Some photos and a description of my Micro-tonal Guitar.

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by nicomortem, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    This is a Chinese made, $200 import guitar available from Musicians Friend, here: B.C. Rich Warlock Electric Guitar | Musician's Friend

    Pretty sure its the "Widow Warlock" as seen in the 2011 catalog. I like the guitar, it has a Nato body, which is better than most cheap guitars. The maple they used on the neck is pretty low quality, when I skinned it, it absorbed alot of moisture. I have since primed and painted the neck, giving it a false-graphite kind of feel and look, it came out nicely but the back of the headstock looks a little rough. The chrome hardware on the guitar was good, the tuners were damn good for the money, 500k pots and decent solder work. The BSDM pickups were not to my liking, but I was able to find a guy on ebay that makes pickups and sells them dirt-cheap. I bought a pair of his X2N/PowerRails type pups, they sound just as good as the name brands, but they were $40 new for the pair. They came with 4 wire leads plus a ground, but I just installed them for standard 3-way switching. They are called DragonFire pickups, I suggest you guys buy a pair of his pups, you wont be disappointed!

    I replaced the hardware with black, found a generic set for grover style tuners for $8, an awesome roller-saddle tuno-o-matic bridge for $15, new string furells at a discount, along with strap buttons and speed knobs, all 99 cents on ebay, all new. The parts are from hong kong, and they are just as good as Allparts but at a fraction of the price. And I may be mistaken, But AllParts does not claim to be made in America, these may actually be the same exact thing you get from AllParts, only 4 times as expensive after the repackage it in their cheap generic AllParts packaging....You can get a floyd-rose licensed bridge, just like they kind they put in Jacksons and Ibanezes, for only $25, for example. These parts are not as good as American made parts, but they are every bit as good as the parts you get on an Import guitar....I suggest dudes on the forum check out the ebay stores for new guitar parts, the price difference is so huge that you'll refuse to pay Allparts rates ever again.

    This dude I know locally builds guitars and converts fret boards, all Micro-tonal. That means instead of the usual 12 notes heard in most every kind of music out there, these scale systems have anywhere from 13,16, 19, 20, 24, 31 divisions in the octave. Guitar with this fretting system are able to play ancient Greek, Persian, Oriental, Hindi, and Arabic scales, all of which use more than the standard 12 notes found in Baroque music. There are all sorts of new scales, modes, and approaches to theory that goes along with micro-tonal guitars. I opted for the 24-tone system, that way I would still have the normal notes associated with a guitar (A-G#) along with new microtones. Its still pretty new to me, and my ears are just starting to get used to it, and Im just starting to figure out some scales and intervals that were previously impossible for me to play on a standard 12-fret guitar. To clarify, I have 24 frets leading up to the first octave on the string (12th fret) and then 24 more. However, this guy did a cruddy job on my guitar, which sucks because I have played the instruments he builds or converts, the guy knows how to do it right, he just decided I deserved a half-ass job. He put a new ebony fingerboard, new stainless steel frets, and thats about it. No inlays, the board and the neck were not flush at the seams, and he never bothered to level, crown, and polish the frets after he put them in. Some were not even hammered in all the way, and there were spots where he just "shaved" the crown down on the high frets, which is a pathetic quick-fix that screws up your intonation. I ended up having to buy tools from StewMac and finish the job myself, and spent more money on the fretboard conversion than this dude charges for an entire neck. After a month of b^%$itting me around and working on other guitars while mine collected dust, I got it back and it was pretty much un-playable. The strings completely fretted out on the 7th, 12th, and 17th frets. Now it plays much better, no more buzzing or fretting out, and I have done fret-dress jobs on several guitars, and even made the money back that I spent on the tools. I was also able to put in some dot inlays, since these pics were taken, as the dude who converted the guitar never bothered to put any in.

    I like this guitar, I am happy to have another BC Rich, and I don't regret having the conversion done anymore. Microtonal guitars are a very new thing to most people, and I think the future of metal music could and should hold a place for them. There are other guitars out there with more than 12 frets to the octave, there are even some Microtonal BC Rich conversions too. But I'm pretty sure that I own the only Quartertone BC Rich Warlock in the world, and that's pretty cool!!!
     
  2. BucketheadRules

    BucketheadRules Fuzz pedal hoarder

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    Sorry to hear about the difficulty you had with it, nice job of finishing it though.

    I see you're in Florida, did Ron Sword do it for you? He's renowned as a bit of a prick (maybe an understatement) around these parts...

    Nice guitar btw, would be cool to have a spin on a microtonal guitar.
     
  3. 2ManyShoes

    2ManyShoes 10th Degree GearSlut

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    Cool guitar, sorry about the miserable experience. I once had a "luthier" totally screw up two of my guitars. Instead of owning it, he told me I just didn't "understand" what a great job he'd done. Cost me $600 to repair the damage.

    I have been sorely tempted to try a microtonal guitar. My dad is from Iran, and I have always liked the music (as well as Indian music). The problem is I'm still trying to figure out my 8-string, 7-string, and (yes) 6-string guitars. There's always so much more to learn. Which is a good thing, I guess, but life is short.

    Anyway, congrats on owning a working microtonal guitar!
     
  4. -JeKo-

    -JeKo- SS.org Regular

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    I'd love to try that! Looks really cool. It'd probably take some time to get used to it though... Any clips coming?
     
  5. Schizo Sapiens

    Schizo Sapiens SS.org Regular

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    Wow, that's interesting. The highest frets are so narrow, are they playable?

    Some quarter-tone metal for you:

     
  6. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    funny you should ask, seems as though you may already know the answer to the question. thanks for complimenting the guitar, and good luck getting ahold of one, even if its just to try out.

    sounds like you got jipped, sorry. I agree Iranian and Indian music are very likeable, not only for the exotic melody but also for the exotic rythem, sometimes very complex in nature...

    actually I have already posted two videos, and am posting one more tonight, thanks for asking, hope you have a listen.

    they are playable, but the sustain kind of sucks. you have to press down on two frets at the same time but yes, the entire neck is playable. some of those hard to reach notes sound like crap anyway heh heh heh
     
  7. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    all in all, it came out fine in the end
     
  8. Ironbird

    Ironbird Kahler Abuser

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    Interesting mod!

    Glad it turned out OK for you in the end - I know how it feels when you dump in so much money in a project and it just doesn't turn out the way you want it.
     

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