Paul's Guitars

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Paul's Guitars

Postby Greg B » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:51 pm

I have a question for y'all.
I was looking at the guitar gallery on Paul Yandell's site and noticed on his Gretsch 6122's and his 6120 he has a block of foam wedged under the strings just forward of the Bigsby. Is this for buzz dampening or something? I've seen other guys doing this as well and have found no answer.
Also, there is a small "tab" on top of the bridge pickup on a couple of his guitars. Some type of palm rest maybe?
Oh, and the screw clamps or whatever that are attached to the strings between the bridge pickup and the Bigsby? I have no clue.
OK...3 questions. 8-)
Paul was such an innovator on electric guitars. I would love to try one of his "half super-half filter tron" pickups as I call it. Great idea!


Thanks
Greg
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Re: Paul's Guitars

Postby bill raymond » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:43 pm

Greg, I believe the block of foam is to dampen sympathetic vibration from the strings between the bridge and the Bigsby. I don't know what the tab on the pickup is, but I'd guess it's some sort of palm rest--there are others who probably know for sure and will chime in. The "clamps" between the bridge and Bigsby look to be fine tuners--like on violin, although the photo you posted isn't quite clear enough to make them out for sure. If you look in Me and My Guitars, you can see that Chet had put fine tuners on a number of his guitars.
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Re: Paul's Guitars

Postby rkk2786 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:52 pm

Dad used fine tuners on his guitars until her found the Sta Tune accessories and put those on pretty much all his guitars, he hated being out of tune and having to tune all the time, his ear was so sensitive to being out of tune. He built is own palm rest, he like them and put them on almost everyone of his guitars. Dad was always working on improving his guitars, for him as well as Chet. Jerry always said no one could set up a guitar as good as my dad. Jerry would have a guitar he wanted set up and would tell my dad "set is up so the strings spit at you", he liked a low action.

To this day I can pickup any of my dads guitars and they all play and feel the same. He loved working on pickups, I've seen him go through many pickups in one guitar before he would settle on the tone. He would take a cassette recorder and record each time he changed a pickup until he found what he was looking for, to this day I have all his parts, pickups etc., he had/has a goldmine of things.

The last guitar he was working on was a 58 Gretsch that he cut an opening out of the back and installed a bigsby pickup in, he was never afraid to do things to his guitars, he was amazing for a man who only had a high school education from a little town in Ky.

So if you see a picture of a guitar that is my dads and you see something different just know it was something he was working on or found a better way.

Best regards,
Micah Yandell
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Re: Paul's Guitars

Postby guitarchuck » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:17 pm

Micah, thanks for posting. I always enjoy hearing you tell about your dad!

I thought I would add Chet's answer about the block of foam. I wrote Chet a letter asking him about it after the CAAS convention in 1995. He sent me back a handwritten note that said:


Chuck, it is to stabilize the strings and to keep them from vibrating sympathetically. It's just a piece of foam rubber.
Chet
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Re: Paul's Guitars

Postby Greg B » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:04 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies. That's why I like this board so much. A lot of knowledge to be gained here.

Micah, what you said about your Dad figuring out a better way to do things is exactly why I am so curious about the mods he made to his guitars and equipment. He was a true guitar genius.
I have always loved Chet's music, but I haven't gotten serious about studying it in depth until a year or so ago. What I have discovered is what a magnificent guitarist Paul Yandell was and how much his playing was part of Chet's (and Jerry's) sound.
I really love Paul's tone he was able to get especially on his solo recordings. There is a lot of tedious work, experimentation, and a fantastic ear to get a sound like that.
I really like the palm rest idea. I may try to come up with something to try on my gent. I am definitely going to check out the foam deal.

Thank you very much Micah for taking time to answer my questions and sharing the stories about your Dad.

Greg B.
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Re: Paul's Guitars

Postby rkk2786 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:21 pm

Any time you have questions you can ask, I don't post that much but I read the board every day. Dad spent hours with his recordings, he would call me after I got off work and ask me to come by and listen and give my opinion. Sometimes I would make suggestions and the next day he would do it, we were very close, always ate breakfast every Saturday at out local Cracker Barrel, we had great conversations about things.

Micah
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Re: Paul's Guitars

Postby Joeb » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:33 am

I went out to Menards and bought some 1 inch Black foam pipe wrap insulation. You get about 4 pieces per bag. It's cheap. I then cut One piece about 3 inches off of it and then I cut that 3 inch piece down the middle and stuck it after the bridge and in front of the Bigbsy. Looks nice and blocks out any unwanted vibration. Check it out. The best part is it looks excellent and does the job. Hope that helps you out. Joeb
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Re: Paul's Guitars

Postby Eddie Estes » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:34 pm

Yep Paul's guitars really played great. One of my favorites was the thick Gibson CG he used on his teaching video.
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