SX converted to Michael Houser V1 Tele Plus Deluxe tribute

Fixins13

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Posts
7
Location
Boston, MA
I've been a big Widespread Panic and Mike Houser fan for a long time. I tried to build this guitar once before with pretty lame results. I wanted a trem and I wanted as much of the original Fender parts as I could reasonably manage.

I started with this SX:
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They claim it's alder and I'm not an arborist nor a woodworker enough to say otherwise. The plan was to take all this Fender stuff and jam it into this low-dollar guitar and have something decent.

My parts:
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I also had a Mighty Mite rosewood Tele neck and when I bought it 10+years ago, I put Planet Waves auto-trim locking tuners on it. If I had it to do over, I'd have put the real Fender ones on but never the less, that's what I have.

IMG_3107.jpg

What worked stock: the body and the trem. What needed work/replacing: Virtually everything else. Replaced was: the pick guard and pickups, the pots and switch and the neck. The SX neck seemed OK but I wanted a rosewood one. The control plate I had to ream out the pot holes for real CTS pots and I had to add a hole for the mini switch. The stock switch was a PCB-type and I don't like them so I got a Fender 3-way switch. The stock pots were the little dime-sized ones and maybe they are OK but I wanted real CTS pots. I also ordered the correct Fender brand (made by CTS) TBX stacked tone pot. I figured the routing for the pickups under the guard and the weird chrome Tele bridge pickup mount would be a swimming pool route so I could put in whatever I wanted. Nope. I had to route out the body's stock bridge pickup routing for a humbucker and I had to enlarge the neck pickup routing slightly for a Strat-sized single. While I had the router, I enlarged the rear of the control cavity for the TBX pot and the middle a hair wider to accommodate the full sized volume pot. Expanding the control cavity route must be done extremely carefully. If you go crazy with the router, a mow a mile-wide slot it's gonna show. I tried to get Lace to sell me just the mount for the red dually but no one in sales would return my email. I also asked of they'd sell me a loaded control plate so I could just drop it in. Dial tone. At least the tech department would talk to me so eventually got enough information from them to wire up the red dually pickups with the mini switch. When I attempted this 10-15 years ago I got NOS Fender Lace pickups for the bridge. They are literally 2 single pickups screwed together with a bracket with a hole in the middle. The original Tele Plus V1s for some reason has 2 pickup mounting screws on the left side and 1 screw on the right. Which brings me to mounting the humbucker to the body. This was tough. As I said, Lace wouldn't/couldn't/didn't want to sell me things so I had to make this part myself. I have a 3D printer so after messing around with this design for a long time, I got it fit and work just right. I'm not sure the Lace mount would work anyway and since I was starting from scratch, I made mine fit the 4 mounting holes already in the body. If you are using the new version of the red dually pickup, I suspect my mount won't work as they only have 1 mounting tab now. If anyone is foolish enough to try this yourself, here is the 3D file for humbucker trim ring. I may have my mount laser cut out of brass as I think it would be way cooler if the part was made out of metal but that's a problem for another day. I strung it up last night and it plays great. I learned Postcard by WSP as a victory lap. What still needs work: the pickguard doesn't fit right. I'm probably going to have to recut the mouth where it opens up over the pickup as the way it's mounted now it's crooked. There wasn't enough room to use the real Fender trem. Guitar Fetish sells an upgraded trem block so I'll probably get one of those. I still have to intonate it but it works well enough right now to tune up and play. How much work is this? If you were smarter than I was and had everything ready to go before you started, you could probably do this in a weekend depending on how many kids soccer/tee-ball games you have to attend. Build cost? That's a little funky because I had a lot of this stuff but the base guitar was $180. I got my pick guard from Warmoth. They are $30+ s/h. Lace red duallies are $110. Single Lace blues are $80. Mighty Mite necks are about $150. Tuners are about $60. Pots, switches and wire were probably $50+/-. So all in approximately $650-$700. Would I advise someone to build this guitar $675? No. This only worked for me because I already had everything other than the SX guitar, the pots and a 3-way switch. I am out-of-pocket less than $300 for my guitar. Would I advise someone to build this guitar for $300? Hell, yes I would.

Nearly done but playable:

IMG_3188.jpg
 
Last edited:

sleazy pot pie

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
May 31, 2014
Posts
1,727
Location
austin
Great project.
Love Houser.
I saw over 100 Houser panic shows between 96-2001.
To me, Houser always sounded like someone fly fishing with a lightning bolt.
I sure miss him. I just can’t get into Jimmy.
 

Fixins13

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Posts
7
Location
Boston, MA
Great project.
Love Houser.
I saw over 100 Houser panic shows between 96-2001.
To me, Houser always sounded like someone fly fishing with a lightning bolt.
I sure miss him. I just can’t get into Jimmy.
Me too to all. Except I don't mind Jimmy. My friend says he can't "achieve liftoff," with the band the way he used to when Mikey was in his spot, seated, surrounded by Mesa cabs and working his volume pedal like a sewing machine (>protein drink?). I wanted a red Tele with a trem and 2 red Lace Sensors with the TBX tone controls which I didn't even know was such a big part of the tone until I had one. All I need now is a Soldano SLO 100 and a Mesa cab and... I'll still be a crummy guitar player. I'm so glad you could make it.
 




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