Magazine article Guitar Player

Backbone: Guitar Resonance Enhancer T-Bone

Magazine article Guitar Player

Backbone: Guitar Resonance Enhancer T-Bone

Article excerpt

EVERY YEAR, GUITARISTS ARE deluged with news of the latest add-on gizmos promising tonal, operational, and/or complete mind expansion. The sheer number of products being touted is actually not much of a burden, because there's free entertainment value in those notifications. Some are so hysterically bat-poop crazy that you'll laugh yourself into a happy place. Others promise the moon--and reading the nattering hype on their websites and in their advertising is part of the fun here--but don't really do much of anything at all.

Occasionally, however, some cool little tool actually offers a performance or sonic benefit with practically no hassles. The Backbone T-Bone for Telecasters ($59 street; a Stratobone is available for Stratocasters at the same price) has a bit of a long and slightly uppity name, but I soon discovered that's exactly what it does.

I installed the device on my California Guitars T-Type, even though I'm no DIY tech, and I kind of freaked out at the requirement of removing my guitar's neck-mount screws in order to affix the T-Bone. Happily, my guitar didn't require any of the included neck-mount shims (and subsequent adjustments), and I had the T-Bone completely and securely installed in 20 minutes--including paranoid rechecks and restringing. Less nervous types could probably have the operation done in half that time, or less.

In preparation for this review, I recorded strummed chords, arpeggios, single-note lines, and a couple of riffs with my "unenhanced" guitar direct into Apple Logic Pro using Focusrite's Scarlett 2i2 interface. Then, I ran separate passes with the T-Bone installed, and its brass, aluminum, and Graph Tech Tusq Tone Blocks attached. Critical listening was through KRK ROCKIT 8 G3 active monitors and Fender FXA7 in-ears.

My T-Type has an alder body, and depending on your ears and your instrument, the Backbone effect may be more subtle or more pronounced than what I experienced. …

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