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  1. #1
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    Default Building a guitar......

    Is it as easy as ordering your parts and just screwing it all together or is there craftmanship required?

    If you're getting bodies and necks from different places how do you know they're going to fit together?

    How do you know if the body is going to be routed correctly for the trem you want?

    Can you get a quality guitar for considerable saving on the cost of buying a pre-assembled brand one?

  2. #2
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Default Building a guitar......

    BC youíve never built a guitar before? Iím surprised.

    I mean yeah itís pretty much as simple as buying the parts and screwing them all together. Youíll probably have to do some easy drilling of holes too. You also have to be able to set up your guitar or else youíll have to take it to a pro and that will cost a bit of money, but most of us have figured out how to set up our guitars pretty easily. I have never needed to take mine to be set up.

    I just always buy my body and necks from the same place so I know theyíll fit, and you can choose the routing you want for the trem before you buy. All that stuff is done for you man. But most of the time the sizes are pretty standard so youíll be able to fit bodies and necks together even if they arenít from the same place.

    If you know what you like to play and how you want to sound then yeah itís a good route to go because it does save money and you get what you want. And absolutely you do get a quality product if you buy from a good place.

    Of course I say that and I just bought a brand new guitar last week for the first time in years. Haha.
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  4. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlofeldsCat View Post
    If you're getting bodies and necks from different places how do you know they're going to fit together?

    How do you know if the body is going to be routed correctly for the trem you want?
    Sometimes you have to shave the pocket to get the neck to fit. Maybe the neck finish is to thick or the neck pocket is to small.

    Also, it sucks when you have tremolo bushes or post holes that donít align with the neck pocket. Your only solution is to hack the neck pocket and it not only looks bad, you lose tone.

    The last few bodies that I bought, I bought without having the bushes or post holes drilled. I drilled them after attaching the neck in mock-up.

    Direct mounting pickups is always fun. A small trim router is your best friend unless you have to add wood.

    Donít expect your first guitar to be perfect. If youíre cool with that itís fun and a great learning experience.

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    Baluchitherium Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Default Building a guitar......

    Most partscasters are Fender style, and this neck pockets and such are built to Fender spec. Youíll have no problem mating a Warmoth/Fender/Musikraft/KNE/Locke/etc body. There are little things to look out for like differences between Strat and Tele neck heels (you can put a Strat neck on a Tele, but you canít always put a Tele neck on a Strat.

    Like Brett said - as long as you get the setup right you can get a hell of a value out of building a guitar. My two main Super Strats are partscasters that cost less than $1k each. But with high end pickups, stainless frets, exotic neck woods, and Floyds the only thing comparable might be a Suhr - and those are like 2.5x the price!

    Here are some Partscasters Iíve put together...












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  7. #5
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    Default

    Yeah, I've never built my own – too scared it would go wrong as Lad mentioned. TBH I've always felt stupid, like the kid who's too afraid to jump in the pool whilst everyone else has fun, but didn't want to risk burning hundreds of pounds. I'm also short on patience when it comes to learning things I'm not naturally drawn to, like routing differences and screw placement, and struggle to focus and take it all in. It's the same reason why I'm also a recording neophyte.

    I've had a quick scan over at Warmouth and BYO. BYO's Lunatic option (EVH Kramer clone) is very, very cheap. $184 for a mahogany body and every other part required to build a guitar Sure, the rest of the materials are probably naff and you can upgrade them at extra cost but $184 still gets you a solid slab of mahogany whereas Warmouth are wanting $220 for a body alone – and they charge extra for all your routing and contouring options - and up to $550 for a ready-to-ship body. So why the disparity in price?

    Even just concocting my own from scratch from Warmouth – without paying for a pre-made body – I'm already $300+ in the hole for a body and I've still got the rest to buy. Contrast this to your average off-the-shelf Charvel San Dimas and it's not looking cost effective. Part of me says the Lunatic is too cheap to be any good but on the other hand, wood is wood and maybe Warmouth are trading off their rep so already, right at the start, I'm worried about making a mistake. I'm also not comfortable buying an unpainted guitar because as much as I'm drawn to self-expression like all Eddie fans, I wouldn't trust myself to run with scissors let alone paint a pro finish.


    BYO Lunatic
    http://www.byoguitar.com/Guitars/Ele...O-Lunatic.aspx


    Warmouth Soloist (BYO)
    http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Bodies...r.aspx?style=8


    Warmouth Soloist ready-made
    http://www.warmoth.com/Pages/Classic...?Body=2&Type=8
    Last edited by BlofeldsCat; 02.10.19 at 04:58 AM.

  8. #6
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    Default

    Jedi, it's your latest Partscaster thread that got me interested again. Your guitars look great but it's your explanation of how and why you made your choices that threw me off and I slipped away again.

    Brett says if you know what you like to play it's easy but I still can't decide as I like a variety of superstrats - Charvels, Hamers, Ibanez and TBH, I don't even know the answer on some options. Do I want wood-mounted PU? Yeah, I guess so, for no other reason than they look cool. Angled headstock? Uhhh, dunn0. 12" Ibanez radius or 16" Jackson? Pass. What Floyd? Any decent one I can get hold of, from an OFR to Gotoh to FRT-1000 to Ping so no I can't answer Warmouth's questions on what type of trem routing I want. Contours and cutaways? Dunno. Side jack options? Don't care but am I missing something in not caring? Mounting holes? Never gave them a thought. Radius? Again, pass, I've played various-sized superstrats. And just how big do I want my jumbo frets, string nut, tuner holes and what type of tuning pegs? I've never cared for such anal-issues. I want the Hamer upside down side jack but no one seems to sell them or offer the routing options. Hell, ,I can't even tell you if I want a finished neck let alone what type of finish!

    It seems Warmouth only have Strat, Tele and pseudo-Jackson necks so where did you get your Kramer neck and how did you know it would fit? What if I want a neck I've seen on eBay but don't know the manufacturer? Plus Warmouth's Jacksons come with this annoying pointy bit on the underside for some reason. I guess it's easy enough to shave down but a) I don't have a wood plane and b) I'd probably hack the headstock up.

    So you can see how lost I am and how off-putting it is. Another thing that is confusing, most Warmouth-based guitars tend to have no name on the headstock yet I've seen a video where the guy gets a mean-looking all-black Strat headstock with the Fender logo so not sure what happened there but I know I'd love a HM Strat logo neck.

    Ultimately I'd like a Soloist Superstrat but would be happy with an EVH San Dimas to start with if it's easier and the BYO with OFR and SD pickups is coming in at a completed cost of just a Warmouth body!

    Maybe building and painting your own is really easy but I'm not ready to drop $1000 to find out if I'm right or not.


    PS: how good would you rate your EVH Wolfgang compared to the official product?
    Last edited by BlofeldsCat; 02.10.19 at 05:03 AM.

  9. #7
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    09.23.19 @ 06:26 AM
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    Default Building a guitar......

    Dude if you canít make a decision on any of those things then yes I mean maybe building a guitar is not for you. You need to know a little bit what you like to play and just buy those parts. You have to be willing to invest a little bit to learn. At some point if you want to do this youíre gonna have to just jump in with a little faith. Itís not the hardest thing in the world to do you just have to take your time. If you lose patience and you rush then yeah youíre gonna fuck it up.

    Those cheap kids come with cheap hardware and lower grade woods. Actually if youíre so worried about spending the money maybe itís worth it to buy one just so you can see if you can really build it and then you can get a nicer stuff next time. Warmoth makes high-end parts with great quality thatís why itís expensive. Plus they are licensed by Fender so they can make Strat necks, etc. I had a Warmoth body with a KNE neck and had no fitment issue. It was a beautiful guitar. I sold it because I just didnít play it enough.

    I bought this body from Warmoth, I had all the holes and everything pre-drilled by them. I got a neck I really like from KNE. He drilled standard Strat holes and and I just slapped them together and put all the parts on. Yes I had to drill holes for the tuning pegs, retainer bar, and for the strap buttons, but that isnít very hard. And some guitars Iíve drilled holes for volume pots.

    And this was the first guitar I built for myself back in 2006 or so and had no issues. After that I felt I could handle doing the striped stuff and Iíve yet to fuck one of those up either.




    I was bored with one of my Partscasters recently and just decided to turn it into Dave Murray-inspired Strat. It was really easy.
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  11. #8
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    I am just starting to get into it, so I bought the cheapest kit I could find. If it works out and I like building it, I will venture onto more expensive pieces. If not, no big investment lost.

    It's not like I plan on building a gig worthy piece right out of the gate. Walk before you can run.
    If I don't respond to you it means I have you on ignore, which means you are a douchenozzle.

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  13. #9
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Default

    If you take your time you can build a gig-worthy instrument out of the gate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    If you take your time you can build a gig-worthy instrument out of the gate.
    I'm assuming I am going to mess something up, if I don't, great.
    If I don't respond to you it means I have you on ignore, which means you are a douchenozzle.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    A man's rights rests in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

  16. #11
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    Default

    I play bass but the principles still apply. If your looking to build a GTR/bass buying every separate part is not very economical. You’re talking finished body, neck, bridge and tuners, pups, etc. Now, if you have some parts leftover and want a project, which I’ve done, that’s a different story. But you can buy a quality instrument on eBay type websites for next to nothing. I’m talking Fenders and other similar brands for $300 and less if you are extremely resourceful. I bought a Squier Jazz for $100 that plays like a dream. You would pay more for just a raw unfinished body unless you have a hook up.

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    Baluchitherium Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Default

    First things first, I'm going to echo what Brett said - If you're unsure of what you want then putting together a guitar may not be the right for you. At least not now. You've got to know what specs you want in order to build something you're going to be pleased with.

    Likewise, building a guitar may not be for you if what you want is already available at a decent price point. If the off-the-shelf San Dimas fits your needs and price point then you're probably better off buying one of those, as it's less headaches, it'll have a warranty, and it'll have resale value (partscasters don't).

    Now to address some of your questions/points:

    Stuff like mounting your pickup to the body vs. a pickguard is a bit trivial. You can make an aesthetic choice on that. But, radius, neck profile, scale length, fret size, neck finish - you've got to have your mind made up on those and be confident you're going to enjoy the specs you order. As for Floyds - the FRT-1000s are great, built of the same metals as the OFRs. It's what would be stock on a San Dimas or an EVH.

    I got my Kramer neck from Musikraft. I knew it would fit because they use Fender spec, as did the body I mated it to.

    The Wolfgang - that one is an EVH Standard I modified with a 5-way switch. It just happens to be in the first pic I found of the Jazzmaster I built.

    If what you want isn't readily available and you're sure of the specs you want (reference your favorite feeling guitars), then go for the partscaster. I'd stay away from BYO kits though, they look super cheap in terms of quality.

  18. #13
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    Default Building a guitar......

    Yeah like Jedi said, resale value is another thing to consider. If youíre building a guitar that you may want to sell later, just know the resale values are pretty low on these things. You really have to just be building them for yourself. I did actually get a lot of money for that Warmoth guitar however. But Warmoth is a pretty well-respected product of high quality.
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  19. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    You need to know a little bit what you like to play and just buy those parts. You have to be willing to invest a little bit to learn. At some point if you want to do this you’re gonna have to just jump in with a little faith.
    I hear ya. Guess I just got overwhelmed with the choices of what I *do* know about as well as the bots that I don't. I reckon I can just pick pretty much any input jack, jumbo frets and tuners and quickly get advice on the rest. Still not convinced about painting a guitar or of cobbling parts from various sources as unsure what I'm looking for to make sure they fit together.

    I just don't wanna spend a good wedge on a cheapo if it's shit. Would rather take the chance on a Warmy.


    Those cheap kids come with cheap hardware and lower grade woods.
    an you get various grades of the same wood - of mahogany, alder, maple? Good to know Warmouth are high-end, though. What's KNE?


    I bought this body from Warmoth, I had all the holes and everything pre-drilled by them. I got a neck I really like from KNE. He drilled standard Strat holes and and I just slapped them together and put all the parts on. Yes I had to drill holes for the tuning pegs, retainer bar, and for the strap buttons, but that isn’t very hard. And some guitars I’ve drilled holes for volume pots.
    If it really isn't hard and all you need is a drill - which is one DIY tool I do have - then I'm ready to give it a shot. You only live once. That guitar looks great. Love the flame finish - I'm guessing that was factory done not yourself? How was the quality and if you can, what would it retail for if sold by Ibanez/Jackon/Charvel (Jap or Mexico-made)?

    Any reason why the headstock is blank and without the Fender logo as I've seen others have?


    I was bored with one of my Partscasters recently and just decided to turn it into Dave Murray-inspired Strat. It was really easy.
    Looks great. See the jack? I want that on the side but inverted. Is that possible to get that routed by the company?


    So let this thread be the start of education so anyone wanna dive in with answers to my above questions, or the ins and outs of trem block post drilling, or whether you need specific tuning pegs for a FR, then go ahead please.

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    You guys posted as I was typing my above response so a bit of overlap.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi McFly View Post
    First things first, I'm going to echo what Brett said - If you're unsure of what you want then putting together a guitar may not be the right for you. At least not now. You've got to know what specs you want in order to build something you're going to be pleased with.
    I'm calming down spec-wise, just got a bit flustered. I'm happy with Jackson/Ibanez necks and radiuses as assume much of the rest is much of a muchness - like how jumbo are the jumbo frets and the tuning pegs? Looking at the Warmouth positioning of the volujme knob on the Soloist, it's too close to the HB for me so I suppose I could just request a tone knob hole and make that teh volume pot.


    Likewise, building a guitar may not be for you if what you want is already available at a decent price point. If the off-the-shelf San Dimas fits your needs and price point then you're probably better off buying one of those, as it's less headaches, it'll have a warranty, and it'll have resale value (partscasters don't).
    Very good point but I want something unique. I love my Ibanez but kinda peeved they dominate the market so much and all the guitars I grew up with and want are out of my price range by several thousand dollars.


    [quote] order. As for Floyds - the FRT-1000s are great, built of the same metals as the OFRs. It's what would be stock on a San Dimas or an EVH.

    I got my Kramer neck from Musikraft. I knew it would fit because they use Fender spec, as did the body I mated it to.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brett
    Yeah like Jedi said, resale value is another thing to consider. If you’re building a guitar that you may want to sell later, just know the resale values are pretty low on these things. You really have to just be building them for yourself. I did actually get a lot of money for that Warmoth guitar however. But Warmoth is a pretty well-respected product of high quality.
    I hear ya but resale won't be an issue. It'll be for keeps should I take the plunge.

 

 

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