Vaughn's Musical Notation

1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG - Love & Historic ’57 PAF Pickups

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG with Vaughn Skow '57 PAF Pickups

“Big, little, short or tall, wish I could have kept them all … Lord I loved them every one”.  This is a line from a Conway Twitty hit country song in the 80s; when Conway sang this line he was speaking of ladies, but for me it would be GUITARS.  To me it’s like this … one person can look at a dog and say “that’s the ugliest dog I ever saw”, and someone else (usually the dog’s owner) will say “no, it’s the cutest dog in the world”.  When it comes to guitars, I'm always the latter, what someone else may call ugly, I call awesome.  To me, EVERY guitar is beautiful in its own way.  I am particularly drawn to guitars from the golden period of the late 50s through the late 60s … and here’s where it gets weird, I actually love those unlovables that have many battle scars and owner hacked “modifications”.  I call it “personality”.

Okay, so that brings us to today’s topic, a 67 Gibson Melody Maker SG that I recently found in a little junk shop.  Here is a list of what owners have done to her over the last five decades:

  • The original single coil pickups had been replaced with humbuckers.
  • A “SG” like pickup switch had been added, and the original removed.
  • Originally Pelham blue, she had been painted black, a long time ago from the looks of it.
  • The Mastro Vibrola had been removed and a tune-o-matic stop tailpiece bridge installed
  • Strangely, the nut had been re-positioned further forward.

So, interestingly enough, the only really BAD thing that had been done was the nut re-positioning.  It essentially left the guitar incapable of playing in tune, because the spacing from the nut to the 1st fret was wrong. It would also prove to be the most challenging issue to fix, as I actually had to graft a small piece of rosewood in to the fingerboard to put the nut back where it belonged!  As far as all the other mods go … well, I liked them, although I probably would have liked the original pelham blue.

So, having fixed the nut issue I proceeded to get to know the old gal.  I can flat tell ya that there ain’t anything that feels as sweet as a good Gibby neck that’s been played for 50-ish years or so.  Sweet!  But the sound … well, it was thin & ugly.  Not a real problem as I was planning to put a set of my own PAFs in her anyway; so, it was time to open her up.  Inside, I found the good … the bad … and the ugly!

1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG on bench Vaughn Skow '57 PAF Pickups

The good:  The pickups were a nice set of PRS McCarty Archtops, which I quickly sold on eBay for a nice little bit of change.

The Bad:  Of the four pots, only ONE was a proper 500K!  The two volume pots were 100K (probably from Radio Shack in the 70s or 80s), and one tone pot was a 50K.

The Ugly:  Well … everything I found inside!  Some of the ugliest soldering I’ve ever seen and a real hack-job on enlarging the pickup cavity!

The cure for this old gal’s internal injuries was a set of four new Alpha 500K pots and new orange-drop tone caps … and a set of my Historic ’57 PAF pickups … aged to perfection!  I’d also like to note that I wired the guitar using the earliest Gibson Les Paul wiring scheme from the mid-late 50s.  Over the years, the value and position of the tone capacitor has changed several times.  Most true Les Paul players swear by the original system, and I agree.  The interaction between the four controls when in the middle position is extreme … but once you get used to that, it becomes an asset rather than a hindrance.  Google modern vs. 50s Les Paul wiring to research the difference.

1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG with Vaughn Skow '57 PAF Pickups

The result:  a super-sweet vintage SG that sounds second to none, plays like a dream, and is a true one of a kind.  Best part?  My total investment was under $500 … and several long nights at the bench.

Here’s a video of my Gal strutting her stuff. Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s0yGQrYTok

1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG with Vaughn Skow '57 PAF Pickups

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The Terrible Telecaster Ice-Pick

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Telecaster Ice-Pick Pickup CURE!

Hi gang!  This blog marks a bit of a first, as it is the first time I am officially blogging about the pickups that bear my name!  When I began making guitar pickups, I firmly believed that the best pickups ever made were in fact made from about 1952 to 1965, and my intention was to painstakingly reproduce these mid-century works of art.  Where Stratocasters and Humbuckers are concerned, I was dead-on the bull’s eye.  However, the Telecaster players were giving me something further to consider.  The Strat players were on a magic carpet ride to Nirvana with my 1954-1964 sets, and “les Paul” players consider my Alnico II and Alnico IV PAFs to be truly “Holy Grail” tone.  But those pesky Tele players. . .

 When Tele players talk about “Holy Grail” tone, the usual statement made is something like this: “Well, I love the sound of a vintage 50’s Tele bridge pickup … but they CAN get a little ice-picky sometimes, and …well, I really don’t use the neck pickup much, it’s just too dead and woofy”.

Okay, y’all, think about this for a second.  There are top-shelf touring Tele-masters out there gigging with vintage Telecasters worth tens of thousands of dollars saying, in essence “I’m not really in love with my tone”.  Wow!  That sucks, and I couldn’t help but feel as though something NEEDED to be done for these folks.  Now, I could have gone the route of some, and simply thrown in the towel and conceded defeat on the neck pickup … and focused on the bridge pickup (can you say “Esquire”?).  But, that would be against every bone in my body.  I LIKE multi-pickup guitars for the tonal versatility they offer, and especially for the complex and uniquely gratifying tone that can only result from a fantastically combining pair of pickups!  And so it was that I set out on a path that was already littered with the wreckage of past failures.  Could I succeed where so many others have failed?  Could a set of Tele pickups be made that truly left Tele players wanting for NOTHING?  And, for the record, I strictly desired to keep to “true” Tele sets … I’m talking drop-in replacements here … not some crappily conceived humbucker or other aberration; plenty of folks have went down that road and wound up with the most God-awful sounding Tele pickups ever!  My goal wasn’t to remove “hum” or to produce a pickup that looked good on an oscilloscope … no, I wanted tone to die for, true Holy-Grail tone.

I will admit that, living in Nashville, I have an advantage over many other pickup designers and builders.  Here in Nashville, I have at my disposal what is probably the largest assembly of top-shelf Telecasters and the Tele-Masters who play them available anywhere in the world.  And so I began quite a process of comparing everything that I tried to the “best of the best”.  Guess what?  It seems as though I did it.  Rocket science?  Nope, not at all.  The recipe I landed on really isn’t that far from Leo’s first designs, in fact.  Here is what I found:

  • Alnico II magnets: These are what I call the “sweetest of all magnets”, and man, they REALLY work their magic in Tele pickups.  And, that goes for both the Bridge AND neck positions!  SWEEEET!
  • Careful consideration to how strongly the magnets are “charged”:  This is NEVER a consideration on mass-produced pickups … it’s just not something an automated process can accurately achieve … but each and every single pole-piece must be charged to optimum levels to achieve perfection in TONE.
  • Stick with the 43-gauge wire on the neck pickup … but abandon the pre-conceived ideas about how it should be wound.  Sorry, I can’t totally give THIS secret away!
  • Get rid of that neck cover (or at least the part of it that stands between the pole-pieces and the strings.  Sure, it’s true that modern covers do not deaden the tone as much as early 50’s chrome over brass covers … but they DO still suck tone to a very notable degree!

Telecaster Ice-Pick Pickup CURE!

So there you have it; almost all my secrets revealed.  Nearly a year’s worth or R&D thrown out there for anyone to copy as they see fit.  Why on earth would I divulge this?  Well, Leo Fender is kinda my hero … and the man never even patented the Stratocaster or the Telecaster guitars; so, I guess you could say I’m following in Leo’s footsteps … and hopefully adding a little to his legacy.

Convinced?  Be sure to check out these pickups … that we’ve named “Vaughn’s Velvet Telecaster” set.

Here is a video discussion and demo.  If it doesn’t play, follow this link: http://youtu.be/oCJ9xAL2Ltg?list=UUqz2jjVBQhBK3oCSyp1UE9g

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Fake RickenBacker 4001 Bass

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Rickenfaker? Fakenbacker? Humm, call it what you want, the bass I recently discovered in a little mom-n-pop music show was most certainly not the Rickenbacker it claimed to be!

On a recent trip to a small Kentucky town not many hours out of Nashville, TN my eyes caught something not often seen in this types of music store, a cool vintage-looking Rick 4001 bass.  I took a quick look at the price and got a little excited … five hundred bucks!  Here is the bass, I handed it to my buddy Brad to snap a quick pic of my “find”.

Fake Rickenbacker 4001 Bass

Then I decided I’d try to determine its approximate age.   Here is a pick I snapped of this “MADE IN U.S.A.” 4001:

Fake Rickenbacker 4001 Bass Headstock 

Then I flipped it over:

Fake Rickenbacker 4001 Bass bolt-on neck

Hey … wait a minute!  A bolt-on Rick 4001?  No way!  This thing was as fake as a three dollar bill.  What had made it look so convincing was the fact that it looked like an old club-gig war horse.  This thing reaked of cigarette smoke and sported what appeared to be the signs of a lot of actual play time.  And, so I figured the somewhat strange pickup and a few other things were just unknown “battle scars” from less than professional “fixes”.  But the bolt-on neck … nope.  My poor little heart was broken.

Now, possibly the weirdest part of this story is this:  on my last trip to this same small town I looked at a “Gibson Zack Wylde Les Paul” in a pawn shop that was also a fake.  What the heck?  Are fake guitars really that rampant?  I’m not sure I know the answer to that question, but I do know this, when buying a guitar second-hand, be sure it’s REALLY what it claims to be … especially if the deal is too good to be true!  Consider yourself warned.

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Thanksgiving 2014: Is it possible to be thankful?

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Thanksgiving.  Is it possible to be thankful in 2014?  I think so, let’s talk about that.

I’m 5-foot, 3-inches tall and that makes me downright short by national standards.  It’s been proven time and time again that folks as short as me don’t generally get a fair shake.  Let’s take a peek at the list of “disadvantages” folks like me have:

  • Ladies tend to see short men as less attractive.
  • Men tend to not want to be friends with short men.
  • Short men are less likely to be hired for a job.
  • Short men on average earn less than a tall man for the same job.
  • And of course, we are ALWAYS chosen last for a sports team.

And it’s a “double whammy” in my case because I’m now also going bald, and guess what, bald men undergo the exact same prejudices!  So, right about now you may be asking what this has to do with being THANKFUL.  Well my friend, that’s an easy one; I’m thankful to be a short, bald man living in the United Stated of America, where there is only one disadvantage that really matters: a bad attitude.  I’m reminded of the catch-line of Russian-American comic Yakov Smirnoff: “America, what a country!”

I love this country, where disadvantaged folks like me can parlay a “glass is half-full” attitude and a good work ethic into a seriously great life.  From the moment I hit kindergarten, I’ve known I was fighting an uphill battle.  I was the shortest kid in my class, and kids can be really brutal in letting you know just how inferior a thing like that makes you!  It could have destroyed me, but it didn’t, it made me stronger.  I began to instinctively know that I would have to be better than average at everything I did if I were to see any real success in life.  A Tall, dark, and handsome guy may be able to be an inept idiot and still get whatever he wants when he flashes his 100-watt smile, but not me!  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  When I get the job, it’s a damn sure thing that I earned it.  When someone is my friend, they probably REALLY like me.  And, chances are my wife really loves me, too.   See where I’m going with this?  Yea, I’m thankful God made me just the way I am; I’m a better man because of the built-in adversity I continually face.

And so, on this Thanksgiving, please dear friend, take whatever disadvantages you may be facing in life and put them to work for you.  If, like me, you are fortunate enough to be living in the USA, consider yourself blessed.  This country has a rich history of disadvantaged folks from all walks of life rising to astronomical success, both personal as well as professional.

Seriously folks, I hope yours is an attitude of gratitude, because if it is, you are probably a happy person with a bunch of real friends and folks who love you for who you are … and on this Thanksgiving Day, I’d like to propose that having true friends is what we should be truly thankful for.

Oh, and if that isn’t enough, there’s always the “black Friday” sale here at WGS! If you enter the code: GIVETHANKS2014, you'll get 15% off all speakers, pickups, and other goodies.  Ha!  Feeling a little more thankful now?  Yep, I thought so.

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The Daion Caribou Guitar Lovefest

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Daion Caribou Guitar

Hello once again fellow tone-seekers!  Sooo, I build electric guitar pickups … and amps … and am a part of this great WGS family that builds electric guitar speakers.  However, this week I want to pay homage to an ACOUSTIC guitar!  Hey why not?  Acoustics ARE a huge part of the guitar experience, right?  And, it’s probably been the better part of a couple years since I last featured an acoustic on this here blog (Read here).  So ya ready?  Let’s jump in!

So first I’ll set the stage:  It was a dark, rainy night in London when I walked across the creaky threshold of Wan’s shop of ancient oriental oddities and first laid eyes on a guitar the likes of which I’d never seen in all my years.  Okay, actually it was middle of the afternoon when I entered Nashville Used Music.  My friend behind the counter said “dude, I’ve got an acoustic in that you gotta check out … you’re going to BUY this one!”  Nope, I was most certainly NOT going to buy ANOTHER acoustic, I explained.  Yep, I bought it.  But that’s not the truly crazy part, I’m always buying guitars I didn’t intend to buy; the crazy part is that before that moment I hadn’t even HEARD of this particular guitar.  Yea, that was a first!

This guitar was really seriously unique (read: different), and my experience has been that “different” usually equated to “bad”, especially in the world of acoustic guitars.  The time-tested designs of C.F. Martin are just flat impossible to top; no matter how boring and predictable they may appear.  And so, when I laid eyes on my first ’81 Daion Caribou, I simultaneously thought “man that looks cool” and “Bet that sounds like crap”.  I was about to be surprised.

The guitar truly has some of the most aesthetically pleasing lines I’ve ever seen in an acoustic.  Somehow, the Caribou managed to be DIFFERENT in almost every possibly way … yet look absolutely, totally “right” all at the same time.  I’d NEVER encountered that in an acoustic before!  From the totally unique hemispherical cut-out at the bottom of the body, to the brass saddle, to the oval soundhole, to the brass nut, to the headstock … it was all so different, and so RIGHT.  I marveled at the solid tiger-stripe fully un-braced maple back, and once again thought “looks great … bet it sounds awful”.  There was NO WAY this guitar was going home with me, or at least there wouldn’t have been if I had just left well enough alone and not actually PLAYED it!

Holy crap, she sounded sweet!  How on earth?  That unusual shaped body, strange soundhole, brass nut & saddle, unusual wood choices … it shouldn’t have sounded like this; or so my mind kept saying.  But, it did sound good, really good.  Like any acoustic made from fine woods, the years had been good to this guitar, opening her tone up in a most beautiful manner.  I was expecting a guitar very heavy in upper-midrange, lacking especially in body and depth.  But what DID it sound like?  I would describe the sound as very much like a Taylor “grand auditorium” body guitar … very full, yet very balanced with a bit more extra-top-end sparkle and a “bigness” about its bottom end.  Yep, write me up, she’s coming home with me :-)

In the couple of years since, I have had the opportunity to both record with this fine guitar as well as use her “plugged-in” on stage on a handful of occasions, and it’s always a rewarding playing experience.  To those of you considering one of these fine vintage guitars, I will suggest you make note of the fact that the pickups in these are passive, as was the norm in the late 70s/early 80s.  That’s not to say that the pickups sound bad, they sound great actually, but you WILL need an external acoustic pre-amp to obtain that great sound.

My epilog to this story is bitter-sweet, as I’m just packing her up to ship to Connecticut.  Yep, she’s on her way to be the muse of another.  My wife recently bought furniture for our dining room, which I had been using as a storage space for spare musical gear; she laid down the law: the stuff had to go!  I love my gear, but I love my little woman more, and so I put the guitars, amps, and drums stored in the dining room up on eBay.  The Caribou was the last item to be put up on eBay, and I secretly hoped she wouldn't sell.  She sold in the first day to a collector who informed me he had been looking for one for years.  So if one of these guitars crosses your path and you are smitten … you had better gobble it up right away because the word on the overall greatness of these fairly rare guitars seems to have gotten out.  They don’t come up for sale often, and when they do, they don’t stay for sale long.  Now, a few pics of this fine gal … I call these sexy shots “guitar-porn” :-)

Daion Caribou Guitar

Daion Caribou Guitar

Daion Caribou Guitar

Daion Caribou Guitar

Daion Caribou Guitar

Daion Caribou Guitar

Daion Caribou Guitar

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Tone Capicitors and RW/RP Pickups in Stratocasters

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Average: 5 (3 votes)

Hi fellow tone-seekers!  I just had some EXCELLENT questions about Stratocaster pickups come in via my site, VaughnSkow.com.  So good I think I might use tham in a blog :-)

Vaughn Skow Vintage Guitar Pickup RW/RP middle RWRP

Q: Besides hum - does Non RW/RP mid pup really sound better and deliver more "quack" to in-between positions 2 & 4, than RW/RP?

A: It is my experience that the answer to this question is NO.  I offer the non RW/RP option on my historic 1954 & 1959 Strat sets for purists who demand it, but such purists would also demand a 3-way switch on their Strat … which means there would be no “in-between” positions … and no benefit from an RW/RP middle pickup! 

Q: What NOS tone capacitor (& value) would complement your historic '64 set, best... do you suggest. Does it play any role at all tone?

A: Ahh, this is an area where my opinion is sometimes different than others!  It is my opinion that vintage Strat pickups sound best with the .1uf tone capacitor that was in fact used in vintage Stratocasters.  Vintage style pickups with Alnico Magnets and vintage wind counts can sound overly bright with the lower “modern” values. The ONLY time I recommend going to a .047 (or less) is when using pickups with ceramic magnets, which are inherently less bright and more “barky”; this is especially true if they are “over-wound”.   Yes, modern lower-end Strats, like the Fender “standard” made in Mexico come with .047uf caps, but they have terrible pickups with non-magnetic pole pieces being charged by a chunk of cheap ceramic magnet glued to the back of the pickup … they NEED all the sparkle they can get!  I’ve had the opportunity to dissect and blueprint many “holy-grail” original vintage Stratocasters, and they almost all had 1uf tone caps!  There is a magic that happens with the combination of true vintage-spec Strat or Telecaster pickups and the .1uf capacitor.

1958 Fender Strat Tone Capacitor Cap

Q: NOS cap or not?

A: I’m a fanatic on using NOS parts in some places, like tubes for instance, but capacitors are not one of those parts!  I’ve compared NOS paper-in-oil and “bumblebee” caps to modern silver mica (and lots of others) … and I actually prefer the new caps; I can’t tell a BIT of difference in the sound … but the old caps values have often drifted all over the place!

Q: Some of the most respected pickup builders (C.Novak, M.Gray, D. Mare, M. McConachie...), as a matter of fact tend to differ on their opinion to these subjects. I was just wondering what's being the truth, out of your vast experience and knowledge.

A: Thanks for putting me in that group!  I consider Curtis Novak & Jason Lollar … along with Bareknuckle in the UK to be folks that helped blaze the trail I am on :-)

WGS 10" Green Beret vs Celestion Vintage 10

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Average: 5 (4 votes)

Howdy-do friends and neighbors, ladies & gentlemen, educated and uneducated, those close, and those far away, folks from all walks of life, all manner of faiths, and from one end of the globe to the other … whew … I gotta catch my breath!  I’ve got … news!  Ya ready? 

It’s finally here … the long awaited 10” British voiced 10” speaker from WGS!  Everybody say “wooo-hooo!  Yea, I announced this thing nearly three months back, and then there was a difficulty obtaining some of the “special ingredients” and it got delayed … but not any longer.  It’s here, it’s real, and it’s available for you to purchase right now. Cool, right?

Okay, so in typical Vaughn style, the first thing I did was a little shootout against a serious contender, the Celestion Vintage 10.  How did it turn out, well, they both sound excellent … and quite different.  The Celestion is much boxier, with more lows & less top, and the WGS is more rounded-out with more aggressive mids and top end.  Winner?  Hard to say, how about ya check out the video & judge for yourself!  Oh, and by the way … I’ll let you in on a little secret:  WGS is ALSO working on another Britt 10 … the “Retro 10” … with yet another Britt voice in the 10” arena.  Ha!  So there IS something to still look forward to.  Ain’t life grand?

See y’all next time.  If the video does not play in the player below, click this direct link to YouTube:  http://youtu.be/7RwVV-7LWes

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Sleaper Amps revisited ... Great Minds DO think alike!

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Average: 5 (5 votes)

Hello Friendly friends!  Today I’d like to start out by pointing you in the direction of somebody else’s blog … yep, I’m turning you over to the competition! Not really … we’re all one big blogeriffic family :-)

Anywhoo … I subscribe to Premier Guitar Magazine, and often read their weekly blogs.  The one I just read is entitled Joe Bonamassa’s 5 Most Underrated Amps, and sittin’ pretty at No. 1 was the Lab Series L5.  Wow, great minds really DO think alike!  The Lab Series L5, L7, & L9 (which are all the same amps in 2-12, 4-10, & 1-15 speaker configurations) have been at the top of my “under-rated” list for years now. 

So, after reading Joe Bonamassa’s 5 Most Underrated Amps, take a gander at my blog of a couple years back: Lab Series L5, L7, & L9: the Ultimate Sleeper Amp?

Pretty cool, huh?  Yea man!  And, if you search the WGS site, you will find several threads from folks who have replaced the speakers in their in-expensively acquired Lab Series amps … and unleashed a serious tone machine.  Like so many amps, the SPEAKERS were actually the weak point in the Labs.  Heck, how important can the speaker be anyway … they only make the actual SOUND, right?  Amp manufacturers, when will you learn?  Oh well, there is a bright side … decades of amps being made with crappy OEM speakers has created a fantastic market for manufacturing and selling high-quality replacement speakers :-)

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Guitar Tone: It's What's Under the Hood that MATTERS!

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Average: 5 (3 votes)

So, a few weeks back my sweet little wife asked a simple question that really got me to thinking.  I was showing off the super-cool looking new WGS12L, and she simply asked: “what does it matter what it looks like, nobody ever really SEES the speakers in an amp anyway, right?

Wow, what a packed little innocent question.  Let’s talk about that.

To ME, it MATTERS.  Shoot, I just assumed everyone felt the same way I do, and truth be told, on this here forum, I am probably “preaching to the choir”, y’all get me.  And that’s so cool!  We’re like a dedicated bunch of car geeks; when they get together, no one needs to ask “why do you care what your spark plug wires look like, anyway … hardly anyone ever sees them?”  No, we are meticulous folks who understand that perfection is way more than “skin deep”.  We understand that what really matters is what’s under the hood.

Another, more musical way to look at it is this:  take your average (non tone-freak) off the street and show him two amps, one an old hard-worked 1964 Fender Super Reverb, the other a nice new “digital-modeling” amp with all manner of golly-gee-wizz stuff on it.  Ask him which one is the best … yea, he’ll pick the one that glitters on the outside.  But we know better.  We value the stuff that can’t be so easily seen, like the gorgeous matched pair of NOS RCA black plate 6L6’s and the big, robust pretty blue Sprague filter caps.  Yea, just like a true car guy values what’s under the hood (bonnet for you Britts) … we value what’s under the tolex.  After all, that’s what really matters, right.  And, when you’re talking shop with a fellow hard-core tone aficionado, isn’t it nice to have him take a peak “under the hood” of your rig and see that super-cool speaker? Yea, it is.

In a similar fashion, I’m working on a custom pickup model that honors Leo Fender’s two go-to guys, Forrest White & George Fullerton (I’m calling the set the “59 Fullerton-White Custom Set).  I’m going with bobins made of White & Red (George’s favorite color) fiber “flat-work”.  No one will ever see those colors once the pickups are installed.  But, I know I’ll play different.  Yea, what’s “under the hood” … “behind the tolex” … or “under the pick guard” … that’s the stuff that really matters, so why not make it look cool, too!

Vaughn Skow Custom Guitar Pickup

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Labor Day Thoughts circa 2014

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Hi fellow guitar tone geeks, great to be with you all on yet another LABOR DAY weekend!

I’ve been fighting a bit of a cold this weekend, and I feel soooo blessed!  Say that doesn’t make sense, well, let me explain!  You see, when I get sick, I get to be sick in a nice snug home with heat and air-conditioning, and running hot cold water, and plenty of readily available food (with pop-tarts and chicken noodle soup as highlights), plus I have a nice comfy bed with big fluffy pillows … like I said, I’m blessed; and grateful.  Even on my most miserable days, I’ve got it good.  Very good, indeed.

On this holiday, I just hope that all of you can say the same.  I don’t know exactly why I was so fortunate to have been born in such a great country with such freedom and opportunity. I don’t know why I have been able to grow up in a time and place where no wars have been fought.  I don’t know why I’ve been granted such an awesome life; but I do know this: I will not take it for granted; I will not complain when I run out of hot water or when I get a little cold.  I will remain forever grateful for the life of freedom and relative prosperity I have been gifted with.

Labor?  Yea, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work, too.  I love working; love actually making or accomplishing something.  I’m so grateful that I’m in America where I was born a farm kid … but had the freedom to pursue my dreams in music.  I’m so glad for both the opportunities I have had to do hard manual labor … and also for the opportunities I’ve had to be creative, and to use my mind rather than my biceps to produce something tangible. 

How about all y’all out there?  Are ya feeling what I’m feeling?  Are you grateful … not just for the days OFF from work … but for the opportunity TO work?  If not, give it some thought.

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And now, a little HISTORY on the “Labor Day” holiday … straight from the “History” Channel: (Read On)

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