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Everything posted by curtisa

  1. Swift Lite 2

    The latter for me, but I'm only making bodies no thicker than 44mm, usually less.
  2. Types of wires and how/when to use them properly!

    Shouldn't matter. As long as everything that should be connected to ground, is connected to ground.
  3. Types of wires and how/when to use them properly!

    The shielding on Number 1 is just a different version of the same thing in Number 2. Number 1 has a woven copper braid underneath the black outer sheath which must be soldered to ground to complete the shielding connection.. Number 2 has an aluminium foil wrap. The foil cannot be soldered, but the cable will typically include a 5th conductor inside - a bare tinned wire (aka a 'drain wire') that maintains contact with the foil wrap inside the cable which is used to solder to ground to complete the shielding connection. The foil wrap cables are generally higher quality and may be favoured by some people due to the time saved in stripping and exposing the shield connection. Dealing with a woven shield usually involves 'unpicking' or 'de-braiding' the woven braid once the cable has been stripped, twisting it up and moving it off to one side before soldering. With foil wrap cables, the foil will usually tear away at the same time the cable is stripped, exposing all the conductors in one go. They both do the same thing, just a different way of achieving it. Connecting the shield at both ends of a cable to ground isn't entirely necessary inside a guitar, but if you can plan your wiring such that it does occur, it is easier to follow and looks neater.
  4. Types of wires and how/when to use them properly!

    Any reason why you think it's not suitable for use in a guitar? For nearly all situations I can think of I'd say it's probably the most suitable out of all of the wire you've shown in your picture, and pretty much identical to the types used by all the big manufacturers. Single core shielded is very common and easy to get. Unless you are winding your own four-conductor humbucking pickups, I can think of very few situations where you would use this in a guitar. Of course, there's nothing stopping you using it in place of single core shielded cable and just using 1 out of the 4 conductors, but the extra cost and physical bigger size compared to single core shielded makes it unecessary and wasteful. Unless you're building something that needs to be historically accurate, both inside and out (eg, some kind of period-accurate clone of a Les Paul), don't bother with the extra expense of this wire. There's nothing magical about it compared to any other wire of the same gauge, apart from how much faster it will make money vanish from your pockets. Are you sure you haven't switched the descriptions of Number 4 & 5? The red wire (unshielded) would work well for bridge grounds or 9V battery supplies if you use active pickups - anything that needs to hooked up that doesn't need to be shielded. The shielded/meshed wire is probably OK as a substitute for Number 1, but I'm guessing it's more expensive. It looks a bit like the 'push back' stuff that Stewmac sells, but again there's nothing special about it compared to most other stypes of single core shielded cable. I guess you could argue that some people might find it easier to use than regular single core shielded, because you don't have to separately strip back the outer and inner sections of insulation when soldering it up. Generally, to ensure low noise operation of the guitar use shielded wire wherever you can. If you can't use shielded wire for whatever reason, use another form of shielding to compensate (eg conductive paint or copper/aluminium foils). Remember that no matter what type of shielding you use, in order for it to be effective it must be connected to ground. That's about it, really. Pick your shielding method to suit the guitar you are building. If you build a twin humbucker guitar and use nothing but shielded wire, there is nothing to be gained by shielding the control cavity as well. If, however you are buiding a Strat and the pickups only come with two separate wires each, you are better off shielding the cavity with paint or foil. I personally wouldn't get too hung up on seeking a particular gauge of wire for use in a guitar. My only suggestion would be that it isn't so thin that it is mechanically weak and likely to break off inside the guitar under normal playing conditions. You only need to consider why the shielding may be required between two components. On a Strat the cable between volume pot and output jack passes through a drill hole from the control cavity to the jack cavity. The section between these two points is through unshielded wood. Electrically you need both a signal and ground wire to connect the guitar to the guitar lead, so to accomplish both requirements (two wires to the output jack, minimise noise pickup between two locations) you use shielded wire. If the connection between volume pot and jack were entirely contained within the boundary of a cavity that was fully shielded, (eg, this Yamaha RGX A2) then using two separate unshielded wires is permissible, as the extra shielding afforded by using shielded wire is unnecessary.
  5. Pariahrob's build log

    The back end of each of the thumbscrews used to be notched, so you could insert a plectrum or coin into the back of the screw to afford a bit more leverage when tuning. The tuners are stiff under string tension but not unbearably so, and I never needed to get assistance from the notches in practice. Maybe the new washer arrangement makes things a little more slippery to do away with the notched thumbwheels?
  6. SHB-2 - Tele build

    No doubt. RADs builds and his documentation of the process were what kickstarted my interest in this expensive hobby. I suspect without them I would've just made a few partscasters and be done with it.
  7. Pariahrob's build log

    Nice. Looks like Alberto has refined the design a little bit more since I bought from him last. The tuner thumbwheels are a slightly different shape and the washers between the thumbwheels and the saddle bodies look like they're aluminium instead of nylon.
  8. Tele-Pine-Partscaster project!

    Make sure it is the bridge ground that is causing the issue. Take a piece of scrap wire and strip both ends of it to expose the strands. Attach one end to the outer metal shell of your guitar lead and wrap the other end around one or more of the strings. If the buzz goes away when you plug in and touch the strings, your bridge ground is making poor contact. If the buzz remains, you'll need to look start looking elsewhere for the problem.
  9. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Many ways to skin a cat. My preference is to level after neck is shaped (any movement the neck may undergo due to removal of material required to shape the neck will have occurred by then, so levelling will be as per the final neck shape/material volume remaining). Re, pinning fretboard prioir to gluing - I do it prior to fretting. Line up the fretboard on the neck, drive a couple of skinny nails (1.25mm brads, maybe pre-drill the holes too to prevent splitting) through a fret slot at the far ends of the fretboard and into the neck but leave the heads proud a few mm, remove fretboard from neck, apply glue, re-align nails with divots created in neck and clamp. When the glue is dry, just withdraw the nails from the fretslots using some pliers. The installed frets will then cover up the minor holes left behind. I suspect I pinched the above method from RAD too (who hasn't pinched an idea from RAD around these parts? )
  10. Interesting idea. Provided you're sure that the long edge of the trem route is perpendicular to the centre line, and the two stud holes are meant to be spaced equally either side of the centre line (beware: some trems aren't designed this way), I can't see an issue with it. For a one-off job I'd probably just mark the holes and carefully drill them using a brad point bit in the press. If I was doing multiple jobs I'd make up some kind of jig with a centre line marked on it and both holes pre-drilled.
  11. Probably the least useful compared to using masking tape or the metal collars. They can easily slip up the drill without much pressure, shifting your perceived drilling depth deeper than intended if you're not careful.
  12. Swift Lite 2

    I'm liking the evolution of your design on this one, Andy. That's so pointy by your standards, it's practically a BC Rich Warlock. Where does the quadruple-locking Floyd Rose, pyrotechnic launcher and spandex attach? If oak is good enough for Brian May...
  13. Tele-Pine-Partscaster project!

    Then I reckon you'd want to use a 9/64" or 3.5mm pilot hole. 1/8" is probably going to be pretty tight, 5/32" probably won't hold the screw. Give it a go in scrap timber first to see what difference it makes.
  14. Tele-Pine-Partscaster project!

    That depends on the size screw you're using. Don't forget that driving a screw into a neck isn't proprietary function solely owned by the guitar world. It's an operation that's employed by anyone wanting to secure two pieces of wood together. If I ever need to quickly determine the correct size of a pilot hole, I'll just grab a piece of scrap timber and drill a test hole into it. If the screw falls out of the hole or offers nearly no resistance to being driven in, the pilot hole is too large. If the screw starts binding or getting so stiff that it becomes difficult to drive in by hand, the pilot hole is too small. You can usually speed up the pre-selection of your pilot hole by eyeballing the drill bit against the screw - the drill bit diameter should be just a fraction smaller than the outer diameter of the screw threads. I personally wouldn't use lubrication to help a screw into a tight hole, unless the material I was driving it into was particularly hard or the screws were particularly fragile. I would think that is the way most people would drill the neck screws. The holes are already in the body - use them as your drilling template.
  15. Sorry - we're unlikely to be able to help you here. This thread is almost 14 years old, and the photos have been lost to the mists of time. It looks like the original images were hosted on an old Phorobucket account. If that account is no longer maintained, there's nothing that can be done to retrieve the images.
  16. Jackson Guitar Wiring

    I assume the switch is just a 3-position, bridge/both/neck arrangement? You'll need to strip both red and yellow cables back. I suspect you'll end up with a braided outer conductor and an insulated centre conductor on each. The braid solders to the back of the volume pot (or tone pot if it's easier). Judging by your pic, the red is the bridge pickup and the yellow the neck. There is also what looks like two short wire stubs still attached to the left and right of the switch - remove them, but leave the bridges where they jumper between two adjacent terminals. Take the centre conductor of the red cable and solder it to where the red wire stub was removed from the switch. Take the centre conductor of the yellow cable and solder it to where the other wire stub (clear? silver?) was removed from the switch. If the switch operates back-to-front, swap the centre conductors from the red and yellow cables. I can only go by the pic you've taken, so take this advice for what it's worth.
  17. Jackson Guitar Wiring

    Looks to me like neither pickup is wired through (red and yellow wires hanging in mid-air), which would explain why nothing works when you plug in. That should be a fairly straight-forward fix with soldering only.
  18. strat wireup - 5way + 4p3t

    'Sounds brighter' is probably a misnomer on my part. What is actually hapenning is the inductance of the parallel coils lowers, which weakens the bass response of the pickup. So 'sounds brighter' -> 'has less bass' or 'sounds thinner'.
  19. Wooden Adjustable Bridge?

    I've seen custom ebony and rosewood baseplates made up, but they've always had metal saddles and adjustment screws installed.
  20. strat wireup - 5way + 4p3t

    I suspect you'll get a darker tone (less highs) with a dummy in series with the working pickup. The quick-and-dirty math of what you're proposing is the equivalent of adding an inductor (maybe ~2H) and resistor (maybe ~7Kohms) in series with a normal pickup, which should result in an attenuation of highs, and a slight reduction in overall output. Adding the dummy in parallel effectively reduces the pickup's winding resistance and inductance by half, but at the same time only one coil is actually doing the legwork. As you've found already the output will drop dramatically compared to running a humbucker (or even two singles) in parallel, and become noticeably brighter.
  21. strat wireup - 5way + 4p3t

    Assuming you're talking about series dummy coil with regular single coil, unless the dummy coil can sense the strings' movement, series connection won't increase output. The key to humbucking pickups with their hotter output is that the two coils both contribute their output of the strings' motion. The two coils signal output summate to provide (roughly) 2x the output of an equivalent single coil. If one of those coils doesn't output anything, all that is left is the output of one single coil pickup. As the dummy coil is still connected in series with the sensing single coil pickup, the resistance and inductance of the dummy coil just hangs there and slugs the total output down. You can put two engines in your car to increase horepower if you want, but unless both are getting fuel, one engine is going to be doing all the work trying to move all the extra dead weight around Parallel connection, as you've discovered, also reduces output but with a different tonal effect.
  22. strat wireup - 5way + 4p3t

    Your wiring diagram hurts my eyes Your scheme is a good example of why I hate the universal use of wiring diagrams to describe what a circuit does, and why schematics should be used more often in guitar circles than they are. A schematic diagram would assist a lot in analysing and commenting on your scheme. Historically, wiring diagrams are provided to the manual labourer on the shop floor to build the circuit who doesn't need to understand how it works; they just need to know how to put wire A in terminal B. I can make out and re-interpret (by prior knowledge) how your 5-way blade switch works, but I've got no way of verifying the contact/switching pattern of your rotary switch. That said... Adding dummy coils to existing pickups is an interesting idea, although if the dummy coil does not 'sense' the strings I'd imagine it would behave more as a filter than an enhancer. Eg, a single in series with a (non-sensing) dummy is unlikely to sound like a humbucker, but possibly more like a single with less output and a darker tone, although with careful selection of magnetic polarity and winding direction it may have similar hum-cancelling properties. Fender did a similar thing with one of their weird early-80s anniversary Strats, whose name/model escapes me at the moment. Your scheme offers a lot of options. As a studio/noodling tool I can dig that kind of schtick, but my suggestion is to make sure you're not making it complex beyond practicality. Having done the 5-way-plus-mini-toggles thing years ago, I now prefer to keep it simple, particuarly when in a performance situation where I don't want to think about how to switch from bridge to neck without performing fingertip gymnastics. Don't take this as some kind of negative. Given the extremely complicated nature of your scheme and my inability to decipher the finer details of the key switching components in the 10 minutes I've spent looking at it, I can only comment on the way it appears and your descriptions of the modes. At any rate, it sounds like a fascinating scheme and I'd be keen to hear sound clips of some of these left-of-field pickup combos you've proposed.
  23. Only on an open A? Could be a nut slot with too little back angle cut into it. What about when you fret the A string? Does the artifact persist?
  24. Travel Shredder

    The CA+masking tape trick has its place. My main gripe with it is how damn tough it can be to separate the two pieces once bonded. I'll use it if I have nothing else available at the time but when it grips, it grips with ferocity.
  25. Pariahrob's build log

    I've used the Fluence pickup set in the past, but opted for a regular 9V battery compartment as I wasn't entirely sold on fitting a proprietary lithium battery pack to the guitar - what happens when the battery finally reaches the end of its life and will not hold a charge? Will I be able to get a replacement pack? The T4M hardware is really good quality stuff; I reckon you'll be pleased when they turn up. Be aware that the single bridge sitting on its associated baseplate makes for quite a tall tailpiece assembly. I'd recommend recessing the saddles into the body of the guitar and/or being prepared to add an angle to the neck, otherwise you'll struggle to get the action low enough. There's a couple of quirks to stringing them up too, but otherwise they're one of the best headless tuners out there.