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Author Topic: Electric Guitar for Acoustic Player  (Read 1596 times)
KLREngr
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« on: September 02, 2011, 03:39:46 AM »

I'm primarily an acoustic guitar player and am interested in an electric guitar.  I typically play acoustics with 1 3/4" nut and ~2 1/4" string spacing at the bridge.  This is very different from most electric guitars, and I'm uncertain on how to proceed.

1. Are there any stock electric guitars which approach these sorts of dimensions?  

2. I'm seriously considering a homemade guitar based off of a strat/telecaster (something like a butterscotch tele body with a maple CBS strat neck and three strat pickups or a "Nashville Tele" configuration- this seems like it would be an interesting project anyway).  It's possible to purchase 1 3/4" replacement necks from Warmoth.  Can anyone comment on which neck profile and fretboard radius would be similar to my Larrivee L-05?  Is there anyway to get wider string spacings (I've seen a Wilkinson telecaster bridge with 2 3/16" string spacings which would probably be close enough).

3. Are there good reasons (aside from convenience/price) to get an electric with more conventional specifications?  Will the wide spacings make electric guitar styles more difficult?

Thanks for any advice!
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 04:20:20 AM »

The new Larrivee Bakersfield "Tele" comes stock with a 1 3/4" nut (hallalujah!). No ned to look any further...

...but...

I have several Warmoth necks with 1 3/4" nuts and I love 'em.  I'll be getting a Bakersfield asap - in part because of that nut width, but mostly because I already have two Larrivee electrics (see below) and they're amazing guitars.

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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 04:56:26 AM »

Another consideration is to make sure whatever string width you devise works with the spacing of the pole pieces on the pickups you decide to use.  Mismatches are unlikely, but can happen.

Kurt
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jpmist
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2011, 03:49:33 PM »

I'm primarily an acoustic guitar player and am interested in an electric guitar.  I typically play acoustics with 1 3/4" nut and ~2 1/4" string spacing at the bridge.  This is very different from most electric guitars, and I'm uncertain on how to proceed.

1. Are there any stock electric guitars which approach these sorts of dimensions?  


I only know about Strats but I'll chip in. USA made Strats mostly have 1 11/16th width necks. Most all Strats, USA & Mex have 2 1/16" bridge spacing, but there are some USA &  Mexican made 50's and 60's vintage models with Strat's widest bridge at 2 7/32". The way you can tell is that the "e" strings don't pass over the corresponding pickup poles thru the center as with the 2 1/16" bridge, both strings are a bit outside the center of the poles. I highly recommend the wider bridge spacing if you do any fingerpicking at all, the extra room really makes a difference.


2. I'm seriously considering a homemade guitar based off of a strat/telecaster (something like a butterscotch tele body with a maple CBS strat neck and three strat pickups or a "Nashville Tele" configuration- this seems like it would be an interesting project anyway).  It's possible to purchase 1 3/4" replacement necks from Warmoth.  Can anyone comment on which neck profile and fretboard radius would be similar to my Larrivee L-05?  Is there anyway to get wider string spacings (I've seen a Wilkinson telecaster bridge with 2 3/16" string spacings which would probably be close enough).

Putting partscasters together is much fun. I've had two Warmoth necks, both 1 3/4" and the quality of both was equal or better than Fenders. Larrivee necks are very thin, shallow "C" shapes, so the Warmoth contour you probably want is the "standard thin". Larrivee's fretboards are basically flat, 15" or so. There are strat models with 7.25", 9.5" and 12" and a compound 10" or so to 15" or so, Warmoth can make all those.

There are no conversion kits from a USA two point tremelo bridge to the 6 screw Vintage 2 7/32" bridge. Which is not to say it can't be done. I simply replaced my two point by just using the 4 center screws of the vintage bridge.

3. Are there good reasons (aside from convenience/price) to get an electric with more conventional specifications?  Will the wide spacings make electric guitar styles more difficult?

I'll answer that by relating my experience, your mileage may vary. I too thought it'd be perfect to have an electric with the same playing dimensions as my acoustics, but what I found when I finally got one put together was that my style of play is quite different going from an accoustic to an electric. Basically due to the lighter string tension and lower action, I suppose, but there was no advantage to me to have the electric the same as my acoustic. For some reason the wider neck made reaching for notes more difficult, I found that I liked more of a curve to the fretboard on the electric, particularly when playing higher up on the neck, I also found that I didn't mind having a narrower nut, however the wider bridge spacing was an eye-opener for me, it made it easier to do Knopfler style fingerpicking.

Thanks for any advice!

That's dangerous, because I've been eBaying various Strat parts off eBay for two years now and I can go on and on, but I'll try to keep it short.

Consider starting with a Mexican 50's or 60's Strat Vintage model which eBay's for $350 - $400 or so (50's = blond neck, 60's = rosewood, the "Classic Player" models have 12" radius). You'll get the vintage bridge spacing which I find is more crucial to an acoustic type of play than the nut width. Mexican strat bodies are every bit as good as the USA ones, all the various parts are interchangable with USA parts and you have a better chance at finding the Vintage width bridge. The neck on the 60's model has a "C" shape, and the 50's model has what's called a soft "V" back contour which is one of my favorites, but if you don't like it, they are highly regarded as MIM (made in Mexico) best neck and easily sold on eBay. The neck width on these is 1 5/8" but do give it a try. A wider USA neck off eBay usually runs $250 or more depending on the model. Keep in mind that if you buy a new Warmoth neck and don't like it, you'll take about a 50% hit when you try to sell it, so you're almost better off getting a used Fender. The pickups on this model are decent and much better than the standard ceramic MIM pickups which don't get much respect.

Keep in mind that you don't really know what you'll like playing until you try it so try not to get into a mindset that you feel you have to get the perfect complete guitar on the first try. The beauty of Strats (and Teles) is that all the US & MIM parts are interchangeable and easily found off eBay. My favorite strat now is a result of 2 years of trying out various necks and pickups and is a far cry from what I thought I wanted when I started.

Best of luck and have fun with it! There are several Strat forums available online for help and feel free to PM me if you want.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2011, 05:48:42 PM »


Putting partscasters together is much fun. I've had two Warmoth necks, both 1 3/4" and the quality of both was equal or better than Fenders. Larrivee necks are very thin, shallow "C" shapes, so the Warmoth contour you probably want is the "standard thin". Larrivee's fretboards are basically flat, 15" or so. There are strat models with 7.25", 9.5" and 12" and a compound 10" or so to 15" or so, Warmoth can make all those.

However, Larrivee's claimed spec for the new Bakersfield's neck is that it matches an early 50's Tele/Broadcaster - IOW, a bit bulkier than most modern neck sizes and profiles. You can read all the specs of the Bakersfield on Larrivee's website.
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SouthpawGuy
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 11:38:36 AM »

A semi hollow would be a good choice for an acoustic player, the body vibrates quite a bit when played and feels different to a solid body electric.

If you have to have a 1 3/4" wide nut that will limit your choices quite a bit. G&L do make a neck with that nut width, it's the number 4 neck in this list of options.

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/options/guitar.asp

There is also a cheaper Tribute version but the nut width is 1 5/8" http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/TributeSeries/guitars/ASAT_Classic_BBSH/index.asp

I don't have any with that width myself, my first G&L was a semi holllow Bluesboy, a very nice guitar indeed.



Another choice would be a 335 style guitar, bigger bodied and lots of character. I like Heritage guitars myself, they're still hand made in Kalamazoo the same way they've always built them.

My first Heritage was this one, a 535

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