I have an addiction to guitar-building projects

MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
I seem to have a bit of a problem with an addiction to guitar-building projects lol! But anyway, having built a tele, and then a strat (both of which seem very successful guitars imo) I now find myself in the early stages of another build. This one will use a neck from a guitar I bought back in about 1994, second-hand from Mansons in Plymouth - namely a Starfield "Altair" model...



I was at one point going to strip the body to bare wood, and do an oil finish (Tru-oil probably). But the existing finish turned out to be horrible polyester, thick and very difficult to remove (impervious to paint strippers, gives off noxious fumes if using a heat gun). Plus the wood underneath just didn't look good enough. So enough about this guitar! - it is history now, except it did have a nice, oil-finished neck which I'm going to use for this new build.

So, I'm designing my own body shape this time, which is fun. I did have in mind something a bit "futuristic", and in fact spent several days trawling the web for guitar pictures to give me inspiration - the Parker Fly was one model I was thinking about, though I didn't want to do a direct copy. Yesterday, I started actually sketching at full scale on a large sheet of paper. As I've worked, it has been strange to notice how all the elements I had in my head seem to have changed or been dropped - somehow, the action of physically drawing on paper makes me see things differently. And somewhere along the line, "futuristic" has been replaced by "wave-like and flowing" (hopefully!). Anyhow, after much rubbing out and alteration, I'm about done today - see what you think:
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Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    And a couple more for good luck:





    Well, I'm excited - I hope you are too... laugh As before, I plan to get the body made to spec by Phil at www.guitarbuild.co.uk - the 2 previous guitars were using swamp-ash (and lovely stuff it was too) but at the mo I'm undecided for this guitar, perhaps something a bit darker-looking (sapele? walnut?) - anyway, we will see. Also not decided on the hardware either, but it might be gold (again!) - somehow I can't seem to get away from that! grin

    ps: just noticed my foot in one of the shots lol...
  • Pete_BPete_B Posts: 28Member
    Looks good so far, so much more satisfying that you will build something unique smile

    Oh btw, one thing to watch/decide on is where to put the bottom curve on the body as if you play it on your knee, it will determin how much access to the upper frets you will have without twisting around, take a look at where the curve of an SG is compared to a strat
  • AlidoreAlidore Posts: 528Member
    Looks good so far, so much more satisfying that you will build something unique smile

    Oh btw, one thing to watch/decide on is where to put the bottom curve on the body as if you play it on your knee, it will determin how much access to the upper frets you will have without twisting around, take a look at where the curve of an SG is compared to a strat
    Pete.

    “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.”
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    Think it's safe to say it's all taking shape. Good point that about the bottom curve. Trying to mix aesthetics and practicality ... bit of an art form.

    I'm looking forward to seeing this develop - as I've said in the past I enjoy watching others work more than I enjoy doing it myself.

    Good luck. cool
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Thanks chaps - very glad you approve of the shape. smile I think have things pretty much as I want them, but still there's just a bit of refining to do here and there, so in the coming week I will be producing accurate final diagrams of the guitar body, which will show details of things like forearm and belly contouring, also stuff such as the control cavity and control placement. One idea is to have the jack socket positioned inside the wave-shaped indent on the base, so that the lead jack is out of the way and protected, and also would be convenient for looping the cord over the bottom strap button when in use.

    I have also been in further contact with Phil (at www.guitarbuild.co.uk ) and no doubt plenty of further discussion is to come. He likes my body design too which is good to know. Anyway, he has quite a bit of very nice wood in stock at the mo, including some great swamp ash... so I admit to being somewhat all at sea over the wood choice right now. I think the 2 leading contenders though are walnut and swamp ash.

    Walnut: appeals in some ways - from reading up on it, it has a bright tone, and great sustain, plus I think it looks great. The downside might well be the weight though - this is a pretty damn heavy wood - and given the pickups I plan to use work well for jazz plus are versatile, I think this could be a guitar I will want to gig a lot, so I really don't want something that will give me back/shoulder issues after a couple of hours standing up. I've never had a particularly heavy guitar before, so I might not fully appreciate what I could be letting myself in for. I do have a bubinga body 5 string bass, which is seriously heavy, but I haven't had cause to gig with that, I just use it at home (it does sound great I must say - rich but with presence and bucket loads of sustain).

    But now I'm wondering if I shouldn't actually go with swamp ash again... I know from my other builds that this wood gives a lovely lively sound - articulate, resonant and ringing, some top end shimmer, but also seems to give a good bit of "body" to the tone. I like it a lot, plus I think it looks lovely. And... it's generally light in weight. Basically, it's more of a known quantity, and given that the pickups I'm using are fairly different to those on my other builds, the guitar would be sufficiently different to justify using the same wood type.

    So currently weighing all these things up, and also still in a quandary over the hardware - chrome? gold? black chrome? - I still haven't a clue! laugh
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Alidore
    Looks good so far, so much more satisfying that you will build something unique smile

    Oh btw, one thing to watch/decide on is where to put the bottom curve on the body as if you play it on your knee, it will determin how much access to the upper frets you will have without twisting around, take a look at where the curve of an SG is compared to a strat


    It's a good point about the bottom curve - I hadn't thought about that I admit. But out of interest I did some measuring today on a couple of my guitars, taking the distance from the 22nd fret to a point level with the bottom curve. On one of my Shine SIL-510s, I got about 55mm - this guitar has a fairly compact feel played sitting down, with the neck not feeling like it sticks out to the side as much as many other guitars. You do have to kind of reach across the body a bit to get at the higher frets, but basically I find this manageable, and I like the general ergonomics of the design, and the way the guitar "sits". On my tele, the same measurement is about 70mm, so it's a bit more - in theory that should improve the upper fret access sitting down, but perhaps also make the neck seem to stick out a bit more, so maybe more of an outward reach to use the lower frets. But in practice I find it hard to tell much difference lol. And when I measured my planned new design, I got about 58mm, so I thinking that should be fine.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    I think this could be a guitar I will want to gig a lot, so I really don't want something that will give me back/shoulder issues after a couple of hours standing up. I've never had a particularly heavy guitar before, so I might not fully appreciate what I could be letting myself in for.

    You do well to be wary of a heavy guitar.

    As a once proud owner of a MIJ Tokai Les Paul Custom which weighed in at around 11 lbs I can confirm the heavier guitars can give your back some major issues. It was just about OK for an hour at a time with the remedy of a much thicker padded bass guitar style strap, but I wouldn't have fancied risking it for longer times than that. With an ordinary strap it was hellish and pain and twinges would arrive very rapidly.

    Guess the main thing should be a wood that will go with the sort of sound you're after.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,520Member, Moderator
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    Walnut ... The downside might well be the weight though - this is a pretty damn heavy wood

    One option would be to have a chambered body. This reduced the weight of the guitar and increases sustain.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Lester
    One option would be to have a chambered body. This reduced the weight of the guitar and increases sustain.



    This of course is a perfectly good idea - I'd have to have a talk with Phil and see what they could do - might put the cost up of course. But I have to say at the moment, I find my thoughts are pulling in the direction of swamp ash...

    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    Guess the main thing should be a wood that will go with the sort of sound you're after.


    ...and that would have to be swamp ash - based on my 2 previous builds, I love the influence this stuff has on a guitar tone - to me it has a kind of open, breath-like quality - I hear this especially when playing the guitar acoustically, but I also think it comes through in the amplified tone. I could go on and wax lyrical about swamp ash's many tonal attributes, but I'm thinking from a sound/tone perspective, this is where logic takes me. I think the walnut was perhaps mainly entering the picture as something that would look different from what I've done before. But after all, the guitar will already have a pretty different shape, plus a hardtail bridge, and different sounding pickups, so that should be enough variation to keep me happy. Also I'm now thinking black hardware - there are some nice-looking natural ash with black chrome guitars and basses I've looked at on the web.

    Anyhow, I'm possibly going on about it all too much now blush - I'll give things a day or 2 to see if my thoughts settle and I stop changing my mind lol, and then I can get on with stuff. smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    ...I'll give things a day or 2 to see if my thoughts settle and...


    Actually, I don't think it will take so long - natural swamp ash (probably 1-piece), finished in Tru-oil, black chrome hardware... cool
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Just ordered a set of black Schaller style machine heads from Hong Kong! I've used the seller before for electronics parts which have been good quality. These machine heads look the part, and ridiculously cheap, so worth a punt I thought. Will see what they are like when they arrive. smile

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Set-of-Black-B...=item3cc0321e8d
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    I feel a spot of guitar hardware buying coming on! A small thing, but just to log progress, I've also ordered a cylinder-type jack socket from the same Chinese seller http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cylinder-Flush...=item3cb767e1ea

    I figure it's worth the extra delivery time if there is a few quid to be saved, and might as well get such stuff ordered now, then with any luck I should have it by the time it's needed. Axesrus in the UK are also likely to receive an order from me fairly soon... Does anyone have any strong opinions on this hardtail bridge unit btw? I like the look of it:

    http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Hard-Tail-Bridge-with-I-saddles-on-a-Vintage-Lip-p/bn103.htm
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Another trivial purchase to log - 2 pairs of black chrome strap pins + fixing screws from CH Guitars on ebay. Just realised (bum!) but it doesn't look like they come with fixing screws, a small matter though... laugh
  • JamieSutherlandJamieSutherland Posts: 49Member
    I think I bought those same machine heads for my first build. If they are the same ones, I can vouch for them being pretty decent!


    Any way, best of luck with your build, some great ideas so far! Only problem I see so far, is that you have gotten me in the mind set of building another shocked !!!

    I must admit, when the guitar is finished its a great feeling. Mine replaced my main guitar for a good year or so until recently when I've been forced back to the work horse!
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    The hardtail bridge unit looks a very solid piece of hardware - which ought to be good news from the sound point of view. cool

    I think the black hardware theme should go well with a nice piece of swamp ash - good idea to go for single piece if you're going the tru-oil route.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    The hardtail bridge unit looks a very solid piece of hardware - which ought to be good news from the sound point of view. cool

    I think the black hardware theme should go well with a nice piece of swamp ash - good idea to go for single piece if you're going the tru-oil route.
    Cheers Mark! smile , but true to form I have since changed my mind crazy , and instead gone for this bridge unit:

    http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Hard-Tail-Bridge-with-O-saddles-on-a-Heavy-Duty-Ba-p/bn101.htm

    which I hope you also will approve of. It looks more or less an exact copy of a Mighty Mite hardtail bridge, though I'm not sure where it's made (China? Korea?). Also seems solid though, and I like the modern look. Also this one has 5 fixing screws instead of the 4 for the other unit, which I think is better. Anyway, not that I know a whole lot about bridges, but I did find that the brand-name ones were all too pricey for me (I may just stretch to the one piece swamp ash for the body though... wink - hard to resist doing that grin )

    I have also ordered 3 of these single coil sized pickup surrounds:

    http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Single-Coil-Pickup-Surrounds-p/scsurround.htm

    ...and 4 of these individual neck bolt ferrules:

    http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Neck-Bolt-Ferrules-4-OFF-p/hb007.htm (plus 4 neck bolts to go with them)

    ...and 6 vintage tele style ferrules for the string-thru-body anchoring:

    http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Telecaster-Vintage-Ferrules-Knarled-Edge-p/hs017.htm

    Altogether, today I've spent just over £50 on hardware for the build, and really I think that is just about everything I need - not bad going I reckon! Doubtless there will be various screws and other minor things still to get, but I'm about there. I think I already have all the switches, pots and capacitors I will need for the electrics. And of course I already have the pickups I plan to use too.

    I'm glad you like the black hardware theme also - I think it will look great against the creamy coloured ash with some nice grain. Plus I just couldn't do gold hardware again... whistle I'm going to go for the simple Tru-oil approach I used on the strat build, so without any grain-filling, for a natural appearance and feel.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: JamieSutherland
    I think I bought those same machine heads for my first build. If they are the same ones, I can vouch for them being pretty decent!


    Any way, best of luck with your build, some great ideas so far! Only problem I see so far, is that you have gotten me in the mind set of building another shocked !!!

    I must admit, when the guitar is finished its a great feeling. Mine replaced my main guitar for a good year or so until recently when I've been forced back to the work horse!
    Thanks for that info re the tuners Jamie - it makes me think I might have done a good thing there and found a genuine bargain. Cheers for the luck too, appreciated! And sorry if I'm giving you the guitar-project urges lol - it is an addictive business I find, I think there will always be a part of me that will want to do "just one more guitar build". But this really will be my last for the next few years at least - after completion, I will own 6 solid or semi-solid guitars, plus a jazz archtop, an acoustic, a classical, and a 5-string bass. I think that's more than enough really. eek
  • JamieSutherlandJamieSutherland Posts: 49Member
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    [quote=JamieSutherland]I will own 6 solid or semi-solid guitars, plus a jazz archtop, an acoustic, a classical, and a 5-string bass. I think that's more than enough really. eek


    haha, that's quite a list, but to quote my guitar teacher;

    'A Man can never have enough of two things, 1) knowledge 2) guitars' - no need to feel guilty by that logic laugh
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: JamieSutherland
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    [quote=JamieSutherland]I will own 6 solid or semi-solid guitars, plus a jazz archtop, an acoustic, a classical, and a 5-string bass. I think that's more than enough really. eek


    haha, that's quite a list, but to quote my guitar teacher;

    'A Man can never have enough of two things, 1) knowledge 2) guitars' - no need to feel guilty by that logic laugh
    Cheers Jamie! I think your strat-based guitar is pretty cool btw. smile Thing is, I do feel guilty lol! blush Mind you, apparently Steve Vai has two-hundred and sixty-something, so... Ten really is more than enough for me though, so I will have to call it a day after this build. My mistake was having some spare nice pickups and a neck lying around - that was always going to turn into a project sooner or later...

    Just ordered two more fairly trivial parts today, firstly a couple of black-chrome control knobs for all of £1.98 from China. Could have chosen something more expensive, but I think these will look right and do the job nicely, so might as well save the dosh. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161049258255?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

    And from "Janika's Music Shop" in Nottingham, 6 black-chrome pickup height adjustment screws - a very un-exciting purchase I know, but I do want all the screws visible to be black-chrome - it just looks better I think.

    Other news - I really do think on this build there will be just a volume and tone control, plus a 5-way switch, and for once on a Megi build, no mini-toggle switches. I will have a push-pull on the tone, which will act as a "neck-on" switch, thus allowing the 2 extra p'up combinations of neck+bridge and neck+middle+bridge. Reasons: - having already experienced the pickups I'm fitting on the now defunct Starfield (who's neck I'm using for this project), I remember that I never really wanted or needed any other settings, and that the guitar was really versatile, so no point cluttering the front up. I'll go for a clean look instead, which will work with what I hope are the flowing lines of my design.
  • JamieSutherlandJamieSutherland Posts: 49Member
    Did you see my Green/Yellow/Orange with gold trimmings Strat? razz If it was the same one then why thank you very much. I know the feeling all too well with going out with one idea and ending up with something completely different, but is something I would never throw away!

    I would so the same with the screws myself, keeps it all professional and 'clean'. Didn't really workout with my strat, one of the tuning pegs broke when we were putting them on... although we were quite ruff putting them on, on the backs of most of them you can see where the pliers teeth sunk into the finish/paint/metal haha. But I guess with the overall rough look of that guitar it works well!



    I played a Starfield once, and unfortunately let it slip out of my hands. What I remember was an amazing guitar to play, and I have since always been on the look out for another to swipe up if I ever saw one. With that I have to admit a bit of me was in shock when I read that you took yours to bits for another build. After reading though, I really look forward to the finished product, I have faith laugh
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: JamieSutherland
    Did you see my Green/Yellow/Orange with gold trimmings Strat? razz If it was the same one then why thank you very much. I know the feeling all too well with going out with one idea and ending up with something completely different, but is something I would never throw away!

    I would so the same with the screws myself, keeps it all professional and 'clean'. Didn't really workout with my strat, one of the tuning pegs broke when we were putting them on... although we were quite ruff putting them on, on the backs of most of them you can see where the pliers teeth sunk into the finish/paint/metal haha. But I guess with the overall rough look of that guitar it works well!



    I played a Starfield once, and unfortunately let it slip out of my hands. What I remember was an amazing guitar to play, and I have since always been on the look out for another to swipe up if I ever saw one. With that I have to admit a bit of me was in shock when I read that you took yours to bits for another build. After reading though, I really look forward to the finished product, I have faith laugh


    Cheers Jamie, yes I believe it was that guitar I saw a pic of. I do think parts building can be a bit of a journey, and as you say, doesn't always go exactly in the direction you anticipate. I try to plan as much as possible, and think about the details, but things still can alter. For this build, that has certainly been the case so far, but I think for the good!

    Sorry re the Starfield dismantling! it's shocking stuff I know - I have seen a few Starfield's for sale on ebay described in glowing terms, and do they seem to have a bit of a cult following these days as quality Japanese-built instruments from the '90s. I knew nothing about the brand when I bought the guitar, as far as can work out that was probably in late 1994, or maybe '95. At the time I was just after something like a Stratocaster - couldn't afford a Fender, and we didn't have things like the Squier Classic vibe models as an alternative back then - guitars generally cost more, allowing for inflation.

    I do have to say I really don't think mine was a particularly brilliant guitar - the scratchplate was badly positioned so the pickups didn't quite line up right (I did fix this myself), also it seemed to be a bit dead and lifeless sounding. I don't think the trem unit was up to much, the body was made of quite a few bits of average wood, and I really think the finish on the guitar was a bit too thickly applied, and not helping the tone at all. Some of the Starfields I see on the web look much nicer, so maybe I just had a bit of a dud! You'll have to believe me, but mine is no great loss to the guitar world... As I've said, I did intend to strip the guitar to bare wood and do a nice clear finish, but I ended up wrecking it somewhat instead, which I do feel a bit guilty about... blush So to summarize, it wasn't a great guitar to start with, and then unfortunately I didn't prove to be a very good owner either... frown But... at least I still have the neck, and that does seem to be of high quality - so without wishing to upset fans of Starfield guitars unduly, I think the best practical thing I can do now is to use the neck to produce great new guitar.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    Too thickly applied finish and poor quality multiple bits of wood for the body often seem to go together - not a combination to build a good guitar around.

    Originally Posted By: Megi
    I do have to say I really don't think mine was a particularly brilliant guitar - the scratchplate was badly positioned so the pickups didn't quite line up right (I did fix this myself), also it seemed to be a bit dead and lifeless sounding. I don't think the trem unit was up to much, the body was made of quite a few bits of average wood, and I really think the finish on the guitar was a bit too thickly applied, and not helping the tone at all. Some of the Starfields I see on the web look much nicer, so maybe I just had a bit of a dud!

    It seems to be the case that any model of guitar, even really pricey ones, can have its quota of duds. A danger that makes me uneasy when buying without trying (not that it stops me) is getting one of those lifeless planks that would probably give better service as part of a park bench. Doesn't do to feel too bad about recycling what you can to produce something that can come alive as part of a "real" guitar.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    Too thickly applied finish and poor quality multiple bits of wood for the body often seem to go together - not a combination to build a good guitar around.

    It seems to be the case that any model of guitar, even really pricey ones, can have its quota of duds. A danger that makes me uneasy when buying without trying (not that it stops me) is getting one of those lifeless planks that would probably give better service as part of a park bench. Doesn't do to feel too bad about recycling what you can to produce something that can come alive as part of a "real" guitar.


    Knowing what I do now, with twenty years more guitar-buying experience, I doubt I would have bought the Starfield - I'd have spotted the bad pickup alignment, and perhaps been a bit more wary of hard, solid-colour finish with absolutely no hint of any wood underneath. The neck is nice though - I'll get a pic up soon to show that better.

    From what I've found out, Starfield were an offshoot of Ibanez - made in the same Japanese factory I think. And there was a standard range, plus a more up-market one ("Starfield USA" or somesuch) where the guitars were made to higher specs, then shipped to the states for final assembly and finishing, though using similar designs - pics I've seen of some of these look like very nice guitars. And there also seem to have been later standard models made in Korea. My ex-guitar was one of the standard Japanese ones, made in 1993. Given the general high-regard for Starfields, I think you are about right Mark - mine was something of a "Friday afternoon guitar" perhaps - use up a few leftover bits of wood, solid finish - it'll be alright kind of thing! laugh

    I'm going to get on with the accurate re-draw and final tweeking of my body design today. smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    edited August 2016
    I have been refining my body design today - the upper horn is now a little longer, and both the horns are more curvy, in a "breaking wave" kind of shape. Also the shape of the indent on the base is curvier and in the same "breaking wave" theme. Overall, I think I've got a shape that's really very pretty now - I'll get something up to look at tomorrow so you all can see the changes. smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    OK, time to post a few more pictures... First some shots of the revised body shape - I ended up changing things a bit more than I anticipated, but I do think it's improved (at least to my taste!).

    Plan view:


    From the pointy end grin :


    Side view:

    The pencil is showing the planned position and angle for the jack socket - actually getting this right, so that the indent on the base made a nice artistic wave shape, and there would be room to drill a hole for the jack that would go through correctly to the control cavity, and there would be room to fit a strap pin without the fixing screw hitting the jack socket... ...all took a fair bit of messing about - several attempts before I was happy, but finally got there in the end. The idea is to have 2 strap pins on the base btw, one on each side, so that the guitar will stand straight if lent against a wall - I've seen the same thing on some other guitars, including Andersons, so just nicking their idea!
    smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Well, hoping you like the shape - in the end I decided to follow my idea of "wave-like" to the max, I thinks it's worked well, and given things an overall coherence. Also, strangely, the design seems to have a hint of the gothic about it to me, which is maybe unconscious because I do think I'm a bit of a closet goth sometimes (I like a lot of early '90s gothic and ethereal sounding music, despite jazz being very much my own guitar style).

    Some of the parts I bought arrived today, including the pickup rings and bridge unit from Axesrus:


    The bridge seems decent enough quality I'm happy to say, and a nice clean look to it. Although I've shown the bridge pickup cover slanting, I actually think I'm going to have all 3 pickups arranged parallel - after all, this guitar is not a strat, so I don't have to copy Fender's way of doing things if I don't want to! smile
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    I found this pic on the web, which shows a guitar with what looks like swamp ash and a tru-oil (or similar) finish and the grain left unfilled - which is what I'm planning. Also it has black chrome hardware, so overall gives some indication of how that combination will work:



    (I will happily remove this picture if the original publisher requires).
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Just thought I'd go through the pickups I'm using - these have all been used by myself already, so I know they are a good combination and work well together.

    So the neck pup is a Fender Lace Blue (one of the original issue of Lace pickups I understand, the later ones don't have the Fender branding).



    I've found it to be terrific - to me it sounds a lot like a nice warm PAF humbucker, but with just the mearest smidge of straty-ness there also. Nice controlled bass response too - not too big or boomy. Good for jazz!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    In the middle position is an old Seymour Duncan Classic Stack hum-cancelling strat pickup. I got this some time in the late 80's, probably around 1986 or 87 as best I can work out. So quite an old pickup, I think one of the first available stacked single coil types. Originally I had it fitted to my green Ibanez AH10, which some of you will have seen (see my diary thread) - it was in the neck position. Then later I fitted a humbucker to that guitar, and put the SD stack in the middle position on the Starfield which has provided the neck for this build.



    It's not quite an authentic strat tone, but can be close enough that you'd have to do a back to back test to tell the difference. Maybe a touch more restrained at the top end, but a nice tone in it's own right. Blends with the neck Fender Lace Blue in a really good and interesting way too, to provide another good jazz tone, with a bit of added bite. Alnico 2 magnets too IIRC.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    And the bridge pickup will be a rails-type thing, made by Artec, Alnico 5 magnet. I bought it from Axesrus a few years ago for £15 I think. It has a fair amount of output, but not as much as most rails pickups you see today - usually they are wound to about 11 to 13 K, where as this one is around 9.4 K. I've actually found it to be quite sweet-sounding, and although it holds it's end up, it doesn't overpower the other 2 pickups.




    One thing I will probably do is make the Lace pickup look black instead of white - I have some spare thin black self-adhesive material for an acoustic guitar scratchplate, so can get a bit of that cut to size and stuck to the top. Then maybe a strip of thin black vinyl going around the sides. Done neatly, it should look fine.
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