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My little story about Suhr guitars

Impulse 101

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This is a repost from HRI, but I thought the story was worth sharing.



I wanted to tell everyone about my Suhr T, which just came back from John’s shop. John put a lot of personal attention into it. I think that we e-mailed about one hundred times over the last couple of months.


I had a variable midboost on the guitar since I ordered it, but I didn’t use the boost much. I did roll it off and engage it as a buffer quite a bit though. I love doing that...it glasses up the tone and it’s really cool for certain tones. Unfortunately, the pot for the amount of boost crapped out and I couldn’t fix it myself. The pot was an Alpha, but it was a small sized pot which seems to be less reliable.


The electronics cavity was too crowded to do a simple rewire. The two push/push switches that were mounted to the guitar by glued in brackets were blocking access to everything in the cavity and there was no way to replace the pot without gutting it. Of course John did just that but he just wasn’t willing to put things back the same way and run into the same problem again should something else go wrong.

In the mean time John got an order from a high profile client (Cough Cough, Keith Urban, Cough Cough) for a couple of handwired heads. John was kind enough to tell me that he had a big order come in and that it was a rush job, which is cool, since he doesn’t owe me an explanation. I wanted my guitar back but it is a repair and John has a business to run. So I spent the next couple of weeks making Keith Urban jokes with my wife and John got the heads wired up and spent time on the PT-100 mods. But, while doing that he kept my guitar on his mind because he was trying to come up a with a way to re-mount the switches more cleanly to give access to the rest of the cavity.


Eventually came up with an idea that is so brilliant that I had to post a picture of it.



John built a circuit board that mounts both switches as well as cleans up the electrical connections and he designed it to wrap around the tone pot and to be soldered to it as a mount. It is solid as a rock and is measured out perfectly. The switches were also changed to the new Guthrie style switch which is wider and has a shorter throw than the old ones.








Then Nashville flooded and Keith Urban slowed down progress again. Damn You Keith Urban! Actually, John managed to work on both but it was kinda ironic and I feel bad for everyone who was effected by the floods, even Keith.


Once John had the mount ready to go he E-mailed me to ask if I was happy with the boost. I told him that I wasn’t too nuts about it and that I only used it as a buffer. So he asked me if I wanted it redesigned to their new style boost. I said that would be good, as long as the new boost could still be used as a buffer. He had to think about that one because they don’t usually do a variable boost on the front of the guitar so the new buffer circuit would have to modded, but in classic John Suhr style I got the “You know, I might be able to make it work” answer and then he went to work to make it happen. Even funnier, he had it almost ready to go and then he had an idea to make it better just as it was about to ship. He knew that I really needed it back in a hurry now because I had an important gig in a day or two and I really wanted my Suhr for it. So he tells me that he’s going to keep it there, mod it again in the morning and then next day it to me for a Saturday delivery, and that is exactly what he did. The guitar arrived the morning before the gig and I was amazed at how much better the midboost performed. Into my old Fender the tone really reminds me of Mark Knofler’s tone on Love Over Gold and it works awesome into an overdrive pedal.


On top of everything John had his team buff the scratches out of the top and they set it up for me. They butted the trem down on accident but the setup feels better than my old setup so I’m not messing with it. I think I’m going to leave it butted because I’m getting into the feel of it.


Thanks to John and crew for all the hard work (and Damn You Keith Urban! (Use Stewie’s voice.)) This is why I‘m going to buy another Suhr.



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When this guitar was built he did not have standard production options that would allow for the electronics that I wanted, so he had to custom build everything by hand. The original setup was rock solid and worked but it didn't allow for repairs. The new setup does.



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