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7 String Stealth Idea

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Ok, here it goes. I'm looking to build a 7 string stealth. I want to keep this guitar very simple and straightforward.


neck through (probably maple)

mahogany body

25.5 scale 24 frets

fixed bridge (hipshot or 7 string ToM)

just one emg 707 with one volume nob

idk about the inlays yet

sperzel locking tuners (don't know how i'll get 7 of em)

I have read that it is a good idea to make a pine body first. My question is, how would you go about doing this (assuming that it is a neck through)? Would you include a neck too; or would you just make the whole body?

Any other build suggestions for a beginner would be helpful to.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Edited by metalhead6061
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If you're making a neckthrough, you can minimize the hassle of calculating and building for neck angle by either recessing the TOM or using the hipshot bridge with no neck angle. That would be my recommendation as neck angle on a neckthru is annoying to deal with.

Also, this guy will get you Sperzels in any color, number, or configuration possible... however, I'd personally recommend the Hipshots he sells for a seven-string since Sperzels can only take up to a .58 low string as shipped standard, while Hipshots can take up to a .70 (I run a .72 on my 25.5 scale seven-string and love it, although I had to ream out a standard tuner so it would fit!)


However, if you ask him specifically, he can get your low tuner reamed out up to a .70... so it's really up to you.

Also, I recommend reading everything you can find on building guitars.

If you're unsure about building a neck, you can get Doug at Soulmate Guitars to do one for you, at a similar cost to Carvin's mass-produced necks. Everything is handmade there and can thus be infinitely customized, from profile to woods. Check him out, he does beautiful work!


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...Just use inexpensive tonewoods....Like alder for example.Then if it turns out well maybe you will have a guitar you won't have reservations about.

+1 for that!

You should be able to come up with a pretty good idea of how it goes together just by drawing out a side profile. Locating the body for neck angle isn't rocket science so I'm sure you'll be fine if you at least start with a drawing. Draw it like you might build it. By that I mean, draw a mock neck then locate the body in relation to it.

People ask: Doug can you make a left handed neck? With trepidation I answer, yes. Why hesitate? The hardest thing about making a left handed neck is REMEMBERING to build it backwards... LOL! So, the moral of the story is you'll need to remember to put all your wire chases in PRIOR to gluing the body wings on...


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I would start with inexpensive wood, like westhemann said. Mahogany is cheap, so if you totally screw up, that's not a major loss. Imagine it's a total success, but it's made out of pine...

Advices? Read, read, read, and read again. Check builds photos and tutorials, get some books. And keep in mind that you will probably make some mistakes along the way. Some are fixable, some are not. I didn't take my first build very seriously, and it turned out good. Very far from perfect, but correct.

Some people say neck-thrus are the hardest to build. I don't think so. When I started, I had more difficulties with neck pockets for bolt-ons or set neck; out of alignement, too tight, too deep.... As for the neck angle, no it's not rocket science, but it can be a little bit tricky. Go for it if you're up to the challenge.

Edited by MescaBug
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Thanks guys.

So let me see if i have this correct..

I should make basically the parts that would go on the sides of neck wood?

And thanks for the alder idea. That is probably what i want to do.

And also thanks for the tuners link.

I just have one more question though.

If i just eliminate doing a neck angle will my action be messed up? And will it feel weird to play?


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Also, don't start drilling holes UNTIL YOU GET ALL YOUR HARDWARE!!!. Guessing it not an option. There is a lot of posts here of people asking and guessing about specific parts. Just wait until you get it! Stewmac recommend a 13/32" drill bit for modern tuners (Schaller, Planet Waves...). Give it a try without having them in hand and let me know how it comes up...

Bridge placement (drilling and routing) is always the last thing I do. When the nut and frets are installed, then I place the bridge. So I'm sure the bridge is at the exact spot. And sometimes client decides to change hardware at the last minute :D

With a TOM bridge, your action will not be messed up. If you recessed the bridge, that is. If not, than you need a neck angle.

The Hipshot bridge doesn't need a neck angle, but I strongly suggest you leave 2-3mm of the neck protruding under the fingerboard. Hard to explain, I'm not english. What I mean is don't glue the fingerboard flush with the body. I did this once with a Hipshot, and the action was a little bit too high. I had to level the frets very low, which is not good if you want to level the frets again in a few years. You can see on this picture of a Stealth I build, that the fingerboard is not flush. The Hipshot is 10mm high. 6mm (fingerboard) + 2-3mm (neck) + 1.5mm (frets) = 10.5mm. Almost flush with the bridge, which is perfect. You can then adjust the action with the saddles height.


Edited by MescaBug
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