NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Despot » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:52 am

That is a surprise ... never had that issue with a Mastery before. Crazy that the solution to this (loctite & you'll be alright) is basically the work-around that a Mastery generally fixes compared to old bridges!

Glad to hear it's sorted though - I'd have been really surprised if it had been due to Bilt's QC, which I've found to be great.

If I'd a pick between goldfoils and the regals I'd just skip the messing and go to the goldfoils Maggie - sometimes we spend longer trying to make something work that isn't right for us when the answer is just to skip to the end and go with what we love. I've been through that with humbuckers - thinking that "yes I do love these Bareknuckles more than any new pickup - but maybe humbucker X or Y will be like the Bareknuckles, just even better". Ultimately I've grown to realise that even the really high end stuff doesn't work for me as well as a set of Mules will.

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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Maggieo » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:51 pm

Good advice. I'm just going to get hold of the guys at BiLt about a new pickguard, get some goldfoils and have my friend Dustin, a true pro do an install and setup.

I reckon it'll be the guitar I was dreaming about.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:56 pm

Hope you get it all sorted! I'm sure you will.

Not to prattle too much about Mastery on here, but I confidently told someone here that Mastery bridges stayed rock solid in the post holes, and he reported that he couldn't get his to do that.

Idiot, I thought. Then I changed the strings on my AVRI Jazzmaster and the bridge fell right off, I couldn't get it to lock in place.

OK, I'm the idiot, I thought. That happens.

Then I put new tuners on my old Japanese Jazzmaster with a fairly early Mastery bridge.

Stayed right in place.

Maybe they don't make 'em like they used to, I thought.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Maggieo » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:16 pm

Interesting. The Mastery products on my ECJM are both from early in their respective production runs.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Homeless Blueless » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:19 pm

The Lollar Regal bridge pickup should be quite bright for a humbucker and be a bit hotter than the neck Regal but certainly not be more ice-picky than a single-coil Telecaster bridge pickup.

I have never played a Zaftig. Maybe it also has something to do with how it is wired up? Do the two knobs on the Zaftig's lower metal plate control volume and tone for both pickups, like the rhythm circuit on a Jaguar? If you turn the volume or tone pots down a little, do you get a sudden big volume drop like on a Jaguar or can you roll off a long way before the volume disappears?

I have a MIM Tele Deluxe with Regals in it with 500k pots. The Tele Deluxe obviously has a separate volume and tone knob for each pickup, so not sure if this wiring is different from the Zaftig and could change the sound of the Regals a bit between the two guitars (e.g. if the Zaftig's pots/wiring for a single volume and tone control across both pickups is favouring making the neck Regal a bit brighter at the expense of making the bridge Regal too bright). I usually have the Tele Deluxe neck Regal with tone on 10 and bridge Regal with tone turned down to about 7 (still plenty bright).

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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Maggieo » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:10 am

I think my Zaftig has 1000k pots, since it came with Lollar Goldfoils. I know of folks who use 500 or 250k pots with Regals.

I'm not sure I want to spend the money on a new set of CTS pots for the Regals, when I think the Goldfoils are closer to what I'm after, you know?
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Homeless Blueless » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:32 pm

Good plan. I have never tried Goldfoils, but they certainly do sound good in some demo videos I have seen.

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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Maggieo » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:45 pm

Homeless Blueless wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:32 pm
Good plan. I have never tried Goldfoils, but they certainly do sound good in some demo videos I have seen.
I've got one in the neck position of one of my Teles, and it's great.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by andy_tchp » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:24 pm

FWIW both of my Mastery bridges (2009 and 2012 purchases IIRC) required loctite on every height adjustment related fastener to keep them stable, so not that unusual IME.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by BoringPostcards » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:38 pm

Despot wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:52 am
That is a surprise ... never had that issue with a Mastery before. Crazy that the solution to this (loctite & you'll be alright) is basically the work-around that a Mastery generally fixes compared to old bridges!
A good few people have reported this in the Mastery thread that was on the go for 100+ pages. I remember it being attributed to the grub screws being made of stainless, so they wouldn't grit up with rust and stay put like old fender grub screws.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by andy_tchp » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:01 am

Mastery started machining their own fasteners with much better tolerances since sometime in 2013.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Maggieo » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:59 am

andy_tchp wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:01 am
Mastery started machining their own fasteners with much better tolerances since sometime in 2013.
Which kind of makes the problem with my new one ever more odd.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Maggieo » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:19 pm

So, I sent Bilt an email last night asking for a new pickguard that'll fit Goldfoils. Haven't heard back yet, but have high hopes.
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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Despot » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:59 am

You'll get a reply Maggie - as far as I know Bilt are up the walls with work orders these days, so they might take a while to get back to you ... but they will get back to you.

I had an unexpected issue with the shielding on mine - they ended up being great to deal with and even offered to pay the cost of any changes that had to be made. I was simply mailing them to find out how they'd gone about it so that I could trouble shoot the problem - and they offered to make good on it (even going as far as to suggest a swap out of pickups and were offering to send me a set of Antiquity Is to replace the Lollars).

In the end once I traced the issue with their help I fixed it myself - but I have to give them their due for their customer support ... it's fantastic.

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Re: NGD: Bilt S.S. Zaftig

Post by Maggieo » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:01 am

That's awesome. Those guys sound like real mensches.
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I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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