Warmoth has ruined me for production guitars

ant_riv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,514
I’ve had about six Warmoth bodies and each made a great instrument.
I’ve only had two Warmoth necks and both of those have been very good also.

Seems to be good company that makes excellent products for a fair price.
 

B Vance

Member
Messages
2,014
Really cool thread.

I've had the opportunity to parts-out three guitars. A while back I had a pretty specific tele I wanted and I started investigating my options. Fender Custom Shop was going to set me back about $3,000 and other customer builders were coming in slightly lower. I looked into partsing out the guitar and assembling it myself. By far the cheapest option (a little over 1/3 the cost of others). I decided to give it a try and went with USA Custom for my body and neck. The guitar came together wonderfully. Alder body with a thin nitro coat. Super flamey, fat maple neck. Lollar Charlie Christian pickups in both the bridge and neck.


The experience was so positive that I decided to roll the dice again on two more partsed-out builds - one a pine Esquire and the other a La Cabronita. One of those ended up being pretty good (Esquire) and the other a bit of a dud that I never really bonded with (La Cab). Here's the pine Esquire:



Biggest takeaway - quality nut work will make or break the project. If you aren't comfortable with that area of the project, sub it out to someone who knows what they're doing.
 

Crappymonkey

Member
Messages
106
I've enjoyed my Warmoth Tele for almost 15 years now. I recently put it up for sale as there's something else I'm interested in picking up but no takers yet. I'm aware that my configuration (Bridge EMG/Floyd/24 frets) is very niche but I also don't think Warmoth builds have great resale power. People would rather buy a MIM Strat/tele that says Fender on the headstock than a high quality partscaster. If you've been playing for a while and know exactly what you want I do think it's a great way to get your dream guitar at a reasonable price.

Here's mine...

 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,413
Man, this thread is killing me right now. I put my order in about a month ago and I'm waiting for the parts. It will be my first partscaster build. I can't wait to get started on it. Here's how I speced it out.
  • Gloss black swamp ash soloist body (3 lbs, 3 oz!), HS pickup rout, volume, 3 way toggle, tone with push/push to split the humbucker
  • Standard thin neck, quartersawn maple, dark rosewood fretboard, 1.650 nut width, 6115 stainless frets, matte finish. Modern/vintage construction with 22 frets.
  • Hipshot Griplock tuners
  • Floyd Rose Rail Tail bridge
  • Duncan 59/Custom bridge, Dimarzio Virtual Vintage 54 Pro neck
I wanted to make something that would be super comfortable and easy to play. I mostly play humbuckers but I love the neck position of a Strat so I went with this layout. I considered HSS but I really never use the 2 and 4 positions. I think with the neck/bridge combo with the coil split on the humbucker, I should be able to get something close to the middle position of a tele.

I considered going hardtail, but the Rail Tail looked like it would almost be the best of both worlds. It's super beefy and lays flat on the body, so the tone/feel should be similar to a hardtail, but I can still use the trem if I want.

Can't wait to get this thing going! The wait is the worst part!
Nice!

My Custom Shop Strat with a Swamp Ash body has been my #1 for the past 29 years. It's lighter than most Strats but not super light. Very resonant and surprisingly more bottom end than any single coil Strat I've ever played.

Congrats on your build and enjoy!
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,413
Lubing the nut with some graphite from a lead pencil might help with returning to pitch. I do prefer the feel of the US made vibratos though.
I just got some Big Bends Nut Sauce and plan to use it but my nut was filed by my tech and the degree to which it was not returning to pitch after using the bar couldn't be explained by the nut. I could tell that the vibrato just wasn't returning to where it should.

I'm kind of picky regarding vibratos and this thing just didn't feel right, that's why I was considering the Mastery. Since I'm concerned with cost I'm thinking about either just doing the vibrato or replacing the bridge pickup with a Fralin to start and getting to the other later.

One other thing is that it has grounding issues. I'm pretty sure the pickup cavity and control cavity are also not shielded. There's major hum when I don't touch the strings. Interestingly there more hum if I'm only touching the strings near the nut and much less if I'm touching them near the bridge.

So there are a several things that need to get sorted but it's such a wonderful instrument, far beyond what I would have expected, that I'm determined to make some improvements that don't seem like a disproportionate financial investment in what is in effect a MIM Fender body.

I need guitars that rock but also give up authentic Jazz tones, not just any old guitar with the tone knob dialed all the way down. This one fits the bill and gives me a better Jazz tone than any of my solid bodies. For that reason, and the fact that it also rocks as hard as my solid bodies, I'm continually thinking about how I can resolve the few issues that it has.
 

EC Strat

Member
Messages
280
I don’t know about Warmoth. I recently ordered a neck from them (about 400$ worth) and while they’re pretty upfront about the need for a fret level/ crown, the fretwork was beyond awful. They just slapped them on the fretboard without much care. The edges were fine but damn - the guitar was unplayable the fret levels were so bad. Luthier said he was surprised by it.
 

DGAS

Member
Messages
246
Aside from getting exactly the specs I want, combined with the satisfaction and pride I get from building something myself, there are are two other tangential benefits of 'rolling your own' which are significant to me.

First, I don't feel the need to flip them. This is actually a big deal, at least for me. There's something liberating in knowing I'll get fleeced if I try to sell a partscaster. It forces me to be more patient, to work with the guitar, continue to tweak it, explore it's full potential, etc.

Second, and this is related to the first point, I'm not reluctant to modify a partscaster in any way after it's finished. Because, obviously, there's nothing 'stock' about it, and I'm not concerned about how those modifications might affect the resale value.

At this point, aside from acoustics, the only 'brand name' guitar I own that's not a partscaster of some sort is an Ibanez set neck semi-hollow. Building a guitar like that from scratch is a bit beyond my skill set.
 

poppunk

Member
Messages
828
They normally need a level and crown. I've ordered 2 necks and they both needed one due to high frets.
The one neck I got from them was pretty close but leveling it made it way better. I don't know how all these dudes are just slapping necks on without doing the finish work, I might just like as of action as I can possibly get. Even smallbutmighty said he just slaps them on there and is good with it, and the dude works there.
 

rauchman

Member
Messages
1,333
OP.....right there with ya. I've built 2 Warmoths with home finishes, and have another body on the way. I'm a nerd and tinkerer, so futzing with the specs and what not is right up my alley. Aside from a set neck / neck through factory offering, I have zero desire for a factory built bolt on neck anymore when I can tailor one exactly to my specs.

I've got some nice factory guitars (2 Gib LP's, Gib Midtown, G&L Legacy Special, Fender Strat) that barely get played anymore since building these....




 

Sean6247

Member
Messages
470
I think "assemble" is more correct than "build" for the work you are describing. I like good partscasters a lot, but I do not think "build," though a common term for sure, applies. I assembled my kid's bike. I didn't build it. When I consider what is involved in building a guitar -- shaping a neck rather than choosing a neck -- I don't think parts guitars are "built." I realize this is an obnixious distinction to some, but out of respect to those who built the whole instrument, I think it's wirth recognizing now and then. I agree that partcasters are the best way to get what you like, in a Fender-style guitar -- and not at all just because it's economical as well. The world is full of great Strats that have 7.25 radius fretboards. Why settle for that when you can spec the exact neck you want?
I understand and appreciate your position. It is much like my view on builds not being partscasters. I believe these are builds instead of just assembly. To use your example of your kid’s bike, it came as a complete package, with all the parts and perhaps even a few tools with no options, and a complete set of instructions.

When one builds a house, do they make the 2x4s themselves? Do they make the sinks, toilets, carpet, or sheetrock? No, all the components are pre-made. Much like building a parts guitar. Yes, we are not making the bodies, necks, pickups, and electronics. Much like a home builder, I modify the body and neck to suit my particular situation, my guitar build is not a complete kit with all parts included (nothing wrong with guitar kits BTW... Great option). Many here are not simply bolting a neck to a body. We are finishing both neck and body, modifying the neck and body joint to insure perfect alignment, creating a nut or modifying a pre slotted nut, rolling fretboard edges, leveling frets, making sure the parts go together just perfectly.
 

ShonRomeoBey

Member
Messages
88
I have the Fishman Fluence Open Core HSS set and they're absolutely amazing. I have Fluence Modern humbuckers in another guitar and I much prefer the HSS setup.
 

Sean6247

Member
Messages
470
I have the Fishman Fluence Open Core HSS set and they're absolutely amazing. I have Fluence Modern humbuckers in another guitar and I much prefer the HSS setup.
The open core HSS are the ones I am planning on using. I have not seen them sold as a set, did you have to purchase them separately? I have seen the sets come with pots and switches, what is included with the individual pickups?
 

ShonRomeoBey

Member
Messages
88
The open core HSS are the ones I am planning on using. I have not seen them sold as a set, did you have to purchase them separately? I have seen the sets come with pots and switches, what is included with the individual pickups?

Yep, bought everything separately. Just make sure you get SSA and SSP for the single coils. They have a different pickup called Single Width for Strat and that's what I initially bought. Realized my mistake after some troubleshooting with the schematics and eventually reaching out to Fishman. So your order will look like this:

OC Bridge --> SSA --> SSP

Each pickup came with the stacked tone pot for the splitting options and what seems to be a regular volume pot that with the Fishman logo stamped. I see no reason why any volume pot wouldn't just drop right in, though. Came with the tone cap, some wiring, and black pickup covers in addition to the stock white ones.

Wiring can be a pain if you've never dealt with the really small leads that come out of the SSA. Just hold a lighter near the end of the lead and it makes it really easy to strip off the heat shrink without cutting the wire completely.

https://www.fishman.com/wp-content/...e_Classic_Bridge_Open_Core_HSS_1xV_1xT_9V.pdf
That's the schematic I used but I am assuming you'll have a second tone pot on your strat so I would suggest digging around for some info on how to wire that, or contact Fishman directly. They were very helpful.

Very underrated pickups! The Modern and all of the signature artist derivatives get all of the love but in my opinion these are the best I've heard. And completely silent!

P.S. Don't forget about having space for the battery/rechargeable USB pad ;)
 

Sean6247

Member
Messages
470
Yep, bought everything separately. Just make sure you get SSA and SSP for the single coils. They have a different pickup called Single Width for Strat and that's what I initially bought. Realized my mistake after some troubleshooting with the schematics and eventually reaching out to Fishman. So your order will look like this:

OC Bridge --> SSA --> SSP

Each pickup came with the stacked tone pot for the splitting options and what seems to be a regular volume pot that with the Fishman logo stamped. I see no reason why any volume pot wouldn't just drop right in, though. Came with the tone cap, some wiring, and black pickup covers in addition to the stock white ones.

Wiring can be a pain if you've never dealt with the really small leads that come out of the SSA. Just hold a lighter near the end of the lead and it makes it really easy to strip off the heat shrink without cutting the wire completely.

https://www.fishman.com/wp-content/...e_Classic_Bridge_Open_Core_HSS_1xV_1xT_9V.pdf
That's the schematic I used but I am assuming you'll have a second tone pot on your strat so I would suggest digging around for some info on how to wire that, or contact Fishman directly. They were very helpful.

Very underrated pickups! The Modern and all of the signature artist derivatives get all of the love but in my opinion these are the best I've heard. And completely silent!

P.S. Don't forget about having space for the battery/rechargeable USB pad ;)
Thanks for the info. I’m getting a battery box route in the body, so that is covered. Also going only volume/tone as I don’t like the placement of the volume knob on strats.

Thanks again.
 

Coopdeville

Member
Messages
74
I’m waiting on parts for my first build too! The anticipation is killing me haha.

I still want a few guitars from the big companies for my own reasons, but I imagine most of my future acquisitions will be these builds- I love projects like this.

My long term goal is to eventually learn how to truly build a guitar on my own. It’s great that warmoth and similar vendors do the cutting and routing, but ******** the feeling of truly taking a block of wood and shaping it into a unique guitar has to be incredible. And if I could turn the hobby into a profitable business even better!
 




Trending Topics

Top