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Old 12-04-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
backsliders
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Breathing life into a crappy 1960's Cameo

Before anyone says "can't polish a turd" or "not worth it", hear me out.

This was my first guitar. I bought it from a vintage guitar shop for 150 about 12 years ago, and every time it'd have issues I worked with my father on the pickguard/wiring/tuners etc. I have a few other guitars now, but I'm very attached to this specific guitar and would like to make it sound the best it can. Also, it's one of those crappy 1960's guitars and looks cool and unique, so it'd be awesome to play with live again. It's not as much about the cosmetics as it is the playablity and sound.

My attachment: The body and the pickguard.
My aim for upgrade: Everything else. Neck, pickups, pots, bridge (has a tremolo arm, but the tuning goes out often when used. Not too accurate)

Now first of all, I want to get a new neck. The old one is getting cracked along the sides, the frets have worn down way too far and unevenly. I'd rather buy one than refret it, and I'm not picky about matching the guitar, as long as it feels good and fits well. Just measured it, and it's surprisingly a 24.75 scale. Problem is, it's 19 frets. Rather have more, but that's not always a possibility, I assume. The neck pocket is 3 3/16" long, 2 1/8" wide, and 3/8" deep. It sticks out a bit, oddly. Here's a crappy phone pic.

http ://imgur.com/Cpt6K

So really, my first question is, what's a good first step I should take into looking for a neck, making it fit, etc. Any and all advice that doesn't equate to "this is a waste of time", is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Last edited by backsliders : 12-04-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
epiphone14
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Google a neck that fits those dimensions or you could get one custom made which could get pricey. Also what style of neck is it ( lp strat tele ibanez etc)
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
backsliders
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http ://imgc.classistatic.com/cps/poc/120409/166r1/84414kg_20.jpeg

There's a picture I found of the guitar, all put together. I suppose it's a strat style? I'm a bit new to this customizing thing.

The only problem I find with googling a neck that fits those dimension is thus: Would it be a problem if I put a 21 fret neck on a guitar that originally had a 19 fret neck? I assume it would. I mean, I'm really not looking to go the pricey custom route, but do I have any options to keep it cheap? I don't know of anyone who sells 19 fret necks. Or at least, not cheaply.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #4
LeviMan_2001
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Woah! That thing is way cool. Too bad you want to replace the neck, that thing is awesome. Do this, measure from the high e saddle (where the string breaks over it) to the edge of the neck pocket. It could be that a 22 fret 25.5 scale neck might put it in the right place for intonation.

Also, I'd say that's a good bit better than most crappy 60's guitars. It looks like an ash body and doesn't look like anything made by teisco. Is it japanese made?
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Last edited by LeviMan_2001 : 12-05-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:42 AM   #5
backsliders
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I like the neck, but after it all, I think it's best I give it a bit of new life. Since the pick guard's input jack broke a few years ago and I had to reconstruct it (very sturdy, just not pretty), I'm aware it's never going to look 100% mint/stock, so I'll settle and make it sound awesome while retaining a cool body and pickguard/switches. A cool looking/sounding guitar is a good guitar, stock or not. I like it a little worn anyway.

I just plugged it in the other day and I believe the input ground broke from the solder, so I took it apart... and just kept going. Thought, now or never.

Anyway, when I get home from work, I will measure it and report back. I don't mind moving the saddle a bit if I have to.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:11 AM   #6
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Just a quick word further: What kind of pickups are these that come on the guitar? I will want to upgrade them to some better sounding pickups, but these just lay flat, right on the pickguard. There's no cutout, just a small hole to fit the wires into and the one smaller screw hole on either side to pin it down.

Is there a way to find some nice sounding pickups that fit like this, or am I going to have to carve out some wells for them?
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:17 AM   #7
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If you replace those pickups, I'd be interested in them. They appear to be just funky old surface mount pickups. I really like old pickups though. If it was my guitar I'd keep 'em. But I'd also level the frets before replacing the neck.
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Last edited by LeviMan_2001 : 12-05-2012 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:38 AM   #8
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To be honest, if I can find a way to replace them with pickups better suited to my needs and be happy with the result, I wouldn't have a problem parting with them. I already have a very nice Danelectro baritone guitar with lipstick pickups that satisfies my needs for an acoustic-esque, perfect-for-fingerpicking-and-clean-tones guitar (though less feedback-prone, and with that guy you have to keep it in the center switch position lest you be eaten by noise.)

I'm specifically looking for a more versatile sound out of this, considering I'd be looking to gig with it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
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8" between the saddle and the bottom of the neck pocket.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
LeviMan_2001
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Well depending on how much room you've got between the strings and the body, there are quite a few surface mount pickups. Dog ear p90s would kick ass, gfs makes some surface pickups: http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS-Ret...eries_c_99.html the NYII and NYIII pickups.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:33 AM   #11
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Oooh. Those look nice.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:46 AM   #12
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So, from what I can understand, because when they mention the scale length when ordering a guitar neck, it's only really saying how long it is from the nut to the twelfth fret. When ordering, no information would be given on how long it is from the 12th fret to the neck's heel. So I should just purchase a neck that fits the pocket and drill new holes to adjust the saddles once I get it. Right?
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:39 AM   #13
LeviMan_2001
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Well obviously the distance from the 12th fret to the bridge will have to be equal to the nut to 12th distance. How you acomplish this is up to you. Also, the high e saddle will be closer to the actual scale than low e. If ya know what I mean. But as intonation goes, it will not be exactly the scale. But yeah, PM me if you ditch those pickups.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backsliders
I don't know of anyone who sells 19 fret necks.

There's your million dollar idea.
Learn to make high-quality 19 fret necks.
I guarantee you'd make money.
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