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



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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Achtane » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:50 am

That's rad. All guitars need that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Louy7zH9guw
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:25 pm

i know, right?
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:05 pm

parts and things are coming in. today i changed the knobs on my Tokai Les Paul Special from the stock black speed knobs to period-correct black bell knobs. it's a little thing, but the speed knobs just looked WRONG. most of the parts for the Epiphone have arrived, but i'm still waiting on the tuners before i start. i need to get a shaping file to profile the nut and saddle. i'm going to emulate the nut on the Eastman, on which the slots for the wound strings are shallow--the strings only have about half of their diameter touching the slot, and the tuning is way easier than a typical new guitar. well, it's not new now because i bought it in 2012, but it was when i bought it.

i'm going to start a different thread about tone switch circuits, with which i've become mldly obsessed. i really like them because they're easy to use compared to a tone knob, but all the examples i can find have different component values.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:13 pm

well, another passenger has signed on to my Ship Of Fools. this is a late-00s Gretsch Electromatic Double Jet. the previous owner installed TV Jones FilterTrons, but he did a lousy job of it; you can see that both pickups are at an angle to the proper position, and he cut into the mounting ring for the neck PU which should not be necessary. i'll have to wait for it to arrive to know how much i'll need to do. if i have to take them out and do a total remount it'll be fine, cos TVJ has parts specially designed for mounting Filters in a Pro Jet which was a popular mod for the 2000s PJs with those weird little Gretsch mini-humbuckers (as the perpetual Odd Man Out, i put Dynasonics in mine). it also needs to have a hole drilled/filled where the bottom strap button ripped clean out of the guitar (the mahogany or equivalent on these guys is quite soft and thus prone to screws ripping out). i'll probably add a Gretsch tone switch, possibly with rejiggered capacitor values to make it more useful. the classic Gretsch "rocking bar" bridge drops right on to the Tunomatic studs. i've played these guitars with the B5 Bigsby on before and it works fine, but aesthetically it just screams WRONG; i have an ancient B3 which i'll install, and find a cosmetically pleasing way to fill the B5 holes. oh, and a pickguard. $345 plus shipping, and the TVJ pickups are4 like $100 each. a pro-line Double Jet with TVs would run you a cool $1200-1400.

double jet.jpg
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Dandolin » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:39 pm

hawt nonetheless :)*
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:50 pm

yeah, i figure some filler, then drop-fill the holes with black paint and sand/polish it so's it's all nice.

meanwhile, the rest of the parts for the Epiphone come in today, so that will be starting sooner than later. i already took out the old tuners/nut/saddle.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:09 am

a small job while i get ready for bigger stuff. i have a terrible time telling the tuner knobs apart when i'm playing 12-string, which makes it hella difficult to stay in tune. i decided that it would be a good idea to change every other tuner knob from the chrome mini Grover knobs to wooden knobs. it works a treat. the wooden knobs are a bit shorter along the shaft axis than the originals, which looked a bit funny. i contemplated the situation for a bit, and realized i have a piece of plastic tubing about 9" long; i cut little rings about 1.5-2mm deep and used them as spacers, and it came out quite well. i highly recommend this for 12-strings.

alvarez 1.jpg
the rings


the finished product. note how the clear plastic picks up the color of the ebony knobs.

alvarez 2.jpg
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Dandolin » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:25 am

smart :)*
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:14 am

improvise. adapt. overcome.

seriously, it makes tuning 200% easier. i can tell the difference in texture and temperature just by feel now.

so she goes back in the case for now. when i get a new set of strings i'll rework the nut a little bit and polish out the rather rough surfaces of the bridge.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:41 pm

Thursday update:

i took the tremolo out of the Strat to evaluate the situation. the good news is that i can't seem to find the crack i believed to be between some of the screw holes; there is an irregular line in the finish between the holes for the top 3 strings, but it's not an open split so i think it will be OK to leave it and move on to doweling the old screw holes. the bad news is that the bridge mounts with self-tapping wood screws, so i'll have to drill the old holes all the way through the body to dowel them effectively. this means that it'll have to wait till i can borrow the drill from my gf before i can move forward. so while i wait i'm going to replace the pots in the Special Jet.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:53 pm

finished replacing the pots in the Special Jet. the 1K pots definitely opened up the sound of the pickups...they're noticeably louder, and the tone pot never goes all the way to thumpy even though i didn't bother to change the stock .047 cap. subjectively, i think the pickups sound better, and the frequency response is broader and a bit more "hi-fi" without losing that Dyna-esque slap that makes them so versatile. i like to think of them as God's P-90s. if you have hot single-coils--say, in a Telecaster or Jazzmaster--this could be a way towards the tone you're looking for. i used 1K pots on the Pro Jet with Dynasonics, but since i put in the pickups at the same time as rewiring i never had a control for comparison. so just do it. you'll be glad you did.

the Double Jet arrived today. it's actually in better shape than the listing led me to believe. not only did the previous owner install the pickups crooked, he somehow managed to get the neck pickup wedged in the rout effectively enough that i had to take out the mounting screws entirely in order to adjust the pickup height. when i first played it i was less than thrilled with the pickups, but when i adjusted them to be closer to the strings i started getting that patented FilterTron thwack/plunk that makes them so appealing. once i get everything else done they'll be great. changing from the current ABR-1/Bigsby B5 will make it sound Gretsch-ier, if you will...the bar bridge makes the strings a tad plonk-ier, and switching to the B3 will lessen the string tension significantly for additional twang. now it's going to go sit in the queue until it's Woodworking Time, which might be next week. but this one needs to wait for parts i've yet to order. i'm going to do the lazy man's option and just order a wiring harness from TV Jones, saving myself the hassle of figuring out how to convert from a simple pickup switch->volume knob->tone knob to a pickup switch->tone switch->individual volumes for each pickup setup. this will also require a bit of cosmetic work to eliminate the mounting holes from the B5, so this will be an adventure. but i know that however badly i fuck it up, it'll still be better than Tobin Guitar Works.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby Dandolin » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:36 pm

yeah, I friggin' love Dynasonics :yay: Very cool to hear your impressions on the 1 meg pots. I have a few guitars that have pickups in 'em that somehow don't meet my expectations, whether they lack a little sparkle or they're muddy middy, and I scheme about pickup swaps, but I can't afford to replace all of 'em, and some are high;y thought of. I think mobing up to 500k from 250 or 1meg from 500k just might be in order.... :snax:
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:37 pm

i'm not sure if it would have the same effect on dual-coil pickups, but for warm-to-hot single coils it's the nads. if i had a guitar with PAFs that i was going to rewire i'd try it, but i'm not going to fuck around with it just for giggles. when i get the Squier Jazzmaster, though, 1M pots will be the first thing i do after changing the strings.

so i got my own cordless drill so i don't have to work around my gf's projects, which is good because she's currently working on a enormous house for her dogs to play in and is drilling and sawing all day long. i'm pleased that i will be able to move forward on the projects which need drilling/filling, because some of them are like drill out 6 holes that need to be plugged->dowel the holes->redrill the holes. i should be able to get the Strat and the Gretsch with Dynas sorted in the next 2 or 3 days.
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:39 pm

today's update: last night i spent a couple of hours sanding and polishing the bridge on the Alvarez. i think it came out really well, but i can't transfer the photos to the computer for sizing cos i left the cable at home. i'll take care of them tomorrow. i also ordered all the parts for the Double Jet except the pickguard, which ran over my available credit. that's OK, though, because it's a cosmetic concern rather than a functional one. tonight i'm going to go home and drill/fill holes on the Strat, Pro Jet, and Double Jet, the first two of which are fairly simple operations. i couldn't get a tone-switch harness made to order from TV Jones, so i bought one of his premade harnesses intended for a hollowbody which i'll adapt by shortening some of the cable runs and snipping off the Master Volume pot. it's been an absolute butt-pain trying to find the pickguard...all of the usual Gretsch specialist suspects are sold out, but i managed to find and bookmark one. i would use the Electromatic guard which is only ~$20, but the pickup cutouts are wrong. i intend to have the Pro Jet and Strat done by weekend's end; the Double Jet parts probably won't be here till next week. i'm going to have to get another set of tuners for the Epiphone because the stock Electromatic tuners from that period are crap and i moved the Epiphone replacement set over to the Double Jet project (many Gretsches, vintage and modern, use Grover Sta-Tites).
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Re: Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:07 pm

on reflection i decided to say "fuck it" and order the Electromatic Jet pickguard. it was only $15 while a "real" Duo Jet guard, which is made of thick back-painted plexiglas, list at $60. i have a problem with paying that much for a fucking pickguard.

i also like keeping the Electromatic identity...a number of people on the Gretchs Pages tried to cover up their Electros' origin by changing pickguards and using overlays to blank out the "ELECTROMATIC" on the headstock which i think is rather pathetic in a similar way to replacing an Epi Firebird's truss rod cover with a Gibson one. i LIKE taking inexpensive guitars and giving them new life...i'm actually proud of it. and the Electro guards are MOTS, and i loves me some MOTS.
Last edited by dubkitty on Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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