Stadium Standard Guitar Repairs in London and Kent Workshops in London and Whitstable

Glossary

Click on a term to read the definition
  • ACTIVE
    When pickup’s are said to be active they incorporate a pre-amp which requires additional power. The result is a boost for the pick up, usually powered by a 9v battery.
  • ARCHTOP
    A guitar with an arched top which has been carved or pressed with a moveable bridge and tailpiece. Generally associated with jazz guitarists, Gretsch and Gibson ES series are good representations.
  • BAKELITE
    Type of plastic used in some guitars from 30’s-50’s.
  • BIGSBY
    A simple non recessed vibrato developed by Paul Bigsby.
  • BINDING
    A protective and sometimes decorative strip made of wood or plastic that is placed along the outer edges of the top, back, neck and fingerboard. This is a method used to seal and protect joints.
  • BLOCK MARKERS
    Square or rectangular inlays marking fingerboard positions up the neck.
  • BODY
    The main section of the guitar which the bridge, pickups and knobs are mounted.
  • BRIDGE
    On a solid body electric guitar they generally fix and hold the saddle that makes contact with the strings. On archtop guitars the bridge is usually held in place only by the tension of the strings and can be easily moved. This is known as a ‘floating’ bridge. Many bridges are adjustable by thumbwheels incorporated into the bridge.
  • BRIDGE PINS
    These anchor the strings onto the bridge, usually on acoustic guitars.
  • BRIDGE PICKUP
    In electric guitars this is the pick up placed closest to the bridge.
  • CENTER BLOCK
    A solid wood block running through the body of a semi-acoustic guitar body joining the whole instrument together.
  • CHECKING
    Used to describe cracking found in lacquer finished guitars. Vintage guitars often have checking in their lacquer finishes. Checking is caused by the guitar’s wood expanding and contracting with changes in temperature and humidity.
  • CUTAWAY
    A guitar which has been cut away to allow easy access to the frets while reaching over the body. A double cut away guitar has both sides cut away.
  • DOG EAR
    Common term for P-90 style pickup with mounting ears.
  • DOT NECK
    Guitar with simple dot inlays in the neck position markers (see BLOCK MARKERS).
  • DREADNOUGHT
    A shape generally associated with CF Martin and their biggest and loudest acoustic guitar but also now used by many other brands on their larger acoustic models.
  • ELECTRO ACOUSTIC
    An acoustic guitar with a built in pickup, often a piezo electric pickup mounted under the bridge.
  • END BLOCK
    Acoustic guitars normally have an end block and a neck block at opposite ends of the body. The end block is usually glued to the top, back and sides at the bottom end of the guitar. Often strap buttons are anchored into this block as it provides enough support to mount a strap hook.
  • F-HOLE
    Term used for an ‘F’ shaped sound hole on some hollowbody and semi-acoustic guitars.
  • FRETBOARD
    Also called a fingerboard. This is the surface of the neck that contains the frets. (There are some guitars that are ‘fretless’ but the fingerboard is still used without frets) The fingerboard is generally a separate piece of wood glued to the neck. It’s often made of a hard durable wood as the frets must be securely anchored into the fretboard. Vintage guitars usually use Brazilian Rosewood and Ebony for the fingerboard material.
  • FINISH
    This refers to the protective coating covering the guitar, often laquer or paint.
  • FIXED BRIDGE
    Refers to non-vibrate bridges usually on solid body guitars.
  • FLAT TOP
    Refers to an acoustic guitar with a flat non-arched top. Many Gibson and also Martin guitars are considered flat top acoustic guitars.
  • FRET
    Metal wire inlayed at intervals along the fingerboard. The guitar player presses down on the string forcing the string to touch the fret changing the sting length and creating different notes. There are a variety of fret wire profiles used for frets.
  • HARD TAIL
    Phrase used to describe an electric guitar built without a vibrato bridge, often used to describe Fender guitars.
  • HEADSTOCK
    Describes the part of the guitar where the strings attach to the tuners. Fender uses 6 in-line tuners on the headstock and Gibson prefers three on each side of the headstock usually.
  • HEEL
    Section of neck where the neck curves or is reduced to join the body.
  • HOLLOWBODY
    An electric guitar body style with a thin body similar to an acoustic guitar.
  • HUMBUCKER
    A noise cancelling twin coil pick up.
  • INLAY
    Decorative material that is cut and embedded into the body, neck or headstock of a guitar.
  • JACKPLATE
    Refers to the guitars ability to play in tune at various positions along the neck. Often adjusted by adjusting the bridge saddle.
  • LAMINATED
    The back, sides and tops of some instruments can be made from several pieces of wood which have been laminated to form one piece, usually to the detriment of it’s sound particulary if it’s the top that is laminated.
  • LOCKING NUT
    Fittings that lock the strings in place at the nut.
  • LOGO
    The manufacturers brand name or trademark usually on the headstock.
  • MACHINE HEADS
    Also known as tuners or tuning machines.
 
  • NECK BLOCK
    The neck block is found inside the body at the base of the neck. The neck block provides the strongest point to mount the neck to the body.
  • NECK PLATE
    A metal plate used in bolt on designs. It is screwed to the neck and body, fastening the neck to the guitar body.
  • NECK PICKUP
    Refers to the pickup mounted closest to the neck.
  • NECK RESET
    A neck reset is performed to restore the correct angle between the fingerprint bridge which provides the correct action needed to play the guitar.
  • NUT
    Located at the end of the fingerboard before the headstock. Used to provide proper string height and spacing before the strings enter the tuners.
  • P-90
    An early Gibson single coil pickup.
  • PAF
    A sticker on Gibson pickups.
  • PASSIVE
    Usually describes a guitar that does not use pickups which require power (active pickups).
  • PICKGUARD
    Also called a scratchplate. A thin covering screwed or glued to the top of a guitar to protect the guitar from picks and fingernails. Comes in a variety of colours and shapes.
  • POT
    A Potentiometer mounted to the body of an electric guitar commonly used for controlling volume and tone. The tone pot will sometimes have a capacitor soldered in circuit.
  • ROUT
    A hole or cavity cut into a guitar often in the body. Many times a pickup cavity is routed to enable a different pickup to be installed.
  • ROSETTE
    The decorative inlay usually found around the soundhole on an acoustic guitar.
  • SADDLE
    The part of the bridge where the strings make contact thus transferring the string vibration to the bridge and body of the guitar.
  • SCALE LENGTH
    Length of vibrating string from nut to saddle also twice the distance from the nut to the 12th fret.
  • SET NECK
    A neck that is glued into he body and uses no bolts for attachment. This is normally associated with electric guitars.
  • SETUP
    Guitar repair term to reset intonation and action to correct points (a common requirement).
  • SINGLE COIL PICKUP
    Early design with a single coil of wire wrapped round a single magnet.
  • SOAP BAR
    Nickname for a P-90 syle pickup that has no mounting ears.
  • SOLID BODY
    Term for an electric guitar with a solid (non-hollow) body such as many Fender and Gibson guitars.
  • SUSTAIN
    Length of time a string vibrates for.
  • STOP TAILPIECE
    Sometimes called a stud tailpiece. Fixed to the top of the guitar and anchors the strings to the top. Holes in the tailpiece allow strings to pass thru the stop tailpiece and over the bridge.
  • T-FRETS
    Refers to the shape of the metal fret. T-frets are usually used in most refrets.
  • TAILPIECE
    On instruments without bridge pins the strings are commonly anchored to a tailpiece. This normally mounts to the end block and pulls the strings down towards the top after passing across the bridge.
  • THINLINE
    Term used to describe hollow body electric guitars, first used with the Gibson Byrdland guitar and also used by Fender and others.
  • THROUGH NECK
    A thru neck design uses a neck that actually runs right thru the center of the body.
  • RAPEZE TAILPIECE
    This tailpiece desing uses a neck that actually runs right thru the center of the body.
  • TREMOLO
    Term used for Vibrato or Tremolo arm.
  • TRUSS ROD
    A rod which runs through the center of a guitar’s neck below the fingerboard. The truss rod helps to stiffen the neck and prevent bowing due to the tension caused by the strings. Can be adjusted (in most guitars) to change the relief of the neck.
  • TRUSS ROD COVER
    A decorative cover that covers us the access point for adjusting the truss rod.
  • THUMBWHEEL
    A small wheel used on adjustable bridges (those usually found on archtop guitars or mandolins) to adjust the height of the bridge. The top portion of an adjustable bridge rests upon these flat wheels and as they are screwed upward on their post, the top portion of the bridge is raised.
  • TUNE-O-MATIC
    This bridge is commonly found on Les Paul style electric guitars. It sits on two thumbwheels and has six saddles which allow individual intonation adjustment for each string.
  • TUNING MACHINES
    Mechanical devices used to increase or decrease string tension. Located on the guitar head stock. These can be inline (Fender style), all individual or in two groups (Gibson style).
  • VENEERS
    Refers to thin wood or plastic laminate used in the construction of some guitars.
  • VIBRATO
    Bridge and or tailpiece which can alter the pitch of strings when the vibrato arm is moved. Also known as a whammy bar.
  • VOLUTE
    A piece of wood installed just behind the peghead which strengthens the neck where the headstock begins.