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curtisa

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Everything posted by curtisa

  1. I think this ^^ deserves special mention (emphasis mine). You're a brave man.
  2. curtisa

    Mid position much louder

    You're still summing the output signals of both pickups despite them being in parallel, so I'd still expect some jump in volume with both combined. Parallel vs series is still a summation of two pickup signals but it's not a perfect 1+1=2 summation in either case. Series connection for the most part 'stacks' the two pickup signals on top of each other giving a big jump in volume. Parallel connection is more like going from one chorister to two choristers standing up side by side singing the same part. It may get louder, but not by as much. The phase relationship between the two pickups, the relative outputs of each, their distance apart from each other and the proximity to the strings will also have an impact on how perfectly they summate, which can lead to the discrepancy between what you expected and what you're getting from your setup.
  3. curtisa

    Trouble signing up

    On second thoughts, logins and passwords are probably the domain of the admin team. I've just sent you a PM to discuss things further away from the public forums.
  4. curtisa

    Trouble signing up

    Drop one of the mods or myself a PM and we'll see if we can't sort you out.
  5. curtisa

    Ibanez headstock shape ?

    Go single conductor unless you need shielded due to susceptibility to hum (long wire runs between different cavities, or from single coil pickups would be the only real ones to worry about). If your control cavity is screened/shielded and your wires are only being run within that cavity, just use single conductor - the addition of screened wiring inside the cavity serves no real purpose other than to make the wiring more difficult to execute cleanly. Stranded wire is better for longevity in situations where vibration is a problem due to the inability of solid core wire to flex repeatedly without breaking, but unless you're in the habit of diving into the moshpit every 15 minutes at a gig while playing the guitar you're unlikely to encounter issues with solid vs stranded wiring.
  6. curtisa

    Ibanez headstock shape ?

    Coil split on a push/pull plus 3-way toggle is pretty common. If you're installing two pots (say 1x vol and 1x tone) you can even have each pot split each humbucker independently to give you any combination of humbucker and split across either pickup. A short shaft pot should work in anything with a wall thickness of 4mm or less, so plan your control cavity depths accordingly. Short shaft is really a 'standard' pot which are normally designed to mount in thin steel or aluminium. It's us guitarists who are the weirdos who have a need for the long shaft varieties, and even then it's only a requirement where design necessitates a particularly thick mounting surface (an LP for example). You'll only really come across a few varieties of pot shaft styles - 1/4" diameter solid shaft (with or without a flattened section, sometimes called a D profile) or 6mm splined. The solid shaft versions are designed for knobs which have a perpendicular grub screw installed or a integral collet which clamps onto the shaft a bit like a router bit. The splined shafts are designed for knobs with matching knurls machined into the body which simply push-fit onto the shaft of the pot (think Strat-style knobs). Splined shafts can be either 18-tooth or 24-tooth, and they are not interchangeable. If you're making custom knobs up then it's up to you to decide what method to use to attach them to a shaft. My gut instinct is that you'll want to make up something that will work with pots fitted with 1/4" solid shafts, as it will be far easier to come up with something that will work with them rather than try to make something that will match an 18T or 24T spline shaft from scratch.
  7. You need to attain a minimum post count before you can 'unlock' certain areas and functions within the forums. The post threshold to be able to vote in polls is >10, whereby you're automagically elevated from 'New Member' to 'Member'. Historically this has been done due to issues we've experienced with people rigging votes in polls by having their friends sign up to the forum just to vote for their entry and skew the results unfairly.
  8. curtisa

    First Build - Silent Guitar

    The position of the bridge will be governed by the fret spacing on your borrowed fret board, nominally 2x the distance of the nut to the 12th fret plus a bit. The 'bit' extra is your intonation allowance on the saddles, which will typically push the bridge back further than 2x nut-12th fret, so perhaps this is the longer distance you've noted on the bridge when it was installed on the original guitar? The question of where exactly to position the bridge relative to the theoretical scale length comes up moderately frequently. You can look up some calculators that present some typical values of the the extra 'bit' in the measurements provided you're using certain hardware which takes the thinking component out of the decision (the StewMac fret placement calc comes to mind) . Or do some educated guesstimation to get you in the ballpark that works pretty much every time for any bridge - some discussion on the topic can be found here:
  9. I can manually elevate your profile to the Patreon group, but I'm not sure if it's meant to be automagically performed once you start donating to the ProjectGuitar Patreon page, for which I don't have access to confirm (and would likely start breaking stuff if I tried) @Prostheta would be wizard at the gates of the server room who would possess the knowledge you seek.
  10. curtisa

    Not Quite A Tele...

    It's amazing how much Lord of the Rings mirrors real life So @ScottR, when are you going to wrest back control of this thread of yours?
  11. curtisa

    Not Quite A Tele...

    Steal away, by all means. It beats the other analogy I was piecing together in my head, where the wire from the pickup is the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, the signal from the pickup is The Balrog, and the capacitor is Gandalf. An' Gandalf does this thing wiv' his staff and smashes it onto the bridge and yells out 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!'. An' the Balrog, he's all like 'Steady on, guv'. I was just goin' to get a little bit past ya to go an' get a Cornetto from the shops'. An' Gandalf is all like, 'well, if you;re gonna get a Cornetto, can I give you a coupla quid and you go an get me a Snickers bar while you're at it?'. An' the Balrog is all, 'Yeah, mate. I can go jus' this once for ya'. ...but then it all got a bit too complicated...
  12. curtisa

    Not Quite A Tele...

    The cap is still allowing highs to bleed to ground, whether the variable resistance of the tone pot is before it or after it, so it is nominally still a low pass filter (or high cut, whichever you prefer) whichever way it is wired up. The variable resistance that is the tone pot just makes it harder or easier for those highs to be swallowed up by ground. The bathtub can have a 0.5 inch diameter plug hole or a foot in diameter - either way the water is going down the drain. The only difference is how quickly it disappears. You're thinking of the situation where the cap is inserted fully in series with the audio signal and the resistor is connected across the audio signal and ground. In all the tone controls mentioned above, whether they're vintage 50s/modern/left handed/superthunderpatrolmeister etc, the cap is always connected across the audio signal and ground, making it a low pass filter. The only difference between the above diagram and 'modern' wiring is where the top of the cap on the volume pot is connected to. Cap to middle lug of the volume pot is the 50s scheme (as per above). Cap to left lug is the modern scheme. In the former case you're 'toning' the output of the volume control. In the latter you're 'toning' the pickup before 'voluming'. The Seymour Duncan article that @mistermikev linked to earlier may confuse things somewhat by also switching the lug terminations on the tone pot as well in the two diagrams presented. This difference between the two schemes is a red herring, as exchanging the case (ground) and cap terminations on the tone pot makes no difference either electrically or sonically:
  13. curtisa

    would love your honest first impression...

    My 2 cents, if you're still after opinions: I'm with Scott regarding the truss rod adjuster 'window' in the end of the fretboard. Looks a little unusual with the scroll-like fretboard end just behind it. Do you put a fret either side of it and leave a void underneath the playing area at the last fret, or do you leave an overly-large gap at the end of the last fret before the adjuster window and fretboard end? For all I know it may work, but it just looks a little odd. I dig the 3-a-side tuner arrangement, but the oversized truss rod cover (which I assume is a dummy one given that you're adjusting the truss rod at the heel) on an undersized headstock visually clashes slightly. What might be cool is if the blue flame maple cover is increased in size to encompass the entire headstock and is actually inlaid into the headstock face, with the darker wood creating a faux-binding effect. What about a 4x2 tuner headstock, which may ease the spacing a little on the treble and bass sides? At the moment the treble tuners are packed in pretty tight, whereas the bass tuners are quite gappy. F-holes aren't really my cup o' tea, but FWIW I reckon the oversized one could be shrunk a bit. Maybe 75 - 80% its original size? 4 singles - interesting choice. My gut instinct is to space them in pairs; push the two inner singles further apart leaving a wider gap in the middle. Gold trem with a silver jack socket is a cardinal sin What happens if you ditch the traditional front-mounted oval Strat jack socket and install an edge mounted one? With four pickups, an F-hole and a curvy fretboard end it looks pretty busy, and might benefit from a little 'de-cluttering'? ...but that's just me.
  14. curtisa

    First Three or Four Builds

    A Tele is a good place to start. If it weren't for the inclusion of the trem, a Strat shouldn't be too great a leap for a first time builder (hint: both guitars were originally designed with mass production in mind). Start slow and work your way up. A lot of people jump in with high hopes and either run out of steam partway through or set themselves an extremely ambitious endgoal and are disappointed when the finished product falls short of their self-imposed standard. That said, embrace the fact that this will be your first scratch-built guitar. It may not turn out perfectly, but it does give you the opportunity to learn about new construction techniques, tooling and skills. Anything you do pick up while building number 1 adds to your knowledge of how to improve yourself for number 2. If it plays and sounds good, then call it a win. For a first build I'd leave stainless steel frets off the list. My first fully scratch-built guitar had SS frets, and for someone with decent hands-on skills but with insufficient equipment to execute the job properly it was an absolute nightmare. I got them in, but they looked pretty ugly and years later I ended up stripping them out and replacing them properly with regular nickel silver. Probably mainly due to the aesthetics of the final product. I imagine racing stripes visible up and down the fretboard may not be everyone's cup of tea, especially when those stripes are subdivided into 24 descrete 'windows' as each fret crosses them at right angles. Add fret markers and it starts to look quite busy. You could laminate with less contrasting timbers, or even with the same timbers, but then you could argue that you may as well laminate with the neck in the 'traditional' way and put a slab-style fretboard on and be done with it. There may be other practical issues to consider, such as what woods you can get away with that will double-duty as a combined fretboard and neck. Maple obviously works as Fender has proven, but you couldn't get away with, say a mahogany laminated-through neck as it would have insufficient rigidity to hold the fret tangs and resist wear. Conversely, a neck with a high proportion of laminated-through harder woods like bubinga, rosewood, ebony etc might be quite top-heavy and give you an instrument that has a propensity to dive towards the floor. Getting the trussrod in might be tricky too, although not impossible. You'd need to decide how you'd install it fairly early on - do you build up the neck laminations as you would normally, route the channel for the rod from the fretboard side of the neck and then back-fill the channel with a lamination to match the piece that was routed out? Or route out from the back and hide the channel with a skunk stripe? Or build up the neck laminations as two halves with the channel pre-built into each half (either side-to-side or top-to-bottom), and then seal the rod in place when the two neck halves are brought together? Don't forget the access point for the truss rod adjuster wrench/nut. You'd either need to drill through from the pickup end or headstock end as Fender do, or pre-build the access point into the laminations before bringing the pieces together like the two halves of an Airfix kit plane fuselage. I think @Prostheta uses it quite regularly. MDF is cheap and works well, and it isn't a total disaster if you have a slip up with the router and take a chunk out of it. I use clear perspex which can be had cheaply as offcuts from the waste recovery centre or from glaziers. Also has the advantage of being able to see through the template to see whats going on underneath and help with aligning things up, but can be challenging to machine and shape. Only if you believe it is. Pickups are probably the easiest way to affect a significant tonal change on a finished instrument and also relatively easy to swap out if you don't like them. Just be aware that if you go for active you'll need to allow space for the battery, and if you have any intentions of swapping them out later on for a passive set, you'll end up with a redundant compartment where a 9V battery used to be (or looking at it another way, an opportunity to experiment with onboard preamps?). Largely a question of aesthetics again, although a less-pronounced one as it only affects the back of the instrument where no-one can see it unless it's lying face-down, in which case it doesn't make an awful lot of noise as a guitar If the offset join bothers you., could you laminate two 10.5" pieces together to make one 21" wide slab and cut it down to size (wasteful, but at least keeps the join in the middle)? How about dying/painting the back and sides black to hide the offset glue line? Laminate a piece of veneer to the back and black-burst the edges to hide the offset join? Rip a 10'5" piece down to 4" + 6.5" and laminate up a three-piece body 4" + 6.5" + 4" to keep it all symmetrical?
  15. curtisa

    forstner bits... odd sizes needed

    CMT make good quality forstner style bits sold as one-off sizes. Availability might be sketchy for you in the States though? In all honesty, I've only ever needed one moderately-exact size forstner bit when drilling - the bit used to counterbore those donut-shaped neck ferrules into the back of the heel. And in reality a millimetre or so of slop in the final counterbore doesn't make a huge difference. Everything else I've used has always just been for hogging out excess wood prior to finishing off with the router where size doesn't matter.
  16. curtisa

    Change Telecaster style guitar to top

    Just about any 2-pickup, 3-way toggle wiring diagram on Google wil get you there. All you're doing is replacing the switch.
  17. curtisa

    Looking for help with a Neck and Pickups

    Can't help you on the neck, but Irongear pickups used to do an active EMG81 knockoff called the Volt Active. It doesn't look like they make them any more, but the product page is still active if you Google it. Maybe they have some runout inventory still available? GuitarFetish seem to be a respected budget outlet and have their Red Active series in their pickup range which look to be EMG clones. I'd be suprised if used EMGs didn't turn up on Ebay all the time. They tend to be a polarising pickup choice, so chances are they have a high turnover on the second hand market. Don't forget that being active pickups you need to find room in the control cavity for a 9V battery, plus you may need to replace your output jack with a stereo socket to allow switching of the battery supply when the guitar is unplugged..
  18. Sorry to see you go. For the record, I'm not advocating one way or the other regarding the importance of the wood used in electric guitar construction being a key contributor to the amplified sound. I've yet to see convincing arguments and experiments from either side of the fence.
  19. There are several issues I have with his test. Not that it proves one way or another that the material used does or doesn't make a difference, just that using these kinds of experiments (albiet, a slightly brutal one in this instance) doesn't really add anything more to the argument: Darrell didn't give us the opportunity to hear how the sustain changed as he removed parts of the body; he just illustrates that the clips look the same length. I suppose you could take his sped-up sections of his video (1:28 - 4:36) and slowed them down again to compare if the sustain did change, but the video clips between each pass are all cut short anyway so there's no way to tell how much longer or shorter the sustain is from take to take. It's not helped by the fact that each of the takes are sped up by different amounts after each cut is made to the instrument. Did he retune his guitar to the same pitch after making each cut? It actually seems from the video presented that whole body vs 30% body does make a difference to the sound. It isn't exactly night and day, and could also be down to differences in his picking technique between takes (another key reason why tonewood comparisons are often pointless), but the bottom end does seem to thin out a bit. This is further backed up by the spectrum analyser he has running in the lower-left corner of the screen (8:42 - 8:52 and 9:16 - 9:25 respectively), which seems to show a reduction in low end content around the 100Hz area. There appear to be audible differences when he flips between full body/30% body clips at 9:30 - 9:50, but again the human element in the playing doesn't help prove one way or the other that the change in body mass and size alone is the difference that can be heard and/or measured. Darrell's experiment is about mass and size of the body, not what the body is made from. The material didn't change during his tests, just the amount of it. And perhaps more importantly, the material and the amount of it between the bridge and the neck stayed the same throughout. My gut feel is that this is where the critical differences in solid body electric guitars will exist, if there are in fact differences to be detected.
  20. The Pacifica neck uses an aluminium extension tongue that slots into a cavity underneath the neck pickup. It was actually a pretty neat solution to eliminating the heel as much as possible, giving almost the same degree of accessibility as a neck-through arrangement with the convenience of bolt-on construction. I'm not sure why it didn't catch on more. I don't recall there being issues reported with stability or weakness at the neck joint. The Pac721 I used to have many years back had the same neck joint and was a fantastic instrument. A guitar that, on reflection, I sorely regret selling in order to fund the purchase of another guitar that was twice the price and half as good.
  21. Kinda reminds me of the Yamaha Pacifica neck joint on the early-90s models: ...only more 'Andy-ised'. So, does the 'R' in your screen name stand for 'Rescuer...' ...of basses?
  22. It's entirely possible that Mr Angove came to a similar conclusion; that the method of securing the strings was the key to the perceived differences in sounds between guitars. Eg, string-through body vs top loading, saddle construction, bridge material, floating trem vs hardtail etc. But the true meaning of his conclusion that 'wood doesn't matter' has been lost due to the unavailability of his research paper to the general public (if indeed it ever did actually exist).
  23. The pages you link to all point to the same study by Matthew Angove at Latrobe University from about 6 years ago. The problem I have with that reference is that it's impossible to find anything more about his work other than the announcement that he did a couple of months research and came to a conclusion. I've searched before and never been able to locate his research paper, so there's no way of being able to study his methods and measurements to find out how and why he came to his conclusion that material and body shape make no difference. That said, I'm personally of the belief that the whole tonewood-in-electric-guitars is a pointless debate. I suspect the material the guitar is made from does make some difference, but in the case of the electric guitar there are other things that make the differences directly related to the materials alone disappear into insignificance. The build quality of the instrument, the pickups, whatever effects you run through, the amp, the speaker and the volume you're playing at would easily swamp any differences in a basswood vs swamp ash body. The videos in the first link are kinda neat but they don't really prove that material does or does not make a difference to the tone, other than whatever material the guitar is made from the end result still sounds like an electric guitar. I'd rather just play the damn thing and enjoy the experience of making music on one of the most influential instruments of the last 100 years, than try and find reasons to like or dislike a rosewood fretboard vs a maple one.
  24. curtisa

    Not Quite A Tele...

    The zebrano in the sunset lighting almost looks too laid back for you, Scott. I trust you'll treat it to some jaw-dropping stain and buffing that we're used to from you around these parts?
  25. I had assumed it was a beauty spot Fill it with abalone and call it custom inlay. Take that, you philistines!
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