Any Luthiers On Here - Looking for Advice and Discussion

Old Man Jingles

Rat out of a cage
I've always liked music and in a continuing quest to fight depression and boredom, I have been studying music theory and I bought a POS Fender Starcaster ($30) and I am trying to create an equivalent or better version of the American made Fender Stratocaster. Vintage doesn't interest me.
I am gutting all the hardware and electronics.
I love to take things apart and occasionally putting them back together again.
Thinking about going with the Red, White and Blue Lace pickups or maybe a double stacked humbucker for the Blue Lace pickup.
Wondering about the 5 way switch and a mod to allow play with all pickups simultaneously.
And which pots (250k or 500k) should I use for noiseless, low-friction and continuous linear operation. Maybe EVH?
Also, I want to replace the tremolo bridge or at least the springs that hold the bridge down.
I am replacing the nut with a TUSQ and replacing the string trees with TUSQ as well.
I am trying to make up my mind whether to go with Grover locking tuners or Fender locking tuners ... or maybe another brand.

Strat 5-way Pckup instructions.jpg
 

Operational needs

Virescit Vulnere Virtus
I've always liked music and in a continuing quest to fight depression and boredom, I have been studying music theory and I bought a POS Fender Starcaster ($30) and I am trying to create an equivalent or better version of the American made Fender Stratocaster. Vintage doesn't interest me.
I am gutting all the hardware and electronics.
I love to take things apart and occasionally putting them back together again.
Thinking about going with the Red, White and Blue Lace pickups or maybe a double stacked humbucker for the Blue Lace pickup.
Wondering about the 5 way switch and a mod to allow play with all pickups simultaneously.
And which pots (250k or 500k) should I use for noiseless, low-friction and continuous linear operation. Maybe EVH?
Also, I want to replace the tremolo bridge or at least the springs that hold the bridge down.
I am replacing the nut with a TUSQ and replacing the string trees with TUSQ as well.
I am trying to make up my mind whether to go with Grover locking tuners or Fender locking tuners ... or maybe another brand.

View attachment 254462
@1BROWNWRENCH might be able to advise you.
 

MyTripisCut

“They” are coming for us.
I've always liked music and in a continuing quest to fight depression and boredom, I have been studying music theory and I bought a POS Fender Starcaster ($30) and I am trying to create an equivalent or better version of the American made Fender Stratocaster. Vintage doesn't interest me.
I am gutting all the hardware and electronics.
I love to take things apart and occasionally putting them back together again.
Thinking about going with the Red, White and Blue Lace pickups or maybe a double stacked humbucker for the Blue Lace pickup.
Wondering about the 5 way switch and a mod to allow play with all pickups simultaneously.
And which pots (250k or 500k) should I use for noiseless, low-friction and continuous linear operation. Maybe EVH?
Also, I want to replace the tremolo bridge or at least the springs that hold the bridge down.
I am replacing the nut with a TUSQ and replacing the string trees with TUSQ as well.
I am trying to make up my mind whether to go with Grover locking tuners or Fender locking tuners ... or maybe another brand.

View attachment 254462
Acoustic all day.
 

sailfish

idiot.
I've always liked music and in a continuing quest to fight depression and boredom, I have been studying music theory and I bought a POS Fender Starcaster ($30) and I am trying to create an equivalent or better version of the American made Fender Stratocaster. Vintage doesn't interest me.
I am gutting all the hardware and electronics.
I love to take things apart and occasionally putting them back together again.
Thinking about going with the Red, White and Blue Lace pickups or maybe a double stacked humbucker for the Blue Lace pickup.
Wondering about the 5 way switch and a mod to allow play with all pickups simultaneously.
And which pots (250k or 500k) should I use for noiseless, low-friction and continuous linear operation. Maybe EVH?
Also, I want to replace the tremolo bridge or at least the springs that hold the bridge down.
I am replacing the nut with a TUSQ and replacing the string trees with TUSQ as well.
I am trying to make up my mind whether to go with Grover locking tuners or Fender locking tuners ... or maybe another brand.

View attachment 254462
As much as this a skill I always wanted to learn, after I completely friend*ed my Fender Jaguar I never modded anything on my guitars besides a string change. I like to experiment with pedals and other electronic effects to customize my tone but that's all I'm touching.

But if you're trying to make a $30 guitar sound anything like a $1200 one, here's what you'll want to replace. You can buy ensamble kits that include pretty much all the parts you're looking for. For what you're trying to do, get the ensamble entitled American Standard Stratocaster. After you get it home, remove the Starcaster from the guitar case and put it aside. Then remove your new assembly of parts from the box, and place the assembly in the case you removed the Starcaster assembly from and voila.
 

Old Man Jingles

Rat out of a cage
He also did a tune up on it. Intonation, clean pots, neck arch, etc.
That's what I've been doing the last two days.
I cleaned up all the guitar hardware parts and performed several corrections:
I clean out all the pots and switches with contact cleaner with silicone.
Adjusted the neck and filed down the nut slots and coated it with HB graphite to get better action and tuning.
Filed, leveled and redressed the frets and then polished them along with the fretboard.
Adjusted the tremolo bridge and after restringing with Ernie Ball Slinky adjusted the intonation to where it was dead on at open and 12th fret.
Tried to refinish and oil the tuners but they are junk ... two of them will not stay in tune after 5 minutes of playing.
The bridge pickup is shot and nothing I could do to correct ... I did raise the pickups and it seemed to double the output signal.

I have parts on order to replace all of the hardware and electronics
 
Last edited:

1BROWNWRENCH

Amatuer Malthusian
Maybe you could have a go at my Grandfather's electric Mandolin. I plugged it in to my Line 6 and it pretty much has no output. I could have Joe do it over, but I don't want to spend the money right now for an instrument I don't know.
 

Old Man Jingles

Rat out of a cage
Maybe you could have a go at my Grandfather's electric Mandolin. I plugged it in to my Line 6 and it pretty much has no output. I could have Joe do it over, but I don't want to spend the money right now for an instrument I don't know.
I don't know it either and I live outside Atlanta.
I guess shipping on a mandolin would be half of a guitar.
 

Old Man Jingles

Rat out of a cage
I've always liked music and in a continuing quest to fight depression and boredom, I have been studying music theory and I bought a POS Fender Starcaster ($30) and I am trying to create an equivalent or better version of the American made Fender Stratocaster. Vintage doesn't interest me.
I am gutting all the hardware and electronics.
I love to take things apart and occasionally putting them back together again.
Thinking about going with the Red, White and Blue Lace pickups or maybe a double stacked humbucker for the Blue Lace pickup.
Wondering about the 5 way switch and a mod to allow play with all pickups simultaneously.
And which pots (250k or 500k) should I use for noiseless, low-friction and continuous linear operation. Maybe EVH?
Also, I want to replace the tremolo bridge or at least the springs that hold the bridge down.
I am replacing the nut with a TUSQ and replacing the string trees with TUSQ as well.
I am trying to make up my mind whether to go with Grover locking tuners or Fender locking tuners ... or maybe another brand.

View attachment 254462
Looks like 250k pot for the volume and 500k for the tone controls.

Seymour-Duncan
You can theoretically use either 250k or 500k pots. They will both work. 250k pots are typically used with true single coil pickups, but can be used with stacked single coil or humbucker pickups. 250k pots will tame the highs a bit, while the 500k will allow the pickup to be a bit brighter. We usually suggest 500k pots with humbucker pickups. If you have stacked or humbucker pickups that you’re mixing with true single coils, we would suggest using 250k pots.
 

Old Man Jingles

Rat out of a cage
WARMOTH guitar supply is in my neighborhood. They have informative videos on YT and sell about anything you could want for building a guitar. They ship UPS, btw.
I am familiar with them ... nice basses. I see them on the boards for sale a lot.
I have my eye on a 5-string for extended range and ease of playing ... i.e. G1 on the B string (8th fret) rather than the E string (3rd fret). The Warmoth build for what I want is about $1400 ... I got a lot more practicing to do before it warrants buying a bass at that price.
 
Last edited:

Old Man Jingles

Rat out of a cage
Gibson is going in the toilet.
Their line of Epiphone guitars appear to be well-respected.
I think that is part of the problem for the mass-producers of guitars/basses ... there is less and less of a gap between their lower line of products and their top of the line products ... except the pricing.
Fender has the same problem.
 

1BROWNWRENCH

Amatuer Malthusian
I see Joe's website has changed a fair bit in the years since I last did business with him. He's pretty cool. Reminds me of a smaller scale Mick Foley.
 
Top