Need advice and info.

Galaxy_Stranger

Active member
Messages
43
Hi all!

I just found the Warmoth site last week and I'm super stoked at all the options they offer.  No matter how long I wait, I'll never find a manufactured model made exactly how I want it.  I'm going to sell of both my guitars and my amp to get this thing made.  BUT, it'll be my first to build like this and before I screw up the entire order I'm going to be asking a lot of questions so I know EXACTLY what I'm getting.

Going through the site making my dream guitar has really been educational.  But there are a few details that I don't know what to answer:

1.  I'm having a hard time choosing between Stainless Steel frets and neck binding.  Is it true that they don't offer stainless steel frets on necks with binding?  I love the look of binding on Jackson necks, but are stainless steel frets really better than standard frets?  Or is Gold Color a viable alternative to stainless steel?

Plus, I can't decide what size to get.  Apparently, my Ibanez S470 has jumbo frets - and they're comfortable.

2.  Does the body come with drilled holes for strap buttons?  (I'm getting the standard strat replacement body.)

3.  Can the body have holes drilled for 4 knobs a la Les Paul?

4.  How do I figure out which nut width I will require - I'm getting a Jackson neck and using a Schaller Floyd Rose tremolo.

5.  How do I figure out which fretboard radius I need?

6.  Will they leave the peghead unfinished so I can paint it?

7.  I read on the boards that Ebony was no longer fretboard option - yet I just found it on the order form.  Is it available?

8.  Do you think the extra $80 is worth the single piece body?


Thanks in advance for any information you can give me.  I'm suuuper paranoid that I'll order something wrong and then have to replace the neck or something stupid like that.  Hell, the neck costs more than the BODY!
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,738
1: stainless steel frets feel smoother than regular. the gold version, is no 'substitute' for the SS frets. the downside of SS is if you need fretwork, its harder to do, because SS is harder.
if you like the larger sized frets, most likely, you're going to like the 6100 frets.

2: no, they dont come drilled for strap buttons. thats something you can do yourself VERY easily.

3: I believe it can. ask for the big controlrout (oh, on a strat thats standard I believe!) and ask for those knobs. easy. otherwise, ask for no controls, and do it yourself. use a 10 mm drill, a SHARP one, and its done.

4: just measure it up against your favorite neck. jackson has it on their site too, by the way. the most guitars have a 1 11/16 inch width.

5: just go with the flow, and ask for the compound radius. that plays SO much better than a regular straight radius. you don't see it, but you do feel it. playing chords is easier, because the fretboard is a bit more round on the lower frets, and solo's are easier because the fretboard is more flat.

6: you can ask for a painted headstock, or unpainted. you can ask for a headstockveneer ifyou like.

7: ebony as a Neckback is discontinued as a regular wood. it might be custom available sometimes. but as a fretboard, you can get that, ofcourse.

8: if that is worth the money is up to you. if you feel its worth it, go for it! its just eastheatics. nothing more, nothing less.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
In general, I'd say: take the time to do some internet research on the specs and dimensions of your favorite guitars. That, and playing a bunch of different things, is how you'll learn to choose the things you'll like. Take particular care with the neck shape, fret size, and nut width. Since you mention Jacksons, you're probably going to want either the standard thin neck or the wizard neck.
Personally I would recommend that you get a beater guitar on craigslist, take it all apart, and put it all back together again carefully, making some cheap mods just for fun. And practice your drilling skills on some scrap lumber if you need to - strap buttons are just one of the things you'll need to drill. Ditto if you're planning to finish it yourself.
Welcome, and good luck.
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
I don't speak for everyone, but unless you know how to level and crown frets, I wouldn't recommend getting SS frets.

Most people say their Warmoth necks don't need any fret work - they're fully playable straight out of the box. I ordered a neck with SS frets and it needs all kinds of fret work.

So if you get non-SS frets, and after 5 or 10 years you need new frets, total re-fret on a normal neck costs 175-200 bucks, but if the SS option costs you 20 bucks plus 125-150 for the fretwork straight out of the box...it doesn't really add up. At least not for me. Naturally, your mileage may vary.
 

bpmorton777

Senior member
Messages
1,651
I cant tell any differance in feel between ss and standard fretts. The ss fretts on my Warmoth needed fret work as well.

Brian
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
The S470 I'm familiar with. 

- It has wide frets, but they're not ridiculous.  6100 should be about the right width but a bit taller.  Your first fret job will kiss off a bit and bring them down to what your used to. (IIRC the ones I had were .045" tall)
        - SS frets wear much better, but some techs charge extra to work on them.  If they're prepared with diamond files they wont mind.
        - How hard are you on your frets?
- It has a 1-11/16" nut width
- It has a straight 16" radius.  It isn't really comfy to chord on, so the compound is preferable.


As far as the single piece body is concerned, what finish are you planning?
 

Galaxy_Stranger

Active member
Messages
43
Wow - I had no idea I would get so many replies this fast!  And they've all been quite informative.

Ok, so I'm getting the impression that people aren't necessarily lusting after steel frets. Whereas the nickel frets will cost less in maintenance - but I may need to have them serviced more often.
Do people like playing on steel more?  Or, as BPMorton777 said, most people can't tell any difference?

I'm REAL skiddish about drilling because I don't want to screw up.  And I don't have a drill press.  I mean - this isn't like nailing up dry wall.  You think I'd be OK with a hand drill?  I have an old, powerful hand drill from the 70's that was built with a P-51 engine.  But that's a great idea getting some loose pieces of wood to practice on.  I'll definitely be doing that.

I need to know the difference between a wide nut and a narrow nut.  I'm getting the Warmoth Jackson neck - how can I find out the nut measurement on it?  On the feature page for the Jackson neck, it lists "11/16" (42.85mm)" as one of the options.  Is that considered wide or narrow?  I'm also considering binding, so in that case I would choose the R-3?

And how do I know to choose between "straight" or "13 degree angled" installation?  Does this refer to the angle of the neck I chose?  So, the Jackson neck is angled, so I need to add $55 instead of the $45?


Thanks for you help - for whatever reason, I can't track down specific measurements on the Ibanez fretboard.  The reason I chose the Jackson neck is because I own a Rhoads flying V.  I can't trust the manufacturer's specs on it becuase it looks like it was a custom order from 15 years ago, and so far I have no idea what deviated from the standard.  Both my guitars have very flat necks.  I'll have to try a few compound necks.  Any suggestions on which models have them?
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
No, Warmoth doesn't do SS frets on bound necks.  Don't get me wrong I LOVE SS frets, but I also do my own fretwork.  They polish up nice and stay very slick for a long time.  At their current rate of wear, I'd say I'm due for a fret job in about 20-30 years.  :laughing7:

Nothing wrong with powered hand drills usually, just go slow.  Strap buttons are cake.  Choose the right sized bit and tape it off for a depth stop. 

For the most part, headstock shape and nut width have nothing in common at Warmoth.  1-11/16" is what most guitars have.

13 Degree necks have a tilted headstock (like a Les Paul) as opposed to straight Fender style.
 

DocNrock

Senior member
Messages
4,295
I agree with all the comments above.  Welcome to the board, and it sounds like you are thinking out your first build very well.

Here is another thought, just so you know.  The "Jackson" headstock from Warmoth is larger than the original Jackson headstock.  Some like it, some don't.  Just so you're aware.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
1 11/16 - most guitars including modern strats and all Gibsons.
1 3/4 - mostly for fingerstyle acoustics, though I think some shredder companies made wide necks in the 80s. I'm not the guy to know about that though. If you have huge fingers you might like this.
1 5/8 - old telecasters and reissues like the 52 RI tele. Also I think the chinese squiers have 1 5/8. Fast but narrow, can be hard to place your fingers properly.

Go down to guitar center and play an american standard strat - that's got 1 11/16 and almost exactly the same neck shape as the 'standard thin'. See how comfortable that feels to you, and you'll have more basis for comparison.
 

Galaxy_Stranger

Active member
Messages
43
Is that mono jack on the Warmoth site suitable for the strat Jack Plate?

I'm going to get a Les Paul wiring kit:  http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Supplies:_Wiring_kits/1/Wiring_Kit_for_Les_Paul/Instructions/I-1217.html#details
With a strat body, do I need the normal pots or the long shafts?  The Jack that comes with that kit should fit the strat jack plate, right?

As far as the single piece body is concerned, what finish are you planning?
(When it's washed), I have this paint job on my stock 6 firebird:  http://media.photobucket.com/image/firebird%20Blue-Green%20Chameleon/turbols1/FormChameleon1.jpg
It's a real sweet two-tone paint job.  It's basically navy blue with green highlights.  I got some from the body shop when my dad backed into me.  So now, all I have to do is order more and find out how to paint it.  I believe it's layered.  I can only imagine how bitchin' it'll look on a guitar.

The "Jackson" headstock from Warmoth is larger than the original Jackson headstock.  Some like it, some don't.  Just so you're aware.
Yeah - I wish there were a local Warmoth shop here!  ;-p

Since I'm spending heaping great ungodly amounts of money on this beast, I think I want to get a custom neck plate - does anybody have any recommendations on a vendor?  Here's one I found:
http://www.wholesalesigns.com/guitar/

Oh - any thoughts on copper sheilding?

Should I go with Tremol-No or Hipshot Tremsetter?

Mounting Rings - as I am at this point hyper-paranoid, can someone explain what I need for the mounting rings?  It looks as though I require more than just the $11.50 rings in the Warmoth store.

Why did I think this wasn't going to cost $1,500?
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
It might be a good bit cheaper to buy the pots and all separately.
And for the neck plate...

Look for DangerousR6 (Doug) on this forum and send him a PM.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Which one-piece USA made totally custom guitar for $1500 were you comparing this to, just to put the $1500 into perspective. That's the price of a new Les Paul studio and a fret job. BTW, $1500 without paint will buy you some amazing product from W.

Short shaft pots will be better in a top-rout strat body but only because you'll have more room. The long shaft should work too. If you're talking about rear-rout strat, get the long ones. Most preassembled stuff is a rip off and stew macs pots are not good. Warmoth's are good (CTS).

Mounting rings - what exactly are you talking about? For Humbuckers in a strat? You need to be more specific about what kind of guitar you're building. The rings are not expensive or complicated - it's the piece of plastic that surrounds and attaches a humbucker to a les paul (for instance). You need the $3.50 kind, not the metal ones - they're optional for looks. Curved type goes on carved top bodies (les Paul), normal goes on flat-topped bodies (strat with a rear route). Short is for the neck pup, Tall is for the Bridge pup. If you're talking about humbuckers in a top-rout strat, you don't need them because the pup attaches to the pickguard. Mounting rings are never necessary for single coils but some people like them.
 

GearBoxTy

Senior member
Messages
437
exalted said:
So if you get non-SS frets, and after 5 or 10 years you need new frets, total re-fret on a normal neck costs 175-200 bucks, but if the SS option costs you 20 bucks plus 125-150 for the fretwork straight out of the box...it doesn't really add up. At least not for me. Naturally, your mileage may vary.

After 5 or 10 years you need new frets?!?!?!?!  I've had an American Standard Stratocaster since 1987 and it's never been or needed refretted.  It's been set up countless times and Bill Foley (wrote Build Your Own Electric Guitar) just crowns and polishes the frets with his standard setup.  Did I luck out or something?
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
GearBoxTy said:
After 5 or 10 years you need new frets?!?!?!?!  I've had an American Standard Stratocaster since 1987 and it's never been or needed refretted.  It's been set up countless times and Bill Foley (wrote Build Your Own Electric Guitar) just crowns and polishes the frets with his standard setup.  Did I luck out or something?
Not lucky, just a different player.  Some people are really hard on their frets.  Ask your tech for some horror stories about fret wear.
 

Galaxy_Stranger

Active member
Messages
43
It might be a good bit cheaper to buy the pots and all separately.
Yeah, but then I'd have to buy the instructions anyway - where can I find them?

Most preassembled stuff is a rip off and stew macs pots are not good.
What's wrong with the stew mac stuff?  They wear-out quick?

You think this one would be long enough for a rear-routed strat?  http://www.warmoth.com/500K-Pot-By-CTS-P129.aspx

You need to be more specific about what kind of guitar you're building.
Ah - sorry.  Ok, here's my list:

Body: Rear Routed Warmoth Standard Strat Replacement - $195.00
One-piece body - $80.00
                Binding: NONE
                Bridge Routing:
      For RECESSED Schaller Floyd Rose tremolo
                Comfort Contours:
    Forearm Cut - $15.00
    Tummy Cut - $15.00
                Contoured Heel: $35.00
                Laminate Top:  NO
                Neck Pocket:
    Standard 4 bolt Strat neck pocket config.
    Angled pocket: NO
    720 mod: NO
                Pickup routing: Rear Routed H-X-H
    1 x Neck Humbucker & 1 x Bridge Humbucker
                Jack:  Standard – no side jack
                NO Battery box routing
                Wood: Alder
                Paint & Finish: NONE                                 $0.00

Neck:
                Model: Jackson Warmoth Pro with Strat compatible heel
                Neck Wood:  Mahogany
                Fingerboard Wood:  Ebony
Mahogany and Ebony - $228.00
                Inlay: Mother of Pearl Shark Fin inlay - $90.00
                Fret board Radius:  16” Custom Straight Radius?
                Nut Width:     13º angled $55.00
    R-3 = 1-11/16" Nut-Width Narrow
                Back Contour:  Wizard $35.00
                Fret sizes/metal type:  Standard Nickel/Silver @ 6100
                Tuner Holes:    Schaller
                Nut options:    Schaller Floyd Rose type $55.00
                Neck Binding: Ivoroid
                No Peghead Veneer
                Finish:  Satin $95.00

Bridge:  Tremolo - Schaller Floyd Rose:  Black $190.00

Pickups:  Mounted w/ Gibson style bezel.
          Neck: Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Neck:  SHPG1N $101.25
          Center: NONE
          Bridge: Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Bridge:  SHPG1B $101.25


Tuners:  Schaller is $10/piece X 6 = $60 – SMLB – LEFT              $60.00

Pickup Switch:
    Les Paul type wiring kit?  -  long shaft $33.47

Misc parts:
    Shaller strap locks – SSL1B                                      $17.25
    Jack Plate: Recessed Top Jack Plate, Black $7.50
    Mono Jack: Switchcraft mono jack?   ???
    Mounting Rings: ???                   ???
    Knobs:    4x3.35                                 $13.40
    Neck Plate:                 $35.00


Sorry - couldn't get it lined up so it would be more legible.  Did I miss anything I'd be charged for?  The grand total is about $1,440.

So, the mounting rings are for two humbuckers - one on the neck, the other on the bridge.  So, I only need one short and one tall?
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
THAT's better. Get two short, non angled mounting rings. You don't need a tall one unless  you're using a tuneomatic. Yes, the mono jack is what you want but it comes standard together with the strat jack plate.
Tummmy and forear contours are standard, you're not paying extra for them. CTS pots are the preferred brand for more precision, smooth action and long life. Wiring diagrams are free here: http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/
among many other places - don't pay for instructions.

What is all this?
Fret board Radius:  16” Custom Straight Radius?                 
                Nut Width:        13º angled              $55.00
        R-3 = 1-11/16" Nut-Width Narrow             

You don't want a straight radius, probably. Just get the standard compound - it's superior and cheaper. I'm guessing the $55 is for locking nut prep, right? Then why is the $55 repeated later on in the list?
SS frets are $20 extra, and I thought you decided not to get them. Also, have a look around the web (ebay) and see if a schaller FR really costs $190 - that's dang expensive but I'm not a FR guy.
Why satin finish on the neck - necks are much easier to finish than bodies, and you're doing that yourself already. Save $95 and finish it at the same time as the body. Change to maple and make it even easier.
What neck plate costs $35? A dangerous custom design, I guess.
You really want two Pearly Gates pickups on your shred machine? Ok.......

Anyhow hope this saves you $200 and clears up some confusion.
 

Galaxy_Stranger

Active member
Messages
43
Tummy and forearm contours are standard, you're not paying extra for them.
I guess they just haven't updated their web site?  http://robodoom.net/satan/contours.JPG

Thank you SO MUCH for the diagram!  That's awesome!  Ok, so CTS for the pots.  Hey - I could use those Concentric pots, couldn't I?  Hmmmmm.  That would certainly save me from drilling a couple holes...  You think the wiring pack on the Warmoth site is enough for a Les Paul setup?

What is all this?
Fret board Radius:  16” Custom Straight Radius?                 
                Nut Width:        13º angled              $55.00
        R-3 = 1-11/16" Nut-Width Narrow 
   
Yeah, I haven't decided what radius to settle on.  I need to play more models.  According to the site: "R3 & L3 nuts work well with necks that have a 1 11/16" nut width and that are also bound."  And must also be indicated for the Schaller trem package.

why is the $55 repeated later on in the list?
It's just an oversight.

SS frets are $20 extra, and I thought you decided not to get them.
I don't see them on the list - just the Nickel/Silver frets.

Yeah - the best price I've seen for Schaller tremolos is just under $200.

Why satin finish on the neck...?
Because I have no idea how to make a satin finish - It's better to have someone do it that knows what the hell they're doing.  But I can handle paint.  In fact, I'm going to start a whole new thread on paint when the time comes.

What neck plate costs $35?
A neck that comes with an etched image of anything I want.

You really want two Pearly Gates pickups on your shred machine?
You have ideas on pickups?

Did I miss anything I might be charged for?  Oh - what about shielding?  Should I only worry about that if I have problems?
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
contours.JPG


strats come with those contours standard - that is about all other guitars that don't normally have those "strat" contours.
 
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