10 May, 2008

Building the perfect beast... continued

Location: amongst a pile of clean (but dusty) laundry, and spare parts
Mood: eager (and slightly annoyed)

Well... all of my parts arrived for doing the guitar modification. By all my parts, I mean the following:
  • 1 x set of 3 Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot pickups
  • 3 x 250 kiloohm potentiometers (for volume and tone controls)
  • 1 x 5-way pickup selector switch
  • 1 x Fender replacement pickguard
  • 1 x output jack
  • 1 x set of 6 Gotoh locking tuners
I started off by mounting some of the parts on the new pickguard. And I modified one of the 250 kiloohm potentiometers to convert to a "Blender Pot" which is a true frankensteinian modification involving disassembling the component and cutting a notch out of the resistive carbon strip. All went pretty well with that, I think.

But I have already run into 2 problems.

First, the new tuners that I got seem like a really stupid design, and I am not comfortable with either the installation, or the method of tuning using these, and believe that I have made a poor selection. Thus, I am forced to order more new tuners (this time Grover locking tuners, with which I have much familiarity, and should not give me any problems). I thought I was saving money by doing this (and I foolishly listened to the guy at the guitar shop, who recommended Gotoh, even though I was familiar with the other brand). So now, I am sitting on a set of Gotoh's that I'll need to unload in some fashion. Not sure how to go about that. I may try bartering with Aviator Guitars when I go in to collect my Fender Twin Reverb (which is costing me more to "rebuild" than it cost to buy it in the first place - ugh). One of the repair guys at Aviator loves to use this particular expression when he's talking about investing a lot of money in a problem without knowing what the end result will be - he says "It all depends how far down the proverbial rabbit hole you want to go". And unfortunately, with both the amp, and now this guitar, I am in the rabbit hole, and living with the rabbits.

The good news is that the tuner problem will not be a show-stopper - just a temporary delay. Actually, I think I'll put the old tuners back on, and do all the electronic work, and then deal with the tuners on my next string change.

The next problem I discovered is that the "replacement" pickguard (the white plastic thingie on to which all of the parts of a Fender Stratocaster are mounted) is not a perfect replacement for the one that was presently on there. I guess the older Japanese Fender Squiers did not follow the exact rules on hole positioning. It is slightly off, and to use it, I will pretty much need to drill mostly all new holes for mounting. This is annoying, but it is also not a showstopper, and will not result in any visible difference in the guitar. But why the hell aren't the holes in the same place!? How difficult is it to follow a specification!?

So that's where I am tonight.

Tomorrow, I need to go to Radio Shack, to purchase a 220 kiloohm resistor (less than a dollar) and a couple of 0.002 microfarad capacitors (also less than a dollar). That will give me everything I (think I) need to do the electronics for this guitar. Then I will put the old tuners back in the guitar, and complete all the wiring, drill the new pickguard into the body (ugh), and string the guitar, and see what we've got for sound, for starters.

Actually, maybe I should just not bother assembling until I have the new tuners... the guitar was not staying in tune that well with the tuners that were on there, and it would therefore be somewhat of a waste of a set of strings. But I'm kind of eager to hear how all this sounds.

I suppose one other option would be to use the old pickguard, and put all the new parts onto the old pickguard, and that way I do not need to drill any new holes.

Decisions... decisions.

1 comment:

  1. the idea of using the old pickguard is sounding more appealing by the moment...