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Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

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Advice on doing a complete Partscaster Build

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by axejock, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    Oh, oh. I just got some parts today, and among them was the new set of genuine Fender Vintage Tuners. They certainly look correct and seem nice, but when fitting them to my WD neck, I found that the predrilled mounting holes on the headstock of the WD neck are not properly positioned to match the holes in the tuners. I don't know how far off they are, but it would appear that I'm going to have to re-drill the holes. The actual tuner pegs fit perfectly. Also, I bought this neck because it had already been mounted on the body that I bought, and the seller told me it was a high end neck with rosewood fretboard (yeah, I'm gullible). In looking at it today, I realized that I don't know the difference between a rosewood fretboard and a Pau Ferro fretboard. Can someone tell me how to tell the difference? It looks like rosewood to me, but I don't know what Pau Ferro looks like. Also, there is no part/identification numbers on the neck, so I don't know how to go back to WD to ask questions. All it says is "Licensed by Fender" and "WD Music". Any suggestions about how to get info about this? Ahh, the real fun starts!
     
  2. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    Oh, oh again. I guess, at my age, I should wear my magnifier glasses when checking fits of parts like the tuners. I was wrong, the tuners fit like a glove and really look nice on the headstock. One down and probably many to go. But I still don't know the difference between rosewood and pau ferro fretboards. AND, the tuners don't have a hole through them for the strings to pass. Instead, they have a slot on top of the shafts with a hole drilled vertically down into the shaft. I assume you must cut the strings to length, push the end down into the hole in the tuner shaft and then bend the string down so it will wrap around the shaft? Sheesh, I thought I knew this stuff. The tuners turn quite stiffly and seem to have a high gear ratio...18:1? Anyway, I feel better now! We'll see how the neck fits-up soon.
     
  3. sp8ctre

    sp8ctre Strat-Talker

    220
    Mar 8, 2014
    Long Beach, CA
    I'm no expert on woods, but I have quite a few Rosewood boards and a couple Pau Ferro. One thing I notice is my Rosewood boards are darker and more red tone than the Pau Ferro which is lighter and leans toward brown. But what really made it easy for me is in the application of fretboard oil. The Rosewood soaks oil right up, but the Pau Ferro seemed like the oil just sat on it. Almost like is was a denser material? That is just personal observation...
     
  4. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    All of my guitars have a rosewood fretboard (except for my very special Telecaster that is identical to the first guitar I bought when I was 16 years old....it has the correct maple neck). This neck looks like all of the others and it was advertised as a rosewood fretboard neck, pre-drilled for vintage tuners, medium jumbo frets, C shaped neck, 21 frets, etc. The frets are perfectly level and polished and have the edges prepped beautifully, so I really do think it is a good neck. But other than the seller's description (he was a custom builder) I have no pedigree on this thing except the WD brand. I doubt that someone who builds guitars would lie about the fretboard material. But I still want to know what Pau Ferro is and how to identify it.
     
  5. sp8ctre

    sp8ctre Strat-Talker

    220
    Mar 8, 2014
    Long Beach, CA
    From the web...I underlined things that I think would help tell the difference.

    These are the differences between Pau Ferro and Rosewood:

    • - Tighter grain than Rosewood – this results in a slightly snappier tone.
    • - Tonally, Pau Ferro is like the mid-way point between Ebony and Rosewood. Slightly brighter than Rosewood but with the same depth and warmth.
    • - Pau Ferro is a harder wood than Rosewood which is what leads to these tonal differences.
    • - Generally, Pau Ferro is lighter in colour than Rosewood.
    • - Pau Ferro can vary in appearance going from light brown wood grains to darker streaks.
    • - It feels quite similar to Ebony under the fingers – smooth and easy to play. Not far removed from Rosewood.
     
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  6. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    Thanks for that. I went to the web as well and read a ton of articles about rosewood vs pao ferro fretboards. It really sounds to me like there is no big difference, but there are many folks who argue otherwise. I'm now quite sure that my neck has a rosewood fretboard and I guess I will leave it at that. It looks and feels like a nice neck to me! Onward to more and bigger "head scratchers"!
     
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  7. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    Here's a simple question....where do I solder the wire from the tremolo claw to ground? Does it go to the housing of one of the pots or somewhere else? Also, I have a "unique pickguard" that does not have any shielding on the back of it. I bought a Fender shield for the controls area, but am wondering how to mount it to the pickguard. Do you use some spray-on adhesive, or just let the pickguard clamp the plate in place when its screws are tightened? I'm getting down in the weeds, now! And by the way, in a "test mounting", the neck fit perfectly...straight and flat and completely inline with the strings. Now all I have to do is wait and see what happens when I put all the strings on and tighten them up! Quite a long way from finishing this thing, but these test fits really help!
    By the way, this thread is sure getting long (with me being the most frequent poster), but I am getting a lot out of it....it really does help to hear from you experts! Is there a limit on thread length?
     
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  8. Seekir

    Seekir Strat-Talker

    Age:
    64
    169
    Mar 11, 2015
    Hilo, Hawaii
    I believe the conventional way to ground the trem claw is to solder a lead to the volume pot body/shell, though I suppose there are other points in the wiring harness that would work as well. I like to ground this lead from the volume pot to the cavity shielding with an eye terminal screwed through the shielding in the body cavity wood with a small screw and run a second wire with a terminal sharing the point in the cavity to the claw so that I can remove the screw and then remove the pickguard without desoldering the lead at the claw when I need to work on the guard. The pickguard will be "tethered" to the claw (as well as the output jack) if you solder the ground lead directly. This is also supposed to "star" ground the guitar and reduce noise if the cavity and pickguard are shielded properly and grounded.

    I would think that your Fender shield would have adhesive under a peel-off backing that would allow you to attach it to the pickguard. It would have to be pretty thick to remain in position without adhesive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
    axejock likes this.
  9. sp8ctre

    sp8ctre Strat-Talker

    220
    Mar 8, 2014
    Long Beach, CA
    Pictures!
     
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  10. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    I'm a terrible photographer but will try to get some photos of the parts involved and the progress made so far. The overall "cosmetic theme" of this build is not ready to disclose yet as it is still a work in progress. But details of the these things are beginning to come together and as soon as I have them "self approved" (in other words I don't want to expose my poor artistic taste... LOL) I will post them in detail. You have all helped a lot with this, and I really want to show-off the end product!
     
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  11. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    CIMG0777.JPG CIMG0778.JPG CIMG0779.JPG CIMG0781.JPG CIMG0782.JPG CIMG0783.JPG CIMG0786.JPG CIMG0787.JPG CIMG0788.JPG CIMG0789.JPG OK, here are some random shots. Please note that the Fender shield for the pickguard does not have a sticky side!
     
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  12. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Age:
    67
    Feb 12, 2009
    New Jersey, USA
    I may have missed it in one of your earlier posts,
    But what color pickguard is that in the last photo?
    Cream or Parchment? Or something else?
     
  13. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    Tone Deaf: The pickguard shown is the one that came with the 920D loaded pickguard (SD Rails, and 7 way switching). The color is called Cream, but it is NOT the color I am going to use. It is so heavily crème colored that it has a brown effect. I tried this pickguard, a white one, and a parchment one, and they just didn't give me what I wanted for this Oly White guitar. Hence I an going the custom pickguard route which will require moving all components from the cream guard to the pickguard that I want to use. This should be a straightforward process.
     
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  14. sp8ctre

    sp8ctre Strat-Talker

    220
    Mar 8, 2014
    Long Beach, CA
    Looking Good! Can't wait to see it finished and hear a report on how it plays...
     
  15. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    Back to another previous issue...shielding. I bought a genuine fender shielding plate to protect the control area under my "custom-made" pickguard. When it got here, I thought that it would have some sort of adhesive to hold it in place on the pickguard. It does not have that but relies on clamping force of the pickguard mounting screws to hold it in place. OK, but the bigger problem is that this shielding plate is .032" thick which will undoubtedly elevate the pickguard a good distance from the body and be noticeable when looking at the control area of the pickguard after installation. I don't want this, so have ordered a full pickguard coverage shielding plate from Callaham that is a more reasonable .014" thick and provides coverage for the full pickguard. Good, but even this piece uses no adhesive and relies on pickguard mounting screws to hold it in place. This seems like it is going to be something that will be difficult to properly position during assembly. I know that I brought this up before, but am now looking for how most of you folks deal with this issue. Thanks.
     
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  16. sp8ctre

    sp8ctre Strat-Talker

    220
    Mar 8, 2014
    Long Beach, CA
    Spray glue...it's as simple as that for me. Made by 3M, comes in a can, easy to apply. BUT, if you use it go lightly and avoid getting it on anything but the back of the guard...and wear rubber gloves. It's a ***** to get off your fingers...I use it when covering amps as well.
     
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  17. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    Boy, I sure have a way of getting "excited" about something that is apparently a problem and then finding out that I was completely wrong....I just blame it on failing comprehension skills brought on by the aging process! (yuk, yuk). Anyway, in the post above where I talked about pickguard shielding, I stated that the smaller, control section only, genuine Fender shielding plate was too thick and would cause the pickguard to be distorted in that area. Not true, the plate is designed to actually fit down into the cavity with the controls, thus not causing any pickguard distortion....I'll be darned! But, given the "hot" nature of the pickups I'm using, I think that the Callaham, full coverage plate may be the better way to go anyway. Boy, I am learning a lot....just hope I can retain that knowledge for future efforts?
     
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  18. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    I guess I'm on an a bit of a hold for a while as I wait for my custom pickguard and a few other parts to arrive. Boy, the pickguard on a Strat is definitely the critical component in a build since all of the electrics mount on it. And from where I am now, there really isn't much more I can do to finish the assembly of the guitar until the new pickguard is loaded and mounted in place. Patience is in order?
     
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  19. axejock

    axejock Strat-Talker

    Age:
    71
    228
    Jul 26, 2018
    Washington State
    A little off topic comment while I await parts. Today I was going through ebay and saw what looked like a very nice strat for $90! I figured that must be the opening bid amount, but instead it was the actual item price and it was for a practically unused Squire Bullet Strat. I'd never heard of them, so I went on and found that they can be bought brand new for about $125! Of course they are advertised as beginners or practice guitars, but actually carry some very good ratings and are apparently decent guitars. Hum, let's see, I paid over $200 just for a neck for my custom build and could have bought a complete guitar for 1/2 that price?? That sort of drives home the economic reality of doing a custom build or buying a US or MIM strat! Not that I care because the instruments are at totally different "ends of the quality spectrum" and I am building a totally custom, just for me Strat whatever the cost! But it is certainly an illustration of how Fender has all ends of the product line covered. Interesting tidbit.
     
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  20. sp8ctre

    sp8ctre Strat-Talker

    220
    Mar 8, 2014
    Long Beach, CA
    I see people giving good reviews for those Squier Bullets and wonder why? I bought one based on some of that info and it was a complete POS. The only useful part on the entire guitar was the body. ALL the hardware including electronics was complete and utter crap! The neck was decent and I gave it away. I sold the body and everything else went in the trash! Maybe if all you can scrape up is $100...but I'd wait and save before I ever bought one of those...

    Now, the Vintage Modified Strat on the other hand is an outstanding buy for $299. It can be enjoyed out of the box. Swap out the electronics and you have a gig-able guitar!
     
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