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Comparison of Hosco Mini Pots and Cheaper Pots

From the outside there are a few differences in quality. The Hosco pot has a well cut and long threaded portion of the shaft while the cheaper one has a crudely cut thread. When you open up these pots you see the real difference in quality.


Pot comparison 1 

The insulated plate on the Hosco model is thicker and measures 1.72mm thick while the cheaper model is more crudely moulded and only 1.26mm thick.

The threaded column on the Hosco Model is longer and the thread is deep and clean.





Pot Comparison 2



The Rotor housing on the Hosco model is moulded from a thick, solid piece of plastic. The cheaper model is hollowed out to save weight and cost.

20 Jul 2014 18:17:01 By Bill Quinn Guitar, parts, Comments Quality V Cheap,

Five reasons why guitarists need to know about humidity.

 Wood expands and contracts.

  1. Acoustic and classical guitars have a large soundboard made from either cedar or spruce. These are relatively thin at around 2mm thickness. As a natural material, wood will absorb, or release moisture depending on the surrounding conditions. When it absorbs moisture wood will expand and conversely will contract when it loses moisture.

  2. The sides of your guitar are fixed

    Your soundboard is attached to the sides of the guitar. The sides of the guitar will not move very much at all regardless of the humidity. When the soundboard expands it cannot move sideways so it will “dome” in the middle. Your bridge and saddle is attached to the soundboard so it will rise with the soundboard. If the soundboard loses moisture, it will contract and “flatten” so the bridge and saddle hight will fall.

  3. Guitar Setup

    The string height above the frets is determined by the height of the slots in the nut, and the height of the saddle. To play easily, your guitar string will be a close to the frets as possible, without it touching the frets when you pluck the string. With changes in humidity your bridge and saddle will rise or fall, changing the “action” of your guitar. In high humidity you may find it harder to play bar chords, and the intonation may change and sound “out of tune”. With low humidity you may find the strings are buzzing on the frets higher up the fingerboard because the saddle height has dropped.

  4. Soundboard Bracing.

    Underneath your soundboard there are braces glued in place to both re-inforce the soundboard, and to moderate the vibration of the soundboard and therefore deliver a particular tone.

    With constant expansion and contraction of the soundboard due to changing humidity, braces can become loose. These will develop rattles or buzzes in the soundboard. In extreme cases they can even become detached.

  5. Cracks and gaps.

    Large variations in humidity can force soundboards or guitar backs to crack or split. The tensions in the guitar become too great for these thin pieces of wood and splits may appear. Also, the small glued area around the guitar sides may also split with the soundboard lifting off the sides. Lacquer finishes are also affected and you may see crazing, or long cracks appearing in the lacquer finish.




23 Aug 2013 14:37:56 By Bill Quinn humidity, guitar, Comments Technical Corner,

Crimson Guitars' tip to prevent a pot shorting in a shielded control cavity.

11 Jan 2013 16:22:49 By Bill Quinn insulating, a, pot, guitar, electrics, crimson, guitars, Comments Tonetech TV,

Use fine grit wet and dry sandpapers, used wet are used around a firm block. If you a re flatting a brushed finish you can start with 1000 grit paper. Rub the abrasive on the lacquer surface using a circular motion. You will feel the paper start to cut the lacquer surface. Use gently pressure and allow the abrasive to do the work. This can be a slow process but pressing on hard almost always results in a sand through.

Once the majority of the brushed lines have been removed switch to 2000 grit wet and dry and repeat the process. If you have sprayed your finish then start with 2000 grit paper.

 Keep the rubbing area away from the edges until the majority of the surface is flat. It is easy to sand through at the edges.

On curved surfaces support the wet and dry paper on curved blocks. When sanding the edges carefully sand with finger pressure.

The lacquer should look uniformly dull, i.e. “flat” at this point.

 Next, using a Flexipad blue foam Flexipad 80mm Blue foam ( we prefer the 80mm foams for better control), apply some drops of Farecla fine cutting compound to the guitar surface. If you are cutting the surface by hand apply even pressure to the foam pad and work in a circular motion. The fine cutting compound will remove the fine scratches left by the wet and dry paper.




Flexipad 75mm Spindle If you are using a variable speed drill or chucked screwdriver with a Flexipad spindle, again start with the blue foam. Switch the variable speed to minimum and start off at the slowest speed you can. This polishing does not need high speed to cut effectively and low speeds prevents the cutting compound from being thrown off by the spinning foam.




You should now see a gloss developing on the surface. Wipe off the excess cutting compound and examine the surface for any flat spots. Apply more cutting compound and continue with the blue foam until all the flat spots are removed.

When working on the edges or in tight curved areas, take the foam off the spindle and rub the areas by hand.


Flexipad Black Waffle Polishing foamRemove the excess cutting compound, change to the Flexipad black waffle polishing foam, apply some Tonetech Guitar Glaze to the surface and continue as before using a circular motion. You should see a high gloss finish appear.





Flexipad Microfibre polishing padWipe away the excess polish then final buff with the Flexipad sheepskin polisher or with the microfibre polishing pad.


Stand back and admire!


Acoustic Guitar Polished Top

10 Sep 2012 23:30:00 By Bill Quinn water-bourne, lacquer, polishing, guitar, finishing, Comments Technical Corner,

Martin Guitar Retro Series.  Why not make your own?

9 Aug 2012 00:26:46 By Bill Quinn Martin, guitar, making, luthier, supplies, Comments

Tonetech TV presents Bench Cookies.

8 Aug 2012 06:01:00 By Bill Quinn bench, cookies, guitar, making, luthier, supplies, Comments Tonetech TV,

Fret Levelling on TonetechTV.  Demonstration by Paul Cuthbert

7 Aug 2012 12:28:00 By Bill Quinn fret, levelling, guitar, set, up, tech, making, building, luthier, supplies, Comments Tonetech TV,

Sanding the body of my guitarThe first process regarding the body was to sand the first layer of wood back. To do this I used Tonetech's 320 grit sandpaper and a sanding block. I applied gentle pressure and long strokes so it was ready for the stain. I then used Tonetech's tak rag to get rid of the excess dust.

For both the head stock and the body I have used a waterbourne stain. The colour you can see in this picture is made from a mix of Tonetech's blue and green waterbourne stain.

To apply the stain I have used Tonetech's lint free cloths and simply dabbed the colour on alternating between a concentrated solution and a diluted solution of stain. To get this colour I have used three coats and a lot of sanding in order to perfect the finish and get rid of the raised grain as this gives the wood a horrible furry effect.

The body with waterbourne lacquer onI am going to use Tonetech's black stain for the back. So I will have to lacquer the front first to make sure there are no runs into the green. I have had to mask the sides with Tonetech's 48mm masking tape. The green area will now be lacquered using Tonetech's waterbourne lacquer.


5 Aug 2012 21:09:00 By Ciara Fletcher tonetech, guitar, making, building, body, Comments ,

headstock shape TonetechSince my last blog, I had carried out research using the internet to see what kind of head stocks guitar manufacturers were using and to gather ideas. I had picked the one I wanted which was inspired by “Music Man” and added a few modifications of my own.

I then made a few templates of this using circular objects so it was easier to draw. After, numerous attempts I finally found a shape I liked. This was then cut out on a band saw and partly sanded by Bill.

I then sanded the head stock down using Tonetech's 150 grit sand paper to take the lacquer off and Tonetech's 320 grit to make it smooth using a sanding block. This has to be done as the lacquer makes it difficult for the satin to soak into the wood. I am still having a bit of difficulty with this as there are still areas that have tiny amounts of lacquer which is evident in the staining process.


2 Aug 2012 03:38:39 By Ciara Fletcher tonetech, guitar, making, building, headstock, Comments ,

Building my first electric guitar

image of tonetech's electric guitar kitAfter working for ToneTech for over a year and never made a guitar, I have finally decided to take on this task and give it a whirl. Thrown in at the slightly deeper end, I have decided to make a Stratocaster from one of the electric guitar kits available from ToneTech.

So far I have opened the box and have a rough idea of were all the parts go. I have chosen a headstock design as the kit comes with a paddle neck so you can customise the headstock in any way you want. I have picked a headstock shape inspired by “MusicMan”.

I have also picked a dark green colour with a black edge and back as inspired by my favourite musical “Wicked”.

Watch this space for more of my experiences soon.


26 Jul 2012 02:22:00 By Ciara Fletcher guitar, making, building, electric, kit, Comments ,
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