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

How much did your partscaster cost? Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Telephonist, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Holic

    Mar 16, 2014
    Not sure since I bought most of the parts already for different guitars that ended up with something else. When I built it I wanted to use up the parts I had. The main things I needed were a body and a bridge pickup, the Warmoth boatneck/Gotoh tuners was bought for my MIM Standard which ended up with a Baja 60's neck, DiMarzio True Velvet neck p'up was bought for my Talman which ended up with a SD Quarter Pounder, electronics from my parts box (CTS/Oak/Switchcraft/Electrosocket) etc. So probably about $750-$800 with all the parts together bought over 3-4 years.

    Since I had so many of the parts, I went with a Tele Special body in vintage blonde to build a pseudo-Blackguard, with a Florance Voodoo TE-50 bridge p'up (he's a local guy).
    I love it, it plays so well and sounds terrific.

    Blackguard Telecaster.jpg
    BorderRadio likes this.
  2. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

    Jul 17, 2011
    Under $1,000. Built 12 of them and finishing up one right now. They are worth it to me as I get exactly what I want for a fraction of a CS or other builder.
  3. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    Close to $4000. Ive had it since 2010, and yep, Id do it all over again. I don't buy, or assemble guitars with any kind of resale in mind. If I had to think about that I wouldn't do it.
    I had Tommy at USA Custom Guitars make a neck, I supplied the wood. African Blackwood, and Flame Torrified Maple
    7-13-82 x 57 Fullerton Reissue Body. Someone modded if for a Kahler, and then restored it. Only way you can tell it was modded is right behind the bridge it is shiner, I could do away with it, but I just leave it alone. NOtthe prettiest guitar, but plays/sounds great
    2 x 66 Strat pups
    1 x 65 Pup
    Illitch Noise Reduction Backplate.
    Mannmade USA Tremolo
    Gotoh SDS510 HAPM
    Assembley/Plek x Joe Glaser

    hu.png 57strat1bk.jpg 2419507_zpsqm7egoxq.jpg 65-66.jpg rnvdk_zpsfad35ba9.png

    Attached Files:

    Deeve, El Tele Lobo and Southpole like this.
  4. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    I've never calculated totals. They've never been over $1,000.

    I've got $422 into one I'm working on now: alder Tonebomb body, USACG neck, Kinman 60s Custom Tele pickups.

    How'd I do that for $422? Look for sales and buy blems are that merely cosmetic.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  5. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

    Jul 17, 2011
    Body-$320 (MJT Blonde)
    Neck-$315 (Allparts TRO-C)
    Pickups-$135 (Dawgtown 62')
    Hardware/Wiring-$130 (Fender, CTS, CRL, cloth wire, Orange Drop cap)

    Attached Files:

    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  6. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

    May 13, 2015
    Cicero, IL
    That is hawt!
    El Tele Lobo and BorderRadio like this.
  7. Smiff

    Smiff Tele-Holic

    Oct 1, 2017
    Mine will be a Thinline with a body I built myself but buying a neck would make it a Partscaster I guess.

    I’ve costed it and it will be around £800 when finished, it’s MIM kind of price and will be worth it to me largely based on the fact it will have features that you can’t get on a regular line Fender. Also, I GASsed over the MIM (and AV) ‘69 forever but never had the free cash and they are no longer available new.

    I’m building it through necessity through lack of available cash and therefore been able to incorporate things that have come to mind along the way and have a colour I want but I can honestly say if someone said “Here’s the cash; use it on parts for your own or get a Fender.” I’d get the Fender.
  8. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    That's really nice mate. i share your pain, and Fender don't make it easy such as discontinuing certain parts like vintage bridge plates. So yes, I know what you mean, but you've done well with this imo, very nice.
    Brendan likes this.
  9. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    I "made" three. I just ordered the wood parts and hardware from MJT and sourced electronics locally. I had a luthier make the nuts, anything else is really not that difficult – the second one took me only an hour (30 minutes to put it together (tuners were already installed by MJT), 30 minutes for the soldering).
    I paid round about 1000 € for each (taxes and customs included). It was a fun experience and friends commented that they are just as good as fender custom shop guitars. Well, personally I still have to find a custom shop guitar I like.
    The only thing I would do different now would be ordering them without any aging (they are lightly aged). I didn't have the heart to order NOS from MJT 'cause aging is their thing ... ;-)

  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    My Carvin Bolt kit that I built in 1998 was around $900, including entirely new electronics, custom pickguard and various supplies. The kit itself was around $500 and pickups and parts were another $300 or so.

    I've put together some partscasters for friends that were usually in the same $700 to $900 range.

    The Fretwire Mosrite kit I'm currently working on is probably going to come in at around $300, if I do a swirl finish (I'll need a decent swirl tank). Of course, I already had a lot of parts on hand to upgrade and finish it.

    This "partscaster" was about a $1 for the box, about $3 for the neck, about $5 for assorted parts and materials. I did save money by only using 2 strings though...

    Deeve and 2blue2 like this.
  11. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 13, 2014
    I bought my TeleStrat partscaster from the guy who put it together, for something like €400. There's no way he got his money back. He put it for sale at a price that would definitely get it sold, because he couldn't play as much as he used to.
  12. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    I never bother to add up how much money I have in any of my 6 that I assembled. Mine all have Fender USA and Fender MIM bodies/necks, with a variety of different high-quality pickups, electronics and small parts. I’d say I have around $1k, plus or minus, into each of them - mostly because I started with Fender USA and Fender MIM new necks and bodies from Stratosphere. So, mine weren’t ‘bargains’ to put together - I wasn’t looking for a bargain anyway. My objective was to build custom shop-like Fenders to meet my desires.

    To me, this is not an “investment-based” hobby; it’s all about the joy of creating a custom instrument. I haven’t had any desire to sell any of my partscasters, as they are each important to me.

    Ultimately, I or someone in my family will sell most of them as complete guitars, or as parts. What they sell for is of little importance to me as I will have extracted my full measure of enjoyment from them over the years. I have spec’d each of them with high quality components and they are desireable instruments, for sure. To me (and probably to someone else) they are nicer than “stock” Fender guitars.

    So far, I have stuck with Fender USA and Fender MIM bodies and necks as they have been the most “known quantity” to me for assembly and for repurposing, if desired. I do intend to branch out in the future, to include bodies and necks that are not Fender branded. It’s just too much fun doing this to stop!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    televillian and tonyj like this.
  13. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

    May 23, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    It's actually quite hard to find an electric guitar either new or used, that doesn't qualify as a so called "Partscaster" in some way. Tuners, pickups, bridges, tremolos, strings, straps, frets, nuts, knobs, screws, potentiometers, resistors, wires and switches along with the rest of it, including the finish, can all come from different sources. So why the negative attitude that often is associated with Partscasters? A Fender can easily (or arguably) qualify as a Partscaster, as can a Gibson, a Rickenbacker or any other of the dozens of guitar brands we see out there ......... and so it goes on. They are all "Partscasters" to some degree. Some being fairly cheap and others being very expensive.

    It follows therefore that any reasonably skilled person can have a body or neck made to his or her requirements, and can cherry pick his or her favourite pieces of guitar hardware before assembling them into an instrument that is nice to play and one that sounds good too. Sure there are some poor ones out there. It takes years of experience before you become proficient and can replace the Kirns on the Totem pole, but then again the guitar shops are not simply guaranteed to sell nothing but Rolls Royce quality products. There are as many doozers hanging on their walls as there are great guitars .......... and all assembled from parts made by a myriad of different makers.

    Ok, back to the original questions; How much did your Partscaster cost? And, is it worth it?

    The answer will vary of course, but as long as the answer to the second question is a resounding "Yes!". Then who cares?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  14. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    "partscaster" is a cute term, but it conceals the whole issue of quality

    why not call them "custom" guitars, which is more accurate?
  15. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Tele-Meister

    Mar 25, 2011
    I'm into mine for well under $400.00 and I think it's worth it. Probably because it sounds and plays as well, and I play it as much or more than anything I own and I'll never have to sell it and find out it's probably not "worth" what I got into it!
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  16. televillian

    televillian Tele-Holic

    Oct 3, 2013
    Clarkdale, AZ
    keeping track of dollars would take the fun out of it
  17. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Feb 20, 2018
    I look at it like this: if you bought a gtr brand new and walked out of the store with it: it is worth 1/2 what you paid. If you build a guitar for $900... and you didn't mill the body or neck... it is likely worth half what you paid to someone. And really you are ahead because of the experience.
    TeleTown and El Tele Lobo like this.
  18. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

    Apr 10, 2014
    Some amazing looking partscasters in this thread!

    In some ways the price/value issue with partscasters is a bit like hot rod cars. In some cases the rebuild is done so well that a seller has a good chance of getting their investment back. In other cases the owner has seriously over capitalised and buyers are looking for a bargain!
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  19. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 13, 2014
    You could.

    I believe many, if not most, think that to call it a custom guitar, the builder has to make at least some of the parts. And certainly finish the body and the neck.
    2blue2 likes this.
  20. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2016
    About $300. I like it. It's my couch guitar for playing while I watch TV. People that play it like it.

    File Nov 11, 7 45 42 PM.jpeg
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