My 2nd Warmoth Build!!!

Chris_Lohmann

Active member
Messages
39
Hello everyone!

Just wanted to show all of you my 2nd 100% Warmoth guitar, my black Mockingbird.

Full-length shot
mockingbird_01.jpg


Body
mockingbird_02.jpg


Headstock (the picture doesn't do justice to the flame maple peghead veneer)
mockingbird_03.jpg


SPECS

Body
-Solid 1-piece mahogany body w/ bookmatched AAAAA (5A) flame maple top, contoured heel
-Black dye top blended to a black gloss back via a custom narrow black burstover
-Rear routed, dual humbuckers, string-thru-body hardtail bridge, V-X-T-5 control config

Neck
-25 1/2" scale Warmoth pro neck w/ Jackson-style headstock
-Mahogany neck, jet black ebony fingerboard w/ no inlay, flame maple peghead veneer
-1 3/4" nut width
-Wizard back contour
-10-16" compound radius fingerboard
-SS 6105 fretwire
-Precut and installed Graphtec graphite nut
-Black dye on face of peghead, satin black on the back

Hardware/Electronics
-Locking Sperzel tuners
-Gotoh modern (5 mounting hole) string-thru-body hardtail bridge
-EMG 85 bridge pickup, EMG 81 neck pickup
-Master volume, dual tone via an EMG A25KX2 concentric pot, 3-way switch

Misc. Comments

This guitar was ordered in mid April of 2006. I received it in late July 2006 and was playing it by the end of August/beginning of September 2006 so it isn't new by any means. I am SOOOOOOO depressed that Warmoth discontinued the Mockingbird. I had plans to do another one in an attempt to rectify the mistakes made on this one. For instance, the bridge routing. I tend to be more of a rhythm player and don't really solo that often so I knew that I didn't want a tremolo of any kind. I also knew that I didn't want a Tune-O-Matic, partially because the neck pocket has to be angled and I prefer straight necks, but also because Tune-O-Matics are not capable of individual saddle height adjustment and have a fixed saddle radius of 12" and I knew that I wanted a neck with a 10-16" compound radius fingerboard. So that left me with pretty much one option: a flat-mount string-thru-body hardtail Strat bridge, but which one? I knew which one I wanted. It's basically a carbon-copy made by Gotoh of the modern string-thru-body hardtail bridge that Fender puts on their modern American Standard Hardtail Strats, but Warmoth doesn't carry that particular bridge in stock. So, when I placed my order, I asked for the "String-thru holes only" bridge routing option and I figured that once I received the guitar, I could align my bridge over the string-thru holes and then locate and drill my own mounting holes. Still with me? Okay. One day, about a month after I placed my order I got a phone call from Mr. Gregg Stewart telling me that when they were making my Mockingbird body, they accidentally drilled the mounting holes for the "Narrow-spaced Strat Bridge" that they carry in stock. He wanted to know what I wanted them to do; should they leave the mounting holes the way the were, should they plug the holes or should they scrap the body and start over? Scrapping the body and starting over, he told me, would require the consent of Ken Warmoth, himself. I ultimately decided to have them plug the holes and proceed. So I kinda wanted a do-over to try and get that right. Also, they drilled a hole under where the bridgeplate would be for the string ground wire. That was really my fault because when I placed the order, I forgot to tell my sales rep that I was going to be using EMG active humbuckers. Since most, if not all, EMG pickups are shielded internally, they don't need a string ground wire, therefore you don't use one. It's just another hole that got drilled in the body that didn't need to be there. Additionally, I didn't wire/assemble/set-up this guitar myself. Instead, I took it to my local guitar shop and had one of the technicians there do it and he accidentally mounted the neck pickup slightly crooked. Finally, it seems the ebony fingerboard, maple top and high-gloss finish make this guitar sound a little bit brighter than I like. I had hoped to avoid making these same mistakes again with my next Mockingbird, but now it seems I won't get the chance. :(

Oh well, hope you all like the pics.
 
R

RLW

Guest
Now THAT is sweet! Take some more pics with a lighter background.
 

dmraco

Senior member
Messages
4,651
love the new ax.  Just curious, most set up the EMGs withthe 85 in the neck and 81 in the bridge...why the swap...how does it sound??
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Well, it's beautiful!  A shame they discontinued the body type, I'd have loved to see your second one!

dmraco said:
love the new ax.  Just curious, most set up the EMGs withthe 85 in the neck and 81 in the bridge...why the swap...how does it sound??
I assumed that was a typo  :icon_scratch:
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
And in the picture looks like it's really a 85 in the bridge and a 81 in the neck... :dontknow:
Although this is way reversed of the "tradicional EMG using"
 

Chris_Lohmann

Active member
Messages
39
dmraco said:
love the new ax.  Just curious, most set up the EMGs with the 85 in the neck and 81 in the bridge...why the swap...how does it sound??

I'm glad you asked. I've tried most of the major electric guitar pickup brands available. In addition to EMG, I've tried Fender, I've tried Gibson, I've tried Seymour Duncan and I've tried DiMarzio. In my opinion, EMG's are head and shoulders above the rest. Of the EMG's, I've tried their main three active humbuckers; the 81, the 85 and the 60. I've tried Kirk Hammett's dual 81 configuration. I've tried James Hetfield's 81 at the bridge, 60 at the neck configuration and I've tried the EMG recommended installation for the 81 and 85 (i.e. 81 at the bridge, 85 at the neck). I've never understood why EMG recommends that they be installed that way. First of all, the conventional wisdom is: the pickup with the highest output gets put in the bridge position. Well, the EMG 85 actually has slightly more measurable output than the 81. So, it should be the one in the bridge position, not the 81. Additionally, the 85 has an alnico V magnet which gives the pickup a rather warm tone. In contrast, the 81 has a ceramic magnet which gives that pickup quite a bright tone. The neck pickup area of an electric guitar is a naturally warm sounding area. In contrast, the bridge pickup area of an electric guitar is a naturally bright, thin sounding area. By putting the 85 at the neck and the 81 at the bridge, you're making a warm sounding area sound even warmer and a bright, thin sounding area sound even brighter and thinner. So, I thought if I were to swap the pickups, the 85 might add some warmth and thickness to the bright, thin sounding bridge area and the 81 might add some more clarity and sensitivity to the warm, and sometimes muddy, sounding neck area. Fortunately, EMG makes changing their pickups very easy thanks to what they call the "Quik-Connect" cable. The "Quik-Connect" cable allows you connect and disconnect the cable from the pickup at the pickup, leaving all wiring in place. See images below.

emg81_01.jpg
emg81_02.jpg


Note the 3-pronged connector on the underside of the pickup. That is where the "Quik-Connect" cable (shown on the right) connects and disconnects from the pickup. Using this system, I've changed my pickups in as little as 15 minutes. All you have to do is:

1. De-tune your strings enough so that you can pull/bend them out of the way (you don't have to take the strings all the way off, especially if your pickups are mounted in mounting rings and not on a pickguard).

2. Using a powerdrill (or screwdriver, if that's all you have), pull the four corner screws out of the mounting rings. Lift the mounting ring with the pickup in it out of the guitar body, reach underneath and disconnect the cable. The mounting ring with the pickup in it should come free from the guitar.

3. Using a screwdriver, pull the height adjustment screws out of the mounting ring (if your mounting rings are identical, you can skip this step).

4. Swap/change the pickups.

5. Replace height adjustment screws (if you had to do step 3).

6. Reconnect the cable(s).

7. Place the mounting rings back down into the guitar body.

8. Replace each mounting ring's four corner screws, tune the strings back up and you're good to go! You don't have to rewire anything, you don't have to solder anything.

It is this procedure that enabled me to try so many different combinations.

So, one day about three years ago, I had an EMG-ZW (Zakk Wylde) set in my 1997 alpine white Gibson Les Paul Custom installed per EMG's recommendations (85 at the neck and the 81 at the bridge). Using the procedure described above, I switched the pickups, plugged the guitar back in and fired up the amp. I started out with the 81 (in the neck position now) through my amp's clean channel. This was familiar territory since I had previously used the 81 in the neck position when I tried Kirk Hammett's dual 81 configuration. It did just what I expected it would do. It made the neck pickup area sound brighter, much less muddy with added clarity and sensitivity. Then, I switched to the 85 at the bridge and switched my amp from clean to overdrive. I only played a few notes, stopped playing and said, "Oh. My. GOD!" I was speechless. It still leaves me speechless to this day. The 85 at the bridge sounded low, warm, thick and heavy adding warmth and thickness and more low end to the usually bright, thin sounding bridge area. I can best describe the sound as "sparkle & roar". The 81 in the neck position sparkles and the 85 in the bridge position roars; especially when using the high-gain overdrive of my Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier. It is CRUSHING!!!
 

dmraco

Senior member
Messages
4,651
Chris_Lohmann said:
dmraco said:
love the new ax.  Just curious, most set up the EMGs with the 85 in the neck and 81 in the bridge...why the swap...how does it sound??

So, one day about three years ago, I had an EMG-ZW (Zakk Wylde) set in my 1997 alpine white Gibson Les Paul Custom installed per EMG's recommendations (85 at the neck and the 81 at the bridge). Using the procedure described above, I switched the pickups, plugged the guitar back in and fired up the amp. I started out with the 81 (in the neck position now) through my amp's clean channel. This was familiar territory since I had previously used the 81 in the neck position when I tried Kirk Hammett's dual 81 configuration. It did just what I expected it would do. It made the neck pickup area sound brighter, much less muddy with added clarity and sensitivity. Then, I switched to the 85 at the bridge and switched my amp from clean to overdrive. I only played a few notes, stopped playing and said, "Oh. My. GOD!" I was speechless. It still leaves me speechless to this day. The 85 at the bridge sounded low, warm, thick and heavy adding warmth and thickness and more low end to the usually bright, thin sounding bridge area. I can best describe the sound as "sparkle & roar". The 81 in the neck position sparkles and the 85 in the bridge position roars; especially when using the high-gain overdrive of my Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier. It is CRUSHING!!!

thanks...glad to hear it worked out so well.
 

Chris_Lohmann

Active member
Messages
39
RLW said:
Take some more pics with a lighter background.

Here ya go, Rich.

mockingbird_04.jpg


mockingbird_05.jpg


mockingbird_06.jpg


dbw said:
A shame they discontinued the body type, I'd have loved to see your second one!

For the second one, I had planned to do another 1-piece mahogany body, but without a laminated top, just a solid body. It would have been nearly identical to the one above in the sense that it also would have been rear routed with dual humbuckers, V-X-T-5 controls, contoured heel and the same string-thru-body hardtail bridge, but with just a clear satin finish. I planned to mate it with a mahogany/indian rosewood neck with the Kenneth Lawrence/Hetfield headstock. I wanted the neck to have abalone dot inlays and the same nut width, back contour, fingerboard radius and fretwire as the one above, only with a clear satin finish on the back of the neck as well as on the face of the peghead, leaving the fingerboard unfinished, of course. I also planned to give this Mockingbird the same black hardware and EMG 85/81 pickup combination as the one above. I think it would've ended up looking a lot like James Hetfield's Kenneth Lawrence Explorer (shown below).

hetfield_02.jpg


Max said:
Sound clips?

Sorry Max, no sound clips. At least, not yet.
 

Shmoopie

Senior member
Messages
1,582
dude, has anyone ever told you that you look a little like that dude from Metallic?...........
 

Chris_Lohmann

Active member
Messages
39
Funny, SchmoopY. That's there so everyone can see what Hetfield's Kenneth Lawrence Explorer looks like. By the way, has anyone ever told you that you look like the Flying Spaghetti Monster?  :icon_tongue:
 

SrDeMaFp

Senior member
Messages
388
Gawd dayum, that's a sick build! I'm a big fan of EMG's as well. I didn't like the 85 in the bridge, though. Too bassy. Maybe I should dick around with my amp settings and try it again.
 

DocNrock

Senior member
Messages
4,295
SrDeMaFp said:
Gawd dayum, that's a sick build! I'm a big fan of EMG's as well. I didn't like the 85 in the bridge, though. Too bassy. Maybe I should dick around with my amp settings and try it again.

+1.  The only thing I would do differently would be to do a Floyd Rose.

Regarding the 85 bridge, I'll have to try that.  My amp is a bit on the bright side (JSX).
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Sounds like you put a lot of thought into your pickup layout, Chris.  :icon_thumright:
 

Chris_Lohmann

Active member
Messages
39
DocNrock said:
Regarding the 85 bridge, I'll have to try that.  My amp is a bit on the bright side (JSX).

In that case, putting the EMG 85 at the bridge position of your guitar should make high-gain palm-mute & powerchord riffs sound a lot beefier.

dbw said:
Sounds like you put a lot of thought into your pickup layout, Chris.  :icon_thumright:

Yep, a lot of thought and a lot of trial & error (it was worth it, though). :icon_biggrin:
 
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