Mahogany strat style build question

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by effectsman, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    Although I like Les Paul's I've never been able to bond with the ergonomics of them, and I like the extra brightness of the 25 1/2" scale.

    So I'm thinking of building a strat style guitar but with a mahogany body with 1/8" maple cap from USACG. This is not as thick a maple cap as found on a Les Paul but it is what they offer unless I want to go a carve top body.

    I will be putting either HH or HSH pickups into it. I'm not going to be putting three single coils into it. I'm not shooting for a Strat style sound but darker. I definitely want the more mid focused sound of a Les Paul with humbuckers but with Strat ergonomics.

    I'm not sure whether to go for a mahogany neck with indian rosewood board, or a maple neck with indian rosewood board?

    What do you think marries the best in terms of tone for this type of guitar?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  2. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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  3. Badfinger

    Badfinger Member

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    I built a mahogany Strat-style guitar, maple cap and mahogany neck. First set of pickups were traditional Strat Single coil. I think the mahogany neck overpowered the pickups, meaning it was too dark and blah sounding. So I put in some SD Lil '59 single coil sized humbuckers, sounded better but not what I was hoping for. If I were doing it again, I would try a maple neck and see if it added some sparkle to the sound. I want to continue trying different pickups, maybe something a little hotter.
     
  4. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    In practice each neck is going to sound different from the next, no matter what specs you pick. But as a general matter, for what you're looking to do, mahogany would be my 1st choice, flatsawn maple my 2nd.
     
  5. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    I wonder if the Maple Cap on a not so thick Strat body is going to negate the Mahogany somewhat..........

    25.5" Scale Bolt Ons don't get as dark as you'd think- that's why I wonder about the Maple Cap on the body.

    I'd listen to the Guthrie Govan Sig H-S-H Bolt On - it's still pretty bright - the set neck model's a bit darker they say- got to find some clips of him playing clean to check.......

    If the Govan is dark enough for you Hog neck with Pau Ferro.

    If you use 'Hog neck with Rosewood maybe better -as long as you don't have vintage frets, I could be wrong but I think tiny frets on RW with 'Hog neck might lose too much articulation- get nice medium jumbos or jumbos.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  6. rockonomics

    rockonomics Member

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    My vote is hog, hog, RW. With a hard tail and a pair of P90's
     
  7. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    The maple cap on these is only 1/8" thick, not 5/8" like on a Les Paul, but I'll take what you say into consideration.

    I should have said the guitar will have a tremolo, so it will have a bit less weight cause of the trem cavity.

    Why would Pau Ferro be better than RW? And I'll definitely be getting jumbo 6100 SS frets.
     
  8. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    With big beefy frets-Rosewood will be fine- you'll have articulation no matter what fingerboard. Mahogany Strats are usually not heavy.

    The Govan signature has a Maple Cap- listen to some clips of him- your build should be similar - if his guitar is still too bright ( he gets good warmth on the neck pickup IMO) for you- lose the Maple cap .

    By the way - people who know much more about wood and guitars than I have praised USACGs wood and necks-so should be a killer Axe.

    See the Post below- I agree that with a 25.5" scale Bolt On - you can get fatter/darker flavors of Superstrat, but of course not completely into Les Paul territory.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  9. Dale

    Dale Member

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    I have done similar things a couple of times. Mahog body with 24 3/4" neck, dual vol. and tone set-up like the LP, and etc. It will sound good but more like a super strat than a Les Paul. My first "build" was a Carvin 1 piece mahog body hardtail strat which I made into a HH. I am restoring it now (waiting on a new neck). I look forward to having that back in the rotation.
     
  10. Muddy T-Bone

    Muddy T-Bone Member

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    Tucky,

    The weight of the sustain block, springs, and spring claw vastly exceed the 1-2 oz of wood cut for the trem cavity.
     
  11. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    That should sound really good. Maybe the ideal tone recipe. If you really like brightness you could go with a maple neck.
     
  12. Gorgar

    Gorgar Member

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    I'd go with a mahogany neck for sure, but consider an ebony fretboard.
     
  13. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    Thanks Muddy...you know I hadn't really thought about it like that. I always thought the wood cut away would weigh more than the tremolo.

    On my other parts Strat from USACG I've got the Callaham trem with the steel block and you're right when you have it out of the guitar it's quite weighty.

    This time I'm going to use the Gotoh 510. Not sure whether I'll go 2 post or 6 post, but either way I will probably go for their zinc block which is a bit lighter.

    Do you guys think I should get USACG to chamber the body to reduce the weight a bit more? I don't want to end up with a guitar that weighs 10lb!
     
  14. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I wouldn't. As I think a solid body sounds better. But that's up to you.
     
  15. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    I think you can ask USACG for a fairly light weight Mahogany body. Tommy will find it.

    And let him know the tones you are looking for.

    Probably 8 pounds or so, even less if they find a very lightweight piece, right?

    I've played a few Mahogany Strats that were almost as lightweight as Alder.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012

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