Asking for Suggestions on first Stratocaster-type Build

AdamaLeland

New member
Messages
14
Hello Folks, and thank you in advance fro any help..
My name is Adama and I am originally from Mali.
To Consider:
I play a style between tradtional (Mali) griot and (American) deep Delta blues. but sometimes play a bit more 'rock'
I use very big strings (12s or 13s)
I used to own a 57 strat in very poor condition but it was stolen in Mali
I want to build a strat w/ an alder or swamp ash body
I like maple/ maple necks and fingerboards.
My 57 had very small frets but I do not want to tear the fingerboard up.
So I am unsure as to fret size.
Also I had used a block on the tremelo on my old one but the big strings would untune it. Would a 'hardtail' be better?
oh, and it want to put bare knuckle 'mother's milk' set pickups in it. But have hard time deciding.
So questions : 1) body wood, 2) will maple hold up to big strings? 3) fret size? 4) pickup choice?
Sorry for so many questions, but thank you.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,306
Some good questions ...
1)Tremelo: Yes, get a hard tail.  I see you don't use the trem, so either get a hardtail, which should be your first choice if you don't use a trem, or in lieu of a block use a device called a tremel-no.  I probably misspelled it, but after a few googles you'll find it.  Only get the tremel-no if you think you'll actually be using the trem in the future.

2) body wood:  The classic body wood for a strat is alder, with swamp ash second, though you can make it out of any the woods warmoth offers.  In their descriptions you can read about the tone each wood will impart.
3) Yes, their maple  / maple necks will hold the "big" strings well.  Go with either the 1 11/16 of 1 3/4 nut width. The thin neck will work, as will the boat profile.  It's up to you.  You might feel safer with the boatneck and the big strings.
4) fret size: Stainless steel 6105's.  They're great.
5) pickup choice: Look at Bill Lawrence.com's or rio grandes.  Either company's pups will work for you.

For finishes I'd recommend something easy, such as a tung oil body, and a tru-oil neck.

Also, I know this is warmoth website, but if you're looking for a complete kit, the only other place that would have a decent strat is Carvin.com.

So good luck and let us know what you do.

Can I ask why not a telecaster?
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
BKP Mother Milk is made upon Red Hot Chilli Pepper tones...  talk with Tim (the builder at Bare Knuckle) and he will say with pleasure the pickup that fit what you want most!

For what I read, the '57 had Ash body... So you should go for this... And I believe the maple neck would not have any problem with heavy strings.... If you're scarred about it, try a fatter neck (fatback looks very nice, fat and with the same thick thru the neck, what means the force upon the neck would be more equal)
The Warmoth site says that the old fender frets are the 6230... if you wish something bigger, get the 6105... think about Stainless Steel!
 

AdamaLeland

New member
Messages
14
Thank you for the help.
Yes, I believe a alder body would be best.
and stainless frets.
The Stratocaster is what i learned to play with. It was my one electric.
Why not a tele? I tried a Standard tele at a store. It had a "snap" to the strings that I liked very much.
Also I had played an Esquier one time. And I liked that.
I am caught in the middle because after the 57 was stolen I played a Gibson Blueshawk to honor my
"gigs" and commitments. I found that neck to be very comfortable and like them larger now.
The tele in the store was too thin . But that 'snap' was great.
 

AdamaLeland

New member
Messages
14
About the neck shape
I recieved that guitar in 1992, it was well-loved and broken by 33 years of playing by my father.
I am not sure how hard is "hard" as i have not had a chance to play another of the same year.
but it is harder than the "v" shapes Fender is releasing that i have tried.  and fairly thick. almost as thick at the body end
as a Gibson. People tell me this was unusual but the numbers on the neck and body both tell that they were original.
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
I forgot to say: GO hardtail!
As you had the V shape thick, probably you will like the boat neck! http://www.warmoth.com/guitar/necks/necks.cfm?fuseaction=back_profiles

Alder? I've said Ash... At least was it spoken on the search I made, about 1957 strats...
 

vegababy

Senior member
Messages
156
I've got Bare Knuckle Mother's Milk in almost all of my Strats and they sound awesome !

They are NOT named after a Chilli Peppers' album because they sound like Chilli Peppers as so often guessed. They are basically vintage spec'd 60's Fender single coils and coincidentaly that's what the Chilli Peppers' guitar player uses as well. Tim like's to give his pick ups names that represent a 'famous' sound rather than like everyone else '60s' or 50's or whatnot. The Apaches from Bare Knuckle are not modeled on Hank Marvin for example. They are early 50's Fender single coils, made famous by Hank Marvin.

So basically, if you like the tone of 60's Fender Strats, go Mother's Milk, if you want more of a Fender Texas Special, go Irish Tours, if you prefer the more 'glassy' 50's Fender Tone, go Apaches.

I think the Sultans are the later 50's spec'ed (no, it's not a Mark Knopfler model ;). You might want to check these out if you're after that late 50's tone.
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
The closest you're going to get to that '57 neck is a Warmoth Total Vintage 7.5" radius with a Clapton back contour, 6230 frets and a corian nut.

The Clapton profile is close, but thinner and asymmetrical. An original '57 "hard V" neck had a symmetrical back contour of .95-1 inch at both the 1st and 12th frets; the Clapton is .835 at the 1st fret, .0910 at fret 12. If you're really used to the '57 neck you'll notice a little difference when you wrap your hand around it the first time, as the V shape seems a little less pronounced, but to me it doesn't take a lot of "getting used to"/adaption.

There's another company that makes an exact dupe of a hard '57 .970 symmetrical V that I have on one of my builds and one I put on a guy's guitar that wanted to recreate the feel of a '57 he'd owned when he was a kid. I wouldn't recommend them as you'll pay more money for less pretty maple and the butt is cut at an angle about 1/2 degree off a Warmoth body and it requires some work to get setup right.

As someone who has owned both a '54 and '57 Strat in their career, if you wire them up vintage style, the Fender Custom Shop Fat 50's pickup set is pretty damn close sound/tone wise to the originals.

While '54 & '55 Strats were all Ash, from '56 on almost all Strat bodies were made of Alder, EXCEPT ones with blonde finishes which were all Ash. Damned if I can tell the difference between Ash and Alder, all other things being equal, but a cosmetic factor depending on how you intend to finish it
 

vegababy

Senior member
Messages
156
...forgot to mention...since you're planning on going all maple neck...if you want Bare Knuckles, most people with all maple necks tend to go for the Apaches. They seem to work very nicely in that combination.
 

AdamaLeland

New member
Messages
14
Thank you everyone.
My 57 had an alder body and was fist a 2 tone burst but later (about 1973) refinished black.
So I think that the alder is what i want.
Thank you for pickup suggestions. Over night i called a friend about bare Knuckles and he recommended the Apache set
I very much like the bell tones and think this will work.
There are noty many hardtails on the showcase so I think I will have to order it..
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
I highly recommend the stainless frets, they feel super smooth and I like the idea that I won't have to have them recrowned any time soon.
 
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