Assorted Music Gear Projects

Customised Fender SuperChamp XD (2011)


  • Tubes replaced with Tung-Sols

  • Bias adjusted to 40 mv

  • Cabinet: tweed cabinet from eBay seller "busmc" (aka The Musicians Hardware Store). So now it has a hybrid look as well as being hybrid on the inside.

  • My Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II sounds awesome through this, I stay mainly on channels 1, 2, 15 & 16.


  • Speaker: Jensen C10R + piezo tweeter. I chose the C10R Jensen as it was the "flattest", which I considered an advantage, as the stock speaker is also very flat, thus allowing the amp modelling section to do its job. I also added a piezo tweeter to give more top end - which really helps the "acoustic" channel (#16).

Customised Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II (2010)


  • Bigsby

  • Frets replaced with stainless steel fretwire "standard" size (I thought jumbo would be too big a jump)
    Width: 2.3mm (0.0905")
    Height: 1.1mm (0.0433")

  • Mid-scoop tone control (see below)

I chose a Bigsby B6, and had to bow it slightly to avoid fouling the curved body of the guitar. Godin has since released the Uptown model, a 5th Avenue with Bigsby - they chose the shorter B3 vibrato, presumably to avoid this issue.
Tonewise, the Bigsby "shallows-out" the angle of the strings over the bridge - "stealing" some of the downward pressure from the strings to hold itself firmly to the body of the guitar. This means there is less pressure forcing the bridge against the body. So unplugged, there is less volume. Plugged in, not much change I could detect. Maybe a tiny bit less sustain. But sustain ain't this guitar's thang.

I installed an MTG Mid-scoop/Tone switch from Rothstein Guitars. My aim was so add a more realistic "acoustic" tone to this already versatile guitar.
To my (perhaps naive) surprise, I discovered there were no holes underneath the pickups - just tiny ones for a single wire. Everything has to be done through the bottom f-hole.
Since the MTG's inductor is attached to the "wide face" of the pot's switch box, there was no way it would go through.
I therefore detached the inductor, de-soldered the two links, attached it "end on" to the bottom of the switch box, soldered in two new links, and secured it with string. I could have used epoxy, but decided on a "softer" adhesive plus a loop of string.

It's not pretty, as I'm not very experienced in these matters. But it went in quite smoothly, and I am very happy with the result.

Interesting point:
The volume knob on the Kingpin II has a bass bleed cuircuit, and this is able to change the tone in a good way. When playing the bridge pickup, turning the guitar volume way down, and the amp volume way up, it gives a nasal honkiness to the sound - great for (what I describe as) a retro British sound. Likewise, playing both pickups through the "acoustic" emulation channel, having the guitar volume down gives a more acoustic twang to the sound.

Various drum related projects (2004)

Cymbal rack created from commercial shelving system, rubber doorstops and cable shrink-sleeve.

Closeup of a single unit showing construction details.

Bongotronic wooferphone - loudspeaker pressed into service as a sub-bass kick drum mic. An old bongo, a speaker grille and some surplus Gretsch hardware complete the package.

Another view. This mic runs very hot and picks up heaps of sub-bass.

Custom cymbal sizzler created from metal beads. Note the uneven weight distribution, designed to "hug" the contour around the bell.


All content Copyright 2007 Trevor Magnusson