MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#1
What do you do with a random Strat neck, a Warmoth Jazzmaster body that you never got around to using and several boxes of bridges, pots, jacks, switches, capacitors, resistors, magnets and pickups?

Why, you buy some Wudtone paint and lock yourself away in your garage for a week!


Okay, so this really isn't exciting. The cost of putting this together, given I'd forgotten I even had most of these parts, was somewhere <£40, and the total value is about, what, -£50?

I've had these Swineshead pickups for a while. Love the look but the sound was a bit too thick for what I wanted out of this guitar. So I took 'em apart and MacGyvered a winder.
Wound the neck with 42 AWG to 9k and stuck in an A8 magnet; a more aggressive sound than your typical PAF copy, without being a totally overpowered metal machine. Kind of like a SD Jazz or DM PAF Pro with tighter bass.
The bridge is 41 AWG wound to 11k and has a ceramic magnet. The tone is much less compressed than most bridge pickups but the ceramic mag keeps the power just about balanced with the neck. The tone is similar to a stacked P-90.

The only other thing of note is the tone control. I hate standard tone controls. Some of my guitars don't have 'em at all and the ones that do have them disconnected. I already had this pickguard cut for two controls, though, so what do? Make a tone control that rolls of the low-mids, instead. Stick a 0.001uf cap across the two outer lugs of a linear pot and you've got yourself a control that takes out some of the lowest frequencies; enough to rebalance the 6th and 5th strings with the others, not enough to make them disappear completely or effect the 1st and 2nd strings. This lets me switch between chuggy-chuggy heavy low strings or a completely balanced output across all six strings and at no point is the overall output effected much, unlike a split/parallel/tap.


So, full spec:
2-piece extra-light basswood (Warmoth)
Maple neck, rosewood fretboard (taken from a MIM Strat)
Fender adjust-o-matic (tune-o-matic with a 9.5" radius)
Wudtone 'surfer girl' wipe-on finish, mixed extra-strong.
Parchment pickguard and knobs
Switchcraft toggle
Rewound Swineshead ebony/rosewood pickups:
- 9k A8 neck
- 11k ceramic bridge
CTS 500k linear pots
Bass roll-off tone control
Switchcraft jack
D'Addario .0105 strings with an Ernie Ball .050 6th tuned Eb Standard


Excuse the shitty flash



Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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Charvel1995
Ronda Rousey Fanboy
Join date: Sep 2010
130 IQ
#3
Damn son, that looks really ****in good.

HNP(arts)G(uitar)D
Main Rig:

Epiphone MKH Les Paul Custom 7 - Ronda
Ibanez RG8 "Scarlet" - AKA The Rambanez
Fender Strat "Danielle"/"Dani"
Line 6 POD HD Pro
Randall XL 4x12

Come join us...

Purchase list: Jim Root Tele, Jim Root Jazzmaster, MTM20
TunerAddict
Real Ass Nigga
Join date: Aug 2008
80 IQ
#4
That is fantastic.
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers

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dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
250 IQ
#6
Instant classic!

It looks like it would be at home at a beach party...how does it sound?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
Sid McCall
(Actually, I'm Scott)
Join date: Jul 2006
110 IQ
#7
That paint job is INCREDIBLE. That's like, my ideal finish. I've never seen anything like it. Great work!
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
Wirsteve
I'm bald.
Join date: Dec 2005
50 IQ
#8
Awesome. I don't really care for Jaguars, Jazzmasters, Mustags, etc. I like this, a lot.
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#11
Quote by Ippon

Is that grain (semi-opaque) or a result of the hand wipe (streaks)? Looks very nice.

Wudtone's finishes are all very thin and sit in the grain so they're both slightly transparent and slightly textured. They are used without grain filler or even sanding sealer. How much the grain shows through depends on the wood. Something like basswood which doesn't have much figure to it—and what figure it does has is very subtle—leaves you with an almost-solid finish. From about ten feet away it just looks like a solid finish that's just been left in the sun a bit too much; the edges and contours are a slightly different shade to the flat top and back. From within five feet you can start to see the grain show through and up close you can see (and feel) the texture of the wood/finish.

This is the back, shows how much of a texture there is. Again, this is basswood, so it's not very drastic. I also mixed the paint darker than usual; a thin finish like this is obviously going to wear quicker than a thick gloss poly finish, so I made it extra-strong for now so once it does start to fade it doesn't go completely pale.


Top is massively underexposed with strong flash to highlight the texture, bottom is how it looks in normal light.

They do various colours, aged tints, gloss finishes and silver and gold grain highlights. Mine's just plain satin, since it's not like there's much you can do with basswood; the gloss ones with metallic grain highlights on swamp ash look amazing.
http://www.wudtone.com/2012/03/23/finishing-diykits/

And this is the same finish I used but mixed lighter, with a gloss top coat and used on swamp ash.




Unsurprisingly, I've already gone and ordered a couple of swamp ash bodies to try this on...

Quote by dannyalcatraz
how does it sound?
Hard to describe because I'm not aware of any other kind of guitar like this. The neck pickup sounds like a PRS or brighter Les Paul; you'd never guess it was a bolt-on. The bass roll-off changes it between a sort of Santana tone and a clearer Slash-like tone, that sort of ballpark. The 25.5" scale keeps it sounding just a tiny bit 'snappier' than a Gibson-like design, though. The bridge pickup is your typical hot-rodded Fender tone, like sticking a JB in a Strat or whatever; sounds a bit more like an LP Jr with the bass control down. Basically a good mix of classic rock/pop-punk/'British invasion' blues sort of thing. Nothing complicated, just a bit more power and clarity.

Funnily enough I can't see a good surf tone coming out of this any time soon.

Something I didn't mention before is that the space between the two pickups is also routed out. Jazzmaster routing is pretty extensive anyway, so with the middle taken out the body is about 50% hollow; the only solid wood is around the edges and the arm contour. I also used extra-tight screws for mounting the pickups, so nothing gets dampened there. As a result this is acoustically more resonant than my Thinline Tele or the Epi Dot I used to have. Some of that seems to come across through the pickups, too, which I'm guessing is why it doesn't sound quite so typically Fender-ish, even though the pickups are using very bright magnets and wire.

I may, if I can remember (been awake 48 hours now...) record a little sound clip or video or some such. I keep meaning to, since I get so many PMs and e-mails about my amp anyway. Shall update later if I do.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Mar 15, 2013,
dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
250 IQ
#12
Well, it certainly seems like you have a special axe there, dude! Very versatile.

Happy accident, or was it sort of a planned experiment?

(PS: that stuff looks awesome on that swamp ash body! Best of luck with the future experiments!)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 15, 2013,
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#13
Totally random. Originally this body was going to be gold and the neck was going to go on a Strat, buy hey-ho.


Anyone wondering "hey, I've heard basswood is very soft and damages easily, is that true?", the answer is a resounding "yes". Very slowly and softly knocked it against my amp's foot pedal and there's a 6mm dent—well, gash, really—in the bottom edge of it now. Good job I wanted a worn look
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gregs1020
Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
1,160 IQ
#14
yeah it will dent up pretty quick.

it could probably eek a surf tone out of the bridge with the right approach.

looks great.
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#16
very nice the wooden pickups match it really well, too.

Just out of interest, which swineshead models did you have?
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
250 IQ
#17
"...and thus was The Evil Penguin Guitar Company founded in 2013..."
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
Ippon
Amped
Join date: Feb 2006
200 IQ
#18
Quote by MrFlibble
Wudtone's finishes are all very thin and sit in the grain so they're both slightly transparent and slightly textured. They are used without grain filler or even sanding sealer. How much the grain shows through depends on the wood. Something like basswood which doesn't have much figure to it—and what figure it does has is very subtle—leaves you with an almost-solid finish. From about ten feet away it just looks like a solid finish that's just been left in the sun a bit too much; the edges and contours are a slightly different shade to the flat top and back. From within five feet you can start to see the grain show through and up close you can see (and feel) the texture of the wood/finish.

This is the back, shows how much of a texture there is. Again, this is basswood, so it's not very drastic. I also mixed the paint darker than usual; a thin finish like this is obviously going to wear quicker than a thick gloss poly finish, so I made it extra-strong for now so once it does start to fade it doesn't go completely pale.



Very cool. They have a dealer here: http://www.byoguitar.com/Guitar_Kits/Finishing-Supplies/Wudtone-Finishes/Body-Finishing-Kits.aspx

I'm ordering Black Magic Woman and Hot Auburn to try on some Ash and Pine Tele bodies I have. Thanks!

MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#19
Quote by Ippon
Very cool. They have a dealer here: http://www.byoguitar.com/Guitar_Kits/Finishing-Supplies/Wudtone-Finishes/Body-Finishing-Kits.aspx

I'm ordering Black Magic Woman and Hot Auburn to try on some Ash and Pine Tele bodies I have. Thanks!


Yup, they're one of the few small UK companies that can be bought in almost any country. I hope they do well.

I'm gunning for Black Magic Woman myself. I'm thinkin' it will make a nice change from the usual black Strat look.


Quote by Supernaut2k
Looks really nice, so this is 25.5" like a strat?
Yes, though I might get a conversion neck for it to make 24.75". We'll see.


Quote by Dave_Mc
very nice the wooden pickups match it really well, too.

Just out of interest, which swineshead models did you have?
Warthog in the bridge and I forget what for the neck, Runaway, I think. The most standard A5 ones. Nice pickups, but when I chose they they were going in an LP and since that guitar is gone they've been sat here doing nowt. Might as well use the nice bobbins.


Quote by dannyalcatraz
"...and thus was The Evil Penguin Guitar Company founded in 2013..."
...

Not entirely fiction. 'S all I'll say for now.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
250 IQ
#20
Keep me in mind if/when...

I buy what I like, and I spread the good news.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
Ippon
Amped
Join date: Feb 2006
200 IQ
#21
Quote by MrFlibble
Yup, they're one of the few small UK companies that can be bought in almost any country. I hope they do well.

I'm gunning for Black Magic Woman myself. I'm thinkin' it will make a nice change from the usual black Strat look.

...

I'll also try Black Magic Woman on a Pine 212 cab, with Polycrylic clearcoat.
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#22
Quote by MrFlibble

Warthog in the bridge and I forget what for the neck, Runaway, I think. The most standard A5 ones. Nice pickups, but when I chose they they were going in an LP and since that guitar is gone they've been sat here doing nowt. Might as well use the nice bobbins.


thanks. I figured it might have been a warthog when you said it was thick- I like mine, but yeah it's (like most pickups) aimed at a specific thing and if that's not the thing you want... as you said, you might as well reuse the bobbins.

and yeah i was surprised at how nicely those bobbins matched your guitar. Now... admittedly when I bought my swinesheads my main concern was keeping them cheap so the wooden bobbins were never really a realistic option, but I always figured I preferred plastic anyway. But seeing them in a guitar which they really suit... they look really awesome. Sometimes you can't judge how something looks until you see it installed in the finished product.

Haven't tried the runaway, I've got the condor. It's very nice indeed. it's a shame they shut.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#23
As someone who loves non-traditional looking guitars, Swineshead were my favourite pickup company when they had all their options available and they were what, <£50 a pickup? I remember towards their last months they cut most of their options out and prices went up to over £90 a pickup. I've got these two (totally changed now, of course), their AMP humbucker (Stag Mag copy) and one of their Tele pickups. All really nice, though very much one-trick-ponies.

There's some random Korean(?) company, GuitarHeads, that make pickups with wood tops on a regular plastic bobbin. They do double maple, double rosewood or walnut & maple zebra. The specs are nothing to get excited about and I'm sure they sound no better than any stock pickup you'd get in an Epi or Schecter or whatever, but the do seem to be the only cheap source of wood bobbins now. Very tempted to buy a few sets, see how they go and probably rewind them. There some guy in America that makes pickups with 100% wood bobbins and claims they sound unique and whatever, but charges a couple of hundred for each one. It's a shame that it's not a common option, it's a cool look.
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randywolf244
resident arrogant
Join date: Feb 2013
50 IQ
#24
dude that thing is awesome!!!!. if you ever want to sell it you know where to find me lol
dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
250 IQ
#25
This guy might be able to do wooden-topped pickups:
http://vintagevibeguitars.com/index.html

And this guy definitely can:
http://reedjamescustom.com/index.html
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 17, 2013,
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#26
Second dude is the one I've seen before. $300 a set, yeesh.
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Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#27
Quote by MrFlibble
(a)As someone who loves non-traditional looking guitars, Swineshead were my favourite pickup company when they had all their options available and they were what, <£50 a pickup? I remember towards their last months they cut most of their options out and prices went up to over £90 a pickup. I've got these two (totally changed now, of course), their AMP humbucker (Stag Mag copy) and one of their Tele pickups. All really nice, though very much one-trick-ponies.

(b) There's some random Korean(?) company, GuitarHeads, that make pickups with wood tops on a regular plastic bobbin. They do double maple, double rosewood or walnut & maple zebra. The specs are nothing to get excited about and I'm sure they sound no better than any stock pickup you'd get in an Epi or Schecter or whatever, but the do seem to be the only cheap source of wood bobbins now. Very tempted to buy a few sets, see how they go and probably rewind them. There some guy in America that makes pickups with 100% wood bobbins and claims they sound unique and whatever, but charges a couple of hundred for each one. It's a shame that it's not a common option, it's a cool look.


(a) yeah i remember when those prices went way up, i remember thinking the writing was on the wall IIRC I got my humbuckers for £40 each and the single coil for £30. Which is pretty good.

(b) yeah i mean if you're capable of rewinding them the way you are, that might be the way to go.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#29
Because I only had one A8 magnet

My partsbuilds are mostly made with bits I salvage. Had one A8 and one ceramic, so in they went. Also because hey, who else has an A8 mag in their neck pickup? Figured it'd be interesting to try. I've got enough A5s, 4s, 3s and 2s around so if it ended up sucking then I would have put the A8 in the bridge and given the neck an A4, probably. As it is, the A8 in the neck sounds bang-on right. As for the bridge, well, I'm happy with anything that is fairly bright. Ceramic certainly does that.

But then, I am pretty backwards. As much as I appreciate what works well for most people, when it comes to my own gear I've got active pickups for blues, single coils in semi-hollows for grunge, PAFs for gothic metal, a drop-tuned 7-string for pop and a solid state, digital modelling half stack! An extra-strength alnico 8 in the neck and a cheap ceramic in the pickup I use most? Sure, sod it. I run an octave generator into a talkbox, it's not like my tone can get much worse!

Do as I say, not as I do...
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W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
270 IQ
#30
Quote by MrFlibble
Also because hey, who else has an A8 mag in their neck pickup?

I am curious about your results because I've always heard that the magnet pull of an A8 in the neck saps sustain. I don't know if it's true or not, I have always just figured that it makes sense and stuck with A5s for the neck. Do you notice any sustain issues?

Ibanez does make a guitar with 2 A8 pickups. I've been drooling over it since it came out, but haven't had the good fortune to try one. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-neo-classic-series-fr1620-electric-guitar
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#31
Aww damn, I ain't a unique snowflake then.

Not noticed any sustain problems. Actually, I've got the neck pickup cranked much closer to the strings than I thought I'd need and I'm routinely surprised by the sustain this thing has. It's about on par with my hefty thick rosewood-neck Tele, better than my LP Special and just a hair worse than my chambered LPs.

Magnet pull definitely can murder your sustain and even pull you out of tune—I've had that happen a few times before—but you've got to have the magnet really high up to do that (my humbucker with 12 single coil magnet pole pieces is a nightmare for that). This may be an A8 but it's still at the bottom of the pickup. There's got to be at least an inch between the top of the magnet and the bottom of the strings, probably more. Maybe I've got it at just the right distance or maybe this magnet isn't quite as powerful as some A8s out there, but it works fine whatever.

Some morons put Invaders at the neck with those triple ceramic mags and oversized hex poles. Sounds crap, I'm sure, but they work and those have got to have a stronger field than a basic A8.
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W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
270 IQ
#32
Thanks for the info, I might have to consider trying an A8 in the neck then. Might be just what I need for my Ibby with the boring F4 in the neck.
NegativeRespons
[humour] ... [/humour]
Join date: Feb 2007
10 IQ
#33
This is awesome. I'm looking at building my first guitar and I've been flipping between a Tele and a Jazzmaster shape about every hour. I think this has just convinced me to go JM. I'm only up the road from you in Bristol as well! Shame you're not building to sell :P
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necrophiliac
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
462 IQ
#34
To sell things they need to meet a certain consistency which my random parts builds don't. Fingers crossed some things come together in the next year.

As for body style, go Jazzmaster. It's much more comfortable and the Strat neck pocket is more common, so if you end up tearing it apart you can more easily reuse everything.

Or you could split the difference...

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