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Petrol 1

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Hey all, I'm new round here, looking to start my first build.

I've read the excellent "make your own electric guitar" by Melyvn Hiscock quite a lot now (3 times through :D) and as such have come up with specs for my own design:

Name: The P1 (Petrol 1)

Scale Length: 25.5

Fret Number: 22 Fret- yet fretless :D

Neck thickness: Same as my RG, will measure later.

Body Shape: My ergonomic Les Paul, with leg cutaway and carved edge JS style.

Neck to Body Join: Glue on neck.

Neck angle/Bridge height: Whatever my kahler dictates @{

Body thickness: 1 and ¾ inch thick.

Head angle and shape: Angled, prob about 13 degrees, machine heads both sides. Still thinking up shape, something “metal”

Wood: Basswood body, maple neck/head, ebony fingerboard (see inlays as well)

Pickups and Control: 2 neodynium pickups, tone pot, vol pot, input jack and all internal circuitry, 3 way selector switch for neck/neck bridge/bridge. Neck pickup under 24th fret pos, bridge at 43rd fret pos.

Nut Width: Standard “B” Width nut (see book)

Truss Rod: Neck adjustment

Mounting Controls: Cut out in back, no scratchplate

Binding: None, not even on fret board, I just don't like the look of binding.

Body Contouring: Rounded all way, leg round, maybe chest indentation and arm as well.

Inlay: See below.

Fretwire: Fretless B) Would like to buy ready slotted board though and inlay the slots with contrasting wood, probably purple heart (single dot) , paduak (12th fret) and something more plane like pine for all the other random frets inbetween.

I have a few questions though:

1)Is there anything else that needs to be considered making a fretless guitar, the position of frets doesn't shift slightly by a few mm due to the height of the fretwire being different from that of the fingerboard?

2)Anybody else tried using the neodynium q-etuner pickups, the funky looking ones? Just curious as their sound samples aren't any where near similar to the music I'll generally be playing.

Any critiscism is appreciated, don't wanna start construction in a few weeks without some of you experienced builders pointing out my retarded mistakes :D

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Any critiscism is appreciated, don't wanna start construction in a few weeks without some of you experienced builders pointing out my retarded mistakes :D

im guessing since its 25.5 scale this is a 6 string 'guitar'

what music exactly do you play?

if its something that you would notice having a tottally out of tune guitar, then your gonna want frets in there;

dont ruin a whole project because your afraid of doing your own frets;

on the other hand if its for bleeps and bloops or random sliding stuff it would work.

it works with bass because your using (for the most part) 1 note at a time; with a minimum of 3 notes gion that arent perfect sounds like a screeching cat

and for a first build, i wouldnt suggest gluing the neck; bolt it on and any mistakes (read that book 100 times, they'll still happen) will be easier to fix, and the neck and body join IS the guitar.

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Yep, it's a 6 string, I was thinking fretless both as I've seen and heard some really nice jazz played on a fretless, and I thought it would look sweet. i play all sorts of stuff, mainly classic rock and blues though, but I am a huge fan of Satch and have never had a tremolo on a guitar before, hence the inclusion here.

Good point on the neck, Bolt on would probably be more forgiving- I'd just heard glue on necks have better sustain- is that true, or just black magic guitar talk with absolutely no truth?

Edited by Petrol
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Ok, thanks for clarifying that point. As such I'll pribably revise this to bolt on, although I will try a glue on construction at some point. On the fret issues, I probably will fret it now, as I have just had visions of me trying to play chords fretless, it would be possibly the worst sonic attrocity ever commited, so I will probably go for a fretted design now, 22 frets jumbo fretwire, unless some fretless loving guy can change my mind again :D

Hopefully I'll start this build in a few weeks, when I finally leave school (woo!)- If anyone has more advice, please post it, your inputs been great so far and helped clarify some things. Thanks :D

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Nice thing with a bolt on is that the neck can be swapped fairly easily - you could build two necks, and try fretted and fretless ones if you're still interested in the idea. Another option would be to use a slotted board, not fret it, and see what you think of it - if you like it, fill the slots with wood as you've mentioned, if not, go ahead and fret it. (Although, not having experimented with this, I don't know if having empty slots will affect the tone or playability of the instrument.)

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I don't think neck-throughs are that hard to make (it requires you to be able to joint two flat surface accurately, basically), although I gotta admit I'm not a huge fan on electric guitars. Give me a set neck (Even deep tenon) over a neck through; it's partly an aesthetic thing, although I admit I haven't built enough neck-throughs to claim I prefer the set neck sound, per se.

Sustain is one of those quasi-meaningless descriptors guitar players like to stick on guitar tone; a well-built guitar should have plenty of sustain, and if you're playing high-gain, it's largely about your pickups, compressors, effects, amp, playing style, etc. My bolt-on mahogany strat sustains just as much as any of my set neck/neck through guitars.

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Thanks- set neck is what I originally meant, I didn't intend to make a neck thru and I don't now :D So I'm going with bolt on.

Hopefully should be able to pick up a few offcuts to practise cutting with, simply as I want some more experience with routers. Also, I'll then finish my offcuts, to practise that. Thanks a load guys :D


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