Let’s do another Steve Morse inspired build!

Hodgo

Junior Member
Messages
153
On the heels of my Velocity build which morphed into a quasi Y2D inspired guitar, I’ve decided I’d like another guitar with the DiMarzio Morse pickups, but this time I want to go for the full 3 or possibly even 4 pickup route.

So let’s start here:

Hybrid Tele® Replacement Guitar Body

Construction
Solid
Core Wood Poplar
Control Cavity Top Rout
Multi Pickup Top Rout Universal
Jack Rout 7/8" (22mm) Side Jack Hole
Bridge Rout Type Hardtail
Bridge Rout TOM/STP (Angled Pocket)
Mounting Holes Standard 4-Bolt
Neck Pocket Shape Strat®
Body Contours Forearm Contour, Tummy Contour

I am having Warmoth omit both the stop tailpiece holes and forearm contours to mimic the Morse signature model.

The intention behind this build is to combine the construction and design of the Morse signature EBMM with the original Frankentele Steve played with the Dregs. I will be sourcing a CBS Strat neck with a wheel adjust truss rod and 12” radius, and will custom cut a pickguard.

Pickups will be Morse DiMarzios. For the third pickup in the bridge, I will either use a DP-117 OR maybe a Tele neck pickup like the DiMarzio Area T. The fourth pickup, slanted below the neck, I’m not so sure on. It was eliminated in the Y2D model, but let’s be honest - 4 pickups is just a sight to behold for us guitar nerds.
 
Well done, this is a good idea. Four pickups, I say why not.

What do you plan to use for a tailpiece?

Here is the Morse I used to own. A collector bought it from me.

View attachment 60687
Very cool, I have never seen a red one!

I’m not sure on the tailpiece, possibly something like this WD part:
IMG_6770.png
EBMM won’t sell me an actual Morse unit sadly, but the construction looks quite simple so I might have one made at a local machine shop… seems that could be overkill though.
 
Fine axes to emulate. The Morse Y2D model in the Purple Sunset finish was my inspiration for this body I had Warmoth do, which was subsequently offered as Warmoth's Purple Burst finish option:

6183317626_9d81fd77d8_b.jpg
 
Very cool, I have never seen a red one!


Thanks, all. The colour is Cardinal Red Sparkle. It was a Premier Dealer Network limited colour a few years ago. Hence, why I was contacted by a collector via TGP as I recall, as he was missing that colour.

The WD tailpiece looks like a suitable option. I notice you listed a TOM with angled pocket, the Morse Musicmans have a recessed TOM in case you want to take that into account.
 
Thanks, all. The colour is Cardinal Red Sparkle. It was a Premier Dealer Network limited colour a few years ago. Hence, why I was contacted by a collector via TGP as I recall, as he was missing that colour.

The WD tailpiece looks like a suitable option. I notice you listed a TOM with angled pocket, the Morse Musicmans have a recessed TOM in case you want to take that into account.
Perfect. Changed my order to recessed no stop.
 
I have to retract my previous statement - you simply need to call MusicMan and ask for part M05133 to get a Morse tailpiece. I went ahead and ordered the two toggle switches from MM as well.
 
I have to retract my previous statement - you simply need to call MusicMan and ask for part M05133 to get a Morse tailpiece. I went ahead and ordered the two toggle switches from MM as well.

I did wonder because I thought someone on the forum several years ago had ordered one. I thought perhaps you had contacted them earlier and they were no longer available.
 
I also have a Morse pickguard here to use for templating purposes, but I thought I’d see how I liked the shape over a Tele. I gotta say, although I had intended on doing a different shape with the horn included, I really like this look and might end up sticking with something very close:

IMG_6774.jpeg
 
Also some interesting tidbits: Morses original Frankentele had a ‘67 rosewood Strat neck. I’m going to have Musikraft make a neck very similar - 21 fret veneer board, 50/50 split side dots, pearloid top dots, no skunk stripe - but with 12” radius, jumbo frets, and drilled for Schallers.

Also, Morses Tele was originally black, and he stripped the finish and applied “varnish and shellac”.

Depending on the piece of wood Warmoth chooses, that may not be appropriate for the poplar, but it’s not dissimilar from the process I used for the “pumpkin pine” finish on the body in the previous post. We’ll have to make a call when I get eyes on the finished product. Alternatively, a flake finish is not out of the question. I’m also quite fond of the solid Ivory color on the Dan Smith era Teles.

Morse also commented in an interview that the during the first Dregs albums, the bridge had nylon saddles (I imagine this came from the same 335 as the PAF?) which he preferred over the metal saddles that were fit later. The EBMM model uses a Tonepros T3BT, so I might go with their TPFG model:

IMG_6775.jpg
 
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The hard part now is finding a DiMarzio VS1 / DP108. I asked DiMarzio for a suitable replacement and they said the True Velvet neck (DP175) is the closest offering available, but I’ve got alerts on Reverb and eBay set up in case someone lists one.
 
The hard part now is finding a DiMarzio VS1 / DP108. I asked DiMarzio for a suitable replacement and they said the True Velvet neck (DP175) is the closest offering available, but I’ve got alerts on Reverb and eBay set up in case someone lists one.

I would doubt the DP175 is going to make any real appreciable difference.

What have you settled on for the other single coil, which is a proprietary wind, the HS3 DP117? Apparently, the proprietary wind is similar to the HS3 wired as non-noiseless.
 
I would doubt the DP175 is going to make any real appreciable difference.

What have you settled on for the other single coil, which is a proprietary wind, the HS3 DP117? Apparently, the proprietary wind is similar to the HS3 wired as non-noiseless.
I might, but I also like the way the original frankenTele has that flash of chrome and I do have a spare Tele neck (Wilde Microcoil T) sitting in my parts bin currently.

However, this picture leads me to believe the DP117 is the more ”accurate” pick:

IMG_6771.jpeg
 
The pic shows a DP117EB presumably EB being Ernie Ball and a DP117 is the HS3. So it is probably close.
 
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