Post by podunkphill1953 on Feb 11, 2007 1:26:37 GMT -5
I am do to be laided up for around 5-6 weeks and would like some suggestions for good books that cover guitar electronics. My only stipulation on the suggestions is that the books be available. I've seen one or two that looked good but they were out of print and ran around $100 each. OUCH! thanks in advance. Phill
Post by podunkphill1953 on Feb 11, 2007 20:51:59 GMT -5
Thanks for the suggestions so far.
I must admit that I am or can be a little impatient when I am in the middle of doing a project. It must have to do with the compulsive additive behavior that was and is evident of the boomer generation the instant gratification from the sex drugs and rock and roll of the 60's. I must admit it was not so much the sex but all the drugs and the peloria of rock and roll concerts and the ability to run down and buy some vinyl disks of your favorite guitar hero's.
So the info in hand works better for me. thanks again and please keep the suggestions coming for the books, sites and other resources. Phill
One thing about Brosnac's book . . . a lot of it is outdated and old because he decided to pretty much create what was a useful guide for pickup installation for the various pickups that were available at the time it was published (1983), but now not only are a lot of those pickups and gadgets not available, neither are the manufacturers who made them. The book is almost a quarter century old and a lot of the product specific info (which holds the lion's share of the content) is grossly outdated or altogether obsolete.
While checking on this book, I discovered this review from Amazon which I thought to be accurate.
Hot Dot heaven: or, Wired 12.14.04 Reviewer: William J. Spiropoulos "moogyboy" (Columbus, OH)
I've had this book almost as long as I've been playing guitar, so my copy is battered, tatteredm, and dogeared (no pun intended, for those who know about pickups). I have really mixed feelings about this old standby. Guitar technology really doesn't change much over the decades so lots of the more theory-oriented info in here is still as valid as ever.
Points in favor of Brosnac's book:
1) Good primer on basic pickup theory, electronics, and the like. Lots of info on different types of pickups and guitar circuits from different manufacturers. However, see below under Problems...
2) Nice repository of schematics for old, now rare guitars...not just the usual str@ts (sic) and less pauls (sic) that everyone seems to have settled on. If you somehow have an old Gibson SG-1 or a Les Paul Recording model, you'll be able to decipher the mess of wiring inside with this tome. It would, however, have been infinitely better if all the schematics had been redrawn uniformly, and the manufacturer's pamphlets kept separate or omitted entirely. Also more schematics for other guitar brands (ie Guild, Rickenbacker, Harmony, etc.)would have made this a complete resource.
3) It taught me most everything I knew about guitar electronics at an early age.
The problems are:
ÜBER-PROBLEM) Badly, badly outdated! Before anything else, we need to drag Donald Brosnac back out from wherever he's been hiding these last twenty years and put him in front of a PC with Office XP booted up, patiently explaining to him that not only does Barcus-Berry no longer make pickups (they're known as BBE nowadays, if I'm not mistaken, and make rackmount sound gear), but no one uses typewriters anymore either, so write, edit, and rewrite, Don.
1) The really meaty, interesting universal stuff, like guitar electronics repair procedures & techniques, basic circuits, etc., are given short shrift. In other words, this book really needs to be EXPANDED and everything gone into in depth.
2) Instead, ol' Donald devotes an inordinate amount of space to now-obsolete gadgets and devices by now-defunct companies--Fre-Ax? FRAP? Shergold?--a lot of it seems to be lifted straight out of manufacturers' brochures and comes off as almost blatant product placement; what's more, he seems to be biased towards two or three particular manufacturers and keeps going back to them (ie he expends a lot of valuable space on the Barcus-Berry Hot Dot piezo pickup which I don't think has been made for a couple of decades). More non-product-specific info would have been nice.
3) The book is just plain poorly written and edited. Donald mentions having written technical sheets at Schecter Guitars, and it sure shows here. When writing for a mass audience, it often comes across as flat, overly formal (I always hate when an author refers to himself as "the author"...why not just type "I"?), not terribly humorous, sometimes confusing, and occasionally repetitive (he actually repeats, in paraphrase, an entire paragraph at one point). He also tends to wander off the subject, not finish what he started to say, and make grand summaries that leave you wondering exactly how the summary summarizes what you just read (example: the "In summary:" at the end of the paragraph "For Lefties and Hendrix Fans"...like, huh?) Finally, although you get to see the bearded, smiling author in the back with all the guitars he's built, you never get the sense that he's a *musician* or that he really cares much about the music, or about guitars as anything more than things to tinker with and add currently-hip electronic doodads to. He writes some interesting stuff, but I can't relate to him as a musician; he reads more like a professional electronics nerd who has meaningful relationships with guitars. (Donald Wozniak?) Read the classic Craig Anderton books to see how musical electronics books can and should be written.
4) Visuals! Presentation! Color photos, or at least carefully taken, well-lit black & whites instead of badly scanned, dark images from brochures. Redraw illustrations. Hire a professional graphic designer (like me, for example!) to do the layout. Oh yes...all these visuals should depict *currently* available gear.
In summary: the Barcus-Berry Hot Dot was once one of the quietest, most trouble free piezo pickups available at one time, although Hendrix never used one because he was already dead, they are no longer manufactured but reading Mr Brosnac's book the author wagers the reader would never know it. (Full intstallation instructions are included in the Schematics section.)
(Edited to increase size of quotes, for legibility!)