Contemplating a Partsocaster...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Cymbaline, Feb 5, 2008.


  1. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    I've been looking for a while at all the threads where everyone shows off their Partsocasters and I've gotten the itch to build one myself. I've heard some people give warnings that it's a little expensive to do it right, but looking around various dealers' websites I've come up with this:

    '57 or '62 MIJ reissue body from Reliablefender: $268 inc. shipping

    Warmoth neck - Vintage Modern, compound radius, maple fingerboard, jumbo Stainless Steel frets, Graphtech nut, Schaller locking tuners: $285 inc. shipping

    Callaham tremolo assembly: $131 inc. shipping

    Various screws and hardware from GFS: $18.00

    I already have a pickguard loaded with the EMG DG-20 pickup set, so I'll save a lot on the electronics, so the total comes out to just over $700.

    This sounds like a real good deal to me, but I was just wondering what kind of experiences you've had. Has anyone done one that seemed great on paper but turned out to be a real dog? Anything I should watch out for?
     
  2. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    You just need to make sure the neck heel and neck pocket on the body are a good fit. Thats why you may want to get the neck/body from the same manufacturer, cause thats the only way to be certain ya know? Last thing you want to be doing is trying to widen the neck pocket on your brand new body especially if you are buying one finished already. Not impossible but avoidable. Another reason to buy from the same guys is the depth of the pocket or thickness of the neck heel.I've put together "partscasters" where the neck was too "tall" in the heel and the bridge saddles end up being jacked all the way to their limits or vise versa..too low is no good as well. Lastly it would need a fret dress/leveling cause they dont put the neck on a body /string it/dress/level it before it comes to you. Chances are you will have a high fret or two. Some just come together nicely..others need help. If you can do this stuff yourself great . If not, add in these cost from your local repairman..It can add up quick. I am not trying to talk you out of it. It can be a rewarding feeling when completed..just giving you some heads up.
     
  3. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I never thought about the neck being too high in the neck pocket. But that's kind of why I was going to go with Warmoth, because I've heard lots and lots of good things from them, but very little bad. Seems like they're the most well regarded of the Fender licensed neck manufacturers out there. And going with an actual Fender body (albeit MIJ) would tend to make a good neck-body fit.

    I've been working on guitars forever and taken my Strat apart so many times I can't remember so I feel pretty confident, but I've never taken a file to a fret before and wouldn't even try. If it did need a leveling I'd take it to a repairman, I hear there's some real good ones here in the Austin area.
     
  4. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    Probably some of the best in the world..good luck
     
  5. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I second taking it to someone for final fret filing, dressing if need be. $700 still seems a litt high to me, why not just get a used MIJ guitar and swap out the electronics? Or, used MIM for that matter (I just sold a nice one with upgraded pups in the emporium with a hardshell case for $325!).
    Is the warmoth neck so unbelievably better than something you can already get on a stock guitar of higher caliber? From now on I will always buy someone else's used guitar (or even partscaster) and then change what I don't like (if anything). I have a $125 USA built Peavey Predator with upgraded Dimarzio area pups (used set $130)that I sanded and finished myself that looks, play and sounds pretty sweet. For $250 I consider it a killer deal.
     
  6. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    I wouldn't get a MIM because I'm not fond of the narrow string spacing (It bugs me to see the strings not lining up with the polepieces!) and Callaham doesn't make a complete Mexican tremolo assembly.

    I'm going with Warmoth for the neck because I can get stainless steel frets and a compound radius, which Fender doesn't have. Plus, they're actually cheaper than the real Fender necks that reliablefender has on his website. His bodies are a great deal; his necks, not so much.

    This whole partsocaster thing is just something I've been wanting to do for a while, making and customizing a guitar for myself rather than just buying something used. I guess I'm just a little odd. :)
     
  7. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Be careful of the Callaham bridge. It is very wide and has a tendency for string pull off. I Wilkinson Vintage trem or even the Gotoh SB 200 are both very nice and will work with the USA vintage 6 screw trem spacing. It is fun, go for it!
     
  8. Aardvark

    Aardvark Silver Supporting Member

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    Chris, I was curious to know what you think the tonal differences are between the following 6-screw vintage style trems: Callaham, Wilkinson, and Gotoh. Thanks very much!
     
  9. UMT

    UMT Member

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    I just built a 'FrankenStrat' and finished about 3 months ago. Learned an awful lot and I'm glad I took the time to build one, set it up, play with electronics, etc...

    Now that it's all said and done, if I decided to sell it, I would be real lucky to recover 50% of what I actually spent. Forget about the time I spent on it.

    All in all, I'm glad I did it because of what I learned but it has been costly.
     
  10. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Take the whole thing apart and sell them piece by piece. You'd get a lot more selling it that way.
     
  11. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    I'll keep that in mind if I ever want to sell it. But, assuming it turns out good, I have NO plans to sell it! I tend to hang on to gear forever.
     
  12. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I'd use someone like Specialty Guitars for screws and hardware. Wymore should be a good source too.

    You don't want to end up with hardware meant for Alpha pots (which are ok, but a different size than CGE and CTS pots) and you want to use good screws.
     
  13. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    The hardware is just the neck plate+screws, output jack, and pickguard screws mostly. Is there that much of a difference?
     
  14. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    I've built a few guitars with Warmoth bodies and necks They have always fit together extremely well. But my latest build is one that I made up out of everything that was left over from my others and it's turned out to be my favourite! It has a Warmoth hollow ash body and a Fender Hotrod '57 neck from reliable Fender. I can very much recommend the Callaham bridge. I also bought his neck plate and like it. It's a bit thicker so it doesn't flex.

    The Warmoth body and Fender neck fit perfectly. The side-to-side angle is spot-on so the strings line up perfectly. No slack whatsoever. The height is also perfect so the the saddle height screws are near the top of their range so they don't kill your right hand.

    Plus getting a neck like this pretty much does away with the need for fret filing, nut cutting, etc. Well it did in my case.
     
  15. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    Have you ever played a pau ferro fretboard? It's my preference over maple. You can easily satin finish the neck for a few bucks worth of lacquer, steel wool or 1000 grit Wet n Dry, and masking tape. According to Suhr, you'll want a piece of plastic to protect SS frets from the stings while in the case. He calls it a fretguard or something like that. They can nick and take some work to smooth out.
     
  16. morlll

    morlll Supporting Member

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    Dumb question, but aren't SS frets stronger than the strings?

    Wouldn't the strings get ruined by the SS frets?
     
  17. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    That's correct. But given the choice, Some would rather change strings more often than having a fret work done frequently.
     
  18. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    I've tried Pau Ferro when I've played SRV Strats in stores. I still like maple though, I've always wanted one.

    How could strings hurt SS frets? That doesn't make sense to me. They're harder than regular frets, and you don't need to protect those in the case.
     
  19. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    I've never heard that from people who have Parker or Carvin guitars with SS frets. Besides, strings get replaced every few weeks anyway.
     
  20. uburoibob

    uburoibob Yanuziello Guitar Enthusiast Supporting Member

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    I have five Parker Flys. The strings don't get ruined by the SS frets. Not even a little. In fact, they glide over the frets nicely on a bend, cuz the frets never get pitted as do nickel frets. These guitars are simply amazing. Ken Parker was soooooo far ahead of his time...

    Bob
     

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