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NGD.. Warmoth hardtail body, Musikraft neck

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by Teleplayer, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    518
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    My new hardtail partscaster is just completed! It combines warm pickups with an ebony fretboard and stainless steel frets. Very happy with it so far.

    Body: Alder with blue ice finish by Warmoth, contour heel, routed for Fender AM Std flat mount bridge. Fitted with Gotoh hardtail bridge (new mounting holes were drilled in the body).
    Neck: Musikraft medium C shape, vintage truss rod, select ebony fretboard, 12" radius, SS7150 frets, Sperzel tuners.
    Pickups: Fralin blues special w/ hybrid stagger, Dimarzio DP184 chopper.
    Controls: 300k Gibson Volume pot, 500k CTS Tone pot, 5-way 2-pole switch combines neck and bridge pickups in position 3.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013

  2. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    518
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    More pics of the body:
     

    Attached Files:


  3. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    Very very nice indeed. I went the Warmoth hardtail way myself at the end of last year. What made you go for a Musikraft neck and not Warmoth?
     

  4. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    518
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for the comment. Warmoth necks are good, but they don't offer anything really close to Fender's modern C shape, and also don't offer rolled fretboard edges. Musikraft's medium C shape has slim shoulders so it makes it easier to reach around for playing chords that are a bit of a stretch for my small hands. Warmoth's standard thin isn't a bad profile, but I like the Musikraft one better. If your hands are big enough for Warmoth's 59 roundback, that looks like a good one to me.

    Unfortunately there were a couple of high frets on the Musikraft neck that I noticed after testing the neck on another body. I heated and pressed some of the frets to seat them properly against the fretboard. Frets 10 and 15 were the worst ones, which affected hammer-ons played on these frets. From inspection with Stewmac's fret rocker, I discovered frets 6 to 9 were also higher than ideal and gave them the same treatment. I probably should have returned the neck under warranty, but the neck is pretty straight now anway. I intend to play it without getting a fret-level.
     

  5. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    I've had 4 Warmoth necks, 3 Standard Thin, and one 59 Roundback. All have had 10-16" compound radius fretboards, and have needed no fret work to achieve a low action I'm pleased to say. The 59 Roundback gets quite thick as you progress up the neck. My latest and hopefully last is a Wenge/Ebony VM which needs no finish. I don't know if its the raw feel, but it seems thicker than the other 2 STs I've had.
     

  6. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    518
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    I think its odd that Warmoth don't offer any C-shape neck profile between the standard thin and the 59 roundback. My Warmoth neck is really well made. Flawless quality including the fret installation.

    By comparison the Musikraft has a bit more of a hand-finished style. I really like the semi-rolled fretboard edges, but there were a couple of imperfections and some marks on the edges as well. I sanded against a flat surface to remove about 0.15mm of ebony in a few spots that were slightly bumpy. Fortunately there's no finish on the ebony, so its ok to do that after being finished in nitro.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

  7. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    Yeh I've read some reviews that were less than complimentary about Musikraft necks. Luckily you seem to have the skills to correct the flaws that came with yours.
    Yeh I agree about the lack of Warmoth modern C shaped necks. Apparently Ken Warmoth based the Standard Thin on a 1997 Fender Am Std neck, which having played a few, had the thinnest neck profile Fender ever offered. Because Warmoth sell bucket loads of them I don't think they're going to change it anytime soon. I got used to mine fairly quickly but have to admit the modern Fender shape is extremely comfortable. The stainless steel frets, and Warmoth 10-16" compound radius are great though.
     

  8. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Strat-O-Master

    602
    Oct 25, 2012
    Southern California
    Nice work. I love Warmoth necks and also Edenhaus which is, I believe, the same manufacturer as Musikraft. I have built guitars with parts from both. Good stuff.
     

  9. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Strat-O-Master

    602
    Oct 25, 2012
    Southern California
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    This is my Warmoth Black Korina hardtail left-hand body, Fender telecaster neck, Seymour Duncan Antiquities P90s and Pearly Gates, Schaller 475 roller bridge and Schaller strap locks.
     

  10. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    518
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    2015 Update - Dimarzio Chopper and Cruiser neck

    I swapped out the blues special neck pickup a while ago. It was too thick sounding and got quite muddy at times. I tried both the Duncan SSL2 and Fralin vintage hot for the neck position. Both of these are great strat pickups with slightly different characters. However I missed the tone of the Dimarzio cruiser that I used previously in another guitar. Its great for blues and jazz as it has balanced tone and nice clarity. It also sounds fantastic with overdrive which makes it a lot of fun to use. For those reasons I really needed to have the cruiser mounted in the neck slot. As a bonus its a good match in level and tone with the chopper in the bridge position. The SSL2 goes into the middle slot because its brightness and clarity gives it more of an impact against the other pickups that have stronger midrange tone.
     

    Attached Files:


  11. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    518
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Wiring diagram

    It might seem logical to combine the Cruiser and Chopper in the same application. However its not so straight forward because the Chopper works well with 250k pots, but the Cruiser will sound too dark to get a nice tone IMO. I tried the Cruiser with a couple of different wiring schemes. I found the best tone is achieved with 500k volume, 500k tone, and a 0.022uF Tone cap. That's a bit like you find in one of those smaller single cut guitars from another famous maker.

    While the neck position uses 500k pots by themselves, I added a resistor and capacitor combination that is selected in switch positions 1 to 4 to make the other pickups sound like they should. There is also a 1.5 M parallel resistor which reduces the load resistance to 375k (combined with the 500k volume pot) in switch positions 1 to 4. The wiring scheme provides a total of 0.032uF capacitance which especially helps smooth out the tone of the Chopper in the bridge position.

    Components added:
    1.5M resistor
    750k resistor
    0.022uF Tone cap
    0.010uF Tone cap
     

    Attached Files:


  12. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Admin Post
    I like Warmoth stuff. I've got a guy trying to trade me a Warmoth Strat for my LP Studiio.
     

  13. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    Absolutely love the DiMarzio Chopper in the bridge position. For any kind of overdrive it can't be beaten imo. Sounds pretty good clean too!
     

  14. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    518
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    I like the Dimarzio rails. They aren't truly equivalent to single coils, but have good tone in their own way. This combination has good quack tone in the 2 position, which is nice for finger picking Mark Knopfler style. Position 4 with neck and middle has only a slight quack, and is essentially a brighter version of the neck tone. With the tone rolled off, position 4 has a richness of timbre that works well for jazz and other styles using clean tones.

    The Musikraft neck on this guitar is very solid and stable and the profile is a bit fatter than most. IMO the ebony fretboard contributes to the brightness of tone at the top frequencies. The neck looks and feels very nice, but the dimensional precision, QC standard, and quality of fret installation were some disappointing aspects that I can't overlook. The body from Warmoth was 100% perfect in every way.