Building the "ultimate" 60's stratocaster!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DS88, Feb 17, 2009.


  1. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm having a strat custom built, and can't decide on the exact specs! Could you guys give me a few tips/pointers? I can supply the parts to the builder myself if necessary.

    I really want this to be my "be-all end-all" 60's Stratocaster, so here's the list I've come up with so far:

    Quartersawn maple "thick-C" shape neck, 9.5" radius bound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with 6105 frets and clay dots. Bone nut.

    Callaham Vintage S Model Strat Hardware Kit

    Jason Lollar Vintage Tweed neck pickup and Blonde middle/bridge pickups.


    Thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish.

    Anything I missed?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  2. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    have you thought about nitro vs poly finishes?
     
  3. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    Oh yeah, fully done in nitrocellulose lacquer!
     
  4. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    good call. sounds like you thought of everything (thought personally i was really impressed with 69 p-ups in my Classic Player, every vintage strat tone i ever wanted)
     
  5. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    Yeah, I'm not really sure about the pickups.. But I do know that I REALLY love pickups with very low output!
     
  6. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    do you want strict vintage-type gear? noiseless pickups have changed my life
     
  7. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    Actually, yes. I've never had a problem with single coils being too noisy, so I've no desire to go noiseless!

    Also, I just really dig the vibe of low-output pickups (both singlecoils and humbuckers).
     
  8. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    sounds like you know exactly what you want, good luck, im sure itll be a beauty
     
  9. newking70

    newking70 Member

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    cbs headstock? :RoCkIn
     
  10. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Who is making the neck and body?
    Is absolute accuracy important or just the vibe ?
    I know you said 9.5" and 6105 but
    You should consider a compound starting at 9.5" and SS frets.
     
  11. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    What tonal differences would SS frets make?

    Body and neck will be handmade by Kavanagh Customs in the UK. I will send parts to them as well

    I'm more into the vibe of the 60's strats as opposed to having absolute accuracy
     
  12. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    Yeah I know, but playability is a huge factor for me as well!

    I haven't decided on the headstock yet.. I've heard that large headstocks increase sustain and sound fuller, although I like the look of pre-CBS headstocks better
     
  13. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    While a custom build is a tonal crap shoot, I think I'd stay away from a flame maple neck as they tend to be unstable due to irregularities of the wood grain. They look pretty, but a guitar that won't stay in tune can be a real pain in the neck ;). As a matter of fact, many builders who offer flame maple necks won't guarantee them against warpage and/or instability.
     
  14. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    I don't think you'll notice but some people think it's brighter .
    Less difference than changing string brand. I have re-fretted all my guitars in SS and the advantages far outweigh any perceived change.(placebo mostly.)My costumers bare this out .I handed a CS strat that I had just refretted with 6230 SS to a die hard nickle guy telling him that the slick bending was due to the newly polished fret tops and he booked his No1 in for an SS re-fret when I told him. I guess he just needed to play a traditional guitar with the fret size he is used too to see it for what it is (the future.)
     
  15. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    Wow, that's EXCELLENT advice there, my friend! I just chose a flame maple neck because - like you said - it looks pretty!

    Is quartersawn the way to go for most stability?
     
  16. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Some, like me, hear a slight ping on the attack of a fretted note with SS frets...so, it just depends on who you talk to ;).
     
  17. DS88

    DS88 Member

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    I'm gonna read up on SS frets, thanks for the heads up!
     
  18. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Re think flame! I have only ever had 3 guitars come back with neck issues and they all three were flamed. Nice quartersawn or rip sawn, amber tint is classic and stable. I really like lowoutput pups as well but think about a tweed in the neck, blonde in the middle and Bridge. The Blondes are similiar but have some low end to them. Tweeds are the ultimate neck pick up as they tend to not be as bass-y as the others.
     
  19. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Theoretically, quartersawn will be more stable BUT, due to their stiffness, they tend to have a harder sound than the flat sawn necks used in original Fender's.

    And this is one of the reasons why I prefer to run the racks when looking for a guitar, especially Strats. They are very sensitive to the sum of their parts and you never know what you'll end up with until that first note is played.

    And FWIW, to my ears, Don Mare makes the most authentic sounding vintage Fender style pickups I've heard in 40+ years in the game.
     
  20. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Kavanagh Customs aren't big on detail in my experience and personally would not use them .
    I would use Warmoth,USCG ,Musikraft or even Allparts necks and bodies over theres.
     

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