In praise of Partscasters

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by Caedarn, Nov 7, 2021.

  1. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    51
    Messages:
    3,783
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky
    This is so true. Whenever I go to music stores and shop around for strats I’ve yet to come across one that I’d take over my own custom builds

    I’d wager that most of us, when assembling a dream guitar, pull out the stops and make it as good as it can be. If Fender issued a guitar with the same specs as say my 2 Tone burst (Fender Ultra Neck, Ilitch backplate, mid boost, SD Texas Hots, Gotoh knife edge bridge, I’m betting it would be priced around 2k or so
     
    dirocyn likes this.
  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,376
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Thank you sir. That's very kind of you.

    I haven't done another in about 5 years now but for awhile I was working on two or three a year either for myself or for one of my friends. The black Esquire and Tele were spec'd out by a very good friend who told me what he wanted, ordered parts and pickups, then had it all shipped to me to complete for him. I enjoyed doing it too. We swapped a few things between us as well and I also did some work on a custom built Tele he owned so I could sell it for him. It was a mess when it arrived.

    Since I don't plan to sell those I've modded I don't concern myself other than to know that I can always return them to bone stock if necessary because a buyer doesn't want to pay more for my upgrades or mods. I've actually done that with two I did end up selling and still came out far ahead of what I paid for them. If I do the work it will be done right or I won't bother doing it at all therefore I'm not gonna discount a great guitar just because I did the work on it myself not Fender.

    I've also noticed that Fender has begun to offer production models with many of the same features we "modders" have added to our own guitars charging far more for those than the cost of modifying a more basic model. That may also change how prospective buyers see well maintained guitars that have been modified by their respective owners. When I sell anything locally I invite the prospect to stop by and play what I'm selling to assure themselves any work that has been done has been done as thoroughly and as well as if Fender built it that way to begin with.

    I'm very fussy about how my guitar sound and play and not at all hesitant about correcting whatever I find that I don't like. Many times all it takes is a few more dollars and a little bit of effort to turn a mediocre guitar into a top of the line model with all the trimmings and it's something I actually enjoy doing. Maybe the only negative is how hard it may be to part company with one you've kind of "birthed" from stock to what it is now. That's probably why I have so damn many guitars.

    LOL
     
    EC Strat and Baelzebub like this.
  3. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

    Messages:
    12,526
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2019
    Location:
    State of Disbelief

    I know it's why I do.... :thumb:
     
    soulman969 likes this.
  4. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    2,256
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2020
    Location:
    Cypress TX
    I've been building a few Partscasters this year, something to do during the Great Pestilence and being OOW as oil and gas industry projects got postponed as a result.

    The list is:
    1. A Tele barncaster with a no name off spec body finished in tung oil, Might Mite 22 fret maple and rosewood neck, SD Little 59 and Vintage Stack pickups, Fender slotted tuners;
    2. Another Tele with an AEGuitars body, black with binding, same spec. neck and tuners, SD Hot Rails pickups;
    3. Yet another Tele with an AE guitars body in a brown burst, same spec neck and tuners, SD Quarter Pounders;
    4. A thinline Tele with a mahogany no name body off eBay, same spec. neck and tuners. SD Brad Paisley La Brea pickups.
    5. An SSS Strat with an AE Guitars body, Mighty Mite 22 fret maple and rosewood neck, Kluson locking tuners, SD SSL-1 single coils (RWRP middle);
    6. An HH Strat, more or less the same spec. as the first, but with an SD Trembucker and an SD Jazz.
     
    soulman969 likes this.
  5. Caedarn

    Caedarn Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    269
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2021
    Location:
    New England
    Well said
     
    dirocyn and Baelzebub like this.
  6. grumpah

    grumpah Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2020
    Location:
    Maryland
    There isn't a single Fender product on this one. Mahogany Body, Quartersawn Maple / Rosewood Neck [12" Radius - 1-11/16" Compensated Nut - C Shape 0.940" @ 1st fret & 0.980 @ 12th fret - 2-1/4" Heel], Gotoh NS510TS Bridge, Hipshot Tuners, and Grumpah's Pickups [my own wind].

    [​IMG]
     
    4pickupguy, Caedarn and Baelzebub like this.
  7. keys88

    keys88 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2014
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    My partscaster is one of my favorite guitars. It started life as a black 1990's Tex-Mex Strat (the guitar that would eventually become the Jimmie Vaughan signature). It was a unique beast because it was assembled in Mexico but it used a USA body. I replaced the stock maple neck with an aftermarket rosewood neck with vintage-style frets. The profile is very comfortable, like a slim-C. I did some graphic design work for a local guitar parts startup company and in exchange he made me a set of custom underwound pickups. He also hand-cut a new mint green pickguard for me. I have another client who used to do high-end automotive paint work for the local luxury dealerships. As a favor he refinished the body with the surf green paint code from a '57 Chevy. He also added a 3D metal flake effect to the paint like you see on cars. And to complete the look I added vintage-style tuners and a vintage-style steel block Kluson trem. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the graphite nut that came with the neck. I never changed it because it was cut perfectly. But eventually I might swap it for something like a bone nut for a little more snap. Otherwise she's perfect.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. civman_strat

    civman_strat New Member!

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My partscaster is comprised of Fender Custom Shop parts from 1998-2006. Check this out.
    Body is an Alder, CS 1998 Vince Cunetto era, '61 Strat in Lake Placid Blue, black paint shielded in pickup cavites, top body edge reliced. Neck is a CS '65 Strat "C", Brazilian rosewood finger board, Masterbuilt by Chris Flemming in 2005. Guitar has a 1959 Limited Edition Rockin Dog Fender C-Shop Strat Assembly with Lollar hand wound pickups, made for Wildwood Guitars in 2006. I purchased a Fender Custom Shop hardshell case with case candy. Best sounding and playing Stratocaster I ever owned. I've been playing for 45+ years and have owned many Strats, Teles and Les Pauls over those years. I put this together for $4000 back in 2011. I could have bought a Custom Shop Strat with basically the same appointments for $6-7000, back then. The best Strat are the ones you put together for yourself. Leo Fender made sure of that when he made his guitars "parts interchangeable". Fender CS Strat (pic1).jpg Fender CS Strat (pic2).jpg Fender CS Strat (pic3).jpg Fender CS Strat (pic4).jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
  9. Eric Dahlberg

    Eric Dahlberg Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Location:
    California, USA
    Warmoth necks > Fender necks
     
  10. gjohnson441496

    gjohnson441496 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    65
    Messages:
    1,432
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Location:
    TN
    Wow. Thats beautiful! Good job man.
     
    Baelzebub and Caedarn like this.
  11. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    Congrats on your fine build and yes thats very true..its very doable....if you know what you want, you know exactly what works for you and desire to build your ultimate axe thats tailor made for your needs and your needs alone... then partscasters are basically a one way street.No need for a middleman that ll slap a certain logo and ask for a certain type of money for the same result.....dream and visualise it...get the parts..assemble and enjoy it.

    If you are honest with your needs that ll be a guitar for life and your number one choice above any other axe....;)
     
    Baelzebub and Caedarn like this.
  12. jazzman1021

    jazzman1021 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Location:
    Earlville, IL 60518
  13. Caedarn

    Caedarn Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    269
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2021
    Location:
    New England
    I'm working from a VERY small sample size, but my favorite neck is definitely that on my American Pro II strat. Absolutely love the feel of it. The Warmoth neck is great, but I don't like it as much as that Am Pro II.
     
  14. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    41
    Messages:
    2,964
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I’ve been through many different necks for my builds and my go to with minimal work needed is Allparts. Nothing fancy about them but just a solid neck, by far to me the closest headstock shape to actual fender.
     
    Baelzebub and Caedarn like this.
  15. albala

    albala Dr. Stratster

    Messages:
    10,058
    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    Hilton Head, South Carolina
    One of the first things I did when I got my very first guitar (Hondo) was take it apart. I couldn't put it back together without help from my guitar teacher.

    Since then, every guitar with a bolt-on neck is a Partscaster to me.

    Then ebay came around and I started buying parts and assembling my own guitars. I prefer to use necks and bodies that came from the Fender factory...especially Strat Plus necks. I also like bodies from the 80's and '90s that are period-correct with the necks. I only buy bodies in mint or near mint condition, and I've tried to keep them that way. I have found some clean necks but I also have some that are nicely warn in.

    Warmoth makes nice necks too. The reverse strat neck on this Stratomaster is unfinished Warmoth maple and ebony.

    Here are a few:


    20211104_163646.jpg 20211025_075223.jpg 20211009_103946.jpg 20211009_104043.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2021
    EC Strat, Caedarn and Intune like this.
  16. Dik Ellis

    Dik Ellis Strat-Talker

    Age:
    68
    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2021
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Never had a Partscaster, but I would have no problem owning one. Have seen some very nice ones.
     
  17. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

    Messages:
    11,917
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    WV. USA
    Dude!! I’d be stuck on these too.
     
    Baelzebub likes this.
  18. Patrick Howell

    Patrick Howell New Member!

    Age:
    37
    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Location:
    Lynchburg, Virginia
    I just finished building this partscaster. I had Esquire’d a CV Tele before but I really prefer the Strat body so I came up with this.

    The pickup is a Seymour Duncan Little ‘59 with a push-pull volume for series/parallel.

    FB3C61A1-CAFD-49D6-AE5A-4B8AD9C105AB.jpeg 9531F327-7A6F-42D3-ACDB-092733F20F7E.jpeg
     
  19. Jimbo99

    Jimbo99 Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2021
    Location:
    Palm Coast, FL
    Anyone else play Tool's Schism in their head when they're assembling a guitar ? "I know the pieces fit !"
     
  20. StratAlchemist

    StratAlchemist Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    831
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Location:
    Traveler
    Today I sprayed some Lake Placid Blue on my Tele partscaster. Stripped the black nitro and resprayed. Now the long wait before I can touch it, oh the agony.
    C2DBC442-CF51-413C-A8CF-E06C5A65F45B.jpeg 1E47309B-69E2-4C9B-AA44-97659ACBCD29.jpeg
     
    Baelzebub likes this.