Why would a guitar need documentation, anyway?

2003-12-15 18:11

I’m gonna be writing some documentation for a guitar company.

Yeah, that’s right. A guitar. You know, strings, a bit of electronics, lots of “squeeee” noises.

You wouldn’t think a guitar would need a manual, but it does. Let me tell you about my spouse’s bass guitar, and why it needs a manual. You see, it recently stopped working. It would fade in and out, but it wouldn’t produce a signal. That’s pretty odd, really, for a guitar; the output is normally passive.

Well, it turns out it’s not; this bass has active pickups, meaning, it uses electricity. Which means it has batteries. But there’s no manual, so we didn’t know that. Nor did we know where to look for the batteries. We found them, and we tried to replace them. Standard nine-volt batteries, right? Wrong. It turns out that one brand (Energizer) makes 9-volt batteries which are about a millimeter narrower than the brand we have to hand, and the little hole in the back of the bass is cut to exactly that size; you can’t put the cover back on with different batteries.

That’s annoying.

It would be a lot less annoying if there had been a manual. So, yeah, guitars need manuals.

Peter Seebach

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Comments

  1. Cover doesn't fit? Sounds like a job for a wood chisel to me. It also sounds like bad design if it is sensitive to tiny little variations from battery size spec.

    And active pickups suck. The batteries WILL go dead exactly when you need them.

    As to the manual, the design should be so simple that a manual is not necessary to change the battery. There is only so much volume in a bass body for the battery to hide. It should be immediately accessible under the back plate.

    With a design as bad as Jessie's, do you think a manualput out by those guys would be any use at all?

    — seebs_lawyer · 2003-12-15 20:39 · #

 
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