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Fender Performer - Recreating this polarizing odd guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by slick4772, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Got a Gibson Victory vibe going... don’t get sued!
     
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  2. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Holic

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    @guitarbuilder had a good suggestion as far as 3D modeling and vacuum forming. Personally, I’d cut straight to the chase and just dunk a pair of existing humbuckers into a block of cast epoxy resin. You could probably make a master pretty easily with a piece of wood or MDF, make a silicone mold and go to town. Theoretically, you could even make an aluminum master with a hacksaw and bastard file.

    However, getting a nice finish in white would be a real challenge.
     
  3. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    As noted previously the covers could be 3D printed or also they could be made by making a silicone mold and casting them with resin. I made some unusual knobs that way.

    Jerry Sentell could make the pickups for you.
    https://sentellpickups.net/
     
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  4. slick4772

    slick4772 Tele-Meister

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    My concern with the casting is that it would get the outside right, but the inside would still need some work. You might see from one of the pictures that there are cylinders where the mounting screws go. I supposed I could drill/route out the inside of a poured casting, but ultimately, I think the 3d printing might be the way to go. I was thinking that even if the exterior is rough from a 3d printed piece - if I made it just a slight bit thicker, I could sand it smooth and polish it.
     
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  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Holic

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    Drilling through it would be what you’d have to do. I’ve done it. If you have a drill press, it’s not super hard to do. A bigger concern is designing your mold to minimize shrinkage. Maybe you could buy a couple cheapie pickups for $10 and do a trial run.

    I was suggesting casting only because you wouldn’t have to farm the work out - that is, if you don’t have ready access to a 3D printer.

    I was thinking about it, and depending on the original pickup, you might be able to make a mold from that original pickup without doing any damage to it.
     
  6. slick4772

    slick4772 Tele-Meister

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    For those interested in building their own Performer - there is a PDF on that German guitar site with all of the templates - but you don't know how big it is or if that PDF is accurate. The dimensions of a Fender Performer are as follows (per my template made by riding a router bearing along the outside of the guitar:

    Body centerline: 13 7/8" (from top to bottom)
    Width at widest point - 12 9/16"
    Width from centerline to widest point on lower bout - 6 5/16"

    I'm going to look into the 3D printing option - I don't see the casting as being viable - I just don't think it would be accurate on the inside. The original pickups are filled with epoxy to hold in the "guts" of the pickup.
     
  7. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can work up a fairly accurate pickup recipe for you if can get me measurements on the length and thickness of the magnet bars, width and length of the bobbins, height and inside length and width of the pickup cover and a resistance reading of each.
    If you wish to keep this information private, PM me.
    Rob
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  8. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    I for one would be interested in hearing the recipe too :)
     
  9. slick4772

    slick4772 Tele-Meister

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    I did some searching for information on these pickups. From what I read - this is what others said:

    There was a set on Reverb where the bridge measured 12.72K ohms. But because everything is epoxied in place, who knows what gauge wire and magnet is inside there? It could even be two bar magnets with no center magnet, rather than two regular steel bars. The way the two conductors are coming out from each coil makes me think it's bar magnet "single coils" so right off the bat it'll sound different than something built off a PAF chassis. So maybe it's like a Stag Mag if instead of the staggered alnico pole coils it had bar coils.

    Even if the pups don't sound that great, with 4 conductors you could mess with series/split/parallel wiring across all four coils, like tele coils in series & parallel, or neck pickup parallel + bridge pickup series. There're bound to be cool sounds in there. The Japanese Ibanez pickups from that same era are epoxy potted like that, and they're bright and clean sounding. But they have ceramic bar magnets and poles.
     
  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you get your covers made up, then you can just experiment with magnet type and coil winds, which would be the fun part. It's doubtful you end up with a poor sounding pickup unless you totally mess it up...LOL.
     
  11. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Holic

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    I've done some pickup cover mold/casting. I used Smooth-On OOMOO to make the molds, and Smooth Cast 300 for the castings. You definitely need mold release too. There are videos all over YouTube and some on the Smooth-On website.

    It takes some trial and error, but the learning curve is where the fun is.
     
  12. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    Bumping this thread hoping for an update. :)
     
  13. slick4772

    slick4772 Tele-Meister

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    I’m crazy busy at work right now so this project is on hold. I want to hire someone who knows how to 3D model and then I’m going to get the file to someone with a 3D printer. I know there’s a bunch of companies that do it but I need to spend the time finding someone who won’t charge me more than this project is worth. In the meantime I’m working on some easier stuff.
     
  14. Mister B

    Mister B Tele-Holic

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    I could probably do the 3D modelling of the pickup covers for you, if you haven't found anyone else. As long as it isn't a commercial project, I wouldn't charge. It looks like a pretty simple component. I'd need plenty of photos and measurements. If you're up for that I'd be happy to help when you're ready (and when I can fit it in).
     
  15. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    Bump
     
  16. slick4772

    slick4772 Tele-Meister

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    I probably should try to get this started - in these quarantined times. I'll have to get the guitar out of storage - my life over the last 6 months has been crazy. Remodeling my house, wife is pregnant - crazy.
     
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  17. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Friend of Leo's

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    I have an odd attraction to the performer: part different and unique, part trainwreck. I've thought of doing my own take on it at some point...
     
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  18. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    Congratulations man. I’m looking forward to how this works out.
     
  19. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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    #1
     
  20. tdoty

    tdoty Tele-Meister

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    If you can get the 3d modeling done, printing is easy: send the file to Shapeways or one of the other printing houses and get it printed with technology that is WAY beyond the home machines. I have 2 3d printers using filament, I spent almost 2 years doing the design and printing of robot components on a $65,000 EnvisionTec printer for my employer at the time, and I have had my designs printed by Shapeways.

    Shapeways offers numerous materials because they have numerous printers; pretty much all they do is print peoples' designs. The service is good and actually rather cheap - compared to buying your own printer, learning to use it, buying practice materials, learning to design within the limitations of your printer (they all have limitations), printing the final product, then cleaning up the final product to make it the real final product. A Shapeways print can be ordered polished, if that's your cup of tea. There are a number of options that will provide a finished product when the parts arrive in the post........no further finishing required.

    There are other printing houses, but I have used Shapeways.

    Voice the pickups however you want them to sound. The pickup design was likely part of the hindrance of the Performer. It's not so much that we're resistant to change, but that the guitar was resistant to pickup changes. I, personally, find it quite nice to be able to swap pickups around. I'm sure most of my guitars would be disappointing with stock pickups; ok, they did disappoint me, which is why they are no longer stock.

    Good luck on this project! It has an interesting hair metal era aesthetic.
     
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