Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Cheap chinese DIY kit

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by mjr428, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    So I saw these on Ebay and my curiosity got the best of me. I paid $60 bucks for it and I guess I can't complain too much. It seems what you'd excpect for $60. There are some peculiarities with it Though... It said that it's a basswood body, which it very well may be, but I've never worked with Basswood before, so no experience. It seems to be very easy to work with... I sanded down some sharp edges in minutes with 150 grit. It appears to be a 4 piece body but for some reason they put a veneer of some sort on the back... Don't know what they were trying to cover up, if anything. 1505676405307.jpg
    1505676413534.jpg

    The neck seems ok, but might have a slight twist in it... Not sure if it's that or the finger board was radiused uneven which I think is the case. It's an Ammoon brand DIY kit. The only thing that I think I will for sure have to replace is the tuners, the rest I think will work. Anyone else have experience with these?
     

  2. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    237
    Mar 1, 2017
    Toronto
    I finished 2 similar kits, but from Solo Music Gear. The one you got is quite cheap. The cheapest hardware alone will cost about $60. Can you please post the seller's name or direct link to the auction?
     

  3. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    newuser1 likes this.

  4. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    Found another flaw... The neck has a floating truss rod. It works but it slides back and forth. Not sure how to fix that one... Anyone have any suggestions?
     

  5. R.S.Fraser Sr.

    R.S.Fraser Sr. Tele-Meister

    266
    Jun 6, 2010
    canada
    Buy a better kit?
     
    rich815, nojazzhere, brbadg and 3 others like this.

  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Sounds like a broken trussrod to me.
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  7. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    Now that would defeat the purpose, wouldn't it?
     
    CFFF, LeftFinger and 3-Chord-Genius like this.

  8. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    I contacted the seller about the neck issue... Haven't heard anything yet. I'll give them a few days and then... 1505778801253.jpg

    I guess I'll have to use this thing... Off comes the fretboard!
     

  9. reddy2300

    reddy2300 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    48
    70
    Aug 25, 2017
    Dublin, Ohio
    I built a Les Paul kit as my first build. It was ~$85. I needed to replace all of the hardware. I figured that would be the case, when I bought it. I used an Epiphone bridge and some Grover tuners that were pulled from a Gibson "something or other". It turned out to be a pretty nice build and a really good starting point. I have about $150 in a decent "player" LP. The neck required a spacer on one side of the neck pocket but I just shimmed it with a piece of mahogany. Other than that, the neck was routed correctly and the bridge to fretboard angles were perfect. Very happy with the outcome.
     

  10. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    So upon further review, I've decided to move forward with the neck as is. The truss rod does work, but when its in the loosen position, there is a liitle play in there. When I tighten it up a little bit, it seems to lock into place. If it starts rattling around in there after I get it done, then I'll consider surgery.
     

  11. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    Update: started on the finish 1509907060576.jpg
    1509907068952.jpg
    Black spray paint and some amber shellac...
     
    darkforce and 2blue2 like this.

  12. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    I bought a 12-string Telecaster kit that was made in China. I actually bought a "second", it had been sold and returned by the first buyer, for reasons unknown.

    I bought it because I was dying to have an electric 12-string, but I could not afford anything. My budget is severely limited. For 85 Euros (less than US$ 100) I could afford to take a chance.

    I did not expect a perfect instrument. But I hoped that I would get something I could work with. I have some limited skills and knowledge, and I always look forward to a challenging project.

    My kit arrived, and it had three serious deficiencies.
    1) the neck had a pretty severe twist right up in the open "cowboy chords" area.
    2) the bridge mounting holes were not correctly aligned, so the strings do not run perfectly straight down the neck.
    3) the bridge was obviously copied from a Gotoh unit by someone who did not understand the function of all the parts.

    I assembled it all first, before any finishing. That's how I discovered the problems. Then I addressed the 3 problems like this:

    1) I learned how to level frets. This is not the REAL answer for a twisted neck, but it was sufficient in this case. Since it was my first time doing a fret level, I worried a lot. But now it is done and assembled, the neck plays just fine.

    2) I decided that the mis-alignment was not so severe that it affected playability. To correct it would have required some extensive work on the pickup routings, the string-through holes, etc etc. I chose the easy way out, and left it as-is. This did require me to lay out and cut a new pickguard, but that is not so difficult and I had the material on hand from an earlier project.

    3) I had to do some work on the bridge. There were holes in the right places, but they had not been tapped for the screws. I did that. The bridge works, and the strings (all 12) can be intonated. I still need to do some work to make the bridge more visually appealing.

    Through all of this, I syuck by one principle. Wherever possible, I would NOT upgrade hardware unless it was absolutely essential. I thought it was dumb to buy a cheap kit and then pay more for the upgrade hardware than I paid for the guitar. So far, I have no complaints about the tuners. The pickups sound just fine, as far as I have used them. The electronics are cheap-o Chinese, but they work and do what they are supposed to do. The string-retainer did not satisfy me, so I fabricated a new one.

    I finished the body and neck. My guiding principle here was to keep it inexpensive, and I did everything using commonly-available hardware-store products. I did not use any aerosols; all finish materials were water-based and applied with hand tools. It worked out very well, though I had some problems that taught me a lot.

    In the end I have a very nice and playable 12-string electric Telecaster-style guitar, that cost me about US$ 125.

    On the other hand - if I did not have the ability to analyze and correct the deficiencies myself, and had simply assembled the kit as it was delivered - I would have a very difficult-to-play and impossible to set-up cheap crap copy of a 12-string Telecaster.
    [​IMG]
     

  13. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    Yeah, I expected there to be issues with this kit, but for the most part everything seems ok. All the routes and neck pocket are all good. Everything lined up just fine. I'm not expecting great sounding pickups, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. I just wanted something inexpensive to mess around and experiment with. So far so good...
     

  14. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    Also experimenting with aging hardware
    1509910628952.jpg
    I'm not a fan of harsh chemicals, so trying it the environmental friendly way...
    1509910706951.jpg
    Aged or dirty looking... What say you?
     

  15. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX

  16. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    BTW I thought "I will use the cheap hardware, expecting it to fail. When it fails I will replace it." But other than that string tree, I haven't replaced anything. Sometimes I think we worry more about hardware than we need to!

    Please keep those pictures coming.
     
    nojazzhere and mjr428 like this.

  17. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

    Mar 24, 2010
    Fl.
     

  18. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

    Mar 24, 2010
    Fl.
    Wow. that looks fantastic.
     

  19. darkforce

    darkforce Tele-Meister

    106
    Jan 2, 2016
    Germany
    May I ask how this works?

    Best regards
    Johannes
     

  20. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

    233
    Nov 20, 2015
    Cedar Hill, TX
    Haha, it's not like tele hardware are a super precision piece of equipment... There should be no reason for this stuff to fail except possibly maybe a tuner or 6... Now build and material quality, that's a different story. I did replace the saddles for some brass wilkinson compensated saddles for intonation purposes... It was an inexpensive upgrade. So now I'm about $72 in on this build.
     

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