Larrivee Guitar Forum

Main Forums => Larrivee Electric Guitars => Topic started by: Barefoot Rob on February 25, 2011, 02:34:12 PM



Title: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Barefoot Rob on February 25, 2011, 02:34:12 PM
Going with thirdlake123 idea heres the spot to tell all.

Me I have assembled a bunch of partscaster in most case's they were standard jobs with different brand of pu's and neck shape's.A couple of years back I started putting together tele partscaster for a local store based onwhat I had put together for myself.The bodies were purchased from Allparts and the necks came from a few different sources.Mainly what was done where Fralin SP tele pu's which are basically P90's were installed along with mini-Grovers,vintage style 3 saddle bridge and a turning around of the control plate.This made the controls run volumn,tone with a .033 tone cap and then the toggle.I put together a couple of Bigsby modals together.We use either mapleboards or ebonyboards.The store put them up for $850 and I don't think any sat around longer then 2 weeks.So its your alls turn.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Mikeymac on February 25, 2011, 03:33:09 PM
Good idea for a thread, unclrob!   :+1:

I've already posted a bunch of my pics, and since I'm working in taxes today (ugh!), I'll have to keep this brief.

One that I haven't shown here yet (I don't think...) is the Warmoth Tele I built for my son for high school graduation...and so far it's my only right-handed build! It's pretty standard, but has a humbucker in the neck (he uses the neck pickup a lot). The neck pup is a DiMarzio Bluesbucker, the bridge is a DiMarzio Pre B-1 (in the pics below, it's a Chopper T), which is a good all purpose pickup for various styles. It's got an alder Ice Blue Metallic body, which matches one of my Strats! This and his Gibson SG standard are his two main guitars, and they both get about equal playing time.

All his band buddies think it's pretty cool that his old man built him a guitar. And I've done quite a few fixes for other guitar players in my sons' various bands. These young guys abuse their gear (and a lot of it is cheap to begin with), so they always need something soldered or adjusted or tightened or intonated...

 

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Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Mikeymac on February 25, 2011, 03:38:40 PM
Here's a couple more, including some with the satisfied customer trying it out...

(Nate - in the pics below - is getting quite good. He's been taking lessons for a couple years now, and he's pretty serious about it. He'll turn 20 next week. My other son, David, is a drummer. The other guy in the pic below is Nate's best buddy and fellow guitar player, Trevor.)

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Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Barefoot Rob on February 25, 2011, 04:28:13 PM
That control plate setup is what I've been doing for years.Also some of the pu install's include Fralin P92's which is a split P90 in the size of a standard humbucker.Kent Armstrong hot rail's.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Barefoot Rob on February 25, 2011, 06:10:48 PM
These are my partscasters.The natural one has a Fralin SP in the bridge and a Kent Armstrong dogeared P90.This is also the guitar that has my MIDI pickup and is my main gigging guitar.The white one is one I built back in the 80's it has 3 EMG pickups thebridge and the middle pu's are both standard bridge pu's and the neck is also a standard tele neck pu,of course the EMG's are active and very clean sounding with a nice touch of compression.

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Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: thirdlake123 on February 25, 2011, 07:19:51 PM
Thanks unclrob,

What I would really like to know is not only what people have done, but why and how? 

For me, it starts and ends with the pursuit of sounds that are a bit outside the mainstream, but with an eye on vintage style and playability. My first Partscaster was a David Gilmour “Black Strat” tribute model. I loved his sound and knew that he had some unusual setups in his guitars. Fender wanted more than $3K for their version of what is one of the first Partscasters, so I decided to make my own. My black strat has a MIM body and an Allparts soft-V maple neck with an amber-tinted vintage nitrocellulose finish. The main secret to the black strat sound is in the combination of Fender Custom Shop ’69 (middle), Fat 50s (neck) and Seymour Duncan SSL-5 (bridge) single coil pickups. He also used the Fralin enhancer circuit that allowed the bridge and neck pickups to be mixed. This was controlled by a tiny switch near the volume knob. The Gilmour Black Strat may be the only Partscaster to have a book written about it.

I bought a loaded pickguard for that build because I felt a bit overwhelmed, but have since found that my pursuit of sound required learning about why electronic components give you a specific tone and how to put it all together.  That led to assembling a ’63 Stratocaster. I used Fat 50s pickups because I liked the bridge pup in my Black Strat. I selected a set with a resistance that was a fair bit higher than the Fender specifications. I believe the over-winding resulted in an improvement and this guitar has a lot of output.  I asked myself - why have a copy of a 40 year old guitar that looks new? That led me to aging… a topic that I hope we will talk more about. Given the whiskey voice and the look, I call this one “White Trash”. The pictures are nt very good but here are some.

My latest experiment is shown in the Telecaster thread. That one had two Seymour Duncan mini-humbuckers along with a ’54 Tele pickup in the bridge position. It is a tone chameleon with all the built-in switching options and I am finding combinations to suit country, blues, funk, vintage rock, pop… The real effort planning this guitar was the complicated wiring (enhancer switch, coil split, parallel series, 5-way switch). I searched the internet for days for a schematic, but was forced to trust what I already knew would work.


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Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Mikeymac on February 25, 2011, 09:05:25 PM
Both of those look great ... what did you use for the body and neck of the '63 Strat? Did you finish them, or just 'age' them?


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Mikeymac on February 25, 2011, 09:06:48 PM
That control plate setup is what I've been doing for years.

Very observant, unclrob! Most people don't notice that - you have to point it out to them.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: KenHolden on February 25, 2011, 10:57:29 PM
I like the look of the controls.

Did you keep the volume and tone pots in the same order as the regular set up?


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: thirdlake123 on February 26, 2011, 12:10:48 AM
Some very nice guitars. Thanks for the pics.

I used an MJT aged body and neck on the white strat (www.mjtagedfinishes.com) and one of their bodies on the tele. They specialize in aging, do a great job and use a nitrocellulose finish. I am a firm believer in a nitro finish because it is true to vintage guitar construction, it is very thin and easy to repair, it lets the wood breath, and it ages to a nice amber colour. Many say that nito finished guitars sound and sustains better because the wood is not firmly encased in a thick layer of plastic. The big custom shops use it for all these reasons and who am I to disagree.

I aged the Allparts neck on the tele after getting a really good deal on a second hand neck. That was a lot of fun. I removed a lot of the finish with 400 grit sandpaper and went through the finish on the back in an area where I spend a lot of time playing rhythm guitar.  I then put some of the shine back on using rubbing compound, but just enough so that it looked vintage. The bare wood was treated with tea followed by vinegar that had steel wool in it for a day.  That instantly turned the bare wood to light grey.  The headstock was given a few close encounters with a concrete wall followed by wiping with a dark wood stain to give it some dirt. The Gotoh tuners were aged by first etching with ferric chloride and then fuming with muriatic acid.

The waterslide decal is a tribute to the man that designed these guitars. This guitar is not a Fen... but my view is that it would not be finished without it.  It can easily come off if I ever decide to sell it. The picture does not do it justice.

The controls on the white strat are modified. The lower tone control is actualy a blender pot for combining the bridge and neck pickups. The middle knob is the master control.

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Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: jimmyp on February 26, 2011, 02:15:54 AM
I built 2 teles, one my son has, the other I traded for a furnace! :ohmy:
The first one was a heavy ash black Warmoth body that had white binding that had turned brownish yellow from being on the road in smoky bars. I put a fat Strat neck on it, Seymore Duncan stacked bridge pup, Carvin stacked middle pup, and an Epiphone older mini humbucker in the neck. The mini is my favorite Tele neck pup. Man that guitar sings! I also put an extra bolt under the neck plate, although I don't remember why any longer, maybe I stripped one.
 The one I had to trade for a furnace(!) started as a MIM white Tele, and all I did was the pup swap, lil59 in bridge, cool rails in middle, and Duncan mini hum in neck. I love those minis in the neck position! That guitar is a screamer, not a trad Tele sound but a great all around blues machine.
 I reverse the control plate in all my Teles also.
I currently play a Amer standard Tele(Inca Silver), a white MIM Strat with SMC pups, and a Nashville Tele as my main axe, one of the few electrics  I haven't had to mess with. I'll dig up some Telestine pics tonight or tomorrow.  FUN THREAD!!


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: thirdlake123 on February 26, 2011, 11:06:04 AM
I look forward to seeing the pictures. It would be nice to be able to relocate the switch on a strat. I am constantly knocking it out of position while playing. At least the tele switch is not angled towards the strings like on a strat.. I like the idea of turning the plate around.

I agree with you about the mini-humbuckers on a tele. They blend really well with a tele bridge pickup. I was looking at a Fender fat tele that had a really high output humbucker in the neck position. I think it was an Atomic pu with output at something like 16K. I don't know how such a beast could sound good with a tele bridge pickup. I think they actually cut most of the output by putting the signal through a big resistor.  I will have to have another look at the wiring diagram to see what they did. I suspect they were just using up some overstock pickups.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Barefoot Rob on February 26, 2011, 04:01:10 PM
Ken the controls are reverxed.Volumn,tone then toggle.

I built mine because I needed a stratish sounding guitar but I don't like strat bodies they arenot a comfy fit for me.I went with just tele pickups because I could,I went with EMG's because I was looking for the tone they produced.The second guitar started out as just a MIDI guitar.Everyone b*ctch at me about no control plate and no pu in the bridge so I put in a pu and covered the control plate with some Mexician chrome because I left the selector switch uncovered.Later I was bored and was going thru my box of pu's found the dogeared P90 and routed into the top.Later I wanted a Bigsby so I added it to what is now known as the frankinstien tele.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on February 27, 2011, 04:38:34 AM
OK.  I dug out my receipts and here is a description of my "Shooting Star Custom Caster"  Objective was to loosely replicate a 50's "black guard" tele while incorporating some of the modern developments or "improvements' made to the telecaster over the years by Fender.  In the case of the neck, I wanted a compound radius.
Body:  Warmoth Sale Body - Swamp Ash - pre-finished in Butterscotch Blonde.  Pickguard: 3-ply BWB, 8 holes.
Neck:  Sale neck, insignificant flaw saved me about $35.00, Vintage Modern Tele, Modern C-shape. Birdseye maple, unfinished.  Compound radius, Fretwire 6105 = .096wide X .047tall.  NUT:  Black tusq XL precut and installed.  I finished the neck by first staining it with amber anilyne powder in water that I mixed myself.  Outer finish is 7 coats of Tru-Oil gunstock finish which is technically a wiping varnish consisting of resins in solution in a polymerized linseed oil.
Tuners: Gotoh vintage.  Bridge: Gotoh standard Tele (6 indv. block saddles, sorry Unclerob).  Standard tele control plate, chrome vintage dome knobs.  Vintage round string retainer.  Schaller strap locks - chrome.
Electronics:  Pups: NECK, Seymour Duncan Alnico II pro for Tele, rythm, chrome cover.  BRIDGE: S/D Alnico Pro II for Tele, lead.
Switching and pots:  I purchased these parts from Guitar Electronics.com  Description:  "Tele Guitar Mod Super Kit w/CTS Precision Tolerance Pots & 4-way Switch".   It's wired so I can choose bridge pup alone, bridge and neck in parallel, neck alone, or bridge and neck in series.  Not knowing a lot about how different pickups are supposed to sound, I just chose some that were advertised as having a vintage tele tone from a name I trusted (Seymour Duncan).  I opted for the 4-way switching since I figured I could get an extra tone without comprising the vintage tones of the other 3 traditional settings.
The logo is one I made on my computer and then created a water slide decal from it.  I designed it to look like how my brother and I used to write the name of our first band, the "Shooting Stars" when we were in our early teens.  Notice the unique use of one big letter S for both words.  We thought this was extremely clever at the time.

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Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Barefoot Rob on February 27, 2011, 05:06:04 AM
I take no offence,though I prefer  the 3 saddle my frankinstien has a 6 saddle mustang bridge its the only way to with a Bigsby.By the way  :nice guitar:


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: jimmyp on February 27, 2011, 05:19:43 AM
I learned about bridgeplates and ferrous materials the hard way on my white Tele(now a furnace). You can't use a ferrous bridgeplate with SCN pups! The 2 pieces interact to squeele, the entire plate becomes microphonic and feeds back. I had to find a brass bridgeplate which worked just fine.  Trial and error is a b%^&! I ended up with the lil 59 in the end, and stock bridgeplate.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: thirdlake123 on February 27, 2011, 02:30:31 PM
Hi Shooting Star, nice guitar and custom logo... very retro. I have gone through a lot of trial and error with waterslide decals. The paper I bought to print my own was terrible and several internet purchases have gone right into the garbage. The ones from guitarcentro.com were particularly notable because they looked like they were done by a child with crayons. Some others have been OK, but I finally found a supplier that does an amazing high-resolution job with metallic inks and the backing film is almost invisible. It is completely invisible if you give the headstock a few shots of lacquer. They are delicate, but they provide good instructions. People can send me a personal message if they want the source. I have no connection with the supplier. I am just a fan of good work.



Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: JOYCEfromNS on February 27, 2011, 02:55:59 PM
People can send me a personal message if they want the source. I have no connection with the supplier. I am just a fan of good work.



Don't think there is a rule violation for posting name and or link in these circumstances :?


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: thirdlake123 on February 27, 2011, 03:10:01 PM
I wasn't worried so much about the forum rules, but having Fend.. lawyers hassling a guy that makes replacement manufacturer logos along with custom work.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on February 27, 2011, 06:41:07 PM
I got my decal materials from a craft/hobby store that specializes in higher end models of ships, cars, etc.  The brand I bought is "VitaCal" The kit has 5 sheets of 81/2" X11" decal paper.  You also have to buy a spray can of "Vita Clear" coating.

I designed the logo in Corel Draw on my computer.  I tried to create a "gold" color for it.

Once you print the artwork on the decal paper, you spray on a heavy coat of the clear spray and let it dry overnight.  This is to protect the printer ink from running when you put the decal in water before applying it to the guitar.  I screwed up a couple before I got the hang of applying it without tearing or wrinkling it.  It looks pretty good but you can definately see it is a decal if you look close.

I also bought some "Testors" brand decal paper but I haven't tried it yet.

Kurt


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Larrivee4me on March 03, 2011, 02:35:23 AM
I've been wanting a hardtail strat for a while now.  I ordered and just received this body and neck from USACG.  I ordered the ebony fretboard with micro dots because I wanted something unique and also as a nod to my Larrivee acoustics.  The neck is a slightly thicker C profile with a 12" radius.  I've swapped necks, pickups, tried different wiring schemes in the past but never finished a raw body like this.  Been reading all I can about how to go about it.  Got some ash scraps from a specialty lumberyard to experiment with.  

(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n163/flat_twin/USACG%20Hardtail%20Strat/100_3841.jpg)
(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n163/flat_twin/USACG%20Hardtail%20Strat/100_3844.jpg)
(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n163/flat_twin/USACG%20Hardtail%20Strat/100_3847.jpg)

Here is the finish I'm shooting for...

(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n163/flat_twin/USACG%20Hardtail%20Strat/CZ517575-detail6-l.jpg)


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on March 03, 2011, 04:07:39 AM
Larrivee4me,
That is an awesome color.  Very similiar to my "Wine Red" LP Studio.  I love how it looks on mine and I think it will look great on that strat body.

Kurt


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: bobmc on March 03, 2011, 03:09:50 PM
Cool thread. I currently have 3 partsacasters: 2 Strats (one soon to be reworked for humbuckers) and an Esquire I have setup for slide. My #1 is a Daphne blue body that was sold to me as Squier, but I have my doubts; super lightweight (under 4#s), no screwholes for backplate. The finish is incredibly thin and she is relic-ing herself in a very cool way. The neck is from an even more dubious source; a Swampacaster. Both Strats are configured for 7 way switching, and tone controls on neck and bridge.
Blue currently has Carvin AP11s but they will be swapped for my new fave Tonerider City Limits once I do the humbucker installation. The Esquire is a pig; heavy Lake Placidish blue import body, cheap but functional neck. It does however deliver sonically thanks to a Harmonic Design S90.

And I know I'd rather see pictures than read, so I'll stop typing now and get some pictures up.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: SMixon on March 03, 2011, 04:00:37 PM
I believe my 80's strat was and American Standard at some point.  The original neck was broken.  The nicest Mighty Mite Maple neck with Skunk Stripe replaced it.(Amazing neck)
Pickups and pickguard were replaced with Dimarzio Area Pickups(noiseless) Area 58(neck) 67(middle) 61(bridge)
Wiring.... Volume standard, Tone 1 neck only, tone 2 bridge only.  Middle pickup wide open
Pots and wiring etc were all custom done. 
Sunburst finish and a legit road worn look!


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: WileE on March 03, 2011, 09:10:22 PM
This is no where near as nice as the rest of the ones here.  But, here is a strat style guitar that I made/put together several years ago.  It was originally a Saga Music S-style kit.  I sanded and sanded and sanded the body, finished it in a natural style, replaced the neck, the tuners, and the pickups.  It plays well and sounds pretty good for what it is.






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Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: SMixon on March 03, 2011, 09:16:14 PM
It looks nice!!!


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on March 03, 2011, 10:01:03 PM
I agree that's a good looking guitar, WileE.   If I do another one some day, I'm going to do it in a natural finish too.

Kurt


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: WileE on March 05, 2011, 09:47:26 PM
I agree that's a good looking guitar, WileE.   If I do another one some day, I'm going to do it in a natural finish too.

Kurt

Thanks.  It would look a lot better if it was solid.  It's a little difficult to see but, it is actually three or four pieces.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: WileE on March 05, 2011, 09:54:07 PM
It looks nice!!!

Thanks!


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: Mikeymac on March 05, 2011, 11:20:06 PM
Thanks.  It would look a lot better if it was solid.  It's a little difficult to see but, it is actually three or four pieces.

Many USA Strats are 2 or even 3 piece bodies. The MIM's with solid finishes are often 5 to 7 pieces. So yours is nothing to be ashamed of in that respect.


Title: Re: What have you done.PARTSCASTER'S
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on March 06, 2011, 04:24:56 AM
I wouldn't have noticed the pieces if you hadn't mentioned it.  Probably more evident in person, I suppose.  Looks good in any case.

Kurt