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Old 02-06-2013, 01:42 AM   #1
W4RP1G
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Upto My kit guitar build: BYOG Flying V

Ok, so I'm building a kit guitar. Normally I wouldn't consider doing this, but I needed a guitar that I could use for 2 classes(guitar setup and repair, and instrument finishing). I don't have any lying around and I really didn't feel like stripping a Squier, so I figured I'd kill 2 birds with 1 stone and get a guitar I could use for both classes(actually 3 birds, since i wanted a flying V, but didn't want to buy or build one).

So I orded a flying V kit from BYOG.com. I was a bit miffed about it being a bolt-on maple neck, but whatever. I got the guitar today and these are my initial thoughts:

The wood is pretty sweet. It's a 3-piece mahogany body with a coat of "sanding sealer". It looks like it was sanded with 60 grit before it was sealed

There is filler on the top. That's right, apparently the guitar was gouged at the factory, and they decided to fill it instead of throwing it out. So much for a natural finish Actually, if I were to order a regular flying V pickguard, rather than the small, half -sized pickguard they included, it would cover that up. But still, that is inexcusable.

The fret work is horrid. I counted 5 high frets, 2 of them serious enough to cause dead notes. For the average person who just wants to assemble and play a guitar, that would be seriously disappointing.

All of the hardware is junk. No surprise here, it's a cheap, Chinese kit guitar. I'll probably end up changing the tuners to Gotohs at some point since it should be a direct swap.

The neck is mahogany. I'm happy about this one because the description on the website says it's maple. Now I realize that the pics on the website are of a mahogany neck, but I didn't notice that before

The pickguard is pretty sloppy. There isn't a straight line to be seen on it. It looks like it was cut out by hand with scissors. Ordering a regular flying V pickguard is starting to sound better and better....

So overall, I feel like this kit isn't worth the $200 I paid. I can get a $200 Squier or LTD that has been assembled and finished, and it will have better fretwork and probably not have filler in it(if it's a natural finish). I would never EVER recommend one of these kits to someone.

Ok, now that I've got that out of the way, some pics!




Filler:





I'm going to dye the fretboard black and do a silverburst finish, inspired by the Dethklok signature Explorer:


Last edited by W4RP1G : 02-06-2013 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:43 AM   #2
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So, the first thing I did was pull out the frets. I'll be installing Stewmac fretwire, and I'm debating on whether or not I should increase the radius of the fretboard. I've read that it's possible to do that and still use a 12" tune-o-matic, but if anyone has any more insights into that, I'm all ears.



Then I made a plug for the output jack hole. I'm filling it because it's a really annoying spot for a jack when you play with it between the legs.




I used a piece of poplar because it was there. I turned it on the lathe. It's a pretty tight fit, some epoxy should be permanent enough.

I think tomorrow I'll epoxy that plug, and drill out the screw holes so that I can can plug those too. Then I'll sand it all flush.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:57 AM   #3
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This is awesome, I'm building a v as well and mine is going to be pretty much the same only where yours had the jack mine will be on the outside of the wing using a strat jack.

Also it will be the color of Randy's les Paul custom, plus the controls are going to be basically the John 5 tele style of 2 volumes and a 3 way switch but i am going to add a killswitch.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:59 AM   #4
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This looks very interesting, I'd love to try something like this. Could a total amateur buy a kit and do something like this?
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DESTROYER5000
This is awesome, I'm building a v as well and mine is going to be pretty much the same only where yours had the jack mine will be on the outside of the wing using a strat jack.

Also it will be the color of Randy's les Paul custom, plus the controls are going to be basically the John 5 tele style of 2 volumes and a 3 way switch but i am going to add a killswitch.

Very good ideas. I'm just going to mount my jack on the pickguard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugachev
This looks very interesting, I'd love to try something like this. Could a total amateur buy a kit and do something like this?

You should be able to put this kit together and play it. However, you'd have to do some fretwork, which can be intimidating.

If you are willing to spend a bit more, there are better kits out there(or so I hear, I only have experience with this one kit).
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:56 AM   #6
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The reason for the jack being on the outside of the wing is because it is also out of the way.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:38 AM   #7
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Did you actually have the hammer in your hand when you opened the box (pic 1), just in case you had to kill it?

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Old 02-06-2013, 09:43 AM   #8
W4RP1G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by von Layzonfon
Did you actually have the hammer in your hand when you opened the box (pic 1), just in case you had to kill it?


You never know when things might go terribly wrong
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:13 AM   #9
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I've always been tempted to do this, so here I am, watching, learning, etc.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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i actually bought the explorer kit, more of an opportunity to work on various aspects of building. It had a set neck, which was a little intimidating at first. I actually have had some issues with the frets as well, I have just been leveling them as opposed to replacing them. Other than that, I replaced the pickups, tuners, pots and switch. It has been fun to mess with and works and sounds great. I am pleased with how it turned out considering it was only a kit. I am curious to see how your finish turns out, it should look like Brent Hinds V once it is done, which should look pretty sweet.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:53 AM   #11
W4RP1G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafettacheese
i actually bought the explorer kit, more of an opportunity to work on various aspects of building. It had a set neck, which was a little intimidating at first. I actually have had some issues with the frets as well, I have just been leveling them as opposed to replacing them. Other than that, I replaced the pickups, tuners, pots and switch. It has been fun to mess with and works and sounds great. I am pleased with how it turned out considering it was only a kit. I am curious to see how your finish turns out, it should look like Brent Hinds V once it is done, which should look pretty sweet.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that the switch it comes with is the worst switch I've ever seen. I'm definitely replacing all of the electronics.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:04 AM   #12
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So I got the hole plugged:



And I added a carve to the heel. I started by plugging the screw hole where I would do the carve, then I redrilled the hole in a more convenient spot. I then recessed the screw holes for screw ferrules because I'm not using a neck plate. Then I hit it with a rasp, followed by a sanding block. It feels so much better now, upper fret access is a breeze. Gibson should make this carve standard issue on all flying Vs.




That's about it for body modifications. I think my next step is to sand and seal it, then I'll be ready for lacquer.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:27 AM   #13
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I like the look of the carve, I'm glad you decided against the neck plate. Looking forward to seeing the progress.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:43 PM   #14
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Thats a really nice axe!!

I see I'm not the only one disappointed with these kits! I have bought 3 in the past, just for fun and as a project for summer. A strat, les paul and les paul junior.

OH MY GOD they sucked sooooooo bad.

No wiring diagrams, odd dents and scratches in the "Just spray a coat of paint and you're good to go!" bodies. Crappy hardware. Crappy pretty much everything.


HOWEVER. I have to this day been working on improving them and I have managed They now sound epic. The les paul has been the envy of genuine les paul users, as has the strat. And the les paul junior is fretless xD

What I'm trying to say is that these kits are good simply as a template. You need to make them your own to get some real awesomeness out of them!

Good luck with the rest of the build!
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:48 PM   #15
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I like V builds.

Why not use the fender strat-style jack? You could install that on the back of the guitar and it would look pretty interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
It feels so much better now, upper fret access is a breeze. Gibson should make this carve standard issue on all flying Vs.

I've never had a problem with getting to the upper frets on my V, but to each his own.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:09 PM   #16
W4RP1G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomanyguitarss
What I'm trying to say is that these kits are good simply as a template. You need to make them your own to get some real awesomeness out of them!

This is true, but also disappointing since everyone expects to shoot some finish and put it together. They'd sell far less guitars if they told the truth, that the wood contain repairs, and that the frets will need a level and crown.
Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
Why not use the fender strat-style jack? You could install that on the back of the guitar and it would look pretty interesting.

That's an interesting idea. I could do that, but I'm also building a 7 string fanned fret, so my hands are kind of full. My goal right now is to finish this as soon as possible so I can spend more time on that 7 string. And as of right now, I only have tuesday and wednesday nights to work on the V, so that's not even a lot time to begin with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
I've never had a problem with getting to the upper frets on my V, but to each his own.

It's more of a comfort/feel thing than actual accessibility of the upper frets. I've always felt that square heels had an awkward transition cause by my palm hitting the bottom corner, it just throws me off. I suck it up on some guitars, but I prefer to have a rounded heel. Do you not feel the heel as you reach the high frets?

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Old 02-08-2013, 08:20 AM   #17
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Coming along nicely. I just dug out a Dean V I've had for years as my next project. The carve you made on the body is a nice touch, it almost looks like it should be there (as any good mod does)
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
It's more of a comfort/feel thing than actual accessibility of the upper frets. I've always felt that square heels had an awkward transition cause by my palm hitting the bottom corner, it just throws me off. I suck it up on some guitars, but I prefer to have a rounded heel. Do you not feel the heel as you reach the high frets?

The only thing i have a problem with is the location of the strap button on V's. I use dunlop straplocks, and as solid as they are, they do tend to stick out a bit. Once the straplock is off though, i have no problems. I can just rest the meat of my thumb on the curve of the neck where it transitions from the neck curve to the square shape of the body. Bearing in mind i do have large hands.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:16 PM   #19
W4RP1G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
The only thing i have a problem with is the location of the strap button on V's. I use dunlop straplocks, and as solid as they are, they do tend to stick out a bit. Once the straplock is off though, i have no problems. I can just rest the meat of my thumb on the curve of the neck where it transitions from the neck curve to the square shape of the body. Bearing in mind i do have large hands.

Can you recommend a better place for the strap buttons? I might relocate mine, but i have no idea where I'd put them.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
Can you recommend a better place for the strap buttons? I might relocate mine, but i have no idea where I'd put them.

Unfortunately the standard place to put them is a place where the guitar balances perfectly.
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