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What Wood Should My Next Guitar Be?


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ok so my guitar project is drawing to an end... And I already am planning to make another :D I want it to have 4 single coils (2 next to each other so It looks like a humbucker) and than thell be wired up so I hit a switch and it goes beteween single coil and humbucker. I have enough cocoblo and ebony left over from my last project to make the neck so all I need to buy is the body wood. So what do you think I should make it out of? I would like it to be one peice and I dont really want to do a top. Mabye something like a 1 peice figured walnut? I am not buying a neck so I can go up a little bit more on the price of teh wood.

Any sugestions would be appreciated!

Edited by Godin SD
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I wouldn't bother with the four single coils. Humbuckers are just 2 single coils wired in tandem anyway and you can rig them for coil splitting easy enough with a DPDT mini-toggle. Also, less wires and mounting issues to mess with. As far as wood goes, mahogany is always nice to work with. I don't know if you can find a slab big enough for a 1 piece body but have a look around.

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I wouldn't bother with the four single coils.  Humbuckers are just 2 single coils wired in tandem anyway and you can rig them for coil splitting easy enough with a DPDT mini-toggle.  Also, less wires and mounting issues to mess with.  As far as wood goes, mahogany is always nice to work with.  I don't know if you can find a slab big enough for a 1 piece body but have a look around.

I dont really want to do mahogany as the one I am doing now (almost fnished yessss) is a 1 peice mahognay. And I personally dont think that a split humbucker sounds as good as a single coil thats ment to be a single coil. BUt because the single coils are wound hotter than each side of a humbucker when wired in series a single coil sounds great! So I think I'll go on with my madness :D Thanks for your input though.

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  • 1 month later...

I think you should use Paduak. Not many people use it but it really is a great wood, really beautifull and feals fantastic!

It starts of a redish colour which eventually oxydises to a deep, dark brown.

It has similar sound properties to maple with an open grain similar to rosewood.

It's what I'm useing for my next project!

:D

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The 4 single coil sound would be interesting indeed.. Rio Grande sells the twangbucker for this purpose.. it's a humbucker, but spec wise it's actually 2 single coils for as you said.. a split hum is not a single coils sound.. too low an output.

I would go with something light in color.. the cocobolo is striking in grain and in color variance, the ebony is obviously dark.. what about a top in the golden/yellow color area. Gallery Hardwoods had some neat lighter colorerd woods on their site. Not all were full body thickness though.

Sometimes you can find the soft variety of maple in full body thickness.. The soft maple isn't as hard and is tonally more akin to alder.. not to be confused with the hard rock maple.. that would be a back breaker in a full body. Soft is also cheaper and you might find a guitar billet fully flamed for not too much $$$

Here is some 6/4 flamed myrtle.. Interesting vertical markings could compliment the cocobolo.. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...item=8177822285

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So, it's gonna have a bolt-on neck? Well, maybe you might want to spend a little time playing with lamination or making cheap wood look cool. My favorite is figured walnut, as you said, with maple strips (3/4") about 2 to 4" in from the outside. The center is going to be completely taken up with your pickup choice (very cool) but remember how much you weaken the body when you carve out the center-line. Good figured walnut is not ALL that expensive but I bet you would have more fun dying a choice piece of ash to a varied dark hue (looking a bit like walnut) and have a more unique thing when you be done. IMHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ok so my guitar project is drawing to an end... And I already am planning to make another :D  I want it to have 4 single coils (2 next to each other so It looks like a humbucker) and than thell be wired up so I hit a switch and it goes beteween single coil and humbucker.

I may be wrong because I am not actually informed about it, but isn't that a approach similar to the PRS 513? If it is you may look up the wiring and perhaps decide to put also one in the middle (although I personally am against having too much pickups on one guitar, since it comes to a point where the sustain is decreased due to the strong magnetic fields of the PUs, and besides most times it looks crap), may be cool. As wood, I also suggest Paduak, or perhaps Koa. Surely interesting woods. Although a highly figured maple is still perhaps the most beautiful choice. Is it gonna be bolt-on/set-in or neck-through?

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i vote for walnut..that and pecan and mesquite are my favorites. walnut is a pretty dense wood with great tonal properties. it works well and doesn't require as much finish sanding a mahogany and some of the others. here's my latest.

http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1060875

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yes it's like a PRS 513 without the middle pickup.  And have you ever tried to find the wireing of a 513?  It's more guarded than fort knox!  It's impossiable to find it.  I would just have to go into a store (of a guy you REALLY know :D ) And open er up and see how it's wired...

No, never tried to find it (as I said, I know almost nothing of the 513), but I thought somebody would have already done that because it sounds cool... But yet, it is still a fairly new guitar.

You'll surely tell us how your guitar will sound and how it is wired, yes?

:D

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The 513 looks interesting. Had never checked it out. There are some reviews on harmony central that talk about the sound combinations. If someone just knew what all the switch positions did the wiring wouldn't be too hard to figure out.. well i couldn't figure it out but there are wiring geniouses on here that could probably just look at it and guess.

My guess is they probably have a combination of switch routing and different caps and such to alter the sound. BigD might be one to ask about that.. Somehow they are getting the full array of strat sounds out of it but when switching to humbucker modes, are getting real humbucker sounds which make me think there is some filtering/tone modification going on under the hood as well.

To me the most sense is switch 1 controls pickups 1, 3 and 5.. just like a strat.. Switch 2 controls pickups 2 and 4.. neck series/neck parallel/both on/bridge parallel/bridge series. I haven't counted but that might give you 13 combinations..

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ok look at this.

When you are in single coil mode posistion 5 is neck, 4 is neck/middle, 3 is middle, 2 is middle/bridge, and 1 is bridge. It's just like a strat. Now with the second 3 way selector (it selects single coil, humbucker clear, humbucker heavy) In the humbucker posistion it goes, 5 neck humbucker, 4 neck humbucker and middle single coil, 3 middle single coil (with tone mods so it differs from the posistion 1 of the 3 way), 2 bridge humbucker and middle single, and 1 is bridge humbucker. Now the humbucking heavy I have no idea :D It's the same switching as humbucking clear but it sounds darker and more driven. I'm thinking mabye that it's active and it's has some sort of onboard drive/boost thingy. So Mine would have everything excpet the middle and the humbucking heavy.

I'm not sure how you would wire up the PRS exatly. I'm sure you could use the 5 way super switch and mabye a regular 3 way? But I'm still scared that I'll open it up and find a whole bunch of circut boards :D

O well I guess for now I'll just go with mine and forget the PRS B)

So as a recap. 3 way in single mode, everything is like a strat. 3 way in humbucking clear, it works just like a godin SDXT here (it's a .pdf). And humbucking heavy is the same switching as humbucking clear with something ??? Mabye a active circit that makes it sound like SUPER high output humbuckers.

man I would LOVe to go into a shop and see EXATLY how it's wired :D

If any of you know the owner of a PRS dealer PLEASE go and see how It's wired...

I hope all that made sense B)

Edited by Godin SD
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I haven't counted but that might give you 13 combinations..

In fact, that's why it is called 513 - 5 pickups for thirteen sounds. As long as I remember the ad. But finding out more about it would be surely interesting, it's like splittable humbuckers the other way round, if you know what I mean. A new way of the old dream of combining strat and les pail. This is making me curious. But back to the topic, Godin have you decided what woods to use and why?

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ya this thred was dead a long time ago and I figured out what I'm using. I dont know why guitar31262 found this and posted...

I auccually decided to build twins. A 1 peice wenge body, flame maple neck, and cocobolo fingerboard. Both guitars are from the same peices of wood so the grain and color is exatly the same. I'm about halfway done. I just need to shape the back of the neck and do some body routing (being EXTREMELY vague :D )

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OMG did you inlay that cool ribben thing on the front of that guitar? Man I really hate the look but it's really cool that you are that good!

yes i did..i posted it more for you to see the walnut than the inlay but it's actually one of my favorites. there are 16 different species of local and exotic wood in the inlay and if i remember right there were 165 individual pieces cut and inlaid on the front and back.

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