Warmoth has ruined me for production guitars

Sean6247

Member
Messages
451
I have caught the partscaster building bug. I guess it all started when I commissioned my first custom build in 2016, a Kiesel Ct-624. I loved picking every detail of my guitar and having something that was uniquely tailored to me. The very next year, I wanted a Blackguard. While searching all the available options, I found that no guitar had every detail I wanted. I ended up building a Warmoth Blackguard for a little over $1k including finishing tools and a hard shell case. The same options I chose would have cost me about $4k (at least) from FCS and north of $2k from other notable builders.

Fast forward to now... I am jonesing for a Strat type guitar and really like the Silver Sky. But there are several things about the Strat I just don’t like. I do not like the terms on starts, or any guitar for that matter, and I have never like the single coil in the bridge position of a Strat. Because of my experiences with the quality o the bodies and neck coming from Warmoth, I have decided to build an inspired by Silver Sky guitar.

I plan on using an Alder Strat body, a Maple Vortex conversion neck with 59 round back profile and stainless 6105 frets. This will have a recessed TOM bridge and Fishman Fluence HSS pickups. I will finish the body in either a ghost indigo or magenta pearl over white with a white pick guard. The whole thing will cast less than a grand.

I’m absolutely ruined, because I went straight to Warmoth once I got the idea for the guitar. I didn’t shop around to see it anything exists (which I am 99% sure it doesn’t).

I don’t have an option for set neck instruments so I will have to order custom when that type of guitar come up, but for bolt ons. I’ll be building my own from now on.

I’m not really looking for options, as my mind is 100% made up. Just wondering, if anybody else no longer considers production instruments and prefers to build themselves.

Here’s the blackguard.
 

D K Souther

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
435
I’ve done a few Warmoth builds. Also other suppliers.
warmoth are good. Also sometimes just don’t work for me? It’s weird. I’m glad you nailed it with yourblackguard. Good luck on the next build!
 

TheOtherEric

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
87
Looks to me like a bare bones Warmoth like that would run around $1,100 plus tax, which is really great. I'm sure I'd end up springing for fancy-pants stuff like roasted flame maple neck and get up to $1,400 but that's still really great for a USA-made custom guitar. Very cool.
 

Sean6247

Member
Messages
451
Looks to me like a bare bones Warmoth like that would run around $1,100 plus tax, which is really great. I'm sure I'd end up springing for fancy-pants stuff like roasted flame maple neck and get up to $1,400 but that's still really great for a USA-made custom guitar. Very cool.
I have found that finishing the guitar and neck myself save big bucks when putting these things together. When pricing my build I was right around $575 before electronics which should be ~$300. Plus my favorite neck finish is tung oil on the back and nitro lacquer on the fretboard (maple necks). Doing a rattle can finish is really not all that difficult, it just takes lots of prep and patience.
 

Sean6247

Member
Messages
451
I think it's cool that people build their own partscasters, but at $1000 and up, it has no appeal to me.
I appreciate your opinion. I have found to get guitars with the same appointments and specs, the cost is triple without much if any difference in quality when purchased as a custom instrument. Which is one of the main appeals to me... plus the building bug thing.
 

msquared

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
431
I've never built a Warmoth guitar but have been on the same path as you for a bit now with building the right HSS/SSS style guitar including the same pickups.

I really wish they had a neck profile that was closer to the Silver Sky than the '59 Roundback. I've been considering the SRV with 1.650 nut width as the closest version of that.
 

Sean6247

Member
Messages
451
I've never built a Warmoth guitar but have been on the same path as you for a bit now with building the right HSS/SSS style guitar including the same pickups.

I really wish they had a neck profile that was closer to the Silver Sky than the '59 Roundback. I've been considering the SRV with 1.650 nut width as the closest version of that.
I’ve never gotten my hands on a Silver Sky, so I don’t know the neck profile of that guitar. I generally like thicker, rounder necks and Warmoth states the 59 round back is their closest profile to PRS. I actually contemplated the Wolfgang profile, but I am unsure if I like/dislike an offset neck profile. Best part about it though, if I don’t like something, I can sell that part and replace it without being out too much.
 

mrpinter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,580
I've built six guitars from Warmoth parts - or rather I've paid professional guitar techs to build them for me. They haven't ruined me for other custom or nice USA made guitars, but I don't think I'll ever buy an inexpensive off the shelf guitar again, when I can get a full custom shop quality instrument for $1,300-$1,400. I still have two of the ones I've had built. This was my first one (alder body, wenge fretboard on goncalo alves neck, Righteous Sound Revelator tele pickup set):
 

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,616
I appreciate your opinion. I have found to get guitars with the same appointments and specs, the cost is triple without much if any difference in quality when purchased as a custom instrument. Which is one of the main appeals to me... plus the building bug thing.
Wow that's pretty significant. I mean I would maybe consider it with that ratio, it's just that I've never actually played a really good partscaster. So I probably don't know what I don't know. If I could build/assemble a $1000 guitar that would be roughly equivalent to a $3,000 custom, I would probably change my tune.
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,065
that's a nice tele!!!

I have caught the partscaster building bug. I guess it all started when I commissioned my first custom build in 2016, a Kiesel Ct-624. I loved picking every detail of my guitar and having something that was uniquely tailored to me. The very next year, I wanted a Blackguard. While searching all the available options, I found that no guitar had every detail I wanted. I ended up building a Warmoth Blackguard for a little over $1k including finishing tools and a hard shell case. The same options I chose would have cost me about $4k (at least) from FCS and north of $2k from other notable builders.

Fast forward to now... I am jonesing for a Strat type guitar and really like the Silver Sky. But there are several things about the Strat I just don’t like. I do not like the terms on starts, or any guitar for that matter, and I have never like the single coil in the bridge position of a Strat. Because of my experiences with the quality o the bodies and neck coming from Warmoth, I have decided to build an inspired by Silver Sky guitar.

I plan on using an Alder Strat body, a Maple Vortex conversion neck with 59 round back profile and stainless 6105 frets. This will have a recessed TOM bridge and Fishman Fluence HSS pickups. I will finish the body in either a ghost indigo or magenta pearl over white with a white pick guard. The whole thing will cast less than a grand.

I’m absolutely ruined, because I went straight to Warmoth once I got the idea for the guitar. I didn’t shop around to see it anything exists (which I am 99% sure it doesn’t).

I don’t have an option for set neck instruments so I will have to order custom when that type of guitar come up, but for bolt ons. I’ll be building my own from now on.

I’m not really looking for options, as my mind is 100% made up. Just wondering, if anybody else no longer considers production instruments and prefers to build themselves.

Here’s the blackguard.
 

Shoprocket

Member
Messages
79
The only production guitars that I consider are the used ones with a Strat spec neck pocket. This is so I can retrofit a Warmoth "Super Wide" neck on it. Being from the area, back in the 80's, most of the local guitar players used their parts. It was so cheep (still is). As a poor youth, it didn't make sense to buy a guitar from a music store. Now as an adult, I am stuck with them as very few manufacturers make a 1 3/4", let alone, 1 7/8" wide neck.
 

Matt Dillon

Member
Messages
870
Congrats on your builds
I have a few Warmoth necks
Partscasters can become an addiction,
But it’s better than a lot if other things
 

Sean6247

Member
Messages
451
I've never actually played a really good partscaster.
I know we call them partscasters, but in my mind, Warmoth (and similar companies) are not really partscasters but builds in their own right. To me a partscaster is more along the lines of disassembling completed instruments and retrofitting them with parts from other completed instruments. I still call it a partscaster, but believe in my heart it is its own creation.
 

Jecht

Member
Messages
1,107
I think so too. I've never owned a super high end custom shop or boutique guitar before, but my build blows everything that I've played out of the water.
 

BigDoug1053

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,117
Good luck, comrade! Every player should have the guitars they truly love. You enjoy your builds and make great music with them.
 

msquared

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
431
I’ve never gotten my hands on a Silver Sky, so I don’t know the neck profile of that guitar. I generally like thicker, rounder necks and Warmoth states the 59 round back is their closest profile to PRS. I actually contemplated the Wolfgang profile, but I am unsure if I like/dislike an offset neck profile. Best part about it though, if I don’t like something, I can sell that part and replace it without being out too much.
Yeah, that is maybe the most enticing part of this project to me.

Warmoth's mention of the 59R (.860) being closest to PRS necks is sort of a misnomer since they have a few different profiles.

Here are PRS's listed specs for necks measured at the first fret:
Pattern, Wide Fat - 28/32" (.875)
Pattern Thin, Wide Thin - 26/32" (.813)
Pattern Regular, Regular - 27/32" (.844)
Pattern Vintage - 57/64" (.891)
JM (Silver Sky) – 53/64” (.828)

I'm looking into building something similar to a Silver Sky because that's closest to the EBMM Valentine necks (.825) and right now my Valentine is by far the most played guitar I've got, so my target with this is to essentially end up with a HSS style guitar with a Valentine-ish neck. OTOH I have a PRS with a pattern regular neck that is maybe the most comfortable neck I've ever played so part of me really wants to get something that doesn't require a finish and do some hand sanding to get it perfect.
 




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