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Acoustic-electric build pictorial

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by highdive, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    Well, this started out as a prototype build that I thought I'd slap together in a few days to test the concept before attempting with better materials. Three weeks later it's clear I don't have the time or patience to tear apart what turned out to be a decent body and start all over.

    So I'm calling this (almost) finished, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. The body is made entirely out of MDF, the materials for which cost $12. :D

    Choosing the body shape. Both are slightly modified Reverend shapes.
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    Two 3/4" body slabs to be cut out of a 2' x 2' MDF board.
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    Glued up ready for massive lightening.
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    Back glued on
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    I wanted a pin bridge, but not the standard shape. I came up with this design for a couple of reasons: One, I like how it looks and, two, the idea with this build was to have a small-bodied, easy to play couch guitar with some acoustic utility, but to have the pickups and electronics do the heavy lifting in a live environment, while keeping feedback to a minimum. Thus, I'm not directly activating the top, but rather isolating it somewhat from the string vibration by attaching the bridge to the center body section.

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    The piezo pickup runs in a shallow channel under the bridge, directly under the saddle.
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    Glueing the top on.
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    The body is just over 2" thick so I made a recess for the neck plate and used standard plate and screws.
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    Then I made a 1/4" thick cover for the neck plate and glued a small magnet to the underside to cover the plate.
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    Ready for paint.
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    eBay electronics kit I took a chance on. Volume w/ preamp bypass, pickup blend control, and active bass/treble.
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    The neck. XGP from GFS. 25.5" scale with angled headstock. I splurged on this piece, at $80 :D.
    Well worth it. Perfectly finished and dressed. The binding complements the ivory body color nicely and the feel is quite nice, with a fatness that was missing in the last GFS neck I ordered (not XGP).
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  2. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    First assembly. Still needs second pickup and additional finishing work. One thing I will do in the future is to have the actual neck that is going on the body while that body is being built. Seems obvious, I guess, but I had set the bridge using measurements from another neck and it didn't work out well. I had to route the neck pocket 1/4" further toward the bridge to make this work. Makes for a less than perfect pocket fit, but intonation is now excellent.
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    The one thing I didn't care for on this neck was the nut. Spacing was off a bit, but I planned to replace it anyway. I put a temporary nut on there with the spacing I like until I can order a blank bone one.

    Soundhole pickup installed. Made some matching knobs out of the bridge wood waste. I sanded and polished the bare sides which are getting side tape Danelectro style. The seller sent me the wrong size tape, so waiting for replacement.
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    Still need to make a control cover and re-do the nut. Other than that, pretty done!
     
  3. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    Looking very nice! Do you have more details on the preamp kit?
     
  4. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    Thanks. I ordered this from Guitar Fuel ebay store. There are a lot of different harnesses available there for acoustic, electric, bass, and other instruments.

    I bought the SEB2-A. It works great in initial testing and was delivered promptly. I wish it came with knobs, but I probably would have changed them anyway. Reasonably priced at $44.99 + $3.50 shipping.

    I'm kind of tired of the box style acoustic preamps with fiddly controls and sliders that are hard to operate on a dark stage. So this works for me.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/182149799331
     
    I_build_my_own likes this.
  5. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine Tele-Holic

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    This ... Is ... Aaaawesommme!! Does it sound like a dano convertible? Between you and the other guy building a dano, i am losing my mind with envy.
     
  6. Elkhorn

    Elkhorn Tele-Meister

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    If it plays and sounds as good as it looks, then it is a killer. Well done!
     
  7. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bravo!, well done.
     
  8. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    It's been a while since I played a convertible, but the sound is definitely in that ballpark. Loving the tone of the soundhole pickup. Pretty full spectrum with a little mid bump. With the active tone controls I can make it sound jazzy dark or almost jangly bright.

    The piezo bridge pickup is a disappointment. Sounds a bit hollow and thin. I'll probably have to move it to under the saddle which will be tricky to do without it showing.
     
  9. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    Quick update. I did a mahogany stain on the top and bottom edges to get a faux binding look and applied the side tape. I'm not totally happy with the tape. It was sent the wrong size, twice, by the seller. I ordered 1 5/8". First I receiver 1 3/8 and then this roll which is 1 1/2. That's ok, but the roll is not the same width all the way around. So where I brought the two ends together at the endpin, they don't match up.

    Oh well. Not taking it off now. I think it looks nice anyway.

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  10. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    yep. Piezo pickups produce sound by the vibration of the saddle, so one has to be in direct contact with the other.
     
  11. Moldy Oldy

    Moldy Oldy Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Really cool guitar. When can we hear it?
     
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  12. loopy reed

    loopy reed Friend of Leo's

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    I love the visual balance of the headstock and bridge. It's fantastic. Extremely cool build!
     
  13. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, that little experiment didn't quite pan out. I found an old Thinline pickup in my drawer that fit in my saddle slot without poking out at the ends and installed that under the saddle. Sounds normal now, which is to say, like every other UST pickup.

    The magic, if there is to be any, will be in blending the mag pickup with the piezo. I'm optimistic.
     
  14. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    Very soon, I hope! I'm torn between making a good quality audio recording, or a quick video, which is more fun.

    Hopefully I'll get on that tonight as this is a working weekend for me.
     
  15. highdive

    highdive TDPRI Member

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    Thank you. I'm especially pleased with that as well. Kudos to GFS for making me this beautiful neck which is exceptionally high quality, especially for the price.
     
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