I'm in the process of building my first guitar! Help please?

IncrediBeast

New member
Messages
5
Hey everyone,

So after playing guitar on and off since I was 9 years old (I'm 18 now), having gotten serious about it a few years ago and having played many different guitars, I finally have a pretty good idea of what I want in a guitar and decided to start building my own.

The two guitars I mainly play are a '95 Ibanez GR520 Ghostrider, and a '08 Epiphone Tony Iommi G-400. 

I love the look, feel, and sound of the Epiphone, and I really like the low action and the neck of the Ibanez, which makes it easier to play than my Epiphone.

Strats...I don't like them, so I'm gonna stay away from that haha.  Palm muting is a bitch on those things in my opinion.  Plus the strings are too far apart for my liking on my dad's.

Basically, I'm looking for a guitar that'll give me the dark, heavy, and absolutely awesome sound similar to Tony Iommi's sound (I know what effects and stuff I need for that as well already), but with the feel of my Ibanez's neck...although I'm not exactly sure what gives it that "feel", but I just feel way more comfortable with that one.  Maybe you guys can give me some insight as to why, haha.  Maybe it's thinner..

Anyways, so I'm going with the MP125 jet black SG body.

The first thing I see on the side for the options is the "side jack".  It gives me 3 options...7/8", 3/4", and 1/2".  What does this mean exactly?  I know that guitar cables are 1/4" so I have no idea what the dimensions listed there correspond to.  Help please?

Under "control style", the first five are pretty obvious, but the sixth baffles me.  "Input hole".  So..if I don't check this, does this mean that my guitar won't have a place for a jack?  And wasn't the jack option the drop down menu above?

Anyways, I'm thinking about throwing a P90 in the neck (good or bad idea?  I want to be able to get a decent clean sound in the neck pickup with a good amount of bass for those little clean parts that some metal songs have...kind of a bright yet full sound.)

And then I wanna go on eBay and throw an Iommi humbucker in the bridge since I absolutely love the sound of those things.  What's the difference in sound between a P90 and a humbucker for the neck pickup, with a clean sound?

Also, what's a battery box for?


Ok, onto the neck...

I couldn't find a showcase neck that fit what I wanted, so I decided to make my own.  I went with a LP.

Style: LP
Construction: Warmoth Pro Angled
Scale: 25-1/2 in.
Neck Wood:
$193.00 USD

    * Shaft Wood: Mahogany
    * Fingerboard Wood: Indian Rosewood

Orientation: Right Handed

Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Back Shape: Standard thin

Radius: 10-16" Compound

# of Frets: 24

Fret Size: 6130

Tuner Ream: Vintage Style (11/32")

Inlays: Pearloid Trapezoid

Pre-Cut Installed String Nut: Graphite

Mounting Holes: Standard 4 Bolt


What do you guys think about these specifications?  Any suggestions as to anything that might be better?

I had no idea what was best for the "tuner ream", so I just picked the first option.  What do you guys suggest?



Now, for hardware...

I really want my guitar to have a tremolo arm, but I can't stand the ones on the Strats because it makes palm muting considerably more difficult for me.  If I put a tremolo arm on this guitar instead of just a regular fixed bridge, will I have this problem?  The reason it was harder for me is because I had to move my hand way more to the right to palm mute properly than on my Ibanez and my Epiphone.

If it'll work out, what's a good tremolo arm to buy?


As for the tuners, what's the difference between the ones available on the website?  Are any of them better than the others?

Also, as for the internals of the guitar, what all do I need? 



Will Warmoth put together my guitar for me, or do I have to do it all myself?

For the custom neck and headstock, is there any way I can get them painted the same color as the body?


Sorry guys, I realize how long this is...I have a billion questions but I want this guitar to be perfect and I want to get a guitar that I'm going to love for a long, long time.

Thanks so much in advance to anyone who can help me out.







 

IncrediBeast

New member
Messages
5
P.S.: Lemme just add that if Warmoth has me put it together myself (which I am TOTALLY fine with and I think it would be a lot of fun), where can I learn to put it all together?
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
IncrediBeast said:
where can I learn to put it all together?

Right here!! just browse the different topics - there's lots of info here :)

oh and in regards to your specifications, it is all great as long as it fits your needs .. that is exactly why we all go the custom route!
it may be a good plan to try out a lot of guitars in your local McGuitarcenter to find out what your favorite profile, width, radius and fretsize is.

When it comes to the trem and palm muting - it depends on what you are used to.  maybe you should just floyd it! with a non recessed one that is, so you don't pull it up by accident while muting..
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
On the side jack, it depends on what kind of side jack you prefer:

read this:
http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Bodies/Options/SidejackOptions.aspx

for the tuner hole sizes, pick a tuner first
http://www.warmoth.com/Tuning-Machines-C205.aspx
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
Warmoth doesn't assemble the guitar parts for you. They just sell you the parts. How you get them together after that is up to you.

The side jack size is how big of a hole they'll make on the side. This can matter depending on what kind of jack and jackplate you're going to use, and the thickness of the body.

The top jack "input hole" is for SG's that have the jack on the top of the guitar's body. yours doesn't have to be this way - it's how SG's were made traditionally.

P-90s are cool - a bit noisier than a humbucker, but a better clean tone, imo

a battery box is for guitars using active pickups.

the tuner ream depends on what kind of tuners you plan to use.

ok I'm zoobing out on the rest of those questions...

you've got a lot to learn... might be a good idea to hold off a bit on this guitar... just my opinion....
 

Jon

Active member
Messages
75
One problem I'm seeing is the 24 frets, and neck pickup.  Their 24 frets are an overhang from the fretboard, which gets in the way of the neck pickup rout.  Also, with their SG, the extra 2 frets would be nearly impossible to reach.
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
ok let's try to continue...


Warmoth has some good tuners available. Generally price and opinion determine which are better.

as for trems - you really ought to go to a music store and try out some guitars and fine out what you like and don't like. You already know you don't like strat bridges. Go somewhere and try a guitar with a Floyd Rose on it. See if you like those. Those are the kind that have a locking nut (which would mean you'd have to change your neck specs to accommodate that). Then there are the Wilkinson type, which are more like strat trems and don't have locking nuts.

for the "internals" - - well you need whatever you need. Depends on how many volume and/or tone knobs you want. You'll need a toggle switch, some wire, etc...

yeah they'll paint the headstock for you - it's black so it should match.



 

rapfohl09

Senior member
Messages
1,673
Just looking over your neck specs, and just a few things.

Mahogany would need a finish, whether you would do that or not is up to you.

The Wizard contour is suppose to be modeled after Ibanez, so that would probally suit you better.

And I dont think you can have 24 frets on a 25.5" scale without having the body modified, just specify the 24 fret extension when you get the body and they will do it for you (it moves the neck pickup down an inch or so)

Also just letting you know that after all those options, your neck will be alot more than 193 dollars.
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
btw - just noticed that the body you want is set up for a Tune-o-matic bridge. They won't change it for a Floyd Rose. (I asked them myself once).
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
I would look better at your frets, some Ibanez and Jackson has big frets... I would look at the 6150...

About the humbucker on neck, there are many humbuckers with good clean tone... but it's about personal preference, some guys love some hate... I think you should try a little some humbukers on neck as far as P90 and single coils. You shall decide which one makes you smile better... :)

Does your Ibanez has Tune-o-matic bridge?? if "YES", a floyd rose or any other tremolo bridge will be very different from it, what would lead to try some guitars with floyd and with t-o-m to decide which one you feel more confortable to play...

About the paint, as Gary said, they would paint, but "match" just if you order the body and neck together, or in other words, they would paint it in black, but could be a little different than the body, if you buy it from showcase...

I agree with Gary again, try to find out what makes a guitar nice to you before go to a custom order... I built one when I was 17-18 without nowing it exactly and it turned a guitar that I don't like very much... I just don't sell it because I build it and it wouldn't have a decent price on it (considering the work I had)
 

IncrediBeast

New member
Messages
5
NonsenseTele said:
I would look better at your frets, some Ibanez and Jackson has big frets... I would look at the 6150...

About the humbucker on neck, there are many humbuckers with good clean tone... but it's about personal preference, some guys love some hate... I think you should try a little some humbukers on neck as far as P90 and single coils. You shall decide which one makes you smile better... :)

Does your Ibanez has Tune-o-matic bridge?? if "YES", a floyd rose or any other tremolo bridge will be very different from it, what would lead to try some guitars with floyd and with t-o-m to decide which one you feel more confortable to play...

About the paint, as Gary said, they would paint, but "match" just if you order the body and neck together, or in other words, they would paint it in black, but could be a little different than the body, if you buy it from showcase...

I agree with Gary again, try to find out what makes a guitar nice to you before go to a custom order... I built one when I was 17-18 without nowing it exactly and it turned a guitar that I don't like very much... I just don't sell it because I build it and it wouldn't have a decent price on it (considering the work I had)

My Ibanez doesn't have a tremolo bar.  I don't know what the name of it is, but the only tremolo bar I've used is the one that comes standard with Fender Stratocasters...and I don't really like it that much.  I'll go to Guitar Center sometime and see if I can try out a Floyd.

Thanks a lot for the tips everyone.  I'm going to be thinking about this a lot and wait a couple months before I actually make my purchase so I have enough time to find out EXACTLY what I want.  I'll post again if I have any more questions.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
The Wizard neck has more of a shredder guitar style profile (Ibanez/Jackson...)  The Strat your dad has could have two different trem styles on it.  Two posts on the outside of the E strings, or six screws basically underneath each string.  It is not really relevant, but hey, for completeness sake.  I would suggest looking into Stainless steel frets.  They are harder, last longer, and quite a number of the folks around here like the glassy feel that they have.  Also do not over look the unfinished exotic wood necks that Warmoth offers.  They are very nice and a lot of folks get hooked.  If you want to try one, it is easiest to find a music shop that has expensive bass guitars to try the exotic wood necks.  Warwick basses's have a lot of fun styles of woods there that Warmoth offers.  While it is not a guitar, it will give you an idea of what it is like to play a neck like that.

If you are getting a Floyd, the tuners are not as crucial as a guitar without a floyd.  They are still something that you really should get a good set for, but the locking ones are not needed.  Warmoth will ream the tuner holes for the brand you buy, so figure out that detail early on. 

I can't help you with pickups that much, everyone here has an opinion of what they like.  While we can give you suggestions, it is good to look up what people are using for songs/solos that you like.  Then if you ask around here, you will hear of every different small shop custom thing out there, plus ways of making, or modifying your own pick ups.  It is good that you know what sound you are going for.  Still, we all have our favorites around here. 

Good luck and keep asking questions if things are not clear.  If you are going to build a custom guitar, make sure you get what you want.
Patrick

 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
Found this in a quick search.  TOM's all around.

Ibanez Ghostrider GR520

IbanezGhostriderGR520.jpg



Epiphone Tony Iommi G-400

EGGIEBBH-Finish-Shot-jpg.aspx
 

rapfohl09

Senior member
Messages
1,673
I dont necessarily think its the TOM OVER the floyd, but just that the body you wanted is already routed for the TOM, so it couldnt be routed for the floyd. If you got a new body custom you could get whatever you prefer, but you can only get bodies from the showcase that say your choice tremolo, or are already routed for the floyd of course. Also, dont get to attached to any one thing in the showcase if you cant order for a few months, thats setting yourself up for something to dissapear....trust me, I know :( Haha.
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
IncrediBeast said:
Haha yup, those are them.  Why the TOM over the Floyd, though?

Because you said you didn't feel confortable on Strats... A Floyd Rose is 2345% more alike a Strat than to Tune-o-matic... Go to a guitar store, play it and you'll see... (I'm not saying that you WON'T like it... you could like, but it's completely different beast from T-o-M...)
 

Keyser Soze

Senior member
Messages
206
You can palm mute on a Floyd, but it's alot different from palm muting a TOM.


P90s do great cleans but, like all true single coils, also bring serious noise - especially noticeable at high volume or with high gain (actually with high gain they typically sound like mud.)  I'd look at something along the lines of Dimarzio's Humbucker from Hell instead.

Aren't both of your guitars short scale (24.75")?  I'd reconsider the 25.5" scale - or at least go play a few Fender scale guitars first.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Lots of good ideas already. Couple more:

if you're used to TOM and don't use a trem, or feel a strong need to use a trem, I would definitely not get one on your first custom build. ALL trems are higher maintenance than a TOM, and they will all affect your tone. People say Floyds in particular will hurt your sustain (I've never had one, I'm a hardtail guy ftw). This is because one end of the string is suspended on a spring-loaded block instead of being anchored to the body.

A P90 can sound amazing in the neck, really one of my very favorite sounds, but they're not the best pickup for really "clean" cleans or for super high gain - rather they are at their best pushing a tube amp in to moderate OD. They love blues -> classic rock. Since it sounds like you're mostly a bucker guy who just wants a clean option, I think you should consider some vintage-wind neck bucker like a SD 59, Jazz, or something similar, OR go for a HSH setup and get a noiseless, low-power strat pup in the middle. It would look weird on an SG of course, but we've seen a lot weirder on this board.

You definitely should make a couple trips to big guitar stores and try out different neck shapes. Also make sure that you get the right scale (you're playing 24.75 scale now) and fret size. The pickups you can always change later, and people always do, but the neck specs can't really be changed and are very personal. Oh, and play some custom basses that have exotic neck woods, you'll see how great they are. PRS makes a few all-rosewood neck models too, check those out if you can.
 

IncrediBeast

New member
Messages
5
Well, after reading this entire thread multiple times, I've done a few hours of research on the Internet, and I now have even MORE questions.  Sorry!

I checked out pickups, and both the humbucker from hell and the 59 have some pretty unimpressive reviews from more experienced guitarists.  What do you guys think about a Gibson '57 classic for the neck?

What exactly is an exotic wood neck, and how does it differ from a "standard" neck?

I definitely want to keep using the same guitar size that i've been using all my life, but I have my heart set on 24 REACHABLE frets, so what exactly should I say on the order form?  Or is it better to order over the phone?

I have my heart set on getting a trem as well;  I'll be sure to check them out.  I heard that palm muting becomes a problem with floating bridges because it pitches the bridge forward though.  What do you guys think?
It shouldn't be a problem if I have to adapt to a new bridge.  I hate the one on my dads strat because it's so damn far back compared to my guitars!  Then the knobs are in the way haha.
Loss of sustain isn't a prob.  I'll buy a sustain pedal!

What's the difference between the pots that warmoth sells?  Like the 250 and the 500...

If I choose to have no tone control for the bridge, will that affect my tone?  I always keep it at max on my guitars so I don't need it really

The neck on my sg is a bit thin for me, but my ibanez feels considerably thicker and better (I have big hands). Is the sg neck thinner than standard or something?
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
Exotic wood necks is an umbrella term for necks that the wood does not require a finish on.  Words fail to describe them properly.  But, the point is, try out a guitar or bass that has one of the woods (Wenge, Rosewood, Bubinga, Canary, Pau Ferro...) as a neck.  If you are going to build the thing, check out those woods and make sure you don't decide that it is a must.
Patrick

 
Top