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Posts posted by bancika

  1. Presenting Travelcaster, my dream no-expense-spared travel guitar built by my father and me. I wanted a guitar inspired by Richie Kotzen Telecaster model, but still very unique. A guitar that's easy to pack in a carry-on bag, but doesn't compromise on tone or playability. I never liked headless guitars because they are either not very comfortable to play or builders often get carried away with avant-garde design and take it too far...so I set a goal to make a classy headless guitar that I actually like :)

    My father builds guitars as a semi-hobby, manages to do one or two per year. When it comes to guitars, I mostly work on the design and electronics. My specialty are tube amps/preamps and pedals and I also run a website with most of the project documented (http://diy-fever.com/). We already built one full-sized shred guitar for me some 12 years ago and it's been my #1 since. More info on that guitar here http://diy-fever.com/guitars/bancika-mk1/


    • Alder body with 1/4" flamed maple top, contoured arm rest with cream binding and belly cutout. 80% size of the telecaster.
    • 25.5" scale, quartersawn maple neck with slightly asymmetrical soft V profile and a separate piece of quartersawn maple fingerboard for added stability, Also added wenge skunk strip on the back, partially for stability, but mostly for looks :) . 41.5mm wide, 23mm thick at the nut.
    • Hipshot Headless System
    • Dimarzio Chopper and Fast Track pickups
    • Custom machined gold-plated brass control plate with LP-style switch and a single volume control with push-pull that splits both pickups, giving a total of 6 different sounds.
    • Jescar EVO gold frets
    • Threaded steel inserts in the neck heel and gold-plated stainless steel allen bolts instead of traditional neck screws to improve neck contact and allow for easier disassembly in case of travel without risking of damaging the wood.
    • Kinman-style treble bleed circuit
    • total weight of 2.6kg
    • glossy poly finish, tinted neck to look like aged nitro

    For build pics, blueprints, details etc visit http://diy-fever.com/guitars/kotzen-travelcaster/

    I recorded few brief clips of the guitar, all played with my laptop running S-Gear sims, will add more soon 



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  2. finally finished! Took over two years, mostly because of the issues with finishing. I designed the guitar and my father helped build it from scratch. It's heavily inspired by Kotzen Telecaster model, but made a bunch of changes: headless design based on Hisphot system, 20% smaller body (alter + flame maple), quartersawn maple neck with asymmetrical soft V profile (23mm tick at the nut), Dimarzio Chopper and Fast Track 1 pickups with LP switch and split-coil push-pull volume pot, EVO gold jumbo frets.

    We don't have equipment to do finishing ourselves, so we are at the mercy of people who do it, and they stalled it for years doing bigger jobs that pay more. But happy to report that it's done and loving it so far. It’s portable and light (weighs only 2.6kg or 5.7lbs) and even though it’s not as loud played unplugged as my other guitars, it sustains as good or better than my other guitars. Hipshot headless system works pretty well.

    Chopper and Fast Track 1 are perfectly balanced and work great on their own and combined. The sit right in the middle between Strat, Tele, LP and modern guitars. There’s more power than Strat/Tele, but not too much. They are not harsh, but also not honky or muddy. Enough output to push the amp hard, but still can clean up nicely. Very usable sound that can be shaped to do pretty much anything. Splitting the coils roughly halves the output and adds some sparkle to the tone, so it can be used as a clean/drive or rhythm/lead switch.

    for more info and more photos from early stages of builing visit http://diy-fever.com/guitars/kotzen-travelcaster/

    Few clips, guitar into interface, S-Gear VST with Plexi-style factory preset. No additional effects or adjustments











  3. This Squier Strat is my first guitar I got 15-16 years ago and over years I've done quite a few things to improve it. It's more of an emotional thing, I could've bought a MIM Strat for the money invested, but it's my first guitar and I plan to keep and play it forever. One of the first things I've done is get rid of the horrid pickups it had. Replaced them with two Kinamns (AVn-62 for middle and AVn-56 for neck) and one Dimarzio Virtual Vintage Blues in the bridge. Then I replaced the bridge with GFS brass block, replaced fretwire with medium jumbo, re-radiused the fingerboard to 12" (Eric Johnson style), scalloped the fretboard asymmetrically a'la Ritchie Blackmore and swapped the tuners for Grovers.
    Few weeks ago I finally decided to refinish the body as I always hated the metallic purple finish and took the body to a local car paint shop to respray it in sonic blue (used the PPG code 11475). It's finally done and assembled back. I'm pretty happy with the results. Over years, the pickguard has aged a lot, so I used some coffee to age kinman pickups and bought a dimarzio aged white pickup for the dimarzio, as it didn't take any stain I tried. Knobs were also resisting, but I managed to age them a bit using stewmac vintage amber liquid wood dye.

    for more information, photos and some clips visit http://diy-fever.com/guitars/squier-upgrade/


  4. Not really a DIY guitar, but it's kind of related :)
    I wanted to try Blue Chip picks that everyone raves about but didn't want to invest 50 bucks for a pick, so I decided to make my own. Investigation lead me to material they are made of and it's pretty expensive, but I was able to buy some scraps from ebay for much less. It was enough for about 8 picks. As far as pick shape is concerned, we went with my favorite - Gravity Sunrise. I don't have photos of the process, but it's all manual and described on my blog. No fancy tools are used, but requires certain level of craftsmanship.
    Here's the end result
  5. Hi guys,

    I started 7 string project and I need to make a nut for it (nut width is 49mm like petrucci musicman 7 model). My question is, how much should E string be spaced from neck ends. On 6 string guitar it's common to have it at about 3.5mm, does that apply here as well? I ask because making outer spacing 3.5 mm will leave less space between strings compared to 6 string models.



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