we can about this much loved pickup set that got so popular, they even made a set for Tele’s!
The American Professional II is available as a Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Jazzmaster for the electric guitar and the venerable Precision and Jazz models for the electric bass. These instruments are the next step in the evolutionary process of the American Professional Series with cool stuff to explore and discuss with every spec. So let us dive in and learn everything we need to know about the American Professional II Series!