Hello! It's me, Nick.

Hi Everyone!

How could I not join something called 'the UKs Friendliest Guitar Forum'?! Sounds like a good place to be :)
Where to start? I've been playing guitar for decades, built five electrics from scratch, wound some pickups, then decided I'm better off buying other people's pickups before I lose my mind!
Right now I spend a lot of time practising/rehearsing with a looper pedal (Boss RC300).
That's about it! Anything else I should say?

Looking forward to some good convos :)

Cheers -
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Comments

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,008Member
    Welcome, Nick. Do you have any recordings ?
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    edited January 2017
    Hi Kevin: ) As a matter of fact I do.
    Click at your own risk...

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,008Member
    I liked that Nick. Nice 'n' lively as opposed to the 'tragic' music of recent artists. (As recently discussed on this forum.)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Thanks Kevin. Glad you liked it. There is more stuff on my Soundcloud account to prove that I can do doomy and tragic too ;-) My wife describes my music with a hanging-self-with-rope gesture!
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,267Member
    Welcome to the forum Nick! :smile:

    No risk attached to listening to your music as far as I can see. I've only had time for a brief foray around a few of your Soundcloud tracks so far, but you've obviously got really well played, well sung and well structured songs on there, and there's a style attached to them that earmarks them as yours.

    I look forward to finding time for a longer listen, though I might just end up depressing myself as to how far short my own musical efforts fall!

    I hope you enjoy the forum.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    hi ya Mark!
    Thanks for the warming comments - very kind of you :) My wife often says "Comparison is the thief of joy" – we're all just different, that's all.

    Thanks again. Looking forward to getting stuck in!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,980Member
    Welcome Nick! We've already been chatting, but just to say it's good to have you aboard, and liking your music I must say. :)
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 859Member
    Welcome Nick.

    Tell us more about yourself, have a go in the personal Diaries section if you like.

    Mines called
    "My names Kevin and I don't have a problem"

    Of course pictures of your guitars don't hurt either ;-)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Aww you lot are all too kind! (where's the blushing emoji?!)
    Oh alright, pictures coming up....

  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Here are a few pics of my Five, affectionately named numbers 1-5 (1 is red, 2 black, 3 the tele-looking thing, 4 the walnut and 5 is Yellowheart – each photo is labeled, though).

    1 is mahogany and maple neck. The neck P90 is mine, the bridge is a Duncan Custom with Alnico 8 magnet
    2 has a chambered alder body, curly maple neck and Birdseye maple fingerboard. Pickups are Irongear Pigirons and Platinum 90.
    3 has a chambered ash body and maple neck, Birdseye maple fingerboard. The bridge pickup is mine, although it died the other day. The neck P90 is a Wilkinson A5.
    4 has a chambered alder body, book matched walnut top, curly maple neck and cocobolo fingerboard, a Duncan 59 in the neck and my mini humbucker in the bridge.
    5 is the fun one! Chambered yellowheart and walnut body, maple neck, cocobolo fingerboard,Birdseye maple headstock, 24" scale, my humbucker in the neck (using A5 pole pieces), Axesrus TT-73 single coil size humbucker in the middle and an Axesrus The Purist in the bridge (LOVE that pickup!)
    Phew!

    https://flickr.com/photos/90548986@N06/sets/72157679843917075
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,008Member
    I see something of a theme going on with these guitars !
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Hahah yea, I don't like the weight hanging on my shoulder. No. 1 weighs about 9lbs so I figured I could do better than that, weight-wise! No. 2 is about 5lbs, which is amazingly light. Really, I don't know why people have to make those things so HEAVY!! None of us are getting any younger ;-)
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 859Member
    Now there are some interesting guitars. I like the feature in 3 with the 'hidden' controls although in use they might be less ergonomic, but they look fab. Also a great place to put the socket on No 4 (&5), nice hardware too. Some quality woodworking which is a credit to you.
    You can never get rid of these, you'll just have to add more over time.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Thanks Kevin :) you're right, in hindsight the hidden controls are a bit awkward, but I don't ride my controls like some players, so I don't mind too much. Actually I do mind, but I got used to it! It's the look I was going for more than anything, and it was a bit of an experiment.
    I thought the angled jack would make it easier to find, and put less strain on the cord. It turns out those barrel jacks wear out after a few years anyhow, which I had no idea about. Even so-called high quality ones will just quit one day. Great.
    Thanks mate ! Yea, these are mine for life, and do help put off GAS as I can say I've one of almost everything. I'm at the point where I'm tweaking sounds so I'm swapping pickups in and out. Actually, No. 4 has an access panel on the back and the neck pickup is plugged in with swappable plugs. I have some other scratchplates which will (in time!) get different pickups so I can change the neck pickup by changing the scratchplate and plugging in a new pickup - no soldering.
    I'm always thinking of what might be next, but to be honest No. 5 just about killed my passion for it for a while! I came to a point, dealing with neck problems, where I seriously wanted to throw it in a woodchipper. My wife convinced me to take a break and come back to it later, and I'm glad I did.
    But hey, maybe one day... (shhh, don't tell!). I have some more of that cocobolo and curly maple in the garage ;-)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,980Member
    Fantastic guitars you've made there Nick, and impressive craftsmanship. I think just on the shape and looks, I'd have to pick No. 1 as my personal favourite - that's a very elegant looking guitar indeed.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,267Member
    A great collection of interesting and eye catching designs.

    They look like there's been a high level of quality craftsmanship and skill gone into them.

    I can understand your feeling enough is enough for a while on building - it can take over and playing time seems to disappear! I got to number 6 in builds before I gave up, but it took me 6 goes to get even one worth keeping and playing long term.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Megi said:

    Fantastic guitars you've made there Nick, and impressive craftsmanship. I think just on the shape and looks, I'd have to pick No. 1 as my personal favourite - that's a very elegant looking guitar indeed.

    Thanks Megi. That's also my heaviest! It's like a tank. It was my main axe for about twenty years until I started making more again. I've been playing it tonight, actually, and am still fond of it.
    You know, first love an' all that!

    Ta Mark. That's so true, I just about lost sight of the point which was to make music. Of course, I just swap magnets and pickups now! Oh well.

    Six - brave man! Do you have any pics of them? Perhaps we should have a Builders Section, or a thread?
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,267Member
    Hi Nick

    I have a feeling there was a thread about it, but with the change of the forum software I guess it's buried in the archives, and I've no idea what I called the thread.

    The attempts I made were not original designs like yours, and did not look like classy build jobs! I have never tried making my own necks and some of the builds only needed minimal work on the bodies.

    The one that did work out and is still in the house, though hardly played now like all my electrics was this one - a Strat copy - handmade in the UK one piece ash body, honey gloss finish (chunky) maple neck, nice solid Wilkinson steel block bridge, and originally Wilkinson pickups. I went for a clear finish as the wood grain on the body was so good. The body feels really responsive and that and the good bridge helped the pickups to sound as good as they could. The body did need quite a lot of work done on making the pickup and neck cavities right. But came in at around £350 (in 2010) which was fine!
    image
    image

    I don't have pictures of all the other (failed) attempts.
    This was one:-
    image
    The parts were cheap, and I suspect the sound suffered as a result. It had, in theory, quite a similar specs to a Vintage brand guitar I had - including identical pickups, but they did not sound the same in the self build.

    and another:-

    image
    This one just never quite suited me and it looked a lot better than it sounded.

    and another:-

    image
    This one was a Strat with a bit of Tele incorporated into it. Maybe that confused it into not knowing how it should sound. It needed a lot of work on carving the body. The wood for the body was kiln dried and I think it might have been heated too vigorously - it was not responsive in the way that the successful self build solid ash strat was.

    A bass - hand carved body from an old pine table - actually sounded better than it looked. But the long scale of this type of bass was too much for my small hands and limited handspan:-
    image

    Fortunately building acoustics is so much more difficult I'm not seriously tempted to try!
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Those all look great. You should be proud! For me it's a matter of having some guitars that aren't precious so I can do what I like to them without worrying about resale value.
    I love that strat- natural finish with tortoise 'guard is killer. Love the tele too. The idea of a guitar having an identity crisis is really funny and interesting! I found that with mine I didn't really know how they were meant to sound, although I might have made them with a purpose in mind, so if they turned out a bit different it was ok. I think there's lots of rooom for different sounds and we should probably get away from how things sounds sixty years ago, which is an unfortunate benchmark.
    You've got a great stable there, Mark!

    I think you're right about acoustics. Scary! Unless you joined a course where you make an entire acoustic. I'm sorely tempted, but not much of an acoustic player to be honest.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,980Member
    Let me see if I can find any photos of the Megi partscaster guitars... as if I didn't know. ;)

    image
    image
    image
    image

    I can't claim to have any woodworking skills like you Nick - I just had fun deliberating over the look of each guitar, then buying parts to suit, and spending a couple of months carefully putting each guitar together. All the bodies are made by guitarbuild.co.uk, although the walnut strat one was bought unused from someone on another forum.

    There have been a few changes to the ash-body strat - it's now fitted with Lace pickups and I changed the bridge - originally it had classic strat style pickups and a vintage style bent-steel saddle bridge. And the own-design "wave" guitar now has Entwistle XS62N pickups - originally it had a mix, with a double blade thing at the bridge, stacked coil strat-type in the middle, and Lace Blue in the neck. Since the photo, I've also switched the bridge saddles to stainless steel ones.

    The pictures go in order from most recent build (walnut strat) completed 2014, to the first which was the telecaster type, completed in early 2011.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    Since this has turned into a show and tell, here are my home builds.
    image
    image
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,267Member
    Nice to be reminded of those Megi & Jocko builds. Quality craftsmanship. :smile:
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Hey Megi, nice job! Deliberating over the asesthetics is half the fun. And of course upgrading the hardware later on, particularly the pickups. I really like that walnut. Do you play these exclusively?

    Hey Jocko, welcome to the fray! What kind of pickups have you got there? There's something about a one pickup tele that just sound/looks like fun. What is that strat, more walnut?

    Loving this thread...now I'm thinking I should have started this elsewhere! Oh well..
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    Mark P said:

    Nice to be reminded of those Megi & Jocko builds. Quality craftsmanship. :smile:

    Definitely - very nice indeed!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    The Tele/Esquire is Walnut. The Strat, Sapele Mahogany. The Tele pickups are Iron Gear. The Strat has a set of Squier pick ups. I built it using bits I had lying around (except for the body and custom pick guard), and have never got round to fitting "proper" pups.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 818Member
    mmmm Sapele... I like that scratchplate shape, and Irongear pickups too. I have some in one of my guitars, No. 2 in fact (single, single, P90) and love em. I might get round to replacing them one day, when budget allows.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,980Member
    edited February 2017

    Hey Megi, nice job! Deliberating over the asesthetics is half the fun. And of course upgrading the hardware later on, particularly the pickups. I really like that walnut. Do you play these exclusively?

    With me, the look of a guitar is, for some reason, very important - I've said before that if I didn't like the way a guitar looks, I wouldn't want it, regardless of how well it sounded or played. Shallow of me, but that's the truth I think. And I absolutely agree about the fun of planning how a guitar will look prior to building it - like yourself, I spent a fair bit of time looking at pictures of other guitars on the web and deciding what ideas to steal for my builds.

    I do think I've taught myself a fair bit about how different pickup types and designs can sound, and although they say tone is in the fingers, I do think having the right pickups, and wiring, in a guitar is a big help.

    I really like the walnut as well - someone put that body up for sale at a generously low £45 delivered, and I just had to get it, because of the nice and interesting figuring. It's an excellent guitar, and as good a strat as I could ever want, although the walnut makes it a bit heavier than usual for a strat (I think it's a bit over 9 pounds altogether). The pickups (alnico 2 flat pole) were made for the guitar by Chris Hernandez aka Wound4Sound in the USA, and are tapped to allow switching from vintage to hot output, which is via the extra switch you can see. And there is a master volume, master tone, and then then 3rd control is actually a blend, which brings in either the bridge or neck pickup, depending where the 5-way selector is positioned. It's a great alternative way to wire a strat:

    image

    Obviously I modified the circuit to add the vintage-hot output mini-switch. The other strat with the red-silver-blue Lace Sensor pickups has the same circuit - that is a very versatile guitar with those pickups and that wiring.

    I do play all these guitars often, and gig them on occasion, but for a fair while my main gigging guitars have been two Shine SIL-510 models - the red one has been fitted with Chris Hernandez alnico 3 neck/alnico 2 bridge humbuckers, the grey-black burst has alnico 2 neck/alnico 4 bridge humbuckers made by Ben Fletcher (you've seen that one already). There is just something about these guitars that suits me down to the ground - they have lovely sustain and a singing quality, but also a warm, woody kind of texture to the notes, and really work great for jazz playing, which is my main thing.

    image

    And I only recently got a 2010 Ibanez AS103-NT model semi-acoustic, which I utterly love, although I'm still not sure about the pickup situation on that one, but it's a cracking guitar.

    image

    And I have a very nice 1980 Ibanez Joe Pass JP20 model archtop that I don't play a whole lot, but enjoy when I do.

    image

    And a nice Burguet classical I ought to play more, not to mention a Blueridge BR-60 dreadnought acoustic, and probably a few others I should ask to have taken into consideration m'lud... :D Sorry, a classic Megi overlong post, I do go on I know... :)

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,980Member
    Jocko said:

    The Tele/Esquire is Walnut. The Strat, Sapele Mahogany. The Tele pickups are Iron Gear. The Strat has a set of Squier pick ups. I built it using bits I had lying around (except for the body and custom pick guard), and have never got round to fitting "proper" pups.

    Any pickup that works and sounds good to your ears is proper in my book. I've spent a fair bit on pickups in my time, but really there are no rules, and a good sound is a good sound. Nice to see those guitars again - I still think the original Jocko ash "tru-caster" tele is a classic. :)


  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    It is still my favourite, and the only one of the three I play. I love the Steinberger Gearless Tuners and they perform flawlessly.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,008Member
    Gearless ? Please explain.
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