Evertune bridges

I’ve installed several of these Evertune bridges over the years, they are a quite interesting and fun design. Each string has its own floating spring tension assembly that act independently of each other, unlike a tremolo bridge where all strings bend together.

The purpose of the bridge is to counteract the tension caused by bending or finger pressure and stops every note from bending out of tune. So even if you bend a note the pitch doesn’t change. Perfect for recording when you want chords to stay in perfect tune or single note riffs and lines.

It obviously would be terrible for playing blues when you want those microtonal pitch changes, but you can also set it so that it does move when you bend it past a certain tension, kind of like a trem-setter. A really cool system though.

Rumsey Guitars

I have finished the first prototype for my new guitar line that I will be launching next year. Have a look at a new website I created to track the progress and details of the build here.

Are mp3’s the next thing to die?

Or have they already?  How does the mp3 fare in a streaming music world and does it still make sense?  First lets look at the pros and cons of using mp3s.

Pro’s: The smaller compressed file size makes it quick to download and it doesn’t take up much room on your devices.  Con’s:  Its poor sound quality and low dynamic range make it undesirable for an enjoyable listening experience.

A 5mb mp3 made sense when we had 8gb phones and limited internet speeds, but now with 256gb phones with basically unlimited data plans and high speed NBN, a high quality music file at 50-100mb is easily handled by our devices.  There’s no reason to still use an mp3 over higher quality formats like FLAC.

With video we weren’t satisfied with the quality of a 720p DVD and moved to a clearer 1080p Blu-ray and now even 4k TVs are becoming commonplace for their amazing picture quality at four times the pixels of a Blu-ray.  Listening to an mp3 is the video equivalent of watching a youtube video at 144p or 240p, blurry and pixilated.

What about music streaming services? Most of them (Spotify, Apple, Pandora) are streaming at around 256-320kbps, which is only a quarter the file quality of a CD (30-year old tech). Tidal is the only service that offers 24bit 1411kbps lossless FLAC streaming, which is better than CD quality… clear, punchy, dynamic…  but the interface and music selection isn’t as good as the others, but its growing.

Will we see more services like HDtracks offering HD downloadable music in the future?  Apple’s ALAC lossless format can easily be stored and played from an iPhone with files up to 96kHz 24bit.  Android phones can play the FLAC lossless format in high quality file sizes as well.  It makes a big difference when listening through some decent headphones.  There are companies like KZ offering triple driver ear buds for under $100 these days.

As a musician, I take my music listening experience even more seriously than my movie watching experience and will always seek out the best quality services for music listening in the same way we seek out HD video for our TVs.  Don’t be satisfied with low quality music.

– Dave

Partscasters

I have a lot of guys that bring me necks and bodies they’ve bought off the internet and they have trouble getting them put together to make a proper guitar.  If you’re looking to put together a custom guitar, stop by and have a chat.  I can help you make the right decisions when buying parts and get it put together and setup right so you can leave with your dream guitar!

So… what is a setup?

The term “setup” can mean a lot of different things and is sometimes confusing.  Some music shops do a basic setup that includes a restring and maybe a basic neck adjustment and sometimes saddle height changes.  That kind of basic setup can usually cost $30-50 and is fine in-between regular services if you keep your guitar well-maintained.  Most repair shops and some music stores do what I call a full-service setup which is a comprehensive inspection and adjustment of all parts on the guitar.

Our 20-point full-service setup includes: taking off the old strings, giving the whole guitar a good clean, conditioning the fretboard, polishing the frets, tightening all loose screws on the body and headstock, restringing, checking neck and truss rod for proper alignment, setting string action at the nut and bridge for best playability, setting the pickup heights, adjusting the intonation so the guitar stays in tune all the way up the neck, checking and cleaning all electronic components.

Your guitar needs regular servicing just like your car does, especially with the climate here on the coast.  The timber reacts to the changing weather/humidity and the metal & electronic parts can corrode if left alone in this salty moist air.  A good setup will keep the guitar playing like it should and will stop premature aging.

Its also worth saying that a good setup will take into account the style and preferences of the player.  Someone who plays light can have a lower action with strings closer to the fretboard while a heavy hitter will need the strings a bit higher to avoid buzzing.  The more a string moves because of bigger gauges or hard playing the more likely it is to make contact with the frets when it vibrates.  Some players prefer lower action even if it means a slight fret buzz, where other players want no fret buzz even if it means higher action.  Our job is to find the right balance and give you back a guitar that plays better than the day it was made!