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Help me design my next guitar, please

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Elias Graves, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    I've finally finished tweaking my most recent build and built a speaker cab.
    Time for another guitar! I'm down to one electric now, my custom hollow walnut machine and I'm very pleased with it. For those wanting to see it, check out the build thread here. http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/356403-experimental-hollowbody-build.html#post4514067
    The last page has the most up to date pics. It has a Duncan Antiquity dogear bridge pickup and a Duncan firebird neck pickup. I love the tones.
    I want to build one more that has a little different flavor and I'm kinda torn.

    Here are my thoughts so far.
    Might be nice to have another just about like it, though I'd split up my P90/mini set and make one guitar with two P90s and one with two firebird pickups.
    Might be nice to have some Gretsch flavor, so maybe something with filtertrons.
    Might be kinda nice to have something more Fender flavored. Maybe a Jaguar hybrid of some sort or a Les Tele.

    Things I don't want/can't have.
    Long scale. Tendinitis in my wrist kills me on 25.5" guitars. My hollow is a 24.5", which works fine for me. My son has a Blacktop Jaguar P90 and I do also like the 24" scale. 24.75" is definitely the limit.
    Light weight is a must. I don't like wearing boat anchors.

    Now, I still have some well aged black walnut and I'll probably use that. Now that I've figured out exactly what walnut is as a tonewood, it makes it easier to work with. Walnut is not easy to get to sound like what you want. It has it's own thing going on in spades and trying to work against it is a fool's errand. It is heavy on the mid range, bright on the top and bass heavy as well. I guess you could say it's well balanced but it has a LOT of everything. The sustain is crazy. Its heavy. It's HARD and very stiff. Much stiffer than maple, though not quite as hard. Walnut has no flex to it at all.

    So, my leading candidates right now:
    A twin for the one I already made but with different pickups. I'd leave the bridge pickup in place on my existing guitar and install a matching dogear for the neck. I'd use the mini from the neck for the new guitar and get a matching mini for the bridge. The low output firebirds fairly well cover my Fender jones, as they'll twang pretty good and are nice and chimey.
    A Les Tele tele/LP hybrid. This would have to be a short scale, though and I don't know how that works with tele pickups.
    A smaller set neck chambered solid with Filtertrons and maybe a bigsby.
    An outright non reverse firebird with minis. I dig the look but having never actually played a firebird of any kind, I'm not sure how wise that is.


    I'm mostly just a rhythm player in a kinda country blues/Americana type style so I don't need to "cover bases" or any of that business. I play what I play and as long as it sounds good, I can make it work.
    Most of my stuff is solo work and playing with a band is the exception for me rather than the rule so I prefer guitars that have a nice full sound with plenty of bass.
    I play clean to a little bit of tube overdrive. Never use any high gain stuff at all. Don't even own a dirt pedal. If the amp doesn't dish it out, I don't use it. My main amp is a vht special 6 into a 2x10 cab loaded with old Utahs from a 60 Bassman. I mic it if it isn't loud enough. Some tremolo and slapback are the only other effects I use.

    Any opinions welcome. Mainly, I'm just hoping to get some discussion going so I can hash this out. You guys often bring up points I miss, so feel free to make suggestions all you want.
     
  2. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    I don't have any immediate suggestions but I would like to know where you got the knobs used on the last build.
     
  3. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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  4. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    How about a Jag/LPJr hybrid?
     
  5. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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  6. Captain Nutslot

    Captain Nutslot Friend of Leo's

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    Hows about the twin idea and the new one's got the shape of the infamous SG?
     
  7. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    Ewww. Lol. I'll stick with my single cut, thanks. Not many double cuts I like. LP double or Fender offset is about the only double cut I like.
     
  8. Tom Pettingill

    Tom Pettingill Tele-Holic

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    I'd be remiss if I did not point out that walnut makes a great lap steel :D

    Some other random thoughts ... walnut neck and swamp ash body is a nice combo. A4 mags in a PAF'ish bucker can be very nice. If you go the Tele direction, I really like a hotter wound set based on the fatter old school .195" A3 magnets. Something like the BG-Pups Rockwind is light on twang with a clear big and rich full voice. http://bg-pups.com/teles/telecaster-bridge-a3/
     
  9. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    My son has an A4 humbucker. I agree. It sounds terrific.
    Been playing some other guitars the last few days to see if anything appealed much. My son has: mim Strat, a walnut tele I made, a blacktop Jaguar 90, a sweet MIK Epi Les Paul (that's the one with the A4 Rose in it along with a Duncan 59 bridge)
    My conclusion is that I like my guitar the best. Lol.
    I believe going to make another similar to my original and use one for a pair of firebird pickups and the other for P90s. I do like my mixed set but I also miss having pairs of both.
    Looking through what's left of my walnut, I believe I have enough, though I may be forced to build a laminated neck. The 4x4 I made the first neck with is too short to make another.
     
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