Finished My First Build

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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j mascis
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Finished My First Build

Post by j mascis » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:31 pm

Hey guys.

I built my first guitar/partscaster. Everything went pretty smoothly. Only issue I'm having is with the Staytrem pinned all the way down, I can't get the action lower than 2mm on the high E string. Does this mean I need a shim? It's weird because I don't see any angle issue with the neck going into the body.

Here's the finished product. It's based off the Waterslide guitars (that I can't afford).
https://imgur.com/a/Eux6SF7

Any help with that action would be appreciated!
Thanks.
Last edited by j mascis on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MayTheFuzzBeWithYou
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:32 pm

Looking great! I really dig those giant 50s microphone pickups! And their design looks way better than 90% of the Gold Foil pickups you can get your hands on these days. Are these the Mojo UK pickups? How do they sound?
I fear I can't really help with the setting issue, but there are a lot of skilled luthiers among us! so, ... let's wait a bit, shall we?

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j mascis
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by j mascis » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:55 pm

MayTheFuzzBeWithYou wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:32 pm
Looking great! I really dig those giant 50s microphone pickups! And their design looks way better than 90% of the Gold Foil pickups you can get your hands on these days. Are these the Mojo UK pickups? How do they sound?
I fear I can't really help with the setting issue, but there are a lot of skilled luthiers among us! so, ... let's wait a bit, shall we?
Thanks, Fuzz.
Yes it's the Mojos. They sound great clean. I haven't yet run them through my pedals, but if you want into on that I can report back tomorrow after practice.

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wproffitt
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by wproffitt » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:05 pm

This looks great! I’ve got a Novak GF in the bridge position of one of my JMs and love it, so I have no doubt those Mojos are just the thing on yours. As for the bridge height and neck angle, a shim could well be the solution. However, what is the relief like on the neck? This could be a truss rod thing.

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j mascis
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by j mascis » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:15 pm

Thanks, WP.
Yeah the neck is straight. I used a straight edge to set that.
The only other thing would be a shim, right?

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wproffitt
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by wproffitt » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:00 am

Barring some defect of manufacture with your staytrem or something wacky with the way your bridge thimbles are set into the body, I’d say adding some angle to the neck pocket is your best bet here. Before your do that, though, is it possible for you to get us some closer photos of the bridge area?

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j mascis
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by j mascis » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:58 am

wproffitt wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:00 am
Barring some defect of manufacture with your staytrem or something wacky with the way your bridge thimbles are set into the body, I’d say adding some angle to the neck pocket is your best bet here. Before your do that, though, is it possible for you to get us some closer photos of the bridge area?
Sure thing. I edited the first post to include two bridge shots.
Thanks!

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07hubbardj
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by 07hubbardj » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:31 pm

That is a great looking guitar! nice work

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MC3
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by MC3 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:07 pm

What a good looking guitar!
Sweet username, although J would not approve of a low action ;)

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mbene085
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by mbene085 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:22 pm

Looks amazing. I've been ogling those Mojo double goldfoils pickups for ages. How do you like them?

As for the bridge, that's a simple case of needing a shim. Introducing more of an angle to the neck pocket will allow you to raise up that Staytrem and also to dial in lower action. You don't need to get fancy like with the stewmac wood shims. Cut up pieces of credit card or cardstock are tried and true solutions as well. There are tons of guides online with their own opinions. I just do it the way Fender has done it at the factory since the beginning.

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j mascis
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by j mascis » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:30 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:22 pm
Looks amazing. I've been ogling those Mojo double goldfoils pickups for ages. How do you like them?

As for the bridge, that's a simple case of needing a shim. Introducing more of an angle to the neck pocket will allow you to raise up that Staytrem and also to dial in lower action. You don't need to get fancy like with the stewmac wood shims. Cut up pieces of credit card or cardstock are tried and true solutions as well. There are tons of guides online with their own opinions. I just do it the way Fender has done it at the factory since the beginning.
Thanks for the compliment on it and to the two guys above you as well for the kind words.

Regarding those pickups: to me they sound like Gretsch/Dynasonics in a way, but have a tighter bottom and a more rounded, full, pleasing top. The clarity is striking. They sound just as good split as they do in Humbucker mode, which is rare from everything I read in researching this. I built this guitar for gigging (i.e. wanted tonal variation for split coils and some noise control with the humbuckers); I was surprised to hear just how good they sound in both modes. You could easily record with these in any position and have it sound great. Last night I was up playing past midnight because I just couldn't get past the ear candy of the tone. When you roll off the tone knob they even do an amazing jazz impression. It's all opinion of course, and amp might factor into that. I'm using an old Princeton.

I can try to get some clips up at some point. If you search on youtube, Waterslide has audio up, but he does it all through garage band so no real amps.
Last edited by j mascis on Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mbene085
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by mbene085 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:32 pm

Yeah I've seen all those Waterslide demos but like you say, they never use an actual amp.

Have you considered adding wiring for parallel mode? Generally gives similar clarity to single coil mode but still with no hum. I've never heard a demo of these wired like that...it's always just series and split.

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j mascis
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by j mascis » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:37 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:32 pm
Yeah I've seen all those Waterslide demos but like you say, they never use an actual amp.

Have you considered adding wiring for parallel mode? Generally gives similar clarity to single coil mode but still with no hum. I've never heard a demo of these wired like that...it's always just series and split.
That might be how I wired them, because there is no noise when they're single coil.
I had no idea what I was doing and tried to follow a diagram until things sounded good/tested good on the multimeter. The maker gave me a diagram that had several options. At the time I didn't know much and just picked one, but I can't remember. Very well might be parallel because like I said, dead quiet with single coils. That was surprising to hear. Also, there is hardly any drop off in volume when going to single coil mode.

I had never wired a guitar before, so I don't know much about all this and just tried to follow the diagram. This project took like 4 months of research b/c I had no idea about wiring, staining, finishing, sanding, drilling, making a nut, etc. Never worked with wood in my life and this is not close to my profession, so I had to learn a lot before touching anything. The forum helped a lot! As did youtube.

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mbene085
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by mbene085 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:31 pm

Cool! Probably accidentally wired in parallel. Single coil should have 60Hz hum.

If the two coils have equal resistance (most humbuckers do, or close to it), then in parallel the resistance should measure 1/4 of the resistance in series. If you assume equal resistance between each of the two coils and x is the resistance of one coil, series is (x+x)=2x, single coil is x, and parallel is [1/Rt=1/x+1/x] which simplifies to 0.5x.

So if the series resistance is double your "single coil" resistance, you've got an actual coil split. If the series resistance is quadruple your "single coil" tone's resistance, it's in parallel. Make sense?

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wproffitt
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Re: Finished My First Build

Post by wproffitt » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:40 pm

Thanks for giving us the extra pics. I agree with mbene085 about the shims. Nothing looks wonky or off with the bridge or its thimbles. The fancy kind (stewmac) and the cheap kind (business card) both work. Give it a whirl and let us know how it goes!

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