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  1. #1
    Little Dreamer
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    07.17.10 @ 05:17 AM
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    Default Question for AT or any of the builders here...

    I'm a newbie, looking to build my own "SuperStrat" using parts from Warmoth, in the following configuration:

    - Charvel CS Strat style body (not a Soloist style)
    - Birdseye Maple Neck w/ asymmetrical profile (9.5" or 10.5" radius)
    - Strat Headstock
    - Bridge PUP (DiMarzio Tone Zone; nearest I can find to my EBMM Axis)
    - Neck PUP (DiMarzio Fast Track II; love the sound of this in my Neal Schon LP)
    - 500K Ohm Volume Pot (no Tone knob...never use it...)
    - 3 Way Toggle
    - Non-Recessed Original Floyd Rose
    - Schaller Tuners

    I've got a few questions:

    1. A lot of the Charvel CS bodies seem to be made of Alder...I have no experience with this wood...any one know how it compares tone wise to the basswood/maple cap combo in an Axis or Wolfgang. I know it can depend on the pickups being used, but was just wondered if its "dark" sounding... If not Alder, what would your recommend?

    2. I'm planning on giving the body a red and white checkerboard finish. I'd like it to have a "relic'd" look, but have it get there the old fashioned way, by playing the crap out of it...and not sealing the paint. Is this a bad idea? What spray paint would you recommend?

    Thanks for your help; any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated!

    Brandon
    www.tunecore.com/music/brandonkeirns

    The most important pieces of musical gear are the ones you can't buy; your hands, your head, and your heart.

    I can't "think" my way to a great riff, I can only "feel" it when I hear it...

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    1. A lot of the Charvel CS bodies seem to be made of Alder...I have no experience with this wood...any one know how it compares tone wise to the basswood/maple cap combo in an Axis or Wolfgang. I know it can depend on the pickups being used, but was just wondered if its "dark" sounding... If not Alder, what would your recommend?
    I have used Alder for custom guitars. I can tell you, it is some of the nastiest wood I have ever worked with -- but you don't have to worry because Warmoth will be doing that for you. Alder is heavier than basswood and maple, and I can only describe the tone of it as 'duller' or 'more vintage'. It is not a bad sounding wood, but it lacks some of the the punch of maple, and the warmth and sustain of basswood.

    If you already want to use a tone zone, I'd use basswood with a 1/8" maple cap. That is what wood the pickup was designed to be used with (it has less highs and more mids and lows to compensate for the bright maple cap and basswood combo).


    2. I'm planning on giving the body a red and white checkerboard finish. I'd like it to have a "relic'd" look, but have it get there the old fashioned way, by playing the crap out of it...and not sealing the paint. Is this a bad idea? What spray paint would you recommend?
    If you are going for the 'crappy and beat up' frankenstrat look, Duplicolor is great stuff. It is extremely good paint, it is cheap, but it will wear pretty easily if you want it to and look similar to Ed's striped guitars.

    Krylon, as I learned the hard way, and also rustoleum to an extent are very soft paints when dry, which is never good for tone. Duplicolor seems to be much harder.

  3. #3
    Forum Frontman
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilttop1 View Post
    I'm a newbie, looking to build my own "SuperStrat" using parts from Warmoth, in the following configuration:

    - Charvel CS Strat style body (not a Soloist style)
    - Birdseye Maple Neck w/ asymmetrical profile (9.5" or 10.5" radius)
    - Strat Headstock
    - Bridge PUP (DiMarzio Tone Zone; nearest I can find to my EBMM Axis)
    - Neck PUP (DiMarzio Fast Track II; love the sound of this in my Neal Schon LP)
    - 500K Ohm Volume Pot (no Tone knob...never use it...)
    - 3 Way Toggle
    - Non-Recessed Original Floyd Rose
    - Schaller Tuners

    I've got a few questions:

    1. A lot of the Charvel CS bodies seem to be made of Alder...I have no experience with this wood...any one know how it compares tone wise to the basswood/maple cap combo in an Axis or Wolfgang. I know it can depend on the pickups being used, but was just wondered if its "dark" sounding... If not Alder, what would your recommend?

    2. I'm planning on giving the body a red and white checkerboard finish. I'd like it to have a "relic'd" look, but have it get there the old fashioned way, by playing the crap out of it...and not sealing the paint. Is this a bad idea? What spray paint would you recommend?

    Thanks for your help; any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated!

    Brandon
    Others will have to chime in about the paint, because I'm terrible at those kinds of finishes. (The three projects I started with poly clear coats--all more than a year old now--still sit unfinished.) My guess is most will recommend the same paint used by Fender for the Frankie replicas, which I think is the same stuff that was "Schwinn Bicycle Paint," just marked in its original package. (Just no Krylon.)

    Alder is a good "mid-range" wood--very resonant with most mid and higher frequencies. Most standard Strats are made with Alder. I would not describe it as dark, however. If you want those "holy grail" tones like what we get from the EBMMs or Wolfies or Les Pauls, go with either basswood or mahogany (the latter will be more expensive). It could be argued the maple top on the EBMMs has very little effect on the general basswood tone of the body, as those tops were only 1/8". Warmoth does most of their tops 1/8" also specifically to avoid having the maple change the sound of the tonal wood. The Wolfgangs had thicker maple caps (1/4" on the Special flame tops and 5/8" on the arch top models) which did most definitely color the tone from the solid basswood models. If you like the sound of your EBMM, I recommend basswood.

  4. #4
    Forum Frontman
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    If you are going for the 'crappy and beat up' frankenstrat look, Duplicolor is great stuff. It is extremely good paint, it is cheap, but it will wear pretty easily if you want it to and look similar to Ed's striped guitars.

    Krylon, as I learned the hard way, and also rustoleum to an extent are very soft paints when dry, which is never good for tone. Duplicolor seems to be much harder.
    Yes... that was it! Duplicolor! I believe it was Dino who said that was the "Schwinn Bicycle Paint," just re-branded.

  5. #5
    Little Dreamer
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    Thanks much, guys! I've been interested in "building" one of these for awhile, but just never got around to it, mostly due to intimidation, to be honest... But, I've heard several people say they've had great luck with Warmoth, so from a component (body & neck) standpoint, the hard stuff will be done for me... From what I understand, in many cases, Warmoth has been able to avoid the need for neck shims when they build the body and neck together; so, replacement necks for existing guitar bodies seem to require shims? Sorry for the silly question..still very new to guitar construction.

    I think I will stick with a maple cap on basswood, rather than alder. There's something quite magical about that wood combo with a "Tone Zone" style pup.

    Thanks again!
    www.tunecore.com/music/brandonkeirns

    The most important pieces of musical gear are the ones you can't buy; your hands, your head, and your heart.

    I can't "think" my way to a great riff, I can only "feel" it when I hear it...

  6. #6
    Little Dreamer
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    01.05.12 @ 07:11 PM
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    I have a Yamaha Pacifica 612V, which is a mid-range SSO (Strat Shaped Object) that has an alder body with a 1/4" maple cap. Alder tends to have a bit more midrange than maple, but overall the two woods sound very similar. Basswood can sound a bit thin for clean tones, but smooths out under gain.

    I like alder because I play with alot of clean tones, nothing more gained-out than an 80's Marshall tone-- no Krank and 5150 brutalz for me. The Duncan JB is a wonderful pickup in an alder Strat.

    Basswood tends to be a bit lighter than alder, too. And Northern Ash is heavier than both of them!

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.11.17 @ 07:17 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGD5150 View Post
    Basswood tends to be a bit lighter than alder, too. And Northern Ash is heavier than both of them!
    Yet Basswood is warmer, and tonier.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
    Yet Basswood is warmer, and tonier.
    Last night I was lazily playing my blue flame arch top Wolfgang on the couch with the guitar resting mostly on my stomach while I sat there with horribly bad posture. It was mostly a "strumming chords while watching TV" kind of thing, since the angle makes any other kind of playing nearly impossible. While doing so I remembered one of my favorite things about the Wolfgangs, though. They "hum" like crazy! When this thing is literally resting against my body while I'm strumming very full open chords, it just lets out an incredibly warm resonance. I haven't ever noticed a tone that warm from any of my alder or ash guitars. Basswood gets overlooked sometimes simply because it is a cheaper wood (soft and fast-growing), but, man, it makes guitars sound good!

 

 

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