Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread



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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:35 am

DADDY, WHY U KILL FLUFFY 4 HAT?
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to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

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SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:03 pm

i ordered the electronics and knobs for Kendo. 6-way 2-pole rotary for the PU selector, 1KΩ pots for volume and tone, old-stock Sprague .047 cap, two ivoroid Tele knobs for the volume/tone knobs, a large cream MXR knob for the PU selector, Switchcraft 1/4 mono jack, and a set of neck bolt hole plugs from eBay to cap the other two holes in the chromed-brass pickguard. if everything arrives in time i'll wire things up before i leave town. assuming that i leave town.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:24 pm

IT'S ALIVE

i've got Kendo up and running. the wiring was a screaming hell-beast which took me parts of three evenings. why they don't label the terminals on six-position switches i'll never understand, but it made it really hard to wire it. i bought a sampler package of wire from Small Bear which i used to color-code the switch wiring, but still had to re-do several connections.

here you can see the cut-out i had to do so the truss rod nut would fit; i filed the notch in the pickguard and cut out the wood with a sharp pocketknife.

P8080371.jpg


the controls. the MXR knob is for the six-way PU selector (neck, middle, bridge, n+b, n+m, m+b). the ivoroid StewMac knobs are volume and tone. i plugged the additional holes on the guard with caps sold on eBay as neck bolt covers for Supro guitars, with washers underneath to cover the bunged-up areas around the holes.

P8080373.jpg


the finished guitar. the mystery eBay tremolo is lovely...it has a little play in the mechanism, but drops almost as low as a Strat tremolo when you put the bar down. the bridge is the Bigsby aluminum bridge i mentioned earlier; it had a long archtop style base which i cut down to length.

P8080368.jpg


the plastic Kent PUs have a nice reedy kind of sound; the Guyatone bridge PU is NARSTY in the nicest possible way. the two-PU positions sound odd and thinner than on a Fender, more like the PUs on Hoppy. this might have to do with the pickup positions, which are off from the typical spots in the string length than most guitars and thus read different harmonic content. i did a ghetto fret-dress this morning which is basically rounding/polishing the frets with 800 grit sandpaper, and that really helped a couple of spots on the neck where one or another string buzzed.

if Hoppy sounds like a vodka screwdriver, Kendo sounds like Everclear over ice.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby skullservant » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:30 pm

NICE!!! That is amazing man, great job!
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:13 am

i promised y'all pictures of the Schaller PU from Hoppy.

P8090380.jpg


here you can see the pickup as it appears when the cover is removed. the long flat piece on the top is a steel plate approximately 1.5mm thick which serves as a sort of Paleolithic equivalent of the blade sensor a la Gretsch SuperTrons or Charlie Christian PUs.

P8090379.jpg


this is what's under the bar. there's no bobbin at all. rather, the coil is wrapped in tape which appears to have been coated with epoxy or perhaps wax-potted, with four cylindrical polepieces spaced equally inside the coil. the only bobbinless pickups i know of that are still produced are Burns Tri=Sonics, which have a single bar magnet rather than slugs, and possibly the "Vintage" Schaller archtop Johnny Smith mount and soundhole-mount acoustic PUs that appear on their website. they have a charming, reedy sound which sounds a bit like a Strat played through a telephone. their main drawback is the lack of adjustability; to balance the top string with the rest of the strings i had to actually shove the entire coil, slugs and all, over to the treble side of the mount (it's centered in the photos).

and yes, i do like quilts.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:38 pm

just mentioning that Kendo is now for sale in the B/S/T thread here: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=36800
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
dubkitty

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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:16 pm

bumping this so i can find it again. it's hard to believe this is seven years old.

i have so many projects/putative projects on the board that it's hard to know where to begin. at the moment i'm doing some stuff with the acoustic guitars. the Alvarez 12-string on the left is getting wooden buttons for every other tuner, which i'm hoping will help me to quit cranking the wrong tuner. the middle guitar is an Epiphone FT-345 which i bought new in 1974. it's been everywhere; you can see her history all over her. the Epi gets a new nut and saddle (all acoustics here that don't have them already get a new bone nut/saddle and bridge pins as soon as they come through the door) and replacement Grover Sta-Tites to replace the ones that have been on since 1980, also an Epiphone truss rod cover with the big "E" on to replace the one which was lost back in the 1970s. the Eastman 000 on the right may get the saddle filed down to improve the action a bit, but otherwise it's perfect just as it arrived. sorry the photo sucks.

acoustics sized.jpg


as far as electrics go, the Kendo is now called the Köndor. it's going to get a new nut, a correct Japanese bridge, and white retro knobs for the locking Fender/Schaller tuners. i'm thinking about replacing the 2 rectangular Kent pickups with a pair of the Guyatone PUs like the one in the bridge position. i'm also going to put a shim under the tremolo to lessen the string tension somewhat. i also want to rewire the switching so i can have 1/2/3/1+3/1+2/2+3/ALL positions...when i did the original wiring i only had six switch positions to work with.

the Hopf is going to get a real Hopf neck. i will probably replace the pickups with the Schaller single-coils like the ones in the Hopf Saturn 63; the original pickups are about 25-30% lower in output than my other guitars, and if you check out YouTube videos the Saturn 63 PUs absolutely SMASH. the neck will need tuners, and the body needs an appropriate bridge. the collet for the trem arm is broken, and i assume i'll have to get an entire replacement unit as the only collets online are for the Jazzmaster trem. happily, there's one available, but it's like €95 so that will have to wait.

the Höfner Galaxy neck will be set aside. i am watching a 163 body and a 16x pickguard with these fat single coils like nothing i've ever seen except on rare Guyatones. assuming this comes together it will also need a bridge and the appropriate Höfner trem.

i'm now looking at totally revamping the Musima project. i'll have the body and neck painted a nice color--i'm thinking dark turquoise or British Racing Green--and put three Höfner staple pickups in (i already have two). i can get a repro pickguard on eBay, and will see if i can get a decal made of the original headstock logo. though a bit crude by Western standards, the hardware is re-usable other than the tuners which are awful. it will also get a multi-position tone switch; it originally came with a 4-position switch (reusable!) not unlike the Schaller ones used on many 60s German guitars, and i've been researching the component values of the original Musima circuit vs. the Schaller model, the most bassy position of which makes the Gretsch "mud switch" sound like a model of clarity. if i decide i want a stock Musima, which i kind of do because the Russian single-coils slap, they're under $200 on eBay.

after that there are some potential projects which will take more investment. i'm considering getting a new-model Starcaster, putting in real Wide-Range pickups, and adding a Bigsby V7 via the VibraMate kit. imma Jonny Greenwood all over ya lap. i'm also waiting for the higher-quality Strat body with tortoiseshell top to come in at GFS, which will get a rosewood-board Strat neck on which i'll have the headstock face covered with tortoise to match. this gets the Fender "Abby" 1970s PUs, which i've used before and which were heckin' wonderful.

i'm also contemplating a project which will take a lot of expense and require expert assistance...i found an unfinished German single-cut archtop body--a Framus, i believe--which is built for a bolt-on neck. once i get the body i'll take it to the luthier my supervisor turned me on to so i can find out whether the bolt-neck is sufficiently stable or if it will need a proper acoustic-style neck which would need a block installed. why am i concerned, given that there are many bolt-neck Framus archtops around which are fine after 50 years? because i want to do a full-size, single cut electric 12-string inspired by the re-necked Guild that David Crosby used in the first iteration of CSNY. to follow the Croz connection farther, this one would get a purpose-built pickguard/pickup plate which would suspend over the body using brackets rather than making holes, with three Bartolini pickups and a tone switch. the whole idea is to have nothing impinging on the vibrations of the top...nothing would touch the top except the bridge and one or two posts on the bass side to hold the plate up. this one would be painted None More Black.

i also decided that the non-branded projects will get "LC" inlaid on the headstocks, which is a reference to the 1968 European rebellions; in Italian it's "lotto continua," in French "la lutte continue," translation "the struggle continues." in the exact typeface from the Durutti Column album of the same name. Futura, i think?

watch this space for developments as they arise.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
dubkitty

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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:43 pm

thee are also "little projects." i'm replacing the pots in the Gretsch Special Jet with 1M pots, repairing a crack at the tremolo mount on my main Strat, putting the proper black bell knobs on the Tokai LP Special (the current black speed knobs just look wrong), and sending the fretless Jazz Bass in to have the neck straightened.

i was also given an amp by my supervisor Charlie which i had to research to find out that it's a converted Hammond AO-35 reverb unit from a Hammond 100. this design was minimally adapted for the Dr. Z Carmen Ghia, but this one also has a master volume and a mysterious knob on the back panel labeled "WHOOP-ASS." i'm going to put it in the shop to have the tone circuit (a single knob) revamped because it's not particularly useful, perhaps based on the Marshall 1974x 18-watt, and to ascertain just what that mystery knob does. i found someone on eBay who can do a dovetailed head cab to fit for less than $200. since i had to do so much research, i dubbed it the Mystery Machine; i'll cover it in purple Tolex and have a faceplate made which includes the Scooby-Doo van logo.
Last edited by dubkitty on Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
dubkitty

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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Dandolin » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:48 pm

:snax: be interested in hearing how the 1M pots in the Special Jet work out. I'm considering using those in a couple of guitars....
On an other board, in another time:
"I also have a Fat Goat HB/P90 on my bastardized f-hollowed V, which is made of God-knows what kind of wood and of how many pieces. That guitar sounded OK when I installed one Shlabotnik pup on it; it actually became alive, very soaring; but I ended up preferring the Fat Goat, which gives me a darker, more "barking" tone as well as more "CHANK" and (maybe) better dynamics when played clean."
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:51 pm

that's what i used when i put the Dynasonics in my Gretsch Pro Jet. they're supposed to pass more signal and give better tone; given that i did the pots at the same time as the pickups i didn't have an opportunity to compare them to the standard 500k pots. i've been told that Jazzmasters and Telecasters use 1M pots, but can't say for certain. the Dynas are certainly lively.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
dubkitty

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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Dandolin » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:34 pm

:thumb: good to hear - I like Dyna just fine with 500k pots, but it might be interesting to check them out with the 1 meg and the right tone pot....
On an other board, in another time:
"I also have a Fat Goat HB/P90 on my bastardized f-hollowed V, which is made of God-knows what kind of wood and of how many pieces. That guitar sounded OK when I installed one Shlabotnik pup on it; it actually became alive, very soaring; but I ended up preferring the Fat Goat, which gives me a darker, more "barking" tone as well as more "CHANK" and (maybe) better dynamics when played clean."
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Chankgeez » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:47 pm

dubkitty wrote: i'll cover it in purple Tolex and have a faceplate made which includes the Scooby-Doo van logo.


:snax:
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:17 pm

more/better pictures...here's a better shot of the acoustics with a little guy i sometimes forget about over on the left. it's a Egmond Alex parlor guitar which needs the pickguard glued down where it's starting to peel up.

acoustics new.jpg


here's a better look at Alex. the fingerboard appears to be made of some rather porous wood, and i have no idea what other woods are used. there appears to be no truss rod, so it's a bit surprising that it's held up as well as it has. 25" scale despite its small size. the tuners are startlingly good for what must have been the Dutch equivalent of a guitar from Montgomery Wards. the bridge is plastic, and i had to use wood bits to build up the saddle slots so it doesn't buzz in spots above the 8th or 9th fret. i might try a wood bridge, which presumably would help tonally. interestingly, it's not a regular set neck; there's a single bolt at the neck heel which screws into a bracket inside the body...thus, if i get brave enough to try it i can perhaps re-set the neck to help the string height a bit. it's actually a kind of neat, boxy sound with hints of cardboard and kerosene. really, i only bought it because i was stoned and thought it looked like a tabby cat.

egmond.jpg


here are some better pictures of the Epiphone, showing its rather reliced state. note how the soundboard is worn away around the soundhole/rosette, particularly on the treble side and below the pickguard.

epi full.jpg
Last edited by dubkitty on Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
dubkitty

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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:22 pm

here's the back, using sunlight to highlight the wear.

epi back.jpg


in this shot you can see just how beat the old tuners are. half of the head on the the main screw on the low E tuner has broken off.

epi head.jpg
epi head.jpg (40.57 KiB) Viewed 152 times
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
dubkitty

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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:59 am

i realized last night that the Egmond's neck mount is actually a tilt adjuster! thus, i should be able to do a modern-day low-rent neck reset with the big flat-headed screwdriver.

on the other hand, i can't find a suitable wooden bridge, so i'll have to carve one myself.
"widows face the future
factories face the poor
the fact remains the peril strains
the mind a bit
to have done and quit with it"--Van Dyke Parks, 1968

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE///
dubkitty

User avatar
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Posts: 11476
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:03 pm
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