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

USACG vs Guitar Mill tele body...

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by toogoodd, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    I have a Musikraft roasted bird's eye maple with a Coney Island rosewood that I dearly love.
    Anyways, I would like to give this baby a new body to fit with. I've been looking at a vintage blonde with a very very slight yellowish-age feel. I would love to see the grain too. Anyways, I've come down to either a USACG and Guitar Mill tele body both used. USACG seems to be a bit cheaper, but the problem is I've just found out that they don't do Nitro lacquer finishes. So the owner of the body had it professionally nitro finished at a guitar repair shop. While the Guitar Mill is nitro finished at their store with a light relic which I dig. Anyways, I'm not so sure which to get. I've never tried these brands and the people around only have warmonths and MJTs. I've heard great things about USACG, but how are their bodies? The fact that it is cheaper is great, but for some reason, the fact that it was nitro finished by someone else gets to me. Any advice or suggestions? THANKS!!
     
    ftbtx likes this.

  2. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Both USACG and Guitar Mill are good quality. I own a Guitar Mill body.
    I would say to pick the one that has the weight and finish you prefer.

    What do they weigh?
    I look for 4lbs + or - preferably under 4lbs, a 5lb or more body is going to make a heavy guitar.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  3. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    Thanks for your words, Mike. I don't know much about the weight. The guitarmill is 3pounds and not sure about the usacg.
     

  4. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    My Guitar Mill body is 3.8lbs I think, with a total weight of 6.8lbs so you can add approximately 3lbs to the weight of the body for neck, tuners, pickups and hardware.
     

  5. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    Thanks for the heads up, Mike. :)
    What neck did you put it with?
    I have a Musikraft neck that I really like and I've read a few stories where the neck didn't really fit the body. Some needed small sanding. Have you had any trouble?
     

  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I used an Allparts TMO-fat neck and Fender Nocaster pickups.

    IMG_0840.JPG
     
    BorderRadio, brookdalebill and ftbtx like this.

  7. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    That's a sexy telecaster you got there, Mike. :) curious what she sounds like
     

  8. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    strat_body.jpg I have a USACG body, it is top notch, but I cannot comment on the GuitarMill, I've only looked online.
    I imagine if the weight/material is right on both of them it will come down to cosmetics. I doubt either will have any quality issues.
     

  9. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    Thanks, ftbtx. That looks really nice, especially the color. I was wondering did you get the finish done else where? I've read that USACG stopped finishing their products.
     
    ftbtx likes this.

  10. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    I purchased it from them finished before they stopped offering the service.
     

  11. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    That's usually what I want. The USACG body I'm thinking of purchasing was finished by a different luthier. So I'm not too sure if it is worth the cost. The person could've used some other form of nitro. So that's one thing that's bothering me. Am I just over thinking it :p
     

  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Despite the many TDPRI'ers who freak if you care about the wood, a 3lb body is very very light, and that light weight will affect the response plugged in, and the balance on a strap.
    Unless it's a semi hollow, it cannot be ash or alder at 3lbs, so it must be pine or paulownia.
    You don't need to care, but it's worth considering the effect of very light weight soft body wood.
    I like light weight to a point, and find a 3.75lb or so swamp ash body to be my favorite for looks, weight, balance, durability, and plugged in response/ attack.

    A 3 pounder will almost certainly have a softer attack, again, unless it's a semi hollow with harder wood.
    I even have trouble with the sort of soft mushy attack with basswood, and I have some basswood bodies I really want to love including an '85 PP MIJ that's had numerous necks and pickups but never gets me the clear sharp attack and bottom end I want.

    Of course plenty of players love and prefer sound and response I don't like.
    Plus many of us use a different guitar for different goals, so a softer attack is just another kind of tool, as opposed to a player who has a very specific narrow range of needs form their electric guitar.

    If you like the plugged in sound of most guitars it won't matter.
    If you only like the plugged in sound of very few guitars, you might want to figure out why before buying expensive parts without playing a guitar made from them first.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Teleterr likes this.

  13. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    Thanks for your knowledge, telemnemonics. I never thought about what you've said. The body I'm looking at in GuitarMill is said to be a one piece Swamp Ash body. I should ask them if it is chambered or something. I honestly don't mind the weight whether it is heavy or not. I will take into consideration what you've said :)
     

  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Maybe the seller said "around 3lbs", and it's closer to 4lbs?
    Or it was a typo, or they forgot the weight and don't have a scale.
    A one piece swamp ash Tele body under 4lbs is premium product, and will hold value as well as perform real good.
    It seems pretty consistent that every 1/4lb difference in weight of a swamp ash body equals a chunk of value.
    4 1/2 lbs is out of premium and into ordinary IME, even 4 1/4 lbs is not as desirable as solidly under 4 lbs.
     

  15. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have a USACG body and it's high quality for sure. I do my own finishing though, so I can only comment on that. One thing you might need to know is that USACG bodies are longer than what I'd call the 'original' 50s Tele body. It makes the jack cup hole extend a little south too. This only doesn't affect anything other than a B16 Bigsby install though, not a factor for you I'm guessing.

    One thing I wouldn't get up on is the kind of nitro finish--as long as it has paint on it, right? If you can see the luthiers other work, than maybe that would ease the rest of your worry?
     

  16. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    Thanks for your input, BorderRadio. Didn't know that about USACG guitars. I don't have access to see the luther's other work. If I did, it would put me at ease. According to the seller, the luthier is just a small shop luthier. That's what really bugs me. Also, do you have a comparison picture of how much longer it is? Just curious :)
     

  17. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I almost hesitate to post this because it was from an open jam we host at The Draw 10 in Phoenix a couple weeks ago and some of it is pretty loose and there is a bit of playing over each other. Please keep in mind that this is a bunch that are not in a band and at varying skill levels just having fun.

    Anyone in the Phoenix area the Jam is every Wednesday from 7pm to 11pm at The Draw 10 Bar & Grill 5444 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

    You can hear my guitar posted above on rhythm and my lead break starts around 6:50
    I am playing through a 72 Deluxe Reverb

     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

  18. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    Thanks for the clip, Mike!! Really appreciate it. Don't need to be hesitant about it. Your Tele sounds tele-licious :)
    Can I know what PUPs you have there? Also what finish is that? Looks really lovely compared to your friend Dan's, I assume, 52 telecaster.
     

  19. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    The finish is Behlen string instrument nitro lacquer over shellac, the pickups in that guitar are Fender Nocasters. That was all neck pickup, the bridge sounds great too. I wish I had switched to the bridge for the second 12 bars of the solo.
    Here is the build thread from 2007
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/simpson-pine-partscaster.82576/

    Dan's Tele is some sort of 52ri with Joe Barden pickups.
     

  20. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    152
    Jul 14, 2007
    korea
    Whoa... I didn't know you finished it yourself, Mike. That's awesome. How long did it take you?
    I'm checking out your build thread right now. I've also wanted to learn to finish my own guitars because I really like the grains of some of the bare bodies that come up on Ebay. But my problem is, I am currently residing here in Seoul, South Korea, and I live in kind of like a small studio/one room. To my knowledge, nitro-lacquer is harmful to the environment, so I'm not sure how I will be able to spray paint my bodies, and if I remember correctly, nitro-lacquer spraying is illegal here in Korea. That's why majority of Korean-Built guitars are poly finished. :(
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.