Tips & Tricks
8. Easy diy speaker stands
You can make speaker stands using furniture legs. Just add a
wooden base and another piece to support the speaker.
7. Easy diy pedalboard connections
offer an easy way to build connections to / from pedalboards. I use
this just for guitar input but you can combine several to one
mounting bracket. Aluminum is probably best material for the
bracket, whatever shape you prefer.
6. Guitar cable tester
Malfunctioning cables are a constant annoyance to any musician. This
system helps you to check cables by freeing your both hands to bend
and abuse the cable.
First part is a short extension jack cable with banana plugs
connected to a multimeter with a buzzer (or some other beeper).
Connect the cable under suspicion to the jack - if the buzzer sounds
you have a short.
Second part is another extension jack with shorted terminals. Put
this to the other end of your cable and this time the buzzing should
be continuous while you handle the cable.
5. Simple resistance box
This is a cheap
alternative to a real decade box. It helps you to find a suitable
resistor, like a transistor´s bias resistor in a stompbox, without
Just clip this to the circuit and rotate the knobs until you´re
There´s just three (or more) linear potentiometers in series. The
scales do not have to be accurate, I use a multimeter to read the
value. Potentiometer values can be (10), 100, 1k, 10k, 100k, 1M,
(10M) - whatever suits your needs.
4. Clothespin Clamp
Old trick but perhaps you didn´t know this one.
3. Cheap alternative to real saddle files
is not my original idea, read about it somewhere). A professional
saddle file set is expensive. A cheap welding tip cleaner tool
like this might be good enough for occasional use. You can find
one in a hardware store that sells welding tools.
I use a caliper to select right size tool for each string. They
seem to work fine, at least with soft nut material, like plastic.
I use these only for fine tuning, other tools are much faster if
you have to start with a blank nut.
2. Buy or build a ESR-meter
This is a valuable
tool if you repair electronics or use junk components (like I do).
ESR-meter is the only way to properly check electrolytic capasitors.
It is relatively easy to build and there are many schematics
available in the net. I would still recommend to buy a factory-made
instrument - they are not that expensive. Calibrating your diy meter
is a time consuming process.
I built my own meter since I already had suitable parts in the junk
box. Accuracy isn´t that great but it works well enough with
ordinary electrolytics. This, like most home made meters, is useless
if you want to measure low-esr caps like those used in computer
1. Get a audio measurement program
program that can measure the frequency response of a circuit under
development is really usefull, especially if you are working with
filters, eq-circuits or wah-pedals. Suitable programs can be found
for free in the web and usually no extra hardware is
necessary. Programs use your pc´s soundcard output to send the
measuring signal to the circuit and soundcard input to read the
results. I have used HOLMImpulse v220.127.116.11 which, in my opinion, is
simple and easy to use. The example plot above shows the frequency
response of the cab simulated output of a Digitech Tone Driver
©Jukka Korppi 2018