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Ok guys I need idea's from the heavy riffing / Metal guys. I am contemplating building a guitar for such use but as this is not my thing I need to know what is desirable .

This is what I think

Body , solid light weight resonant possibly with maple cap. Or evan Metal over a wood block.

Thin profile carbon fibre reinforced neck , maple

fretboard , rosewood

Pup's EMG active's with boost cct or evan some sort of disassembled stomp box ala Matt from Muse.

trem , some sort of locking trem , Kahler??

scale length 26"

Tuning , 6 string drop D

what do you think ??

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I've just made a guitar with a stainless steel front & I doubt that it adds anything to the sound apart from reducing hum....but it adds a lot to the weight. Aluminium wouldn't be anywhere near as heavy but then I expect that it would affect the sound even less. The advantage is that you can add chambers to reduce the weight under the metal cap which does seem to make he guitar more "airy" & resonant...kinda like adding a piezo's lower-mids thump. If you want to add a finish over aluminium, stainless or galvanised steel you'll need a specialist primer which means that it will need to be a solid colour, which kind of defeats the purpose of the metal front (unless you're me :D ).

Why are you making a guitar that's "not your thing"? Is it for someone else, in which case why not ask them? If it's for you then make what you want.

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Ok

Body, ALDER if your Painting it OR Mahogany with a maple cap is its a Clear finish

Pickups, Any thing HOT, EMG 81s, Seymour Duncan

Neck Maple with an Ebony fret board

If you want trem than Kahler all the way

Also body design If its Just Metal than something RG styled but its is Melt your face off with acid metal than you need something a bit more extream :D

But really anything can make a guitar Metal, its really more the Player

!!METAL MATT!! :D

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i use alot of different woods...but i really like a good piece of dense mahogany with a mahogany neck...neck through or set neck,kahler trem with locking floyd nut,schaller mini tuners,emg 81/85 with a 3 way toggle and only one volume pot...(no tone)

but really,no one thing makes a guitar metal...it just needs to be wired hot...my exploder is bubinga and maple,but it's hotter and screams more than my all mahogany beast

oh...and in my opinion drop tuning is a crutch...if you are metal,you will be metal in any tuning.i usually stick around E flat

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You have received pretty solid advice so far. If you want a metal look, check out Jackson, Dean, B.C. Rich, Kramer. You can get some pretty good ideas to work from. If you just want a metal sound with a little more aggresive look without making something to impale yourself on, go with something like an SG or an RG. Pickups should be anywhere from medium hot like the SD Jazz and JB's to blazing hot like some of the SD Distortions or the Invader. Why the 26" scale? For drop D you are fine with any of the standard scales. Even for lower drop tunings, 25-1/2" scale is fine, just use heavier strings. A 26" scale is going to be harder to find in a slotted fret board, unless you are making your own. Drop D is nice for power chords, but not neccesary. Like every other genre, the sound is in the player more than the guitar.

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Ok

Body, ALDER if your Painting it OR Mahogany with a maple cap is its a Clear finish

Pickups, Any thing HOT, EMG 81s, Seymour Duncan

Neck Maple with an Ebony fret board

If you want trem than Kahler all the way

Also body design If its Just Metal than something RG styled but its is Melt your face off with acid metal than you need something a bit more extream :D

But really anything can make a guitar Metal, its really more the Player

!!METAL MATT!! :D

Nailed what I was going to write out.

Although I think our opinions differ on metal. I don't think I can name more than 2 metal bands that tune to drop D. Pantera may be one.

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Thanks guys for your input. The project would be for a young guy who is not technical when it comes to construction.

I fully understand that most of the music comes from the hands and attitude of the player but I was interested in the technical side, for instance active pickups are electricaly quieter and would be better suited to a high gain setup that would also have other processing going on.

The trem topic; I was wanting an alternative to the floyd rose standard model which I have some experiance with and I think there could be an improvement, something other than a knife edge pivot. I have seen the rollar bearing pivot Floyd on some high end Ibanez guitars that also look good.

Wood does matter for tone and I see that most guys go for the LP or SG model but I still wonder if thats the best. I notice that westtheman has a maple / bulbinga guitar the he mentions "screams " better than his mahogany guitars. This is what I was thinking , that you need bright sounding wood to compensate for the mid range mud that increases as the gain is wound up. The maple cap on a LP is exactly for that reason.

The MusicMan vanhalen guitar is basswood with a maplecap which is also made to go with high gain settings.

To counter all that is that the LP is truly proven in the high gain world and it would be hard to argue against.

A 26" scale length ; I was just throwing that out there as a compromise between a standard fender scale and a baritone scale that was trendy a few years ago.

Neck wood ; there is no doubt in my mind that maple necks have a better attack or snap (no pun intended) than mahogany necks and also would be better suited to a locking trem design ue to the increased wood strength. For once it seems that ebony would be better suited than rosewood for the fretboard.

Body shape is another topic that has a bit of voodoo with it as to its effect on the tone but as long as the neck is well supported I won't go any further.

To Chamber or not , I would think that unchambered would be better , again better punch.

Anyway thanks for the input guys

At the end of the day I agree most of the tone comes from the player/ amp setup.

Kev

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well...bubingais most definately an EXCELLENT wood for a metal guitar...but it is very heavy in weight,so you have to compensate...i made my explorer very small and thin,but it still weighs in around 8 pounds.

if you use bubinga,do not make your guitar thicker than 1 3/8",which will mean you need to use the kahler trem for sure.

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i don't think you need any of the booster stuff ...i like it plain old hot as hell

i think you may not realize how hot that set of pickups is with just a volume knob....i mean it is as hot as you will ever need..

i don't think the neck pickup you are talking about is a good match with an 81 in a metal guitar....and you did say metal

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