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About fookgub

  • Birthday 04/28/1983

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  • Location
    Houston, TX
  • Interests
    bass and guitar; circuit design/layout/prototyping; guitar pedals and small amps; speaker building; coffee roasting and everything espresso; other woodworking; programming; linux; climbing; skiing

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  1. My usual advice is "don't build what you can readily buy," which would lead me to suggest the Red Special or the Aria. However in your case, I say go with one of the Rics. The originals are so wildly expensive that I think it's justified to build your own. Plus you can fix a lot of the weird design choices along the way. I don't think anyone would bother with those basses if they didn't sound so unique and totally awesome. There's nothing quite like a Ric. I don't see any point in building a jazz -- you can get them all day long from a dozen manufacturers at a dozen price points -- SX to Sadowsky. I feel pretty much the same way about the G&L's, too. Just not worth building when the originals are great instruments and reasonably priced. By the way, have you ever gotten up close and personal with one? They sound fantastic. I've always liked G&L bridge design. In fact, I almost ordered one a while back to use on my own project.
  2. Hmm... Interesting point on the V. I'd like to try one someday, but I don't think I'll be using this piece. I've always liked the idea of a King V in gloss black. So many guitars, so little time....
  3. Well, does the world really need another hot chick? Sounds like a lot of trouble to me.... Prostheta - Never been a fan of pickguards for this style of guitar, but I do admit the clear works on your old Washburn. I might give it some thought if I was going HSS, but I'll 95% be sticking with the tried-and-true HH. Anyway, I think I will stick with the superstrat/RG idea, but I may try to sleek-ify the lines a bit. Here's what I currently have for inspiration: Made by Elysian, who I haven't seen around here in a while. I'm reasonably sure this is a Mike Sherman. Metal Matt, who I also haven't seen in a while. Blackmachine -- the one that kicked off the super-thin idea for me.
  4. This may not seem very exciting to our Aussie friends, but I have a couple pieces of Australian Red Gum. The is rare wood in Texas, and I'd like to build something that shows it off. The pieces are highly figured, but are glued up from 2"-wide boards. I know that probably isn't going to blow anyone's hair back, but this piece was hard to get even at that. Besides, whoever did the joinery did a nice job. This used to be a mantle or some-such. The boards measure about 40" x 8" x 1-3/8". It'll be more like 1.25" thick by the time I clean up both sides. They also have some checks and holes in the back, so not everything is usable. I was planning on a Blackmachine-style superstrat. I've been wanting to do one for a long time now, but it seems so pedestrian -- does the world really need another RG-shaped guitar? I've been poking around at some other superstrat styles, especially a couple of Mike Sherman's, but I'm still undecided. Suggestions?
  5. Couple more combinations done. I think I'm finished with Jazz-style pickups for now. I've got some P-bass pickups to try next. I'm also thinking about getting a couple Musicman-style humbuckers for comparison to the MM-style Jazz pickups I have. I originally thought MM-style humbuckers would be unsuitable because I thought the pickups would need to be slanted to help with the string-to-string tonal balance. But my thinking on that may be changing.
  6. I tried a few more pickup combinations. These MM-style jazz pickups sound better than I expected. I'm recording each combination as I go along so I have something to refer back to. Results are encouraging so far.
  7. Test fit Drilling holes for various pickup types/locations I'm calling this one slant/MM Currently strung up with DR DDT's (45-105). It sounds pretty good. A lot like a Musicman, actually. Strings have a piano-like ring. I find the G a little thin (common complaint with MM basses, so may be partly attributable to the pickups, though I think moving down to a .040" G-string would help). The E is lacking definition compared to the other strings, but I've heard worse on 34" scale basses. It's most noticeable playing fingerstyle closer to the neck. The difference is greatly reduced playing with a pick, which I do more than 50% of the time. Dropped-D is a no-go at this point, though I'm particularly picky -- I think it would work for a lot of people. I do like the DDT's -- nice sound. I'm not completely sold on the feel, but we'll see if I get used to them. They remind me of Lo-Riders but without the stiffness. I'd like to move the E up to a .110" or .115", but I'm not sure it would fit through the tuner post. I'll have to look around to see if I can find anything made for short scale basses.
  8. Ok, first coat of finish is on. That mahogany really popped. Good thing I have enough left over for 1.5 bodies.
  9. Well, flatwounds aren't really my thing, but I do agree that higher tension would help. I'm going to try out the DR DDTs. I've also got a pair of Hi-Beams. I recall liking those on prior basses, although I've only had one bass for the past few years and I've only used Dingwall strings on it. I also ordered a balanced set from Circle K, but they haven't arrived yet. I'm not 100% sure they will fit through the slots in the tuner posts, but I can always use them on something else. Anyway, here are a couple more progress pictures. I'm going to sand it out next so I can spray a few coats of varnish... nothing fancy, just something to keep it from getting all grungy while being handled.
  10. Thanks for the kind words you two. Chad - For one, my bit is brand new, so it's still very sharp. Also, I take shallow passes and I work as slowly as possible without causing burning. Cutting very close to the line with the bandsaw helps, as does having a router that won't slow down when you put some load on it. Most importantly I've started to develop a feel for what the wood is telling me, and I'll work extra carefully if I feel like it wants to kick in a certain spot. Sometimes you just have to avoid certain things on the router completely, and the OSS really comes in handy there. Scott - Definitely check out Clark's. I like it better than any of the lumber yards I went to in Austin, and it gets bonus points for being just a couple minutes away from my house. Nice memory, by the way... I moved to Houston in June, and getting resettled is one of the things that has kept me from working on guitars for a while. I certainly will be posting my thoughts as I go along. I've always been curious about short scales, but I'm not interested in vintage styles, kids instruments, or high-end customs, which leaves me pretty much out in the cold for non-DIY instruments. My hope is to sort out most of the variables on this build and use that knowledge to build a solid bass later on. Anyway, hope you guys still like the build when you see what's coming next...
  11. This is basically a test to answer a few questions I have about 30" scale basses. Namely: - Do I like the feel of the shorter scale? - What strings are best? Is it possible to get a balanced feel and a solid E? What about dropped D? - What pickup types and placements do I prefer? The neck is a SX I picked up for cheap over at TalkBass. It's not fancy, but it will do the job. The fretwork actually seems pretty good. The body is 2-piece mahogany. I bought this as a S2E1 board from Clark's hardwood more because it would fit in my car than because I needed them to do the jointing and planing. I had to run it through the jointing setup on my router table anyway, though I did get out of surfacing the blank with my router planing jig. After sanding out the blank a bit, I marked the shape with a sharpie and cut along the outside edge of the line with my bandsaw. Cutting this close takes a bit more time, but it makes routing much easier later. This template is one I had lying around (it's from my Variax project). All I did was make the neck pocket a little wider. Next, I routed it to shape and did the roundovers. This is a 3-flute pattern bit with a 2" cutting length from MLCS. It made routing the shape a breeze. more more more more The pictures don't show the whole process, but I placed the bridge first then placed the neck with strings attached. This helps make sure that everything is lined up correctly. more more more more more more The test fit provides a good opportuinty make sure everything fits and is aligned right. I also checked the balance and marked the forearm and belly contours. more Carving the contours. I used the bandsaw to rough everything out. I've never done that before, but it worked quite well. A few minutes with my microplane rasps and some sanding with a block was all I needed to finish the contours off. more more Also pressing the tuner bushings in -- one of the few uses I've found for my arbor press aside from pressing frets.
  12. Okay... my part of this is done now. Body is sanded out and has two light coats of polyurethane just to seal it up. I'm heading to Houston unexpectedly tonight, and the guitar is coming with me... so it looks like this will be done sooner than I thought.
  13. Did you use any special tools to make the string slots? After fitting the nut, I mark the approximate height with a pencil I sanded in half (like this). Then I place the outside strings where I want them and mark the others using a string spacing rule. I rough in the slots with a .020" kerf saw held against a square piece of steel to make sure the slot is true. Then I finish the slots with nut slotting files from Warmoth. The Warmoth files are not the best... I wish I had bought Allied's files instead.
  14. I made it, but it doesn't take much for tools. I think I used sandpaper, files, a coping saw, and a drill and tap for the holes. I should post pictures again, since I've cleaned it up and made it better. Does your guitar have a top-mount nut, or do the holes go through the back of the neck?
  15. Test fit completed. Dialed in a nice setup with low action and minimal buzzing. I like to set things so that nothing buzzes when I play light, but a little buzzing is okay when I dig in hard. The test is whether or not it buzzes while strumming normally in drop-D (it can't). I also set the intonation to make sure I could. With that all done, I pronounced the guitar a-okay and took it apart. Did a some slight forearm and belly contours yesterday and started sanding it out. I really like the idea of a straight up slab body, but I think I'll be happier in the end with the contours. I kept them pretty small, anyway. It really doesn't take a big contour to make a guitar comfortable. Still in the process of sanding it out, so I won't be done this weekend like I wanted. Next time I'll be able to work on it will be Tuesday, and I'm hoping to finish it then. Front: Back: http://www.ece.utexas.edu/~wrobert/esquire...t_body_back.jpg Overall: Back: http://www.ece.utexas.edu/~wrobert/esquire_testfit_all.jpg Modular connectors: Overall: Back: http://www.ece.utexas.edu/~wrobert/esquire..._connectors.jpg
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