Revamping Beck's Tele-Gib

Sheik Yerbouti

New member
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5
Hi all!

I've been considering going Warmoth for a long time (almost 3 years).  I never really acted on said consideration until an awesome employee discount got me a pair of Duncans (you prolly guessed JB/Jazz already, but I might as well type it out for the record).  My goal is to honor the great JB with an axe akin to the one Seymour Duncan built him just in time for the Blow by Blow album--with a few of my own specs, of course.  Specs are as follows:

NECK
1. Warmoth Pro Tele
2. Birdseye maple w/ matching maple fingerboard
3. 1-3/4" Graphtech nut
4. Fat back contour, compound radius
5. 6230 Standard frets
6. Schaller locking tuners
7. Abalone dots

BODY
1. Chambered ash Tele w/ koa lamtop
2. Top rout
3. Contoured heel
4. Gotoh T-O-M & stoptail w/ angled neck pocket

So of course come the concerns:

1. Should I splurge on locking tuners or can/should I do without them?

2. What is the standard radius at the bridge for compound radii? 16" makes sense to me, but wouldn't that make the action too high on the lower frets?
I play mostly fingerstyle, so my only condition is that the bridge be a raised hardtail (I need to feel "aerial" when I play, so the angled neck pocket stays).  T-O-M's 12" radius could be a problem, so are there any alternative bridge recommendations?

3. According to Seymour Duncan, JB's Tele-Gib had a heavy ash body (6-1/2 pounds).  However, I really like chambered bodies.  Would chambered swamp ash be dense enough to handle the relatively hot 'buckers, or should I consider a heavier wood to accommodate the chambers?  Any wood suggestions would be appreciated!

This project is gonna take awhile... I'm saving up so as to buy the wood all at once.  I will take pics as the Tele-Gib slowly creeps to completion.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!



 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
Locking tuners are your call, since it's a hardtail. Locking ones make string changes easier, and you don't need the wrapping of the strings.

Sorry, don't remember what to do about the bridge.

You can go chambered. I've never tried it, but I'm sure it will work for your application.


And good luck! I like the tele-gib, so I think yours will turn out well.
 

rockskate4x

Senior member
Messages
1,601
Chambered bodies (not hollow bodies like thinlines and L5s) don't have feedback problems. If you do a chambered or hollow body, I would recommend getting hard ash instead of swamp ash though for balance reasons, although the tone may be brighter. Locking tuners are nice even if you don't need em.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Welcome! Couple of ideas. Schaller are my least favorite of the locking tuners, just because they're heavy and the chrome plating flakes off fairly easily- have a look at these Gotohs from stew mac - I just put a pair on my old-school strat and they look vintage and work very very well (and are top quality): http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Gotoh_Locking_Vintage_Oval_Knob_Tuners.html
I don't think locking tuners are necessary, but they are worth $30 or so extra on a high end guitar, for sure.

Wow that's a huge neck! Are you positive you want a much bigger neck than is normally sold anywhere? Just checking.

You're right about the radius issue. There are two solutions: ignore it (the difference in practice between 12" and 18" (the proper radius at the bridge for the W compound neck) is almost microscopic. Second is to just file down the TOM bridge saddles with a triangle file to get a 16" or so compromise. That's what I did and it works very well. If you mess up, replacement saddles are cheap.

 

GoDrex

Senior member
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3,619
Don't forget that the Tele-gib uses 250k pots - -  this is something that many people feel is key when using the JB pickup.
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
The tunematics need to have the bridge pieces shaped to accommodate the compound radius neck. By the time you get to the bridge, the radius is almost 19" - it's not a hard thing to do for someone who knows how, but it is necessary for the best setup. Schecter and Godin have both caught flack for putting out factory guitars with a flat neck and a curved tunematic, without doing the setup.
 

DangerousR6

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15,470
Welcome to the madness, and JFTR your screen name is hilarious......Sounds like a killer tele build you got in mind there too...... :icon_thumright:
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
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7,238
Seymour-Telegib-close.jpg


Looks like you're going more after Seymour Duncan's Tele-Gib than Becks  :laughing7:
 

big bob

Senior member
Messages
864
sorry for the non warmoth content,,,, but ,,,,, a true tele-gib would have a set neck like the ones at Musikraft.
DSCF6051_1.JPG
 

rockskate4x

Senior member
Messages
1,601
where did you get that? Did you build it? It looks so warmoth except for the set neck part... links please...
 

Sheik Yerbouti

New member
Messages
5
Thanks for the feedback!  Time for a spec update:

NECK
1. THE HUGE NECK STAYS!  :headbang:  Maybe it's masochism (my fingers are by no means large), but I really dig the wide fretboard on my Alvarez dreadnought. Maybe I'll just slim down the back contour? We'll see...
2. Gotoh vintage locking tuners

BODY
1. HARD ASH Tele w/ koa lamtop*
2. Top rout w/ REVERSED HOTDOG CONTROL PLATE  Gotta have the clear volume pot access!
3. NO CONTOURED HEEL (Picked up a Tele at work today for kicks, rediscovered its shape in all its clunky glory).

ELECTRONICS
1. 250k pots--I almost completely forgot this! Thanks GoDrex!

Max said:
Looks like you're going more after Seymour Duncan's Tele-Gib than Becks  :laughing7:

Yeah, I know Beck's had a sawed-off Tele bridge, but he still hadn't gone all-fingers in '75.  Like I said: "aerial".  I saw that pic a few weeks ago, and everything on it but the zebra bobbins was perfect.  My pups are white and ready for a home!

Keep the feeds coming! Thanks again to all!
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
Sheik Yerbouti said:
Thanks for the feedback!  Time for a spec update:

NECK
1. THE HUGE NECK STAYS!  :headbang:  Maybe it's masochism (my fingers are by no means large), but I really dig the wide fretboard on my Alvarez dreadnought. Maybe I'll just slim down the back contour? We'll see...

BODY
1. HARD ASH Tele w/ koa lamtop*
Try a 59 or something for the neck first, or a boatneck. The fatback is a bit smaller, but the boatneck is crazy-big. Think past "that's what she said" jokes. Yeah... even bigger. Now, a lot of people like fatter necks. You don't want a neck you can't reach around  :icon_thumright:

And the * after lamtop... was there a note?
 

Sheik Yerbouti

New member
Messages
5
Oh yeah, sorry about that.

It has to do with Warmoth's Tone-O-Meter saying that koa is relatively warm sounding.  My problem is that Taylor Guitars says the opposite:

http://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/features/woods/TopWoods/?tw=koa

A tropical hardwood, koa’s tone blends the midrange of mahogany with the top end of maple. Due to its density, a new koa guitar tends to start out sounding a little bright and tight, somewhat like maple. But the more a koa guitar is played, the more the sound opens up, expanding the midrange and rewarding the player with a richer, sweeter, more resonant tone. A common mistake is when a bright player buys a koa guitar in part for its visual beauty, finds it to be too bright, and doesn’t play it enough to allow the wood to warm up. [For] fingerstylists who play more with the pads of their fingers and tend to have a meatier touch.

Does anyone know who has it right?  I switched to hard ash for its added sustain and weight (to compensate for the chambers), so I'm worried the final product could be too bright (assuming Taylor's right).  Having said that, the 250k pots and my "meaty" touch should help with this issue.

Whew. 

I guess I wouldn't mind switching to a warmer tonewood top, but I am a sucker for koa.
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
You know what...

That koa will do next to nothing sonically  :icon_thumright:
It will look pretty, though.

So, don't sweat it!
 

rockskate4x

Senior member
Messages
1,601
and another thing... if you have small fingers a fatback IS NOT for you. You like your alvarez's fretboard width, so I suggest getting a wider NUT. 1 and 3/4 inch nuts give electrics a nice acoustic feel.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

New member
Messages
5
rockskate4x said:
and another thing... if you have small fingers a fatback IS NOT for you. You like your alvarez's fretboard width, so I suggest getting a wider NUT. 1 and 3/4 inch nuts give electrics a nice acoustic feel.

Makes sense.  Does anyone know what contour falls in between PRS's Wide-Thin and Wide-Fat necks?  I think that would be just about perfect.  Speaking of which, I should probably mention my desired finish: those satin PRS'es are AWESOME! Anyone know how to DIY?
 
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