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Good afternoon musicians, luthiers, hobbyists and guitar fanatics (hopefully that should cover everyone who visits this site)

This is my first visit to Project Guitar and I come to you with a problem. I am in the process building a monster, however unlike Victor Frankenstein's one, mine is definitely not alive..

Some time ago, when I first started playing electric guitar, my mother bought me a Karina Strat copy (chinese thing) that served me well until I upgraded to a Fender Strat. Naturally, I didnt want to dispose of my first electric guitar as it had sentimental value, however it had signficant short comings in comparison to the Fender. So, what did I do, I committed to turning this this guitar into a machine that you couldnt simply replace. Crazy some might say, I might tend to agree now.

I threw away everything but the body, sanded the body back to the wood and stained it with a dark ebony look stain. I bought a Mexican fender locking nut neck, a floyd rose bridge, neck and bridge center tapped (4-conductor) Dimarzio humbuckers, a Skye Tweed Tone single coil for the centre position and had a custom made aluminium scratchplate made to accomodate the not-so-typical strat arrangement produced. I have also installed two switches such that you can choose between bumbucker or single coil arrangement for N and B positions, such that you can still achieve that single coil strat sound..  (image attached). 

I have wired it up using the typical strat wiring layout which I have found in books and on the net, however, when i plug it in to the amp I get horrendous feedback unless you touch the strings or metal work, only the center single coil will produce any sound, and the volume pot does not affect the sound. I have confirmed the right capacitance on the first tone pot, and bought a fairly well renowned cap for this purpose. Volume =500k, 1st tone =250k, 2nd = 500k. I have removed the  humbucker switches from the circuit, so they arent the issue. I have installed bonding wires between the metal work and the 'earth' for the coils. 

Im running out of guesses as to how to get this going. I have been told that aluminium ( or metal scratch plates) are generally better as they work as a big shield for interference, however this seems to cause more noise than anything. I dont understand how I can be getting sound out og my amp without the volume control working.  Im an electrical engineer, so have a basic understanding of RLC circuits etc, maybe im getting some crazy filtering going on, but given im using typical sizes for pots and caps, I dont think this should be an issue.

Any assistance, ideas, or even inspirational messages would be of great benefit, as I am at the stage where this would make a great garden ornament, it simply doesn't function as a guitar. 

Best Regards




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Andrew, it sounds like you made the rights decision to get rid of the original neck....often the fretwork and things you can't really change on a cheap instrument are in the necks. I'm sure that this will be a simpler fix than it seems to be at this stage, and certainly I'd defer to @curtisa expertise in all matters to do with the magic electropixies.

Any chance of a few gutshot photos? Sometimes the answer is hiding in plain sight.

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