First Warmoth Build - Hentor Sportscaster

RockOn2112

New member
Messages
5
Hi folks,

New member to the forum here and wanted to share some pics from my first Warmoth build - a replica Hentor Sportcaster, based on the Fender Stratocaster that was the predecessor to the actual Hentor. I'm a huge Rush fan and Alex Lifeson was the reason I picked up a guitar. When Moving Pictures came out and the Exit Stage Left video was released, that white Stratocaster was my dream guitar. 40 years later I decided to pay tribute to that influence.

The first thing I want to note, is that I would not have been able to do this project without the information posted on this forum. My research on the guitar itself, the modifications, and Alex Lifeson's various iterations, kept bringing me back to this forum. For all of those members that have posted and commented here regarding the Hentor Sportscaster, I am truly grateful... you gave me the data and instruction I needed and have helped me fulfill a dream. Thank you!

So... this build was based on the pre-Hentor modded Fender that Alex played on the Moving Pictures tour. I sourced most of the parts from Warmoth; the body and neck, bridge, tuners, pickguard... pretty much everything except the electronics. I made some of my own modifications as well, as my intent was to have this become one of my main players (which it has). Here's a quick list of components:
  • Warmoth Strat body in Olympic White
  • Warmoth CBS neck, modern construction, ebony fretboard, mother of pearl dot inlays, black binding
  • Warmoth custom pickguard in black-n-white tuxedo
  • Original Floyd Rose bridge with locking nut
  • Fu-Tone 37mm Brass Sustain Big Block
  • Schaller M6 locking tuners
  • DiMarzio FS-1 pickups - neck and middle
  • Bill Lawrence L500 humbucker with chrome housing - bridge
  • Master volume and Tone only
  • DiMarzio 500K pots
  • Sprague Orange Drop .033uf tone cap
  • Fender Tone Saver treble bleed circuit
  • Gibson style 3-way 3 pickup toggle switch
  • Inverted input jack
  • Custom neck plate
  • DiMarzio Italian leather clip-lock strap
  • Fender tweed case with red poodle lining, complete with case candy :)
The routing for the toggle switch was a little nerve racking, but with the right preparation it went without issue. This was my first wiring harness too and I definitely had some anxiety. Again, the right amount of preparation and patience got me through it and I actually had sound when I plugged it in for the first time. And what sweet sound it is, I couldn't be more satisfied with the results. After some very meticulous setup it plays like butter. I'm very pleased with the Warmoth neck, super high quality. Thanks again to the forum members!

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stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,453
Very nice build and glad to hear that previous posts and discussion helped with your build.

As there are different variants of the L500 did you use the L500L?

Was there a particular pickguard rout you used for the L500?
 

RockOn2112

New member
Messages
5
Very nice build and glad to hear that previous posts and discussion helped with your build.

As there are different variants of the L500 did you use the L500L?

Was there a particular pickguard rout you used for the L500?
Thanks stratamania,

It's an L500L from Bill n' Becky Wilde Pickups. The route is a standard humbucker (uncovered). I had to do a minor amount of sanding at low speed with a Dremel to widen it just a bit. I mounted it with the mounting ring under the pickguard to fill in the small gap that was present at the top and bottom. I had to do some creative cutting on the mounting ring to get it to fit down in the pickup cavity. It wasn't pretty underneath, but it got the job done and the end result was pretty clean and barely noticeable visually.

I had seen a post that said it should be a P-90 and I ordered my first pickguard from Warmoth that way. The P-90 rout was way too big, so I used that pickguard to practice and confirm my position for drilling the hole for the toggle switch.
 

bruzanhd

Senior member
Messages
178
That’s an awesome tribute. What era is this meant to follow? I’ve seen pictures of the original with white pickups and a non fine tuner Floyd also. How does the L500 sound?
 

RockOn2112

New member
Messages
5
That’s an awesome tribute. What era is this meant to follow? I’ve seen pictures of the original with white pickups and a non fine tuner Floyd also. How does the L500 sound?
Thanks bruzanhd,

Moving Pictures era all the way here, '81 - '82. I didn't go completely replica and most of my guitars have Floyd Rose Originals, so it mades sense to go with the original. The L500L has got a definite edge to it and it sounds great so far. I've only had this done for a couple of weeks now and just dialing in the tones for stuff from Moving Pictures was much easier with that pickup, it made a big difference. I've got a couple of Jacksons and ESPs with Seymour Duncans that I could get pretty close, but this L500L just nails the Lifeson tone.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,453
Thanks stratamania,

It's an L500L from Bill n' Becky Wilde Pickups. The route is a standard humbucker (uncovered). I had to do a minor amount of sanding at low speed with a Dremel to widen it just a bit. I mounted it with the mounting ring under the pickguard to fill in the small gap that was present at the top and bottom. I had to do some creative cutting on the mounting ring to get it to fit down in the pickup cavity. It wasn't pretty underneath, but it got the job done and the end result was pretty clean and barely noticeable visually.

I had seen a post that said it should be a P-90 and I ordered my first pickguard from Warmoth that way. The P-90 rout was way too big, so I used that pickguard to practice and confirm my position for drilling the hole for the toggle switch.

Thanks, I could not see from the photos if there was a gap and that you had put the pickup ring underneath. The P-90 rout definitely is not a fit as you found out and the uncovered humbucker is probably the closest. At one time, there was another option available from Warmoth that there was some debate of whether it was a fit, but that does not appear to be available any longer.

I think the only way to get it accurate is to cut the bridge L500L and drill for the volume and tone positions oneself. I have most of the parts now for a couple of years for a Hentor type build myself, but I am debating whether to use the Floyd Non Fine Tuner and neck I have for that project or another.

That’s an awesome tribute. What era is this meant to follow? I’ve seen pictures of the original with white pickups and a non fine tuner Floyd also. How does the L500 sound?

In the Moving Pictures era, the white Hentor had indeed a non-fine tuner Floyd and a neck made by a person/company called Shark. It was put on to be the same width as a Gibson neck, having a 1 11/16" versus the slightly narrower neck of the Fender. The Shark neck headstock is actually closer to a Jazzmaster and is a 21 fret neck rather than 22. There were a couple of other Hentors, black and red.

The same white Hentor was rejuvenated only a few years ago and a locking Floyd put on it and the original single coils replaced with DiMarzio FS-1s. The frets were also redone with stainless steel. This was done by a Canadian luthier called Freddy Gabrsek.

So we could say @RockOn2112 has made an inspired by rather than a replica of the Moving Pictures era. But I like the interpretation, and the black binding on the neck adds a subtle twist.

@bruzanhd if you are interested, here is a thread from about six years ago where there is some more discussion about Hentor's.

 
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RockOn2112

New member
Messages
5
Thanks, I could not see from the photos if there was a gap and that you had put the pickup ring underneath. The P-90 rout definitely is not a fit as you found out and the uncovered humbucker is probably the closest. At one time, there was another option available from Warmoth that there was some debate of whether it was a fit, but that does not appear to be available any longer.

I think the only way to get it accurate is to cut the bridge L500L and drill for the volume and tone positions oneself. I have most of the parts now for a couple of years for a Hentor type build myself, but I am debating whether to use the Floyd Non Fine Tuner and neck I have for that project or another.



In the Moving Pictures era, the white Hentor had indeed a non-fine tuner Floyd and a neck made by a person/company called Shark. It was put on to be the same width as a Gibson neck, having a 1 11/16" versus the slightly narrower neck of the Fender. The Shark neck headstock is actually closer to a Jazzmaster and is a 21 fret neck rather than 22. There were a couple of other Hentors, black and red.

The same white Hentor was rejuvenated only a few years ago and a locking Floyd put on it and the original single coils replaced with DiMarzio FS-1s. The frets were also redone with stainless steel. This was done by a Canadian luthier called Freddy Gabrsek.

So we could say @RockOn2112 has made an inspired by rather than a replica of the Moving Pictures era. But I like the interpretation, and the black binding on the neck adds a subtle twist.

@bruzanhd if you are interested, here is a thread from about six years ago where there is some more discussion about Hentor's.

@stratamania, you are well versed on the Hentor!

Not sure if you knew, but Lifeson auctioned off a majority of his collection of guitars back in May this year through Julien's Auctions. The white Hentor went for $187,500. I was fortunate to have picked up one of the hard bound auction catalogs for my collection. Pretty cool auction, here's a link to the rundown on Julien's for the white Hentor:


In most of the listings for his main players there is a unique NFT and Lifeson does a personal narration about the item. In the pictures on the listing, there is one where he is wearing a yellow sport jacket and playing side by side with Geddy, definitely Moving Pictures/Exit Stage Left tour. You can see the Fender logo on the headstock. I've seen lots of photos like this, and that was the inspiration to do the CBS Fender neck.

Pretty cool when a few simple mods on a Stratocaster can spark so much additional creativity. :cool:
 

RockOn2112

New member
Messages
5
The wiring is neck, neck/middle, bridge. I can’t remember which forum I was on, but there were several threads that mentioned that this was how Alex had it wired up with the three way mod. There was some additional dialogue I found that confirmed that the Hentors that Freddy Garsbeck was given permission to produce for resale were also wired up that way.

I haven’t run the spectrum on all positions on different amps and effects chains yet (main rig is an Axe FX II out to a Line 6 Vetta 2X12 and 2x12 extension running in stereo mode, using just the power amp stage on the Vetta with a bypassed amp model). What I have done so far with a 50W Marshall model and Lifeson inspired effects chain on the Axe FX, has given some excellent results for the range of sounds on Moving Pictures. The Bill Lawrence humbucker really sounds great on a Fender Twin model too.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,453
For the wiring check, the link to the build thread I linked to above in post 6. At some point I will document it some more in a build thread as I plan to redraw it etc.

 
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