the guitar was nicely set up. The back of the
body where the controls were located had
been routed out, so I could easily access the
ToneShaper’s various DIP switches. Moving
through the various wiring combinations, I was
amazed to find that each one sounded perfect.
The tonal ranges were remarkable. Even the
series/parallel settings I’m not usually too fond
of were great because of the ability to come
up with some capacitor values that complimented that type of wiring. I was able to get
every type of Strat out of this guitar.
New possibilities opened up to me that
would otherwise have required months of
re-opening and resoldering to figure out.
Whatever you’re looking for in a Stratocaster
guitar, it’s in there. It’s still your guitar,
though, and your hands, and even your
choice of pickups. If you like your Strat now,
you’ll love it with this unit installed.
The Final Mojo
The Acme Guitar Works ToneShaper is a
simple-to-install electronics package for the
Stratocaster that enables you to finally shape
your tone to get exactly what you need out
of your guitar. The only downside for me was
the fact that once it’s installed, you’ll have to
remove and replace the pickguard many times
before you decide what settings you like best
(though as I mentioned at the beginning, the
sample I received had the back routed away
to make this easy). Once you’ve decided how
you want it, though, you won’t have to open
your guitar again unless you’d like to change
it. Acme suggests removing the pickguard
and trying something different each time you
change strings—and for a fee, if you like, they
will route your guitar’s body for rear access to
the controls and provide a rear cover plate.
Add to this package the fact that no batteries
are needed, and that actual CTS pots with the
right taper are used, and the ToneShaper is an
obvious winner. It looks like this may take me
out of the Strat modding business altogether.
It’s simply amazing.
you want all the possible tones
and wiring configurations from
you’ve got your Strat the way you
want and have no need to open it
up or experiment.
Click here to hear sound
clips of the ToneShaper in action at
Acme Guitar Works, Inc.