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  1. #1
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default The AT Custom Red Agathis Strat!

    Here's the write-up I posted on my website and blog on the new custom axe! (There was some discussion in this thread, http://www.vhlinks.com/vbforums/evh-...nd-t46051.html, while I was working on this guitar over the last week-and-a-half or so. And I quoted Ron below!)

    --

    After a long break from completing a custom guitar, my first one of 2009, completed on Monday, January 26, is an "extra parts" project assembled in just a little more than one week.

    For a couple of months I had a set of GFS "VEH" humbucker pickups sitting on my desk and no guitar for which to install them. Realizing I had an entire guitar in parts all around me, I opted to assemble a parts-o-caster for the sole purpose of satisfying my curiosity about the rumored awesomeness of these pickups. Now with every custom project, there is always one or more sticking points that bogs the assembly process down; often parts need extra routing in order to fit together, and sometimes whole pieces need to be abandoned and replaced simply because they won't function together at all. Not the case with this one--it was almost a turnkey project. Parts almost literally dropped in, and the measuring and drilling processes couldn't have been easier. Its greatest setback came when the original neck I'd picked for it, a stunning one-piece flame maple neck I'd bought off eBay last year, split open on the backside when I tightened the truss rod. Another builder responded to the incident by saying: "That's why I don't buy from garage luthiers." (His point was well taken.) I pulled a Mighty Mite hard rock maple neck I had in storage and completed the guitar with it instead. There's a bit of irony in that most of the parts of this guitar are top-notch. Everything, that is, except the body, which is a $30 cheapie I bought off eBay. The "quilt" top is in fact a foto finish (fake), and it was actually a little difficult to identify the type of wood it was made from (at one point I'd been saying poplar). But the thing sounds damn good, actually. In its first day of test-playing I was pretty hard on this guitar--working the Floyd Rose trem hard and generally pushing its limits. The axe did well, and I was indeed quite impressed with the pickups.

    Pictures of this guitar in progress, along with my other guitar projects, can be found in the photos section of my MySpace page: www.myspace.com/andrewthomassolomusic.

    The parts list and photos are below!

    Solid Agathis Body--Transparent Red Finish
    Mighty Mite Maple Strat Neck--22 Frets, 1 5/8" Original Floyd Rose Locking Nut, C-Shape Profile, 9.5"-12" Compound Radius, Medium-Jumbo Frets, Black Inlays, Satin Finish
    GFS VEH Humbucker Bridge & Neck Pickups
    Ping Licensed Floyd Rose Chrome Tremolo Bridge w/ EVH D-Tuna & Oversized Brass Sustain Block
    500K Volume Potentiometer w/ Black Knob
    3-Way Pickup Selector Switch w/ Black Tip
    Warmoth 3-Ply Cream White Pearloid Pickguard
    Switchcraft Jack w/ Chrome Jack Plate
    Gotoh Mini Chrome Tuners
    Chrome Floyd Rose String Retainer Bar
    Chrome Neck Plate
    Chrome Strap Buttons








  2. #2
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    12.11.17 @ 05:18 PM
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    Default

    Quite nice. The photo top looks good. Can you tell us more about the VEH pickups? Also, what is agathis? I'm not familiar with this. How is it tonally? For me, a guitar like this is all I would ever want-a strat body, Floyd, humbuckers and a comfortable neck. How would you compare it to your beloved Wolfgangs? Kind of like comparing apples and organges I guess, but I'm curious what the differences are for playablilty and tone etc.

    I hear you loud and clear on the point about garage luthiers. I bought a kit from someone known on this site and it's still not in playable condition. It's going off to a pro in the hopes of it being saved, I've given up.

  3. #3
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    01.26.13 @ 09:47 AM
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    Default

    nice guitar. and theres nothing like putting one together yourself.

  4. #4
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    04.08.16 @ 04:20 PM
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    AT, nice man! I had a fender photo flame just like this and in the same color and I sold it a few years ago and regretted it. They do sound amazing for what they are. This makes me wish I had it back more. Mine had real nice mids!

  5. #5
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    Nice job AT!
    How do you like the Mighty Mite neck?
    I've been really happy with the ones I've used.
    Reasonable prices as well IMO.


    Quote Originally Posted by vhin04 View Post
    I bought a kit from someone known on this site and it's still not in playable condition.
    Just for the record ... it wasn't me.

  6. #6
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 09:08 AM
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    Exactly what I have been looking to build....nice axe AT. When you want to sell it, I'm buying.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    that's a puuurrrty geetar! Very nice work!

  8. #8
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    06.19.15 @ 04:34 PM
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    Fucking outstanding, AT! Oh, wait a minute...I see you went with the 3-ply pickguard, as opposed to 5-ply, which is apparently all the rage as far as plys go...

    Seriously, where'd you get the body and how do the VEHs sound?
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

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  9. #9
    Eruption
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    07.04.12 @ 08:16 AM
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    That puppy did turn out nice.
    Using quality parts make a world of difference.
    Cant go wrong with a Mighty Mite. Great, simple neck for the price. Everything works and they last forever. I use em all the time also when a Fender type is needed.
    Very cool you used my quote. I feel pretty strongly about the subject.
    Just too much of a crap-shoot.
    Play that sucker till your fingers bleed!
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    www.ronscustomguitars.com

  10. #10
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    07.31.10 @ 09:40 PM
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    looks good..glad you found another neck.

    You gonna sell it now?

  11. #11
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    How do you like the Mighty Mite neck?
    I've been really happy with the ones I've used.
    Reasonable prices as well IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron4406 View Post
    Cant go wrong with a Mighty Mite. Great, simple neck for the price. Everything works and they last forever. I use em all the time also when a Fender type is needed.
    I would agree. I love using mighty might necks on projects/builds, and you cannot beat their quality for that price. On a side note, I took a standard maple MM neck and sanded the finish off of the back, then re-contoured it so it is asymmetrical (very close to an Axis/EVH) just to see how it would feel. All I can say is wow... literally feels and plays like an Axis neck now! Something you guys might want to try.

    And AT, that guitar is freaking great. I love strats that aren't 'real' strats!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vhin04 View Post
    Quite nice. The photo top looks good. Can you tell us more about the VEH pickups? Also, what is agathis? I'm not familiar with this. How is it tonally? For me, a guitar like this is all I would ever want-a strat body, Floyd, humbuckers and a comfortable neck. How would you compare it to your beloved Wolfgangs? Kind of like comparing apples and organges I guess, but I'm curious what the differences are for playablilty and tone etc.

    I hear you loud and clear on the point about garage luthiers. I bought a kit from someone known on this site and it's still not in playable condition. It's going off to a pro in the hopes of it being saved, I've given up.
    The VEH pups are the GFS version on ED's early sound (the bridge pup, at least). I've only played them through my amp in my teaching studio so far, but, yeah, they've got the "wah" of Ed's early sound.

    Agathis is a rainforest pine, I believe. It's a relatively soft and fast-growing wood. It's used on a lot of import guitars that might otherwise be made of mahogany.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post
    Nice job AT!
    How do you like the Mighty Mite neck?
    I've been really happy with the ones I've used.
    Reasonable prices as well IMO.
    Thanks, dude!

    When I first mentioned Mighty Mite a few years ago to some of the old school guitar guys around the music store, they all seriously cautioned against using them. For the price I figured it was worth a try, so I put one on the blue sparkle Strat I built in December '07. It's been great. And I've since used Mighty Mite necks on a few projects and have no complaints. Stability and quality fret work is what I'm after in necks, and to date I haven't had a problem. I also really like the their standard C-shape. (I think the not-so-good MM reputation of the late 70s/early 80s still lingers.) My favorite necks to use, however, are AllParts. Their 12" radius Strat necks are AWESOME! They come unfinished. One coat of Tru-Oil, steel wool, then wax... EXCELLENT!


    Blue Sparkle Ash Strat w/ Mighty Mite neck

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Exactly what I have been looking to build....nice axe AT. When you want to sell it, I'm buying.
    Are you gonna put a pickguard on your double-hum Strat, Brett?

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for the nice comments. This new Strat is the 13th custom guitar I've done. With several of these guitars I've had a lot of help from people HERE at the Links. I'm getting quite confident with the process, but it wasn't long ago I wasn't. So thanks also for helping me build that confidence.


 

 

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