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Quality W****** stuff compared to F***** stuff..

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Jonhy_Greenwood, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Jacob95amstd

    Jacob95amstd Strat-Talker

    Mar 25, 2017
    Jefferson Ga
    Keep in mind, my parts weren't warmoth parts, however even if they were, the resale value isnt there, nor is the prestige of saying hey this is a name brand fender. I was proud of my partscaster though because I made it, a different perspective on why people build their own. The outside buyer is unsure of the origins of parts, only because a good amount of the market is people who only play guitars, and don't build them from a pile of parts.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    That saying is awesome...I am going to use that if you don't mind.

  3. ashtray

    ashtray Strat-O-Master

    Mar 15, 2017
    Depends on what you buy from them - but the stuff I have gotten has been on par or better than Fender Am Dlx. Talking about swamp ash bodies, birdseye maple necks, pau ferro fretboards, etc.

    I have one Strat with a chambered swamp ash body with a book matched flame maple top and natural (masked) binding. That has a birdseye maple pro neck with a side adjustment for the truss rod. Neck and body are better than American Deluxe Fenders.

    You can go all out and get a body that costs near $1k and a neck for $600 from Warmoth - or you can choose a plain poplar body with a maple neck blth unfinished for $150 or so each.

    They sell a few types of Strat bodies and a few types of neck construction - that's before you get in to all the options for woods, neck shape, nut size, fret size, etc.

    Resale does suck though - and there's no trying it before you buy. And if you mix a chambered ash body with a canary neck - well, its unlikely someone can tell you how that might sound. And unlikely you'll know if you like it until you actually build the whole thing yourself. Thats when resale matters - because you custom order all the specs and then might not like it - you're then stuck spending more money on a replacement neck (etc) to get it right.

    Oh - speaking of necks - Warmoth frets them but they don't plek them. They don't do fret leveling. Now in theory new neck with new frets shouldn't need much fret leveling - but it does. In order to get low action, you will need a fret level on a new Warmoth neck - and they even state that on their webpage. So its not just screwing all the parts together to build one.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  4. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 11, 2012
    I'd agree with this, only because partscasters have a higher possibility of being bought with parts not designed for each other.
    If you went for a warmoth body and neck that immediately would put them into MIA range or better (just from my limited experience).

    The downside with a Warmoth (as has been mentioned already) is that you have to completely set it up including fretwork. But this can be an upside too, as you can really do things the right way and the initial setup is done in the same environment as where the guitar will live, and the owner plays it right at this time too.
    Imagine how long some guitars sit about after a factory setup.
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  5. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    The bodies and neck were already finished. The fit of the Warmoth (note there is no U in Warmoth) was great since I assembled them but the finish on the bodies and neck were not on par with the custom shop and EJ I have owned/own. Not to mention the total cost of the build was just below an Am STD/Pro and with the time I had to invest to source parts and assemble it made it not very cost effective.

    If you can build a guitar better than the Eric Johnson sig then you need to start making and selling guitars like Ron Kirn.

  6. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Senior Stratmaster

    May 2, 2016
    Cranston, Rhode Island
    Sometimes I buy guitars knowing Im gonna trade them. Its like a savings plan. I just traded in 3 (a squire,a lp special and a first act) and got a epi lp tribute and its a keeper( along w/ my strat and ovation) sold my ibanez acoustic to get the ovation. Now I've restarted a new saving plan w/ a epi SG special. Not sure weather my next keeper will be a sg or a tele but I have a few more to get and play around with until I can make that decision. Planning on both, just don't know what I may find next

  7. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    I went the Warmoth route a few years back (see pics below). I think they compare to Fender USA in playability and build. Definitely a little nicer than MIM, though the MIM Std I have has great playabilty too, but did need a bit of work to get it that way. The 5 Warmoth necks I had were excellent right out of the box. Ultimately my Warmoth had tuning problems that I couldn't overcome. Some suggested it was the ultra light chambered Swamp Ash body that was the culprit. Eventually sold the Warmoth, and went back to Fenders, both of which have rock solid tuning. That Warmoth Swamp Ash body sure was pretty though. ;)


  8. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Surrey, England
    Fender makes such a variety of models nowadays I wonder why you would need to assemble (not build) your own from disparate parts.

    Personally I would rather buy a ready made guitar that I can compare with similar models than spend money on parts not knowing how it will turn out.

  9. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 10, 2012
    stamford, CT
    sometimes you only have $200 or $300 at a time to spend

    the nice thing is that parts don't expire

    I look at it the other way:

    why would you buy a guitar when you can assemble exactly what you want?
    vid1900 likes this.

  10. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.
    Is there more to the story? Functionally, it still sounds like they could be a Fender or any other bolt guitar. What do they "do"?
    Neil.C likes this.

  11. Ruscio

    Ruscio Strat-Talker

    Nov 14, 2016
    That's my feeling, too. If you've played enough varieties to learn what your preferences are, you might find that no factory-made guitar approximates them very well. You might be able to do much better by assembling something yourself. For example, in a neck I want SS frets, 6100 size, compound radius, and natural (unfinished) wood on a neck, plus rosewood fingerboard that I can scallop myself. I don't mind leveling/crowning/polishing myself to get it just how I like. Ditto for a compete setup, much rather do that myself to hone the feel. I don't believe I can get anything close to this from Fender (w/out going the Custom Shop route). Nor should Fender offer such an unusual configuration--most of you probably don't want these specs! That's the whole point, though, we can each get what we want provided that...

    You're not concerned about resale value. All the comments on that are spot on. i just lost quite a bit on a resale. I knew that when getting into my own builds and view it as part of the cost of getting just what I want. For me it's a hobby, not part of an investment portfolio. (I'm also into the aquarium hobby, and that's a far better way to lose value on every purchase!)

    If you're pleased with the options available on a factory guitar, that's great and you're lucky! If not, you can do better if you're willing to put some time into sourcing parts. You can then assemble or find a reputable luthier.

    I've got three Warmoth body + neck guitars that come much closer to my preferences than anything I could get elsewhere (they're in post #10 of this thread: None cost nearly as much as a Fender Elite that would only approximate my prefs, and a bit less than a Fender American Professional, which is further from what I want.

    Good luck to you whichever route you choose!
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  12. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    It's just my pet name for them. Like Stratosfear for Stratosphere.

    Childish, I know.

    Many guitars I work on often need block sanding and then buffing to remove the graining that telegraphs through the finish.

    Changing the humidity will sometimes cause this (like when you can tell how many pieces a guitar body is made from through the paint, by holding it up to the light.

    Or the Nitro simply has dieback a month after polishing.

    Just like a brand new Warmoth neck will need fretwork to get it to the best it can be, necks and bodies will need a final finish too.

    Hell no.

    Sitting around a shop all day is not for me.

    I might build an over the top guitar for my dentist or doctor, but dealing with the general public is a double hell no.
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  13. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 11, 2012
    If you buy the neck and body from the same place, then the 'disparate parts' fit together at least as well as Fender. They have pickguards too.

    But as to partscasters, well you do realise the entire world buys guitars don't you.
    Internationally you can often get parts through custom below the duty threshold by buying parts.
    And Fender's range when it comes to LH guitars is less than RH ones. And treble this ratio when it comes to overseas distributors bringing in stock

  14. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    OK, off the top of my head things that I like in a Strat that I can't get in any production Fender:

    locking tuners
    16" fingerboard radius
    54mm string spacing
    flat-polepiece pickups
    treble bleed on the vol pot
    6100-size fretwire
    stainless steel fretwire
    dual-coil single-sized bridge pup like a SD JB Junior
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  15. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Surrey, England
    Seems like you don't really like Strats at all. ;)
    Murphcaster and Mouse like this.

  16. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2012
    Southern California
    For me, Warmoth rocks. All of my Fendery guitars are partscasters that I have decided what they entail. I use P90s in my strat and tele builds and I would pit them against any Fender. I choose the parts, pickups, tone woods, electronics and hardware. I usually mix the pickup types for variety of genres and styles. One of my latest builds is a Warmoth tobacco sunburst Swamp Ash tele body capped with quilted Maple, Seymour Duncan vintage mini humbucker in the neck, vintage P90 in the middle and a Five-Two tele pickup in the bridge, Wilkinson 3-saddle bridge, Warmoth solid Roasted Maple neck and stainless steel frets. This guitar covers a myriad of styles of music.
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  17. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2012
    Southern California
    By the way........every Fender I have ever owned, I ended up letting them go. Just because I can end up with something better and get it the way that I want.
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  18. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    no, I just don't like the features of production-line Fender Strats :)
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  19. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    My Warmoth is out-of-sight awesome, and would not sell or trade it. It would cost a lot to mod a Fender to the specs I like. And I refuse to conform to a guitar- it has to be perfect for me in every way, which is why it makes more sense to me to build it.
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  20. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    ahh i was just listening to Ok Computer on saturday while ripping apart an old camping trailer. It was a good time.