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Charles Guitars

charles bio

Charles Guitars brings together the components that we have selected from the huge range that is available to upgrade build your guitars. It's all about TONE or maximising the tone of your guitar.

Some years ago I discovered that my expensive and very nice guitar had not so nice electrical parts and so I started to search for better components I looked at the pots which, to my amazement, were 300K that actually measured 270K and cheap ceramic capacitors that gave a very poor response. I gradually worked my way through these parts upgrading and improving them as I went along.

The results of these changes were dramatic, best described as lifting a blanket that was muffling my amp, and led me on a path of "releasing" the tone from my guitars. What I came to realise is that most guitars are built from a "parts bin" and therefore compromises are made along the way. By swapping out these generic parts for specifically designed and manufactured quality parts you can incrementally, and in some cases dramatically, improve the amplified tone of your guitar.

Getting a great tone is not difficult. Most modern guitars are quite well built, compared to those built in the days of the wood burning stove, which was where many mid-priced guitars of my youth belonged. All you need is to get the signal from your pickups to your amp with as little interference as possible. Of course a good set of pickups is never a bad place to start and hand wound pickups are always going to be better than mass produced pickups. But if you like the sound of yours then stick with them, you can always change them later. Most importantly you must have good potentiometers with the correct value, at least 250K for single coils and 500K for P90's and humbuckers. Then a quality capacitor. This bleeds the higher frequencies to earth but it is all about how it does that which matters and the correct value is vital so that your tone control works gradually and all the way down. Last but not least is as good a cable as you can afford; you would not believe the difference that a good cable makes in giving you more tone and power, it's actually one of the lowest cost, most effective and easiest ways of improving your tone.

Many of the parts offered here I use myself. I hope you enjoy the website and please let me know what you think.