1986 Fender Stratocaster ’57 ri

Posted by GuitarGenie on January 28, 2015 in Vintage guitars |

My super rare early (March) 1986 Fender Stratocaster ’57 ri



. All Fullerton parts, curves, Fullerton ’57 ri manual and case candy, Duck foot tweed case. Original 3 way switch still installed, optional 5 way switch included, strap, original owners warranty card and hang tag, etc etc This guitar was made in the early days of the new Corona California USA plant by a handful of employees making just a few guitars a day with the leftover stock from the old Fullerton plant. So the quality of the workmanship is amazing. The tone and feel is absolutely breathtaking, chimey and bell like tones, deep curves just like in the 50s. This guitar is in absolutely incredible condition, I want to say MINT….. it seems to have been played only a handful of times and has no visible checking. A very slight wear through at the first fret. This is early custom shop work at its best. THESE GUITARS ARE NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND!! They are always sold out at the Fenderreissueshop.com. A rare find and a great investment, these early Corona ri’s along with the already established Fullerton ri’s are some of the best Fender guitars you can find. Many of the builders of these early models went on to become Fender Master builders at the Fender Custom Shop.



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Vintage 1970s Fender Stratocaster pickguards

Posted by GuitarGenie on January 15, 2015 in Guitar Restoration, Vintage guitars |

Welcome back friends!

Today’s post will focus on Vintage Fender Stratocaster pickguards form the 1970s CBS era. The  early 1970s ushered in some structural and cosmetic changes for the Stratocaster model. The 4 bolt neck attachment was switched over to the infamous 3 bolt with micro-tilt adjustment, this by the way was one of Leo Fender’s last contributions to the company he had sold in the mid 60s. The Pick-ups were switched from staggered pole-piece models to flush pole-piece ( Another controversial change) As well as the tremolo  being now made of a single die-cast unit with new chromed saddles. One other major change was the plastic, in other words the pick-guard, vol/tone, switch knobs and pickup covers. Originally white since the 1950s,

1973 Fender Stratocaster

1973 Fender Stratocaster

Fender decided to go with the “New Look” Black plastic (BWB) triple layer pick-guard at the end of 1974/Beginning 1975. The Vol/Tone knobs, switch tip and pick-up covers were also scheduled for the same change but they made their appearance a bit later as Fender was exhausting it’s stock of white accessories. As a result you can spot many Stratocasters from that era with black pick-guards and white knobs and pick-up covers  (aka Tuxedo model ) Note: The beveling of the pick-up mounting holes as well as the pick-up switch mounting holes were changed and were now flush, the mounting screw models were changed to accommodate this alteration. The 11 pick-guard mounting screws and mounting holes however remained beveled.

Fender Stratocaster-1976-Tuxedo

Fender Stratocaster-1976-Tuxedo

Other than the obvious color change and minor changes in the mounting holes, the new BWB pick-guard was virtually the same as the previous  WBW model, same 11 mounting screw placement and dimensions , same plastic material, same aluminum shielding sheet with square bottom cut-out.  In mid 1976 the serial numbers switched from the neck-plate to the headstock and we began seeing new Fender serial# stickers on the under side of the pick-guards and neck joints. Many of these stickers dryed up and fell off during repairs, or clean-up so all you may see is a felt pen inspection mark and many times on early models nothing at all depending on who was cutting and inspecting the pick-guards on a given day at the Fender plant

1977 Fender Stratocaster onlineguitargenie.com

1977 Fender Stratocaster onlineguitargenie.com

You can visit my onlineguitargenie guitar parts store to find an original 1974/75/76 BWB pick-guard in excellent condition. A set of original 1970s pick-guard mounting screws are also available.

194/75/76 Fender Stratocaster pickguard onlineguitargenie.com

1974/75/76 Fender Stratocaster pickguard onlineguitargenie.com

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar. Visit my store for some very hard to find vintage parts at great prices, just click on the Guitar parts shop tab on the home page!!Online Guitar Genie News

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Guitar straps

Posted by GuitarGenie on January 13, 2015 in Guitar Maintenance, Miscellaneous |
Gretsch straps

Welcome back my friends!

I hope you all had great Holidays!! The Onlineguitargenie is back and full of great guitar related info and specials for you in 2015. In this post we will look at the importance of a very basic part or you guitar gear, your guitar strap!! It may be one of the last things you think about when buying a guitar but it may just be the item that saves you a lot of money and grief in the long run. Maroon_Vintage_Strap_6_97100

Guitar players originally sat down to play in the early years as they were mostly relegated to the rhythm section in a big band in the 20s 30s and 40s but as soon as we started seeing C&W singers with guitars slung around their shoulders at the grand old opry in the 40s and 50s and with the advent of the R&R guitarists and lead singers who played guitar were catapulted to the front of the stage, we saw the need of a quality strap to hold the guitar over the shoulders of the player and allow him to play comfortably.

The early guitar straps were mostly made of a small narrow leather strip with some sort of adjustment buckle and a cord to tie it around the headstock just under the strings at the top nut. The body had a strap button that you would attach and secure the other end of the strap to.Gretsch straps Fender strap 1970s Gibson Strap

Of course straps as well guitars began to evolve rapidly in the 50s and 60s, their demand increased tenfold and thus the need for better quality and innovative guitar straps. Companies like Ace, Bobby Lee models etc were manufacturing wider straps made of leather and woven materials along with shoulder pads to help cushion the load of heavier solid body guitars. Guitar companies such as Gretsch were issuing leather straps with intricately etched western motifs. Guitar straps also made a change to a simpler and more secure double strap button system, both attached to the guitar body. Guitar straps by the major guitar companies like Gibson, Fender, Martin etc were also being engraved and stitched with their companies logos and used for marketing & advertising.

In today’s market their are many choices of materials for guitar straps, Leather,Nylon etc with a vast choice of designs and colors. Vintage and modern looks, creative artwork and company logos abound.

You will need to look at the type of guitar you will be using your strap on to select the right model, acoustic, electric, nylon, perhaps a mandolin or banjo. Each model has it’s proper model that will match the guitars style, size and weight. Prices range from $5.00 for a cheap economy nylon strap to Thousands of $$$$ for hand etched leather straps .

I always recommend wider leather straps for heavier solid body guitars such as Gibson, Dean, BC Rich etc, to cushion the load on the players shoulder, guitars on the lighter side such as Fender, Gretsch, G&L can use the narrower models made of various materials.

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar. Visit my store for some very hard to find vintage parts at great prices, just click on the Guitar parts shop tab on the home page!!guitar-genie-transparent-Newsletter

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Guitar strings- General information you need to know!

Posted by GuitarGenie on December 9, 2014 in Guitar Maintenance |

Welcome back guys and gals, in today’s post we will be looking at some useful basic info about guitar strings
Guitar Strings: General information
There’s nothing better than the rich, bright sound that comes from new guitar strings. You will always obtain top-notch performance with a  selection of guitar strings for your acoustic and electric guitar from top brands like Fender, D’addario,Martin, GHS, Ernie Ball, etc, so make sure you always buy a quality brand set.

Acoustic guitars use bronze and brassStrings OGG-wound strings, classical guitars use nylon strings, and electric guitars use nickel-plated strings. Stainless steel strings are made from magnetic stainless steel for a brighter sound, while pure nickel strings have a very mellow, warm sound.

Winding type
Round-wound is most common winding style, made of a round, steel core with wire wrapped around it. Ideal for bass and jazz guitars, flat-wound strings produce a more mellow sound, cause less wear on your frets and are more comfortable to use.

Referring to the guitar string’s diameter or thickness, the gauge is indicated by a decimal number such as .008, .009 and so on. Thicker or heavier gauges sound fuller and louder but are more difficult to play, because you must press harder to produce a note. Lighter gauge strings are good for beginners and fast-playing “shredders” because they don’t require as much pressure.fender strings-2

Replacing your strings
How often you replace your guitar strings depends on their quality and your personal playing style. The oils on your hands can affect your strings, so you should wash your hands before you play. A professional musician will change his or her strings every day, while a casual player will do so every 3-4 months.

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.



You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenie.

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Guitar tuning on stage

Posted by GuitarGenie on December 1, 2014 in Guitar Maintenance |

Welcome back my friends to part 4 of guitar tuning.

In this post we will examine some of the aspects of guitar tuning in a live/on stage/touring situation. Once all the steps have been taken to insure that your instrument has been  serviced and adjusted and that you have a new or relatively new set of strings to play on( I recommend changing strings as often as possible to maintain string integrity) For example: If you are playing regularly, let’s say more than a hour a day on your main guitar+ performing a live show the same night, I would put a 2 day max between string changes-If you have a multiple guitar set up, that schedule can be relaxed but you must keep tabs on each instrument. I strongly recommend keeping a log of all maintenance and string changes. Regular string changes and maintenance will insure proper intonation. Of course if you have the luxury of having a guitar tech at your disposal, he will be regulating the maintenance schedule. Now we are ready to hit the stage… Or almost!!!

guitars tuning set up on stage


Approx 20/30 minutes before your opening set, all guitars must be acclimatised to their environment, by that I mean if it is a hot and humid night in a club or a dry cold night on an outdoor venue, the guitars should be on their stands or racks onstage so that the strings and instruments can adapt to their surroundings. Heat, cold, humidity are all factors that can affect your instruments and it will take time for the guitar to stabilize.

Now we can start with the initial tuning of each guitar, depending on how many guitars you have to tune, this will dictate the time you will need before showtime. 10-15 min is just about right. If for example you have 1 main electric guitar, 1 back up electric and one acoustic/electric guitar to tune I would start with the acoustic, why? Because generally acoustic guitars use heavier gauge strings and are less prone to loose their tuning and will generally need just a slight bit of tweaking to be perfectly in pitch. Many acoustic /electric guitars now have quality on-board tuners integrated to facilitate the tuning process. If you do not have an on-board tuner a good idea would be to have a separate tuner hooked up to your acoustic DI box so you do not have to plug in to your electric guitar pedal board.Ibanez acoustic electric-OnlineguitargenieIbanez onboard tuner-Online guitar genie

Next your backup or #2 guitar. For this example we will say that this guitar is tuned one half step down- Low E (6th)= Eb – You will have to recalibrate the tuner to the proper setting for Eb tuning- The standard setting for tuners is A-440 (Concert pitch) But other options are available, as in this case. I first begin by re-stretching the strings slightly to make sure they are not binding in the top nut or saddles and then proceed to tuning each string. I recommend using the neck pickup for the best tuner readings. A quick check plugged into your rig and she is ready. At this point I would also mention the need for a good quality A/B box switcher to allow you to plug both guitars into your rig to save time on guitar changes in mid show.

Morley abc multiple switcher

Morley abc multiple switcher

Once you have followed the the pre-show tuning steps outlined in part 4 of this theme, you are ready for your performance. There are so many factors that can impact your tuning during a show, string bending, tremolo use, temperature, movement etc so it is always a good idea to tune as many times as possible. There is usually a mute switch on your guitar tuner to keep your guitar silent while tuning so you can tune before a song, during a song where you are not playing etc, so I recommend tuning as much as possible when there is allowable time. Of course if you are the lead singer and have to intro songs you have to really pick your spots. Although while tuning often you may be making just slight adjustments, they can make all the difference, In my opinion you can never tune enough. If you are 2 or 3 guitarists in the band , you all must follow this routine. The more you repeat this regimen, the more you will become aware of “Locking” in tune with your band mates.

capo onlineguitargenie

capo onlineguitargenie

Another common tuning aliment happens when you use a guitar capo, while the capo is a useful tool to enable you to transpose 1st position chords to any key, it can cause problems with either too much pressure or not enough pressure on the strings. I recommend buying a high quality capo such as Shubb or Jim Dunlop and making sure you have the appropriate model (Acoustic, nylon,12 string etc) . When installing the capo for a specific song make sure it not installed too close or too far to the fret which now becomes the top nut or zero fret, this may case the string to go sharp or buzz. I usually install the capo right in the middle of the 2 frets and gently push it down to insure proper pressure on the strings. Check a couple of chords in the first position and away you go. Should it sound slightly (Out) remove and reinstall the capo, this usually works. If there is still a string that is out, you must check it on the tuner with the capo on.



There is also modern technology available at the moment such as the Gibson robot guitar that can automatically tune your instrument to any preset tuning by using software and mechanical tuners. There are also stand alone units  such as the TronicalTune system that can be added to practically any make or model.

After all is said and done getting in tune, playing in tune and staying in tune is an important part of being an excellent player, it is part of perfecting your art. It is not to be taken lightly and something to be worked on regularly. I hope sharing some of my onstage experiences has been beneficial to you. Tuning standards and tuning tools have come a long way in the past few years (Thankfully) and we have all we need and more to make great music! There are many more sub topics that can affect tuning that I will explore in future posts such as, tremolo use, top nut maintenance, locking tuners, how hard you play, fret height etc.

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.

You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenie.




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Guitar tuning and humidity

Posted by GuitarGenie on November 28, 2014 in Guitar Maintenance |
online guitar genie tuner

Welcome back Guys and Gals to the Online Guitar Genie Blog.

In my last post we were examining guitar tuning and different steps you can take to cure the tuning blues. An important fact to keep in mind is that a guitar is practically a living breathing thing and it reacts to its environment. If your house, room, basement, jam room etc is exceedingly dry or damp it will affect your instrument if left in that environment for long periods of time. Acoustic instruments are especially sensitive to these factors. I recommend a good acoustic guitar humidifying system  such as the Planet Waves model to keep your guitar properly humidified. These units are very effective and hover in the 7/10$ range, that is money well spent!

guitar humidifier online guitar genie

guitar humidifier online guitar genie


As far as electric guitars go, it is less of an issue because of the solid body nature of most electrics. I do however often see necks on electric guitars react to the relative humidity so here is a little trick to keep things balanced. I throw a small bag of silica gel in to each of my guitar cases. Silica gel is a  product you see inside packaging for electronics, televisions,radios,cell phones etc. It helps to absorb the excess humidity during transport. I am sure you have seen these little bags of what seems like sand and wondered what they do??? Well they are very helpful and probably free in most cases. You can find them in left over electronics boxes or you can order them on ebay for just a few cents for each package. If your guitar is affected by too much humidity or insufficient humidity, it can affect different areas of the instrument, cause it to warp, bow, dry out etc and the result is that it will not play in tune properly, so this is an issue to keep a constant eye on. In my next post we will be examining on stage/live performance tuning hints.

Silica Gel Online Guitar Genie

Silica Gel Online Guitar Genie

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.

You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenie.


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Guitar Tuning Practical applications

Posted by GuitarGenie on November 26, 2014 in Guitar Maintenance |

Hello dear readers! The Onlineguitargenie is back for part 2 of Guitar tuning 101. In my last post I discussed the different types of guitar tuners available, past and present. Now we will move on to the practical applications of these units.

The first fact we must establish is that the instrument you are playing has been properly set up. By that I mean,the intonation has been adjusted or as some players call it “Harmonics” This means that the instrument in question plays in tune up and down the neck and without any sting buzz or choking and general adjustments such as,tuning gears,nuts, saddles, frets have been addressed . This is usually accomplished by a qualified guitar tech or luthier but can be accomplished by the player himself with a few basic tools and some hands on experience. I will have a future post on this subject. Guitar shop setup

A well adjusted instrument is the cornerstone of getting, playing and staying in tune so make this a priority. I usually do a complete setup and maintenance check every time I change strings. At times there are practically no adjustments to make other than small “Tweaks” but these can make all the difference in the world.

One mistake many players make is that they install a new set of strings(Make sure you are using quality name brand strings) on their instrument but neglect to stretch them properly before playing. The new guitar string stretches gradually as  the pitch is increased, the string acts much like an elastic so proper sting stretching is paramount. The technique I use is simple, with your right hand pull up and down aggressively on each string while with the left hand frets each note chromatically from the first fret to the 12th fret(Opposite for left handed players). Check the tuning of the individual string and repeat until the tuning on each string stays stable. Then proceed to checking chords in different areas of the neck. I usually check an A major chord 2nd fret with E and A note extension on the B and hi E strings and repeat one octave higher on the 14th fret. This will give you a good indication if the instrument is in tune with itself. A quick double check of each string on the tuner will confirm that you are “In tune”. If you are playing with other guitarists or a bass player or a keyboard player, everyone has to be on the same page, in other words every other player has to have their instruments set up properly, use a quality electronic tuner and use the same tuning guidelines. Keyboard players in general do not have to worry about tuning too much because of the electronic nature of their instruments, however analog keyboards such as Fender Rhodes pianos, Wurlitzer pianos and some synthesizers such mini-moogs need regular maintenance to preserve their tuning integrity.-guitar-repair-shop

To further demonstrate the importance of every band member being on the same tuning page so to speak. Take for example a 5 piece classic rock band set up-(2 guitarists, Bass player, drummer ,Keyboard player). The keyboard player has had his Keyboards recently serviced and his tuning is in order, the lead guitarist and bass player as well. The lead vocalist who also plays rhythm guitar has decided to change to a heavier gauge of strings from .009/.042 to .010/.046 without having his guitar adjusted for the new strings. Remember one of the basic rules of physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and it is well illustrated in this case and the results can be catastrophic. Although he has checked his open strings on the tuner and they register in-tune , he has not had the neck tension , tremolo or intonation adjusted, you know what that means?? Playing chords up the neck will sound out of tune, especially compared to his band-mates. Too many times I have heard live bands and the tuning is just “Out the window”. It then is up to the sound man to filter out the “Out of tune” guitarist and lower him in the mix. Two guitars with loud distorted amps playing similar chord voicings  that are not in tune to each other can sound awful, have a domino effect and ruin a performance. Most pro touring bands have on stage guitar techs to worry about these issues but the regular local bar/pub band member has to care for his or her own instrument. Once every band member is aware of these issues  and addresses them, we are on solid ground. In my next post I will examine other issues that can affect your tuning stability and how to deal with them.

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.

You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenie.


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FREE online tuner – Intro to guitar tuning

Posted by GuitarGenie on November 24, 2014 in Guitar Maintenance |

Hello Guys and gals welcome back to the Online Guitar genie Blog, in today’s post I will be discussing a very problematic issue for many guitarists and that is tuning. Long gone are the days of using pitch pipes and tuning forks to help us tune our instruments. Technology has advanced quite remarkably in the past 30yrs or so and new affordable tools are available on today’s market to help guitarists get in tune and stay in tune.





Glimour/The Wall set up

The first professional tuner that I used that was commercially available in the 1970s was the Conn Strobe-tuner.  It was very precise and was also used for piano tuning, it had a 1/4″ jack input for guitars, basses etc and a small mic for other acoustic instruments such as piano etc. It is seen in many  famous band’s live and studio photos and still used today on stages and guitar shops alike. I still use one in my shop!! Here is a photo of some vintage and modern Conn and Peterson tuners. Item 2 is the one seen in many live band shots. With the advent of quartz and digital tuners the bulky shop tuners were pretty much left in the hands of guitar techs and luthiers.

The average guitar player and many pros opted for a pedal style tuner to fit on their pedal board and in their guitar cases. It is much easier to spot check your tuning in between songs and during down time using this type of tuner, companies such as Boss, Korg etc marketed these products successfully. During the 1980s “Rack phase” many players had 19″ rack-mount tuners in their guitars rigs.

In today’s market there is a vast array of stand alone tuners available for the everyday player and pro alike, not to mention phone apps etc, one of my favorite units is the TC Electronics Polytune. it has many great features and is in the  $90- $100usd range.polytune-mini-front (356x640)In my next post I will give you some helpful hints on how to get in tune and stay in tune, on stage, in the studio and at home, because there are many factors that affect your tuning and pitch and you do not want to skip any of these steps.

I have included a free handy online tuner with a complete instruction guide here to get you started. Although this tuner can not register and measure the notes you are playing it will give you reference notes to guide you through the tuning experience. It will help to develop your ear, which is step one in the tuning experience!!

The FREE online Guitar Tuner

Thanks to Gieson Interactive!


1-For regular 440 concert pitch

Make sure the tuning type selector is set to regular tuning(Grey box lower center) More tuning types are available in this selector (We will get back to that later).
For manual control of each note: Move the mouse pointer over the
switch of the desired note and push it upwards like a regular switch-Start with the low E or 1 on the far left and compare it with your low E string and adjust accordingly either flatten the pitch of your string(Lower) or sharpen it(Higher) until both pitches are the
same.Then do the same for A(2)-D(3)-G(4)-B(5)-E(6)(See editor’s note at the bottom). Go back and do a double check to make sure that each string is the same as the tuner pitch, you can either hit the switch again to repeat the note or hit the spacebar.

2.Guitar or tone switch

This is the switch on the lower far left, it permits you to select either a guitar like sound from the tuner or a tone(keyboard type) sound. I personally like to use the guitar setting.

3- Kill Switch

If you wish to stop the guitar tuner sound at anytime hit the kill switch or X switch(Lower far right), you may also hit enter on your computer keyboard.

4. Volume Control

The volume output of the tuner is controlled by the up and down arrows on your keyboard.The level indicator is just to the left of the kill switch. Make sure it is at least set to 50 or more and your computer speaker control is at an acceptable level.

5- Auto Advance

This feature is used if you wish the tuner to advance automatically from note to note, you may also use the left right arrows on your computer keyboard to advance. The Auto advance button is located on the upper far right of the online guitar tuner. The duration of the notes in this mode is determined by the Delay knob found on the upper far left. The higher the number on the delay knob the longer the note will sound.

6-Tuning options

Most contemporary music from the 60s 70s 80s 90s 2000s are in standard 440 tuning (concert pitch). So you are pretty safe in the standard tuning mode on the onlineguitar tuner, however there are many exceptions,artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan used a lowered tuning were each string was flattened (lowered) A half step. This was done to compensate for heavier guage strings, to achieve fatter tone and not to mention making singing a little easier. Today an increasing number of bands are using this tuning to achieve similar results. For this type of tuning use the Hendrix mode. To find this mode, access the standard tuning box(Grey box,lower center) and use your mouse pointer to open the tuning options window, scroll down till you find the Hendrix mode. Once your tuning mode has been selected you will notice that the notes on top of the note on off switches will change to the new tuning accordingly.


This tuning is used primarily in celtic music and popularized by
Jimi Page of Led Zeppelin- To access this tuning select DADGAD in the tuning options window.

Dropped D TUNING

Is another popular tuning used by artists such as Neil Young of CSNY and popularised by many metal bands today because of the lower grind caused by the lowered 6th string E tuned down to D. To access this tuning select Dropped D in the tuning options window. OPEN TUNINGS

These tunings are usually used for slide guitar or Dobro but are also used by rock and blues players like Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones (Open G) Note: He also removes the low E string (6TH) to produce his distinctive sound. Open A,Open C,Open E,Open D are also commonly used. To access these tunings scroll up and down the tuning options window and select.


There are many other tunings offered in the Online Guitar tuner such as Kottke
Iris, Mayfield, these are tunings that have specific and original sounds created by the artists themselves and are unique to them,I encourage you to experiment with these and other tunings offered by the online guitar tuner, you may even create your own!!!

Happy tuning!!!!

Note: The Online guitar tuner indicates the low E =1 A=2 D=3 G=4 B=5 Hi E=6
When in fact the reverse is true,these numbers are just reference numbers and not to be confused with the actual corresponding numbers given to the strings on a guitar.



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How to build a “Case Candy Kit”, final accessories

Posted by GuitarGenie on November 23, 2014 in Vintage guitars |
Case candy

Welcome back Guys and Gals to the Online guitar Genie blog for part 3 of how to build a “Case candy” kit for your guitar. In my last post we added a few more items to the kit and it is nearly complete. The next item I wanted to add to the kit and as I said it is a few items in one, let me explain. On a Fender Stratocaster equipped with a Tremolo, the system counterbalance is governed by a set of springs. The system that Leo Fender designed in the 1950s can accommodate 5 springs for full tension , you can remove 1-2 or even 3 springs if you choose to “Float” the bridge slightly off the body to create interesting effects and proper return to pitch. Most  players I have seen  set up their systems “Floating” so the use of 5 springs is not needed ( I will have a post about proper trem adjustment soon!) So as a result we have extra springs! In my case (No pun intended) I opted for a 3 spring set up and that left me with 2 extra tremolo springs. in the 1960s and 70s Fender would include a small manila envelope to store the extra springs along with set up instructions printed upon it.

Fender Tremolo springs

Fender Tremolo springs

This is a perfect item to add to the kit. You can easily find one on ebay or from a vintage dealer for about 20$ usd without the springs and a bit more $$$ if the original vintage Fender springs are included. More recently I have seen these manila envelopes included with Fender custom shop, masterbuilt guitars. I my case I was fortunate to find one in one of my parts drawers so if you own a Fender Stratocaster have owned a Stratocaster in the past you just might have one hanging around somewhere, “Seek and you shall find” a wise man one said!

So now our kit is complete!! it looks great, it has the WOW factor and the cost was quite reasonable. I have just made my vintage Fender guitar a little more interesting to show to my buddies and more attractive to possible future buyers and added some intrinsic value at the same time.



Of course our “Case candy “ kit can be upgraded at any time, you just have to keep your eyes open for new items that are era correct for the instrument in question. In the case of this 1975 Fender Stratocaster, I would keep my eyes open for an actual 1970s Fender strap, an original owners manual and possibly some hang-tags or inspection tags or warranty items. La creme de la creme so to speak would be to find an original bill of sale and that my friends is a wish even the Online Guitar Genie would have a tough time granting! Remember that with newer instrument it is important to hold on to all the paper work and accessories that were included with your instrument. Store them away in a plastic zip-lock bag for safe keeping. Stay tuned for for my next post where I will be talking about tuning and providing you with a great online guitar tuner.

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for  another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.

You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay to purchase Case Candy for your vintage or modern instrument. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie  http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenie



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How to build a “Case candy” kit, hardware

Posted by GuitarGenie on November 22, 2014 in Vintage guitars |
Case candy

Weclcome back Guys and gals,  the Online guitar Genie is back to complete part 2 of how to build a “Case candy” kit for your guitar without breaking the bank.

In part 1 we began to build the kit by finding a vintage style strap, actual vintage guitar string set and vintage guitar pics. In this post we will hunt down a much maligned part that many guitar companies manufacture for purely cosmetic reasons and does not see much actual use. I am talking about the chrome bridge cover (aka) Ashtray (More about this later). In the case of a Fender Stratocaster the chrome bridge cover is a highly polished chrome metal part that is manually press fitted to the bridge for use and covers the bridge saddles with a slight notch for the trem arm, a non notched version is available for non-tremolo models (aka) Hard-tail Stratocasters. This part would have originally come with a newly purchased Fender StratocasterVintage strat bridge cover. Pictured here is a 1966 Stratocaster with the bridge cover.

I have not actually seen anyone use the bridge cover while playing (Except perhaps Buddy Holly) because it inhibits proper palm muting techniques at the bridge, over the years it’s main function was relegated to being used as an ashtray for smokers thus the moniker “Ash tray” Although useless in most regards the chrome  bridge cover is a nice addition to your “Case candy” kit. If you have the original unit or an era correct one GREAT!!! If not it also can be found from vintage dealers or a new in package unit on ebay or at your local Fender dealer. If you are building a “Case candy” kit for a vintage guitar, a brand new shiny cover would not match, in that case search ebay for a reliced(Artificially aged) unit. Prices for actual vintage Stratocaster bridge covers for 1970s Fender’s are around $100 usd +. A new Fender unit is about 10-15$ usd and a reliced unit would be in the 20-25$ usd range. I opted for a new unit and decided to relic the unit myself. More about relicing in a future post. It looks quite convincing and was very cost effective.

The next little gem I wanted to add to my kit was an actual can of vintage Fender guitar polish and polishing rag. I have accumulated quite a number parts and industry related items over the years and this can of 1970s Fender polish was just sitting on the shelf in my repair shop for many years collecting dust and it was the perfect time to put it back into action as a useful part of my “Case candy” kit. I added an old Fender style polishing rag to complete the set. These polishing rags can be bought from your local dealer for around 8-$10 usd or of course there is the alternative to buy a vintage one from a dealer, these can run in the 100$ usd+ range. Once again I urge you to look through your old parts boxes, guitar cases, workshop areas etc, you just might find a nice used Fender or Fender style polishing cloth just waiting to be put to good use.Fender guitar polish vintage

Now my kit is really looking good and filling the “Glove box” quite nicely. There is one more little item I would like to add, well actually it is a few items in one…. I will explain in my next post- How to build a “Case candy” kit- Part 3

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for  another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.

You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay to purchase Case Candy for your vintage or modern instrument. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie  http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenie


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How to build a “Case candy” kit, straps and cases

Posted by GuitarGenie on November 21, 2014 in Vintage guitars |
Case candy

Hello Guys and Gals welcome back to the Online Guitar Genie blog. In my last post I described what “Case candy” was and in this post I will explain how to build a nice “Case candy ” kit for your guitar to increase it’s resale value and appeal without breaking the bank.

In this post I will use an example of an actual guitar I purchased a short time ago. I was in the market to find a nice all original mid/70s Fender Stratocaster, it had to be with a rosewood fingerboard (I prefer these over maple) and a Sunburst finish, all original, and if possible with it’s original case. I was fortunate enough to find one locally which fit my description perfectly from a local vintage dealer at a fair market price. It was a 1975 Rosewood 20141121_165705fingerboard Fender Stratocaster, all original finish, hardware and electronics with the OHSC. A great playing guitar that had been played but well loved. The original Fender Tail logo case was included and in really nice condition with all latches working and very slight wear on the tolex. All that was missing was some nice era correct “Case candy”. Now just let me make something clear, had I been offered this guitar without the OHSC, I still would have purchased it but having the original case or era correct case always makes the guitar more attractive in many ways. Let me compare it to someone who would not buy a great car because he does not have the original tires on it!!!

An original case or OHSC as we call it (Original hard shell case) is the starting point in our hunt for a great “Case candy” kit. If you do not have the OHSC try to find one that will match the year and model of your guitar. Many online dealers and vintage collectors are now offering them, but be ready to pay high dollars for them. I my opinion a OHSC or era correct case is a great way to protect your investment and add value to it. I will have an upcoming post on this subject in the near future1975 Fender tail logo case.

Since I had the OHSC,  the first thing I went hunting for was an original Fender guitar strap. Starting around 1969 Fender started offering guitar straps with the Fender logo sewn on it with leather backing. This was the one I was looking for!! Either brown or beige with the metal buckle. In the mid 70s they were abundant and I recall owning a few and eventually discarding them in place of a cool wide leather strap (Argh!!!). To my surprise dealers were selling them for well over $100 usd.Fender strap 1970s A bit of price gouging in my opinion but that’s the market. One has only to look at the price of original 1950s and 60s straps to see that the 70s model prices are not far behind. Unless you have one in a drawer or old guitar case at home or perhaps a friend has one that they would sell or trade you.

I did not have an original 70s strap available so I opted for a Fender vintage reissue strap. I found one on ebay for $10 usd . Many seller on ebay offer them up for auction and you can pick them up pretty cheap. They are very similar to their 1970s counterparts except for the metal buckle has been replaced with plastic and the simulated leather backing has changed from brown to black.

The next part of my “Case candy” kit would be a nice set of strings that would have been used on this guitar at one time. Fender made some great looking string packs in the 70s and I was after a particular pack of CBS -XL-150 with the Stratocaster headstock and sunset in the background in the cover picture(A story about that in a future post). I found a complete set on ebay with the original strings(Used) still in their envelopes for a very reasonable 12$ usd, great deal!!!Fender strings

So my kit is starting to look pretty good at this point, I have the strap, strings and not to forget the tremolo bar which also fits in to the “Case candy” category. For the next items I  had to dig deep into my drawers and old parts boxes to find some old Fender or generic pics from the 70s era! This is what I found. Pretty nice considering that on ebay some of these pics go for quite  a few $$$$. So go hunting in your drawers, closets, old cases to see what you can find, you may be surprised.

Some of the pics have the Fender logo on it some have the Logo followed by the (R) copyright, the older more valuable ones have no copyright (R)20141121_165004

There are a few more items that I am going to add to the kit to complete it,  I will cover that in part 2 of this post.

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for  another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.

You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay to purchase Case Candy for your vintage or modern instrument. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie  http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenieonlineguitargenie-01

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What is Case Candy?

Posted by GuitarGenie on November 18, 2014 in Vintage guitars |
case candy

Hello guitar fans! Welcome to the Online Guitar Genie blog.

Everyone knows that a genie’s main purpose is to grant wishes right? Well that is what I am here for. Although I can’t realistically grant your wildest wishes or make things magically appear, I can help you on your way to finding them, which is half the battle. So hang on to your hats guys and gals and hop on to my magic carpet for a ride around the amazing world of the guitar!

In my first post I will be answering a question that many players and enthusiasts ask me. What is Case candy?Case candy-3

“Case candy” is a term which is getting quite a bit of mileage these days amongst vintage guitar collectors and guitar buyers in general. Basically “Case candy” consists of hang tags, bills of sale, warranty papers, owners manuals, straps, guitar pics, strings, string envelopes, guitar jacks, spare parts or other various items that would have originally belonged to any particular guitar or were used by the owner(s) in that guitars lifetime.Case candy-4

Original “Case candy” items from the golden vintage era (1950s to 1970s) are commanding quite high prices on the vintage market and online sellers such as ebay. Of course condition is king and the better the grade the higher the price. Many vintage sellers add case candy items to  vintage instruments to make them more attractive to buyers and to increase the price. To know if they were original to the instrument in question can be difficult to determine unless there are specific model/serial # references on the tags or old photos of the guitar and case interior which can be dated and connected. That being said “Case candy” definitely can add value to your instrument not to mention the “WOW” factor. You can just imagine yourself saying ” I just bought a really nice all original 1962 Stratocaster and can you believe it, it had the original bill of sale and hangtags with it” Now that’s cool!!!!Case candy-1

In the early 1980s when  USA vintage reissues were beginning to hit the market, “Case candy” kits were included along with period correct cases and they also were vintage replicas or a close approximation of items that would have been included back in the day. Included in these kits were, straps, jacks, manuals etc

Many players discarded these items over the years and much like vintage comic books that ended up in the trash can, no one really imagined that they would eventually become so valuable.

I am not really sure who coined the phrase “Case candy” but one thing for sure is that collectors and players alike have developed a sweet tooth for it. If you have purchased a vintage guitar, vintage reissue, custom shop model or any generic guitar, make sure you hang on to the “Case candy” It adds value to your instrument, makes it more attractive to potential buyers should you want to eventually put it on the market, and even just as a historical biography of the instrument.Case candy-5

Stay tuned for my next post where I will explain how to build a nice “Case Candy” kit from scratch to compliment your guitar without breaking the bank.

That’s all for now my friends see you next time for  another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.

You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay to purchase Case Candy for your vintage or modern instrument. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie  http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenieonlineguitargenie-01



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