figured top strat

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including "disappearing" errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
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Robert Smallwood
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:33 pm
Location: Merimbula NSW Australia

figured top strat

Post by Robert Smallwood »

HI.

This is my ‘more than I could Chew’-o-caster.

It was almost called the ‘disastercaster’ because lots of things happened - from a loose router bit, a bendy drill bit, moving template , (and more) - but like someone said recently one just gets better at fixing things. Particularly with a high dollar top!! :o)

…and here it is !! looks like a strat – sounds like a strat - everyone’s happy.

The top is figured Qld Maple the body is Qld maple as well.

2 piece maple neck angled headstock & zero fret.

Water dye stained top. Everything finished in U-Beaut (hard) shellac.

Lawrence E45 (I think) pickups, Sperzel tuners,Wilkinson trem (using tremsetter)

Wiring is : volume with push/pull to straight to amp

2 tone controls which both work on all pickups.

One has min roll off for rock playing – with 2nd full on
The second a lot roll off for jazz type playing. (with 1st full on)

But honestly , the most pleasing result is with both tones full on and just rolling off a wee bit of volume.

Thanks to Niki for her arty pics.

Thanks for looking,
Rob.
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Hans Bezemer
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Hans Bezemer »

May I suggest a new name: "The-everything-turned-out-well"-o-caster? ;-)
Great work. I like all the shades of brown, It gives is it a very "woody"-feel.

Bob Francis
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Bob Francis »

Wow! That is awesome but I still like the name "disaster caster".

John Catto
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Re: figured top strat

Post by John Catto »

Really Nice!! took a moment to realise there isn't really a pickguard but rather an outline inlay (maybe not the right word). Those Lawrence pickups are fantastic as well.

Edgar Jessop
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Edgar Jessop »

At what angle is the headstock pitched back?

Robert Smallwood
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Location: Merimbula NSW Australia

Re: figured top strat

Post by Robert Smallwood »

Thanks guys,

Headstock is tilted at 13deg IIRC - whatever my jig is lol.

Chad McCormack
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Chad McCormack »

Really nice work, Robert! I for one really like the looks of a 6 in-line headstock that is angled. No need for string trees, which I always find clumsy and cluttered looking. John's post above has me wondering about that pick guard (or not?) on this guitar. Can you tell us a bit more about that? Again, really nice work!

Jason Rodgers
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Yeah, don't tell us about the mistakes! This looks tight!

Talk more about your electronics:
- So, when you pull the volume up, it sends a raw, full-volume signal straight to the amp, bypassing the tone controls?
- Two tone pots, and they work additively (e.g., the first pot gives you ~50% roll off, and the second 100%)?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Very nice work.
I'm curious about the "No" pickguard, or "Yes" pickguard?
Also curious about the tone controls.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Robert Smallwood
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Location: Merimbula NSW Australia

Re: figured top strat

Post by Robert Smallwood »

..Hi.

no pickguard - John saw it above...silver wire 1.5mm inlayed into the outline.

re the wiring - Jason is right on the push/pull and the other aspect is better expalined here :

http://guitarwiring.blogspot.com.au/201 ... .html#more

I liked the idea and added the push pull - it works as stated, but as I said the configuatioon i end up using is both tones full on and volume rolled off a bit. That sweetens everything and I can pull the vol up (from anyhwere ) for solo & push it down when finished.

At some times I just roll the second tone right off. Ususally one is left full on & the other used for differing degrees of adjustment.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Thanks for the link. There sure are a bazzillion ways to wire a guitar outside of the typical LP and Strat configurations.

I went searching for such wiring/mods and found a couple different versions of the bypass. From the various discussions of a bypass on the various forums, it looks like folks usually go with a no-load tone pot: 1-9 sweeps the cap, then 10 clicks and is wide open. Clearly you have the configuration you want on this machine, but I wonder if you could place a no-load pot on the first tone and get the same effect as the pull on the volume to bypass.

And those are mini-buckers, right? This thing sure is quiet then, huh?

Oh, and the pickguard outline is clever! I thought it was clear lexan and what we were seeing was the unpolished edge.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Leonardo Silva
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Leonardo Silva »

you got staggered tuners?, isn´t that redundant with the headstock angle?

Robert Smallwood
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Robert Smallwood »

...carefully calculated failsafe strategy ..neither a sudden change in neck angle or change in length of the stringpost will affect stringbreak tension over the nut and zero fret. If both happened simultaneously i would be in trouble!! But I reckon the odds of that happening are quite low.

Art Davila
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Art Davila »

I did not see the zero fret. Is that a new thing? I never remember seeing them before but I have seen a few recently. Is there an advantage to using one as opposed to jut a nut?
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Art Davila wrote:I did not see the zero fret. Is that a new thing? I never remember seeing them before but I have seen a few recently. Is there an advantage to using one as opposed to jut a nut?
Forgive me jumping in here, but while it's on my mind, just my own 2 cents. I'm making almost all my electric instruments with zero frets now.

Advantages:
-Biggest one - don't have to worry about nut slot depth - just make them deep enough.
-On some basses I use separate bridges for each string - just have to ground one, and the rest are grounded through that string down through the zero fret (assuming the strings are steel and not nylon wrapped).
-This is probably not important, but there is no tone difference between an open note and a fretted one, as the open note is fretted rather than coming off a different material.

Disadvantages:
-Have to put in another fret - no big deal
Can't think of any others - maybe Robert or someone else will have an opinion.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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Mark Swanson
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Mark Swanson »

I use zero frets, too. The biggest thing about it that I don't like is that it makes it impossible to have a compensated nut. But, the action is very good at the low frets, and I haven't noticed any tuning troubles.
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

Jason Rodgers
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Jason Rodgers »

I used a zero fret on my multi-scale 7-string and it VERY much simplified the setup at the nut. Until I see the need to do otherwise, or care to futz with a compensated nut, I will continue to use them.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Art Davila
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Re: figured top strat

Post by Art Davila »

There is no way to modify a guitar to have a zero fret if it just had the nut is there? a bolt on or glue in option?
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Robert Smallwood
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:33 pm
Location: Merimbula NSW Australia

Re: figured top strat

Post by Robert Smallwood »

i suppose - like a lot of things - it's possible but probably not worth the trouble if things are going well.

My first 'good' guitar way back when was a Gretsch orange DC with an ebony fretboard and a zero fret. The action was unbelievably good compared to what was around at the time.

The reason I use a zero fret is because of the better action at the nut end of the fretboard. The nut stuff is all true. But the better action is the pay off for me.

John Mueller
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Re: figured top strat

Post by John Mueller »

"I use zero frets, too. The biggest thing about it that I don't like is that it makes it impossible to have a compensated nut. But, the action is very good at the low frets, and I haven't noticed any tuning troubles."
Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

I think that you could compensate if you did something like this to the zero fret. http://www.truetemperament.com/

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