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Thread: Strat project

  1. #1
    Forum Member sapi's Avatar
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    Strat project

    So I decided to go for a strat-type guitar/project with 2 humbuckers. Been wanting to do this for quite a while, and the planning took a lot of thought. Did not want Floyd Rose/locking nuts, etc... but more of a guitar along vintage lines with some nice parts.
    The fun about strat guitars is you can basically take out the loaded scratchplate and put another one in to change the tone. This guitar was inspired a little by Jeff Beck's strat and a particular tone I was hearing in my head. I did not want to duplicate the JB, but just to look at what I wanted or not. The clincher came to decide whether to go for Fender Hot Noiseless pu's, John Suhr's or similar, or a pair of nice HB's. For now I decided on the latter and I'm more than happy :)
    The LSR nut is a good alternative for a locking nut from my experience - if the setup behind the nut is right - and I feel the classic trem can still do a lot, enough for me.

    Here's the parts and specs:

    Musikraft alder 2 piece body, '60's type in Olympic White.
    Asymmetrical neck heel/contour.
    Musikraft quartersawn maple neck with a Braz fb.
    LSR nut, no string trees.
    22 Jumbo frets.
    Light tint nitro finish neck, medium 'C' shape, real clay dot markers.
    10-12 compound radius.
    Callaham trem and s/steel screws.
    Gotoh vintage-style adjustable height tuners, rock solid shaft, Magnum lock.
    3-way switch (wanted it simple).
    1 Tone, 1 vol, '50's wiring, Sozo .022uF cap.
    The killswitch is basically a vandal-proof push switch.
    Bare Knuckle EVHII pickups, nickel covers, F-spaced.
    WD parchment scratchplate.
    Asymmetrical neck plate.
    Custom decal.

    Here's before:







  2. #2
    Forum Member sapi's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    Well! Here's the "after". I'm really happy in that it turned out much the way I wanted, it has the tone I was hearing in my head.

    I like the LSR nut - despite heavy trem use the guitar stays in tune, no doubt helped by the state-of-the-art Gotoh tuners. I had to have shims (supplied) under the nut cos of the jumbo frets, they're quite high. No string trees - staggered tuners. A pro custom decal on the headstock.

    The guitar was basically put together by my guitar tech. The trem cavity had to be routed a little at the back because the trem block did not have as much range when going flat. Instead of eating on the lower end of the Callaham block it was decided better to take off some wood.

    Thanks to "Muddy" and my tech, we modded the trem seating because I wanted the trem to go sharp by at least a minor 3rd on the G string. Maybe in time I'll try for a major 3rd, but for now this will suffice. What we did was get some mini industrial spec rubber washers and have them fit tight on the outer 2 trem mounting screws only (the remaining 4 screws being just for support) - thus raising the baseplate off the body. I think quite a few of you are familiar with this mod? It works.
    I found out there's basically 2 versions of asymmetrical neckplates with different hole placements, Fender and aftermarket.

    I was amazed and pleasantly surprised at how much the guitar resonates. It REALLY vibrates, you can really feel the body shake when the strings are strummed, it reminded me in fact of my HM R9 or a grand piano. Maybe the quartersawn neck helped. The Braz RW FB is nice as well as the med "C" profile neck.

    I'm using Elixir Nanoweb 10's gauge on this one. Plenty of sustain and that liquid yet fat sound I wanted - clear with lots of harmonic overtones verging on feedback on the bridge. I find the Bare Knuckle VH2's perfect for the tone I wanted, both clean and OD. It's a big but clear sound. Plenty of treble and bass, defined and tight. At the mom I'm playing through my Fender Bassman Tweed 4x10 and it sounds awesome, but I can't wait to get the Metro SB back. I get goosepimples just thinking about it! The Sozo vintage cap on the tone works like a wah. It's the first time I tried one and it's gonna stay.

    Sorry for the poor quality of the pics, they are from my mob phone and don't do justice. Hope you like and peace all.


  3. #3
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    That looks great! It's a nice, clean, non-traditional look withought being too high tech looking.

    A guitar like this will out live you!

  4. #4
    Forum Member curtisstetka's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    That is a cool looking guitar. I'm glad it worked out as planned for you.
    s'all goof.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    I went with humbuckers wired for Volume, Tone, Tone.


  6. #6
    Forum Member sapi's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    This guitar is seriously super! I really enjoy playing it! The tone is fantastic, with a vintage/modern feel. Spank and thud in spades, yet sensitive and sweet. The pickups are microphonic, but there's no squeeling or howling, just nice feedback. It really likes my Keeley/Ibanez TS9-DX pedal.
    I'll be getting my Metro soon and I'm sure it's going to sound even bigger with the closed 4x12.
    What is really nice about projects is that you put whatever you want on them, no compromises. Initially I was thinking of getting a Sig Jeff Beck CS (not artist series) guitar. I thought it was quite expensive esp here in Europe and anyway there were some things I wanted on the guitar. I feel I'm getting ultra-CS specs without the hefty price tag.
    My next project will be a Jag body with a fixed bridge and P90's ;)
    Play on :)

  7. #7
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    Re: Strat project

    My build shocked me with its resonate qualities also. I attribute this to the Callaham bridge and block. I see you have the same. Some times i feel like new strings are too much for the thing. Nice job. Glad you build something a little different
    P e a c e KYC


    Strat or Tele out of a 5E3 .

  8. #8
    Forum Member sapi's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    Thank you all for your comments yes it took some time but I got what I wanted on this guitar. I may replace the vol pot with a low-friction pot or just flush out the inside with contact cleaner and hope it works...

  9. #9
    Forum Member sapi's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    Fast forward to years later... an update!
    Decided to swap the Callaham for a modded Bladerunner with custom steel block, Ti saddles and custom '64 style s/steel arm!
    I liked the Callaham a lot tone-wise but I had the strings falling the edge of the fingerboard. So the option was either get the V/N Callaham or get the BR. I decided to go with the last one. I'm happy with the modded BR, the only slight drawback is that it's slightly stiff; it's the V1, maybe V2 is less stiff? Nothing serious and one can get used to it. I enjoy playing this guitar!




  10. #10
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    Nice work! I'm not a tinkerer or builder, so I can't speak to the finished product. I'm also not a fan of dark necks (call it my idiosyncrasy), but I notice it's maple with a "Brazilian wood" fingerboard, correct?

    I like and appreciate your work. I also want you to know that this is still an active, viable forum, even if traffic is light.

  11. #11
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    That's a super fine looking Strat!
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

  12. #12
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    I posted my comments prematurely: I meant to ask you how the action felt with the Brazilian wood fingerboard. One of the reasons I like maple (and ebony, but that's pretty hard to find) is that the action to me is super smooth.

  13. #13
    Forum Member sapi's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    Thank you guys for the kind comments.
    I have another SSS strat and that's a maple fingerboard, i like those too, very nice guitar! But for this project, i wanted a braz fingerboard. Feels very nice and smooth, no problem with the jumbo frets installed.

  14. #14
    Forum Member CoyotesGator's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    Very nice!
    What happend?
    Who let the magic smoke out?

  15. #15
    Forum Member kaicho8888's Avatar
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    Re: Strat project

    Look'n GOOOD!

    Old Rockers never die; we just fade away!
    会長

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