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I have read a lot about LED fret dots on this site and found most of the advice to be very helpful, leading to me retrofitting a few necks myself. However I do have one question - how does SimS manage to put LEDs into a maple neck if it has no fretboard to take off in the first place? Plus I have read him stipulate that very fact (that he does not remove the fretboard) in a few different articles.

Thanks

Scott

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does he use a skunk stripe? That must be the trick.

Not that I can see plus any pic of the wires coming out seems to show as being to the right of middle anyway. Have a look at his "tour of shop " pics on his site and you will see a pic of him working on a prs and you'll see what I mean. I would really like to find someone who has taken apart one of his necks to see how it is done.

Scott

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Whatever his trick is, it's might clever. As far as I can see there is zero external evidence of how he runs the wiring, barring the exit point on the PRS.

My money's on trained termites :D

Man I've got to get me some of those termites then :D Seriously though, I wonder if anyone on this forum knows how to do this or at least has some ideas about how he does this then people could mod LEDs into just about any guitar not just those with 'removable' fretboards.

Scott

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he could possably, drill the holes for the leds then drill a channel down the neck under the finger board i.e. between the finger board and truss rod. then just solder stuff and run wires from there.

Well this is what I am thinking extremely fidgety though. Anyway I think I am going to give it a go soon and see if it's possible using just drilling. You know what would be good if someone had already got it done by SimS and for some crazy reason decided to dismantle the neck they just spent £300 getting modded; took some pics then posted them on here..........Anybody........no, don't blame you :D

Scott

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Will the LEDs be wired in series or parallel?

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I was wondering if he was somehow using what was already in the neck.. say wiring it so that truss rod's aluminium U-channel could be at +9v... but then theres still the issue of the other wire :D

It was just a random thought.

Gave me an idea though... what if you could wire it so that one leg of the LED is soldered to the truss rod- and the other to the fret itself. Then attatch the battery so the +ve terminal is attatched to the truss rod and the -ve to the strings- The LEDS would light up as you played each fret :D that would be cool.

Anyway... I'm intrigued by this. Whatever hes doing it must be damn clever.

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whoa...think about visual fret buzz then! :D

WHOA!!!! I just had an idea!

Take a look at this image: (From his tour thing)

PRS LED inlay

See how he's soldering two wires?, would it be possible for him to drill two small channels through the fretboard (using those special ultra long drills bits you see at hardware shops sometimes), and just like the wiring channels on the body of a guitar, just drill holes from the fret dot holes to the channels?

just a possibility....

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are they actually LEDs under the fretboard, or fibre optics??

it would be obviously easier than LEDs, as there would be no wiring inside the neck

cheers

darren

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damn rob...I swear, I didn't even see your post! But ya...it seems like the only logical explanation to me.

True drilling seems to be the answer, however the longest drill bits i can find are 400mm (bearing in mind they have to have a small diameter 6mm is what i have got) which is fine for guitars as that gets you to about the 3rd fret dot but what about bass necks?!?!?! And this is what he supposedly started with , modding his own bass without taking the fretboard off :D

Scott

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I am guessing he would have some sort of jig to hold the drill and neck in place, besides that it would just take careful preparation of angles etc. I am in the middle of making a drilling 'rig' as I am calling it, myself and will let you know if it works out

Even jigged, one wouldn't be able to account for the bit direction after about 10 or so inches because of bit flex but that might get it done if you don't attempt it in just one direction. Perhaps he's working from both ends? Then, for a standard 20 fret bass neck, he would have to drill out just over 12" from either end.

Another possibility I've been thinking of is the use of an ultrasonic drill. These are common in jewelry manufacturing so it isn't inconceivable that he could have one. From what I know, they are essentially a stiff wire that is fed ultrasonic vibrations in such a manner and frequency that they "part" the material at the tip. There isn't much load put on the wire (if any) and it can make a very small diameter hole. I dunno - just thinking out loud here. I'm thinking that perhaps all he does with the drill is jump from dot to dot and doesn't make a continuous hole from one end or the other.

Then, there's the possibility of using a laser to bore a very fine, perfectly straight hole, but that might be overthinking the problem a little eh?

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About the double sided thing though...I dont' think that'll work as it'll leave an exit wound (from the other side where you drill in). For the jewellers thing, I think it's called a wire-cutting EDM machine. I have access to one at our university mech. engineering lab (CNC), but looking from a size perspective, I think it'd be way too much money if he did that kinda work on his first bass also.

Cheers,

Nish

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I think you're right about the drill, made an attempt with a cheap guitar neck I found and the bit does find it's way out of the neck! An auger bit might be better as it has less chance of wandering and removes excess material well, so less burning. It could be done but the problem remains the same how to do it on a bass neck; I may have the answer but I need to give it a go to see if it works and is an easily reproducible technique. Stay tuned

Scott

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finding a long enough drill bit would not be such an issue, just need some rod and a welder.

just wondering if he puts the drill bit through some type of shaft to keep it from wandering, similar to a hollow mortise chisel and bit setup??

other than that, i'm stumped (not hard to do by any standards :D )

cheers

darren :D

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