A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

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Mark Swanson
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A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

I thought I'd post a few photos...summer is here and I am a little late in posting this one. I built it in the spring to play this summer and I'm getting a lot of time gigging with this guitar. I've played a lot of telecaster the last few years and now it's time for some strat action!
I built this strat to match my telecaster, so it's made from the same wood. The mahogany body has a figured top and tortise shell binding. I used a set-in neck with a PRS-type of neck joint. I cut away as much as I could behind the neck joint to allow good access up high. The body has some chambering but nowhere as much as the telecaster I built does, so it is heavier but I don't mind.
I have installed a Supervee Blade Runner vibrato bridge, and it is really one great bridge. This guitar stays in tune really well, I can wang on that baby and it always comes back in tune!
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  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

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Mark Swanson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

A few more pics for you....
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The cutaway neck joint...
The cutaway neck joint...
I don't need no stinkin' cover!
I don't need no stinkin' cover!
IMG_0114.JPG
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Mark Swanson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

A word about the electronics. The pickups were made by my friend and electronics wiz Vlad Ardelean. Vlad, who designed a lot of the preamps in the MIMF Library, worked with me on the electronics here too. He designed an active preamp, and also an active tone control. I usually don't like tone controls, but this one is great and is very different from the standard tone control, it works by altering the resonant frequency of the pickup. It does not get muddy when turned to the bassy side, and it's almost like a wha wha pedal on the tone knob.
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Mark Swanson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

This is my "Dragon" strat...this Dragon is all mother of pearl, and I had some help with this design from Forum member and great artist Dan Sharp, who designed our logo, the MIMF T-shirts that we ran out of, and also did great work on the outer space inlay on the last MIMF Bass. Thank you Dan!
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The Blade Runner bridge and the pickups
The Blade Runner bridge and the pickups
IMG_0118.JPG
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Mark Swanson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

And a pic of the guitar in action!
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Charlie Schultz
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Charlie Schultz »

Awesome!

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Hans Bezemer
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Hans Bezemer »

That's a very nice guitar!
What kind of finish did you use?

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Mark Swanson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

Thanks! It's a shellac basecoat with Nitro Lacquer.
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Mike Sandor
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mike Sandor »

Had to look considering you just posted the 12 fret. Once again, very nice. What is going on with the zero fret nut? Looks pretty interesting.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

Nothing much fancy, it's simply a zero fret. The nut(s) are 3/16 brass rod, slotted for each string. I just always wanted to try that! This way if I blow one nut slot all I have to replace is that one piece!
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Rodger Knox
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Rodger Knox »

Very nice, Mr. Swanson! Glad to hear Vlad is still around.
Any chance of getting a schematic of the electronics?
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon

Jason Rodgers
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Jason Rodgers »

There it is! Right on! Some cool things going on that push it beyond typical Stratishness: neck joint, huge belly scoop (not implying anything!), French-style "nut" behind the zero. Cool!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Douglas Ingram
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Douglas Ingram »

I can hear you playing "I can't get no Strat-isfaction"!
I may be crazy...but I'm not insane.

Arnt Rian
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Arnt Rian »

What a beauty, Mark! Lately I've been playing more electric than for years, seeing this makes me think I should build me one, too...Thanks for the inspiration!

So, how do you explain the guitar your singer is playing?!!

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Mark Swanson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Mark Swanson »

Thanks Arnt! Hey, I get a lot of grief about that! I built Ken two acoustic guitars and they are nice...but he likes the electronics in that Ovation, he's used to it, and he always tells me that my acoustic guitars are too nice for the gigs we play! I just can't win! <G>
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Dave Anderson
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Dave Anderson »

I really like this one Mark, the neck joint and dragon inlay stand out for me ... Great job !

Jamie Unden
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Jamie Unden »

Great job Mark! I second posting the schematic, and I love the six piece nut.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Yea, Nice!!
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

G. M. Seigmund
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by G. M. Seigmund »

Nice guitar, more impressive is your out playing it live. I played in several bands into my 30's and have had quite a break. My youngest daughter (she's 13) can sing like an angel and its been a lot of fun getting out in the community with her.

Robert Smallwood
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Re: A Stratocaster-inspired guitar from Mark Swanson

Post by Robert Smallwood »

It's inspiring.

Are the brass rod nut pieces pressed in or glued with a dob of anything?

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