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Idea For A Custom Guitar, Thoughts?


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Hey all, I had a bit of an off the wall idea for a custom guitar, I wanted to run it by a group of people who know a lot more then I do about the topic.

The basic concept of the guitar will be my live setup, when I play live (currently on a ESP LTD MH400NT), I'm in a metal band, so I'm always on the bridge position, tone all the way up, volume all the way up. That is until I inevitably brush the tone or volume knob (or god forbid the pickup selector) and my hard earned tone and gain is squandered until I realize and fix it.

The idea for the guitar is to always have me locked into what I want, that means 1 emg pickup in the bridge position, no pickup selector (obviously), no tone knob (tone should always be all the way up), and instead of a volume knob I'd like an on/off switch. I of course will take it to my local artist to have some intricate line work done on it before its finished, just so it can be that much more special, lol.

Thoughts? Is this a really bad idea? I realize that once the guitar is done, I do not have an option to customize the tone except on the amp. Has the on/off switch been done before? Is it noisy?

Does anyone have any suggestions about how this would be best accomplished? I was thinking of getting the body and neck from warmoth, having them route it to spec, and then do the rest of the wiring myself, is that a bad idea too?

Any feedback would be great,

Thanks!

-Brian

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It's not a bad idea and it can definitely be done with a kill switch. It'd actually be a lot easier to do than normal wiring.

If you want a little more versatility, just in case, you can have the tone and/or volume knobs and a kill switch, but have a another switch that can lock the volume and tone. That would take someone who really knows their wiring, but it's possible.

The easiest way would be just having the kill switch. That seems to be what you want anyhow. It's definitely been done before, though it's usually a custom job.

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It's not a bad idea and it can definitely be done with a kill switch. It'd actually be a lot easier to do than normal wiring.

If you want a little more versatility, just in case, you can have the tone and/or volume knobs and a kill switch, but have a another switch that can lock the volume and tone. That would take someone who really knows their wiring, but it's possible.

The easiest way would be just having the kill switch. That seems to be what you want anyhow. It's definitely been done before, though it's usually a custom job.

Would a switch like one of these work: http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/switch.htm ?

Also, how would the wiring work if there is no tone knob? Is having the wire connected straight through the same as having the tone knob turned all the way up?

Thanks!!

-Brian

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I think it's a cool idea if it's what you want. I really like the idea of very simple controls, but my desire for versatility always has me adding extra switches and knobs.

Almost any switch will work for what you're trying to do. You just need to make sure you get a size/style you like. I would lean towards a mini toggle (4th one down in the link you provided). SPST is what you need, but really any number of poles will work. Just make sure it's not the "center off" variety. If you shop around a little you can find switches where the "bat" part is flattened instead of rounded. I like those better. You can also buy them in black, which will look better on most colors.

Wiring this is dead simple. The pickup ground and hot leads go straight to the jack. If you buy an SPST, then there will be two lugs on the switch. Connect one of the lugs on the switch to the "hot" lug on the jack, and the other one to the "ground" lug. Since you're using actives, you don't need to ground the switch or the bridge. The only other thing you need to do is hook up the battery. Refer to the schematics on EMG's site for info on how to do that (it's really easy).

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I don't know what kind of switch you were thinking of from that page...but I would suggest a gibson style toggle selector wired so that on is down and situated well away from where it could get knocked (otherwise you risk turning the guitar off instead of just changing selections). This kind of thing has many advantages and more intuitive to use.

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If i read your post right you want a single pickup guitar with a kill switch instead of any knobs. Really, what's the debate about?

do it one of two ways

push down momentary switch. It's easier to accidentally flip a toggle when playing than physically pushing down a button

Or

Get a covered toggle Nothing cooler than an aircraft style covered toggle to get the job done!

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from your post i don't think you want a momentary switch.

but i think what you are wanting is just a way to turn the volume off when your in between sets or what ever if so i think i would just build a small stomp box to turn if off and on. this way you don't have to even worry about brushing a toggle when your playing.

the plus side of this is just hit that when switching guitars.

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Ok, so how about placement of the switch?

Knobs are usually on the lower right hand side of the guitar for ease of use, but in this installation we need it to be easy to use, but NOT easy to accidentally use.

For example, I don't want to accidentally hit the switch while I'm jumping around on stage... but if I'm in that perfectly wrong position or the volume on the amp is too high, I want to be able to cut the volume before feedback takes over!

I was thinking of either having them in the traditional space for tone / volume knobs, just with the cool aircraft switch as mentioned above, or putting it up top left like where les paul pickup selectors are.

I don't want the switch to overpower the design, and I don't want to have to worry about any sort of cover on the switch flapping around as I'm moving (i'm pretty violent).

Also, as this is my first design, do you think it would be easier to use a passive pickup to eliminate the extra wiring and routing for the battery?

Thanks so much everyone for your input!!

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<2 cents>

I used to move the volume knobs on my stage guitars... Now on my customs (for myself) I make sure the volume knob is not in the swing path of the hand....

</2 cents>

Where do you move them to? Further up or down? Above the strings?

headstock?

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Why not just stick the switch where the tone knob is on your ESP? I can't see how you would accidentally hit that. Also, if you like the EMG sound, then stick with those. Wiring them up is not significantly harder than wiring a passive setup.

Edited by fookgub
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Rotate the pots 90deg against their axes and use little "wheels" rather than knobs... (think this is how they did it on the Jaguar, or are those just switches?) Put them in the upper bout like you might on an acoustic guitar.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...l%3Den%26sa%3DG

ever seen a maverick geo

Maverick_f1_electric_guitar_red_more_info.jpg

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Ah, holy crap! That's amazing!

However, its seemingly more skill then I would be able to work with.

Why don't they make all guitars like that? that seems like such a better design. Who wants their knobs to actually stick out?

me! I hate those maverick controls they are bleugh do they even make them anymore I can't think when I last saw one in a guitar shop mind you its been a while since I've been in one!

and I like to use the little finger technique occasionally aswell!

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The knobs on that Maverick are AWSOME!!!!

You can get a covered toggle like that aircraft thing at Radio Shack for a LOT less than what's on that link.

7 bucks at Harbor Freight and you get a built-in LED :D

working link

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Maverick Guitars have stopped production for now, I remember reading that in a guitar mag months ago.

I also love the look (and idea) of the recessed roller-type controls, but have wondered about the amount of travel necessary to turn the volume off completely in a hurry, for instance. You don't want to have to take your finger off the control to finish turning it right around - if you see what I mean??

I like the idea of an LED-equipped switch for this one. You have the added bonus of already having power in the guitar since you're using EMGs! Cool.

Stompbox killswitch could be more intuitive though....guess it's personal preference.

DJ

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