Partscasters - have I been doing it wrong??

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by 66musicmaster, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Strat-O-Master

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    I was surfing around yesterday and thinking about my partscaster build and all I've read on here. Seem like most of us acquire the parts and do the work ourselves. From mulitple sources and for as cheap as reasonably possible in many cases. ON Youtube, I found a LOT of guys doing partscasters, but farming the work out - $700 for a paint job? No way. $1000 for a partscaster? no way. StewMac sending me all the parts for free? No way. Assembling a bunch of premade stuff? no way.

    I guess I'm more of a backyard hot rodder? Maybe a rat rodder? Finding a collection of parts that makes a cool guitar for as little as possible. And having to engineer some things along the way. I did buy a [cheap $39.95]prewired pickguard, but I have no issue soldering up my own. Fretwork scares me though.

    Of course there are hot rodders that have their cars custom built. But I was hoping to see some really nice guitars built for next to nothing. My build will have less than $200 in it. I had the body on hand though. Body is 40 years old or more, I'm going to guess. I bought it in 1983 and it was a used guitar then.

    If you have some homebuilts you want to share, feel free.
     
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  2. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Strat-Talker

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    You buy cheap parts you get a chinese-type Partcaster. Simple as that.
    None of my builds ever end up under $1000 anyway.
     
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  3. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    I spend as little as possible to keep the ones I have running.
     
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  4. Clay LeBlanc

    Clay LeBlanc Strat-Talk Member

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    I spent about $250-$300 originally on my blue partscaster. Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 8.39.12 PM_Easy-Resize.com.jpg

    I say originally because I got a $150 Fender pre-wired pickguard in it. But unless it is some sort of 50's strat body or crazy rare pups, I don't think it was be worth over $1000, or at least $1000 of resale value.


    (I'd love some free StewMac tools/parts though! ;))
     
  5. Clay LeBlanc

    Clay LeBlanc Strat-Talk Member

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    *Recently installed pickguard*
     
  6. Dibbs

    Dibbs Strat-O-Master

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    Sometimes you throw a guitar together for nothing, it plays like it was personally blessed by EVH.
    You can spend thousands for a guitar that sounds like a washtub bass.

    Go figure.
     
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  7. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    I recently did 7 or 8 partscasters over a period of a few years. Cost was between $250 and $400 each. GFS or home cut bodies off EBay, Chinese necks, Tonerider pickups, and Wilkinson hardware. They're players, but I've reverted to mostly playing my Fenders and Gibsons now. They're exactly what you'd expect if you were going to buy a new guitar for $300 - $400. Not bad, but not as good as my name brand stuff. The one exception is my P-Bass build - I use that all the time and it sounds and plays better than my Player Series bass.

    I did learn a ton about guitars though, and I'm guessing you don't get that if you buy a Warmoth body and neck that already go together perfectly and a loaded pickguard. That's just assembly. But you do end up with a nicer guitar in the end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  8. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    Done it two ways.
    Paid more than $1,500 in parts to build one I really (thought) I wanted.
    Pulled parts off my shelves and built one for only about $57 new money.

    Never farmed anything out except fret leveling, and that is worth it to me.

    On hot rods, the guys that have someone else build it are "hot-rod owners," not Hot Rodders. In my opinion.
     
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  9. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    I build as cheap as possible! I have some that have really nice expensive parts that I was able to trade into but overall when I buy my parts, I don't mind cheap parts. I can do the work to make them as nice as if I paid a lot for them. Whether it be shavinh a neck or the fretwork needed. Refinishes all get done by myself and all of the guitars/partscasters ive built for charities have, at the least, raised double what I spend on them. One was almost 10 times as much and they all play like champs. I don't just judge the playability myself either. I always put my work in someone else's hand for critiquing so I can know if I need to do something more or try something different next time.
     
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  10. IronSchef

    IronSchef Senior Stratmaster

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    I prefer the partscaster route over buying stock models because I can get exactly the specs I want. Typically I dont feel like I am saving much - sometimes it ends up MORE than a stock purchase would be - but I end up with a unique instrument suited to my preferences

    a few of mine ...

    2017-10-20 21.45.46.jpg 2017-09-06 09.16.47.jpg IMG_2598.jpeg COVID_01.jpg IMG_2718.jpg
     
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  11. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    I've assembled two partscasters. One was 5 years ago and cost ~$1200. Currently assembling the second and have roughly the same amount in it.
    I wanted what I wanted, which were top-notch 1959 Strat tributes and I consider both to be high end instruments.
    We all have our own styles, desires, and budgets.
     
  12. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    I build from scratch to my own design asthetic. Every thing here is hand build from raw wood (except the hardware of course).

    newstrat075.jpg

    SuperTele139.jpg

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  13. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    IME building Teles you can spend a little or spend a lot and in either case have a very playable guitar. The two biggest expenses were always the pickups and the neck.

    Since I'm kinda fussy about both I will spend more if it's one for me I'll have for a very long time. But it some else is happy with Mighty Mite, Allparts, or Squier necks and inexpensive pickups it can be done for less than $300.
     
  14. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member

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    Admin Post
    Most of my partscasters are "higher quality" that stock Fender MIM stuff but I do a LOT of trading and buying. Very often I end up with expensive parts from guys that have no clue what they have. Warmoth necks, SD and Dimarzio pickups etc. Parts I wouldn't pay for myself but I get a lot of. I bought a partscaster a few months back that had a Warmoth neck with gold frets and Rio Grande pickups. Probably cost someone a grand to build and I got it for under $200. It was just listed as a guitar and it looked cool in the pics so I went and checked it out. That's when I saw the gold frets and side truss rod adjust (Warmoth) and the Rio Grande pickups. That happens to me a lot.
     
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  15. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Strat-O-Master

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    Interesting thoughts here. Thanks for the posts.
     
  16. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 The Wizard next door................

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    Must I talk about my favorite guitar again................................;):D

    I always liked the idea of the '51 nocaster, but a Custom Shop, to say nothing of affording an original, is beyond my means. So I built my own from a modern Squier.

    I did the work myself. The wood was modified to fit vintage style hardware and I converted it from top load to string-through. It's also got a Tusq nut and early 50s Broadcaster blend wiring rather than standard tele switching.

    What it was when I bought it:

    [​IMG]

    How it is now:

    [​IMG]

    I spent $200 on the guitar new and about $50-$60 in the parts. The pickups are my own 50s inspired home builds.

    I never farm anything out if I can do it(or easily learn it) myself. I'm the same with cars and computers.

    And, since I'm not looking to fool anyone, but rather pay tribute to a certain look, I did put a big Fender logo on it, but one that still says Squier in small print underneath. And, on the back, the original Squier serial number and neckplate are intact.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  17. HighwayStar106

    HighwayStar106 Senior Stratmaster

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    I've never invested more than about £200 in a partscaster. If I'm spending any more than that, I want a guitar I can rely on to work properly most of the time, and I'm not sure I can with anything I've put together!

    These are the ones I've got currently - both built as cheaply as possible, but both keepers (even if they're both still works-in-progress to some extent):

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  18. Blue Beagle

    Blue Beagle Senior Stratmaster

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    You built all those?

    Wow!
     
  19. uncle daddy

    uncle daddy Strat-Talker

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    I don't have a machine shop, so have to buy off the shelf parts and assemble them myself. I can manage the paint and wiring, fret levelling, aging and set up/. I ended up with something that plays very well, that's not covered in inch-thick poly, and sounds great. For under £500, including CS pickups. I'm sure Custom Shop stuff is worth it to the folk that buy it, but eight times the outlay won't make me a better player!

    What I really like about diy relics, is not getting that heart pounding when I dent them!

    P1100043.JPG
     
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  20. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Strat-O-Master

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    DIY gets my heart pounding, period. And that's a nice guitar there. Love tort on white. The white one in my sig pic has the tort from the blue one now. Much better to me.
     
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