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To build or not to build?


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The main appeal (for me personally) to taking that approach would be the uniqueness which can be facilitated. A very unusual specification could be configured that isn't available on standard production models. This would, obviously, then allow you to experiment with a combination of obscure materials and attain a sound which is unachievable otherwise.

If not opting for an irregular spec, I don't think that it would be worthwhile when there are so many - already complete - examples available at very reasonable prices. :)

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I like the sense of achievement when modifying guitars, I probably wouldn't build a guitar from scratch unless I had the space, equipment and the savy to do it properly I would give it a try. I have the idea with toying with a cheap strat, maybe putting humbuckers in it with a new scratchplate, new tuners, bridge and electrics. Basically change everything except the wood and frets.

Take it you have seen those 'guitar kits' that you just assemble yourself

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Yeah i've seen a few kits online. They are quite well priced as well. However,the cheap strat job seems like a good option considering the price you can pick one up a semi decent one for. Cheap Strat. It might be cheaper (and involve less effort) to buy one of those with the intention of modifying it.

I've got a Fat Strat which has a humbucker in it the bridge and it sounds very good. Quite good for playing a wide range of different styles as you've still got the neck and middle single coils for that fender twang.

I'm a bit of stratophile tbh.

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I find that if anything below the 'standard' models are crap. I got an affinity one the other day and it weighs a lot less than my standard strat (made of agathis). the body is thinner also.

bullet strats are made from basswood, affinitys are alder, standards are agathis.

Most Fender Strats are made from Alder but the thinner body of the affinity looses a lot of the tone I think

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The main appeal (for me personally) to taking that approach would be the uniqueness which can be facilitated. A very unusual specification could be configured that isn't available on standard production models. This would, obviously, then allow you to experiment with a combination of obscure materials and attain a sound which is unachievable otherwise.

If not opting for an irregular spec, I don't think that it would be worthwhile when there are so many - already complete - examples available at very reasonable prices. :)

I think that this is a good point. Well, unless you are going for the enjoyment of building the guitar yourself. Something like a Strat can be done very easily as there are millions of different parts that are fairly interchangeable. If you go in for something a little more niche like a Jaguar/Jazzmaster/Mustang, you have to be careful, as Fender have this annoying habit on changing parts throughout each model and making them not swappable.

What are you looking to build?

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Okay, but what kind of Strat are you looking to build? There are so many variables such as pickups, wood, fretboard radius, fingerboard material, vibrato etc... For example, I've found over time that I prefer light weight guitars with maple fingerboards, 7.25" radius necks and single coils. If you do a lot of research, you could end up with a guitar that is really special to you.

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I'd be aiming to build a retro looking strat with 57/62 single coil pickups an aged maple neck with medium jumbo frets. Locking tuning machines and a decent tremelo. I've still nae made my mind up completely so that list is subject to change. I might not even make a strat! I'm quite liking a Jag at the moment but I just feel for my first build I should go for a more common guitar, purely for finding out stuff in case I get stuck. The whole special and unique aspect is really appealing to me as well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Building from scratch is a bit of a pain in the arse!!!! I much prefer modding howlers!!! As far as STrat copies go I can't see past the Westfields. They have a decent weight to them and need no realigning of screw holes or anything to just drop in proper Fender parts. THere are some cracking alternatives to the expensive brands as well. Mighty Mite stuff (fender licensed) can be picked up for buttons on e-bay and Catswhisker and Iron Gear are a couple of great pickup brands that are really reasonably priced.

Geting a 'crappy' cheap guitar for about 50-100quid and then spending another couple of hundred on mods can make a piece of junk sing like an off the shelf beast!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah Ive bought both a strat neck & a lace sensor pup. The neck was a mighty mite neck, birdseye maple. Quite chunky but once you shave/sand/profile it to how you want its a good neck. Lace sensor red pup resides in the brigde position of my mex '70s strat. Does the biz. Ive bought a few things from axerus & their service & prices are excellent.

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