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10. March 2014 · Comments Off on New Responsive Website design for Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies! · Categories: General · Tags: , , , , , ,

Responsive designed website

Last week we updated our website to a new responsive design. A responsive website will adjust automatically to the device on which it is being viewed. Whether on your mobile phone, tablet,  or desktop, our website will display perfectly. This will enhance your shopping experience here at Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies.

New features:

  • Larger carousel on home page
  • Larger product images on all pages
  • Auto scrolling top sellers on category pages

 

28. July 2013 · Comments Off on Engraved Signature Truss Rod Covers – Now Available! · Categories: General, New products · Tags: ,

,Signature on PRS truss rod coverPopular among guitar manufactures is to add models based on guitars used by your favorite artists. Almost every major manufacturer makes them for a host of artists from every genre of guitar-based music. You will find signature models for Eddie Van Halen – EVH, Paul Gilbert – Ibanez, Carlos Santa – PRS, Slash – Gibson and Epiphone, and the list goes on and on.

Almost everyone that plays guitar has personalized their guitar. Whether it be changing the pickups, replacing knobs, adding decals or just removing the pickguard.  Why not have your very own signature model guitar? Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies can now engrave your signature on a truss rod cover. We are not using a special script font to simulate a signature, but your actual signature.

To make a truss rod cover with your signature on it you will need to provide us with a copy of your signature. On each product page you will find a downloadable PDF with an outline of your truss rod cover and instructions. The PDF will contain two truss rod cover outlines. We suggest that you sign your name twice and circle the example you prefer.  Make sure you use consistent pressure so the line thickness is even throughout. Try to keep your signature within the double lines.  We will try to replicate your truss rod cover to look like your example. If you sign your name at an angle it will be engraved that way. Try to be creative with your signature…the more stylized the better.

Signature sample

Once your order is received we will convert your signature into a vector for engraving. This is the most time consuming part of making the truss rod cover. It requires us to manually tracing your signature for engraving. Variation in line thickness will not be engraved.  

Original signature converted to vector for truss rod cover

Signature sample FINAL

When purchasing the truss rod cover you will get an opportunity to enter special instructions. You could ask us to fix small errors, center the signature, enlarge, etc. Another option would be to add text along with your signature. For example…You could ask us to add Model using font B below the signature. Any of our standard engraved truss rod cover listings will include a list of available font for engraving. If clarification of the instruction is need, we will contact you before making the truss rod cover.  

The engraved “Signature” truss rod covers are located here on our website. If you have any questions about a signature truss rod cover, you can send us an email at support.

16. July 2013 · Comments Off on New Photo Gallery – Engraved and Full Color Custom Truss Rod Covers! · Categories: General · Tags: , ,

Custom Engraved Truss Rod Cover

We make a lot of custom truss rod covers and many follow the basic 1 or 2 lines of text.   Most of the time, if it is an interesting design or is a special request from a customer, we share an image of the truss rod cover on our Facebook page.   Because of all the search engine traffic, we think it would be a good idea to add a link to these photos on our blog too.   If you click on the “CUSTOM TRUSS ROD COVER GALLERY” link below the header, it will take the truss rod cover photos from Facebook and display them here.

If you decide to go beyond the basic 1 or 2 lines of text or need a little help designing a truss rod cover please contact us at support@philadelphialuthiertools.com.   There may be additional fees for some custom work.

17. June 2013 · Comments Off on Differences between Nickel and Chrome plating for Guitar Hardware · Categories: General · Tags: , , , ,

One common question facing many guitar players looking to replace or upgrade their hardware is…Nickel or Chrome?.  Many think there isn’t much difference between the two or that they look the same.  It is sometimes hard to tell them apart unless you have them next to each other.

Nickel and Chrome tailpieces

Nickel(left) and Chrome(right) tailpiece.

Nickel plating was used on a lot of vintage instruments.  It has a slightly yellowish tint and warm look when compared to chrome with its blueish tint and cooler look.   Nickel plating is corrosion resistant but tarnishes easily.   Nickel isn’t as hard as chrome and will age nicely with normal use.  Usually the metal is copper plated before the nickel is applied.  The copper is easier to polish then the bare metal and will give the nickel a smoother finish.

Nickel tailpiece, Chrome TOM, Chrome tailpece, Nickel ABR-1

From left to right: Nickel tailpiece, Chrome TOM bridge, Chrome tailpiece, Nickel ABR-1 bridge

Chrome(chromium) is used on many guitars today for its ability to stay looking new longer.  The benefits of chrome are that it is very durable, corrosion resistant, and won’t tarnish.   Something that is seen often is the term “triple chrome plating” or “show chrome”.   Both of these terms mean that the item is first plated with copper, then nickel, and last chrome.  Copper is used for its ease of leveling and polishing.  Nickel is used because it is needed for good chrome adhesion.  If the copper plating is omitted then more polishing is required of the bare metal to give the smooth liquid appearance commonly seen on chrome products.

Nickel and Chrome Pickup covers

Nickel(left) and Chrome(right) pickup covers.

You should not mix chrome and nickel hardware on the same guitar unless they are a distance apart.  Tailpieces, bridges and pickups should all be the same finish because of their size and close proximity to each other.  A chrome bridge and nickel tuning machine might not be as noticeable  Small screws don’t always make that much difference.  Some will find that small zinc plated screws from the hardware store are a good substitute for either nickel or chrome screws.  Everyone will have a different opinion about what is acceptable.  

Nickel Chrome and Zinc screws

Nickel(top), Chrome(right) and Zinc(bottom left) screws.

It can be frustrating when you receive your new part only to find that it doesn’t match your existing hardware.  I sometimes find myself grabbing a known nickel or chrome part to compare the finish.  Looking at the pictures above, you can see how easy it is to tell the difference when they are next to each other.

We hope the information and pictures provided here will help you pick the correct parts for your next project.  If you have any questions please contact us at support.

16. May 2013 · Comments Off on Choosing the correct knob for your guitar or bass. · Categories: General · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bell, Speed and Dome knobs

Introduction

This article will help you pick the correct knob for your guitar.  Choosing the correct knob for your guitar isn’t difficult when you have the right information.  We will discuss some of the different styles, control shaft types, and whether you need recessed or non-recessed knobs.   Pictures will be included with each explanation to help you see the differences.

Knob styles

There are 3 common styles of knobs; bell, speed, and domed.

Bell knob examplesFirst, are the very popular bell knobs.  These can also be referred to as hat, bell hat, UFO or hut knobs. They are typically found on LP and strat guitars. On Les Paul® guitars, they are typically clear knobs with the color and numbers painted underneath.  The most common colors are gold and black.  Amber knobs use translucent amber plastic and are painted gold on the bottom.  Strat bell knobs are solid colors with the numbers and volume/tone embossed on the outside.

Speed knob examplesSpeed knobs, also called barrel knobs, get their name from their beefy, large diameter shape that allows for easy and quick adjustment of the controls.  The diameter is about the same as the bottom skirt of a bell knob except they don’t taper inwards. Typically, construction is clear plastic with the color and numbers painted underneath.  When looking at the amber version of these knobs, it can appears darker than the bell version because the plastic is thicker, which makes the numbers harder to read.

Dome knob examplesFinally, the domed knobs.  These are not always domed and sometimes have flat tops.   They are can be constructed of metal or plastic.  The sides usually have a knurled texture that can range from fine to coarse.  This appears on a lot of Telecaster guitars but has become very popular on super strats (ie. Ibanez®, Charvel®, Jackson®, etc.).  A domed knob will give the guitar a sleek appearance.

Control shaft types

Fine, coarse and solid shaft examples

When choosing a knob for your guitar, it’s not just about picking a style that you like.  It’s about whether it will fit your guitar or bass properly. The shaft on your control comes in two common styles.  Either a splined (sometimes called knurled) split shaft or a solid shaft.

Split shaft knobs come in two versions, both are 6mm in diameter and only differ in the number of splines.  Either a coarse spline that is usually found on import potentiometers (often abbreviated as “pots“) or fine spline found on US CTS pots.   Almost all press-on knobs that fit coarse 18-spline pot shafts won’t fit fine 24-spline shafts, and vice versa. NEVER pinch the control shaft with pliers to make a knob fit.  This can cause the split shaft to break.

Coarse spline control and knobIf you count the splines on a coarse knob you will have a total of 18 splines.  If you count them on the pot, there are 8 on each side of the split (16 total).  

Fine Spline control and knobFine spline knobs have 24 splines, and the pot has 10 on each side of the split (20 total).   It is easier to count the splines on the control than on the knob.  

Universal Fit strat knobSome strat knobs are universal fit and will fit both coarse and fine spline pots.  These knobs don’t have splines and are made with just the right diameter that the splines on the pot will make their own path.  

Dome knob and solid shaft examplesMost dome knobs use a set screw to secure the knob to a solid shaft.  These are available to fit two shaft diameters; 6mm or a 1/4″.

The 6mm solid shaft knob will fit coarse spline, fine spline and a 6mm solid shaft. 6mm is a common size for import guitars.  When installing a 6mm solid shaft knob on a split shaft pot you want to tighten the set screw in line with the split.  Tightening the set screw perpendicular to the split will compress the shaft and cause the knob to come loose. 

Correct position for a set screw on a split shaft control

1/4″ will fit only solid shaft pots normally found on US/Mexican Fender Telecaster® guitars.  Fitting a 1/4″ shaft domed knob on a split shaft control o the smaller 6mm shaft will cause your knob to spin off center.

Recessed or Non-recesses knobs


Recessed and non-recessed knob examplesBottom view of difference between recessed and non-recessed knobs.Another consideration when choosing a knob for a Gibson Les Paul® is whether you want vintage style non-recessed knob.   Guitars fitted with this style of knobs will look like the knobs are not pressed on all the way.  They can sit anywhere between 1/8″ to 1/4″ above the guitar body.  These are found on a lot of vintage Gibson guitars and also their historic line of guitars.   On some guitars the knob can look like it is sitting way too high and will need the control lowered to make it look better.   This can be difficult to do on some guitars(ie. Gibson guitars with the PCB).  Here are some examples on a Gibson Historic and a 2010 Gibson Traditional with non-recessed knobs installed.

Gibson Historic with non-recessed knobs

Gibson® Historic with non-recessed knobs.

 

Recessed vs non-recessed knobs on a Gibson 2010 Traditional

Recessed vs non-recessed knobs on a 2010 Gibson® Traditional.  No modification done to the guitar.

We hope you found the information provided here useful.  You will find most of the different styles of knobs available on our website.  If you have question please leave a comment below or send us an email at support.