Read part 2 here.

After a full six months of procrastinating I’ve finally installed the new pickup assembly from Klein Pickups into my Strat and it looks and sounds great. Here’s the transformation in pictures:

Before. My bog standard 2002 US Fender Highway One Stratocaster. White pickguard, pickup covers and knobs.

Removing the old pickup assembly and trying to remember which wires are attached to what.

Removing the old pickup assembly and trying to remember which wires are attached to what.

Soldering in the new pickup assembly with a help from the previous photo and the diagrams supplied on Klein's website, then earthing to the bridge block.

Soldering in the new pickup assembly with a help from the previous photo and the diagrams supplied on Klein’s website, then earthing to the bridge block.

All done. No fires were ignited in the process. Looking nice with the Parchment pickguard and vintage cream pickup covers, knobs and switch tip. I also bumped the string gauge up from .009s to .011s, sorted out the set up and intonation.

All done. No fires were ignited in the process. Looking nice with the Parchment pickguard and vintage cream pickup covers, knobs and switch tip. I also bumped the string gauge up from .009s to .011s, sorted out the set up and intonation.

Testing out the new set up.

Testing out the new set up.

So it’s all done and it sounds really great. The pickups and electrics were pre-loaded on the pickguard so the installation process was really easy, even for me. I could probably count the number of wires I’ve soldered in my life on one hand. The guitar is definitely sounding a whole lot more like the Strat I’ve had in my head and as a bonus, the more vintage/aged style of the parchment/off-white pickguard with the vintage cream pickup covers and knobs seem to compliment the wear and tear that the satin finish on the Highway One’s body  has picked up over the last ten years. Happy days.

As soon as I get around to it I’ll post some before and after video clips with sound.

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We ran a worship course for one of my local church’s Bible School subjects a while back. In preparing some material to teach and listening to others teach on the topic I was struck again with what is really such a basic truth; God is big! He’s huge!

I know you may be thinking, “Ok, we already knew that.” but sometimes an old, familiar truth gets a fresh spark of life thrown at it and suddenly you really believe it all over again. Exploring the subject of worship is like trying to fully explore God Himself. It can be a daunting thing, simply for the sheer volume of it and yet, it is an incredibly rewarding thing to do.

To study the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of worship is to discover the “Who” of worship. Without knowing the object of our worship all we do is make a noise. All our clever musical arrangements, all our catchy songs and refrains, our dancing, clapping and general carryings on come to nothing if they are an end in themselves. But to truly know the One for whom the “carrying on” is for – that is worship. Let me qualify that further; God does not require our worship as if He were somehow in need of constant affirmation from us. He is the eternal one, the Alpha and the Omega. He is wholly self-sustained. For “who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” (Rom 11:35).

Actually, when we worship Him it is for our own good. When, according to John 4:23, we worship in Spirit (because God is Spirit) and truth, as my friend Wikus reminded us during the course, we worship in the truth of who God is. The “truth” part of that scripture is the truth of God’s eternal nature and not our own, often grossly inconsistent truth. When we gather together to worship, or indeed when we worship on our own, we are not meant to try to “stay true to ourselves”. We don’t just honour Him when we feel we are being sincere about it. Our hearts are so deceptive and will readily lead us down a path of introspection at the expense of fixing our attention on Jesus where it belongs. Our worship would therefore be as inconsistent as we are prone to be. Thank God that He is consistently awesome and always worthy of praise! When David was feeling melancholic he would often speak to his own heart as if it were something apart from him, sometimes questioning it, “why are you downcast?” and encouraging himself to, “put your hope in God…” and he would urge himself to “yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.” (Ps 42)

God is always worthy to be worshipped and He is seeking worshippers who will worship Him in Spirit and in the truth of who He is. We cannot attempt to look more deeply into the subject of worship without looking deeply into the nature of God Himself as He has revealed to us by His Spirit and His word. And we certainly cannot do that without responding in true worship.

To reiterate; to truly know the One for whom the “carrying on” is for – that is worship.

 

This article was originally published at: http://worship.cornerstonechurch.co.za/the-who-of-worship/

Read part 1 here.

The pickup assembly arrived in the mail today. Hand scatter-wound pickups, vintage spec capacitors and 250K pots from Klein Pickups in Denton TX. I love the sound of the demo recordings I’ve heard of these pickups. For the last couple of years I’ve had this sound in my head of how I think a Stratocaster should sound and those clips are the closest I’ve found to that sound.

I decided to stay with the blonde strat aesthetic but with a slightly different vibe to what I have now. So instead of the stark white guard and covers that are on the Strat at the moment, I went with with a parchment/off-white pickguard with vintage cream pickup covers, knobs and switch tip. I think it looks pretty cool on it’s own but I’ll have to see what they look like on the actual guitar. If it’s anything like this, one of Jimmy’s ‘other’ guitars, it can’t be a bad thing.

Never mind the seriously over-dramatic music on the preview video, Astute Graphics’s upcoming Illustrator plugin, DrawScribe, promises to help make working with vectors a far quicker and more intuitive process.

It looks like the plugin comprises two tools which are effectively replacements for Illustrator’s native Pen and Pencil tools – InkScribe and Dynamic Sketch.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

I’m going to be doing a bit of strat-rodding and while I’m at it I might as well change the look a bit. You know, change is as good as a holiday. Or a haircut can change the look of your face or something like that.

So here’s the situation: My Strat currently looks a bit like this:

The classic blonde. Thin satin acrylic finish, white pickguard, unbound maple neck, vintage headstock, chrome hardware.

Something that’s been on my wish list for a good couple of years is to do a full upgrade of the electrics of the guitar. New pickups, new pots, new switch, new input jack, proper shielding – the works. Since the electrics are loaded onto the pickguard, I can just get a new one of those too. So here are the options:

Option 1: Keep it the same

Option 2: Tortoise shell pickguard

Option 3: White guard, rosewood board

Option 4: Tortoise shell guard, rosewood fretboard (Minus the gold hardware)

Okay, so options 3 and 4 involve a new neck as well which is probably outside the scope of this particular project but at least you can see what we can work towards. What do you think?

Read part 2 of this post over here.
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