#1
So I've been saving up for a while now, and I'm to the point where I want to make my perfect axe ( as much as I love my surprisingly high quality squire )

I play a lot of Metal, lead parts. I was thinking about going with mahogany for warmth. Maple neck, not sure if I want rosewood, ebony or maple fretboard. I was going for a Floyd Rose, probably original, since I can get Warmoth to rout that for me, and its not too pricey, as well as its generally well liked..

Electronically speaking, I wanted 2 humbuckers probably Duncan Distortions, coil split to push-push pots. But recently I've become interested in installing a Fernandes sustainer humbucker in the neck, though I have no experience in active electronics.

The body shape, headstock, finish, etc would all be done by myself. I've been looking at Warmoth for the neck with a blank stock and routed body blank. I'm trying to keep it cheaper than just buying a high end guitar.

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions, thought, warnings or advice before I jumped into this. Its my first ever build.. My wiring experience is mostly just from repairing my friends and my own guitars, an my woodworking skill is limited to what I learned from middle-school shop class. (which is why I'd prefer to avoid routing and destroying some mahogany )

Thanks, any help is appreciated.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#2
Sounds awesome.
I'm looking foward to a thread of your progress.... which you ARE making, right?
#3
Absolutely. I'll show it start to finish here on the forums.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#4
Floyd Roses are great. But they're not for everyone.

Are you experienced with those? If not, I'll be happy to lay out some of the caveats.

BTW, from your sig it seems like you're in much more urgent need of an amp ugrade than a guitar upgrade. Maybe just better (locking) tuners on the Squier. And once you get a better amp, then you could benefit from upgrading the pickups.
#5
I have fender locking tuners on the Squire, and they do great. And I have no problem with SS Amplifiers, as much hate as they get. I feel the advantages they add outweigh the drawbacks, especially in that price range. One day I hope to maybe have a Blackstar Tube, but you know...

As far as trems go, I've played a few, and have learned to divebomb and add wide vibrato, but my experience is limited as of now. My squire just a synchronous. The original was somewhat uncomfortable at first, but it was not recessed, and I like the angle that it gives for pushing up the pitch with my palm. I'm familiar with the different types of floating bridges, for gotoh, shaller, floyd, and edges.

I feel like money I put into the squire, will just be money I'm not putting into the guitar I really want. My main reasons for the upgrade is for something with 24 frets, a floating trem and good sustain. I love the squire, and some new Pups would go a long way, but its still not what I really want, and I've spent hours in guitar center playing ever Schecter, Ibanez, Dean, Esp, BC, Jackson or god knows what else trying to find what I want and none are it.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#6
Quote by Ninja0King
I have fender locking tuners on the Squire, and they do great. And I have no problem with SS Amplifiers, as much hate as they get. I feel the advantages they add outweigh the drawbacks, especially in that price range. One day I hope to maybe have a Blackstar Tube, but you know...

As far as trems go, I've played a few, and have learned to divebomb and add wide vibrato, but my experience is limited as of now. My squire just a synchronous. The original was somewhat uncomfortable at first, but it was not recessed, and I like the angle that it gives for pushing up the pitch with my palm. I'm familiar with the different types of floating bridges, for gotoh, shaller, floyd, and edges.

I feel like money I put into the squire, will just be money I'm not putting into the guitar I really want. My main reasons for the upgrade is for something with 24 frets, a floating trem and good sustain. I love the squire, and some new Pups would go a long way, but its still not what I really want, and I've spent hours in guitar center playing ever Schecter, Ibanez, Dean, Esp, BC, Jackson or god knows what else trying to find what I want and none are it.


I hear you.

I got locking tuners on my Squier Affinity, too, and they're great. Whole different animal than a locking nut, though. Got 3 guitars with those (1 Schecter LFR, 1 Edge re-issue, and 1 Edge III). Also got an MIA Standard Strat w/the 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo and another guitar w/the Dynamic Vibrato Tail-piece and the floating bridge. I only listed these so you can see where I'm coming from, experience and perspective-wise. There are so many more guitars I'd like to have, but that's how it goes.

So for functional purposes, the Edges equal to the Floyds, i.e., they are Floyd-type trems. But Schaller makes a variety of floating trems. They make Orignal Floyd Roses (OFR) for Floyd, they also make Licensed Floyd Roses (LFR) with their own name on it, and they have various non-locking floating trems, too. Same with Gotoh.

Back to the Fender trems. The 6-point Synchronous Tremolo on your Squier can be set up to float or not to float, just like the American Synchronized trem. You control that with the amount of spring tension--if you want it to float, then be sure you only have 3 springs and back the claw screws out until it stays in tune at the bridge angle you want. Those Fender trem styles don't need to be recessed to work in both directions. Floyd-style trems (on the other hand) do need to be recessed to do that. But even if they're recessed, they can still be blocked in one direction and that will prevent raising the pitch.

Now that that's out of the way, we can get to the trade-offs associated with Floyd-style trems. I'm sure you're already familiar with the positives. Things like staying in tune between string changes (if the ambient temperatures don't change, and if you've stretched the strings enough). And the extended range, giving you the ability to dive until the strings go slack and also be able to raise the pitch over a step by pulling up on the trem. So here's some negatives: Changing tunings requires setup-i.e., you have to re-adjust the spring tension, and more it's more likely to need an action adjustment than it would be with other trems. I.e., you need at least one Floyd guitar per tuning you want to play it in. This is a must on stage, but even at home it applies, because if you change it around at home all the time, then you're going to wear stuff out too fast. Also most Floyds require you to spin the pivot posts to adjust the action. If you do that under string tension, then it will put undue wear on the knife edges since they're not designed for rotational friction. You might not ever notice the difference if it's a high-dollar Floyd and you baby it. But it can kill an Edge III, most LFRs, and most other budget trems in less than a year of moderate use. Finally, they're cumbersome if you don't know what you're doing with them. Do it wrong and you can F-around for hours without ever getting it in tune--the bridge will just keep rising. There's so much misinformation out there on them that some people never figure it out and just get rid of the guitars or block the trems. It's crucial that they get a good string stretching. If not it'll go out of tune several times until the strings get fully stretched by playing on them, and it'll be a major hassle retuning it each time. It's no big deal tuning it when changing strings--just block the trem both ways. But to have to block it and unlock the nut between string changes is a lot more work than tuning a normal guitar.

New pups on your Squire wouldn't make much difference with mos solid state amps.

Blackstar amps can get some great tones. They are not "all tube" amps, though. They are hybrids with solid state amplification going on in the same stages as the tube amplification. Even a lot of expensive Marshall "tube" amps aren't all tube.

But back to the practice amps, I have a "Marshall" MG30DFX that was my first amp. I realized just how bad that amp sounds after I started playing my MFX pedal through a keyboard amp instead. I got an all tube half-stack now, too. When I play that, I hear all kinds of nuances that you don't hear on the solid state stuff. But the MFX (Digitech GNX4) going straight into a PA is good enough that I leave the half-stack at home unless I need to bring the trailer along for other reasons. The 4x12 cab doesn't fit in any of our vehicles and I'm not throwing it an an open pickup bed. 90% of my playing these days is through a cheaper MFX pedal (RP-355) hooked up to a VOX DA5. That 5 watt amp (normally on the .5 watt setting) sounds so much better than the 30 watt MG.
#7
With all the parts involved, how much are you investing into this? I ask because for about $1400 you can get something custom made to your specs that are killer. I have a Les Paul Slash, a Satriani JS2400 Ibanez, a Brian May, and guitars from Reverend, Eastwood, Schecter, Fender, and Greg Bennet. And I don't use any of them (nice wall decoration for now). It is the custom guitar I had made that gets all the playing. And I'm talking about a person who develops these for a living with years of experience (and mistakes behind him) to get get it right. You may have a dream guitar, but to do it almost spot on the first time likely will be a losing battle (albeit some fun and an adventure throughout the process).
#8
@Jet
Yeah, I had my fender trem balanced for floating at one point, but I've used both floyds and synchs and theres a big difference, I quickly changed it back. I'm also familiar with the extra stringing set up involved, though without owning one it'd be hard to say how annoying it'd become over time.

Back to amps, I've definitely noticed the tubes catch things the SS miss, and I'm also familiar with the hybrids. I've got a lot to learn and experiment with in the Amp department before I drop a few grand on a whole new setup.

Back to the guitar again...
@Logic
I'm definitely hoping to keep it under 1,000. Shooting for 800, though that might not be possible. As for being pro made, the neck, besides the head-stock will be done by someone else, as wells all the body routing as well. I'm mostly just leaving the aesthetics and wiring up to myself.

I know that I'll likely make some mistakes, and may not get exactly what I'm looking for, but in the end, I'd be happy with anything that's just better than my squire, and like you said have some fun. I have friends who are more experienced, and there are a lot of resources available to new builders these days. I've seen a lot of 1st time guitars come out beautiful, I'll settle for playable ;P

The biggest and most crucial investment is in the woods, and those are gonna have the hardest parts done for me...

Lastly, this isn't coming together all in a day, budgets mostly in the back of my head. If I run dry, I just gotta wait a week or two and pick back up. Not to say that I wont be searching for good deals the whole time. I've accepted things may go horrible wrong, but I'd rather try, and botch it, than just settle for something that I don't like.

Edit: I also wanted to add that I'm not trying to shoot down your guys' comments, this is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
Last edited by Ninja0King at Apr 1, 2012,
#9
Quote by Ninja0King

Edit: I also wanted to add that I'm not trying to shoot down your guys' comments, this is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.


That's cool. Just wanted to make sure you knew what you're getting into. Lots of guys go for the Floyd, then either regret it or trash it trying to do things it wasn't made for. I would have been pretty pissed had my first or second guitars been Floyds. And it took a while to sort through the BS with my first one. Even the local "professionals" didn't really know what they were doing with it.

Have fun with the project. Looking forward to seeing the results.
#10
Quote by jetwash69
That's cool. Just wanted to make sure you knew what you're getting into. Lots of guys go for the Floyd, then either regret it or trash it trying to do things it wasn't made for. I would have been pretty pissed had my first or second guitars been Floyds. And it took a while to sort through the BS with my first one. Even the local "professionals" didn't really know what they were doing with it.

Have fun with the project. Looking forward to seeing the results.


Thanks, and yeah, this'll be my 4th guitar. 3rd Electric. The first was a hardtail, then I got the squire, and I think I'm ready for a Floyd. I mean, worst case I block it, but I think I'll be happy with it. One of my goals is to have a guitar that will allow me to develop the techniques and sounds that I've always wanted, but didn't have access to with my others.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#11
Quote by Ninja0King
...worst case I block it...


*Cringe*

You still have your Squier. You might want to get the good pups next after you build this beast if you play in multiple tunings because that Floyd needs to stay in one tuning.
So you'll be playing the Squier for everything else. Of my 6 electrics, my Squier gets the most play.

And blocking a Floyd is a crime against humanity.
#12
Quote by jetwash69
*Cringe*

You still have your Squier. You might want to get the good pups next after you build this beast if you play in multiple tunings because that Floyd needs to stay in one tuning.
So you'll be playing the Squier for everything else. Of my 6 electrics, my Squier gets the most play.

And blocking a Floyd is a crime against humanity.


I agree, but a lesser crime than destroying it. But I have enough faith in myself to take good care of it.
And that was my plan, I currently keep the squire in Drop C, after this is done, I'll put 'er back in standard and keep the floyd dropped.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#13
Are you using STHB strings in the Squier for Drop C?

I'd heard it's not a good idea to use anything bigger than 10s in a Squier, but that was coming from a salesman at GC and I've never heard that again from anyone else. Also, having the guitar tuned that low would take a lot of the strain off anyway.

Just wondering how you're doing that the Affinity and how it's been taking it...
#14
Quote by jetwash69
Are you using STHB strings in the Squier for Drop C?

I'd heard it's not a good idea to use anything bigger than 10s in a Squier, but that was coming from a salesman at GC and I've never heard that again from anyone else. Also, having the guitar tuned that low would take a lot of the strain off anyway.

Just wondering how you're doing that the Affinity and how it's been taking it...


I've got 11s on it, I'm a little nervous to put it in standard with that much string tension , but in Drop C it takes 'em like a champ. I keep 5 springs in the back ( 4 would've done it but I like to keep it symmetrical ) Just to keep the bridge from lifting up. 9s felt good with it in standard, though 10s would probably be much better sound wise.

The only problem I've had with the Affinity is the jack plate. The nut comes loose pretty often, then the jack turns and breaks the solder. I re-soldered it pretty well this last time, but I've had to fix it about 3 times now. That, and how crummy the stock tuning machines were.

Edit: They're the beefy slinky, though I've always been curious about STHB sets. Also, I'm sure the GC rep was under the impression that all Squires are subject to inferior build quality. Which you know as well as I do, that thats not entirely true. I'm not sure if there are any differences between a strat's neck and truss rod vs a squire's, but my understanding is that the main differences was in the pickups and components, not the woods (other than squires are probably more often 2 or 3 piece bodies)
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
Last edited by Ninja0King at Apr 2, 2012,
#15
I put a $5 DiMarzio jack in mine. Never had a cable fall out since, and I use a heavy Bullet coil cable. As for the nut, you might want to put a drop of Loctite in the treads. I'm not a big fan of that outside of automotive applications, but a lot of folks swear by them.

Here's the last 2 tools I've picked up:
http://www.amazon.com/Allparts-Bullet-Guitar-Jack-Tightener/dp/B004SX1BCG/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1333432467&sr=1-1
and
http://www.stringstretcha.com/index/index.php

Highly recommend both.

Affinities, like most MIAs are made of alder. MIA Standards are made from 3 pieces (at least my 2006 Sunburst obviously is). The Affinity is made from a lot more than 3 pieces (I routed out the control cavity in mine to fit MIA Deluxe electronics.

Also the screw holes in the Affinity strip really easily. As i I've had strap button screws fall out from the Squier. Not the MIA, though. Both have straplocks now. When I pulled the screws out of the Squier, the thread came with them. Not with the MIA, though. BTW, that stripping also happened with my poplar MIJ Mustang.
#16
Quote by jetwash69
I put a $5 DiMarzio jack in mine. Never had a cable fall out since, and I use a heavy Bullet coil cable. As for the nut, you might want to put a drop of Loctite in the treads. I'm not a big fan of that outside of automotive applications, but a lot of folks swear by them.

Here's the last 2 tools I've picked up:
http://www.amazon.com/Allparts-Bullet-Guitar-Jack-Tightener/dp/B004SX1BCG/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1333432467&sr=1-1
and
http://www.stringstretcha.com/index/index.php

Highly recommend both.

Affinities, like most MIAs are made of alder. MIA Standards are made from 3 pieces (at least my 2006 Sunburst obviously is). The Affinity is made from a lot more than 3 pieces (I routed out the control cavity in mine to fit MIA Deluxe electronics.

Also the screw holes in the Affinity strip really easily. As i I've had strap button screws fall out from the Squier. Not the MIA, though. Both have straplocks now. When I pulled the screws out of the Squier, the thread came with them. Not with the MIA, though. BTW, that stripping also happened with my poplar MIJ Mustang.

Those look very handy. Its super hard to get the jack to tighten with out turning the shaft and busting it.. the string stretcher feels nice, but does it make it harder to tell how much tension your putting on it? And yes, mines alder as well, but my strap buttons seem solid. I still plan on putting some strap locks on it, because I think every guitar should. As for being more than 3 pieces, that's not too big a surprise. I mean, its under $200. I'll consider putting a sturdier jack in, but I don't plan on spending too much on the squire until the new one comes together.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#17
Quote by Ninja0King
Those look very handy. Its super hard to get the jack to tighten with out turning the shaft and busting it.. the string stretcher feels nice, but does it make it harder to tell how much tension your putting on it? And yes, mines alder as well, but my strap buttons seem solid. I still plan on putting some strap locks on it, because I think every guitar should. As for being more than 3 pieces, that's not too big a surprise. I mean, its under $200. I'll consider putting a sturdier jack in, but I don't plan on spending too much on the squire until the new one comes together.


I dunno yet about the Stretcha. I just got it a week or 2 ago and haven't needed to change strings yet. But it used to take me about a half hour - 45 minutes to do a string change and at least 75% of that was spent stretching the strings. And often doing the e or the B string several times 'cause I'd often break them while stretching. So I hope it's not harder to tell how much tension I'm putting on!

As for strap locks, since you're not invested in one type of locks yet, you might want to consider these:
http://www.loxxusa.com/

They're a little more expensive than some, but the benefits seem well worth it. I'm already invested in more than 6 sets of Schaller locks, but if I were starting out now, I'd go with the Loxx.
#18
Quote by logicbdj
I ask because for about $1400 you can get something custom made to your specs


maybe from a high school student builder... nobody reputable
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#19
Quote by jetwash69

As for strap locks, since you're not invested in one type of locks yet, you might want to consider these:
http://www.loxxusa.com/

They're a little more expensive than some, but the benefits seem well worth it. I'm already invested in more than 6 sets of Schaller locks, but if I were starting out now, I'd go with the Loxx.

Those look nice, I think you may have sold me already, and its sweet that they actually have some variety, not that I really ever use anything but chrome.
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8

maybe from a high school student builder... nobody reputable

Honestly, if all goes well with this project, I wouldn't part with it for $1400, so I wouldn't imagine a professional would take that cut.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#20
i really hate it when people say stuff like "what kind of guitar can i get for $600?" i'm like "a bridge, tuners and a pile of wood... that's the down payment on one of mine".

most people are content playing their $300 indonesian ibanez... those aren't the types of people custom builders want to deal with... at $2500, my baseline prices are very reasonable for what I offer and the quality I provide. Hell, an ibanez RG2228 costs $2100...
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#21
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
i really hate it when people say stuff like "what kind of guitar can i get for $600?" i'm like "a bridge, tuners and a pile of wood... that's the down payment on one of mine".

most people are content playing their $300 indonesian ibanez... those aren't the types of people custom builders want to deal with... at $2500, my baseline prices are very reasonable for what I offer and the quality I provide. Hell, an ibanez RG2228 costs $2100...


Yeah, that's a lot less than what the big guys would charge for a custom guitar. And then, there's no assurance that it's not similar quality to their regular guitars, just configured with the options you request.

So how come if you order a new vehicle from a Ford dealer, it costs you about what it would cost if you found one in that configuration, but if you do that with a guitar from someone like ESP or Schecter, it'll cost you double or triple what the similar model would have cost?

It would be nice if my income matched your prices instead of Squier's prices That would be nice for both of us...
Last edited by jetwash69 at Apr 4, 2012,
#22
here's how i sum it up... if you buy a hyundai - a korean made production car, you'll spend about 15-20 grand. if you were to go to a custom hot rod builder and spec out a custom made body, frame, engine, etc, you're looking at over $100k... guitars are no different.
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#23
Haha, indeed.
nuthinbuttrubl8, Just out of curiosity, how much do you charge for a guitar much like what I described, and out of true interest, how much much would you charge for a humbucking pup?.. something very high output, passive, but preferably not too muddy and would work well with the active electronics involved with the ferandes. I've heard good things about your work.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#24
I prefer to talk to the customer before starting any build. I always try to learn about the needs of the customer in a sort of “interview” process where I start to get a feel for the persons playing style, preferred setup, and desired tone. I would like to be able to offer the customer something that cannot get anywhere else...
#25
Quote by herrin
I prefer to talk to the customer before starting any build. I always try to learn about the needs of the customer in a sort of “interview” process where I start to get a feel for the persons playing style, preferred setup, and desired tone. I would like to be able to offer the customer something that cannot get anywhere else...


^right on
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#26
Quote by Ninja0King
Haha, indeed.
nuthinbuttrubl8, Just out of curiosity, how much do you charge for a guitar much like what I described, and out of true interest, how much much would you charge for a humbucking pup?.. something very high output, passive, but preferably not too muddy and would work well with the active electronics involved with the ferandes. I've heard good things about your work.


Stop the presses. I missed the point on the Fernandez sustainer earlier.

I'd look into the Sustainiac sustainer instead. At last check, they were better priced, have better features and better support. Check them out at http://www.sustainiac.com/st-pro.htm, download the manuals, read the FAQs, and if you still have any questions, give them a call.

I got one in my Schecter. Works great. It's nice to have one of these on at least one guitar in your collection. And be sure to route for a battery compartment.

If it seems like too big a project (or proves itself to be) then you can always mail them your guitar and they'll install it for you for a a reasonable price.
#27
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
here's how i sum it up... if you buy a hyundai - a korean made production car, you'll spend about 15-20 grand. if you were to go to a custom hot rod builder and spec out a custom made body, frame, engine, etc, you're looking at over $100k... guitars are no different.


Yeah, got that. That wasn't the question.

Question is if I order a Hyundai in the cofiguration/color I want because they don't have one like it on the lot or in the region, then I can special order it; they'll make it in Alabama, and it will cost roughly the same as if I bought if off the showroom floor.

But let's say I want a Schecter configured similar to a "SYN Custom" producuction guitar that costs $1,049, but I just want it in a solid color and with normal fret markings. I just priced it at their website and it would cost $5,445! IIRC, the're made in the same place.

That's totally different than the scenario you're talking about..
#28
Quote by jetwash69
Stop the presses. I missed the point on the Fernandez sustainer earlier.

I'd look into the Sustainiac sustainer instead. At last check, they were better priced, have better features and better support.


Yeah, I've heard of it. I've heard good things about both and I'm really not sure which way to go. What I do know is the Sustainiac has a smaller circuit and as you said, is cheaper. I'll keep doing research. And know of a better metal pickup? I've heard the Distortions get real muddy, would a full shred be better, other ideas?

Also: A quick sloppy photoshop render of the basic look. I got too lazy to do the other cavities.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#29
Well, "metal" is pretty broad. I mean, Malmsteen uses freak'en single coils by Duncan and he's pretty metal. On the other hand, the stereotypical Metalica guitar has EMGs. And there's folks out there like Kimberley Freeman with Invaders in her sig guitar, and Invaders are also a staple of the Blink 182 sound.

I've got an Invader opposite my Sustainiac in a mahogany guitar. It sounds good to me and does what I want it to. The guitar came with "Duncan Design" Detonators, and the one from the bridge is now in the Squier. I've A-B'd them in recordings. The Invaders/Sustaininac produces a deeper,darker, more satisfying tone than the Detonator in the Squier for heavy stuff, but that could have a lot to do with the wood (i.e., mahogany vs. alder), the necks (i.e., mahogany vs. maple, both with rosewood fretboards), and maybe most of all, the mahogany guitar body is full thickness, whereas the Squier is thinner by about a 1/4". Also the mahogany guitar has an LFR trem which has more mass in the block than the Squier's pot metal trem block. Also, I use STHB strings on the mahogany guitar and 10s on the Squier. Unfortunately I didn't record the mahogany guitar before swapping the pups, and I didn't even play it through the Invader before connecting the Sustainiac. The Detonator in the Squier sounds good enough that it's my favorite stage guitar, but I probably wouldn't record with it.

The rest of the guitars I'm very experienced with that "do metal" are my Ibanezes: an RG and a Xiphos. The RG has custom (for Ibanez) DiMarzios that are reproductions of the original pups from their RG770s. Those pups are really versatile and you can hear a huge difference in the various pup selector positions, even on a crappy solid state amp. The Xiphos has D-Activators, which (in case you're not familiar) are as close as DiMarzio ever intends to get to the EMG sound. So they're passive, but really hot. I'm happy with the "metal" tones from that, too.

Recommend going to the guitars stores and playing a couple of models with these and other pups. All over the country, I've seen GC or Best Buy having the Invaders in the Syn Gates sig Schecters--my mahogany guitar sounds just like that, even though my Invader doesn't have the chrome polepieces. And the Xiphos is fairly common, too, so you can hear the D-Activators in those. It's been said that the D-Activators might be a little too bright or harsh in woods like alder than they are in mahogany.

You might want to try JBs and distortions, too. Bare Knuckle Pickups have a strong following around UG; I've never seen/heard them in person, but they seem a little expensive to me.

Also, if you want something really new and different, check out the Railhammer pups at railhammer.com. Or just different, there's the Lace Alumatone pups. I would think that all would work equally well with the Sustainiac.

EDIT: BTW, that shape looks pretty cool!
Last edited by jetwash69 at Apr 7, 2012,
#30
Quote by jetwash69
Well, "metal" is pretty broad.

Also, if you want something really new and different, check out the Railhammer pups at railhammer.com. Or just different, there's the Lace Alumatone pups. I would think that all would work equally well with the Sustainiac.

EDIT: BTW, that shape looks pretty cool!


Yeah, well, I do play quite the range of metal, so broad is good. Exactly the info I needed though, thanks!

Will do, I heard lace works great with the sustainiac.

And thanks Kinda like a ballsier RG, I think.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
Last edited by Ninja0King at Apr 7, 2012,
#31
Update.
Leaning towards ditching the Warmoth Body blank and just getting a solid piece of wood, save myself around 50 bucks and get a router.
My questions now are,
-Whats a good, affordable ($50ish or less) router?
-What bits are necessary for the cavities?
-Can I use the router for the body shaping? (I heard somewhere that's dangerous, I don't know any better)
-Where Can I get good templates, that aren't overpriced or too large *cough* *stewmac* *cough* for all the cavities?

Cavities I need are a Neck pocket, H-H Pup, Recessed Floyd (possibly another brand? I heard that gotoh has surpassed originals in quality), Control Cavity and Battery...

Am I missing anything? I haven't used a router in probably 8 years...
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#32
Quote by Ninja0King
Update.
Leaning towards ditching the Warmoth Body blank and just getting a solid piece of wood, save myself around 50 bucks and get a router.
My questions now are,
-Whats a good, affordable ($50ish or less) router?
-What bits are necessary for the cavities?
-Can I use the router for the body shaping? (I heard somewhere that's dangerous, I don't know any better)
-Where Can I get good templates, that aren't overpriced or too large *cough* *stewmac* *cough* for all the cavities?

Cavities I need are a Neck pocket, H-H Pup, Recessed Floyd (possibly another brand? I heard that gotoh has surpassed originals in quality), Control Cavity and Battery...

Am I missing anything? I haven't used a router in probably 8 years...


A. I'll be surprised if anyone can recommend a good router under $50. Maybe Harbour Freight or Northern Tool will have one in that range, but it probably won't be good. Maybe a used Porter Cable or DeWalt on craigslist or in a pawn shop? My Craftsman one cost me a lot more than that and I got it 50% off retail or less from the Sears outlet; it was their flagship at the time, but it was a piece of crap. Took me at least 10 x longer than it should have to do dovetail joints because there was so much play that it took 10 or more passes to do what it should have done in 1. I ended up giving it away.

B. I just used a straight bit when routing a battery compartment, and deepening a control cavity. I also used a Dremel with the wand for some of that.

C. You need a really stout router for that. You'd be better off with a hefty router table (assuming you're talking about the round between the top and the sides (and for the bottom, too). As for body countours, a big belt sander might be better. BTW, I hope you're thinking of cutting the basic shape out with a bandsaw.

D. Stewmac is the best source I know, but if nobody else gives you alternatives here, you can see if the Search Bar or Google have -- if you haven't donw that already.

E. For your first guitar (or until you get access to an industrial quality workshop) I recommend going with the Warmoth (or other) kits. You might not save anything trying to start from a plain board. But if you don't mind risk and have a lot more time than money; yet have enough money to start over a couple of times, then it might be worth starting from scratch like that.
#33
Quote by jetwash69

For your first guitar (or until you get access to an industrial quality workshop) I recommend going with the Warmoth (or other) kits. You might not save anything trying to start from a plain board. But if you don't mind risk and have a lot more time than money; yet have enough money to start over a couple of times, then it might be worth starting from scratch like that.


That was my initial thought. Looking into it, a decent mahogany blank at its cheapest runs about 70 around here, the templates are 10-20 a piece, and a decent router upwards of 70 as well.

The Warmoth is only 160, though they wont rout a battery box, with the size considerations of the sustainiac circuit, it'll probably fit in the control cavity.

The reason I was leaning towards scratch is if I save, or only spend a little more, I'll have everything I need next time around. But thats only assuming there is a next time..

I guess I can stick with the pre-routed kit for now. And if I really enjoy it, I'll know what to do next time around.

And yes, the main body I plan on using a band saw, my neighbors a carpenter, probably could nag him into using his. At the moment, time and money are well balanced, but I can really afford to do anything twice.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#34
Quote by Ninja0King
That was my initial thought. Looking into it, a decent mahogany blank at its cheapest runs about 70 around here, the templates are 10-20 a piece, and a decent router upwards of 70 as well.

The Warmoth is only 160, though they wont rout a battery box, with the size considerations of the sustainiac circuit, it'll probably fit in the control cavity.

The reason I was leaning towards scratch is if I save, or only spend a little more, I'll have everything I need next time around. But thats only assuming there is a next time..

I guess I can stick with the pre-routed kit for now. And if I really enjoy it, I'll know what to do next time around.

And yes, the main body I plan on using a band saw, my neighbors a carpenter, probably could nag him into using his. At the moment, time and money are well balanced, but I can really afford to do anything twice.


Cool. Good luck with a $70 router. Maybe they're more commoditized now.

Also, I recommend doing the battery box for the Sustainiac even if you can fit the battery in the control cavity. You'll eventually strip out screw holes if you do it that way. There are great battery boxes that let you change the battery out without tools, or any wear and tear on the guitar. Sustainiac will sell you one as an option, and they're among the best out there.
#35
Quote by jetwash69
Cool. Good luck with a $70 router. Maybe they're more commoditized now.

Also, I recommend doing the battery box for the Sustainiac even if you can fit the battery in the control cavity. You'll eventually strip out screw holes if you do it that way. There are great battery boxes that let you change the battery out without tools, or any wear and tear on the guitar. Sustainiac will sell you one as an option, and they're among the best out there.


And I mean "decent" with a grain of salt, I'm new to all of this. I was looking at a black and decker variable speed plunge router as I typed that, but many of the others I saw were 100-300.

Yeah, I saw that on the sustainic site..
Good point, I knew it was faster, but I hadnt thought about striping the wood... the battery box really is a better option.

All that being said. I think I'm still just going pre-routed blank that has the neck, bridge pups and controls all done, borrow a router and do the battery cavity, then track down a bandsaw. Yeah, that'll do.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#37
I'll be ordering the wood this week, probably do a new thread and link it. Thanks for all the replies, 2 cents here and there really adds up.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#38
Another quick question, which applies to either doing the routs myself or buying it routed, should I have the neck angled to make the action on the floyd more comfortable? or would the straight neck be best..
If angled, whats a good angle?
It'll be a bolt on fender style..
Warmoth charges like $45 to rout the neck pocket a tiny bit lower so the fretboard is flush to a body w/o a pickguard and apparently they angle it slightly so that, there isnt extra action from being lower.. I figured I could probably manage that myself, and advice would be helpful.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
#39
Quote by Ninja0King
Another quick question, which applies to either doing the routs myself or buying it routed, should I have the neck angled to make the action on the floyd more comfortable? or would the straight neck be best..
If angled, whats a good angle?
It'll be a bolt on fender style..
Warmoth charges like $45 to rout the neck pocket a tiny bit lower so the fretboard is flush to a body w/o a pickguard and apparently they angle it slightly so that, there isnt extra action from being lower.. I figured I could probably manage that myself, and advice would be helpful.

Sorry for the delayed response.


Probably worth the extra $45. It's really hard to get that kind of precision yourself. Also be sure to talk with them to make sure it's still right for routed trem pocket or flush mount--whichever you decide to go with. Thought you wanted it routed so you can move the trem in both directions? That's half the fun of a Floyd.
#40
Quote by jetwash69
Sorry for the delayed response.


Probably worth the extra $45. It's really hard to get that kind of precision yourself. Also be sure to talk with them to make sure it's still right for routed trem pocket or flush mount--whichever you decide to go with. Thought you wanted it routed so you can move the trem in both directions? That's half the fun of a Floyd.


Definitely want to move the trem in both directions. I'm starting to lean back towards doing the routs myself though, and just borrowing a router (duh).
The cost is about the same, but I have to do the battery rout myself either way so I may as well just get the whole experience.

Oh. And Link to the build thread
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=29496258#post29496258
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic