Partscaster build questions from a Gibson guy

SkydogFan81

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
I've been stuck at home for a couple weeks now, which has been good for my guitar practicing. I've recently been woodshedding on some Gilmour tunes with my first electric ever, a MIM Strat with some upgrades (Fralins). Since I've been home, I've upgraded the rest of the electronics, and I've been digging it. I usually play an R9 or an R7, which I've had for over ten years and upgraded a few times.

Anyway, I'd like to build a nice strat - SSS (nitrocellulose finish). Who sells a nitro finished body besides MJT?

I'm pretty knowledgeable on vintage Gibson LP's, but I've never put much effort into preCBS stat specs. I upgraded my MIM stat about 15 years ago with Fralins and had a G&L Legacy for a while, before trading it for an ASAT.


I'm probably going to go:

MJT Body
Musikraft neck (6150's ?)
Hardware and electronics similar to a Danocaster (Rocketfire pups)

Any experienced recommendations on where to get nitrocellulose finished parts are welcomed.

Thanks
 

stonem

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,627
I would suggest a fender body the thin skins are nitro. The corgan (hardtail) or the highway one series. They have good resale if you dont like em too.
 

B Vance

Member
Messages
2,014
USA Custom Guitars will do nitro. They did a body and neck for me several years ago with nitro. At the time it wasn't on their website but I called and they said they could do it. It's now listed on their website as an option. They did a wonderful job. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.
 

LJOHNS

Member
Messages
783
MIM road worn bodies are Nitro. I built one recently and used a Robert Cray neck. Dropped in a set of 59 pure vintage pickups. My perfect vintage Strat!
 

SkydogFan81

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
How does one "upgrade" those two excellent guitars?

If that is what you are used to, why not go Fender Custom Shop? Just a thought.
Yeah, I hear you. Well the R7 is a 2006, so pots, caps, pickups, strap buttons, I did a TUSQ nut on that one, mapleflame mod with ~1.5" nickel plated bell brass threaded rod for bridge pots, steel studs, tailpiece, abr - all pigtail, tuners.
The R9 has the same mapleflame bridge pots mod, Wizz pickups, pots, caps, pigtail hardware, grovers.

I have a hard time paying over $2k for a bolt-on neck guitar. The Fender Custom Shop seems so overpriced with so many other companies making S and T style guitars at equal or better quality for the same price or less. I can do a decent setup and electronics, but I would never attempt to build a glue in neck gibson style replica. I'd like to have a Danocaster, but I don't want to pay that much or for aging either. I guess I understand if you have lots of vintage guitars and don't want to tour with them, but it's a little blues lawyer/poser to me, to pay for it when I could play it and let it happen naturally. Maybe when I get older and don't really gig, I'll see it differently.

I also like to pick the parts, so I'll probably get a Musikraft neck and an MJT body. You can get such a fancy flame maple quartersawn neck just how you want it from them for the price of a standard Fender one.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,395
I've been stuck at home for a couple weeks now, which has been good for my guitar practicing. I've recently been woodshedding on some Gilmour tunes with my first electric ever, a MIM Strat with some upgrades (Fralins). Since I've been home, I've upgraded the rest of the electronics, and I've been digging it. I usually play an R9 or an R7, which I've had for over ten years and upgraded a few times.

Anyway, I'd like to build a nice strat - SSS (nitrocellulose finish). Who sells a nitro finished body besides MJT?

I'm pretty knowledgeable on vintage Gibson LP's, but I've never put much effort into preCBS stat specs. I upgraded my MIM stat about 15 years ago with Fralins and had a G&L Legacy for a while, before trading it for an ASAT.


I'm probably going to go:

MJT Body
Musikraft neck (6150's ?)
Hardware and electronics similar to a Danocaster (Rocketfire pups)

Any experienced recommendations on where to get nitrocellulose finished parts are welcomed.

Thanks
BGP has excellent necks, often cheaper than musikraft. I’d also recommend going with roasted maple, which requires no finish and feels excellent, or learning to do a tru oil finish on a raw maple neck. MJT will give you the best bodies, and can also finish a neck if you insist on lacquer.
 

Guppie

Member
Messages
1,060
I have a hard time paying over $2k for a bolt-on neck guitar. The Fender Custom Shop seems so overpriced
I cannot understand this. Why should a bolt on be a lot cheaper? And how can you own an R7 And and R9 and think fender is overpriced? I think those are 3000,- to 4000,- guitars. I know it's off topic but I had to ask.
 

CjRuckus

Member
Messages
732
Yeah, I hear you. Well the R7 is a 2006, so pots, caps, pickups, strap buttons, I did a TUSQ nut on that one, mapleflame mod with ~1.5" nickel plated bell brass threaded rod for bridge pots, steel studs, tailpiece, abr - all pigtail, tuners.
The R9 has the same mapleflame bridge pots mod, Wizz pickups, pots, caps, pigtail hardware, grovers.

I have a hard time paying over $2k for a bolt-on neck guitar. The Fender Custom Shop seems so overpriced with so many other companies making S and T style guitars at equal or better quality for the same price or less. I can do a decent setup and electronics, but I would never attempt to build a glue in neck gibson style replica. I'd like to have a Danocaster, but I don't want to pay that much or for aging either. I guess I understand if you have lots of vintage guitars and don't want to tour with them, but it's a little blues lawyer/poser to me, to pay for it when I could play it and let it happen naturally. Maybe when I get older and don't really gig, I'll see it differently.

I also like to pick the parts, so I'll probably get a Musikraft neck and an MJT body. You can get such a fancy flame maple quartersawn neck just how you want it from them for the price of a standard Fender one.

Have you considered the American Original line? Those are Nitro and give you a nice bridge between the Custom shop and USA standard at a reasonable price.
 

SkydogFan81

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
I cannot understand this. Why should a bolt on be a lot cheaper? And how can you own an R7 And and R9 and think fender is overpriced? I think those are 3000,- to 4000,- guitars. I know it's off topic but I had to ask.
Well, I guess it comes down to the time and skill required to build it. Fenders, at the core of their design, were cheaply made assembly line guitars that could be quickly made and built. It takes much more time and skill to use hot hide glue and fit the neck vs. minimal sanding a CNC cut part and then bolt it together. With so many companies making Fender style parts and kits, I don't see room for massive quality variation. It seems like the extra profit margins come from relicing, which I'm not into. Gibsons have increased in price greatly over the past ten years or so. My R7 was the price of a USA model now. My R9 was under $5k new from Carter's in 2014. In '15 Gibson raised prices. So that's why. A plain top custom shop Gibson vs. a plain top Fender Custom shop shouldn't be the same price to me, but I'm not an expert. It's just my personal opinion. I can build a Fender style guitar, but I can't build a Gibson. No one sells long tenon glue in neck Gibson kits, but numerous companies sell Fender style parts and kits.

Thanks to the others for the input. I will research BGP. I did look at the EJ strats, they seem to be a good deal if you like the colors, neck shape, and woods. Unfortunately, the EJ specs aren't exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for the link, I didn't realize you could buy just the bodies...that is interesting.

Musikraft has some nice neck options that I'm considering. Including 4A flame maple quartersawn and roasted.
 

TTHX

Member
Messages
489
Since I've been home, I've upgraded the rest of the electronics, and I've been digging it.
Just curious, if you're digging your current setup, why do you want to get something that's completely different. What is it that this new setup will give you that this current one you have doesn't?

Either way I have an MJT build and couldn't be happier. I always keep an eye out for bodies on the auction.
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
5,948
I cannot understand this. Why should a bolt on be a lot cheaper? And how can you own an R7 And and R9 and think fender is overpriced?
Because it costs $1,000+ for a guy...sorry experienced artisan...to dab $0.12 worth of of glue to a neck pocket and then wrap string around the whole thing for a couple hours? :dunno

Both Fender and Gibson are insanely overpriced nowadays. Let's be real.
 

SkydogFan81

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
Just curious, if you're digging your current setup, why do you want to get something that's completely different. What is it that this new setup will give you that this current one you have doesn't?

Either way I have an MJT build and couldn't be happier. I always keep an eye out for bodies on the auction.
I have an older MIM and I've never thought they sounded that good, just more of a LP guy. Recently, I bought my brother a pawnshop Squire and set it up over a couple weeks. It was really rocking and it made me thing, well maybe I've never had a nice/good strat. I have had a G&L Legacy that I liked, but traded for a ASAT, that I still like. I've been woodsheding lots of Gilmour lately and I've been stuck inside too long looking at Danocasters. Just thought it would be fun to put together a higher end s style partscaster.

Because it costs $1,000+ for a guy...sorry experienced artisan...to dab $0.12 worth of of glue to a neck pocket and then wrap string around the whole thing for a couple hours? :dunno

Both Fender and Gibson are insanely overpriced nowadays. Let's be real.
I do agree that both are way overpriced, but it's more than what you boiled down. Hide glue bonds the neck (getting the right angle is key), the fretboard, and the maple cap. Carving the top, high quality woods, neck binding, etc. Fender's have unbound fretboards, no high end maple etc. There is a big difference in the effort to build G vs. F
 

Darkburst

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,532
I’ve been playing R9’s almost exclusively from 2003 until I put
together a Keef style Tele a few years ago and early 60’s style Strat last year. I got the necks from Musikraft, got the body and paint from MJT. Both guitars turned out how I wanted. Just do your research on parts to get what you want the first time. I made a few hasty decisions on hardware and had to return and buy different parts.
 

SkydogFan81

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
I’ve been playing R9’s almost exclusively from 2003 until I put
together a Keef style Tele a few years ago and early 60’s style Strat last year. I got the necks from Musikraft, got the body and paint from MJT. Both guitars turned out how I wanted. Just do your research on parts to get what you want the first time. I made a few hasty decisions on hardware and had to return and buy different parts.

Thanks for that info! Sounds like we are coming from the same place. I think that's the way I'm going to go unless I scrounge up enough coin and then I'm lucky enough, try to get a Danocaster Doublecut and maybe a single cut later down the line. The Fender styles are more for recording tones and specific things. My LPs are safe!

What were your hardware mistakes and final choices?
 

Juan Tuthri

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,085
Just remember that you are actually playing the neck. So choose a body with the carve and paint you want. Then be careful about the neck you get. Make sure you actually like fat necks on a strat before you get one. Make sure that you like Medium Jumbo frets on that fat neck before you order it.

I think this is where most people stumble and end up not happy with their newly assembled guitars. It's important to REALLY know what you like and how you play and intend to play.

The rest is just parts ;)
 

Darkburst

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,532
Thanks for that info! Sounds like we are coming from the same place. I think that's the way I'm going to go unless I scrounge up enough coin and then I'm lucky enough, try to get a Danocaster Doublecut and maybe a single cut later down the line. The Fender styles are more for recording tones and specific things. My LPs are safe!

What were your hardware mistakes and final choices?
My Les Pauls are still my main guitars, but I do play the Tele and Strat a lot too. As you mention, some styles and tones require something other than a dual PAF Les Paul.

Telecaster: Musikraft Neck (12" radius, LP neck carve, 6150 Frets), MJT Body, Don Mare 0038 Bridge, Throbak SLE-101, Rutters Hardware

Stratocaster: Musikraft Neck (12" radius, LP neck carve, 6150 Frets), MJT Body, Fender saddles, Callaham bridge, Raw Vintage springs, Suhr V60LP pickups (for balance with the flatter neck radius)

The mistakes were mostly aesthetics. Strat bridges are whole can of worms. I settled on Fender saddles with everything else Callaham. Be aware that Callaham bridge screws are longer and will go through the body into the spring cavity. That bummed me out, so I bought the spring cavity cover so I wouldn't have to see it. LOL! The pic below is when it had the Gotoh bridge still.

 




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