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Frankenguitars, partscasters and other bastards
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author Frankenguitars, partscasters and other bastards
Sinamsis
bandwidth
Yeah, it's pretty awesome. Haha, I just called and he picked up the phone. And was totally cool, just told me to come by some time and we could sort it out. Haha, it was awesome. Sadly he was out when I dropped off, but hopefully he'll be there when I go to pick it up.
Sinamsis
I just picked up the Starcaster from Lindy Fralin yesterday. Gave it a shot today. It sounds great. Ended up not switching out the pots, etc. The pickups are really sound great though. I've never played the original Fender wide range humbuckers, but these have great clarity and fullness, while maintaining the Fender single coil type sound. Really nice. I also got to hang out with Lindy a bit while he wound his last pickup of the day. He's a great guy.

Which brings up the point of electronics. Lindy said not to bother replacing the pots and jack until they failed. He said it wouldn't have a large impact on tone. But I've read the opposite. My initial impression is that the volume pot cuts significantly in the first couple clock hours of turning. Not sure about tone yet, though I've heard changing the tone pots will have a significant effect on over all tone. Anyone with experience?
commodorejohn
I'd be very surprised if the pots themselves have an effect on tone, since (assuming this is a passive tone control) all they do is control the amount of signal passed through to the tone-control capacitor. I imagine the only difference you'd see between a new and old pot there is smoother action/lack of dirty-pot noise.
Sinamsis
commodorejohn wrote:
I'd be very surprised if the pots themselves have an effect on tone, since (assuming this is a passive tone control) all they do is control the amount of signal passed through to the tone-control capacitor. I imagine the only difference you'd see between a new and old pot there is smoother action/lack of dirty-pot noise.


Even if you change the value of the pot?
commodorejohn
Well, that'll affect how much treble bleed-off you can get with the knob cranked all the way down, but other than that I don't think there would be a qualitative difference.
Sinamsis
commodorejohn wrote:
Well, that'll affect how much treble bleed-off you can get with the knob cranked all the way down, but other than that I don't think there would be a qualitative difference.


I thought treble bleed mods involved adding some form of capacitor to the volume circuit. Ha, but I know F all about these things.
commodorejohn
Well, I'm no expert either, this is just as best as I understand it, but the passive tone control uses a pot to allow a variable amount of signal through to a capacitor that serves as a fixed-cutoff lowpass filter, the output of which is shunted to ground. So (unless I'm misunderstanding this) the only thing the tone pot affects is how much signal is bled off this way - effectively serving as a wet/dry control for the LPF. I don't think anything would affect the "color" of the tone-control circuit besides maybe the capacitor itself; it's not like an active LPF design where there are a lot more factors that give individual designs their own distinct character.
Sleipnir
commodorejohn wrote:
So (unless I'm misunderstanding this) the only thing the tone pot affects is how much signal is bled off this way - effectively serving as a wet/dry control for the LPF.

You're mostly correct, except there is always some signal going through the pot (unless you get special "no load" pots that basically have a direct switch at the end of their travel).
Going between 250k (standard for single coils, to tame the 'ice pick'), 500k (standard humbucker), 1meg (extra sizzle) and no pot at all (a la EVH) drastically changes the top end response.
Note that even the volume control bleeds some to ground, so just changing that pot will affect tone/output.
Sinamsis
Interesting. Thanks to both of you for the input. This is what had me thinking about it:

https://mmguitarbar.com/2013/12/25/wiring-upgrade-for-a-fender-reissue -starcaster/


In my case, I think Lindy might be right. It sounds pretty good. I may just leave it as is for now.
Sleipnir
Sinamsis wrote:
Interesting. Thanks to both of you for the input. This is what had me thinking about it:
https://mmguitarbar.com/2013/12/25/wiring-upgrade-for-a-fender-reissue -starcaster/
In my case, I think Lindy might be right. It sounds pretty good. I may just leave it as is for now.

Listen to Lindy, he knows his shit. "If it ain't broke..."
That article has a bit of wank going on. He changes the pickups and wiring, then attributes the changes to the wiring, ignoring the pickups?
seriously, i just don't get it
My friend rewired his Epi 335 due to faulty components (scratchy pots, crackly jack, floppy pu selector switch), which is what happens a lot with budget guitars, but it didn't change the tone in itself. It did however change the feel: smooth creamy pot turns, nice firm switch).
What did change the "playability" was having it rewired "50's style " (which the article does mention he uses). You might ask Lindy about that - he may have even wired it that way for you already.
For the curious, "modern wiring" goes
pickup --> tone --> volume
vs. 50's
pickup --> volume --> tone
At both knobs full up, they are basically identical. What 50's does is make the two knobs much more interactive, and also makes it so the high end doesn't drop as you lower the volume. Note that this is separate from a "treble bleed" volume control, which uses a cap to cut the bass as you lower the volume.
I was a "all knobs to 10" guy for decades until I played a guitar wired like that, and found a ton of tonal sweet spots all over the place. This also let me take advantage of the trick of setting your overall tone with both knobs at 8, giving you the ability to cut as well as boost right on the guitar .

Be careful, as guitar wiring is almost as deep a hole to fall into as modular synthesis.
Cheaper, though (until you get into collecting $50 nos paper in oil capacitors). Dead Banana
Sinamsis
Sleipnir wrote:
Sinamsis wrote:
Interesting. Thanks to both of you for the input. This is what had me thinking about it:
https://mmguitarbar.com/2013/12/25/wiring-upgrade-for-a-fender-reissue -starcaster/
In my case, I think Lindy might be right. It sounds pretty good. I may just leave it as is for now.

Listen to Lindy, he knows his shit. "If it ain't broke..."
That article has a bit of wank going on. He changes the pickups and wiring, then attributes the changes to the wiring, ignoring the pickups?
seriously, i just don't get it
My friend rewired his Epi 335 due to faulty components (scratchy pots, crackly jack, floppy pu selector switch), which is what happens a lot with budget guitars, but it didn't change the tone in itself. It did however change the feel: smooth creamy pot turns, nice firm switch).
What did change the "playability" was having it rewired "50's style " (which the article does mention he uses). You might ask Lindy about that - he may have even wired it that way for you already.
For the curious, "modern wiring" goes
pickup --> tone --> volume
vs. 50's
pickup --> volume --> tone
At both knobs full up, they are basically identical. What 50's does is make the two knobs much more interactive, and also makes it so the high end doesn't drop as you lower the volume. Note that this is separate from a "treble bleed" volume control, which uses a cap to cut the bass as you lower the volume.
I was a "all knobs to 10" guy for decades until I played a guitar wired like that, and found a ton of tonal sweet spots all over the place. This also let me take advantage of the trick of setting your overall tone with both knobs at 8, giving you the ability to cut as well as boost right on the guitar .

Be careful, as guitar wiring is almost as deep a hole to fall into as modular synthesis.
Cheaper, though (until you get into collecting $50 nos paper in oil capacitors). Dead Banana


Ok, that's what I wanted to hear. In the guys defense, the way I read it was the pickups were replaced, it fell short, those mods were done and it was amazing. Haha, I take it with a grain of salt. But I do think I'll eventually replace the pots, the volume pot is really hard to control, it goes from full to closed within a few clock hours. It's particularly annoying, because the bridge is overwound slightly, and it has a very faint crunch to it. I know dialing back the volume just a touch would clean it up, which would let me bring it in and out at will.

Haha, I pretty much have been a keep them at 10 guy forever. I briefly had a Fender Jaguar that had the same coil split thing that I have in my JM, which had me tweaking the knobs a bit. But then I went back to keeping everything at 10. I'm just now beginning to play with the volume and tone. What a difference.

Other funny change I've undergone.... I used to only use bridge pickups. I genuinely wondered why even bother with the neck pups. I've done almost a 180 degree on that one, and favor the neck pickups much more frequently. Weird how things change.
commodorejohn
Sleipnir wrote:
Be careful, as guitar wiring is almost as deep a hole to fall into as modular synthesis.
Cheaper, though (until you get into collecting $50 nos paper in oil capacitors). Dead Banana

lol Luckily I got the upgraded wiring and vintage capacitors into the bargain on my Les Paul grin
Sinamsis
So I just got another bastard guitar in a trade. Seller's description:

-90's MIJ Fender body in Candy Apple Red
-CEG Hardtails neck with satin finish and matching painted headstock. Nice C shape, 9.5" radius
-Staytrem UK bridge
-Fender AVRI Jazzmaster tremolo
-Hipshot Locking Tuners
-Handwound split alnico 2/5 pickups from Sunday Pickups
-no rhythm circuit, just a 3 way switch, volume, and tone.


I'm going to replace the electronics (ha, or I guess install them since there aren't any roller pots, etc). Make sure the inside is shielded. I don't mind the pickups, but they do have the single coil hum. I may eventually go see Lindy again, haha.


Rex Coil 7
I call this the "Shredbilly" ....

Chopped alder Warmoth Tele body to suit a fuddup neck (my neck, not the guitar's neck). If my right elbow is sortof held forward by the guitar's body for any more than about ten minutes, my neck hurts so much that I'm pretty much bed ridden for the next two+ days. It's a permanent injury that I've been told is 100% inoperable. Comes down to ... I just have to live with it.

That said, I discovered that I was able to play a Gibson Explorer or a Flying V without ANY pain or discomfort. This is due to the fact that my elbow lays flat against my torso when playing either of those body styles. Those shapes are so radically cut on the top that the player's forearm may lay (lie? .. my grammar officially sucks) comfortably against the torso without the elbow being forced forward and outward.

I prefer the flat bridge and the straight guitar neck (opposed to the Gibson style of Tune-O-Matic bridge and tailpiece required due to the angled neck relative to the body). Put all of the above yakkity yak together and you get the Shredbilly. A heavily "chopped" Tele body, with a Strat neck (it was from a previous project) and a bunch of aftermarket parts.

Pickups are Quarter Pounders with coil taps. The coil taps are engaged/disengaged with "pop up pots" ... push down on the knob and it "pops up" for one of the throws, push it again and the knob locks down in the other throw. Knobs down = half coil ..... knobs up = full coil (good gain boost!).

Gotoh bridge, all stainless cover plate, string trees, string ferules, neck plate, and screws (Callaham? I believe is the company name that most of the stainless pieces came from). Planet Waves locking tuners.

Neck is a Warmoth Strat neck made of padouk (sp?) ... when it was first installed it was this rich mahogany-red color, with age and sweat it has turned this insanely beautiful burgundy. Stainless frets .. which ROCK! As they wear in they get really nice and ~slick~ ... super feel for doing bends and vibrato ... the strings just slip so easily on the frets after they wear in some.

No finish, bare naked (body and neck). I just wipe it down with lemon oil about every six months.

Ugly as a mud fence ... but this thing is without any doubt my favorite axe E.V.E.R.

Best of all, this thing drives the purists NUTS! HAAHAA! Mr. Green

Pics were taken before I even strung it for the first time (hence the un-adjusted intonation ... look at the bridge saddles closely).







Full coils selected (knobs UP) ..... now remember, these are not "push-pull" type switches, these are "pop up" type. Volume on the left of the pic, tone on the right (standard Telecaster sheme).





Knobs DOWN ... coils tapped (lower output).....




WIRING ..........









Lastly a pic of the chopped off part next to the guitar ... for contrast (I swear I can hear the purists' buttholes collectively snapping shut when they view this image). Gotta love it!! ... "Man Down .. Man Down!! Call the Tele Police immediately!!"






Total cost, all said and done = ~roughly~ $1500.00. Been playing this one since about 2008.


Rockin' Banana!
sduck
I remember that one from the warmoth forum - they loved that one over there!
Rex Coil 7
sduck wrote:
I remember that one from the warmoth forum - they loved that one over there!
Really! Huh ... had no idea it was posted there.

cool
Sleipnir
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Ugly as a mud fence ... but this thing is without any doubt my favorite axe E.V.E.R.

I'd say it's beautiful.. screw the purists. Rockin' Banana!
It's functional and works for you, hence awesome. The tele body shape is only one stop away from a full acoustic, and I really hate drooping my forearm over the sharp edge - that's why I built the JazzCaster.
Also, that is the cleanest control cavity I've ever seen. thumbs up
jules
The question is what are you doing with the chop off bit of the guitar?
A weapon against unwelcoming crowds?
A car seat headrest?
Or a tiny modern sofa for barbie dolls?
Rex Coil 7
jules wrote:
The question is what are you doing with the chop off bit of the guitar?
A weapon against unwelcoming crowds?
A car seat headrest?
Or a tiny modern sofa for barbie dolls?
"A" ... works great for musterin' knots.
sduck
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
sduck wrote:
I remember that one from the warmoth forum - they loved that one over there!
Really! Huh ... had no idea it was posted there.


Ack, maybe it wasn't there. It was somewhere, but where, I can't remember...
Rex Coil 7
sduck wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
sduck wrote:
I remember that one from the warmoth forum - they loved that one over there!
Really! Huh ... had no idea it was posted there.


Ack, maybe it wasn't there. It was somewhere, but where, I can't remember...
No worries ... I didn't even know Warmoth has a forum (I don't care to be honest) ... it just surprised me that anyone took notice of anything I've done .. no matter the venue.
Rex Coil 7
Sleipnir wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Ugly as a mud fence ... but this thing is without any doubt my favorite axe E.V.E.R.

I'd say it's beautiful.. screw the purists. Rockin' Banana!
It's functional and works for you, hence awesome. The tele body shape is only one stop away from a full acoustic, and I really hate drooping my forearm over the sharp edge - that's why I built the JazzCaster.
Also, that is the cleanest control cavity I've ever seen. thumbs up
Thank you. It's kindof funny to me (wiring) ... you see so many guitars with these expensive finishes and book matched burl maple with these exotic looking stains, expensive (useless) binding, and so on. Then you look in the control cavity and it looks like a rat's nest, little time spent at all in there. And to be honest, it takes very little effort to do a nice and neat job.

And before I get gang tackled, I'll openly admit that the first Warmoth I put together was the cliche "session cat" Strat with all of the adornments so it's not like I feel I'm "above" all of that ....




(below) I purposely ~tweeked~ the low E-tuner at an angle, I like to quickly detune/retune during performance and placing the tuner key at an angle like that made fiddling with that tuner far easier. It also provided clearance between it and the next tuner so when I go wanking on that angled tuner I don't accidentally knock the adjacent one out of tune. Looks weird but it works great.





It was part of a pair of Warmoths I put together for our 25th wedding anniversary about ten years ago. The Tele is hers, the Strat is mine. It's tough to tell in these pics but the Tele is this beautiful brown even though it may appear black in the pics. Both axes had burl maple necks and loaded with aftermarket stuff all the way 'round. Both axes were also semi-hollow bodies (a Warmoth option).



The Tele also had the "tummy cut" and "forearm relief" (essentially the same as a Strat).




I shielded the cavities of both bodies using that "magnetic paint" .. which is a technically incorrect name for that stuff .. it's not "magnetic" ... it's actually a ferrous paint the magnets are attracted to. It was NOT easier to apply than using plain old shielding tape, but it did work just fine! I just had to be super careful with that stuff, you do not want to get that shyte on your paint job .. AT ALL .. it's HIGHLY abbrasive .. like kitchen cleanser ("Comet"). So if some of it gets on the finish and you just try to wipe it off, you may as well have used sandpaper to wipe it off with, it will definitely "swirl" any finish.





I soldered a ground wire to a brass screw and drove the screw in to the shielding paint inside the cavity, then attached said wire to the appropriate grounding terminal. At the end of the day, it certainly worked. But I have never used that method since.

I've built 14 guitars/basses since then.

thumbs up
wsy
One thing I notice in the photos- seems that you're using solid wire, not stranded.

Sure, it's easier to bend to a particular shape, but that's the problem; it's rigid and subject
to work hardening.

Aren't you worried about the internal wire fatiguing from vibration and cracking off?

- Bill
Rex Coil 7
wsy wrote:
One thing I notice in the photos- seems that you're using solid wire, not stranded.

Sure, it's easier to bend to a particular shape, but that's the problem; it's rigid and subject
to work hardening.

Aren't you worried about the internal wire fatiguing from vibration and cracking off?

- Bill
No. Only the ground wires are solid, just the three black wires that run between pots and the pickup switch. All of the other wires are either whatever Seymour Duncan uses as pickup leads, and pre-tinned 24ga stranded wire that I added (the green ones are stranded, I just know how to manipulate that stuff in to nice straight runs or curved runs ... it's a technique). I've built roughly five hundred guitar pedals using the exact same stuff since 2007, never a broken wire ever reported. Same wire many pedal shops use, as well.

And if that guitar gets vibrated so hard that it actually breaks a rather short 22ga solid copper wire (that is mechanically supported to a degree by running it close to things) then I would have to say a broken wire would be the LEAST of my worries. Meaning that I believe it would have to be thrown off of a cliff or placed upon a paint shaker to vibrate that much. The runs are very short, and somewhat supported. So, no, I'm not worried at all.

Good observation, though!
sduck
You've got to see ^this guy's^ wiring to believe it - he's one of the masters of wiring. Waiting to see a bit more of it in person, myself...
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