Tag Archives: soldering

Changing Pickups – How-to’s I found interesting and helpful:


Tone Fiend (Joe Gore) rules.

I need to get back to work on my NY Pro.

I’m going to need to learn how to solder.


I’ve soldered stuff before, but it’s been a long time, I’m going to need to learn again.  I just got a box full ‘o neat stuff that I’m going to slap on to that New York Pro that I picked up at Hoke·E·Geez.  I have this urge to do as much of it as I can myself.  (I’ll still have it set up when I’m done by Aaron at Lawrence Music.)

Guitar Pimpin'

Guitar Pimpin'

I’m sure I can do it.  I might make a mess, and it might take me longer than someone who actually knows what they’re doing, but I can do it.

GFS | Lil Killer Black Humbucker Rail Pickup for Strats

GFS | Lil Killer Black Humbucker Rail Pickup for Strats

I went with a goofy pickup configuration, because I have the luxury of not knowing what I’m doing & no one to tell me “that’s not the way you do that”.

GFS | Pro-Tube Lipstick Tube Pickup- GLOSS BLACK

GFS | Pro-Tube Lipstick Tube Pickup - GLOSS BLACK

I got 2 Lil Killer humbucker rail pickups, one 15K for the neck, & one 10K for the middle.  I have no idea what the K means.  I got a Pro-Tube lipstick tube pickup for the neck position, because I thought it looked neat… and because I never use the neck position, so I thought this might be neat to try out.  I opted for the 6K version, because that’s what the pickup in the calibrated rail set comes as…  even though the GFS page suggests you use the 4.9K one at the neck position.  Will it make that big of a difference?

Galaxy Guitars | New York Pro | Star Gazer

It's gonna look (& sound) a little different by the time I'm done with it.

So, I have these pickups, & the 5-way switch that came with the guitar.  What kind of wiring do you suggest I do?  Do I need to worry about shielding tape or paint?  Do I need flux, or no flux?  Can anyone show me a diagram for a normal setup?  What about something “hot-rodded” using these components?

I have a soldering iron and some solder.  I might get one of those soldering stands with the alligator clips.

Any tips, tricks, or advice?

Goofy Little 9V Amplifier Project…


I have a Fender Mini Twin MT-10 9V amp that I recently dug out of a box in the basement. Obviously I don’t use it much. It’s the one in a plastic enclosure, and it sounds like… it’s in a plastic enclosure. The battery compartment cover has decided to move on to better things.  My little Smokey Amp kicks its butt where 9V rocking is concerned, and it drives a cabinet if you wanna get really crazy.

Fender Mini-Twin '57 & MT-10

I have the boring MT-10 on the right in the incredibly awesome sounding high-quality black plastic enclosure.

Artistic Amplification | Duck Guitar Amp ($125.00)

If it looks like a duck, and sounds like a cat getting its tail pulled, it must be a... guitar amplifier?

One of the clamps inside that was supposed to hold the speaker busted off of the plastic enclosure anyway, so it was all in there rattling around.

I have been a fan of the stuff that the dude from Artistic Amplification is doing for a while.  The other day I got the brainstorm to turn my Mini-Twin into something like that dude does.  He uses the Ruby circuit from Runoof Groove, but I already have guts to a perfectly good amp.

9-Volt Battery Connector

9V me!

All I need is one of those 9V battery connector things (the amp has a stupid box w/ prongs), a fun shell, maybe some longer wires, a drill, some time and I’m good to go.  Even my level of poor soldering skills should work for this venture.

I was thinking something neat and goofy like a skull model or a Darth Vader helmet would be cool…

Vader Mask / Skull Model

These would certainly make badass little novelty amps.

I could possibly route out the eyes of the skull for the Twin Speaker placement.  Was thinking the same with with Darth Vader’s eyes, or even mount them in the mouth-piece.  Somehow I could maybe even work in that control panel…  If the speaker was in the mouth, I could make the eyeballs light up or something even crazier.  I can even use the integrated AC adapter, but I have read online that sometimes they produce an additional unwanted hum.

Then again, I thought trolling an antique store or two for an old box or transistor radio or crazy piece of kitsch would be kind of fun.  I might come across something that hits me as the perfect vessel for the Frankentwin.  (And a wooden box or old leather-covered transistor might sound better than yet another plastic enclosure.)

Fender Mini-Twin MT-10

HELP ME!

I pulled the amp apart with ease… I’m sort of stuck with the knobs.  They’re not coming off with a gentle pull, and while other goofy replacements might be fun, I don’t really want to bust these (or the circuit board inside) yet.  I guess I’m going to have to try to get something thin in behind them to pull them off.

The world of cigar-box guitar & amp building & case-mod type hacks is neat.  There are a ton of mini/travel amps out there, why not make one that’s all mine?  (Check out this coffin-shaped mini amp, this one from a mint container & this cracker-box amp!)

I’m asking you the reader if you have any tips, tricks, advice, suggestions, etc.  Have you done this before?  Have you seen anything similar?  Have you ever had the urge to build your own amp?  Would you buy one if I learned how to make a circuit & started making/selling weird stuff?  (Provided it sounded cool?)