Entry for September 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!
Good afternoon musicians, luthiers, hobbyists and guitar fanatics (hopefully that should cover everyone who visits this site) This is my first visit to Project Guitar and I come to you with a problem. I am in the process building a monster, however unlike Victor Frankenstein's one, mine is definitely not alive.. Some time ago, when I first started playing electric guitar, my mother bought me a Karina Strat copy (chinese thing) that served me well until I upgraded to a Fender Strat. Naturally, I didnt want to dispose of my first electric guitar as it had sentimental value, however it had signficant short comings in comparison to the Fender. So, what did I do, I committed to turning this this guitar into a machine that you couldnt simply replace. Crazy some might say, I might tend to agree now. I threw away everything but the body, sanded the body back to the wood and stained it with a dark ebony look stain. I bought a Mexican fender locking nut neck, a floyd rose bridge, neck and bridge center tapped (4-conductor) Dimarzio humbuckers, a Skye Tweed Tone single coil for the centre position and had a custom made aluminium scratchplate made to accomodate the not-so-typical strat arrangement produced. I have also installed two switches such that you can choose between bumbucker or single coil arrangement for N and B positions, such that you can still achieve that single coil strat sound.. (image attached). I have wired it up using the typical strat wiring layout which I have found in books and on the net, however, when i plug it in to the amp I get horrendous feedback unless you touch the strings or metal work, only the center single coil will produce any sound, and the volume pot does not affect the sound. I have confirmed the right capacitance on the first tone pot, and bought a fairly well renowned cap for this purpose. Volume =500k, 1st tone =250k, 2nd = 500k. I have removed the humbucker switches from the circuit, so they arent the issue. I have installed bonding wires between the metal work and the 'earth' for the coils. Im running out of guesses as to how to get this going. I have been told that aluminium ( or metal scratch plates) are generally better as they work as a big shield for interference, however this seems to cause more noise than anything. I dont understand how I can be getting sound out og my amp without the volume control working. Im an electrical engineer, so have a basic understanding of RLC circuits etc, maybe im getting some crazy filtering going on, but given im using typical sizes for pots and caps, I dont think this should be an issue. Any assistance, ideas, or even inspirational messages would be of great benefit, as I am at the stage where this would make a great garden ornament, it simply doesn't function as a guitar. Best Regards Andrew