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#1
This has been about four months in the making now. First I saw the body on Warmoth's deals page, knocked down from $540-ish (don't recall the exact figure) down to $295 (to custom-order a body like this would be a bit over $700). It was then about a month before I had the money to have the neck made, and after that it took three months to get the neck pickup made. It's been a long time coming, but completely worth it.

The full spec run-down is as follows:

Semi-hollow black korina Thinline body, rear routed with one f-hole. Finished with natural masked binding and tobacco burst on both front and back.

Vintage Modern Telecaster neck, quarter sawn maple with rosewood fretboard, 10"-16" compound radius, Standard Thin back contour, 1 11/16" nut width, 6105 fretwire, corian nut and pearloid trapezoid inlays, vintage tinted satin nitro finish. Two string retainers and Schaller mini locking tuners (which actually aren't all that 'mini', they're almost exactly the same size and weight as the Planet Waves auto-trim locking tuners).

Bridge pickup is a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails, the neck pickup is a Swineshead AMP humbucker (it's made as two regular Strat style singlecoils taped together, giving a much more articulate tone than traditional bar magnet humbuckers).
Oak Grigsby 3-way switch and a single CTS 500k volume pot are the only controls (I was going to use a 250k pot, but the only one I have doesn't have a long enough shaft to fit in this guitar). Classic style Telecaster bridge.
Hardware is all gold on the front though I used basic chrome for the neck plate, jack and other things that you don't ever see.

Total cost is somewhere just over $1100 for the Warmoth stuff (plus a total of £447 import/VAT duties) and about £160 on parts here (£85 on the neck pickup alone).


The tone from the neck is akin to a Strat's neck pickup but with a little more bass. I'd put it right inbetween a P-90 and a Strat singlecoil in terms of tone, very 50's jazz and blues. It has the added benefit of being hum-less too. If I EQ my amp to really boost the treble, the neck position ends up sounding a little acoustic-ish.

The tone from the bridge is compressed and very... bizarre. It typically sounds like a solid, chunky pickup for rhythm playing (which is what I intended this guitar for), but depite it's thick tone pinch harmonics ring out of this louder and clearer than on any other guitar I've ever played. It's very odd and will take a while to get used to, but I'm liking it - it's capable of exactly the sort of compressed chunky tone I wanted for rhythm playing but then it's got this added bonus of huge harmonic response too.

The tone in the middle is also bizarre and not what I was expecting, but actually an improvement. It's got a little bit of the 'quack' you get from the combination positions on a Strat which is really lending itself well to funkier rock and pop tones.

I built this guitar to have a versatile rhythm guitar to cover all the various styles I play and I got exactly that, though in a slightly different way than I thought. The neck position suggests an early Epiphone hollowbody, the middle suggests a 90's pop Strat and the bridge would make you think it's an ESP Eclipse. Considering I play everything from B.B.King (blues) to Paramore (pop-punk/emo) to Bon Jovi (80's rock) to Tristania (gothic metal), this has come out more useful than I ever planned it to. I'm used to most guitars being great at one tone, okay at a second tone and rarely at all capable of a third tone - but here I am with a guitar that nails everything I do equally well.


For some reason, I have no idea why, the name Beth leaped out of me when I started playing her. I've never been much of a a fan of naming guitars, but this has happened twice now - the other time being my Gibson, Christie - where a name as screamed out at me the moment I've touched the guitar and it somehow feels wrong to not refer to these two guitars by name and 'her/she/etc' now.


Anyway, enough waffle, on with a couple of pictures.


The body - the light dot near the f-hole is in fact a dent, I took her to a gig last night and a drunk goon smacked into me, guessing it was his belt buckle or something :




The neck - my last Warmoth build has a blank headstock but I decided to make use of the metal Warmoth logo this time around:




And Beth and Christie together (yes, I probably should have gotten the headstock painted to match, but oh well).

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#3
Awesome man... Happy NGD!!!
Gear
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#10
Very interesting guitar you've got there mate. 470 odd quid just for import tax? Ouch.
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#11
congrats and nice, after all that hardwork i would of sparked the piss head, but the dent is barely noticeable and can only add to the character.
#12
I knew this would be epic as soon as I saw the title, remember seeing you mention this tele a few times.
HNGD, definitely one of the best looking teles I've seen. Would love to hear how it sounds.
#13
i'm not a tele man at all.. but that is one beautiful guitar sir!
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#14
looks great! makes me want to get off my ass and put my warmoth together already haha
Warmoth Telecaster Deluxe. Warmoth Strat. Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic.

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#16
Sounds like you got the hum issues fixed, nice.

Looks beautiful! This is the first time I've seen black limba stained, and it looks absolutely gorgeous! I actually thought it was swamp ash at first.

Am jealous.
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#17
that guitar makes me want a warmoth custom of my own
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#18
That looks great. The trapezoid inlays really help to give it some pop. HNGD!
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#20
Absolutely beautiful, usually I'm not a fan of pickguard-less telecasters, but the finish and gold hardware on her pull it off stunningly.

One thing that may interest you though, if only for how easily the video from NAMM showed adjusting height on it to be;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNBbr4joKAI

Being as there's the potential this could alter the tone from where you have her now I wouldn't recommend it to be safe, but still worth looking into I think.
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#21
Wow. That looks so awesome. I absolutely love telecasters. And that one looks great. Happy new guitar day.
#22
you've inspired me. i ordered the last of my parts! should have a warmoth by next week.

very nice, again! that thing looks amazing. i hope mine turns out half as versatile, too
Warmoth Telecaster Deluxe. Warmoth Strat. Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic.

"Well good God damn and other such phrases, I haven't heard a beat like this in ages!"
-Dan Le Sac Vs The Scroobius Pip
#23
Wow, super nice. I think it'd look sweet with a clear pickguard on it.
#24
Quote by Baby Joel
Sounds like you got the hum issues fixed, nice.
Turns out it was the amp that the dodgy, unsafe 60's wiring in this house has fried

Quote by Kurapica
470 odd quid just for import tax? Ouch.
Yeah and it would have actually been even more if I had ordered everything as one package (they've really messed with the weight and size rates now, you get charged about 12% more for one huge package than you do for two smaller ones even if the total weight and size of two smaller ones is actually more combined than the single big one would be. It's stupid).

Then of course there's the fact the £-$ exchange rate is terrible right now, so the stuff from Warmoth cost me about 80%-ish more than it would have done if I had ordered it a year or so ago. But it's been worth it.

Quote by aaronni
Would love to hear how it sounds.
I was going to record some clips but my practise amp is messed up (see above) and I don't have a ''proper'' amp at the moment, still trying to find anything with a tone I like. Was playing a friend's heavily moded Marshall DSL50 head yesterday, really nice tone on that - I don't like Marshall tones at all usually, but he'd changed it to be brighter which I liked. Though it'll be a few months before I can afford to get one and mod it like he has, so no sound clips for quite a while!

Quote by Dirk Gently
How do you like the compound radius neck?
I ranted about this for quite a while last time I built a Warmoth, but basically it's... okay. I don't see the fuss about it, but at the same time I'm not a fan of paying £30 more to have a basic straight radius neck which is no better either. I wouldn't say the compound radius is an improvement, it's just different. I mostly play rhythm, which the lower 10" radius is good enough for. The few times I do go to the higher frets, well, I can't see the advantage of the flat radius, I don't find it any better to play on than a 10" or 9.5" radius is at the high frets (which is to say, I have no problem with a more curved radius and I get no extra benefit from the flat radius). But then, I'm not a shredder, I don't even attempt to be, maybe if Herman Li picked this guitar up he would feel more benefit from the flatter high frets than I notice.
It's not a problem really, it's just nothing like the huge improvement Warmoth says it is. Try it, there's nothing wrong with it and it's the standard free option, just don't have your expectations too high because I'm, buggered if I can see any advantage to it.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Nov 2, 2009,
#26
Quote by Alex Vik
Looks nice, pickups are backwards for me though, I'd have a SC in the neck and a 'Bucker in the bridge.
It is a humbucker in the bridge and those are two singlecoils in the neck Though a full humbucker in the neck and a singlecoil in the bridge is actually a very common Telecaster configuration, Keith Richards uses it a lot.


One thing I forgot to mention before, the weight and the resonance of her. Warmoth have done an amazing job on the Thinline body, she weighs less than Fender Thinlines I've tried even though limba should weigh more than alder. Can't be more than 6.5lbs total. She's acoustically much louder than any semi-hollow guitar I've tried before, I played unplugged yesterday against a friend's full hollowbody and they were about the same unplugged. Certainly can't compete with a full coustic of course, but the tone's still loud and clear enough that it kept up with my friend's (un-mic'd) singing. You wouldn't bother if you were going on MTV Unplugged, but for unplugged messing around when an acoustic would be too loud (damn neighbours hear everything), it's spot-on. Warmoth have done a great job once again.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Nov 2, 2009,
#27
I think I just got hard.
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#29
nice! a few weeks ago i was nosing around on the warmoth site at tele bodies. dont know if i want an american deluxe tele or my customized warmoth. it might mean more if i choose all of the odds and ends to make it MINE. interesting pup combination too.



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#30
Quote by Alex Vik


So, is that a 5 way switch then?
It was going to be, but I'm lazy so it's a 3-way. I might change it to a 5-way in future, I don't know.

I should have talked about this more probably. The way the neck pickup is made and wired, each coil is built exactly like a single Strat style singlecoil pickup, then they're mounted on one plastic base and taped together. They're wired together in series but one coil is slightly weaker than the other. When you have two coils like this in series with one weaker than the other, what happens is it sounds almost like it's just one coil, but still humcancelling - you're not shutting the second coil off completely like you would with a coil split, but they're not both running equally like parallel wiring would be either. It's a little odd but the result is great - it's got a little more grunt to it than a Strat singlecoil but it's more articulate than a P-90 and its completely hum-cancelling. I was expecting it to maybe sound just like any old humbucker wired in parallel, but it doesn't at all, it reacts like a singlecoil, it actually sounds scarily close to the Fender Texas Special singlecoil I have in my Strat.
My other Wamorth Tele has a Fender Vintage Noiseless Single Coil pickup in it. This Swineshead humbucker sounds more like a singlecoil than that Fender Noiseless does, and it's more noiseless too

The bridge is just a regular Seymour Duncan Hot Rails, sounds like any cermaic magnet, high-output humbucker you can think of. It's actually surprised me just how much like a full humbucker it does sound, other 'singlecoil sized humbuckers' I've tried haven't been anywhere near this close.


Quote by SYLrules88
nice! a few weeks ago i was nosing around on the warmoth site at tele bodies. dont know if i want an american deluxe tele or my customized warmoth. it might mean more if i choose all of the odds and ends to make it MINE. interesting pup combination too.

If you orderd parts from Warmoth that matched the spec of the American Deluxe Tele, I think the Warmoth would actually wind up being more expensive yet the quality would be exactly the same (whcih isn't a bad thing - well done to Warmoth for making parts that can match Fender American Deluxe standards!). However, going the Warmoth route obviously means you can tweak the guitar in almost any way you like which is great if you want something unusual and you're certain you know what you want.
With Strats I think the S-1 switch that the Fender Deluxes have is too much of a great feature to pass up and I'd always go for one of those over a Warmoth, but when it comes to Telecasters the S-1 isn't anywhere near as useful (it basically just makes the 3-way act like a 4-way only you have to push a second button to get the fourth position - why not just use a 4-way switch?), so as far as Telecasters go I think the Warmoth is the better way to go if you think the customisation is worth the heavier price.
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#31
Damn, that thing is beautiful! HNGD
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#32
yeah its something i can afford to think about for a while since i can't afford to pay for either at the moment! and, uh, don't tell anybody, but i wasnt aware of this s-1 switch. probably because i dont ever go strat shopping.

i forgot to say earlier, NICE LP!!


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#33
****ing gorgeous. Happy New Guitar Day.
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#34
Quote by SYLrules88
yeah its something i can afford to think about for a while since i can't afford to pay for either at the moment! and, uh, don't tell anybody, but i wasnt aware of this s-1 switch. probably because i dont ever go strat shopping.

i forgot to say earlier, NICE LP!!
Basically the S-1 is a switch hidden in the volume knob that will change how your pickups are wired together.
On a Strat you have bridge, bridge+middle in parallel, middle, middle+neck in parallel and then neck; when you push the S-1 switch, your options become bridge with a special capacitor for a thicker tone, bridge+middle in series, middle with the capacitor, middle+neck in series and finally neck (I believe the neck always stays the same). That's a lot of different tones right there that you couldn't all fit onto one 5-way switch normally, so for Strats it's a great feature and that alone makes American Standard and Warmoth Strats worthless in comparison.
On Telecasters though, you just go from bridge/both parallel/neck to bridge/both series/neck. A Tele with a 4-way switch already has bridge/both parallel/neck/both series just on the one switch, so the S-1 is really pointless on a Tele; you're getting no extra options and having to push an extra button for no reason. So in the case of Teles, Warmoth are still a worthwhile option to consider since the Fender really doesn't have anything special to offer that a Warmoth can't have.
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#35
How tight is it between the body and neck pocket on Warmoth parts?
There has been a lots of talk about a quality bolt-on is being better for sustain than glued in neck. I've only had one bolt on guitar to meddle with and i'm very interested in a Warmoth build sometime in the near future.
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#36
Quote by hminh87
How tight is it between the body and neck pocket on Warmoth parts?
There has been a lots of talk about a quality bolt-on is being better for sustain than glued in neck. I've only had one bolt on guitar to meddle with and i'm very interested in a Warmoth build sometime in the near future.
The join on this one is very tight, it was actually hard to get it to fit in right because it was so snug - I had to sand back a little of the finish around the neck pocket and neck heel to get them to fit.
However, on my last Warmoth the neck fit much more easily - possibly too easily. They both sustain very well though, I have no complaints.
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#37
Win!

HNGD!
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#39
oh wow, that's awesome. Not sure how i missed this a few days ago...

That's an awful lot of VAT and import duty...
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#40
Yeah, I think it must have gone up again. For the total price, effort and time of this guitar I could have bought a Fender American Deluxe Telecaster, had a pickup swap, revamped the electronics and still have enough money left over to be halfway to a new amp. This is on top of my looming LP Goldtop bill.

But eh. Nothing else would quite replicate this tone and feel, so it's worth it.
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