June 30, 2010

Acoustic Pickup Instalation › Headway › Headway HE2 › Richards Guitar Workshop › workshop ›

Richard has been playing guitar since the age of 8, educated at the Guitar Institute in London and specializing in online consultation and World Wide deliveries for 21 years - Each and every one hand finished bespoke to the customers requirement.

Richards reputation for first class playing instruments and dedicated service goes before him - with customers in most Countries around the World.  In the past 3 years alone Richard has accrued over 1000 testimonials from customers all around the World.  Every single customer dealt with personally by Richard.
Richard only sells guitars he truly believes in - each brand being an Industry benchmark in their price or genre - a view built on 21 years research.
Richard is available most hours for consultation which is provided in a personal but comprehensive and professional manner via the live chat facility.

Specialist guitar advice for 21 years

I (Richard) have been providing specialist advice for 21 years. My previous business Regent Guitars ran from 1995 to 2008, starting with just 6 guitars and closed selling 8-10 guitars a day with a turnover well in excess of £1,500,000.

So why did it close?

In 2008 I closed Regent Guitars and opened Richards Guitars with a desire to get back to ONLY selling guitars I love, that I have a true passion for – which should also mean a volume that I could handle personally from beginning to end – like my previous business USED to be!  To this day the only person I have to rely on is my wife Teresa who liases with all my customers during the order process and I am more worried about letting her down than vice versa - behind every good man as they say!

Regent Guitars had left me disillusioned and “too close” to the reality of how most guitars are sold. I didn’t want to be part of the marketing “machines”. It just wasn’t me and I believe anyone who is truly passionate about guitars and in my industry will know exactly what I mean.   It seems 90% of my industry is hype - so I try and focus on the 10% I truly believe in.

My reputation now spans Locally, Nationally and Internationally with customers from Stratford Upon Avon  to Singapore.

I specialize in a select range of guitar brands—Brands which I believe represent something unique in the market be it value, quality, tonal range or shear beauty.

You may not realise you can buy all solid wood hand made acoustic guitars from as little has £500, even a superb quality electric guitar hand made in the UK from £600!  If you chat to me I will tell you how to avoid the mass produced, over hyped brands and focus your attention to stunning beauty!

Guitars sold on personal passion, not marketing hype

Heard of Eastman, Furch,  Faith, Gordon Smith or Godin?  If you haven’t then you need to have a chat with me before you spend your hard earnt cash on your next guitar.

I am aware that many people do not buy for “quality only” but for image and prestige. If you want a Fender, Ibanez, Shecter, Gibson, Jackson etc. then you are talking to the wrong man entirely (although I do specialize in used examples which will play better than new and won’t lose value on resale) – you can find these products hung on a hundred guitar shop walls around the UK but for me personally they just don't excite me and conversely represent well marketed, over hyped mediocrity.

Just remember when you are talking to the next salesman that he probably cares not for you, but for his employer. His job is to sell you what is hung on the wall – not to ensure you get the very best guitar available in the market.

Want to know about guitars with heart and soul? I am your man. From a quality starter guitar through to World Class hand made guitars.   With honesty and integrity central to my philosophy in life and business I assure you that you are in safe hands and I will guide you based on your needs and requirements. If I can’t help I will tell you and point you to “a man that can”.

Try guitars in a welcoming environment..

I try and make your stay at Richards as enjoyable as possible, which may include boring you to death about the guitars available, their history/pedigree etc. or it may just be you want to spend some time on your own trying out the guitars available. Either way you should find the shop welcoming and totally un-intimidating.

Read: Richards History - From Birth To Now!

HE2 Pickup Instalation Into a Stonebridge DS 23 CR

 Firstly the guitar as received is checked over & the current dimensions for setup are recorded. In this case there was no request for any changes, so the aim is to return the guitar to the customer with as far as possible the same playing action as it had before. In this instance the saddle was fitted backwards so this will be corrected in the final fitting.

[caption id="attachment_362" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The wonderful Stonebridge DS23 CR"][/caption]

The saddle is marked to give an indication of the supported depth hidden inside the bridge. If sufficient depth of saddle is available, material can be removed from it to make room for the pickup. If not, the saddle slot must be routed deeper.

[caption id="attachment_363" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Marking saddle"][/caption]

There wasn’t enough hidden depth in the saddle on this guitar so the slot depth must be increased. The first step is to examine the bottom of the saddle. For the pickup to work properly, both the bottom of the saddle & the bottom of the saddle slot must be flat & smooth. In this case the saddle was not flat or square, it also had a shim beneath it. The depth of the saddle at its highest point was measured & recorded.

[caption id="attachment_364" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Checking saddle to make sure it is 100% flat - which it wasn't"][/caption]

After the saddle had been corrected for flatness its depth was checked again. The increase in the depth of the slot could then be reduced by the change in depth of the saddle & the thickness of the shim.

[caption id="attachment_365" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Now the saddle is flat"][/caption]

The corners of the saddle are chamfered to allow it to float up & down better. This helps the function of the pickup

The guitar is set up in the assembly fixture; the guitar top is set parallel to the base. All the clamping devices are faced with cork to eliminate the risk of damage to the guitars finish.

[caption id="attachment_368" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="DS23 CR sitting safely in its assembly fixture"][/caption]

The router table is located on pillars attached to the fixture base. It has protective pads underneath that contact the guitar top; these tie the router table to the guitar without causing damage. When the slot is being cut, any movement of the guitar relative to the router table is disastrous. The fence along which the edge of the router base will run is set using the gauge shown. The two pins locate in the existing slot & the edge of the gauge can then be used to align the fence. The gauge also confirms that the sides of the slot are square to the router table. Ultimately this is checked when the router cutter is lowered into the slot for the initial depth setting.

[caption id="attachment_369" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Router table in place"][/caption]

 The gauge is also used to measure the depth of the slot before routing. At this point it is useful to check that the router table top is parallel to the bottom of the existing saddle slot.

The slot depth is carefully increased in small increments until the previously calculated measurement is reached. The travel of the router is limited by end stops clamped to the table as shown.

The slot is now flat, smooth & at the correct depth.

After removing the router table, the dust is carefully cleared from the area to avoid damage to the guitars lacquered finish.

The hole for the pickup to enter the saddle slot is drilled at an angle to the guitar top. This is to lessen the risk of damaging the pickup by bending it too severely. The hole being drilled here is slightly undersize.

It is then opened up by hand. This lessens the possibility of splintering the guitar on the inside.

The jack socket is fitted through a hole drilled through the end block; usually at the same centre as an existing strap button. In this case the strap button was retained by an expanding locator in a fairly large hole. It was therefore only necessary to slightly enlarge this hole to get the socket to fit.

The pickup is passed through its hole into the saddle slot. It runs the full length of the channel. When the saddle is refitted and the guitar restrung it will bend slightly to sit flat in the bottom of the slot.

The battery holding pouch is located on a solid part of the guitar that does not resonate or contribute to the sound. Here a block housing the adjustable end of the truss-rod sits below the fingerboard; this is an ideal location. Ordinarily the heel block might be used.

The next task is to tidy up the cables inside the guitar. These are taped to non resonant areas, (braces, linings etc) so that they are less likely to be pulled or damaged when the strings need changing. It is important not to tie the power lead up to such an extent that it becomes impossible to change the battery!

The guitar is then restrung & measured to check that the correct dimensions have been achieved. Fine adjustment of the saddle may be necessary following this installation, particularly if the saddle slot was poorly finished initially or the saddle was not flat. The saddle on this guitar was installed the correct way round at this point; hopefully this will improve the intonation! The action was found to be almost exactly as it had been prior to the installation, the guitar plays beautifully.

Pickup instalations of this nature are priced depending on the work inolved but should be in the region of £120

We offer FREE instalation for all Stonebridge /HE2 Pickups when purchased together.

Please call 01789 26 33 33 for further details.