Guitar Tuner BY CHRIS BURGESS
The N-Tune onboard tuner aims to simplify rience installing it: make sure there’s enough
the tuning process affordably, and without room in the guitar’s control cavity for a 9V bat-requiring permanent modifications to your tery—measure it, don’t eyeball it (like me), or
guitar. With true bypass design available in you’ll end up jury-rigging it to make it fit.
either a 250k or 500k ohm pot (for single-coil
pickup or humbucker-equipped guitars), the
N-Tune is basically a DIY kit that allows you to
put a +/- 2 cents accurate tuner right on your
guitar that operates using the volume knob:
pull it up for silent tuning; push down to play.
The kit requires nothing more than standard
soldering tools to install.
There are pluses and minuses to an onboard
tuner. If you’ve lost track of one tuner after
another, because you forget where you put
the thing down, or because somebody asked
to “borrow it for a sec,” this solves your problem. You’ll always know where it is (provided
you’re not the kind who misplaces guitars),
and you can shrug blithely while pointing to
your axe if someone asks to use your tuner.
On the other hand, you can only tune one guitar with it, and batteries don’t last forever.
did address the concerns I had about it. I’m
not crazy about having to open up the guitar for every battery replacement, but Zero
Crossing estimates a standard 9V will provide
power for around six-hundred tunings, so it
wouldn’t be a regular chore.
I put it on a Squier Telecaster in less than half-an-hour. It is fully chromatic, easy to use, and
gives a little light show when you pull up the
knob. Since I wasn’t as focused on the task of
replacing the existing pot as I should’ve been,
I’ll offer one additional pointer from my expe-
Also, the kit inclues tuning rings in several
colors to suit different guitars—white, black,
parchment, Fender-Cream and Gibson-Crème—but it’s not an unlimited choice. There
wasn’t a perfect fit (aesthetically speaking) for
the chrome barrel knobs on my Squire Tele, but
Zero Crossing informs me that they will offer
chrome and other metallic tuning rings in the
near future. If you like the idea of an onboard
tuner, N-Tune is sure worth a try.
While I’m not completely sold on the utility of
an onboard tuner, the makers of the N-Tune
BROWN’S GUITAR FACTORY
Bridge Conversion Posts
BY KENNY RARDIN
A few years ago, I found out quite by acci- haven’t done this
dent that when I replaced the ABR- 1 bridge before, as spacing
on my Gibson Historic Les Paul with the is critical.
same bridge from an actual 1959 Gibson, the
tonal change was almost as dramatic as some Brown also clev-pickup changes I had made. The bridge erly inserted a
mass and material made all the difference in locking set-screw
the tone. I noticed that a great majority of at an angle to the
Gibsons were using the Nashville Tune-O- post (adjustable
Matic bridge. However, as many have found with an included
out, there’s a difference in the construction of Allen wrench), so
the ABR- 1 and Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridg- there’s no play at
es (installed on all post-1976 Les Pauls), since all in the threads of the anchors, which some
the holes are drilled at differing widths. have felt was an issue. The posts are now
machined out of a single piece of steel for
more strength. I have installed these posts
on many, many guitars, and never had a
dissatisfied client. Everyone felt it was well
worth the price of installation, and loved
their new tone.
harmonics were more readily available. The
Nashville bridge was more massive, and
logically should have sustained better, but
this was not the case. More low end was
present at certain frequencies, but these
seemed to diminish low-end tightness.
With the ABR- 1, there was all the bass anyone could ever need. As a matter of fact, it
provided much more definition to the low
strings for muting and fast playing.
When the ABR- 1 was dowelled, drilled and
reset properly, the tonal change was much
more pronounced. There was more chime
and snap when the guitar was played with
fingers. The overtones were more musical and pure, and octave sustain and pick
John Brown has created a post that screws
into the existing Nashville bridge anchors—
offset so that lining them up to the ABR- 1
bridge is a snap. Using the ABR- 1 type
thumbwheels vertical adjustment is pos-sible, and installation is simple. You have
only to radius and slot the bridge and
you’re ready to play. Intonation can be
done at this time. I do recommend having the work done by a professional if you