Experiences building your own 80's fat strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Kapo_Polenton, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Kapo_Polenton

    Kapo_Polenton Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    I'm not a pro player, just a bedroom warrior.. I've built and amp and a few pedals so I figure I could put together a strat from manufactured pieces. Being a huge 80's fan of guys like Demartini and Jake E Lee etc.., I am interested in putting together something like a MIM strat body with a bare neck so i can be a total poseur and put a charvel or other decal on it. Anyone have experience with doing this? the neck is what concerns me, any problems with these MIM necks or other necks? I don't want to spend 400$ on a warmoth neck and i have played one mighty mite neck which I kind of dug. It was sufficient for me, looked good, and the frets didn't hack up my fingers like a few newer production fenders do. How do you know/ensure that you get good frets etc..? I don't know that much about guitar finishing but i am assuming i could do minor tweaks and learn as I go.

    I'm planning on using a standard trem and a JB SH4 in bridge and SH-3 in the neck. Can anyone share their frustrations with necks and bodies and playability? (pretty much any strat project feedback) What are some things I should inquire about or look out for? Pick guards are easy to fit if the holes don't line up, that much I've figured.:dude

    Thanks
     
  2. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

    Messages:
    1,685
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    This is one I'm in the middle of putting together. That's a DiMarzio Super3 from the mid '80s. The body and neck are from Warmoth. And those are just empty Strat pickup covers filling the routes.

    [​IMG]

    These are all parts I had sitting around, so.... so far, I haven't spent anything on this project.

    This is sort of on hold right now because I stopped working on things when I broke my leg. But I think this'll work out better than my regular Strat attempts.

    This is the cut down pickguard I'm planning to use. When I took this picture, it had a Super Distortion pickup in it:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Kapo_Polenton

    Kapo_Polenton Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Nice project.. did you paint the body yourself? Have ou priced putting these together vs. buying a base line cheapo and raping it for parts? And no problems with neck fitting body I assume?
     
  4. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

    Messages:
    1,685
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    DiMarzio says they introduced that Super3 in '94, so I guess I was way off the mark about when I got that one!

    I didn't paint that body myself. I think it's Warmoth's Sonic Blue. Both the body and neck are from their "Showcase" section. Their neck pockets tend to be a very tight fit with their necks. One of those things where you have to push them into place, but not so tight that you have to worry.

    If I was to add up all the money I spent on parts, it'd actually be rather expensive. But it's all parts I bought some time ago.

    Probably around $350 each for the body & neck
    Maybe about $150 for the Hipshot bridge and diecast Gotoh tuners. The bridge cost about $40 extra for the steel block.
    About $100 for the Super3 because I got that one directly from DiMarzio because nobody was carrying them. It was in my Les Paul for several years.

    So there's probably roughly $1000 in it.

    It doesn't have what I'd call an appropriate color for an '80s Frankenstrat. It'd be tempting to repaint the body, but I just couldn't think of anything. Something flashier would be better. Like red.

    If I haven't finished it by Spring (it's too cold to paint anything right now) I'll get a few cans of bright colorful paint, and just pore them on the body and let them dribble off randomly. Save me the trouble of trying to think of something.
     
  5. Kapo_Polenton

    Kapo_Polenton Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Ouch! It adds up eh? I was hoping the neck would not be that much.. I may got he Allparts route. I have that same super distortion III. I hate it lol.. bought it in 93' I think... had it for years but it never really lived up to its description for me.
     
  6. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

    Messages:
    1,685
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Allparts makes some nice necks. I like the ones I have a lot.

    I have a lot more in this guitar than you'd need to spend. You could use an Allparts neck, which would cost you a whole lot less. Use an unfinished body from USACG (or just about anywhere else) for way less then $200. Paint it yourself.

    I switched from the Super Distortion to the Super3 because the Super3 is supposed to be more mid heavy. I'm not really sure if I'll use the Super3 when I wire it up though. I also have a Super2 that isn't currently being used, and that might be a much better choice for this kind of guitar.

    I bet you could build one for less than $400 total without much trouble.
     
  7. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

    Messages:
    4,692
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Platteville, Wisconsin
    It's probably cheapest to buy a reasonably inexpensive Strat or stratoid guitar to use as your basis, then change parts out as desired.
     

Share This Page