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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Jan 28, 2020.
Maybe I can iron them out
Couldn't get the wrinkles out so I better wire this thing. Its really pretty simple, each neck gets a pickup selector, tone and volume, and one switch for one or the other or both necks. Wired the switch first, its up between the two necks, then I mounted the pickups. Then I notices a big brain fart
When I was laying out the conduits thru the body I put them in the center of the sides of the pickups - of course that is exactly where the mounting feet for the pups are. I'm trying to put five shield cables thru the same place the bracket and screws and springs want to live. Duh.
Well the three cables to the switch are in place and soldered, I think they will be OK. I pulled the pickup cables back out and drilled at an angle into the big chamber
Thinking about it, what would have made the most sense is a couple of nice angled channels something like in an LP. Duh. The other advantage of doing it this way is that the neck 12 string pickup's wires were too short - I was going to have to extend them. Going at an angle like this gained me a couple of critical inches.
Rest of the wiring was straight forward. That cavity had seemed pretty generous when I hogged it out but its pretty tight with all those wires
Best part was when I finished and plugged it in everything worked perfectly.
FK pats himself on the back and opens a cold adult beverage.
Looking great, Mr. K. I am loving that top!
Well deserved, especially after that wiring exercise!
Made a nut
Made another nut
Did a setup. Did another setup. You've seen all that before, I won't bore you
Came out of the tunnel last night. It was a pretty long one too. Took the monster in the house, plugged it into my little home made amp and strummed the first chord. Then the other neck. Then the first neck again. Its officially loud.
A couple of quick pics before I give my impressions
The pictures and lighting aren't great, I'll take some better glamour shots when I have a few minutes.
OK, impressions after one evening of playing.
This thing is a monster and totally kicks my ass. I play sitting down, don't own a strap (but my son will need one) and this just fills my lap.
Its awkward. The bottom neck is too low, the top one too high. I play fingerstyle and find I really have to arch my hand to play the top neck. Barre chords are uncomfortable on the bottom neck, thumb fretting is uncomfortable on the top one. But I managed.
Moving back and forth between the necks is not intuitive. I find myself moving towards the body when I go to the top neck - in other words if I was playing on the 5th fret on the bottom I might end up at the 7th on the top. The side marker dots get a lot more attention.
I find that when I'm bent over looking at the fretboard and then look back at the body that pointy thing is right next to my face. Probably won't be a problem standing with a strap, but its kind of scary sitting down.
The six string neck sounds and plays great. I continue to be impressed with the StewMac golden age PAF clones - they just sound good. I tend to play more on the neck pup but found I would just leave the switch in the middle with this. Since each neck has only one tone and volume the middle is pretty much 50/50 blend - that is just fine.
The twelve string sounds just like a 12 string. It is kind of interesting to switch back and forth between two necks that are exactly the same - scale, tuning, pups - except for the additional octave strings. You can play some nice single string stuff on one neck, the duplicate it on the other - either make it crisper on the six or add the fullness of the 12 - I like it.
The nut spacing is just a hair narrower than my 12 string acoustics - I can live with it. The bridge spacing feels a lot narrower that other 12's (it is 2-3/16 I think) - I would like a little more and I would like the courses closer but those are both set by the bridge and can't easily be changed. It is one of the things that I've always noticed about electric twelve string - the spacing at the bridge is just too close.
The guitar sound good for some songs. I don't play Stairway and never will, but things like House of the Rising Sun, From the Beginning, Alberta, SF Bay Blues, Walk Right In - all twelve string songs works very nicely. Lots of old blues come across nicely - particularly if I do the chorded first position stuff on the 12 string and then move up the 6 string neck for contrast. I wasn't very comfortable playing the 12 up then neck - my little Leo Kottke repertoire didn't work all that great. Oh well.
The guitar needs to go back to the shop today, nut slots are still a bit high and I need to balance the pickups. Otherwise, I think it is a success and it was fun to build. Thank you all for all the nice comments and for following along on this rather strange journey.
It's truly beautiful and I'm really glad to hear it sounds equally great! The material and finish is exquisite.
'Just curious about what the final weight looks to be on that beast?
You did a fantastic job on this guitar. Congratulations on its completion!!
Thanks Jim. When I put it on my postage scale that has a maximum capacity of 11 pounds the display says ****. When I put it on my wife's bathroom scale its about 17 or 18 pounds, but my wife insists "that scale isn't accurate". So lets just say its between **** and 18 pounds.
Funny part, all the while I was building it I kept thinking "this thing isn't all that heave". I thought that the thin body and all the chambering and stuff was having an effect, but then I started screwing all the hardware on. It got heavy about the same time it got loud.
Even though I don't understand them it is a beautiful work of art Freeman. You are a true craftsman!
Wow Freeman, that came out fantastic. I’m totally speechless. Everything about it just has the right vibe. Would love to hear it!
Nice work. Not sure why, but I am still thinking about building one.
Wow! That is some piece of work! Nice job!
Sit down quietly, close your eyes, breath deeply. It will pass.
Really amazing work! Beautiful, stunning guitar.
@Freeman Keller - what beautiful work!
I came over here from following the Captains build. Kept meaning to come check yours out. Last night. Around 10:30, to be exact. Did not get to bed at anywhere close to a reasonable hour. Totally engrossed. Nicely done! I always wanted to screw around with one of these. I have no urge to build or own one, but I think it would be cool to play with one.
Looks amazing. Top notch craftsmanship. I love how your pride in your work fights with your, shall we say, disdain for the subject matter.
... but, but..... sigh.
Freeman - Extremely beautiful guitar, and great informative thread. I've owned a few 12-string guitars, and they are alway a challenge to utilize. A songwriter friend of mine in Nashville told me to never bring the dang Martin D-12-20 to jam, because it drowned out everything else. No room around it. They have their place in the audio spectrum, and you made a wonderful instrument. Your son will love it, and get lots of glorious compliments on his dad's craftsmanship.