Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread--on indefinite hiatus



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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:25 am

as wonderful as it could possibly be. so good that after i got back from jamming in NJ weekend before last i immediately ordered the fitted Guild case. somewhere down the line i want to get a second Aristocrat and fit it with the Guild LB-1 pickups and a Guildsby, both of which they sell on the Guild website. i think i'll call it Mme. Defarge.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:42 am

here's the Jazzmaster after various types of tweaking, adjustment, and replacement of the plastic parts. you can see how much better the tortoise pattern shows up with the lighter parts. i did a mod on the rhythm circuit so it works with all three toggle switch positions. i'm probably going to buy the set of 1965 Jazzmaster knobs, because cool knobs. it's now at the point where i can stop monkeying around with it and start getting to know it. doesn't it look happier now?

jazzmaster before sized.jpg
before.


jazzmaster after sized.jpg
after.
Last edited by dubkitty on Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:47 am

the bride stripped bare by her batchelors even. the Double Jet has been on hold awaiting yet another small batch of necessary parts, and my hesitance about the hole i drilled for the tone switch. my wonderful girlfriend gave me a Dremel set which will be perfect for fixing the hole...i just have to measure it out meticulously.

i thought of keeping the master volume control that's wired into the harness, but i'm kind of dubious. for one thing, i almost never even use the knobs on a guitar except to turn it off before i set it down. and for another, that would mean drilling another hole in a place that's too far outside the control rout to be easily accessed and prepared. at this point i'm just waiting for the rest of the parts to arrive.

bride.jpg
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:23 am

so in the meanwhile, feeling too tired to do the filing of the nut and saddle for the Epiphone, i turned to working on my Jazz Bass. it's a MIM fretless of indeterminate age, and acquired a nasty bow in the neck because i was using super-heavy flatwounds...i think the G was .060. so i took the neck off, let the truss rod all the way out, and let it settle for a few days, then tightened it up as far as it would go to try and get things straight, and finally let the truss rod out about 1-1/2 turns, which gives some room to adjust. it's pretty straight now. i ordered LaBella "low tension" flats, which seem like a good compromise between heavier sets and the .040-.090 sets Ernie Ball sells. only 135 lb. of string tension, which really isn't a lot.

the nut was broken and cut way too low, so much so that there are little grooves in front of the nut where the strings were in contact with the fingerboard. happily, Jazz Bass nuts are quick and easy compared to guitar nuts. once i string it up i'll fine-tune the slots. yet again i have to wait for parts...as i was about to string it up i noticed that the bushing was missing from the G-string tuner and since they don't sell individual ones i had to order a new set which allegedly will be here by Saturday.

i swapped the knobs for Fender amp-style knobs. they're far easier to read, and i felt like the bass needed some 1970s ghetto bling. when everything's together it will have the bridge cover and the cover that goes over the neck-ier pickup. i originally put them on trying to recreate the sense memory of the fretless JB i learned on in the City College of SF Jazz Improvisation Workshop, and then discovered that they serve as useful shielding from RF interference with the pickups.

i'm trying to figure out how to make a stand-up extension like the old Gibson EB-2 which had what i always called a "pool cue-stick," a dowel about 12"-16" long that screwed into a thread-tapped strap button. i love to play electric bass vertically, especially fretless...i sometimes use a milk crate. the fingering, sustain, and decay are totally different.

jazz bass in process.jpg
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Dandolin » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:27 pm

ain't the same thing as flats at all - but i rescued a cheapie fretless (Cort Curbow) with tapewounds on it and it made me a believer. Might be a thing to try if the LaBellas are still a bit much for the neck - they a re super low tension, but don't feel as floppy as the lowest gauge standard flatwounds, probs because of the nylon. Tone wise, they are a bit brighter in the high mids/low highs (wat, lol?) area but the nylon kills the really high extension off, so not twangy at all, and the feel is tremendous for fretless.... Also, maybe even moreso than flats, they last a looooong time.

Glad to see there appear to be no stealth projects necessary on your Guild - how's the honeymoon? :snax:
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:57 pm

i haven't been spending as much time with the Guild as i would like...as part of the general guitar renovation i've been going over the other guitars and optimizing them: adjusting the truss rods and action mostly now that the Jazzmaster seems largely sorted. i just lowered the action and backed down the pickups on the Epiphone SG, and it's even better than it was before which is pretty damn great. the neck is as straight as i've ever seen, and it was built in 2004. i've never even taken off the truss rod cover. good Epiphones can be great instruments...for example, i've never played a bad Epi gold-top Les Paul with the P-90s in. if i had to pick one cheap guitar to gig with, that would be it. i'd consider one, but with the Tokai LP Special and the Aristocrat i'm pretty well set for P-90 tones.

with the vintage domed thumbwheels for the ABR-1 the Vibrola works just about as well as 60s versions which is the main drawback to modern Epis/Gibsons with Vibrolas or Bigsbys. the bridge actually rocks slightly on the thumbwheels. i also straightened the neck and adjusted the pickups on the Strat for more sweetness and less bark. at least i have the pickup height set for most of the kids...i really don't want to spend a day on each instrument. despite the slightly iffy intonation, this is why i love the Gretsch "rocking bar bridge"...no intonation adjustments at all.
Last edited by dubkitty on Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:09 pm

but then, if i hadn't let most of this stuff hang for five years i wouldn't have such a workload. well, at least it keeps me off social media.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:10 pm

i started on the Double Jet again on the premise that all the parts had arrived. the first order of business was to finish the hole in the top for the tone switch. as i had feared, the hole migrated to the outside as i tried to ream it out by hand:

jet drilling 1.jpg


i had a go with one of the grinding bits on the Dremel and got it close, but not quite right. followed that up with the 1/2" drill bit and it's ugly, but effective:

jet drilling 2.jpg


see here that the washers are aligned with the general N/S orientation of the guitar:

jet drilling 3.jpg


remember, kids, washers cover a multitude of sins.

having gotten that sorted, of course there was more...
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:03 pm

projects are currently on hiatus. i discovered that i ordered the wrong wiring harness for the Gretsch and can't afford the postage to send it back till the 15th. i got through the 6-string acoustics. it's really hard to get used to the Epiphone being easy to play...the feel is the same, but i don't have to push as much. i found a PERFECT replacement bridge for the Egmond, a Grover flat-top mandolin bridge which is almost precisely the same size/shape/profile as the cheap plastic bridge that came with the guitar. i'll do pictures when i feel up to it. next goals are to get the rest of the parts for my ES-335 and send them to the luthier in NJ who's doing the work, and replacing the trem on the Jazzmaster as well as swapping the .022 cap on the rhythm circuit for a .01 cap as used on the Jaguar rhythm circuit. the Gretsch will probably get restarted near or after the year's end depending on parts availability and when i feel up to it. there really isn't much else that needs doing on the complete guitars. i hope to get a correct neck for the Hopf, and have a list of stuff to do to the Kondor. more on that later. it's better for me to rest...i got so fried between working during the day and working on guitars in all my spare time that i had two mini-nervous breakdowns during November. i have to learn that i'm not the scrawny little Iron Man i was in my 20s and 30s any more. seriously, guys, the best thing you can possibly do for yourselves is die before you're 50.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread--on indefinite hiatus

Postby dubkitty » Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:15 pm

to be clear, i'm out of the projects business for the foreseeable future. once the Gretsch is done, i have to re-orient my relationship with the guitar from a series of technical questions to something which brings me joy, thanks to folks for their interest.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread--on indefinite hiatus

Postby Achtane » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:10 am

Aw :(
I've enjoyed reading the guitar blog even though I'm shit at feedback.
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