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Thread: First Telecaster Build

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Boulder, CO
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    196
    That looks great! How hard was the neck carve to get the way you wanted it?

    I've been planning and studying in prep for something similar. My wifde won't let me buy a PRS Custom 22 soapbar, so I'm going to try my hand at a triple p90 carved top double cut from a slab of mahogany I have lying around. After I finish the Princeton Reverb.

  2. #32
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    Apr 2007
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    New Jersey
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    It's easy to carve the neck; it's hard to know how it'll feel until it's mounted though. Mine's a little thick, to be honest because I have smaller hands. It's a little too much 'U' shaped. I would have liked more 'C' or even 'V'.

    As it so happens, I'm trying to make a PRS Custom 24 right now. I just loved their carved top profile. But they make theirs with a base and top plate that brings the thickness to a heavy 2". I'm making mine about 1.75" and no top plate. I'm trying to figure out how to do a through body neck.

    Jim B wisely recommended 2 things to me: start with a Tele, and register on TDPRI. If you think the guys HERE are friendly and supportive... The Tele is nice because it's a straight neck and head, a simple, has a simple bridge that's easy to install and intonate, and plans are ubiquitous.

    It sounds fine. I'm just waiting on a real amp to see how buzzy it is.

    For any decent hobbyist woodworker, this is a very doable project...

  3. #33
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
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    196
    I'll likely start with a lefty tele short scale for my daughter (7y/o) who swears up and down she'd learn how to play. If I'm going bolt on, I'l likely build a jazzmaster first although a thinline tele is pretty tempting. I thinkI'm already registered on TDPRI. I've also found the people on TalkBass to be super helpful. Honestly the neck and the fretting are the only two things that scare me, everything else is just finesse. I've built numerous kit guitars already and I already do all my own tech setup and wiring. Great way to avoid practicing.

    If you want a "real" amp, build a tube Princeton BF reverb kit with a 12" speaker. It's kind of the "standard" amp. Don't do what I did and build a 50W marshall / Twin mashup as your first amp; 20 watts is plenty. I've built two tube amps from scratch that were custom designs (that's my other craft hobby) and I'm building a heavily modified Princeton clone now. I'm about halfway through the main power supply.

    If you go with a standard design, you can get the chassis mechanical work pre done which turns out to be most of the work. Just getting things fitting in the chassis correctly is 65% of the problems you run into. The soldering is relatively easy. You can follow my build for that over on ampgarge.com under the "Donut Princess" thread.
    Last edited by Matthew Springer; 08-27-2020 at 4:56 PM.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    54,269
    If you're not going to "play out", instead of a traditional amp, consider something like the Spark 40, which is a modeling amp, computer interface, etc. Sounds like almost anything you want it to sound like, includes pretty much any and all "stomp boxes" you could ever want and is also a USB computer interface if you want to record. I grabbed one so I could experiment and see what the guitars I'm building "could" sound like in various types of amp/modifier setups and at under $300, it's economical. It can even intelligently accompany someone who can actually play. (which is not me these days due to wrist surgery I had a while back) For the record, I have a vintage 1980s Sundown amp (similar to a Mesa Boogie) that I keep in my shop so I can set things up. And while it's versatile, I don't have all the modifiers and don't want to invest in them since I'm not a player. The Spark will take care of that fun in one package.

    Prashun, BTW. if you feel the neck is too thick for your hands, it's not a terrible thing to unstring, take the neck off and recontour it. Once you refinish, that cherry will not give away the changes and you'll be more comfortable playing it.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 08-27-2020 at 7:36 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
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    Haha, jim, thatís the one I got and am waiting for. I am a huge fan of the desi Serna podcast Guitar Music Theory. I wrote him and asked for a rec, and he suggested the Spark. I normally donít like smart for Smartís sake (like a smart fridge that tells me to order milk). But this one purports to help figure chords out and tie in with song streams.

    Matt, good luck. The electronics were the hardest for me; sounds like you got that part down.
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 08-27-2020 at 7:49 PM.

  6. #36
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    I haven't plugged a git-fiddle into mine yet, but I did faddle with some of the backing tracks and explored the amp/modifier setting in the iOS app the other day. I also just did some regular playback of material in my music library and the sound was pretty darn good for something of its size with two smaller speakers. My singular complaint is that it doesn't have a normal audio out...it's either headphones or USB. It would be nice to be able to plug it directly into my mixer at line level so I could take advantage of the backing track stuff with my keyboard without dealing with a computer or taking it off the headphone jack. I guess there is no perfect product. LOL I was bummed to wait so long to get it...especially with prepayment required...but I'm not sorry I bought it at all.

    Darrell Braun just posted a follow up video on YouTube with his favorite Spark setups. It and the previous review are worthy of your time.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #37
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    We really have to meet one of these days.

  8. #38
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    But of course...that will be enjoyable!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
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    My background is in EE, if I can't solder, I need to reexamine my life choices. I went to college to learn to build things and discovered what they were actually teaching me was math which is not the same thing at all. Junior year in Eng school I got an A+ in the circuit design class, a B in the signal processing class and a C- in Fields and Waves. Basically a perfect inverse on the amount of math involved. Then I discovered there was no calculus involved in comp sci and digital electronics and never looked back.

    I actually got into woodworking building cabinetry for the guitar amps. I bought my first block plane trying to smooth a sapele 1x12" combo cab for the second build ( A tweed deluxe/62 princeton reverb hybrid ). The smoothing did not go well since I didn't know about cambered blades but I got hooked on hand tools.

  10. #40
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
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    That's so funny. I also majored in EE. All the circuit board wiring I did in the 90's was breadboard circuits that pressed into the slots; so I'm partial to the solderless wiring kits I only learned how to do any practical wiring when I got my own home @ 30.

    Your experience with signal processing, etc. mirrors mine. I liked making stuff.

    I wanted to major in EE to build my own speakers and guitar (like Tom Scholz from Boston). Took me until 50, a son to kick me in the butt, and a supportive mentor like Jim Becker to get me over the line.

    I didn't touch tools until I was 30. So jealous of my son. At 15 he's a way better musician and woodworker than I was. Time and youth is wasted on the young.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    It's easy to carve the neck; it's hard to know how it'll feel until it's mounted though. Mine's a little thick, to be honest because I have smaller hands. It's a little too much 'U' shaped. I would have liked more 'C' or even 'V'.
    A few years ago a friend from out of town asked me to build a Tele for him. (the thread is here) I told him when he comes into town I'd have everything ready but the neck. It would be mostly shaped but still a bit fat. He'd have to set aside some time from work to come over and do the final shaping. Boy, did he do a LOT of sanding!

    But in the end he really loved the feel. He, too, has small hands and his other 6 or 7 guitars all had necks a bit too thick. He said this one was perfect.

    I learned from that, you gotta get the neck right.
    ďTravel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  12. #42
    Such a great work.. I'm new, but I wish I can do the same one day

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
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    Thank you, Olivia. You will. And it will be much sooner than you expect. Lots of great support here. Jump in!!!!!

  14. #44
    Thank you for your support

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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    68
    Beautiful job!

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