Chapin controls

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by jds125, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. jds125

    jds125 Member

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    I just bought back my old stratahoula and man is it nice to have her home. I don't remember exactly how the tone and volume controls work though. Any insight is appreciated.
     
  2. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Problem is, Bill doesn't have a single set of tone control weirdnesses he does - they're all weird. I have 4 Chapins with 7th-dimensional-hyperspace controls, and if I don't pick one up for a few days, I have to re-familiarize myself with the controls.

    So a key can be your friend - tap the pickup covers in different switch positions, you'll know which ones are live that way for any given position. Phase you just have to guess.

    Good luck and congrats on getting the baby back! :)
     
  3. Fingers

    Fingers Member

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    Whoa, do they really get that complicated? (That's okay, I like the Anderson Switcheroo even.) It's funny, Chapins are guitars that, though I'd never heard of them till I started reading TGP about 5 years ago & have still never played nor heard one, have been fascinating me & tempting me more than almost any other...I guess that's an early symptom of the "only a matter of time" syndrome, isn't it?
     
  4. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    You're doomed - DOOMED!!! :eek: ;)

    I am embarrassingly addicted to them. The trouble is, once Bill knows you and knows your playing, he starts focussing the guitars on you so that each is the best and each is better than the last. I've got about a half-dozen "number 1"s, and each is totally different.

    And no, they're not all complicated. But he's figured out something cool in the wiring and he likes to make it stealthy so that your TBird, say, looks and acts like a normal Tele until you know the secret. Which means he has to find a way to use the existing control setup to do the voodoo - he's not a big fan of random mini-switches except as a last resort.
     
  5. jds125

    jds125 Member

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    Resistance is futile. From the day I sold it (in a cash crisis) I regretted it. I was just lucky enough that in this economy I was financially able to reaquire her when it was for sale. The controls look stock however they have a blender knob and push-pull pot and I just don't remember how it all worked, but figuring it out will be part of the fun I guess.

    In case any one is wondering which one it is. Mine is the Dakota Red one with voiced for a Rory Gallagher type tone.
     
  6. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    Incredible guitars...bill's the mad scientist that's for sure!
     
  7. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    Can you snap a picture of the electronics cavity? I would be very interested to see.
     
  8. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Could, but would rather not. Right now this is Bill's special sauce, so I'd like him to have a clear field with it for a while. There are large guitar companies that are perfectly willing to patent someone else's idea (say, Fender with the Bigsby headstock, anyone...?) and prevent the inventor from making the thing he invented. At some point someone will figure out what he's doing and publishing it, but I can't really do anything to make it easy for them to do it.
     
  9. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    Much agreement and respect for that.
     
  10. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    Ok ok, good call.

    I think if Fender was really after it, they could afford one to look at, but its cool. Got any clips?
     
  11. TaronKeim

    TaronKeim Member

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    I've thought quite a few times of sending my Soloway Swan down to Bill and getting him to do his wiring VooDoo on it - I love the pickups but they could use a little something special in the controls.

    His status as a control tweaker is pretty legendary and everyone I've talked to has been able to get something very special out of their instruments specific to the electronics.

    Not even sure if Bill would be up for it - one of these days I'll have to check.

    _TJK*
     
  12. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    Does Bill have a patent on what he does special for the controls?

    I wonder what it its he does! Now you got me all curious!
     
  13. TaronKeim

    TaronKeim Member

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    Its not a specific recipe that he follows for every guitar - He tweaks them specific for everyone to get the sounds you want out of the instrument.

    Everything from the tonal property of the instrument, to the pickups and the wiring/pots/caps...etc are tested and taken into consideration.

    No magic mojo, just skill with ears, values and a soldering iron.

    _TJK*
     

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