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All kinds of weird: a Bowie inspired guitar build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by jayyj, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    948
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    Today was a three steps forward, two steps back sort of day.

    The wiring loom is in:

    [​IMG]

    There's definitely at least one broken solder join. This is going to be horrible. Oh well...

    Next I need to fit the pickup rings:

    [​IMG]

    These rings are great - a friend of mine makes them for me on a laser cutter and they're clear acrylic with black top and bottom. It's a subtle effect but lovely when they catch the light.

    [​IMG]

    Might as well get the bridge on:

    [​IMG]

    And we're more or less ready to put strings on!:

    [​IMG]

    Just as long as I don't do anything stupid...

    So, drilling the hole for the trussrod cover, I managed to scratch the headstock. No problem, it's shallow, I can buff that out, right? I'll just get the tuner ferrules out - and out they come, along with a big chip of lacquer from the headstock. Bugger.

    I have a bad habit of forgetting to photograph when something goes wrong and I'm stressed, but it would be a sand down to the wood job to fix properly. My only alternative, which I think I'm going to go for, is to put vinyl on the headstock. I've done that on other builds anyway and I wasn't convinced by the all black look of this one, so I'm going to give it a go. Unfortunately getting a vinyl veneer on there and trimming it is pretty much impossible without scratching the lacquer around the edges, so I've sanded and oversprayed the back of the headstock as well - I'll have to check it next weekend and hope I got enough lacquer on to carry on with it. Oh well, I think it will look better this way anyway. Darn it, and I was so looking forward to sorting out that wiring!
     
    tintag27 and Captain Nutslot like this.
  2. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    948
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    Also, it wasn't a complete wash out today - I got to string this up for the first time:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

    215
    Jan 12, 2012
    United States
    This is super cool. I would love to see a build thread and hear a sample. I have 3/4 scale and a 4/4 scale builds partway done. They ended up on the back burner when I started my current guitar project.
     
  4. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    948
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    This just kind of happened while I had breaks between jobs on guitar projects so it doesn't occur to me to do a build thread until it was half finished!

    It has a couple of issues, primarily the weight which is at the top end of commercially available electrics, but I'm going to do a couple more and try to improve on it so I'll do a build thread at some point.
     
  5. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone Tele-Meister

    214
    Mar 15, 2010
    Arlington TX
    When you have the bugs out of this version, I want you to picture a stop tailpiece 12 string version.

    Maybe a simpler vinyl wrap. But definitely include the LED circuits that light up when the extras are engaged. Maybe blue for the Sustainer, green for the boost, and red for the octave thing.
     
    jayyj likes this.
  6. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    948
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    Ok, the headstock is sorted. Tuners on, nut done (it's a rubbish nut, so I'll photograph it when I've done a better one), strings on. The trussrod cover should be clear plastic painted on the underside but it had a drop of superglue on it which I've sanded off and I didn't have any micromesh or polishing compound, so it looks matt and opaque at the moment.

    [​IMG]

    Since the strings were on to do the nut I gave it a quick play and it quickly became apparent the vibrato wasn't working properly. I've never fitted a JM vibrato before but thankfully I can see what's going going on in the cavity by removing the back. If I'd bothered to take a non blurry picture you could too, but basically the plate is fouling the front of the rout:

    [​IMG]

    So, out with the template and i'll deepen it by a few mm:

    [​IMG]

    Sorted - works fine. I've never really played on a JM vibrato before but I really like it - I should be able to have done fun with this!

    [​IMG]

    It still needs the electronics plumbing in but I couldn't resist a quick out door shot:

    [​IMG]
     
    Gene O., Blazer, tintag27 and 19 others like this.
  7. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    107
    Feb 11, 2017
    Lyon, France
    Congratulations, this is a beautiful build!
    It also fits the aesthetics of the album really well. Definitely modern, but hinting back to an undying past (that JM bridge!). One classy tribute to the man!

    (sorry if the above doesn't make much sense - I am a huge Bowie fan!)
     
    jayyj likes this.
  8. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    45
    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    Sweet looking guitar!

    So, what do all the switches do?
    I'll need to look up the sustainer on YouTube. I understand the concept, but am not sure that I've ever heard a guitar with one in use.
     
  9. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    34
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    Video or it doesn't exist
     
    Barncaster, jayyj, MM73 and 1 other person like this.
  10. grooveiron

    grooveiron Tele-Meister

    Age:
    59
    434
    Mar 29, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Congratulations! Gorgeous build!
     
    jayyj likes this.
  11. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

    Listen to some Steve Vai, he never turns his off
     
    jayyj likes this.
  12. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    948
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    The two mini switches are an on/off for the sustainer and a mode setting that brings out different harmonics in the feedback, then there's a standard three way for the pickups. The knobs are volume and tone plus a blend knob for the sustainer and the fourth one is currently just an unwired pot - I think it will end up being an active boost circuit.
     
  13. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    948
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    Tried wiring it up today - no dice. The bridge pickup works, although with a weird digital octave effect that suggests the sustainer is doing something if not what it should be, and there's nothing from the neck pickup.

    I work in a music shop with a very good tech, so I'm going to run it past him and see if he can see an obvious fault but I'm a little worried that it's an old sustainer, they're apparently very finicky if you have to solder them and and one of the joints on the back of the pickup was broken so it's possible the unit is fried. I hope not, I can't really afford to replace it. Fingers crossed...

    So any demo will have to follow when it actually works!
     
  14. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    USA
    I have heard that those sustainers are great when they work, but they are a pain to get there.
    Good Luck.

    Worse case scenerio, you could leave it be and say it was intended as part of the "all kinds of wierd"
     
    jayyj likes this.
  15. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

    Humm, sounds like you are feeding some of the bridge pup thru the sustainer circuitry, maybe thru the blender pot.

    I have a sustainiac in one of my Jacksons and love it, took a while to wire it in, had to really take my time.
    I saw in a recent youtube vid that all of Satriani's guitars have sustainiacs in them.

    Don't think I could play it too well with the mini toggle switches where they are, I'd be hitting them with my pick all day long.

    Best of luck.
     
    jayyj likes this.
  16. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    948
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    They're a mixed blessing where they are - they are pretty close and I found myself catching them occasionally when strumming it but if you wanted to bring the sustainer and modes in and out as you play they're ready to flip whilst you still have your fingers over the strings which feels pretty intuitive. I'm thinking this guitar will end up being used for ambient and soundtrack type compositions played fingerstyle so I won't be strumming very much on it - hopefully they won't get in the way too much.
     
  17. the_lyall

    the_lyall Telepathetic

    563
    Jan 15, 2017
    Bedford, UK
    I'd like to take this opportunity to say: "F*CK YEAH!"

    Beautiful guitar. Been watching this build and... Yeah. See above.
     
    jayyj and Greenmachine like this.
  18. raito

    raito Friend of Leo's

    Nov 22, 2010
    Madison, WI
    Very nice. Would you care to share your vinyl source with us? I tried stalking a couple of your previous build threads, but didn't see anything. All the searches I do want to either come up with vinyl flooring, or stuff for those home CNC vinyl cutters (which is too small). I'm just trying to get an idea of what you're using. Thanks!
     
  19. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Meister

    402
    May 11, 2016
    Brooklyn, NY
    Awesome. I love that trem on an LP-ish shape-- haven't seen that before. Let's hear it played!
     
  20. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Meister

    402
    May 11, 2016
    Brooklyn, NY
    Where's the thread for this build? Definitely interested in why the tailpiece is located there!
     
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