Lowe Guitars shop notes

Discussion in 'Builder's & Retailer's Forum' started by BeeTL, Aug 13, 2011.


  1. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    So, back to work.

    That mahogany slab was milled, thicknessed to 1 7/8" S4S, and cut to length at the lumberyard:

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    I had a few bass necks left that needed machines installed:

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    Also, several guitar necks that needed machines.

    I just LOVE Sperzel Sound Loks:

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
  2. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Another project in the queue is building out the Rowka CNC Muzik Faktorie® Teeluxe body.

    This is an SPF body with a Fir top that served as the "proof of concept" for my Grove Guitars tribute build.

    I confirmed the American Special Tele parts fit properly, so I'm converting it to a Lowe design for my personal use.

    Laying it out for my Universal rout:

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    One down, one to go:

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    Ready for the Speedball Black finish demonstrated in another thread:

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    Ready for assembly:

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  3. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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  4. loki1982

    loki1982 Member

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    Hey,would you look at that! I might have to pick one of those up! The only downside is switching to the three saddles instead of six, but I am sure that I could get by just fine on a nice set of compensated saddles!

    P. S. Liking the look of the teeluxe, what do you have in mind for the pickups?
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  5. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Either Lindy Fralin High-Output Humbuckers or Hum Canceling P90s:

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  6. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    So...back at it.

    I have a few things in the pipeline, mostly on the guitar front.

    Still, I have some fun stuff on the bass front, too.

    The GFS XGP double-bound bodies are a bit too tempting not to try:

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    Of course, I can't leave well-enough alone:

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    That's a mirror finish.

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    Done.

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    I think these will be the last of the Mighty Mite necks I use...I got a letter.

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    All of my necks get threaded inserts...I guess I forgot to snap a shot of them installed.

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    A single pickup Ridler body in black with a walnut back:

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    A single pickup Chromasonic in Inca Silver with a walnut back:

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    And the latest gallery shot.

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  7. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    I got a bit of work done this weekend, and two builds shipped out.

    I had been thinking about doing a stencil or a screen print for my shipping boxes, and then saw that Carl Thompson signs his personally.

    Seemed like a pretty cool idea, so...

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    Time again for wiring harnesses:

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    Lining up the pickups, Fralin HCP90Ds:

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    Plugging in the harness:

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    Ready to go:

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  8. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    The double-bound Teeluxe is out the door:

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    Working on the wiring harness for the first single-pickup Ridler:

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  9. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Next up...Ridler #3, a single-pickup version.

    Getting the pickup laid out:

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    Drilling for the threaded inserts I use to mount the pickups:

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    Pickup mounted using surgical tubing instead of springs:

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    Plugged in:

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    Ready for strings:

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    Ready to go:

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  10. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    I had a goofy idea for a T shirt:

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  11. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    This may be a keeper...

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  12. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Based on the feedback received, I think I will go with something a little more straightforward:

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  13. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    So, I think the design for T shirt #1 is finalized:

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    The current batch of bodies and necks are heading into paint, and a buddy asked me to mod an old Foto Flame Tele to HH configuration.

    Laying it out:

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    Routed:

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    The neck screws were all stripped out and shimmed with toothpicks, so I added steel inserts:

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    Wiring harness:

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    Also, laying out a bass for personal use:

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  14. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Did anybody catch the wiring error in the harness?

    The color-coding should help with troubleshooting.

    It's a two pickup guitar with coil-splitting.

    As it turns out, I reversed the push-pull switch wires...easy fix.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  15. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    So, a Cease and Desist letter from LEO's old company kept me a bit distracted this summer.

    The now defunct Chimera Series were "hot rodded" versions of industry standbys that used unmodified Mighty Mite necks with black headstocks and my logo.

    As of last month, the matter is closed.

    All my Custom USA models are designed, milled, finished, assembled, and set up here in the States.

    I think I'll stick with that model for a while.
     
  16. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Back in the saddle with some six-stringers...satin finishes this time around:

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    Also, working on a bunch of harnesses for a single-pickup Primaluxe bass:

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  17. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    The harnesses are finished and shipping out:

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    Now, this is happening:

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  18. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    As far as I know, the Lowe by Hipshot is the only "chopped" six-saddle guitar bridge that is a top-load, string-through, and a direct replacement for a vintage 6 + 4 T-style.

    A Bigsby-compatible plate is also in the works.

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  19. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Nut slots don't just cut themselves.

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  20. BeeTL

    BeeTL Member

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    Here’s a nice little writeup on my Primaluxe basses and plug and play electronics from a couple of members over at ebassist.com:

    Kindness: SmallEQ and I spent part of the afternoon today playing around with BeeTL's plug and play harnesses on our basses. SmallEQ's bass is the fiesta red, mine is the sea foam green. We both started the day with the Lollar Thunderbird option:

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    In addition to the two Lollar Thunderbird pickups, we had (clockwise starting in the upper left) a TV Jones Thunder'Blade, a Fralin Hum Canceling P90, and two Guild BS-1 pickups (only one shown):

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    You can see from the back of the pickguards that the only thing you need to do to swap in a new set is plug in the ground wire, everything else is wired up and ready to go:

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    We were both big fans of the Guild BS-1.

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    SmallEQ is sticking with the BS-1 (BiSonic/Darkstar) shown above, but I decided on the TV Jones Thunder'Blade:

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    Kindness: The swaps are dead simple and it is really a unique experience to be able to play different pickups in the same bass with the same setup back to back within minutes of each other. And it's even better when you can audition them side by side in such similar basses. It made it really easy to pick exactly the pickup option I wanted and see how similar and dissimilar the options were.

    I am someone that typically tweaks whatever setup is in front of me to a mostly consistent sound. I basically try to take anything you put in front of me and do my best to make it sound like Bob Nyswonger recording a P bass. That's too complimentary of my playing and tone, but it's the sound in my head. That's "bass" to me.

    I started with the Lollar. It was my least favorite. More "Bartolini" and less "Aero." Smooth, rounded notes. To me, its muffled. To others, it's thick and juicy.

    The other three set of pickups are more alike than dissimilar. In a progression away from the Lollar sound I would go Guild BS-1, TV Jones Thunder'Blade, and Fralin Hum Cancelling P90. In isolation, I prefer the Fralin. But it is close enough to the others that I would be more than happy with the Guild or TV Jones. In fact, factoring in that I already have a Dark Star bass (Lakland Hollowbody), and Fralin P bass (my Lakland Glaub), and because the pickup looks rad as ****, I am sticking with the TV Jones.

    One of the things I love about the Guild BS-1 (and my Dark Stars) is the ability to adjust each pole piece. They are sensitive and, at the right height, are fantastic. The TV Jones pickup is also sensitive to height adjustments. At first, it was a bit thin, but bringing it up to about 3/16" below the E string was a noticeable improvement.

    I'm really impressed by the execution of the plug and play concept. Now that I'm done plugging, I'm ready to get playing.

    SmallEQ: While I'm not trying to make each bass sound like a Pbass, I do tend to make every bass sound the same and when I can't I generally don't keep it for very long. The Lollar Thunderbird pickup fell into this category for me.

    When we were swapping the bisonic and the TV jones we started off by looking up what the recommended string distance was and that made it easy enough to dial it in. I think ultimately I preferred the TV Jones pickup a bit more, but I've always wanted a DS bass and the sound was close enough that I decided to go with the DS.

    May ask you to whip me up another assembly with the TV Jones pickup at some point, but probably wouldn't be necessary. My other bass has the TV Jones Thundertrons and I must say that with my experience with both kinds of TV Jones bass pickups, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.
     

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