Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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MattK
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Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Fri Jan 05, 2024 2:16 am

As I've elsewhere admitted, last year I bought too much stuff, compensating for fairly crappy mental health leading up to a decision to quit my job, which has now happened. Shipping being a slow thing, the (almost) last batch of stuff arrived in yesterday's mail.
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With the Mustang VI still on the "no progress" list, what better than to start another fantasy project. This was something I've imagined for a while, actually. I love:
- Jazzmaster bodies
- Tele Custom pickup configs
- Telemasters / offset Telecasters
- 70s black-on-black-on-maple aesthetics
- the necks and vibe of 70s Greco Fender copies.
What else could I do but plan a Telemaster Custom as if Greco had made one in the 70s?
So from trolling Yahoo auctions in Japan I bought a used 2019 Squier JM HH hardtail, and managed to snag a Greco neck that was covered in weird gunk and so was about 1/4 the price they usually fetch. There was also a Yamaha Super RnRoller 500 in the box but that's for another day.
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After a lot of fiddle it turned out I could loosen the gunk on the neck and then chip it off with a careful razor blade, which took a while. It came up pretty well except the area between frets 3 and 4 was scraped to wood sometime long ago. So then I had three necks (the Yamaha is caked in some terrible coating, it's going to take time to figure it out).
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Then started test fitting layouts - a long Gotoh bridge (no thanks):
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and a cheap classic ashtray style bridge:
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which was always the way to go. Aligned with the string-thru holes it sits forward of the hardtail screw holes but I'm not concerned, they will disappear easily.
Up against my beloved '83 Squier Tele Custom:
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But! I already have a Custom with a humbucker in the neck. Maybe that JM neck pickup I've got ...
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I think it might need a black cover tho.
Who knows when it'll actually get done, there's the problem of a pickguard (the Squier one isn't quite right, and altho it fits a standard JM one, the bridge pickup hole is a lot wider than the Tele bridge plate). Stay tuned but don't hold your breath.
Last edited by MattK on Sat Jan 06, 2024 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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efiug
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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by efiug » Sat Jan 06, 2024 1:18 am

Looks great, I wish all telemasters had the custom style layout where its just a JM pickguard cut out for a tele bridge.

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by Fiddy » Sat Jan 06, 2024 4:47 am

Well, building guitars is in a way... Therapeutic.

Does the Yamaha have 33% of a shim only?

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MattK
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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Sat Jan 06, 2024 2:39 pm

I think it was a bit of something that got stuck to the wood. The neck is coated in some kind of catalysed mix of beer and nicotine … I found seven picks under the pickguard … you get the picture. Nice body wood tho.

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MattK
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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:30 am

Developments ...
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Astonishingly high quality, and a total of $37 US delivered. I'll be interested to know how they sound.

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Mon Jan 22, 2024 6:34 am

Way off-topic, but that Greco neck has got me wondering: has anyone ever tried the dip'n'strip treatment on a guitar neck?

People here tend to get interior doors from their Edwardian tenments dipped'n'stripped and it seems to be an effective varnish (and other shit) removal method. Obviously the acids used could have a detrimental effect on frets left in situ.

Anyone...?

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MattK
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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:40 am

I would be nervous about the truss rod, frets and the glue on the skunk stripe or fretboard.

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by Con-Tiki! » Wed Jan 24, 2024 3:34 am

I'm sure where you are, but I would be careful with any kind of industrial paint-stripper.
If you can find it, naptha and some steel wool would be a safe place to start.
If thinners like that are hard to find, "zippo" lighter fluid is a good substitute.
Anyway, it shouldn't damage anything.
You can use something a bit more agressive, if it doesn't budge. Acetone, or lacquer thinner.
(Christopher, also)
I've been to one World's Fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing i ever heard come out a pair of headphones.

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Thu Jan 25, 2024 12:48 am

Well, decided it was time to try a test fit of everything. Gently doweled the neck screw holes:
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Lined it all up as best I could:
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Marked the new screw holes with the neck screws, then drilled them on the press:
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Figured out the bridge (compared distance from a Tele, got alignment from the edges of the mounted neck, centred it on the centre screw of the previous Squier bridge, punched and drilled mounting screws through the plate):
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Raised it a tad and slipped the pickguard under to mark the bridge edges and where the neck pickup would go:
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Tried the pickup but the back edge caught on the body routing:
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A quick Dremel fix:
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And then it was all kind of in place.
Then I thought "hey I have those old used strings in the box, maybe ..."
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To my shock it all lined up, tuned up, intonated, action set in a couple of minutes, it plays like it came this way from the factory. Insane.

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Fri Feb 02, 2024 1:50 am

progress
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MayTheFuzzBeWithYou
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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Fri Feb 02, 2024 2:56 am

This is awesome!
Will you get a custom cut guard or will you use the existing one?
Edit: for the JM-Pickup to come…

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Fri Feb 02, 2024 3:30 am

MayTheFuzzBeWithYou wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2024 2:56 am
This is awesome!
Will you get a custom cut guard or will you use the existing one?
Edit: for the JM-Pickup to come…
Thanks! I’ve thought about a custom guard, but I think with care I can probably enlarge the humbucker hole without too much trouble. Maybe time to try putting a router bit on the rotary tool …

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Sat Feb 24, 2024 4:44 pm

Updates: new tuners (not period correct, sue me), new knobs, bridge set up (chemically aged, I would normally despise this but it looked way too shiny), everything dialed in apart from the neck pickup. Comparison shot with my 83 Squier Tele Custom from the same factory as the Greco neck - the aesthetic I'm aiming for.
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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by alexpigment » Sat Feb 24, 2024 10:50 pm

Oh no! You chose better tuners??? That's terrible ;)

On a serious note, I've never ever considered owning an all black guitar, but this project really changing my mind. Can't wait to see this finished.

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Re: Another decade long project: Greco Super Sounds Telemaster Custom

Post by MattK » Sun Feb 25, 2024 5:37 pm

I'm keen too, but it will be a while due to Afraid To Rout the Pickguard Syndrome.
Decided to go with a black cover which I will need to order as well. The black-on-black thing is great with maple.

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