How to Stop Breaking Strings, Ratio for Bass, Birds of Play

Avi Bortnick, Jennifer Batten, Install an Acoustic Saddle


Epiphone Crestwood Custom

Epiphone has re-engineered and re-released the very first solidbody design it produced back in 1958 with the vintage-themed Gibson Designer Collection Crestwood Custom (which is actually based on the 1959 version). Graph Tech is thrilled to be a part of the 2020 Crestwood, as Epiphone installed our TUSQ saddles and NuBone nuts on this groovy-looking guitar. The Crestwood Custom is available in Polaris White and Cherry finishes, and street price is a very affordable $549 (USA).  


Avi Bortnick

Anyone who knows Avi Bortnick from his performances with jazz legend John Scofield is aware of his rhythm-guitar prowess, his formidable sense of funk, his world-music cred, and his uncanny ability to toss startling-yet-driving syncopations into any groove. But Avi is also a tech tinkerer who has developed apps such as the Time Guru Metronome and VoxBeat. It's certainly not a stretch that his technical curiosity and unfettered rhythm playing has made him a fan of the Graph Tech Ghost system, TUSQ XL nuts, and String Saver Saddles.

"String Savers have been allowing me for years to dig in without fear of a popping string," he says. "They work like a charm and sound great, too."

Watch Avi Play 10 Funk Riffs in 58 Seconds


How is TUSQ XL Different than Other Nut Materials?

When you are looking for a great electric guitar nut, look no further than TUSQ XL - great tone and a dramatic increase in tuning stability for string bends, aggressive playing and tremolo use by providing permanent lubrication between the string and nut.

TUSQ XL is based on our TUSQ Man-Made Ivory with the addtition of PTFE (you are probably familiar with Dupont's version -Teflon), which is impregnated throughout the material and is 500 times more slippery than graphite. It will never run out of lubrciation. TUSQ and TUSQ XL is engineereed for maximum vibration and harmonic transfer. It is consistent throughout each piece and piece to piece, unlike bone or ivory which has grains througout which can cause dead spots.  

TUSQ XL is available in blanks, and preslotted for guitar and bass in lots of sizes and string configurations.



5 Songs of Hopefulness

It's no secret the 2020 pandemic has forged some rough roads for many of us, but we can still embrace optimism for better things in 2021. Here are some tracks you can use as your soundtracks for positivity next year. Good luck and good health!

Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'"


Sure, this song is more about human connection than vanquishing a virus, but the chorus is inspirational in the extreme, and Steve Perry's soaring vocals and Neal Schon's rousing guitar solos are fabulous motivators for thinking positive thoughts.

Hear It

Melissa Etheridge, "I Need to Wake Up"


Melissa Etheridge wrote this song about the environment, but it can also be interpreted as a panacea for personal inaction. The lines "I need to move, I need to wake up, I need to change, I need to shake up" are a powerful refrain for anyone who has found themselves "frozen" in difficult times. 

Hear It

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "I Won't Back Down"

The strutting courage of this track makes it a perfect score for those who refuse to give in to adversity.

Hear It

Sam Cooke, "A Change is Gonna Come"

An extremely touching and personal song, Sam Cooke's 1964 single became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement, but it also resonates as a wish for individual and/or global transformation. 

Hear It

John Lennon, "Imagine"

Perhaps one of the ultimate hippie pleas for peace, love, and understanding, as well as a song that just might have the power to heal many ills.


Hear It


How to Install an Acoustic Guitar Saddle

Not happy with the tone, intonation, sustain, harmonics, or playability of your favorite acoustic? Believe it or not, simply changing your saddle can make things right. But if you're terrified of "simply changing" a saddle, let master luthier Nicole Alosinac walk you through the process.  


Yamaha PAC510V

"I had been looking for a Yamaha PAC510V for more than six years,"
 relates Larissa, Greece-based guitarist Thanasakis Pantognostis. "But every time I'd find one — mostly in the USA — nobody would send it overseas. Finally, one great soul from Italy agreed to sell me his PAC510V this past January, but then COVID-19 happened. We didn't speak again until June, when he suddenly emailed me to say he still had the guitar if I wanted it. The earth moved below my feet. Of course, I wanted it! Sonic blue is the rarest color option for this model, and I outfitted it with Graph Tech VS-100 saddles as soon as I got it. It is my favorite guitar ever!"

Your guitar can be next! Watch our Facebook page for the call to submit your favorite guitar. Simply post an image in the comments, and we may contact you to spotlight your baby in the next Graph Tech e-newsletter!


The Guitar Store Told You What?

The rapid-fire, animated, and possibly kind of crazy Jason Stadig answers a slew of questions from players just like you. This FAQ Friday talks about our locking TUSQ picks, Ratio Locking Machine Heads, TUSQ saddles, and the chilling case of a store telling someone, "You can't buy better parts. You have to let us sell you a better guitar."  

https://gem-3910432.netDive in Graph Tech YouTube FAQ Friday Channel    


"'Giant Steps' Tapping Solo" by Jennifer Batten

Former Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck guitarist Jennifer Batten keeps busy during the pandemic by sharing her vast storehouse of 6-string knowledge via Once your blown mind returns to normal after watching this video, consider taking a tapping class from the maestro. To facilitate her cinematic musical explorations, Jennifer installed Graph Tech Ghost systems on several of her guitars, including an LB63 on her Line 6 Variax. "I searched for a Floyd Rose-like replacement for the Variax's standard trem system, and Graph Tech was the only company with the good sense to make one," she says. "You need to have wiring that will talk to the Variax electronics and they nailed it."  


Smarten Up Your Guitar or Bass for the New Year

Many fingers across the globe are crossed that 2021 will see the return of touring, club dates, and other live shows. Wouldn't you like to step into a revitalized music industry with a truly kick-ass instrument? It's very possible you haven't shown your guitar or bass much love during lockdown, so it's time to do a few simple mods to enhance your stringed partner's tone and playability. Click the link to see some awesome upgrade options!

Make It Happen



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