Buying/ Build Advice

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by axb312, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. axb312

    axb312 SS.org Regular

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    Hi Guys ,

    I'm going through some build options with a few luthiers before making a final decision. Need your opinions on the builds please.

    Build 1
    Body - Northern Ash
    Neck - 5 pc Wenge/ Bubinga
    Fretboard - Ebony
    25.5-27 Multiscale - Straight at the 8th fret
    BKP Juggernaut pickups
    Oil and Wax Finish
    24 Frets

    Build 2
    Body - Limba
    Neck - 5 pc Wenge/ Mahogany
    Fretboard - Ebony
    25.5-27 Multiscale - Straight at the 7th fret
    Instrumental SFTY3 pickups
    24 Frets
    Satin Nitro Finish

    Build 3
    Body - Swamp Ash
    Neck - 1 pc Stained Maple
    Fretboard - Ebony
    25.5-26.5 Multiscale - Straight at the 8th fret
    Instrumental SFTY3 or Juggernaut pickups
    24 Frets
    Oil finish


    Thing's I'm looking for:
    1. Smooth, glidable wood on the neck
    2. Not too heavy weight wise
    3. Punchy lows + snarly/clear mids and not shrill highs

    Playability/ Good sound for - Leads, riffs and chords - both clean and distorted.

    Also, to multiscale or not to multiscale - I currently have a 25.5 scale Agile. B string is a bit floppy. How difficult/ easy it to play chords on a multiscale guitar?

    Another question is about the pickups. Could someone chime in on SFTY3 vs Juggernauts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  2. olejason

    olejason SS.org Regular

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    How smooth do you want the neck? Typically you can feel the grain on a wenge neck, that's why people like them so much. They feel like natural wood instead of thick poly/paint or whatever.
     
  3. Taikatatti

    Taikatatti SS.org Regular

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    I would personally go with build 1. My Skervesen has swamp ash body, wenge/bubinga neck and maple fretboard, and it's really balanced weight and soundwise. I also have a Vandermeij build coming with identical specs.

    1. Oil finished wenge/bubinga neck is super smooth, so i would suggest that. Also you don't have to worry about it wearing of like satin finish.

    2. ash is a really lightweight bright wood and wenge/bubinga neck is darker and hevier combo so they will work together really well. The neck construction makes difference of course, i would go with bolt-on or set neck.

    3. I have no experience with the Instrumentals, but i can say that juggernaut is very balanced and versatile pickup and would work well with all of these woods you listed.

    I haven't played multiscale guitars so i can't comment on the difficulties. what tuning are you using? If you play in standard B i don't see the point on going 27' on the bottom side, maybe 25.5-26.5 would be a good midway
     
  4. axb312

    axb312 SS.org Regular

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    @olejason ,

    Exact reason why I want to go for a more woody feeling neck - to me they feel smoother than any poly finish.

    @Taikatatti ,
    Please see - the builder is offering Northern ash - which I understand is a good deal heavier (weight wise) than Swamp Ash.
    Re: Construction - I thought these were the only two types? - Bolt-on and set neck?

    Both luthiers are offering bolt on.
     
  5. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I have a few corrections to this:

    1. Satin finish won't wear off, but it may become shiny over time. Generally it feels pretty great on a neck but oil is good too. How smooth a wood feels is more about the finish than the wood itself. Wenge is typically used on basses because of its rigidity.

    2. Ash varies in weight and is not necessarily light weight at all. I've had a strat made of northern ash and a tele of swamp ash and both were a bit on the heavier side. Ash is generally a bit midscooped so it pairs best with pickups that have a mid emphasis.

    As for multiscale, I'd say 25.5 - 27" with the straight fret at the 9th would be ideal as the fan angles balance pretty well over the whole fretboard with that setup. This is how Kiesel does it and in my experience it works great. The string balance from low B to high E feels perfect. Playing chords on a multiscale is no more difficult than playing on a regular neck.
     
  6. axb312

    axb312 SS.org Regular

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    @ Laxu ,
    1. So which is a smoother finish - Oil or Satin ? :)

    2. I believe both the juggernauts and the SFTY3s both have a bit of mid emphasis?

    3. Yes, Kiesel guitars do look really comfortable.

    4. Which build are you leaning towards?
     
  7. axb312

    axb312 SS.org Regular

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    Bump! Advice please !
     
  8. axb312

    axb312 SS.org Regular

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    Bump!
     
  9. axb312

    axb312 SS.org Regular

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  10. Jaek-Chi

    Jaek-Chi SS.org Regular

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    If this is a 6 string guitar, describing what you want i believe you are definitely looking at the wrong pickups. I wouldn't describe the SFTY3's as what you've mentioned you want. Not had the chance to play Juggernauts but i believe they'll be closer to what you are after. I've got BKP Blackhawks and they are brilliant, awesome amount of low mids that keep tight, but respond really well to high end adjustments of the amp without becoming shrill. To compare to my SD Nazgul it's fuller and thicker, but it's very tight and responsive. The Nazgul is definitely shrill if it's not in a low enough tuning.

    Also, smooth glidable neck? I've never felt a wood as smooth and silky as a good quality rosewood neck. I have a full rosewood neck on my custom Searls and i've never felt another neck anything like it. I say do it!

    [​IMG]images upload

    I've only played one multiscale, and i think it was 25.5-27, but not totally sure. It still felt natural, i mean a little bit of adjusting, but picking it up you can just play, it certainly doesn't feel out of place or wrong by any means. Personally i am still happy with all my guitars that are not FF, but it is nice.
     
  11. axb312

    axb312 SS.org Regular

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    Hi Jaek ,

    What body is that? Swamp Ash?

    Neck wise - have you tried Wenge or Maple? How do these compare with Rosewood? How about Indian Rosewood?
     
  12. aceinet

    aceinet SS.org Regular

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    Either Ash build could come out heavy unless the builder can get some lightweight pieces. Northern Ash especially can be a tank when it comes to weight. Usually every body I've seen for northern ash has been 5 pounds or heavier.
     
  13. demonx

    demonx Searls Guitars Vendor

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    Every piece of swamp ash I've ever bought has been very light weight, nothern ash as suggested above is quite heavy.

    The guitar above is a Black Limba body with Indian Rosewood neck.

    I also often use Maple and Wenge for necks, Maple being my favourite, but they are all good options if finished well.

    Often it's not the timber but the way it's finished that makes the difference.
     
  14. Jaek-Chi

    Jaek-Chi SS.org Regular

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    As above mate - Black limba body. It's really nice, beautifully weighted and looks incredible!

    Maple is always nice. There's a reason it's the most commonly used neck material. As for wenge, i have a custom guitar ordered that's going to have a wenge neck, so can't really comment just yet ;) haha. But as for the rosewood, i've felt a few different natural finish necks, and my word - nothing has felt close to this rosewood neck. I believe the finish itself is the biggest factor in terms of feel, not just the actual wood.

    Can't go wrong with Maple, it's a safe, solid choice. But i know for me personally i like something a little different. I've had plenty of maple neck guitars, and i wanted something a bit different. Definitely happy with the Rosewood. The luthier should be able to shed some light on which will be most suitable and why certain woods are a good/bad choice.
     

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