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I Should Have Built A Warmoth Parts-o-caster Instead


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Instead of buying a brand new Fender American Deluxe.... well because a brand new American Deluxe, Alder body I might add, costs about 39,000 NT (thats around 1100 dollars US), after negiocations and stuff like that... comes with a case, cable, standard accessories (which doesn't cost more than 50 dollars to buy yourself)

Well, my current project will cost something like this:

Body: 200 including shipping and customs tax (that comes to about 6000 NT)

Neck: about 300 including shipping, Shaller locking tuner, taxes and everything (so I'd put it at 11,000NT)

Bridge: I am using a Wilkinson, so thats about 120 with shipping (I am still waiting for it 2 weeks later... I hope they didn't lose it! thats about 4000 NT including shipping)

Pickups: MAX budget of about 300 US dollars including shipping, ordering a custom prewired assembly with DiMarzio Blue Valvets or something in that price range. Therefore max budget of about 10,000NT

Paint and Finish: Did it myself so I spent a total of maybe 50 dollars MAX for this project including a cheap airbrush and 3 cans of clear, and some sandpapers and dyes.

Hardwares: Budget of about 50-60 dollars for straplocks, shielding kits, and string trees, 2000NT MAX (shipping included)

Total cost: 27,000NT or $818.18USD (using 33 as exchange rate, actual will vary), figure another 50 bucks for a case if needed. With this I get a ASH body guitar, same or better hardware than Fender American Deluxe strat, 100% nitrocellouse (or Acrylic... whatever those spray bombs are) lacquer that will age properly, and Stainless steel frets too.

The American Deluxe features a 2 peice Alder body (on clears, for solid colors figure at LEAST 3 peices or more), Schaller locking tuners (which by now is VERY cheap thanks to the advent of Planetwaves), Schaller strap locks (cheap too), Standard American strat tuner (decent, but Standard), medium jumbo nickel frets... polyester finish that is about 1/16 inch thick (no kidding! Good luck stripping those), really bad sustain out of the box due to that microtilt contraption, disabling the feature and tightning the neck against its pocket fixed it but now the bridge cannot be set to full float which is not really a bad thing. Costs me about 1,100 US dollars after negicoating with the salesperson, and still needs to be tweaked. I have since stripped it and put a 3 tone sunburst on it, looks MUCH better now and much better sustain too.

I find that the quality of the body is about on par with a mighty mite body except for the contours.

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What the hell are you talking about? :D

:D

I've re-read it a couple of times, and I believe he is saying that he should have built a fender (strat, I assume) from Warmoth parts, hence Parts-o-caster, instead of actually buying one from Fender as it would've been better and cheaper.

Am I right?

CMA

Edited by CrazyManAndy
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No, I think that he actually put together a parts-caster instead of shelling out for the real Fender...I'm guessing either he's proud of himself, or he's throwing this idea (bunch o' parts vs the real deal) up for discussion.

In which case, the way I see it, he saved a couple of bucks, sure, put himself through all the hassle of finding the right parts, waiting for them to come, refinishing anyway, and he STILL doesn't have a real Fender to play.

My 'real' strat cost me 250 euros. Great guitar. And it's a Fender.

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No, I think that he actually put together a parts-caster instead of shelling out for the real Fender...I'm guessing either he's proud of himself, or he's throwing this idea (bunch o' parts vs the real deal) up for discussion.

In which case, the way I see it, he saved a couple of bucks, sure, put himself through all the hassle of finding the right parts, waiting for them to come, refinishing anyway, and he STILL doesn't have a real Fender to play.

My 'real' strat cost me 250 euros. Great guitar. And it's a Fender.

I already shelled out for a real Fender, but I was thinking maybe it would have been better if I built from parts instead...

Plus I rather buy a little at a time than have to save for months then drop it all in one go.

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I dunno, it may be cheaper to build one from parts but I don't think you would get the same quality as you would from a US made Fender. I don't know how well they are building strats these days but I can say that I would be hard put to build a strat that is equal to my '88 American standard, not to mention attaining the quality of materials used in this guitar. I'm talking about those little details like TBX control, rolled fretboard edges, quality paintjob, and general precision involved in every aspect. The question is Can you do it like they do? :D

Edited by Southpa
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Well, when I quoted the price I used the same quality of hardware as used on Americans, well except using Dimarzio pickups instead of stock Fender pups. I mean CTS pots and everything. Now Warmoth doesn't dress or finish fingerboards for you so you might have do it yourself or have a luthier do it. Its not that hard to roll fingerboard edges however.

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The thing is, with a parts-o-caster, you never know what you're getting until it's assembled. Sometimes they really play or sound like ass and you've shelled out a grand in parts for a lemon. With a production Strat, you can play a bunch and find one that sounds and plays pretty nice, then you can modify it however you like.

Strats are like choppers. You can start off with a basic Harley or Indian and build something awesome, or build from scratch and maybe lose a little bit of the soul.

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I can't lie and say I know from experience, but I find it very plausible that building a parts-o-caster will in fact get you a higher-quality instrument than Fender provides. Assuming you know at least a bit about what you're doing.

There's no way I personally would get a factory finish like Fender's, but that's because I know jack and squat about finishing. But in terms of the rest... I can easily believe that a Warmoth body and neck, plus your own attention paid to the electronics, can produce a better instrument.

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I can't lie and say I know from experience, but I find it very plausible that building a parts-o-caster will in fact get you a higher-quality instrument than Fender provides. Assuming you know at least a bit about what you're doing.

+1, especially for basses.

I've only ever found ONE Fender Jazz bass that I've liked, and even then it wasn't that great (even though it was an American bass).

I can DEFINITELY see a Warmoth parts bass being higher quality than Fender p.o.s's.

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I keep futzing around with my junkyard dogs and they keep getting better. In the meantime I've had way more guitars than I could afford otherwise and I'm learning a bunch in the process. Call 'em beaters, parts-o's, whatever, they work and I don't worry about banging them around.

That said, if I'm playing a gig where I need predictable results and unquestionable reliability, out come the store-bought units. :D

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That said, if I'm playing a gig where I need predictable results and unquestionable reliability, out come the store-bought units. :D

Wow! That's too bad. I play the guitars I build at gigs and have no worries about reliability. No more than with a production guitar. What's the point of building a guitar if it can't be played?

F.M.

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That said, if I'm playing a gig where I need predictable results and unquestionable reliability, out come the store-bought units. :D

Wow! That's too bad. I play the guitars I build at gigs and have no worries about reliability. No more than with a production guitar. What's the point of building a guitar if it can't be played?

I play the guitars I build or modify or particize or whatever--at home, at practice. But when I'm playing a show, I usually bring my MIJ Strat. A totally reliable guitar, sounds great, never goes out of tune. I've been bringing my Epiphone Sorrento lately too, I've had good luck with that.

My own guitars....well, I just don't feel I've made anything good enough yet. Maybe the next one!

As for parts guitars...I'm not against them. But I wonder about spending close to a grand on one. For that price, I'd definitely shop around in the stores.

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Don't get me wrong. I play my beaters out a lot. More often than not, in fact. My parts-o-tele is my new favorite guitar. I just meant that--aw hell, I don't know what I meant. Never mind. :D

Oh and I need to say that I quoted the prices by doing the finish myself. I spent maybe 50 dollars in materials (including an airbrush) for the finish. Is it perfect...? not really, but I am learning. Transparant sunburst has got to be the hardest thing to do out there, because its impossible to fix mistakes. To have Warmoth do the finish I would have to spend 300 dollars extra, so therefore it would have cost exactly the same as a Fender American Deluxe, althought a little better.

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Yeah, way back there I said, "I keep futzing around ... and they keep getting better." That Strat in my avatar over there <<< is one of my dogs. In fact, at that particular show there was another band on before us and one guy broke a string on his USA Strat. I handed him mine and he finished the set with it. I got several comments on how much better he sounded with my axe than his.

So, I think what I meant was if I'm not completely confident in what I've done to one lately I'll use a store bought one instead. The branded ones are getting used less and less.

We return you now to your regularly scheduled program.

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