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12 Oct. 2008  I've been swamped the past few months and have only been able to answer a fraction of the e-mail I receive.  I apologize if you have sent in a question and haven't received an answer but between my job, health, and trying to get some amps built that I've promised for a long time now I know a lot of incoming mail has scrolled off into cyber-heaven without being answered.

So who is the GuitarNut?  My name is John, I was born about fifty years ago somewhat to the chagrin of my poor parents who foolishly thought that they were nearly done raising children when my brother and sister were almost through high school. 

I always wanted to play guitar and at about thirteen I finally earned enough paper-route money to buy a used Gretsch.  (What I wouldn't give to own that guitar now!)  Unfortunately, before I had a chance to learn more than a couple of chords and the intro to "Smoke on the Water" I discovered girls and quickly forgot about the guitar - thus demonstrating my uncanny foresight by not realizing that guitars were a chick magnet and my early dating years would have been much more exciting had I kept at the guitar.

At nineteen I confirmed my uncanny wisdom and foresight by enlisting in the Air Force and taking college classes at night after turning down an ROTC scholarship just the year before because, "I didn't have any use for college or the military."  I actually enjoyed my military career mostly because I loved my job as a flight simulator technician.  In 1988 they decided to close my career field and wanted me to take over a flight line shop - that wasn't my cup of tea so I bailed out as a Master Sergeant with twelve years service and instantly more than doubled my total income by taking a job as a software engineer with an aerospace contractor.  (As a side note - anyone who believes that our military folks are there for the "wonderful" pay and benefits doesn't have a clue!)  I've worked mostly in software engineering and mostly for one aerospace company or another ever since.  I am presently a Systems Engineering Analyst developing courseware products for the world's largest civilian aviation training company.

At thirty-eight I finally rediscovered the guitar - though I'm afraid it's been too little, too late.  Even after twelve years I'm still a decidedly average player and have had to face the sad fact that Jonny Lang and Eric Clapton have nothing to fear from me.  With my electronic background I can make almost any guitar or tube amp sound heavenly, as long as someone else is playing it :(.

The GuitarNuts Story

Late in 1995 I purchased my first electric guitar (except for a brief fling at 13), a Korean Squier Stratocaster that was unbelievably noisy.  When I looked "under the hood" I was appalled to find an unshielded mess of ground loops.  Having many years experience as an electronics technician I was flabbergasted that even an inexpensive guitar would be so poorly wired.  You can imagine my disgust when I discovered that even many "high-end" guitars costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars were wired no better than that cheap Squier.  Naturally I shielded and wired that Strat properly and it became so quiet that I could play it in front of my computer monitor at reasonably high gain without a lot of noise.  After hearing horror stories of people being told by their local dealers that guitars equipped with single-coil pickups were supposed to hum, that it was "part of the Fender sound," I became disgusted enough to put instructions for wiring and shielding guitars up on my personal web site.

The response was overwhelming and soon I was exceeding the amount of traffic permitted by the ISP I was using so I purchased a domain and began paying to have the account hosted by a commercial web hosting company.

From those humble beginnings GuitarNuts has steadily grown as I am able to add new features to the site.  It is no longer just a wiring site, we now have other sections including a public forum.  I've never really promoted the site, have never even submitted it to a search engine, but after Guitar Player magazine featured the site traffic snowballed so rapidly that I had to kick my commercial account up a level because I was again reaching the point where my bandwidth was being throttled before the end of the month. 

As for day-to-day operations, GuitarNuts remains mostly a one-man effort.  However, I now have a number of people I trust to perform gear reviews and to whom I turn for advice in areas outside my field of expertise.  Volunteers also contribute greatly to the site, from sending schematics of their favorite modifications to John Thornburgh's fine article on potting pickups to photographs of a shielding project in progress.  If you have something you would like to contribute, I gladly welcome all such input.  Just please understand that it may take some time before your submissions actually show up on the site because, when it comes to answering e-mail and updating the site, this is still pretty much a one-man operation, and that one man has to work for a living just like y'all!