Frank was not a happy person. Suffered from the particular form of melancholia of those who feel that the world doesn’t quite fit. Who feel like a circle in a world of wooden baby toys composed exclusively of squares and holes for squares.
Added to that unease, the persistent conviction that, without particular features, one was lost amongst many, just one more in a sea.
The usual thing, black and white without further ado. On top of that, the first and second fret buzzed, and the pickups sounded muddy and weak. The kind of person that felt left out in those rowdy modern shows with all the thumpa-thumpa, and always dreamed of gentler sounds.
So the day came to marshalled courage, and asked a craftsman to do something about it.
The first step was to cover the insides of the guitar and the pickguard with aluminium foil, to create a Faraday cage. What that does is isolate the cables inside into an EM radiation-free case. That is usually done in high end guitars because the cables can act as antenas and introduce that unpleasant EM buzz, when you aren’t touching the strings and you hear bzzzzzzzz…. but it goes away when you touch the strings. The pickguard got a similar treatement.
And if you think that I’m silly for using tinfoil, remember this proverb: Si para fender basta, para mi sobra.
The next step was to re-do and improve the wiring. But for that, the doc would need to create a new aperture, where before there was one. You can see the process in the next picture, along with a preview of the purely cosmetic changes already in progress.
It’s the little piercing north west of the diagonal line that you should be looking at. Normal guitars don’t have it.
Once that was done, the craftsman started working on the circuit properly. He checked it, re-soldered it for safety and in the process burnt on of the potentiometers, which had to be replaced. In the end, the circuit would boast a switch, to make her a 7-sound strat, and a treble bleed circuit on the volume pot to avoid the sound getting muddy, once you lower the volume.
When she woke up, she wasn’t the same person. Now she was Frannie, Frannie G. She could go to all those blues and jazz shows with her head high, and even hold her own at any rock show.
Just remember that you can see some more pictures if you go to my flickr albums on the right hand side, and click on “workshop blues”