Monthly Archives: December 2012

IMG_3336-impI’ve been doing some electronic work for my good buddy Nick’s Gibson Explorer in the ever-so-attractive naturalburst finish. That name makes me think of nudists doing jumping jacks, but that’s neither here nor there.

Nick recently replaced his original 500T/496R Ceramic pickups with more decidedly vintage-flavored Burstbucker Pros, which are great pickups. Nick’s a HUGE metal guy – neither physically large nor is he made of metal, what I mean is that he enjoys metal music – so punch and treble response are of great importance. Trouble is, since the pickup swap he’s been missing both of those things. Curious.

That great old Gibson tone we all love is a combination of elements working together to create a tone, we all know this. What’s not so obvious to most players is that even though Gibson guitars are thought to come equipped with 500K pots (which do indeed have a large tonal role to play) most models are coming out of the factory with wildly variant ratings. My own personal ’99 Standard had pots marked at 500K but measured in the 300K range, for example.

This Explorer was suffering from the same fate, unfortunately, so when Nick went from a super hot, super bright set of pickups like the 500T/496R set to lower output, warmer units, that difference in pot rating was really choking off his tone. I mean, it was muddy, indistinct and lacking any sort of oomph. I spent part of my afternoon building a new harness out of high-quality, properly rated 500K pots and a .022 MojoTone Dijon tone cap, and once installed it sounded as if a blanket had been lifted from the guitar’s overall tonal palette. Really a huge difference. Clear treble, a more defined bass and midrange that sparkled and snapped.

If you’ve been feeling like your guitar sounds like you’re playing through a thick wool sweater, give some thought to upgrading your potentiometers before you go dropping money on a set of pickups. It might be that extra kick you’ve been looking for!

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A Very Mike & Mike Christmas

Happy holidays, all! We think you’re just tops. Just tops!

_MG_7395 - Version 3 _MG_7348 _MG_7408 _MG_7425A very special thanks to Mandy McGee Photography and Jerry Nebel, who is quite possibly the greatest Santa Claus ever. Seriously. I’d be willing to bet that the REAL Santa’s got nothing on Jerry.

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Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards: Vinyl Record Pickguards for Your Instrument!

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After lots of hard work and determination, we’re ready to officially announce Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards! These pickguards made from recycled vinyl records are produced entirely by hand in Seattle, WA and are made to fit many of the most popular guitar models: Fender Telecaster, Esquire, Telemaster, Nashville Tele, Mustang, Jaguar, Jag-Stang, Jazz Bass, G&L ASAT and ASAT Special, Gibson SG, Gretsch and pretty much any other guard that fits within the boundaries of a 12″ LP. Over the coming months we’ll be looking to add even more models to the party. Pretty snazzy, don’t you think?

We’re proud to offer these custom-fit replacement pickguards in three distinct collections:

IMG_2911-impAssorted – $45: Pre-cut, semi-random guards for popular models with a choice of overall label color to match your instrument. This series could include popular artists, not-so-popular ‘joke’ artists, self-hypnosis records, blooper reels, etc.*

Custom – $60: Custom-cut guards with full artist/album options (even soundtracks and off-the-beaten-path releases) as well as accommodation for non-standard pickup configuarations. We’ll send a list of options or you can make a request, which we’ll do our best to fill. These guards will also ship in their original album sleeve whenever possible!*

Premium – $75: All of the above in limited edition colored vinyl releases. Ships in original album sleeve!*

You’re also welcome to send us your own records for us to cut into the shape of your choosing!**

Each guard is hand-cut and lovingly shaped for a true-to-spec fit. Edges are sanded smooth, lightly beveled and polished to a 1950’s Bakelite sheen, and great care is taken to ensure a perfect, tight fit with all components. As an added bonus, we also laquer each label individually to ensure that it weathers even aggressive picking technique with aplomb. This also has the effect of making the label stand out a bit more, with a slight increase in hue saturation and contrast.

IMG_2950-impInterestingly enough, this is one of the only upgrades you can make to your guitar or bass that already has music in it. Each and every one of our Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards contains a purposely-recorded performance, a snapshot of the hard work, dedication and careers of living, breathing musicians who sought to make a life for themselves. Every guard is an archive of the human spirit!

It’s also immensely important to us that our product is environmentally conscious, so helping to recycle old, worn-out and discarded vinyl albums is a huge part of what we do. We search high and low for great materials, and we do our best to use only records that have a bad side or songs that won’t play. No sense wasting a perfectly good record!

Now you can play on your favorite record! Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards are the perfect addition to a well-loved instrument, adding a touch of mid-century class the moment it’s mounted. These guards can be found at Thunder Road Guitars in West Seattle, and on certain new Fastback Custom Guitars.

Interested in one of these fine accessories? Email us to get started!

Special thanks goes to all of those who have helped and encouraged us to pursue this little dream of ours: Charissa Adams, Chelsea Young, Dana and Vivian Huff, Alex Lathum, Chris Graffmiller, Michael Plotke, Scott Paul Johnson and Wallingford Guitars, Wesley William Wood and Rural Nyce Custom Guitars, Frank Gross and Thunder Road Guitars, Mark Naron and Fastback Custom Guitars.

IMG_3014-imp*There is an additional $10 fee for shielded guards. Please have Make and Model info ready when ordering.
**As can be expected, vinyl records tend to be fragile and it’s not uncommon for lighter-grade pieces to become damaged during the initial shaping and cutting process. While we take the greatest care in preparing our materials, this can’t always be avoided; it’s best to have a back-up choice when ordering.
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Teaser!

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We’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks, and I promise we have the best excuse ever! We’ve been working hard on our first-ever product, and the time has come to let the cat out of the bag. Here’s a teaser photo of our work with full product details to follow this weekend!

Thanks to all of our faithful friends and customers who have supported us since we opened, and a very special thanks to those of you who allowed us to borrow your instruments! This couldn’t have happened without all of you!

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