Guitar and Bass Discussion - Sperg about players that inspire you, gear, share your experiences, etc.

dotONION

[Putdowns]
kiwifarms.net
Keep us updated! I've thought about buying a Strat kit for a while now, so I'm interested to see how it turns out for you. Have fun building it!
Gladly! It has been a lot of fun so far.

The strat kit I got is the Muslady HSS (somehow the cheapest), and I'm pleased with the quality of the body and neck. The routing was good, and only a few spots had any machining marks that needed cleaning up, namely the neck sides of the double cuts. The body cavities are routed for HSH and have some chattering, but I would guess that's kind of normal. All of the edges are cut well, square where they should be and rounded where they should be, no complaints there. My initial plan was to go from 150-400 grit on the body and neck, but the kit came in so smooth I just started at 400 and ended up with a really nice surface pretty quickly. Dry-fitting the neck showed only two small gaps between the curved corners of the neck pocket and the corners of the neck, maybe 1/8" at the furthest on each side. You could probably eliminate this by sanding the curve of the neck to fit but the sides fight very snugly, with no gap, and I've seen some guitars that have pretty shocking gaps, so I don't expect this will impact sustain. Also good news: The trem route is large enough to fit a High Mass or MIM trem block, which is good because that's what I wanted to use.

I'm also quite pleased with the shape of the neck. It's a very flat fingerboard (I would guess maybe 14" or 16"?), but with a C profile that kind of reminds me of a modern Fender. Not that I can play fast, but I think this would qualify as a "fast " neck. My plan was to use a Graph Tech Tusq XL Strat nut on this build, which should fit because the nut slot is cut like a flat-bottom Fender (or is that the Squiers?). But the fingerboard is so flat that now I'm wondering if the middle strings will end up too high off the board because of the curve on the nut. The stock plastic nut that came with the kit is not an arch shape, but more of a wedge shape, with low E being in the highest spot and high E in the lowest. Then again, maybe that's just a shit part and the arch will fit better, not sure yet. There was no real fret sprout to speak of on the neck when it came. The edges were okay, pretty decent at the start, but they get sharper as you go up the neck. I was going to crown and polish them anyway, but it may take a little more work than I thought.

Side notes on design: The body seems to be 3 piece, and the neck seems to be 3 or 4. It's a little hard to tell, which is a good thing. I may have been too optimistic about my personal aspirations for the look of the thing. Another odd note is that there are at least 4 knots of various sizes on this body, which I didn't expect. One is very dark and noticeable, but conveniently enough, it's on the fat edge of the body exactly where the strap lock will go. Overall, the basswood does take the dye pretty well and the colors are pretty true, with only small, rare spots going greenish. Perhaps its worth mentioning that my original work plans also included a sanding sealer. But in my tests on craft basswood, the sanding sealer darkened the wood too much and threw off the colors I had picked for the body, but the sanding sealer may have prevented the discoloration. The whole kit is very easy to work with. I got through the full wood prep for the back and neck, finished the coloring, and even got to start finishing the back with two coats of poly all in a day. I'd like to get a very high-gloss finish on the body, and I'm thinking that may take 5 or 6 coats, but I'd like to avoid wet sanding if possible. My plan is to do a wiped coat of Teak oil on the neck, and I think I'll use a light coat of bore oil on the fingerboard. Figuring out the work flow for finishing the neck was a little tricky, and I decided to finish the back before doing the frets. It's possible that it would have been better to do the frets first. It certainly would have been less taping, as now I'll have to tape the whole back of the neck to protect the work. I'm also at a point where I have to decide when I'm going to cut the headstock. I wanted to wait until after I finished the dyeing so that the colors ran naturally through the cuts instead of right up to them. That cut should probably happen before the fret work, so it may get bumped up to the next step after finishing the body. That way the body can sit and dry for a few days while I finish the neck.
 

Spunt

A Leading Source of Experimental Internet Gas
kiwifarms.net
Pedal-wise, I love my Morley Bad Horsie II wah. It can be a fussy little bitch (it can be really noisy with some power supplies and some patch cables don't seem to fit into it properly even though they should) but to play it's an absolute joy. It has an electro-optic switch that turns it on when you put your foot on it and turns it off again, with true bypass, once you've taken your foot off. Compare that to the nightmare Dunlop Crybaby I used to use which was a bitch to turn on and off and messed with the tone even when it was turned off.

Also acquired a Digitech Whammy IV recently. A great little toy, but again it won't take a standard power supply (it needs like 9.5v instead of 9v or it just won't work, because fuck you, that's why) and I worry about how sturdy it is, but I'm having too much fun making squeaky Gojira/RATM noises to care.

I can, however, wholeheartedly recommend the Donner Jet Convolution flanger. Just £23 ($29-ish) off Amazon, tiny, sturdy little pedal that sounds fantastic and has all the controls you need. There's no reason to buy anything more expensive, it's all the flanger you'll ever need for a stupid low price. Their noisegate is great too, in my experience it out-performs things that are three times the price.
 

dotONION

[Putdowns]
kiwifarms.net
Part of me wishes I didn't care enough to dox myself with build pictures, but I'm not that microwaved. Anyways, a week plus change on, the build is nearly done, and here's how it has gone:

First, my general idea for the design was to do a take on a sunburst, but centered around the shape of the Strat pickguard instead of the center of the guitar body. The shape of the Strat is great and sunbursts are great, but it's annoying that most of the burst gradient is covered by the giant Strat pickguard. As I mentioned, the kit I bought is Basswood, which isn't a great wood to use under a burst, because there's really nothing to see. So I ran some experiments with various workflows, and one of them was using various things as grain fillers to accent the basswood. Gilding wax ended up giving a look that I enjoyed immensely, filling what grain there was and adding a sparkle, so that's what I went with. What I did was apply the wax, let it dry, and then use #00 steel wool to pull back the wax coat until it filled as much of the grain as possible while leaving the majority of the wood bare. Then I dyed over the waxed wood, and used wipe-on poly for the clear coat.

The dyeing started rough, but became much easier and simpler once I figured out that I was missing a step. I used undiluted multipurpose dye directly rubbed on the body with cloth. However, because the guitar body was much smoother compared to the sanded craft basswood I used to test, the dye was essentially pushing around instead of soaking in and blending together. The trick is to dab the cloth out before rubbing the dye onto the guitar body. This small change lead to much better results and color blending.

In my previous post I said that I was very happy with how much I was able to accomplish in one day. In hindsight, touch-dry was probably not dry enough for the poly coating. I would definitely let it sit a day or so if I were to do this again, because with hand-rubbed poly, the first two coats are so thin that I still had a good amount of dye rubbing off on the applicator rag. The third poly coat covers much more adequately. I was also lightly sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper between each coat of poly following a technique I had seen in a few woodworking videos, but this should probably be skipped for the first two coats if the wood is dyed or colored. The idea behind the technique is to allow the tiny particles of sawdust to help the poly dry more flat, but it just seemed to pull the color off and slow the poly drying in my build. I also switched to rubbing the dried poly with #0000 steel wool for coats 3 and 4, and this worked very well, going faster and giving a smoother result than the 2000 grit. I ended up going for about 8 coats on the body, and 3 on the headstock. However, fter the 4th coat, I realized that my poly would not, in the end, dry perfectly smooth, for one specific reason: The steel wool. What I didn't realize (stupidly), is that brushing the body off after using the steel wool was not enough to remove the tiny metal particles that the wool leaves behind. What I should have done is used a magnet to pull the remnants off before applying the next coat of poly. In the end, the body turned out pretty smooth, but it could have been much better. I decided against using any rubbing or buffing compounds on the body to increase the gloss. It ended up somewhere north of satin, and I'm pretty happy with that. I did copper tape the body cavities and the back of the pickguard.

Cutting the headstock was a complete pain in the ass. I don't have an edge router, so I did it with a jigsaw and sandpaper. Nightmare. In the end, the result was decent, but it would have been so much better if I had something approaching the correct tools, even a hand router or one of those Dremel stands.

The neck is where I made the most mistakes, and what I would change the most. Very stupidly, I thought it would look cool if I waxed and dyed the neck as well as the body. And it did look very cool. But the poly made the neck a grippy, Gibson-esque nightmare, and as new as I am to guitar, even I hate that. So I ended up taking the neck all the way back down to the bare wood, sanding it up to 600, and finishing it with teak oil. For as long as it took to make that mistake, fixing it only took an hour or two. The end result is a little imperfect, some grain is still a little filled, but you get what you pay for.

I did some fret sanding and polishing as well, which was fine. To my surprise, the frets on this kit were pretty much level, so all that needed to be done is edge sanding and polishing. I did tape up the fretboard, but still ended up scuffing it with the fret file in a spot or two in the higher frets. Using the metal guards was counterproductive to the kind of work I was doing, or maybe I was using them wrong. At any rate, I got it done in the end with not too much damage. I finished the fingerboard with three light coats of bore oil. I was planning on doing one, but the wood was so dry the first two disappeared before I could even rub it in.

Constructing the guitar was equal parts easy and hard. It's fundamentally just a puzzle with a few pieces, as everything goes in one spot only. I bought upgraded locking tuners - which dropped in fine - and a big block trem bridge, which didn't drop in because I'm stupid and it took me a long time to figure out to TAPE DOWN the bridge on the top and then check the clearance on the bottom. I had to drill those holes twice. Filling the wrongly-drilled holes was very simple: Toothpicks and Titebond. I'm also not the best at soldering because I have the wrong number of hands (2), so that took me a while, as did figuring out "vintage" ground configuration. I was mentally stuck on having to solder the pot ground to the trem claw when there was no route from the pickup cavity to the bottom of the trem route. However, this only has to be done if you don't solder it to the audio jack ground, which is called "vintage" I guess. Mark Knopfler has a whole article on the background of the two different configurations, but the long and short of it is "Follow the routes".

After getting the whole thing together, I plugged it in and did the screwdriver test. It worked! Except when I touched one pole on the neck pickup, I think heard something pop. I haven't pulled the pickguard back off to check, and I'm not sure where I would look, as everything seemed the same afterwards. If the neck pickup did indeed take a shit, I'd probably be more likely to replace it with some hot rails instead of try and return it to...wherever it came from. As I think I mentioned, the pickguard I bought is a completely unbranded copy of this Seymour Duncan pickup set. I haven't seen any video reviews of this thing yet, but I did find one written review of a somewhat similar set on a forum. It's likely to be crap, but better than what came with the kit, which I'm okay with. I was impressed by the pots this pickguard came with. While they also aren't branded, they are 500k (allegedly), and have a great feel to them.

The worst part that came with this kit is the nut, and upgrading that has been less than ideal. The nut slot in this kit is very much not standard, so what I've ended up doing is trying to put a Graph Tech Tusq XL flat bottom Fender nut onto the kit neck. The problem is that the Tusq is much wider and longer than the nut that came with the kit. I tried to gently sand the nut slot wider, and it has worked to some extent. Basically, I widened the slot too much, and had to fill the space with a slip of craft basswood and some wood glue. That was last night's project, and it's currently drying, so if the thing pops off when I try to string the guitar, I'll mention it here.

I mean, that's really it. I'm a set of strings away from actually hearing what the guitar I built sounds like, which is pretty nervewracking. It may not work at all, and I've never done real troubleshooting on a guitar before. We'll see.
 
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TheImportantFart

Ronnie Barking Spider
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Does anyone have any experience with Gretsch guitars, specifically the hollow/semi-hollow models? I said earlier I was considering getting an Epiphone Dot as my next guitar, but I tried one out at my local guitar shop and the body was much smaller than I was expecting - I'd like something nice and beefy, like my acoustic guitar, where I really have to get my arm over to play it and Gretsches look suitably chunky. I've got a friend who sings their praises, but wondered if any Kiwis endorsed them.
 

Molester Stallone

Trust me, I'm a doctor.
kiwifarms.net
Does anyone have any experience with Gretsch guitars, specifically the hollow/semi-hollow models? I said earlier I was considering getting an Epiphone Dot as my next guitar, but I tried one out at my local guitar shop and the body was much smaller than I was expecting - I'd like something nice and beefy, like my acoustic guitar, where I really have to get my arm over to play it and Gretsches look suitably chunky. I've got a friend who sings their praises, but wondered if any Kiwis endorsed them.
Do you have any Gretsch dealers nearby? I always try to get my hands on a new instrument before buying it.
 

Billy_Sama

♂Love and Muscle in Heaven♂
kiwifarms.net
Does anyone have any experience with Gretsch guitars, specifically the hollow/semi-hollow models? I said earlier I was considering getting an Epiphone Dot as my next guitar, but I tried one out at my local guitar shop and the body was much smaller than I was expecting - I'd like something nice and beefy, like my acoustic guitar, where I really have to get my arm over to play it and Gretsches look suitably chunky. I've got a friend who sings their praises, but wondered if any Kiwis endorsed them.
You would try a Gretch out for yourself. They have a different tone and feel than other hollow/semi hollow with the construction and pickups.

You might want to try an archtop as well than semihollow guitar as well if you want something big but archtops tend to get feedback more and not suitable for high gain or distortion as a semi or solid body guitar.
 
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LifeguardHermit

Broad Sweeping Generalizations about Garfield
True & Honest Fan
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Does anyone have any experience with Gretsch guitars, specifically the hollow/semi-hollow models? I said earlier I was considering getting an Epiphone Dot as my next guitar, but I tried one out at my local guitar shop and the body was much smaller than I was expecting - I'd like something nice and beefy, like my acoustic guitar, where I really have to get my arm over to play it and Gretsches look suitably chunky. I've got a friend who sings their praises, but wondered if any Kiwis endorsed them.
The Big question is "why"? If the sound you are going for is phat and mellow then a semi-hollow or hollow body is great but the design tends to produce a deep thicc sound with great sustain (this is why archtops and some semi hollowbodies feedback like crazy if theres too much gain, as @Billy_Sama said). Try picking up your dot or a wild cat locally: the reason I say this is because that is the lowest possible build of what is a fairly labor intensive guitar and if you like that (if you dont just buy that model) then look for gretch style you like and start hunting. The Firebird is what Malcom Young played quite a bit and is waaay thicker than the dot or wild cat, so it would suit you. Just remember that thats the kind of guitar that locks you into a specific play style and overall sound.

The Agile AS series are also great cheap semihollow stage models, I own a buckethead agile LP copy and its the tits. I mention this bc someone dropped my agile hard way before i owned it and it just chipped the finish so they are built decently.

EDIT: Also the gretsch 5420T's are cheap af right now and can be found for less than 700USD in some places. if you can find one near you it should fit the bill.
 
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Billy_Sama

♂Love and Muscle in Heaven♂
kiwifarms.net
So anyone here doing anything music related during this Coronavirus? I just got home so I am going through my gear to sell once the virus ever goes away.

I also have an acoustic guitar that got fix but it might be weeks till I can pick that up sadly.
 

Spunt

A Leading Source of Experimental Internet Gas
kiwifarms.net
I'm doing online mixing for people who can't get to a studio and have to record at home. Yay for trying to get good sounds out of shitty mics. It's not big bucks but it's something to do. I'm also going to be doing an online collab with a friend in the States once my paid work is out of the way.
 

Billy_Sama

♂Love and Muscle in Heaven♂
kiwifarms.net
Messing with all the pedals I pickup on my work trip when I hit the local music and pawn shops. The pedal I am enjoy the most currently is a DOD FX 52 Fuzz that I pickup for 30$. Puts my mini fuzz face to shame.
 
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The Shadow

STAY SPOOKED
kiwifarms.net
Does anyone have any experience with Gretsch guitars, specifically the hollow/semi-hollow models? I said earlier I was considering getting an Epiphone Dot as my next guitar, but I tried one out at my local guitar shop and the body was much smaller than I was expecting - I'd like something nice and beefy, like my acoustic guitar, where I really have to get my arm over to play it and Gretsches look suitably chunky. I've got a friend who sings their praises, but wondered if any Kiwis endorsed them.
I've had a couple of Gretsches, one of the lower end Electromatics and one of the Brian Setzer models. I sincerely regret parting with both of them. If you like hollow/semi-hollow guitars I strongly suggest giving one a spin. One thing I will say though is that if you do get one, you will likely get one with a Bigsby vibrato system (they don't offer many hardtail models)- a Vibramate String Spoiler makes string changes a bit less of a pain.
 
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Hesa

kiwifarms.net
So anyone here doing anything music related during this Coronavirus? I just got home so I am going through my gear to sell once the virus ever goes away.

I also have an acoustic guitar that got fix but it might be weeks till I can pick that up sadly.
I've rewired all my synths and drum machines and sorted out the midi gremlins along the way. I've ordered a load of new guitar strings so I'm going to spend a couple of days setting them up. It's like I've rather do that than actually make music at the moment.
 
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Some JERK

I ain't drunk, I'm just drinkin'
kiwifarms.net
I've even been considering getting a Strat, but I don't know if the spanky-jangly nature of a Strat will work for me. I've been meaning to get to a guitar store and try one out, but I keep putting it off because I dislike guitar stores in general.
So about a month before the world went to shit I finally broke down and bought a Strat. I've had it for a little while now and I fucking love this thing! It's a '62 hot-rod and the neck is unlike anything I've ever played. I've heard people liken the neck on some guitars to a 'baseball bat' but I always assumed that to be an exaggeration. Nope. I actually did a double take with my hand when I first played it. I thought "There's no way I could ever get used to this. No way." But I have, and it's awesome. It's actually forcing me to undo a lot of bad habits that my slim-taper necked guitars have been letting me get away with.

I'll say that the body countours are nice coming from a Les Paul and ES-335 style guitars. And the weight... You don't think about how crazy heavy a Les Paul is until you play something that doesn't feel like you're trying to play a sledgehammer.

The pickups took some getting used to. I'll admit that for a while I played in the 2nd position hum-cancelling mode between the bridge and middle pickups, but now that I've gotten used to the hum I'm digging the quack of the bridge pickup and the smooth sustain of the neck pickup. I don't like neck humbuckers. They always feel muddy and cheap to me regardless of where they come from, but the neck pickup on my Strat sings.

God help me, I'm already eyeing a telecaster.
 
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Reynard

I regret nothing.
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
So about a month before the world went to shit I finally broke down and bought a Strat. I've had it for a little while now and I fucking love this thing! It's a '62 hot-rod and the neck is unlike anything I've ever played. I've heard people liken the neck on some guitars to a 'baseball bat' but I always assumed that to be an exaggeration. Nope. I actually did a double take with my hand when I first played it. I thought "There's no way I could ever get used to this. No way." But I have, and it's awesome. It's actually forcing me to undo a lot of bad habits that my slim-taper necked guitars have been letting me get away with.

I'll say that the body countours are nice coming from a Les Paul and ES-335 style guitars. And the weight... You don't think about how crazy heavy a Les Paul is until you play something that doesn't feel like you're trying to play a sledgehammer.

The pickups took some getting used to. I'll admit that for a while I played in the 2nd position hum-cancelling mode between the bridge and middle pickups, but now that I've gotten used to the hum I'm digging the quack of the bridge pickup and the smooth sustain of the neck pickup. I don't like neck humbuckers. They always feel muddy and cheap to me regardless of where they come from, but the neck pickup on my Strat sings.

God help me, I'm already eyeing a telecaster.
To be honest Strats are kinda like AR-15s for me (also a gun guy here). They’re great designs but they’ve become so ubiquitous that I find them boring. Personally I’m more of a jaguar guy. Namely because I got small trump hands and the 24’ scale length really helps me out. Not to mention the cool shape and all the switches.
 
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Hard-Neutral

Mister Höek has gone insane
kiwifarms.net
Hey guys, anyone got any recommendations for getting over not being able to sing while you play guitar? It's something I really want to fix
 
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