Partscaster Question

jwag

Strat-O-Master
Aug 9, 2015
596
Saint Louis
I’m going to start gathering parts for a Partscaster build, and have questions in regards to what necks and bodies are compatible with each other.

I love the Classic Series 60’s necks, but want a Ash body which I believe leads to to building my own. I’ve never attempted a project like this and want to get it right the first time.

Are MIA bodies compatible with the Classic Series 60’s Strat necks? I’d like to purchase a lite weight factory body if I can find one.

I was told several years back sometimes the holes in the necks don’t line up with the holes in certain bodies, don’t know if that’s true or not, just remember being told that.


The other question I have is what advice would you offer someone that’s never built one before?

(Full disclosure, I’ll probably have my local tech assemble the neck/body to ensure best alignment.)

I’d like to keep it vintage spec/style in regards to overall appearance. I don’t use the tremolo much if ever. Given that, are modern and vintage style interchangeable without leaving any exposed holes etc?

And finally, what’s the overall consensus on vintage style locking tuners, and are they even worth the difference in cost? Two of my three Strat’s have vintage style tuners and they hold tune perfectly fine IMO, just curious what others who’ve used them think in regards to performance.
 

Ratylird

Strat-Talk Member
Jun 6, 2021
92
UK
I can source a body for you if interested? Just drop me a message with all the details an I’ll give you a quote.

As far as I’m aware the holes should line up regardless. The only thing that may need a bit of work is if the neck is slightly bigger than the neck pocket. But that’s an easy fix with a bit of sandpaper.

Building a guitar is easy really, the hardest part it’s giving it a good setup, but again, that’s something that can be pretty easy if you put the work in to learn.

Modern and vintage style bridges have different string spacing, and with this, the holes won’t match up. You would need to settle on a bridge prior to drilling the body and fitting the bridge. You can however fill and redrill the holes but it would need refinishing if anything is visible.

Can’t comment on locking tuners as I’ve never used them sorry.

Hope this helps.
 
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Fenderbaum

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 11, 2020
1,214
Bergen, Norway
All necks MIA / MIM and even Squier necks are compatible with each other. All fender necks comes with pre-drilled holes, and the same with bodies.
If you go fender original only, you are secure on drilling.
And you do not need a tech to attach necks to body. Just Screw them on. Once you get strings on you loosen the bolt slighty and tilt the neck to align it if ever needed. Try do most by yourself as possible, you learn that way. You always have us to here on Strat Talk to help out.
Licensed by Fender neck makers like Allparts and Warmoth comes predrilled by Fender Specs and they as well as perfect as Fenders own necks.

As for tuners vintage Kluson style. Go for Gotoh SD91 or the more expensive SDS510. Best of all Kluson style out there

Couple of things will come up that needs more finesse:
-Cutting the nut (you need tools and skills for this. This is the one thing your tech can do for you)
-Wiring. soldering skills required (unless you go for full pre wired pickguards or solderless harness like Obsidianwire)

Other than that, putting a strat together is child's play.
 
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cooltouch

Strat-Talker
Oct 16, 2013
145
Houston, Texas
What's your budget like?

I've built a couple of Partscasters, one Strat and one Tele. I used Squiers for the bodies.

I don't know what series the Strat Squier is -- its SN begins with CXS, which will tell you what series it is. The Tele I know even less about. I bought a "loaded" body from an eBay seller -- "loaded" meaning the body had everything -- just missing the neck and tuners. It even had the neck plate and screws.

With the Strat, I ended up gutting it, replacing the pickups, pots, and capacitor. I kept the 5-position switch, the bridge plate, tremolo springs and screws, but replaced the tremolo block with a heavier solid brass one. It had a decent neck, but I had my eye on a special Warmoth neck, so I finally bit the bullet and ordered one. It's their Super-Wide model, with a 1-7/8" wide nut. Probably too wide for most folks, but I've played classical guitar for many years and I like a wide nut. I ordered the neck with a Tusq nut, a slim taper, rosewood fingerboard, and compound 10"-16" radius. So it ends up playing a lot like a long-scale Gibson. Everything else about the neck was pretty much standard. I spec'd no finish (I finished it myself, saving about $75), and it still cost about $250. Warmoth necks are not cheap, but they are top quality, plus they have lots of options and configurations you can specify so that you end up getting exactly what you want. I went with a set of Guitar Fetish pickups, don't recall the exact models, but they were a 60s medium-hot design. The stock pots were 500k, which provided way too bright of a sound with the GF pickups, so I replaced them with 250k's from StewMac. I changed the capacitor from some little green 0.41mF thing to an orange drop 0.22mF one. Just changing out the capacitor to 0.22mF warmed the sound up a lot. I also bought a 0.33mF one in case I wasn't happy with the 0.22. Incidentally, you can save a lot of money on these "orange drop" capacitors by buyng them from an electronics supply. Each of those caps cost me about fifty cents. Compare that to $10 or more for what the "guitar" caps cost. Same exact thing.

So, bottom line with my Partscaster Strat -- I now have a guitar that plays exactly the way I want and has that great Strat sound. Total cost for this guitar was right at $500.

Now, the Tele was completely different. As I mentioned above, I bought a loaded Tele body that was supposedly a Squier. Cost me $125. My goal with this build was to put together a baritone Tele. I wasn't interested in the Tele baritone because its scale is too short at 27". So I went with a Warmoth bari neck -- 28-5/8", which was long enough where I can tune the guitar 6th string down to a low A (octave below a guitar's 5th string). I ordered the Warmoth neck with the above-mentioned scale, 24 frets, an ebony fingerboard, MOP inlays, and a slim-taper neck. I also ordered this neck unfinished, and put a finish on it myself. This Warmoth neck cost me $350, again not cheap, but worth it. I decided I was gonna go with the stock pickups and pots first, see how I liked them, reserving the choice of changing them out at a later date. After stringing it up, I was surprised at just how good my bari Tele sounded, especially that tiny neck pickup. So I've left things alone.

I wound up with a Bari Tele that sounds fantastic and plays like a dream. Cost for this build was right at $475.

One additional mod I did to both guitars was shim the neck. With both necks, I found I was having to raise the bridge saddle screws too much, so I was faced with either having to find longer screws or shim the neck. Shimming Fender necks is nothing new. Even Leo Fender did it. Leo would use cereal box tops for the shim material. So I figured if box tops were good enough for Leo, they were good enough for me. So in order to drop the bridge saddles down, I had to install shims at the front side of the neck pocket, decreasing whatever break angle might exist. In both cases, one box top thickness was enough to get the job done.
 


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