Haywire Custom Guitars Frequently Asked Questions
Hi Rick, I am from Myrtle Beach and was wondering what kind of guitar repairs and services you offer and how to contact you locally regarding guitar modifications, repairs or having a custom built guitar. Thanks, Tommy.
Hi Tom!! Thanks for writing. I’m in Myrtle Beach, SC. The Haywire Custom Shop phone number is (843) 347-5742 and the website address is: http://www.HaywireCustomGuitars.com I offer lots of services including anything that makes a guitar more comfortable, feel better, sound better, decrease noise, shielding, pick up potting, better knobs, electronics, adding active and/or passive pickups in any configuration you want, updating a sluggish instrument to make it smoother and faster and much more functional while being as least invasive with the instrument as is possible. There is not much I can't do to an instrument although there are things I really like to do more than others-such as sanding. Anyway Tom -please check out the website soon and you'll get a better idea of my bio as to what I have done in the past and am working on now there are LOTS of pix of guitars I've built and modified. My e-mail address is: [email protected]
Email or call and I promise I will make you an EXTREMELY happy guitar player!
Hi, Nice guitars! Just wondering what that circular depression on some of the necks near the heel on the side of the lower horn was-is it a screw hole? I noticed the same thing on the metallic tele you're also selling. Thanks, Roger
What you are referring to is the neck adjustment built into Warmoth "Pro" necks on the side of the heel. It's called the Gotoh side adjustment mechanism. Between the usual truss rod adjustment nut at the heel and the truss rod, this ingenious device uses inclines and wedges deep inside the neck to adjust the rod tension in the neck and thus allow for straightening WITHOUT removal of the entire neck. The initial set-up is still accomplished at the traditional butt end but future small adjustments are then conveniently done on the side of the neck where you see the round hole in the pix where the Allen wrench is inserted to make the fine adjustments to get the neck -just right!
Thanks, Rick@ www.HaywireCustomGuitars.com
I'm still lovin' my black tele. I have a question. Is the bridge pickup a stock Fender? It seems hotter. My guitar teacher/mentor swears it's not standard; could you clear this up for us? He also likes this guitar very much. We are just wondering where it gets its unique sound. Thanks for taking the time.............Mark Dearing.
The pick ups should be stock Fender as far as I can tell by looking at the records. We do sometimes use some of the pick ups made for us as well as EMG, Wilkinson, Duncans etc. - but it doesn't appear that they are. Be aware that the sound of an instrument-even an electric solid body guitar is dependent on several factors and changing any one can change the sound of the instrument- ever so slightly. The factors are: dryness of the wood, density of the wood, the fingerboard wood when matched with a dense neck wood, body wood density, whether parts are attached solidly or half heartedly to the body and string gauge(yours being Ernie Ball Regular slinky). Sometimes these factors come together in such a way as to produce an unusual tone which is unique to that instrument and pleasing to the ears.
Thanks for writing.
Rick, I see some beautiful guitars here. Do you make a hard tail? Also, there is a slight problem. I am on the road right now-if I tell you where I'll be in two weeks and give you an address, can you get it to me in time for my Ft. Worth Show?
Hi Frank! Yes, I make several hard tail guitars. A Hard Tail Strat, a Telecaster and the Stratotelia all have them. As far as getting one to you. No problem. I can get one there before the show starts!
Love the strat body-it's beautiful. I also love the sound. What kind of pickups did you give me? Thanks for everything and I will be a customer-again I'm sure. PS please email me about the pickups. Barry Enman
Thank you so much for writing! I'm glad you liked the body. It was going to be too long to make you wait for the plain sunburst body, so I sent you one,” Gig -Ready". I wanted to make sure you were happy which is why getting it to you as soon as possible was my first concern. Making money is not as much of a concern as making customers. Haywire is small with no intentions of growing. The techs here as myself are all players. We are all financially independent, so the emphasis has always been on the "Product Quality" instead of trying to make lots of profit. We all want to help our fellow musicians here as best we can.
When you're happy-We're Happy! You just can't imagine what it's like getting mail from customers that are completely satisfied-day after day....... The pick ups are made by a friend of mine in California to the specs Haywire wants for the "stock" offering. If you have seen the http://www.HaywireCustomGuitars.com site then you know we offer more styles and brands. I can get almost anything, however, I really like the ones you have because of the power and tonal quality. I'm really glad to know that you agree. Please send me a photo of you playing your new instrument so I can add it to the site!Sincerely,
Owner, luthier and Tech@Haywire Custom Shop
Hi! My name is Alex. I was looking at your beautiful guitars on eBay and they seem to be priced way too low. How can you do that? If I don't win the guitar I like on eBay-can you make one for me just like it?
Bear in mind only a small part of our sales are on eBay. When we sell on eBay-we lose money but it's great advertisement for the website. It's a really great way to introduce our guitars to players who would never have otherwise found them! Even if it fails to sell it's fine because it ends up costing about $7.00 to list a guitar which in turn gets me in touch with people like you. I can make anything you'd like!
I looked at the Blackie guitar you have on E-Bay and wrote you an email about shipping and customs because I live in London, UK If I decided to go for a Clapton Blackie with a Warmoth neck is it possible to have these other features?
I have seen a picture of a Clapton "Blackie" on your website. It has got a Warmoth soft V neck and EMG SA's. Are these active pickups? I am familiar with the Fender Noiseless pickups on a Blackie and they are pretty good. Are the EMGs a match for them? I would like the bridge unblocked and to have a whammy bar included. If I wanted the hardware in gold is that possible or workable? The last thing I am contemplating is getting the Buzz Feiten Tuning System retrofitted.Thanks for your help,
Thank you for writing. Sure-you can have any options that you'd like. The Fender noiseless pickups are great. There are so many pickup choices it is difficult to select one and say-:this is the best". If it sounds good to you-then that's the one to add. On purchases from the website we ship as well as provide a Hard Shell case for free. You can have anything you want! I can do all that for you. Some of our guitars have active pickups and some passive. The choice is yours. The bidge is no problem-we can do that and include the whammy bar. Chances are goo that if you have really low action the Buzz Feiten system won't make any difference to your ear.
You mention C shape thin, do you mean "standard thin"? Also tell me a little bit about the guitar neck shapes in general.
Thanks for taking an interest in our guitars! The "C" shape refers to the contour of the back of the neck. There is the "C" the "D" and “U” “Boat Neck” ,’59 Round Back, The Wizard, Hard “V”, “Fat back” and Eric Clapton's favorite a soft "V" backed neck etc. The"C" is considered "standard".
All of this is explained extremely well with lots of examples and illustrations of "back profiles" in our "guitar neck replacement " section of the Haywire Custom Guitar site. I think you'll find that extremely helpful and valuable in helping select a neck.
Dear Rick, What are your favorite necks?
Without a doubt it's a Warmoth neck. They are great! Their pro computer designed "Standard thin" neck and nut is a great combination. I do want to point out that the Warmoth neck is not only a "Fender-Licensed" product but is far superior to the original design. The Graphtech self-lubricating nut material works well with tremolos on Fenders. The graphite is warmer and more even-sounding and slippery. The actual nut cutting is done by a bench top CNC mill run by a PC. The program was written in house. Just input all the variables for each specific neck and create a nearly perfect nut for each, compensated for fret height, nut width, fingerboard radius, etc. Two air turbine spindles do all the cutting and shaping of the nut with extreme precision.
A professional nut cut requires doing a full set-up and generally follows a leveling or dressing of the frets. This allows the nut to be finessed down to final dimensions. A nut must be cut to specific geometric parameters to function properly and these parameters are dictated by the type of neck to achieve the very low action of our Haywire guitars. Anything else you need to know just go to the HaywireCustomGuitars.com website or write us.Thanks, Rick
I need to ask you about shims ... Do you make your own or do you purchase ready-made shims ... I know you can use just about anything for a shim but my old luthier I think used to buy them pre-made from International Luthier Exchange (in California) ... anyway, the ones he had were really handy and easy to use and cut just right. What do you use for shims on Fender necks? Or do you use shims at all (I know some people refuse to have anything between their neck block and the pocket ...)
Thanks for your advice on this ...
I make my own. I use the aluminum tape that the Heating and Air people use for putting duct work together-(not duct tape). It is a roll of aluminum tape that comes with a waxy paper backing and has adhesive on it. You can get it at Lowes. It's very thin and I like to be able to step it up slowly and use just an amount necessary to make it work. I like to attach it to the neck heel. If you can't find it let me know.
Dear Haywire Custom Guitars, What is a blocked trem and do you do it?
Good question! Glad you asked. Read the following and it will explain things clearly for you.
The Haywire Blocked Tremolo or Hard Tail Tremolo by:
Haywire Custom Shop
All of our guitars at Haywire Custom Guitars are easily reversible hard tails. What do we mean by that?
Well, simply put, they are all blocked with the exception of the Floyd Rose models.
Why does Haywire block the tremolo?
Aside from the obvious fact that the outdated tremolo design has been used since the early 1950's
here are some more real good reasons why we block the trem as a "standard" feature:
1- If all strings are removed at once it is time consuming to re-tune the guitar.
2- When one string breaks, all other strings go out of tune.
3- Intonation is a much longer and inaccurate process.
4- String bending can cause other strings to go slightly out of tune and sustain is lost.
5- Action with a "floating synchronized trem system" changes constantly and frustrates players.
What is a blocked tremolo, how does Haywire accomplish it and why do it?
Blocking the tremolo requires tightening of the inertia block with the two tremolo claw screws at the back wall of the trem cavity to prevent it from moving. This makes the bridge behave more like a hard tail bridge, eliminating common headaches. Remember this unit design has not changed since 1948 but playing techniques have. Players are more aware of out of tune problems today because of much better electronic tuners that were not around back then.
Fortunately this change does not modify the instrument, nor is it permanent. It can always be reversed, making it ideal for collectible instruments that need to stay original.
The Strat bridge is blocked and basically tightened with the claw screws under the tremolo cover plate in the back of the guitar body. The springs are so tight that the trem will not move thereby rendering it a hard tail. Why not use a hard tail bridge?
Well two reasons: The re-sale value is much better if we don’t physically change anything that can’t be reversed since lots of players still want a trem or whammy bar on their guitars (just loosen the 2 claw screws that have been tightened in the back under the trem cover to put the trem back into service and have a useable tremolo system once again) and second there is a bit more added sustain with the tremolo bridge because it has a great deal more metal that a small hard tail bridge. It also has the benefit of the springs which add even more sustain....so...There you have it! My suggestion, if I may, it’s blocked for you and you'll love it because it stays in perfect tune and the whole process is not permanent or invasive to your instrument and it’s completely reversible!
Haywire Custom Guitars Inc.
Your questions about capacitors and pots here with full explantions below.
How does the tone capacitor value affect the sound of the guitar?
Most guitars and basses with passive pickups use between .01 and .1 MFD (Microfarad) tone capacitors with .02 (or .022) and .05 (or .047) being the most common choices. The capacitor and tone pot are wired together to provide a variable low pass filter. This means when the filter is engaged (tone pot is turned) only the low frequencies pass to the output jack and the high frequencies are grounded out (cut) In this application, the capacitor value determines the "cutoff frequency" of the filter and the position of the tone pot determines how much the highs (everything above the cutoff frequency) will be reduced. The rule is: Larger capacitors will have lower cutoff frequency and sound darker in the bass setting because a wider range of frequencies is being reduced. Smaller capacitors will have a higher cutoff frequency and sound brighter in the bass setting because only the ultra high frequencies are cut. For this reason, dark sounding guitars like Les Pauls with humbuckers typically use .02MFD (or .022MFD) capacitors to cut off less of the highs and guitars like Strats and Teles with single coils typically use .05 MFD capacitors to allow more treble to be rolled off. The capacitor value however, only affects the sound when the tone control is being used (pot in the bass setting) The tone capacitor value will have little to no effect on the sound when the tone pot is in the treble setting.
What is the difference between 250K & 500K guitar pots?
Either 250K or 500K pots can be used with any passive pickups however the pot values will affect tone slightly. The rule is: Using higher value pots (500K) will give the guitar a brighter sound and lower value pots (250K) will give the guitar a slightly warmer bassier sound. This is because higher value pots put less of a load on the pickups which prevents treble frequencies from "bleeding" to ground through the pot and being lost. For this reason, guitars with humbuckers like Les Pauls use 500K pots to retain more highs for a slightly brighter tone and guitars with single coils like Stratocasters and Telecasters use 250K pots to add some warmth by slightly reducing the highs. You can also fine tune the sound by changing the pot values regardless of what pot value the guitar originally had.
What is a No Load guitar tone control and how does it work?
The No Load Pot is used on some Fender USA Strats, Teles and Fender basses and is wired like a standard tone control. From settings 1-9 it works like a standard tone then clicks in at 10 (full clockwise/ bright setting) and removes the pot and capacitor from the circuit. This eliminates the path to ground that exists with standard pots even in the full treble position. By eliminating the path to ground through the pot, the only load on the pickup is the volume pot. So, if 250K pots are used, the load is reduced from 125K to 250K and if 500K pots are used, the load is reduced from 250K to 500K (high resistance = low load) The reduced load allows more power output from the pickup and reduces the amount of high frequencies that bleed off to ground. This gives a noticeable increase in brightness and output in the full treble setting. The no load pot can be used in place of any standard tone control on any guitar or bass.
Does the number of control pots used affect the sound of a guitar?
Yes: Since the load on the pickups is determined by the total parallel resistance of all pots that are being used, using fewer pots will reduce the overall load and give a slightly brighter sound. Connecting more pots is the same as using lower value pots, two 500K pots will lose or "bleed" the same amount of treble frequencies as one 250K pot. To lessen the effect, switching should be designed (when possible ) to remove pots from the circuit when the related pickup is not selected. An example of this is the Les Paul: bridge controls are out of the circuit when in the selector is in the neck position and the neck controls are out of the circuit when the selector is in the bridge position.