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Everything posted by GregP

  1. You can also recess tune-o-matic bridges if you like that bridge style but don't want to angle the neck.
  2. Really enjoying this thread! I also finally realized what it is I enjoy about Limba so much... it's "natural" looking without looking rustic. Same principle applies for figured maple, spalted anything, and a few other woods. But certain woods just end up looking too much like a hunk of cabin for me to enjoy. Limba hits all the right spots. Keep it up! Looking forward to watching this thread.
  3. @Prostheta Things are great, thanks! It HAS been a long while. Hope things are good with you as well. Really enjoying popping in here to see threads like this one. So many talented people out there.
  4. Side note: some of my searching just brought me to Pinterest... which in turn revealed a whole new realm of weirdness and delight in the headless world. Ever hear of a Washburn Wonderbar? Also saw some sort of Floyd Rose-based monstrosity (for now, link here: http://ebay.to/2rSZFVu) ... there are a lot of really creative things out there.
  5. Thanks for the reply, guys! Will check out that source. I got a detail wrong (will update original post)-- the "licensed by KD patents" stamp actually appears on the knife-edge one as well, though I'm sure I've also seen it on the Steinberger-ISH ones. Here are some links even for some of the ones you know about, to hopefully clarify for other readers (here in a separate post in case I'm accidentally breaking any rules... also warning in advance to future readers that these links WILL expire some day...): Ugly not-quite Steinberger-ish one: http://bit.ly/2sQN7ek (this one has just "Licensed by patents" Less Ugly not-quite Steinberger-ish one: http://bit.ly/2s2EYrd Nicely compact knife-edge one: http://bit.ly/2r40K8Z (well, the headpiece is kinda ugly... but I don't mind the bridge!) You're right about the CSL bridge to a certain extent. Though I've discovered that by a headless guitar not "sharing" the tension up to a tuning post, you can have strings slipping with a cheap Floyd nut (mind you, if you're buying a Sophia, you're well past buying cheap parts). Some of the aftermarket headless nuts would do the trick, though, or a custom solution more like what Strandberg does. The Steinberger "string adapter" after a Floyd nut would also offer the necessary friction to prevent the slipping. One of the cool things about "Less Ugly" and "Nicely compact" above is that they use a mechanism at the bridge that accepts the plain string end, so the ball is at the headpiece and requires no further "locking". But the tradeoff is that it's not truly a "locking" system anymore. As long as the "coarse" tuners are fairly fine and stiff it probably doesn't make a HUGE difference, though.
  6. So my current project ("nearing" completion which means a few more months at my current pace...) involves repurposing a Floyd Rose as a trem for a headless guitar. Anybody out there can tell you even before embarking on such a project that results will ALWAYS be sub-optimal if for no other reason than the lack of coarse tuners. But it was a fun project and I'm happy to be bringing it to completion. However, my interest in headless guitars is re-sparked and I've done some digging around. After my current experiment completes, I am considering firing up a "proper" headless project. Headless units are hard to find. Not sure if I'm allowed to link to e-commerce sites (especially ones selling inexpensive Chinese hardware) so I'll skip for now and hope that vague descriptions suffice. Here are what I'm able to locate as of right now: original Steinbergers are hard to find. Their latest guitars aren't trem-based, so even repurposing (for example) a Synapse means no trem. MusicYo licensed stuff seems to be out of production and unavailable right now. This USED to be the go-to cheaper option Hohner has licensed stuff which MAY be available if you order directly from their European site. Cannot order directly from their U.S. site The ubiquitous "Overlord of Music" headless bridge is found on eBay and other sites; it is cheap and cheaply made, but could present a viable option for a non-deluxe headless guitar. Seems similar to Steinberger stuff, and has integrated spring in a large unit A less ubiquitous unit bearing a stamp "Licensed by KD patent" is constructed differently and is less aesthetically pleasing IMO, but features roller saddles (partly offsetting the problems with the Overlord's all-pot-metal construction). Not seemingly Steinberger-compatible, but similar in construction with integrated spring and trem-locking feature An even less ubiquitous unit bearing a stamp "Licensed by patents" is more Floyd-like, with knife edge and studs and a good ol' spring claw setup (rather than integrated spring). I THINK this one would require additional routing (it is a full rectangle rather than a fat T-looking thing like a Floyd rout) but could otherwise been seen as similar to a Floyd but with worm-gear coarse tuners instead of fine tuners. Very interesting-looking! An AMAZING-looking but expensive selection from Coherent Sound In Light (some of the Sophia bridges are headless-capable but don't seem to include a nut assembly). We're talking $350-500 (or more) USD for the bridge. But looks fantastic I have experience with exactly zero of the above, and I'd be interesting in hearing more about the various options. Especially curious about #6 but I think I'd have to be able to provide a link so that users could say "Oh yeah, I've tried that one". Still curious about the Overlord of Music one because although it's expected to be a bit of a POS I'd like to know if it's at least "fine". I wouldn't want to install complete unworking garbage on a guitar (especially if it turned out to be a failed experiment) but I'm OK with "It does what it says on the tin." Of course, if you have come across other headless *trem* options (non-trem are somewhat easier to source and there's less to worry about) I would be curious to hear about your findings! Cheers!
  7. Thanks for the detailed reply, MJ! As chance would have it, I bought my finish earlier today-- decided to go with vinyl sealer and lacquer finish from spray bombs. But I'm still interested in trying out the poly some day.
  8. Gonna piggy-back on this thread for my own question. ;-) I understand the witness lines created by sanding through one layer into the underlying layer(s)-- but the comments about the "final spray" seem to indicate that they visually vanish with that final (non-sanded) coat. Is that the case? Like, if you sand through your layers of poly and get some crap-looking witness lines (but are working towards a smooth and level surface), does that final coat visually eradicate the lines?
  9. I had fun shaping with a grinder and flap-sanding disk recently. However, I have never seen at my local stores a flap sanding disk that has sufficiently fine grit. I was motoring through the wood and getting some burn while I was at it. Worse yet, no matter how smooth I tried to be, I was leaving some noticeable ... "lines" rather than a perfectly smooth transition. Fun, yes, but not for the faint of heart at that grit level, and I ultimately ended up working on the "carve" by wrapping some sandpaper around a rigid ball; or sometimes using my fingers, and working at it that way. What am I trying to say? Flap sanding disk seems like a good option if you can find a fine grit! But working just with sandpaper and a curved surface was surprisingly fast for the final stage of the rough carve.
  10. The local store (Richelieu) did not have the capacity to help on such a small scale; however, they redirected me to a local "decor" store, Bonds Decor, who carry the Mohawk line and also have their own line of products. Using their house primer, a Mohawk colour, and then a house clear, I should be able to do what I need to do! Thanks for sending me down the right path. I'll let you know how it goes after I hit Bonds and get around to the actual painting. ;-)
  11. Thanks, sdshirtman! Through their website, I found a local store that carries their product line. Will give them a call to see whassap.
  12. GregP


    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Is the unfinished body a blank, or in a particular style (tele, strat, etc)?
  13. So, there are a tonne of resources for doing a rattlecan (spraypaint can) finish on a guitar, but they invariably talk about products that are available in the States. Also cannot do mail-order from ReRanch or StewMac or anywhere else that doesn't have Canadian warehouses for shipping. I'm in a big enough city that I have all kinds of access to our Canadian versions of Lowe's and Home Depot. I also have Canadian Tire, There is a store called PartSource that I BELIEVE carries Dupli-Color. If not specific brands, it would be a huge help to at least know what TYPE of paints I am going for. My understanding thus far is that nitrocellulose is kinda rare to find and you have to be patient with curing it. Polyurethane is a good choice in general but is NOT available in rattlecans, or at least not without garbagey spraying performance. I don't mind recommendations that produce an "OK but not absolutely amazeballs" finish. I do want it to be shiney but it doesn't have to be boutique-level shiny. As long as I can add a few coats, sanding to smooth each time, and then do a final finish-sanding and buffing, I'm good. Heck, I'm also OK with brush-on solutions if they're not SUPER-tedious to sand back. Thanks for any pointers you might have for sourcing guitar finishing products in Canada!
  14. Sure, but the saddle will only need to be adjusted backwards. ;-) Lighter string guage, your strings need to move LESS backwards. Heavier string guage, your strings need to move MORE backwards, meaning you'll want that extra range. Remember, the bridge is positioned without string tension in mind at all. Pure scale length. So even with the lightest possible strings (including theoretical strings not even in existence!) and the high E barely gets any extra tension at all (hardly pulls sharp), you barely adjust the saddle back while intonating. But you do move it back a LITTLE. That's my real reply. But come with me into daydream land.... --------------------------- If you're someone who always uses really heavy heavy strings, I guess you could theoretically face a choice... but I would personally never build a guitar like this. And that choice is this: you KNOW that you use heavy strings and that even the high E will be back a bit from the scale length. To give the other saddles maximum backwards range, you could move the entire bridge back so that the high E saddle, while 100% forward, is at around the point you expect it to be (based on experience, measuring other guitars with similar setups, etc) for proper intonation. In this case, you'd really HAVE to use a little bit of wiggle room... it's only sane... but speaking of sanity... I would never do this with a typical adjustable-intonation bridge. You can't predict if you'll go lighter in guage, or if your guitar might end up in someone else's hands (a gift, deciding to recover some desperation $$, gets passed along after you yourself... pass along...), and this kind of decision could cripple the guitar's overall usefulness. But you could theoretically do it. ;-) --------------------------- I do think "pre-setting" compensation points (following a pattern or formula taken from non-intonatable bridges), could become more useful if you're doing individual-saddle bridges instead of a typical adjustable bridge.
  15. It's been a while, but as I recall the common wisdom seemed to be orienting the middle of the "travel range" at your scale length for adjustable intonation bridges. But this common wisdom never made sense to me... here's a good chance for me to be educated I guess. ;-) Compensation at the nut is making up for sharping the string as you push it down. You make up for it by moving the saddle back, which flats it back a bit. There shouldn't ever be the need for a saddle to go towards the fretboard. That being the case, you could theoretically put the high E saddle 100% forward and orient that spot to be at your scale length. By doing this, you also optimize the range for the low E. I have sometimes wished for more travel distance on the low-E saddle, and this would at least give you the maximum. That said, there are always going to be slight miscalculations, etc, so you could build in a tiny bit of wiggle room. But I wouldn't think the scale length at 50% of your saddle adjustment range is a good plan since you shouldn't need to move the saddle forward ever. Willing to be educated.
  16. Just read the whole thread front to back and man... what an inspiring build! Looking great already, and can't wait to see the finished instrument.
  17. So, the wiring diagram is confirmed working! It turns out that the previous owner of the electronics had the ground lug already wired to the casing, so I went ahead and just connected it the casings to each other and then to ground. If I use copper foil for shielding the cavity, I might desolder the redundant wires, but it wouldn't be killing anyone to leave it, either. Had a moment of panic last night-- after my last wire was soldered, I brought the harness to an amp, then used a guitar and put the pickups near the strings to see if it all worked. It did not. Fiddled, flipped switches, and nothing. Became worried that I had bum pots or (worse yet!) pickups, but it was late so I went to bed. Got around to it tonight. Busted out the continuity checking mode on the meter, and started looking for shorts. It didn't take long to discover that my output jack had a short in it. I (stupidly? Is there actually a best practice for this?) soldered the jack with the lugs pointing up, and probably used a bit more solder than I really needed. Some must have flowed down and around and created an invisible short. Thankfully, I had a spare stereo jack. Didn't have to try to salvage the shorted one. Soldered more carefully this time (and with the lugs pointing down), plugged it in, and I was off to the races! Tested the volume knobs and the mode switching, and it all seems to be working. I did NOT install the 18v mod yet (don't have a 2-way switch on-hand) but I can't imagine there will be any difficulties there. Here's an updated diagram with the optional grounding noted, and showing ground symbols instead of the literal representation of the star. Not sure if anyone will ever have any use for it, but you never know! EMG 89, EMG TW, 2 volume, no tone:
  18. I can't see why it would be a problem. All the viola tuners do is add more tension to the string after the bridge. If they weren't called "viola fine tuners" you would just see a simple levering device with fine-threaded screws. Although it did make me wonder for the first time if the ball ends of the guitar strings would be compatible with the viola tuners.
  19. I am a numpty... my veteran status and huge number of posts are from an earlier time when I was all talk and no action. I couldn't pretend to know what I would be doing and design such a thing. I have vague general ideas of how it might look, but in terms of actual execution, I am a worthless source of knowledge! Haha. In other words, don't hold your breath for anything worthwhile to come out of me. Since it's a pretty great idea, I suggest you go ahead and come up with some sketches! At the end of the day, what it boils down to in guitar-land is that it is a "trapeze tailpiece" made of wood and with viola-type aesthetic choices.... fitted with viola-style fine tuners. You would probably want to do the same thing as trapeze tailpieces and have the "loop" go not around the strap button itself, but "between" the button and the guitar, In other words, the same way trapeze tailpieces work. If I do find myself doodling around, though, I will be sure to share it.
  20. Certainly the more challenging part is going to be the design and crafting of the tailpiece itself. A somewhat ugly proof-of-concept wouldn't be too hard (the tailpiece could be a flat hunk of hardwood with a loop to go around the strap button) but invoking the aesthetic of the viola tailpiece while deciding on tuner placement (3 forward and 3 back, staggered should work!) would be an interesting project.
  21. That stop tailpiece is pretty neat. Even with normal tuners, there are times I wish I had finer control, and these would fit the bill. Also, a quick twist with the strumming hand would be a lot more convenient mid-song (and mid-chord) than trying to reach for the headstock tuners with your strumming hand. One of those things I don't see as being "necessary" (unless the guitar has a locking nut) but which could be a handy added convenience. Apparently a decent number of guitars use(d) these without a locking nut, so somebody out there valued that extra convenience.
  22. Thanks again Curtisa. I mentally noted the casing and bridge grounds but I haven't come across diagrams that show them so I figured it was a "given". That said, I think I'll add them in for completion. ;-) Piezo preams don't generally need the bridge ground; their most common application is in acoustic bridges. And one of the joys of piezo pickups is that they're not terribly susceptible to 60-cycle hum or EMI. Not sure if I'm going to use a bridge piezo element yet. I have 3 circular piezo elements tied together that I'm going to affix to various locations in hopes of picking up some vibrations. Might add a bridge, though, and do all 4. Definitely agreed that the piezo preamp might not play well with the 18v mod. After researching a "real" solution and finding the price tag too high, I decided to give this experiment a try more or less on a whim. The preamp is a $9 endpin jobbie from China, so my hopes aren't super high. The entire guitar is meant to be a frankenstein weirdo thing anyhow, so I didn't want to bother going top shelf. The plan is to affix the piezos but use alligator clips for a proof-of-concept. If the 18V either doesn't work in general or damages the piezo preamp unit, I will consider it a failed experiment. No huge loss. I just like to mess around. ;-) Thanks again for the eyes and the suggestions!
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