The internet can be a double-edged sword for DIY mavens – there’s lots of information, and not
all of it is good. This month we feature two sites that have stood the test of time.
Craig’s Guitar Tech Resource
We all know the guy who can wire up a guitar with his eyes closed,
because we make a point to hang out with him. It’s like a cheap
insurance policy – whenever your guitar hits the skids, an imported
six-pack will get your axe back in playing form. But what happens
when that guy is gone on vacation – or worse, moves out of town
– and you need a new set of pickups installed before the big gig?
If you find yourself stuck in a similar situation, surf over to Craig’s
Guitar Tech Resource for some handy information that just may
save your butt. Operated by “Guitar Tech” Craig and online since
1998, you’ll find loads of readable, color coded wiring diagrams
and schematics detailing everything from basic Strat and Les Paul
setups to Brian May’s Red Special wiring. There’s a visual index of
major manufacturers’ wire color codes, ensuring a lot less cursing
next time you work on those humbuckers, and pages on topics like
pickup design, phase and series/parallel wiring will help you understand just what you’re doing. With cool wiring concepts designed
to get the most out of your pickups and pots, this site is useful for
beginners and pros alike, and the free information vibe – the bottom of each page indicates everything is to be considered “public
domain” – is a definite bonus.
But there’s more to an electric guitar than just pickups and wires;
Craig breaks down topics like fretboard radius, potentiometers and
mechanical switches in “plain English,” and without the pretension,
so you’ll be ready to talk shop once your buddy comes home. And
if he’s left the country for good, or you’ve managed to mangle the
inside of your guitar with ill-conceived solders, you can always ship
your axe to Northeastern Ohio and have Craig do it for you.
Fix ‘er up at guitartechcraig.com
8 PREMIERGUITAR FEBRUARY 2008
Musical Instrument Makers Forum
Sure, they aren’t going to win any Webbys for their design, but
the Webby Awards site looks like crap anyway, so what do they
know? What will greet you at mimf.com are boatloads of information on the forums, served up with a healthy serving of utilitarian
HTML goodness. Considering that larger ships can carry over 100
tons of cargo, this is only a slight exaggeration.
A quick perusal of the site’s sponsors – listed below the decidedly nineties-looking page banner – demonstrates that this place
means business. Form continues to follow function with the first
site link going a page showing how to help support MIMF, then
to the Welcome Message, FAQ, Policy Statement, and Login and
Register links. Then it’s straight to the Search field – no pussyfooting. Reading the site’s welcome message speaks to the founder’s
intent, and it’s all about the thoughtful, public exchange of ideas.
MIMF has been around for ages in internet years, and their
respectful approach to information sharing since its inception has
no doubt helped fuel their longevity.
Full names are required on MIMF, and don’t be surprised if you
recognize more than a few. Lurking to get the hang of the place
is encouraged, and speaks to the site’s focus on effective sharing.
Accordingly, spam seems to be handled swiftly and with extreme
prejudice, so there are no worries about seeing naked people
when clicking on thread about purpleheart binding. Rest assured
– you will see a thread about purpleheart binding.
Lest you begin to assume this is a guitar only hangout, MIMF
covers pretty much anything with strings, as well as wind and
percussion instruments. But there is definitely a pecking order and
guitars are at the top of the list. MIMF is a place any guitar fan,
whether builder or aficionado, can spend hours.
Build it and they will come at mimf.com