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How to remove the cover from a tele neck pickup

As detailed previously here, many players prefer the sound of a Stratocaster neck pickup to a Telecaster neck pickup, and the metal pickup cover is the primary driver of the difference in the sound between a strat neck pickup and a tele neck pickup (though it is not the only driver, removing the cover will absolutely increase brightness of the pickup and give it a more dynamic response).  While you could purchase a new pickup for your tele to get you into strat-territory (see list of suggestions here), you may be in the same camp as me, which is to...

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How do I turn my 6 in-line or 3x3 Sperzel tuners into a 4x2 set?

So you have or are building a 4x2 (tuner orientation) headstock guitar and you want to buy or upgrade your tuners?  Great!  Only...who sells good 4x2 tuners?   The solution, if you like Sperzels, is to buy either a 6 in-line or 3x3 set and reverse the orientation of one or more tuners.    I am going for a more compact 4x2 headstock for a neck-through extended scale 6-string electric guitar I'm building myself (from scratch!), so I opted for the 6 in-line option vs. the 3x3 option to start as the tuner buttons are smaller.  Either will work, however.  The...

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How do I measure the bridge string spacing on my guitar?

What you want to measure is the distance from the center of the highest string to the center of the lowest string, and you want to measure this distance at the "break point" of the string over the bridge or saddle.  That distance gives you the bridge string spacing, which can then be used to help select a replacement bridge or choose a standard humbucker vs. trembucker pickup.  You may find that, especially for fingerstyle, you prefer one type of bridge (I prefer wider Fender-spaced bridges in general).  So if you find your right hand technique works better on one guitar...

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How do I orient my zebra-covered humbuckers?

The short answer is - there really is no wrong way.  If you already own the pickups, I'd ask you first "where are the screws", and then I'd use the "screws out" orientation I describe HERE to define which way they go, as that may affect the sound.  If you haven't purchased them yet, then really it is up to you as this is a cosmetic thing.  Personally I prefer the look of the "black covers out" (or black covers have the screws), meaning the bridge black cover is closest to the bridge, and the neck black cover is closest...

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How do I orient my bridge and neck humbuckers?

Classically, the screws on the pickups face "out", so the bridge pickup would have the screws closest to the bridge, and the neck pickup would have the screws closest to the fingerboard.  I have Yasuhiko Iwanade's classic book "The Beauty of the 'Burst" (a collection of Les Paul images and content spanning '58-'60), and I flipped through the whole book and couldn't find a single example where the pickups are oriented in a different direction.  Unless you have a compelling reason to change it, I would stick with that orientation.   Here's a picture of a beautiful Les Paul 1959...

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