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#1
Ok. I am a sophomore in high school, and everybody has to do a big senior project to graduate. For mine, I am going to rebuild a piece of shit guitar that I found at a yardsale. I need ideas on what I should do to it. Here are a few questions and ideas about it:

1. I may route it for an HSH setup. Should I just skip this and put a hot rail in the neck? Also, could you suggest me some pickups for this guitar (preferably DiMarzio, as I can get those through a local shop very easily)? I was thinking about maybe an Evo in the bridge and a YJM for the middle, then taking out my Strats Hot Rail for the neck unless I route it. I play metal and hard rock mainly, but I want good cleans out of the neck pickup.
2. What should I do about paint? I kind of want to leave it the way it is because its such a kickass paint job, and I have no clue how to paint.
3. Do you think that a contrasting black pickguard with white webs would look cool on this guitar? the web is offset on the pickguard, so the lines wont match up with the other web. Or should I get a white with black webs, or maybe just keep it a solid color?
4. My specialist (which is required for the project) can get me some Grover Tuners for $45 a set. Is that a good deal? If not, where can I get good quality tuners for cheaper than that?
5. Any other features that you think would be cool for this guitar? I am planning for it to only be a screw around guitar, and Im doing it more for the grade (If it was for me, I would be redoing my Schecter, but my mom doesnt want me ****ing up my good guitar) Anyway, I was thinking about maybe installing a killswitch into the guitar, as it has an extra switch for something, but it has no effect on the guitar at all.

I am going to leave this thread open, and when I start working on the guitar, I will hopefully post pics and maybe some soundclips when Im done with it. Here are some pictures of the guitar so you get an idea on what it looks like before. Again I apoligize about the size of the pics, and I will try to resize them later.





#2
yeh, make it HSH, that would be sweet and put a killswitch and on-board effects in that sucker
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#3
wow i accually like the look of that guitar... i wouldnt paint it.
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amp:
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#4
Quote by senor_penguin
yeh, make it HSH, that would be sweet and put a killswitch and on-board effects in that sucker

Onboard effects would be kind of cool, but this is my first customization/mod ever, and plus, I dont want to put too much money into this, as my budget is like $300 at most. Plus, the only effects I ever use are wah, and sometimes delay or reverb!
#5
killswitch and phase switch are easy and cheap.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#6
can you say coil tap?
im doing a random pickguard right now with phase switches, all single coil size, yet HSH and all coil tapped
its like a ridiculous amount of combinations you can do with a set up like that, so i say do that
btw, what is that switch i see on there? is that a coil tap already done?
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#7
Well, firstly you could intonate the guitar.

You could also do a phase switch for the middle pickup.

You could also do a seris/parallel for the humbucker. Assuming it's a 4-conductor.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#8
Well I already have my Fender for a single coil tone, and my Schecter has a coil tap as well, so if I need single coils, I already have them. And what exactly does a phase switch do? I have heard about it before, but Ive never heard one (that I know of). I think at the moment, I might do a killswitch with that little switch between the knobs, and Ill think about doing a push/pull tone knob with coil tap, but I dont know.

To RHCPfan- I dont know what that switch is supposed to do, but right now it does nothing. The guitar barely worked when I bought it, and everything is scratchy and fuzzy when I turn it, as well as the pickup output seeming to be insanely low.
#9
A phase switch reverses the phase of one pickup, usually the middle pickup. It produces a more squeely tone, it's a funky kind of tone. John Frusciante uses out-of-phase pickups often.

From www.guitarelectronics.com
"Out Of Phase - The electrical linking of two coils or two pickups in either series or parallel but with the signal polarities summed in such a way as to provide at least partial cancellation of the signal. Usually the low frequencies are canceled so the resulting sound is thin, lacking in warmth and often quite brittle"
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#10
^oh, ok. Thanks for clearing that up, but Im not too sure I want to install that. Anyone have suggestions on what pickups I should use? The shop where I am trying to get most parts can easily order DiMarzio pickups, so I think I will use those, but Im not sure of the different kind of pickups they offer. I know about the Evo, but I hear that it is more of a shred pickup, and it will pick up any and every nuance in my playing, which isnt a good thing for me, haha. Also, any comments on the pickguard?
#11
Why wouldn't webbing on the pickguard be able to line up with that on the body? Because you shouyld do the white-on-black version. Preferably with a three-ply, engraving the webbing through the top black ply instead of painting it on.
#12
^ huh... I never thought about that. I said it was offset because I was going to order it offline premade, and the webbing starts in the top left hand corner of the pickguard instead of it starting off in the middle. I could engrave my own, but how would I go about doing that? I wouldnt want to have to chisel it all out or something, but if there was some tool I could use, I may think about doing it your way.
#13
i actually like it better w/ the plain black pickguard. i think 2 much web would look dumb imo
<JimmyPage5290>
Gibson Les Paul Smartwood, and Trogdor (Custom guitar build)> Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde> DigiTech Distortion Factory> Dimebag CryBaby >Fender Hotrod Deville 212
#14
if you wanted to engrave the pickguard, you could probably use a soldering iron

they get hot enough to melt plastic and you could buy a pointed tip if it doesnt already have one
#15
Quote by zy123456
if you wanted to engrave the pickguard, you could probably use a soldering iron

they get hot enough to melt plastic and you could buy a pointed tip if it doesnt already have one

NO!

You'd be better off with a small router bit in a drill press: Then you'd have to make some sort of clamping jig that you could slide around under the drill press along a fence for the straight lines.
#16
Quote by senor_penguin
yeh, make it HSH, that would be sweet and put a killswitch and on-board effects in that sucker

The problem with this is that it's a unique pickguard. I would advise you using the same pickguard because by the looks of it, they're prbably discontinued. You can try shaping it up or shhaping up a new onew, or even getting one custom made, but i think that would take too much effort or too much money to present to a whole bunch of kids and a teacher who don't know half of what you are talking about.
ALSO what kind of class, SHOP, PHYSICS (wiring), etc, are you talking about?
We can help you better that way.
Because if you are showing it for shop, You really don't have to and shouldn't go balls out on the wiring; too much room for error. I would say, at least change, the pickups, keep the same setup just with new hardware and pickups; get rid of all the rusty parts and keep the paintjob. That'll probably give you enough for bragging rights but also just enough to keep you interested in the project and sane.
#18
Quote by iHeart_LesPauls
The problem with this is that it's a unique pickguard. I would advise you using the same pickguard because by the looks of it, they're prbably discontinued. You can try shaping it up or shhaping up a new onew, or even getting one custom made, but i think that would take too much effort or too much money to present to a whole bunch of kids and a teacher who don't know half of what you are talking about.
ALSO what kind of class, SHOP, PHYSICS (wiring), etc, are you talking about?
We can help you better that way.
Because if you are showing it for shop, You really don't have to and shouldn't go balls out on the wiring; too much room for error. I would say, at least change, the pickups, keep the same setup just with new hardware and pickups; get rid of all the rusty parts and keep the paintjob. That'll probably give you enough for bragging rights but also just enough to keep you interested in the project and sane.

Yeah, the pickguard has a few different demensions that are different than a standard fat strats. I layed a Fat strat pickguard over it, and the neck pickup route comes extremely close to the pickguuard. I would also have to drill new holes.

This is my final senior project, which everybody needs to do in order to get a Diploma and graduate from our school. Its graded by like 10 teachers, and 5 other people, and I have to give a 10 minute speech and do a 9 page paper on this ****er, so thats why Im worried about the technical side of it, as I could ramble on for 9 pages on how I did it and how it works. Also, I really dont have too much access to tools, as Im doing this in a little repair shop in an apartment building with very little access to tools like band saws, drill presses, etc. I do have acess to routers and little hand tools and shit like that, but nothing huge.

As for the innotation thing, I know its all ****ed up right now, but honestly, I just want to get the guitar working before I set it up! The action is also a good half an inch if not more off the fretboard
#21
Yeah do a refinish. It will be fun, and the other mods you have been thinking off, killswitch etc, takes like 1 hour max.
I have no idea what I'm talking about. Don't belive me.
#22
Yeah, thats another thing. I have to have like 10 hours of work and research into this guitar. How long do you think it would take me to take everything out of the guitar, install everything, clean it up, set it up, test it, etc.? The reason Im straying away from painting is the fact I dont have anywhere to do it right, unless you think an auto shop or something would help me do it...
#24
You could be outside in a driveway or something as well if the weather is okay. I don't know what the season is in the US right now.
I have no idea what I'm talking about. Don't belive me.
#25
I do have a garage, but it is completely full of shit because we just moved and were not even halfway unpacked, so a lot of my stuff (including all of my dads tools) are packed away, so whenever I need a tool I have to go on a quest for it. haha, but I dont want to do it in the driveway because Im afraid that a leaf or dust or dirt or something like that will stick to the paint as its drying.
#26
if something sticks to the paint while its drying all you have to do is sand it off before the next coat. or you could just paint it and then hand it in the garage to dry so nothing gets on it.
#28
Ok, I got this project approved by my teachers barely, and I have to re-finish the guitar, or they will say its not enough work involved, and I would have to choose another project. So I have the go ahead, and I think I know what Im doing now. These are the specs

Flat Black Body (not sure... I want to do something chrome, so Im thinking the black and chrome would work good)
Diamond Plate or chrome Pickguard
Dimarzio Tone Zone in the bridge
Dimarzio Air Norton in the neck
Dimarzio YJM in the middle
Killswitch
Coil tap
Possible phase switch
Grover inline tuners
Graphite nut

Im questioning the paintjob, but I think it would be a sick combination to have a black and chrome theme working. That, or maybe I will paint it a creme white or something, get a standard black pickguard, and gold hardware. I am not changing the neck though, so I dont know how these schemes would look with a maple neck on it. Im going in on Monday to order parts, so what are your opinions? Also, are the pickups good for metal, hard rock, and still have good cleans? Thanks for your input.
#29
an onboard compressor??? that would be pretty chill.
and yea add like 7 random switches including kill switch and coil tap, coil split, phase switch, and yea...
Call me "Shot".

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Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


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#30
Whats an onboard compressor? Im mainly looking for wiring things that will cost me little to no money, so if its something that I would have to buy, I dont think I'll do it. Although I may think about getting an onboard boost of some kind. How do those work, who makes good ones, and how much do they normally cost? The only one I know of is the EMG afterburner, but Im not even sure if they work without active EMGs.
#31
... $30 http://store.guitarfetish.com/wh3supiwikit.html
$44 http://store.guitarfetish.com/cofrjatoinsu.html
i like this site. i have teh midboost circuit. its brilliant.

Edit: just read the "onboard boost" on ur post...
$23? http://store.guitarfetish.com/25migubociti.html
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#32
Guitarfetish.com has onboard effects and stuff. Wiring mods, like phase switch would be easy to do and inexpensive.
Now, when you put coil tap, did you mean coil split? They're two very different things. Coil tap are only available on single coils, when you use less then than the maximum amount of windings to get a lower output and different tone.
A coil split is done on a humbucker, in which you only use one of the coils. Personally, I feel a coil split ios pretty useless, as the result does not leave you with true single coil tone, it's weak, but now has hum, and due to it's output being halved, and sounds thin and weak, as humbuckers aren't wound to the norm of about 6-7 K DCR.
A series/parallel switch is more useful for humbucker, IMO.
Only use the phase switch for the Neck and Bridge combo, that'll sound stronger. A humbucker out fo phase with itself sounds very weak as most of the frequencies are cancelled out. If the pickups are further, it retains the nasal, honky tone that is characteristic of an out of phase combo, whilst being reasonable audible and strong.
#33
o cool i only have an SSS strat so didn't know bout coil split/tap
jimmy page had that crazy wiring les paul right?
with all the coil tap and coil split and phase switches under his pickguard?
im planning to get an LP and doing that kind of a mod
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#37
I'd refinish it in matte black with a silver plexiglass pickguard, black knobs and chrome hardware. I'd personally also change the neck for a mighty mite or something.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#39
ebonize it then, or can you ebonize a maple neck???
GEAR
- Epi Les Paul Custom (emma)
- Orange Tiny Terror
- 2x12 w/greenbacks
-MXR ZW-44 Overdrivel
- MXR Phase 90
- EB Volume JR.
- Boss DD-3
#40


That will be my plan for this project. Do you guys think it looks alright with the black and chrome then maple neck? Also, do you think the chrome or black hardware would look better on it? I'm thinking I am going to go with chrome.
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