Parts Guitar Strat Vs. MFG

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jzgtrguy, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. jzgtrguy

    jzgtrguy Member

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    I thought I would pick everyones brains on the parts guitar vs a manufactured guitar. I've been thinking of building a parts guitar strat using USA Custom Guitar works body and neck.

    I was wondering what the up side and the down side of such a project could be. Low resale value?

    I am not a luthier so aside from being able to use a screw driver I would end up taking a pile of parts to a good guitar tech and saying here put this together. But I could choose everything from the neck profile to electronics etc. I am sure there are dozens of you that have experience with this.

    Other than a parts guitar the MFG's I've been looking at are Suhr, Tyler, Lentz, Carruthers, Grosh, Sadowsky etc, etc,

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    I think if you know exactly what you like and want, and use great parts and a good tech you should try a homebrew.

    In a sense any bolt on neck S or T style is ultimately a parts caster of sorts anyway, just done in one place.
    The key to a successful build is starting with a really well cut neck and body made of good wood. USACG can provide a body and neck as good as any tyler, anderson, suhr,etc. They can give you a perfect choice alder or ash body with dead-on routing and finish sanded, or with a nice finish on it. Likewise they can build a neck just like your favorite fender, suhr, anderson, grosh etc.

    Buy your favorite bridge, pickups, tuners,etc., and have a real good tech cut a nice nut and dress the frets, set it up, and you will have a boutique level instrument for almost a grand less than you pay for a custom order build.

    I built a strat with all my favorite specs, had the nut cut and plek process done by phil jacoby and it hangs with all the small luthiers.
    As far as resale, I don't think you lose too badly, because you paid much less to start with, and can sell the parts separately and get about the same return, percentage-wise, as when you sell a name guitar.
     
  3. amigo30

    amigo30 Member

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    How did you like the result as compared to say, a Fender American Deluxe?
    What was your total investment, including Plek, shipping, etc???
     
  4. WordMan

    WordMan Member

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    amigo30 you can spend $1000-$1200 on parts. If you have a great tech to finish off your build you can end up with a guitar that plays as clean and easy as a CS guitar.
    But you are, if I may, thinking about this wrong. If you can get exactly what you want from a production git - be happy. But if you want to pick a custom combo of features, few things are as fun and rewarding as a Parts build.
    In other words, if you want a Parts guitar you don't want a mfg'd guitar (there's plenty of room for them on your GAS list anyway...)
     
  5. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    It is honestly a lot nicer than any production fender. It has the specs of a 60's strat, but with a few tweaks. Here is the breakdown of cost:

    375 for 2-piece alder strat body finished in sonic blue
    130 for an allparts sro-c neck
    I did the neck finish myself with a can of reranch clear nitro-15
    30 for gotoh klusons
    125 for callaham trem assembly
    200 for dimarzio area pickups
    30 for a fender 62 pickguard
    CRL 5 way 10 bucks
    3 cts pots from acme - 15
    jackplate and switchcraft jack- 8
    callaham pickguard shield-15
    I had some knobs and a backplate around already, as well as a neck plate and screws. I think that stuff would maybe add up to 20 dollars tops

    plek, nut, and set-up was 200

    total= about 1,150

    That is with pretty high end components, custom bone nut, perfect plek'd and dressed frets, shielding, etc.

    I used the allparts neck on this one because the sro-c had the perfect specs stock, and the wood is very nice. The frets are perfect after the whole plek and polishing,etc.

    I have another one in the works that will have a 1 piece maple neck from USA custom, staggered klusons, suhr pickups, etc. this one will end up costing just a few bucks more, but not much.

    I see it this way- in a strat or tele, I look for: balanced tone, good weight and balance, nice clean tight neck pocket, accurate string alignment, quality hardware, level and smooth frets, dialed-in nut, comfy neck shape, a thin but handsome finish, and a good set-up. When you buy an anderson, suhr, tyler, grosh,etc., that is what sets them apart.
    I feel my own guitars, with the right carefully chosen parts and finishing touches by a great luthier, end up with all those characteristics, and I save a big chunk of money. (plus I enjoy the process).
     
  6. jzgtrguy

    jzgtrguy Member

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    Thanks for the feed back. I think I am feeling more comfortable about building a parts guitar. I think I might feel like a bit of a heal showing up at a guitar shop with a bunch of parts I didn't buy from them but they'll make money on the labor.

    I'm a bit torn between an Alder body and Swap Ash.
    I like Rosewood boards
    I'll probably go with Calaham trem assembly although Titanium is interests me but is expensive.
    Pup? Barden, Dimarzio Area, Suhr F/L, Lollars? Beats me????

    The nice thing is I'll be able to get a neck like I want, like an old Les Paul. Full C with a modern radius.


    Thanks for your thoughts. Now I just need a shot of courage to sell some stuff a Nash Strat and a Bill Comins Concert Model arch top.
     

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