FFFD!

Advice and tips on building a Carvin Guitars kit.

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ilyti
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FFFD!

Postby ilyti » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:54 pm

Finally Finished Frankenstrat/bolt/partscaster Day!

So I eventually came full circle and replaced ALL THE PARTS on my cheap 1980 Japanese strat copy. I replaced the pickups and electronics two years ago, the neck with a Carvin BN about a year and a half ago, the bridge some time after, and now finally the body and pickguard are new too. Ridiculous right? It's like that old joke about the street sweeper who says "I've been using this same broom all 30 years I've been a street sweeper. It has had 8 heads and 11 shafts in it's time, but this same broom is still holdin' on!"

(All the old parts have been re-assembled to give to my friend who cannot afford his own guitar, even though he has been wanting to learn all his life and collected old GuitarWorld mags for years. Waste not.)

Here's the recipe:
Carvin BN walnut/rosewood
GFS ash body
Bareknuckle Irish Tour pickups
GFS brass block bridge and stainless saddles
Tuners, tortoise pickguard, switches, ferrules from amazon
Ebony knobs and cloth push-back wires from stew mac

On to the pics. I considered taking progress pics along the way, but in the end decided not to bore you with the details of what went wrong. In the end, it's the results that matters. What I have now is a great playing, great sounding, surprisingly heavy super comfy partscaster.
full.JPG

body.JPG

back.JPG

backwood.JPG

frets.JPG

heel.JPG

pickguard.JPG

pickups.JPG

neck.JPG

wood.JPG


I'm a sucker for natural ash strats with tortoise pickguards. There's something magical about exactly that. I wanted something familiar and classic to play while watching TV late at night so it just had to be natural, tung oiled wood for the ultimate "comfort guitar". I wasn't sure what to expect from the cheapest body I could find that would ship here, but I'm pretty pleased with what I got. Nice looking piece of ash, not too light weight. It gained at least a pound over the original multi-piece mystery-wood body. I don't have a scale but the weight is a bit less than my Les Paul, and a bit-and-a-half more than my Korina bodied 7 string Aries. As you can see, I wanted to do an Aries inspired neckjoint and I'm really happy with how the high fret area feels now. Plays like a Bolt and sounds huge, warm and classic thanks to the Irish Tours. Oh yea and I tried to get the darkest, most brown least red tortoise guard I could find on amazon, and this one looks great to me. Not bad for 10 beaver-dollars, eh?
Oh yea, if you're still reading; waddup with the wiring? The 3-way mini does normal strat switching in the middle position. Knock it left and you get the middle pickups in series with either bridge in position 5 or neck in position 1. Knock it right to switch bridge and neck on together in 1 and 5, all three in 2 and 4. All the sounds!
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skully13a
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Re: FFFD!

Postby skully13a » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:01 pm

Right on! I like it. :) :)
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colossal
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Re: FFFD!

Postby colossal » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:17 pm

That looks really great. Good job!

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spudmunkey
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Re: FFFD!

Postby spudmunkey » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:19 pm

You need to name this thing "Theseus".

:applause: :lol: :lol:

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ilyti
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Re: FFFD!

Postby ilyti » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:33 pm

spudmunkey wrote:You need to name this thing "Theseus".

:applause: :lol: :lol:

Good one. You're right, this is beyond "Franken-" at this point.

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Re: FFFD!

Postby spudmunkey » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:44 pm

Can I blow your mind? Take all those old parts and build a 2nd guitar from the spare parts. Which one is the "real" one? :mrgreen:

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ilyti
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Re: FFFD!

Postby ilyti » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:49 pm

spudmunkey wrote:Can I blow your mind? Take all those old parts and build a 2nd guitar from the spare parts. Which one is the "real" one? :mrgreen:

I did.


ilyti wrote:(All the old parts have been re-assembled to give to my friend who cannot afford his own guitar, even though he has been wanting to learn all his life and collected old GuitarWorld mags for years. Waste not.)

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wickid
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Re: FFFD!

Postby wickid » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:21 am


Good job! 8)
Good looking body wood, and interesting neck wood and wiring setup. :think:

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ilyti
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Re: FFFD!

Postby ilyti » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:42 pm

Thanks wickid!

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Re: FFFD!

Postby Tabare777 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:17 pm

Very cool man, great job!!!
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Doctor Doug
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Re: FFFD!

Postby Doctor Doug » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:02 am

Awesome!

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ilyti
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Re: FFFD!

Postby ilyti » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:46 pm

Thanks guys. I've been playing it a lot lately. It has, at least temporarily, replaced the Aries as my go-to "I feel like noodling for a bit, I'll grab that one"-guitar. The bolt neck is so darn inviting and comfortable. No wonder that the guitar I somehow clicked with the most when I visited the showroom last year was a C66 (other than the Aries I walked away with of course). It has the same neck!

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Re: FFFD!

Postby MarkusB » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:36 am

It's awesome! Natural ash and tortoise (or black) pickguard strats are my thing, too. The no-inlays fretboard makes it somehow even better! Great job. :applause:

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Re: FFFD!

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue May 09, 2017 6:52 am

Nice job!

So.. question: you replaced the neck, the body, the pickups, the pick guard, the knobs and switches have all been changed out... so--is there anything left from the original Japanese guitar?

Another question--how much effect on tone does the brass block have? Was the guitar "build" the same for a while before and after the block went in so you could do a sort of Before vs. After?

I'm a fan of brass blocks integrated into bridge design. The tone on this here sucker . . . .
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ilyti
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Re: FFFD!

Postby ilyti » Tue May 09, 2017 2:09 pm

Doctor Turn wrote:Nice job!

So.. question: you replaced the neck, the body, the pickups, the pick guard, the knobs and switches have all been changed out... so--is there anything left from the original Japanese guitar?

Another question--how much effect on tone does the brass block have? Was the guitar "build" the same for a while before and after the block went in so you could do a sort of Before vs. After?

Thank you. Nothing of the original Japanese strat copy is left of what you see in the pictures here. It is a full on second Theseus ship by now. In addition, the original parts (body, pickguard, pickups, bridge) were all put back together with a new cheapo neck from amazon (frets on the original neck were almost non-existant at this point and I didn't feel like doing a re-fret on something I was getting rid of anyway) and some tuners I had lying around. I also did a sculpted heel on the original body to practice for what I was going to do on "Theseus II". Glad I did, cause I did it much better the second time.

So I got the brass block bridge while "Theseus I" already had the Carvin neck and the BKPs. Oddly, the impact of the brass block on the unplugged tone was minimal, but when plugged in it was clear that it had way umph and sustain than the original bridge. The SS saddles came a little later and made a similar difference. But a decent weight body made a HUGE difference by comparison, to plugged and unplugged tone alike.


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