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Acrylic LED inlays.


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I had a great idea. i happened to know that acrylic diffuses light evenly through the acrylic. Why not make an inlay with acrylic and light it with LEDS? dont tell me it wont work because im a comp tech and i know wiring and crap and how to work with acrylic www.omegamp.com but will it mess up the tone and is it a good idea?

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that would look damn sweet, only this is you would probablly need to have a fair few LEDs to light up a piece of acrylic that large and you'd need a way of getting the wires to all of them without them being visable through the acrylic

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dude im a master of "stealthing" as we call it in pc mods world. (hiding wires). You guys could seriously get some inspiration from this. www.xoxideforums.com go to case gallery. But thats besides the point. Leds cost less than 5 cents in hong kong and on ebay. so thats not an issue. btw i can tell you from my expertise in this area. SIMS IS BS! LEDS COST THE BUYER TOPS 3 bucks A LED. Plus a resistor and a battery. tops 10 bucks. Plus solder and soldering iron 20/25 bucks. Is it worth the time? NO! even installing a switch to flick lights on and off is only 2 dollars. and btw... i know how to make a sound activated circuit. just another 20 bucks and would be kind of obnoxious unless i put another switch. but i dont think I'll do that because the amount of space required is greater than the amount in a truss rod space or any hole i'd be willing to cut in my neck. maybe i'd do that for my custom pickguard i was thinking about. but if you guys want info on wiring and crap let me know.

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SIMS IS BS! LEDS COST THE BUYER TOPS 3 bucks A LED

SIMS does charge a fortune for installing LEDs but they do need to cover much more than the cost of the parts. To take a fretboard off, mount the LEDs, ... takes quite a bit of time. I didn't see anything on his site that showed how they handle the power supply - do they route a cavity in the body or do they try to cram batteries in the control cavity?

I haven't seen the prices for the pre-built necks - it would be interesting to see how much he charges for those since they would be much easier to do.

I have just done one neck with LEDs and I like them. I may make one for myself some day. Comming up with the circuit is very easy and the wiring is easy enough for just about anyone to do. The only drawback is the time required to route the fretboard and do some soldering, in my opnion.

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Compared to building a guitar a lil' soldering is MAD easy. i mean it burns me to think that people would be scared off from doing leds in fear of messing up. NO BIG DEAL! all parts are mad cheap. i'd say that the actual work on the led wiring itself is less than an hour expecially if the guy is a pro. but being an amateur builder i cant say anything else about taking the fretboard off.

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Could you just carve out your inlay design on the fretboard, fill the hole with acrylic, and then put LEDs under that? And then put an on/off mini-toggle switch on the guitar body, with the battery in the control cavity. Then somehow rout into and through the neck and wire it up like that. That would be pretty awesome instead of making the whole FB out of acrylic.

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acrylic has certain propierties with light that are very interesting. it disperses light evenly. So the leds would need to be positioned correctly. its not just throwing leds in there. its pretty complex trying to achieve the right effect as in where you want to carve lines in the acrylic the light will be brightest. because of acrylics naturally developed "cover" when you cut it away you see the light better through that little hole. its weird to explain. check out xoxide forums.

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  • 1 year later...

funny thing is I am currently doing such a mod to my guitar neck. I made some acrylic binding that I sanded to haze it over, and now I am working on the acrylic inlays which will also be hazed over for an ice effect. They will be backlight with blue leds I got from an ebayer known as Besthongkong who specializes in all kinds of leds for cheap (50 leds cost me about 8 bucks with shipping). I had an acrylic pickguard in the process, but it just was to thick and wasn't coming out right (its thickness made it hard to shape properly for pickups). Good luck with your venture.

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Wow... definitely post pics!

Hey... weird question... think it'd be possible to get some sort of activation circuit in there to try and turn power to the LEDs to the sound of the strings being played? LIke... play a chord and they all go on, then turn off/fade as it dies... what'd be REALLY sweet is to see em go crazy in a nice tapping run.... whoo hoo!

OK... bedtime for me... I've lost it... whee... night all!

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I actually had an idea kinda like this a while back....

Use the text from "the ring" from Lord of The Rings written down the fretboard in hazed acrylic, then light it from behind with orangey-red LEDs, just like the text on the ring glows!

Okay, kinda lame, but I like it.

Actually, wasabi, I like that circuit idea. You could do it like they do on EQs so that your fretboard was also a meter of your EQ output... or not.

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SIMS IS BS! LEDS COST THE BUYER TOPS 3 bucks A LED

SIMS does charge a fortune for installing LEDs but they do need to cover much more than the cost of the parts. To take a fretboard off, mount the LEDs, ... takes quite a bit of time.

Simms doesn't remove the fingerboard, they drill in from the end and sides. But still, fussy time consuming work.

The only downside to using acrylic is it doesn't glue very well.

Edited by ddgman2001
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