Number Six is on its way.

13

Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member
    Thanks Nick! To be honest, I was too focused on the detail aspect, and not considering the broader picture re the natural tone of the guitar, and what would suit it. Perhaps trying to turn it into a jazz archtop, instead of letting it excel at being a 335 type semi acoustic. I think with a good guitar, and good pickups, there will always be a reasonable amount of detail/string separation etc. - yes, for some guitars, it's appropriate to emphasize those aspects, but not always.

    In the end, I feel now I've got a guitar that does the "Larry Carlton" pretty well, which I'm more than happy with - it has some vintage character, nice power and cut from the bridge for those smooth over-driven leads, the neck pickup is sweet for chordal and jazzy stuff, and the middle position actually has quite a chime-like quality and I can use that instead of a coil tap on the neck pickup. A good, simple setup. :)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member
    Just to add, the first pickup set I got from Ben Fletcher, for the ridiculous price of £50 for both, was an alnico 2 7K neck and alnico 4 10.5K bridge (the bobbins have about as much wire on as is possible), both installed in one of my Shine 510 guitars, and those are fabulous. I do have the bridge p'up a tad closer to the strings, but like that it has plenty of oomph, and sounds terrific - fat and strident, and lovely for lead work.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Megi said:

    Thanks Nick! To be honest, I was too focused on the detail aspect, and not considering the broader picture re the natural tone of the guitar, and what would suit it. Perhaps trying to turn it into a jazz archtop, instead of letting it excel at being a 335 type semi acoustic. I think with a good guitar, and good pickups, there will always be a reasonable amount of detail/string separation etc. - yes, for some guitars, it's appropriate to emphasize those aspects, but not always.

    In the end, I feel now I've got a guitar that does the "Larry Carlton" pretty well, which I'm more than happy with - it has some vintage character, nice power and cut from the bridge for those smooth over-driven leads, the neck pickup is sweet for chordal and jazzy stuff, and the middle position actually has quite a chime-like quality and I can use that instead of a coil tap on the neck pickup. A good, simple setup. :)

    I’m sure you could easily have an identical guitar with different pickups and find room for them both in a collection. Having a Larry Carlton axe would be very useful and versatile though. A chimey middle position sounds like a nice thing. Sometimes middle can be a bit muddy with humbuckers, to me. I bet you’re happy :)
    Megi said:

    Just to add, the first pickup set I got from Ben Fletcher, for the ridiculous price of £50 for both, was an alnico 2 7K neck and alnico 4 10.5K bridge (the bobbins have about as much wire on as is possible), both installed in one of my Shine 510 guitars, and those are fabulous. I do have the bridge p'up a tad closer to the strings, but like that it has plenty of oomph, and sounds terrific - fat and strident, and lovely for lead work.

    With that description, I bet they are amazing. I love Alnico IVs, and a II in the neck would be sweet. I’ll come over for coffee sometime and give it a spin :joy:

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member
    You will be very welcome Nick! :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Megi said:

    You will be very welcome Nick! :)

    :smiley:
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    edited August 23
    IMG_9081

    Number 6 has a new scratchplate!

    These are Tonerider City Limits. I got them from eBay for a mere £45.
    So then I had to get a scratchplate and found this rather green mint guard. I think it looks alright. I'm very happy with it!
    For the wiring, I went with something I hadn't done before. I usually like a strat to have the neck and bridge sound and don't use the middle pickup on its own. I had seen the Nashville wiring before so thought this would be a good opportunity to try it.

    I put a four way selector in to give these options:
    1. bridge
    2. both in series
    3. both in parallel
    4. neck.
    The middle tone knob dials in the middle pickup and the tone works on all three.

    Wow, I just LOVE this combination. Position 3 is really fat, and with the tone rolled off and the middle pickup dialed in it goes HUGE! Just fat, sludgy and nasty. Makes me wish I had a Fuzz face!

    The other sounds are beautiful. Just gorgeous. Nothing is too thin, the bridge pickup is good and raunchy without piercing eardrums and the neck has the right amount of plumminess. Lovely lovely! Dialing in the middle pickup to taste is a fun thing to do. I thought it might be a bit awkward but it works so well.
    All in all, I'm super happy with this new guard.

    Next up, I'm going to fit some thread inserts and bolts to the neck so I don't worry about weakening the joint everytime I switch pickguards :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    By the way, the specs for the pickups:

    CITY LIMITS NECK
    Magnets Alnico 5 Rod
    DCR 6.0k
    Inductance 2.55H


    CITY LIMITS MIDDLE
    Magnets Alnico 5 Rod
    DCR 6.1k
    Inductance 2.6H


    CITY LIMITS BRIDGE
    Magnets Alnico 5 (E-A-D)
    Alnico 2 (G-B-e)
    DCR 8.9k
    Inductance 3.8H

    They all have push back cloth wire too. Love it!

    No wonder the bridge sounds so good - 8.9k and A2 mags on the high strings. I have a Tele bridge pickup with magnets in that configuration and it works so well.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member
    Some lovely work you've done on that guitar Nick - close fit of pickguard around the bridge, pickups line up perfectly, pickguard sits aesthetically against the body, string alignment with the neck is spot on. I know from experience the time and care and attention needed for such results. You get the Megi seal of approval, and admiration there for sure. :)

    Your pickup scheme is very interesting, and you are making me think of ideas for my own tele build, which has a middle strat type pickup (basically a "Nashville Tele" - at the moment it has a scheme which works OK, but is just too complicated and clever for me to actually remember how to use. I do like the idea of a switch (or blend) to bring in the middle pickup. And top score with those City Limits pickups, bargain-tastic there. I have some pretty beefy wound alnico 2's in my walnut strat, and they are lovely.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,952Member, Moderator
    Looks gorgeous. Fancy trying that wiring set up for mine. Can you post a link to the wiring?
    Now where have I seen a pick guard that shape before? Oh, I remember.
    image
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Thanks Graham. I feel honoured to be a seal recipient :) You're' right, all the details make such a difference. At the very least it stops me looking at the guitar while playing, thinking "cor, I botched that up, didn't I?" and promptly forget what key I'm in.

    Having a blend knob had it's challenges. I had to move the input on the volume and blend from the left lug to the middle lug to make them work properly and not turn down other things inadvertently. If you ever wire up a blend knob and it just works WEIRD, that's the problem.
    I'm quite shocked at how versatile this wiring is, really. All the strat settings you've come to know and love and a couple of extras.

    Are those ToneRiders you have in the Walnut Strat, Megi? Still, A2s are rather nice. Have you ever tried A3 single coils?
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Jocko said:

    Looks gorgeous. Fancy trying that wiring set up for mine. Can you post a link to the wiring?
    Now where have I seen a pick guard that shape before? Oh, I remember.
    [see above for image!]

    Whoa, WHAT is THAT thing of beauty?

    Yea sure, I'll dig up the diagram when I get home.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,952Member, Moderator


    Whoa, WHAT is THAT thing of beauty?

    It is a Mahogany/Sapele Strat I built just over 4 years ago. I made the scratch plate as a nod towards the previous incarnation I sacrificed for parts. It needs electrics, as it still has only Squier Strat electrics installed.
    Originally it was this very much modified Stagg.
    image

  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Very nice :) so it's a modded strat? The body in the case looks a little different to the body in the top picture.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member

    Thanks Graham. I feel honoured to be a seal recipient :) You're' right, all the details make such a difference. At the very least it stops me looking at the guitar while playing, thinking "cor, I botched that up, didn't I?" and promptly forget what key I'm in.

    Having a blend knob had it's challenges. I had to move the input on the volume and blend from the left lug to the middle lug to make them work properly and not turn down other things inadvertently. If you ever wire up a blend knob and it just works WEIRD, that's the problem.
    I'm quite shocked at how versatile this wiring is, really. All the strat settings you've come to know and love and a couple of extras.

    Are those ToneRiders you have in the Walnut Strat, Megi? Still, A2s are rather nice. Have you ever tried A3 single coils?

    The pickups in the walnut strat are Chris Hernandez aka Wound4Sound, ordered from the States, and made to spec. They are something like 7.3K neck, 7.5K middle and 8.5K bridge, but I had him tap the coils at more vintage levels - 5.6K to 6.4K IIRC, and there's a switch to flip between vintage and hot modes. Strangely, I generally prefer the hot setting, it never seems OTT, and the vintage is just a bit lighter and brighter, but the difference is more subtle than you'd imagine.

    There's master volume, master tone, and a blend that allows me to get the other two pickup combinations i.e. neck + bridge, and all 3. I don't seem to use those much though, but nice to have the option I suppose. Anyhow, strat-build picture wars! :D

    image
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Cor.... I just love walnut! I have it on a couple of guitars, and it's such a beautiful wood.

    Ben Fletcher made me a tele bridge (oh I mentioned it above!) with coil tap, and going from 9k to 7k is sooooo subtle. I'm not sure when I hear it more, but it might be on chords versus single notes. Nice to have, anyway. What would be cool is a humbucker that coil taps between 7.5k and 10k. Now that really would be vintage to modern!

    I guess I need more pics for the War..
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,301Member
    Love the look of the guitar Nick.

    I also really like the idea of that bridge pickup - Alnico 2 for the higher strings seems to be a good plan to tame the way that Strat bridge sound can edge into piercing. :smile:

    But I'm an Alnico 2 worshipper, so I'm biased.
    All my Strat single coils, Hagstrom Viking Deluxe 'buckers and PR SE P90 pickups are A2.
    Chris Hernandez, Duncan-Lover, and Toneriders respectively.


  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,952Member, Moderator

    Very nice :) so it's a modded strat? The body in the case looks a little different to the body in the top picture.

    That guitar was originally a Stagg M350. When I bought it the neck was twisted so I bought a Strat neck, tuners, and fitted Squier Strat pick ups.
    3 years later I decided to build a Mahogany bodied Strat, and to cut the cost I stripped the Stagg for the new parts I had fitted. I passed on the body and pickguard to another builder.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    edited August 25
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Mark P said:

    Love the look of the guitar Nick.

    I also really like the idea of that bridge pickup - Alnico 2 for the higher strings seems to be a good plan to tame the way that Strat bridge sound can edge into piercing. :smile:

    But I'm an Alnico 2 worshipper, so I'm biased.
    All my Strat single coils, Hagstrom Viking Deluxe 'buckers and PR SE P90 pickups are A2.
    Chris Hernandez, Duncan-Lover, and Toneriders respectively.


    Thanks Mark. I might just have to get more A2 singles. It's a mission! Actually, I put an A2 and an A5 in one P90 to round off the brightness but keep the attack. Lovely!
    Jocko said:

    Very nice :) so it's a modded strat? The body in the case looks a little different to the body in the top picture.

    That guitar was originally a Stagg M350. When I bought it the neck was twisted so I bought a Strat neck, tuners, and fitted Squier Strat pick ups.
    3 years later I decided to build a Mahogany bodied Strat, and to cut the cost I stripped the Stagg for the new parts I had fitted. I passed on the body and pickguard to another builder.
    Ah, gotcha. Gotta love Frankenstein guitars :)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member

    wiring diagram 4+blender

    Cheers Chris - I honestly think I may do something fairly similar for my tele - the control plate is drilled for two pots, pickup selecter and extra mini switch, so I'm thinking could I replace the blend with a simple on/off mini-switch for the middle pickup. But I could drill the hole wider to take a 3rd pot for the blend - might be a bit conjested, but I have seen teles like that, and they look OK, and probably not to bad to operate. Also not sure if I'd use the series neck+bridge, and I have a spare CRL 3-way switch, so I might just keep things simple there also. But thanks for the inspiration! :)

  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member

    Who?

    Why did I call you Chris? I have no idea, but I am so sorry Nick.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Haha it’s all good. I get that a lot, for some reason. No worries!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member

    Haha it’s all good. I get that a lot, for some reason. No worries!

    Very decent of you - I think not the first time I'd done this, so I can imagine how annoying it must have been, especially after you'd gone to the trouble of posting the wiring diagram. :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    It took several hours of intense therapy and a large bottle of scotch, but I’m over it.
    Kind of.

    Ok I’m over it :joy:
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,063Member

    ...and a large bottle of scotch...

    A nice single malt I hope :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Megi said:

    ...and a large bottle of scotch...

    A nice single malt I hope :)
    Oh of course :)

    I don’t know if I I mentioned his before, but the finish on this guitar didn’t quite cure. About a year later and it’s still soft. If I wear a shirt with a print on it, it sticks to the guitar. Stands and my jeans also leave marks. No idea why. I was careful with temperatures while spraying, so I think it might have been not shaking the can enough. I dunno. Frustrating.
    So, the finish had to go.
    Sandpaper wouldn’t work as the finish was still soft. So I got some paint stripper (evil, evil stuff) and got most of it off. Soaking it in bleach actually softened what was left. I then sanded it with 60 grit and just have to finish sand it before I can start staining again.
    Good times! I’m actually thinking this will be the last time I ever finish a guitar, certainly the last time I strip one down. Not fun....

    Anyway, this next finish will be water stain, again, but artists acrylic paint on the top to make it opaque and wipe on poly for a clear coat.
    Wish me luck ... more news as it happens!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,952Member, Moderator
    Have you ever considered a natural finish, using Tru-oil? Perhaps not for one that has been sanded (!) but great on a fresh body.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Ive used tung oil on a mahogany body and loved it. That’s a great idea. But this is a basswood (not that pretty) body and now it’s a bit messed up. I can’t get all the stain out so I’ll have to stain the back dark brown again, I’m afraid. The top will be painted white with artists acrylic and sanded smooth before wiping on the polyurethane. Its the only way I can think of doing an opaque white with water based materials. I have a water based white stain but it won’t go opaque, no matter how many coats I apply.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    I would actually like to get an ash body for a tele build I have in mind. That could do with a tru-oil finish. Great plan - thanks Jocko!
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