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7 String Pups/fb Questions

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No pics, sorry.

Im working on a 7 string build, and here are the specs.

Soft Maple Body

Mahogony Neck

Bloodwood fretboard

I chose mahogony as a neck material to balance out the harshness of the maple, and the pups I've chosen should balance it even more.

25.5" Scale

24 or 27 Frets. Haven't decided. Probably 24.

John Petrucci's Liquifire Neck and X2N Bridge pups. X2N may be swapped for 7 string D-Activators.

Locking tuners and Locking nut.

7 String Licensed Floyd rose Bridge.

Costs: $290 Minimum, $452 Maximum, $368 Estimated.

So, my questions are...

Im thinking of swapping the XN2. I would like a variety of tones in this guitar, and would like a specific pup to balance out the Maple's Brightness. The Liquifire is set in my mind, so what would you guys suggest?

I can find 5'x6"x1/8" pieces of bloodwood on eBay for like $3. :D

Is 1/8th inch enough for a Fretboard? If not, I could use some as a headstock veneer.

What is a good example of "Bright"? I hear the term tossed around a lot with Maple, but if I could get a youtube video of someone playing a "Bright" guitar, I might get a better hold of the term. Preferably playing Metal on a bright guitar.

The neck heel is 7/8ths deep, and with the FB, it would be 1 inch. If I were to use a floyd rose, how far down should I have the pocket for the "Best" action?

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  • 2 weeks later...

1/8" is pretty thin for a fretboard unless you are making a veneer board.

To give you a better idea, the tang length on a fret is roughly a 1/16" so you have to radius the neck before gluing the fretboard in place.

You will need a proper radiused caul to glue it down right and after a couple of fret jobs (if the board gets any fairing out) there will be little left.

Eventually a fret job will incorporate replacing the fingerboard which would really be a bummer!

Can you tell I am not a huge fan of the old veneer (Fender cough cough Fender) fingerboards? :D

Edited by orangedrop
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You actually took the time to specify 'soft' Maple.

Soft maple is usually Western maple, not Eastern Hardrock Maple, which is the Maple that is known for it's brightness.

Soft maple isn't really bright, which would throw all of your assumptions out the window.

What I would do is build the guitar, and buy a few pickups on eBay or Harmony Central, you can usually resell them for whatever you bought them for and get a few real world sonic comparisons that way.

What I'm trying to say is that when trying to choose pickups, it's not as easy as reading a few reviews and making a choice, if you can, it's better to buy a few used and actually road-test them in the guitar yourself, being able to re-sell them for your price if you need to.

I personally think the X2N is pretty toneless to begin with really, IMO.

Also, I think it's a common mistake to try to forecast all your tone and parts based on wood choices, it's not that easy, and your removing a large part of the fun of building by your expectations.

Just use common sense, build a solidly constructed guitar, try a set of pkps, then be open to modifying it from that, because then, you have a real guitar to bounce your assumptions off of...right now, all you have is conjecture and maybe's.

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Decided to switch from the X2N to the Blaze Bridge.

BUT, before buying any pups, I was going to tour a few music stores and see how their 7 strings played.

Thanks for the Ebay/Harmony central tip, Ill browse a bit.

Obviously If I don't like the tone I can swap pups, but why not try and shoot in the right direction first? Speculations may be wrong, but sometimes they pay off. :D

1/8th is too thin, and most Fretboards I see now are 3/16ths. So I guess Ill try and find a few good cuts of something larger than 3/16ths.

So its Hard maple thats known for brightness? Hmm...

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