customizing

CTS custom potmeters

Custom CTS potmeters are now available.
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Custom CTS vs standard CTS

Regular standard CTS potmeters are very common used in electric (bass) guitars, and they work just fine, but some people who has used them might have noticed a variation in resistance value and taper curve.

A standard CTS potmeter have a big variation of +/- 20% in the real resistor value as you measure a few potmeters of the same listed value. The new custom CTS potmeters have only a +/- 9% variation. The real value is more close to the listed value.
The custom CTS potmeters also never get a lower resistance than 250k or 500k, and have a custom taper curve that is suitable for both volume and tone control.
Here is a summary:

name use curve value tolerance measured value
CTS 250k audio potmeter volume logarithmic 250k +/- 20% 200k – 300k
CTS 250k linair potmeter tone linair 250k +/- 20% 200k – 300k
CTS 500k audio potmeter volume logarithmic 500k +/- 20% 400k – 600k
CTS 500k linair potmeter tone linair 500k +/- 20% 400k – 600k
CTS 250k custom potmeter volume & tone custom 275k +/- 9% 250 – 300k
CTS 500k custom potmeter volume & tone custom 550k +/- 9% 500 – 600k

What value should you choose?

A potmeter, when turned at volume 100% will cut off a little bit of treble from the sound. If you connect the pickup straight  (without a potmeter) to the output, it will sound a little more bright. The lower the value of the potmeter, the more the treble cutoff will be. A 250k potmeter will cut off more treble than a 500k potmeter.

In general, a 500k potmeter is used with a humbucker and P90 pickup, and a 250k potmeter with a Fender style single coil pickup and most bass guitars.

There is no hard rule, a Jazzmaster has 1M (1000k) potmeters in the lower sound controls. Many strats with a humbucker bridge pickup have still a 250k potmeter.

When your pickup sounds a touch too bright, you could try to change the potmeter to a 250k value.
When the pickup sounds muddy and dull you could try to replace the potmeter by 500k value.

If you have questions feel free to contact me a info@fernsguitars.nl

CTS potmeters can be ordered here:

http://www.fernsguitars.nl/nl/webwinkel/webwinkel.php?cat=42 (Dutch)

http://www.fernsguitars.nl/en/webshop/webshop.php?cat=42 (international)

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Vigier output modification

For all of you people who own a Vigier guitar and get nuts from the output getting loose all the time. For this particulair guitar it is very hard to tighten the jack again. Here is a simple modification.

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1. This output is used standard in the guitar. It is a Switchcraft tube jack that can be only tighten from the inside of the guitar. And there, in the electronic cavety there is no space to use standard wrenches or plyers.
If you are not careful you ruin the thread and have to drill out the complete jack.

2. I replace them by a Switchcraft tube jack that is used for acoustic guitars, the ones that are output and strap holder.

3. I remove the strap holder washer and just fit the tube in the guitar. It now can be tighten from the outside with a regular 13mm pipe wrench, although you want to hold it from the inside to not twist and loose your electronic connections.

vigier-2
It might not look THAT pretty; it is very practical, and to connect the cable is really no problem.

The new Fern’s Orville Breeveld Signature Custom

After a year of developing, talking, sketching and carving, Amsterdam leading session guitarist Orville Breeveld was yesterday finally able to lay his hands on his own signature guitar. He became a quiet man, and surprised with an instrumental version of a Marco Borsato song that could easily fit any jazz album.

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As a starting point I took measurements from his old Ibanez AM400, and adapted them into my Custom-1 guitar. We decided to do a semi-hollow guitar, with a focus on the sound of a solid body guitar. The semi-hollow construction would add a nice brightness or “ring” to the instrument. Most specs from the neck of the Ibanez were copied in the new guitar (thickness, width, shape), and the guitar was redesigned around a 24 9/16″ scale length. The shape was comfortable for Orville, but the F-hole on the bass side should be a bit more modern, and can we do a wine-red finish? Orville told me one of his earliest connections to the guitar was the Gibson Marauder in wine red that his father used to play. We finished the design with adding a pearl block inlay in the neck and gold plated hardware.

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The guitar has the same basic construction as the allready listed Custom-1. The instrument is build around a central neck block that runs through the body. All other parts are build around that neck block. The top has been made of a beautiful AAA tigerstriped piece of European maple, hand carved. Here are the specifications:

Woods:

  • European maple AAA tigerstriped top
  • Mahogany body
  • Laminated neck block: USA maple, Greenheart, Purpleheart
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Laminated head: USA maple, Ebony

Hardware:

  • Jason Lollar Imperial Humbuckers, standard wound
  • Schaller bridge, tailpiece and locking tuners
  • Dunlop fretwire
  • Bone topnut
  • Pearl inlays

Finish:

  • Custom wine red stained finish
  • Transulent PU laquer finish, high gloss
  • Neck: PU laquer finish, satin gloss

Scale:

  • 24 9/16″

Orville first gets a moment to PLAY the guitar, in December the website will be updated with a more photo’s and information.

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Orville Breeveld:
As a musician, composer, orchestrator, teacher and marketeer, Orville Breeveld has been working in the field of international art, entertainment, media and advertising for over a decade. With a cosmopolitic vision, Orville Breeveld has set stage for various multi-cultural artistic and as well as business talents throughout Amsterdam. As a musician and composer, Orville Breeveld has a long established career of working together with various ensembles, musicians and entertainment corporations through out the world like Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Dutch Horn Ensemble), The Metropole Orchestra, Maher Zain, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Karsu and many others.

With his own event production company and talent development organisation Breathing he has been presented and programmed hundreds of young talented singers, bands and visual artists on international festivals and events. Besides composing and arranging for his own bands Orville composes music for TV, radio and other artists. This he does with his own company The Groove Group. Orville aswell is a proud father and has a strong vision on fatherhood in various communities. He initiated the platform Vitamine V in the Netherlands to inspire other fathers and to contribute to a better upbringing of children through various actions and activities.

www.orvillebreeveld.com

Personal requests for custom made lap steel guitars.

The best thing about making instruments on order, instead of serial production is to be able to adapt somebody’s personal needs. At the moment I finish a few lap steel guitars. Two Slide King models need different details.

One Slide King had a special request to make somehow a palmrest above the bridge.
As a reference the customer mentioned the ‘ashtray’ of a telecaster or the bridgecover of a stratocaster. A bridgecover is always something you hate or you like. For me I don’t like it, as I like to be able to do palm muting. But for the customer it is a must. He doesn’t like palm muting. There you go.

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The palm rest is made from ebony, like the other parts of the Slide King lap steel. The rest can be simply bold on the bridge, or taken off, for those who do like palm muting…

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The feel is a bit like a strat cover, it works.

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A second Slide King needed a visual addition on the side. Some vintage lap steel guitars or pedal steels have a brand plate on the side, so it is visual for the audience when playing the instrument.

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As a request it is of course very nice, and I feel very flattered that a customer wants to show my brand to his audience. Not only the brand needed to be visible, also the name of his wife should be there. Lucky for me only three letters.

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The side of the Slide King lap steel guitar will look like this when finished:WP_20140723_013