Built for show or go?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Milspec, Feb 13, 2020 at 7:12 PM.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,498
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I think many of us like to build partscasters and it might even be an addiction to some. I tend to build a new one each year as well, each one to a very specific spec list that would serve as an ideal machine....but then I build another, and another, and another.

    I am curious, of all the partscasters that you have built, how many really became your number 1 or even 2 for that matter and how many became a once per week show model instead?

    I have built 5 of them, each one supposedly better than the last, yet it is still the very first one that I play the most...and it was the cheapest build by far. The most costly builds see daylight about once ever other week despite being gorgeous and full of top shelf parts, sound and play well, but just never fully bonded in the same way as the first build.

    Are we really building for the show-off factor, or to be our perfect player?
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    71,312
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I have 3 part-o-casters.
    All are workhorse guitars, none are particularly great looking, but they are all purpose built.
    I require that all my “keeper” guitars be gig-ready, and versatile.
    Someday I’ll build one that looks “just right”.
    Presently, function rules over beauty.
    My avatar guitar is my former #1, now #2.
     
  3. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    1,165
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Location:
    SF Bay Area/California
    I have one electric guitar. I had my dream guitar made from my American Strat with the specs that I wanted (narrow tall SS frets, hotter pickups, blend kit, bone nut, Warmoth body of my color choice) I’m a minimalist and believe in utilizing what I have.

    I can safely say it was built for show and go.

    48B1ED77-065F-48E6-9A27-DEAAA4B376DA.jpeg 6A98895B-ABD3-47E1-BE3F-380FEEDBFD2F.jpeg
     
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I prefer to call it assembling unless the body or neck is actually made by my hands just a pet peeve of mine;)

    I only have one partscaster and actually kind of lost my butt on it because I wanted to make the perfect guitar for me and spared no expense
    After assembly I realized that I could have bought a new American vintage for the same price, although I’d never sell my parscaster if I did I’d have to part it out to get even close to what I put into it

    That’s my idea of doing a parscaster ,making sure I can put the best I can afford into it I’d rather have a great player than a bunch of cheaply assembled lookers


    6362391D-9784-45B4-A20D-4DA420886494.jpeg 39138837-179D-4E9E-BE18-ED5975EE8F80.jpeg

    It has gold kluson tuners and a gold tune-o-matic bridge my original plan was to find a gold trem but you wouldn’t believe how rare a fender branded gold jazzmaster tremolo is, I see them from time to time but haven’t jumped on one yet
     
  5. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    1,165
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Location:
    SF Bay Area/California
    Ha! I feel you.. I would have to buy a Suhr to get SS frets which is $$$. I went all out but not to the extreme.
     
    Mr. Neutron and Fretting out like this.
  6. roycaster

    roycaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    475
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    Santa Cruz California
    My first partscaster gets most of the play/practice time. My second tends to spend more time in the case with fresh strings in case I come across an audition or other opportunity to play out…
     
    Mr. Neutron and Milspec like this.
  7. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    411
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Location:
    England
    yup, they are my #1 and #2 (although they might swap positions)

    I have a real Fender Tele in the cupboard doing nothing, and I stole some parts off it for my builds.
     
    Mr. Neutron and Milspec like this.
  8. cometazzi

    cometazzi TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    89
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Location:
    Das Land von Käse und Bier
    I'm guessing that we've all got different opinions of 'show'.
     
    Mr. Neutron and hemingway like this.
  9. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,898
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    I have 3, and like Bill, all purpose-built and all very different in look and function

    I like ‘em all, and they were all under $500

    the one remaining unfinished one is turning into a bit of a money pit at $600
     
    Mr. Neutron and Milspec like this.
  10. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,971
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Twangers Medows USA
    Ive got 15 partscasters that I built, i gig with all of them. I would say 8 of them are Fender custom shop compatible.
     
  11. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,657
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Location:
    Coolum Beach,Australia
    to go...;)

    I don't build guitars from expensive parts or to look like grandmas fine furniture.......

    that wasn't Leo and George's intentions....:twisted:

    pine marks on tele.JPG
     
    Milspec, wclink, Mr. Neutron and 5 others like this.
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    18,852
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    382E94C2-CD6F-41F8-A653-F3BFC443D4C0.jpeg B20DBDC6-07E3-4C71-8C39-13F9C63CDF30.jpeg I always build or really assemble for go though I certainly love good looks.
    Most become a number one at least for a while but some need changes while others stop meeting my changing needs.
    One need is light weight and some are now too heavy to be very attractive next to my lighter guitars.
    It was thirty years ago that I put together my first Esquire without even knowing such a guitar existed.
    I just didn’t use neck pickups and had traded the ‘65 Mustang neck off my first partscaster build from 1980 for a ‘69 Tele bridge pickup and bought an unfinished swam ash Tele body at the NYC vintage guitar show.
    Since then I try other guitars but until a year or so ago stripped down Esquires nailed it for me.
    Refining them intended to get lighter weight and the perfect tonal balance between too shrill on the high E and too muddy on the low E.

    More recently I mounted Tele bridge pickups with no angle in various ways which led to various Jazzmaster pickups which vary in design and can sound similar to Tele bridge pickups.

    So the progression has been logical and there are still parts waiting to become next gen builds including a thinline Tele with single JM pickup at the bridge.
    HardtailStrats are great platforms too, bought some blank guards from China to eliminate all the extra holes.
    These two are number ones.
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    18,852
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    75984541-6001-4C33-AABA-79B570F20897.jpeg C5C344BD-518A-4602-8A61-3A51C4C6E86D.jpeg E9BE295F-0F44-49AA-AAAA-57B06C64E660.jpeg These three are older less perfected builds but have potential for future improvement.
    All five have Fender necks but only the SB has a Fender body.
     
  14. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    6,757
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    I've been building them to fill what I consider gaps in my stable. All four of these are in my regular rotation.

    Lightweight full-size P-Bass (weighs about 7 lbs):
    [​IMG]

    Les Paul Jr.
    [​IMG]

    Lightweight Strat with hot pickups for rock and roll
    [​IMG]

    Lightweight knotty pine Tele with hotter pickups than my US Standard
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 12:27 PM
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    18,852
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    006C6EDA-CC34-4943-A42E-3D9362A608ED.jpeg 8DF67F61-C005-438F-9D50-D93B0CAC2112.jpeg 451B50CC-C4CD-4DDD-960E-5060112784B0.jpeg These two are prototype builds and the red body will never be a player but the black Strat might after the next guard rout, mini hum potting and Strat pup swap become a player. Might lose the pepto-bismol pink Warmoth neck too but it was $80.
    The three pickup rings in my hand all mount like a dogear including the dogear cover diilled for an angled Tele bridge pickup, later changed to a steel plate with the reverse angled Tele bridge pickup (upside down in the pic so it appears to have the normal pickup angle), then the mini hum plate made from road sign aluminum, and now I subbed two little tabs for the better looking plate so I could hear the tonal variations possible by moving the pickup location.
    I think a huge limitation is the bridge pickup mounting location in Strat guards and Tele bridge plates. Lots of tonal range within the same pickup.

    That Strat body is a pretty nice alder MIM but made for a heavy guitar so I took a crack at losing some weight. It’s now down under 7lbs and fairly comfortable so it gets some play time but the mini hum has some squeal and the Robert Cray Strat pup is too dark. I had a rewound ‘72 Stat pickup in that guard and the mini was half way to a firebird pickup but had steel bars rather than alnico bar poles.
    When I swapped in alnico bars I didn’t pot it well enough thinking the coils were well enough saturated already.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 3:45 PM
  16. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    267
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Location:
    Near Boring, OR
    Kinda like you, @Milspec, I play the first one I built (assembled) the most. It's the one that stays on a stand in my living room, by the amps, turntable/stereo, and by my laptop, so I can jam with a backing track or songs from the stereo. It's a Warmoth Hybrid Tele. I bought the Alder body with the idea to paint it, but the wood looked so good when it arrived, I just couldn't cover it up with paint. 3 yrs. later, it's a bit "beat up/reliced", but I like playing it better than my Strat Partscaster. I just bonded better with the Tele, I guess.

    The Strat is better looking, sounds and plays great, and I really like it a lot, but the Hybrid Tele stays in tune better.

    I can't really afford to build showpieces, and want something I can play without guilt when it gets scuffed up. It's just a guitar, not a shrine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 2:38 PM
    Milspec, 8trackmind and telemnemonics like this.
  17. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,810
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    I don't even distinguish between my partscasters and shop-bought guitars any more.

    They all do the job. I use the one that's the best tool for the job, or that I just feel like playing at the moment.

    It would be nice to think that means that the guitars I've built are fit for purpose.
     
  18. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    803
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I only have one "pretty" electric that doesn't see daylight much. (98 tele deluxe nashville) My parts guitars are my workhorses and were built to be light, reliable stay in tune and fit well within a band situation.(Plenty of mids, not too bass heavy or too bright)
    I don't feel they are particularly attractive and sort of beat up. I don't care, they are tools.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 12:42 PM
    Milspec and Mr. Neutron like this.
  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    9,934
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I arrived at my "ideal" through a long extended process. I began, about twenty years ago, with a 1993 Korean Fender Squier Tele, bought at a Ft Worth Guitar Show for $100. Over the years, I modified and changed MANY things on that guitar.....several pickup sets, bridges, even changed the neck. Over time, I got it just right...EXCEPT!....it weighed too much. At my age, its eight pounds was becoming just too heavy for a gig. I decided to "replicate" it by (like Fretting out puts it) assembling a new one. I duplicated the pickups, bridge, saddles, tuners and neck.....only with a lightweight Paulownia body. The whole thing weighs just over five pounds. I doubt I will ever build another (never say never, right?) because I have no need......I'm "done", I'm "there", I'm at "nirvana". "Taz" does puzzle guys sometimes though....it sounds good, looks good, and feels good.....but it doesn't say Fender on the headstock. ;)
     
  20. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,131
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Location:
    blu ridge mtn cabin
    I build mine because I've always liked building stuff. Also I can build just what I want, rather than buying something to mod.
    They always look so pretty when first built, but they always develope character marks after being gigged for a few years:rolleyes:
    Guess you could say they're built to go to the show;)
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.