A new UK business is offering a bespoke scratchplate / pickguard for electric guitars (opens in new tab) and basses (opens in new tab) via mail order. As well as creating a huge amount of custom options, if you've got a guitar you can't find a pickguard for, they'll build you one. They also offer wiring looms to upgrade your guitar tone and effects pedals.
Tiny Tone (opens in new tab) has been founded by Jack Ellis, who also runs Jack's Instrument Services in Manchester with a small dedicated team and writes MusicRadar's (opens in new tab)Fix Your Guitar tutorials (opens in new tab).
"If there's a nutty wiring scheme or scratchplate you just can't buy anywhere, Tiny Tone will make it for you totally custom," says Jack.
"As it turns out, no two plates are alike and there's no limit to the amount of types of Strat variants out there," he adds. "No matter the size, shape or customisations Tiny Tone can make it fit your guitar. Choose from a silly amount of materials and colours both daring and traditional, post in your old guard and we'll ship your custom order back to you.
"Making custom scratchplates is totally essential to so many guitars. Imagine putting together the ultimate parts-o-caster only to find the pre-bought scratchplate from eBay doesn't fit. That's where we come in.
"Need inspiration? Talk to us. Personally, I like the anodised metal pickguards with the neato bare aluminium edge, but also the 'Wildcat' colours we do for that Prince Madcat look or the Coodercaster look."
With the amount of variations on classic models out there, it means it's often necessary to send in your scratchplate to Tiny Tone for a bespoke template to be made.
"I thought that I'd save templates for Telecasters, SGs and such and I'll be able to reuse them but so far I'm on about 90 classic telecaster templates and 40 SG ones," admits Jack. "Standard doesn't seem to exist"
Tiny Tone's order process is simple: fill out the online quote form > then an estimate sent to you > post in your original scratchplate if required > you receive an invoice > pay > Tiny Tone's magical manufacturing procedure takes place > it's posted to you > you fit it to your guitar.
It's not just scratchplates that Tiny Tone offers. Custom wiring looms that players can drop into their guitar and fit with some simple soldering are becoming more and more popular. They're a great way to upgrade your guitar to make it more tonally versatile.
"Wiring's always been a bit of a fetish at Tiny Tone.," laughs Jack. "We sell a range of wiring harness for guitars ready for you to install without a soldering iron.
"Traditional or more inventive; there's sneaky ways of hot rodding your guitar's sound with one of our custom wiring harnesses. We specialise in creating wiring that doesn't change the appearance of the guitar (unless you want to) but will add some new rip roaring sounds at top quality. And as everything's handmade we can dream up a new circuit for your project too."
Tiny Tone's six tone Telecaster wiring is one example of just how much you can add to your guitar.
"Our prewired and solderless installation telecaster plate is designed to give you an extra three tones from your Telecaster whilst using your old pickups.
"It's got a 4 way switch and a push pull pot that ranges from humbucker girth through to a Gretschy honk whilst keeping the true tele tones available at your fingertips. Choose your options and order yours today at www.tinytone.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Tiny Tone even offer pedals.
"We make bypass pedals and a really neat Gibson Varitone replica pedal," explains Jack. "We designed our pedals based on stage functionality, built for the road. Many of our pedals are controllers for other pedals as a way of harnessing effects loops and true bypassing many pedals all at once.
"The Varitone Stompbox is my personal favourite though, it took me a while to audition all the components out but it offers the true Varitone 60s honk to any guitar that's plugged into it. The range of Varitone filter got wider in my design plus a bonus 'ultimate tone control' feature got added!
"Ever wanted to know what a Rickenbacker sounds like with a Varitone? No problem! "It works great with heavy distortion for garage rock tones to boot."
If you've got the bug for meddling with your guitar, head to tinytone.co.uk (opens in new tab)