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Cheap 70s Japanese Guitar Fixie Project

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Hey all, I want to finish fixing this old Japanese strat rip-off. I need help in determining what to do next. The electronics have been fully repaired. The only reason I am not putting it together is 1.) the neck is cracked at the bottom with the bolt holes stripped AND 2.) Without the ability to adjust the strings individually at the bridge, how is proper intonation achieved? The measurements for the 20 fret neck are 682mm(total length), 454mm(top of nut to bottom lenth), 135 (12 fret to bottom length), 450mm (bottom of nut to bottom length), 43mm(width at first fret), 53mm(width at last- 20- fret), 45mm x 35mm (distance between the four bolt holes-- 45mm being up to down). That is it!

Is replacing the neck the best choice? Should the spring in the tremelo be replaced? I want this to be a fully functional gig-worth guitar. Don't tell me I can't do it. Where do I go from here? Thanks. Sincerely, guitarateer



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Some guitars are just meant to hang on the wall (or rot in the closet).

First off, this isn't a strat knockoff, it's a Jaguar/Mustang knockoff...there's a difference. Actually it might make the guitar worth trying to fix. It if was just another strat, then I'd tell you to give it up right away. You can pick up a brand new strat knockoff for next to nothing these days.

This kind of bridge is non-adjustable, so you can't intonate the guitar perfectly. You'd need to replace the bridge in order to do that. But it looks like the bridge is set straight instead of angled? In which case, you'll have a hard time intonating anyway. You'd be better off filling the holes and resetting the bridge.

But with that trem on there, it won't matter much anyway, since you'll be spending most of your time re-tuning.

Most of your measurements aren't all that helpful --you want to measure from the nut (bottom--the point where the strings touch the slots) to the center of the 12th fret (that is, the metal fret, not the space). That will tell you the scale length --you multiply it by 2.

With that you'll know if you can find a replacement neck --but I'm guessing the neck is a shorter scale, so that might be difficult. If you put the wrong neck on there, you'll have to move the bridge accordingly.

Frankly, I can't imagine this guitar ever being gig-worthy, unless you do a Pete Townsend style smash-er-up at the end of your shows?

So I won't tell you not to do it. But I do suggest that you start learning what you'll need to know in order to make this project work --spend some time reading through all the topics here, for example.

One thing you should know: In the end, it's going to cost more to make this project work than to buy a brand new Jaguar knockoff. Seriously. The paint alone will cost more than this guitar is worth.

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I don't know if this'll help or not but I've got an SG knockoff by Sakai (god only knows who they were or anything about them) it has the same pickups and bridge systems and a similar looking neck. The bridge pickup on mine was screwed so I replaced it with a Fender Vistatone I'd pulled out of my Squire Musicmaster, replaced the bridge with a Gotoh tuneamatic style and put a good set of Tuners in it. With the Trem I gave up trying to make it stay in tune and pulled the arm and spring (which I don't really use anyway) and found a bolt about the right length and put it in its place. The result is a really cool trashy guitar which I use to record with occasionally and have written some of my favourite songs on, not a killer tone but good and usefull.

Basically other than give up on the trem unless you know someone who has serious knowledge about springs and access to tons of them my only advice is to go for it. It may not be the hottest sounding guitar ever but you never know it may have that tone that your looking for! I don't know if it'd be of interest but I could post a few pics of my Sakai for you if you'd like,

Nate :D

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Here are a few photo's of my Sakai, you'll see what I mean about them being similar looks wise. I don't know why but I actually like that crappy burst on this guitar.

Sakai SG copy


Sakai SG copy close-up of the body


Sakai SG copy close-up of the neck to body joint showing strap button


Sakai SG copy close-up of the headstock


Sakai SG copy another closeup of the body showing the Fender Vista-tone pick-up


Hope these help or at least amuse



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Thanks Natwalk. I knew I knew what sakai was-- it just popped into my mind. They were a big bicycle component maker back in the 60s to 80s. They still exist, though not on such a large scale I believe. I just worked on a bottom bracket/crankset that was from sakai. The fact that they made a guitar is remenescent of Panasonic making a bike-- Yamaha making instruments and motorcycles. Thanks for the picks. I'm making way with my project. Thanks for the enthusiasm natwalk. Since I'm just starting to learn about guitars, I don't want to get bogged down. Thanks, Guitarateer

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