help me build my dream guitar

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
for a long time i was an lp/335 player. i avoided strats because of short hands and longer scale. then i discovered the conversion neck. the way the strat blends with the body and the way it tilts slightly towards me due to its contours has made playing it a dream - that now i find it difficult to play the thick body lp, though the 335 due to its larger body size is still fine.

now i want a guitar with p90s. the stratosonic looks fine and i am highly tempted. but i would like something different if possible.

i am very attracted to the jaguar body shape - maybe because it was used by one of my axe heroes - otis rush. somehow it brings to my mind a pebble on the beach.

yea i understand that the jaguar with its 24" scale should be ideal for my small hands - but i don't want it to be different from my other guitars. i would preferably have a jag/jazzmaster shaped body with a 24 3/4" neck.

would a conversion neck intonate on a jaguar? and is the hollow sound of the jag due to its 1mg volume and 50k tone pots? if i put 250k pots will it sound more like a strat or tele?

would it be possible to fit p90s on a jazzmaster body (assuming that a conversion neck will intonate on a jazzmaster due to its 25 1/2" scale)? if yes and i were to order a custom pickguard to fit the p90s, would extra unused space of the larger pickup cavities of a jazzmaster degrade the sound?

and where can i get a good quality jazzmaster body which is not too expensive - some of the prominent sellers on ebay charge so much for jm bodies.

is it possible to get a lightweight or chambered jazzmaster body which would complement the p90s?

appreciate the feedback and suggestions if any.
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
Jaguar, as far as I remember, it's only 24" neck...

Jazzmaster I believe is ok with convertion... And it's not disponible chambered...

Think about a Thinline with P90...
http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=4221.0
 

Kostas

Senior member
Messages
1,380
Jazzmaster body + 24 3/4" conversion neck will work.

You will order the body routed for P-90's, same for the pickguard.

Lightweight yes, chambered no.

All of the above you can order it at Warmoth, don't know about e-bay sellers.

http://www.warmoth.com/guitar/bodies/vintage.cfm?fuseaction=jmaster
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
is mahogany the ideal wood for p90s?

gibson most always seem to prefer mahogany - especially with its p90 guitars. likewise the prs soapbar. even the body of the fender stratosonic is mahogany.

and i have a gibson les paul dc faded with p90s - which is made of honduran mahogany and it is quite light (though i'm planning to let go of it).

does warmoth do honduran mahogany? and is it expensive?

any other lightweight wood which goes well with p90s?

appreciate the feedback.
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,738
vtpcnk said:
is mahogany the ideal wood for p90s?

gibson most always seem to prefer mahogany - especially with its p90 guitars. likewise the prs soapbar. even the body of the fender stratosonic is mahogany.

and i have a gibson les paul dc faded with p90s - which is made of honduran mahogany and it is quite light (though i'm planning to let go of it).

does warmoth do honduran mahogany? and is it expensive?

any other lightweight wood which goes well with p90s?

appreciate the feedback.

dont know if its Honduras mahogany. heck, I'm not even sure if Gibson uses honduras! its just too expensive and rare. more likely, its an african version of mahogany.

and yes, p90's and mahogany or korina or koa are a great match. koa and korina are a bit like mahogany, but a bit more mids and highs and tightness. alder and ash can work great too, but will give you more highs and scream compared with more growl. I do like mahogany and koa and korina with p90's. don't care if its a carved top version or a flat top version.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Yes most Gibson P90 guitars are made with mahogany, PRS too, and there are some korina versions of those guitars here and there. My understanding is that "Honduran Mahogany" is extinct and that today's honduran mahogany comes from various places in S. America and is less consistent.

Also, mahogany is one of the heavier woods, it's not a lightweight option.

Majority (not unanimous) opinion on this board (with a lot of accumulated experience) says that body wood type doesn't affect the sound as much as is commonly thought, and further, that individual variation is a major factor.

So, you could go with alder jazzmaster for more traditional fender look, or mahogany or korina if you like, or just ignore what Fender and Gibson have done in the past and strike out on your own. Your guitar will probably be awesome in any case. I love my telecaster with a walnut body and all-rosewood neck. There's not really a 'wrong' choice out there.

Recommendation: Lollar P90s are truly worth it and the hype is justified. Best pickup I've used.
You must return to the board and post pictures of the assembly and final product when you make the leap. Good luck!

 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
yea lollar p90s are the only thing i am not going to compromise on. all the rest are flexible.

sometimes it seems to me that easiest/cheapest option is replacing the pickups/electronics/bridge on a prs korean soapbar - like $650 with the going rate for the used prs soapbars on ebay.

or a lollar swap on a used stratosonic is like $800.

but a jag/jm with p90s is the dream ...
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
f you watch the closeout section at warmoth, dont get fancy, and diy on finishing, you can make a nice W for around 650, including good pickups.

http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=3588.0
http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=3373.0

Two of my cheaper builds, both under 650.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
http://www.warmoth.com/showcase/sc_guitar_bodies.cfm?itemNumber=JM54&type=guitar
http://www.warmoth.com/showcase/sc_guitar_necks.cfm?type=guitar&start=1&menuItem=1&itemNumber=SN5165&subMenuItem=4&subMenuItem2=0
These would get you pretty far towards where you want to be, and with an exotic raw neck too.
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
actually there's a jm body on the warmoth showcase which at 4lbs is only .4 ounces less than another showcased "extra light body" : http://www.warmoth.com/showcase/sc_guitar_bodies.cfm?type=guitar&itemNumber=JM68&menuItem=6&subMenuItem=2&subMenuItem2=0

but even with that at $145, with the finish it will hit $320.

then a neck at anywhere between $200 to $300.

then the hardware - bridge, tremolo, tuners, pickguard, knobs etc - will hit another $200.

pickups and electronics another $200.

i don't see how any assembled warmoth jazzmaster can cost less than a grand.

also one of my main criterions for a p90 guitar is the light weight. if the unpainted body itself is 4lbs, with the finish and the hardware will not the weight hit 6lbs? then with the neck it will be atleast 8lbs. atleast 1 1/2 lbs more than what i am looking for.

or are my calculations wrong?
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Actually, like I already said if you finish it yourself and watch the closeout section, and don't go crazy with hardware, you can build one for 650, and I've done it twice. I've built five warmoths now and never spent more than a grand, I'm married so I have to watch myself. but you could obviously spend 2k or more if you wanted to. You can get a basic neck (maple / rw) with corian nut and Gotoh tuners for just over 200, and it's a very good neck. 145 to 160 for an unfinished closeout body, and $25 for sandpaper, truoil, and some stain, and you're nearly done. $45 for a hardtail strat bridge or TOM. $200 for your lollars and you've just got bits and pieces after that. Even less if you buy some of the parts on ebay.
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
thanks for the tips.

yea i can get some of these parts used - but a lot of the hardware on ebay seem to cost as much as the new ones on the warmoth site.

finish it myself?

wow that's ambitious.

though i'm not a stranger to paints - i used to paint heavily as a child and i have even painted chairs! - but i have never done something like this before.

also just as i think that some colours favor certain models - like sunburst or black for a strat, butterscotch blonde for a tele, goldtop for a les paul, heritage cherry for a sg - i always thought that olympic white looked utterly sexy on a jm/jag. so i would definitely want it finished in white.

is this possible for a novice?

on the internet i saw somebody with no experience who had done the same. but i also don't want to screw up the guitar.

and how much would the paint cost - any idea?

also how much would the paint weigh? if an unfinished body is 4lbs, how much would it be finished/painted?

appreciate the feedback.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
A pro-quality finish isn't easy at all, and an olympic white finish may be a bit ambitious for the first time. You're spraying nitro, and you've got to pay attention. I don't want to kid you. But have you seen what some people have done with wipe-on oil finishes? One guy even got a very nice look with wipe-on one step poly - I tried it once and got an acceptable but not good enough-for-me finish. That would involve a couple sheets of super fine sandpaper, a sanding block, an old t-shirt, and a $5 can of paint. All fun, but if you're not interested or don't have the space, you'd be better off working a couple overtime shifts and having Warmoth do it for you.

The nice thing is that if you screw it up the first time, you can still play it and enjoy it and refinish it next year. It's just paint after all. And btw paint weighs almost nothing. Finishing yourself also makes the guitar just that much more "yours". Check out these jazzmasters to show you what's possible when you 'free your imagination'.  http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=92.0
http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=90.0
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
yea i get your point about working a couple of extra shifts and getting it professionally finished.

for some reason i feel guilty about spending too much on a guitar - maybe because i don't have the talent to justify the splurge.

also in such enterprise i can't but dodge the question whether i should be spending more time playing the guitar than building it.

between an finished but empty body and a fully loaded body (hardware and electronics) what would be the weight difference?

if the finished empty body was 4 lbs and then i put in the bridge/pickups/electronics/knobs etc how much would it weigh then?

appreciate the feedback.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Weight of necks and hardware varies a lot, its impossible to speculate. 4 lb body and basic strat hardware for instance would get you a 'fairly light' strat. I don't weigh my guitars so i don't know any more. tremolo blocks and certain tuners (schaller) add significant weight.

Building is a fun hobby but separate from playing - nothing to be ashamed of, just the opposite in fact. And you'll tend to play more if you've got a ridiculously nice guitar on the stand. (but not if you spend all your time posting on guitar building forums!!)  :icon_jokercolor:

As to cost, it's your wallet so I can't judge, but at least 'Ws' are great value - of that I'm certain.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,166
Just adding to what other folks have commented on:

Finishing:  A good pro finish is very hard to do.  I'd get warmoth to finish it.

Pickups:  Lollar P90's are the way to go as other folks have mentioned.  They are the best that I've heard and not that expensive.

Conversion necks:  Yep,  warmoth has what you need.

Body wood:  Matters less than what most people think.  It's neck wood that has the biggest tonal impact (at least that's the current wisdom).

 
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