Wenge, mahogany and maple, 6-string custom build

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Ape Factory, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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    Ok a few pics with the protective coating on the guitar. I've got two coats on the top/sides and that'll be enough. Will do one more coat on the back tomorrow. It's still wet so it's darker than it'll be once it dries. The flame changes and shimmers depending on how you move it. Looks really good in person and can't wait to snap a few pics on proper daylight.

    The amber dye added just the right amount of that golden hue to the mahogany and maple.
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  2. Tonejunkie

    Tonejunkie Bored

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    I had a few issues with an order and Jason also went above and beyond to help me out....Great service an great products.......Sweet build BTW
     
  3. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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    With the finish complete and the cavities covered in shielding paint, I put everything together last night and even got to play her for a bit. I still need to do the final setup and tweak a few things. Haven't adjusted the truss rod but with string height at less than 2mm, there's no buzz, zero dead spots, just plays well up and down the neck. I do have to adjust the shims as the high and low E is a hair higher. Taking out one shim may solve my Floyd issue with the screw not going in straight.

    The shielding paint comes in a spray can for nice, easy and an even application. Means you have to meticulously tape everything off but it's worth that tiny bit of extra effort.
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    Still drying in this photo...
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    This is what it looks like dry. Yes, I put screws into my pickup mounting inserts before spraying.
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    Slid the harness back in along with pickups and snapped everything together. No soldering! The neck is a Rewind Creme Brûlée and the bridge is supposed to be a "vintage" JB but it's output is too high to be a vintage JB. Will most likely swap in a different magnet.
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    Closeup of the quick disconnect ends. If anyone wants to see how I make these, go here, has all the sources for parts. http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/showthread.php?t=304587
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    JB installed. I managed to drop it and cracked the cream bobbin. Grr. I ended up transforming the long legs into a short legs and re-drilling the pickup mounting holes. Yes, those are red base plates (to match the red springs of course!) on the pickups. The neck is the double cream.
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    Everything in, tested, and ready to go! Now where's that neck...
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    Jimmy approves.
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    The wenge for the rear and truss cover has not arrived yet. Other than that and the final setup, she's done. Once that's complete I'll take proper photos with the big cameras as the iPhone and mixed, multiple light sources just doesn't do the guitar justice.
     
  4. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    Excellent :eek:
     
  5. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    no me gusta the missing like button.


    That thing is dirty!!!
     
  6. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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    Yeah I was wondering about that...did the site take them away or something?
     
  7. neun Arme

    neun Arme SS.org Regular

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    Very cleean work, man.
     
  8. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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  9. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    This build is so classy.

    Do you have a link for the shielding paint for those of us who don't like fiddling with copper tape?
     
  10. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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    I think I got it from Mouser Electronics. Will have to find my email receipt. Try googling the brand name. It's supposed to be the best stuff you can buy. That can would last for 200 builds easy.
     
  11. FourT6and2

    FourT6and2 SS.org Regular

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    Looks awesome!

    Make sure to check continuity between electronics cavity shielding paint and the back of the cavity cover (which I assume you also shielded), otherwise your shielding won't actually do anything. Doesn't look like there's any shielding or anything up over the edge of the cavity. So you'll want to find a way to make the cover contact.
     
  12. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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    Ok so I should probably coat the inside of cavity cover and the lip around the actual cavity? I will be counter sinking screws into the lip and magnets will be adhered to the cover.
     
  13. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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  14. FourT6and2

    FourT6and2 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, you need something to connect the cover (which should be shielded as well) to the shielding of the cavity. Same with the pickup cavities. The shielding needs a connection to ground to work. But maybe the screws attached to the pickups are doing that. In the control cavity, I assume the pots are making that ground connection so you should be good. But check with a meter.

    For example, here's how Mayones does it with copper foil. You can see the little lip around the edge. This contacts the foil on the back of the cover.

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  15. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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    Ah makes sense. I'll go ahead and spray the lip then too. Thanks for the photo!

    As for the pickup cavities, the screws will indeed do that as the paint is also covering the top of the inserts

    Last night was the first time I was able to play the guitar in anger. Family was out of the house and I was able to crank things up in peace so to speak. I'd played at low volume levels the other night but cranking things up was a whole new ballgame. I play through a Kemper+monitors and they do sound better at volume. Anyway, the guitar just sings. Really has a lot of sustain, easily as much as my Strandberg. I had the bridge JB pickup fairly low and I had to swap out to longer screws to raise it. I raised it way up, fairly close to the strings and it made a huge difference. I initially thought the JB would be lacking on the low end but definitely not the case with it properly adjusted. Have to say the Rewind Creme Brûlée is a perfect match to the JB bridge. The middle position adds a good deal of versatility in dialing in the tone with the four controls and the neck isn't too dark. Just right really. Can really get anything you want out of it (two humbucker tones anyway). I don't feel it sounds like it has a trem, let alone a Floyd, but I should probably pick up and play a singlecut right after to compare. It doesn't get a plinky, thin sound like some Floyds can produce. Not sure if it's just the better contact between the saddles and the base plate, the titanium trem block or all of the above. The pickups don't loose their sustain when you turn the volume down either. I've experienced where the pickup's decay was so rapid after turning them down to say six, that the guitar became uninspiring to play. Using the tone knob will soften them a bit as it's "50's" wiring and can get some wicked woman tones with it dialed way down.

    Attack isn't as aggressive as my Strandberg. I'd say it leans towards the aggressive side with the pickups that are in there. It's a bit more ambitious than an LP or PRS SC58 which I consider about midway between hard and soft attack. It's very responsive to pick attack and how you play. Honestly, it makes me wonder why I pay (more) for off the shelf guitars. I think I saved about $2K vs. buying a Govan. Sorry Guthrie.

    Really happy. Plays great and I don't even have it set up perfectly yet, haven't done the final saddle height adjustment. The Warmoth V neck is more severe than the Musikraft V profile but it's honestly wonderful. I usually go for the 59 roundback but this is really nice as it sort of bridges the gap between having meat out back at the v's pinnacle yet small shoulders which I prefer. Upper fret access is great being a strat shape and I don't notice the heel. The whole guitar has a nice big, defined sound. Both pickups sing for solo work. I've not found a "meh" moment yet with it. I didn't even really notice the frets which means they're just right. No dead spots, no howling, louder notes, just nice and even all up and down the neck.

    I know the cork sniffers cringe at any mention of poly but the satin poly finish on my strandberg convinced me. On this guitar it's just very soft but slick feel, and not the least bit sticky, just like the neck which is raw wood. Time will tell how it'll hold up. It's probably microns thick as opposed to mm thick on most poly finished, mass market guitars.

    Next step is sending the Rewind pickup back to James. I found a copper strand that wasn't tightly wound and I may have injured the pickup somehow when I removed the cover or swapped over to a short leg base. Still sounded great. He's going to put his own proper short leg base (has a process where the base is threaded the first time the screws are installed for tighter fit) and also convert it to a four wire so I can install push/pull pots down the road. Haven't installed the ESP trem stabilizer yet either.

    I have to admit, I'm actually surprised it turned out so well. Parts guitars can always be a crap shoot and I've had good luck with all of mine and have kept them all but one which was a duplicate.
     
  16. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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    Well she's pretty much finished!. I am just absolutely stoked at how great the guitar plays and sounds.. Man I know it's the honeymoon thing but the four control layout really gives the guitar a wide palate of sounds.. I haven't even done the push/pull pots for some split tones yet.. As promised, higher quality photos.. I didn't have decent light today (overcast) so I'm hoping to do a few outdoor shots in the sun as well.

    The last steps were to do the covers for the truss rod and the the control cavity, shield the control cavity cover, install magnets in all the covers (no screws visible), re-install the Rewind Creme Brûlée neck pickup (James did a short leg base and converted it to four wire, all for free because he's the man and has great customer service), final setup and micro polish the frets.. I bought some slabs of wenge, book matched, off of ebay.. There was plenty of material for Jamie to experiment in making the covers.. He really went above and beyond.

    He used a pantograph to cut the covers and it's variable from 1:1 to 16:1.. Here's the pattern (it's really big) with the first truss cover:
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    Tracing...
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    And cutting at the other end.
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    Final product, one of two.. Second one was sans screw holes.. I chose to go with a section that looks like the fretboard instead of the straight grain of the neck for contrast purposes.
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  17. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory SS.org Regular

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  18. neun Arme

    neun Arme SS.org Regular

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    Great build dude, gorgeous guitar.
     
  19. ramses

    ramses Guitar/pizza regular

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    ... dude ...
     
  20. Vinchester

    Vinchester SS.org Regular

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    That red baseplate and zebra pups and really everything about the guitar... wow!!
    Thanks for posting this awesome build!
     

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