Breaking the bank/back -> Doubleneck

JohnnyThul

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Hi all,


Yes, we all know the feeling, one project isn't enough, and while I am at 3 at the moment, why not continue on a 4th? Because I (think I) can! :)

I want a double neck. For no other reason, than just to have it. No sense at all. I started a few years ago by making the body and the neck blanks (multiple pieces of maple and stairstep mahogany).

This is the body ( 2 piece stairstep mahogany and 2 piece flame maple top) so far where I refined the shape a little last week:



1650960242463.png



Pics of the neck blanks I will have to make later.

I made the 12 string headstock template on the weekend and I am pretty much good to go regarding the necks now.

But, there is a tiny detail I have to ask you about: the switching/wiring of the beast.

So, dumb as I am, I do not have exact records as to where I made chambers in the body (yeah, I know....). In the worst case, I won't be able to put a toggle between the necks as I may have forgotten the chamber there.
So, that leaves me with placing the toggle for the necks at the lower part of the body. No problem. BUT: I would like to avoid to have zillions of switches and pots on the guitar, I hate the look of it.

Would it be possible to have only one master volume and one master tone working for both necks? So only having to use 2 potis all in all? And if so (now we're getting started...), is there an option of including as blend pot for the neck pickup of the 12 string neck, which controls a coil of the neck humbucker (Bluesbucker type) ?
That would mean in the end: 1 toggle for selecting the necks, one toggle per neck to select pickups (2 humbuckers per neck), 1 Master Volume, 1 Master Tone, 1 Blend pot for a coil of the neck humbucker of the 12 string.

I am really not good at electronics, switching and all that. If someone with more insight could tell me, if a configuration like that would work, that would help me quite a bit at this stage of the built, as I have to make a choice regarding the 6 string bridge (TOM + STP or wraparound).

Unfortunately not so much pics so far, will have more by the weekend, promised!


Best regards


Jonas
 

dlew919

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The master volume/tone is what the Gibson LDS 1275 has - one switch to pick 12, 6 or both, and the other switch for neck bridge. And only one set of knobs. So, you'll be fine.

Maybe, instead of a switch, a notched push pull - one to pick the neck, one to pick the pickups?
 

Peegoo

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Would it be possible to have only one master volume and one master tone working for both necks?

Yes. You'll need a DPDT toggle (or push/pull on a pot) switch for the neck selection, one Les Paul-style 3-way switch for pickup selection, a volume pot, and a tone pot.

If you're using humbuckers, use A500K pots and a .022uf tone cap.
If using single coils, use A250K pots and a .047uf tone cap.

STAND BY FOR DIAGRAM!
 

crazydave911

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Maybe you should find someone with access to an ultrasound. Where those cavities are is VERY important. Maybe a picture during construction would have been better planning 🤔
 

Peegoo

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Here's a diagram:

Doubleneck-Wiring.jpg


Unless I'm missing something, the locations of the caviies really don't matter because you'll need access to any cavity that is getting a switch or controls. Which means you'll need to install a cover plate (front or rear), which means you'll need to have a rout under the plate for the components, etc.
 

JohnnyThul

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Here's a diagram:

Doubleneck-Wiring.jpg


Unless I'm missing something, the locations of the caviies really don't matter because you'll need access to any cavity that is getting a switch or controls. Which means you'll need to install a cover plate (front or rear), which means you'll need to have a rout under the plate for the components, etc.
Hi Peego,

Awesome, thanks a lot!!!!! That is exactly what I was looking for! I may add a switch for a coil tap on one humbucker, but we will see. I am glad I can only use one set of electronics for both necks, less switches/pots are always good imho.
 

JohnnyThul

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Maybe you should find someone with access to an ultrasound. Where those cavities are is VERY important. Maybe a picture during construction would have been better planning 🤔
Hi Dave,

Yeah, well, I am sure I have hollowed out quite a bit and also between the necks, but I do not know exactly how much.

Best I found was this:
IMG_20200614_133112.jpg


But that was before the final routing session.

I think it will work out anyway, if you look at this PRS, even, if I would not have routed extensively between the necks, there is imho enough space to drill from the neck humbucker routings of each neck to make it work:
PSF_12.jpg


And I have do not see a cavity after the neck humbucker routngs are done, I can put the switch to the lower body part anyway. I have very long drill bits so I could also drill a channel from the jack output, I think.
But I hope to find a cavity, once the neck humbucker routings are done :)

Here are older photos of the neck blanks:
IMG_20200626_135448.jpg
IMG_20200622_225010.jpg
 

JohnnyThul

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I hollowed mine as much as I could to cut down the weight but its still darn heavy

View attachment 977294

And I have a switch located between the two necks that selects 6 or 12 or both necks, and then pretty normal 2V2T for the pickups

View attachment 977292
Hi Freeman,

Nice guitar you built there!

As for the weight, I used the lightest pieces of the stairstep mahogany I have and I'd say so far the body is lighter than the one of my small Les Paul style built which has an ash body:

fertig4.jpg


The neck blanks are also pretty light, so, I hope, it will be bearable at the end of the day. But, maybe this is a little brash, I am still young enough and have a pretty stable back, so, at least for a few occasons I should be able to play it (the obligatory Stairway to heaven I guess I would have to play at least once with it:))
 

Peegoo

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When you wire up your switches, pay close attention to the solder tabs so you'll have proper/intuitive operation of the toggles, e.g., up for upper neck and down for lower neck.

If you don't have a meter to help guide you in the assembly, you can avoid this problem simply by having an extra bit of wire length on your switch connections so you can easily rotate the switch 180 degrees in its mounting to flip it the proper way.
 

Ronzo

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I own one of these (stock photo):
D54781E7-2570-4FD0-9A5C-3215CE15F07F.jpeg


I was in a 3-piece band when I bought it used, not a scratch or wear on it. It came with a custom hardshell case covered in grey carpet. I needed to play bass, and to cover lead parts with a guitarist who was strictly rhythm.

It did that successfully - but over twenty years ago, my back was in a lot better shape than today. I’ve never weighed it, but the body and both bolt-on necks are made of rock maple. Very dense and heavy, but well-balanced. I used a Neotech Comfort Strapp with it, and gigged quite a few private parties using it. Always got comments and admiration from both players and civilians. The players would pick it up while I had it strapped on, and they typically guessed it was something over 20 pounds.

I still have it, but it’s too much for me to play anymore. Selling it would be tough unless it would be local pickup. The case is short (it’s a Steinberger Spirit), but wide and heavy. Great protection, though.
 

Freeman Keller

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Hi Freeman,

Nice guitar you built there!

As for the weight, I used the lightest pieces of the stairstep mahogany I have and I'd say so far the body is lighter than the one of my small Les Paul style built which has an ash body:

I looked back at my notes and mine apparently weighed in at just under 17 pounds. I can only play it sitting down and it is an ergonometric nightmare. As I said in the build thread, I only built it because my son said he wanted one. Its been two years now (I think) - I doubt that he has played it much at all. The fun for me was in the building

0421201542.jpg


0421201542b.jpg


0421201854.jpg


A few random thought that might be helpful. Use mini tuners on the twelve string neck, you want to make it as slight as possible. There is no reason to have the body joint any higher that 16, you won't be playing up there. Select your 12 string hardware carefully - its pretty limited. I was able to make mine fit in a Gibson EDS case - that saved a heck of a lot of work and expense.

It would be possible to only have one tone and volume pot - I would still suggest the three switches. When you are in the center of each you have all the pups working, but there is a definite drop in overall volume - I thought it sounded much better to play one neck or the other and have the option of individual volume for each pickup.

Have fun
 
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JohnnyThul

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I looked back at my notes and mine apparently weighed in at just under 17 pounds. I can only play it sitting down and it is an ergonometric nightmare. As I said in the build thread, I only built it because my son said he wanted one. Its been two years now (I think) - I doubt that he has played it much at all. The fun for me was in the building

View attachment 977344

View attachment 977346

View attachment 977347

A few random thought that might be helpful. Use mini tuners on the twelve string neck, you want to make it as slight as possible. There is no reason to have the body joint any higher that 16, you won't be playing up there. Select your 12 string hardware carefully - its pretty limited. I was able to make mine fit in a Gibson EDS case - that saved a heck of a lot of work and expense.

It would be possible to only have one tone and volume pot - I would still suggest the three switches. When you are in the center of each you have all the pups working, but there is a definite drop in overall volume - I thought it sounded much better to play one neck or the other and have the option of individual volume for each pickup.

Have fun
I had an Epiphone EDS1275 at one point and know how heavy and especially neck heavy those beasts can be.
That made me think about the neck body Joint,as you mentioned, but I think I will stay close to the PRS design. I had the chance to hold one of those double necks once and it felt quite good ergonomically. Well, as far as ergonomics on such a beast apply🙂
Regarding volume drop, I think I only wants two way selector switch for the necks, I do not find it necessary to have the option of both necks engaged.
Case fitment is not so much of a concern, I am working in OEM business, so, having a bag made to fit should be possible at the cost of a good case. Or maybe I could build a case as well?
As for the tuners, I hate to admit, but, I was going to use locking tuners,maybe the open houses Sperzels or Hipshots. I could try Stealth tuners, but, my heart is somewhat set on locking tuners.
Hardware is complete besides the 6 string bridge. I bought a nice German ABM 12 string bridge, wonderfully machined and quite expensive, but offers a lot of adjustability.

What I found to be a potential problem is, that I routed the body at the point, where the strap lock is mounted. As I use Flush mounts, I may have to put a dowel or the like in there, to make it work.
 

JohnnyThul

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Alright, now, that all the parts are delayed I need to complete another guitar, why not work a little on the doubleneck.

Glued the fingerboard for the 6 string neck.
IMG_20220506_135750.jpg


And you can see my new green friend here. I hesitated to buy it for years, now that I have it I know, why everyone is raving about it. Highly recommended!
 

Ron R

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Hi Freeman,

Nice guitar you built there!

As for the weight, I used the lightest pieces of the stairstep mahogany I have and I'd say so far the body is lighter than the one of my small Les Paul style built which has an ash body:

View attachment 977316

The neck blanks are also pretty light, so, I hope, it will be bearable at the end of the day. But, maybe this is a little brash, I am still young enough and have a pretty stable back, so, at least for a few occasons I should be able to play it (the obligatory Stairway to heaven I guess I would have to play at least once with it:))
Very cool inlay(s) on that guitar
 

1bad914

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Alright, now, that all the parts are delayed I need to complete another guitar, why not work a little on the doubleneck.

Glued the fingerboard for the 6 string neck. View attachment 980356

And you can see my new green friend here. I hesitated to buy it for years, now that I have it I know, why everyone is raving about it. Highly recommended!
Those vices are the best. Could not build without it now.
 




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