Swamp Ash VIP "I changed my mind" build 2.0

wormbot

Junior Member
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After one year of my 2-tone swamp ash VIP build, I grew tired of the finish I had on it. It was a thin blend of mineral spirits, tung oil finish and Minwax wipe-on poly.

Although I was pretty proud of myself for a first build, I started to dislike the plastic feel of the poly, and the top had started to become more yellow, which I didn't like.

So, I disassembled the whole thing, I sanded off the finish with 180 grit sandpaper and got back to bare wood. I then sanded it all up to 320 to get it to how it was when I got it last year.

Then, I got some Saman Legend Tung Oil in dark walnut finish and put a coat on the back and sides, and 3 coats on the top to get it darker. Once that cured, I rubbed multiple coats of Renaissance wax all over, and I'm very satisfied with the results.

I did the same on the neck and it feels so good!

I'm currently waiting for Guilford Guitars ash pickup rings and a new Hipshot US Contour bridge. And I replaced the DiMarzio PAF 36th anniversary pickups with a set of Fralin Modern PAFs.
 

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I have done the same, natural become blue, blue to white, one thing for certain is that there is a protective coat.
 
Love that natural look...really "comfy" looking!
You have me worried...I'm waiting on a set of the DiMarzio 36th....coming today. HAH!!!
Why the change out of pickups?
 
Love that natural look...really "comfy" looking!
You have me worried...I'm waiting on a set of the DiMarzio 36th....coming today. HAH!!!
Why the change out of pickups?
Thanks!

Well, I wanted to remove the black metal covers from the 36th. Once removed, I found plenty of wax potting all over, so while removing the wax as best as I could, I damaged the pickup wind, and they died. I get no resistance reading from the pickup now...

I love the 36th and would get them again for a future build. I just wanted to try something else, since I've been using DiMarzios for so long.
 
wormbot, Thanks for the timely reply! My nail biting has ceased and my fingernails are still intact (which is a good thing because I do quite a bit of finger picking) and my fretting has turned to "confirmed" joy!
 
Got the bridge 36th (dp223) in my no1 with a bright cap on the volume and it’s a super versatile pickup. Love it.
 
Good Morning All,
I received the set of 36's, neck and bridge, and was able to get the neck pickup installed. Unfortunately the bridge pick up had a very noticeable finish flaw and will need to be exchanged.
As for the neck pickup, dp103, I'm very happy with it. I installed a treble bleed circuit on the volume pot.
The guitar has a nice woody "thunck" on attack followed by sweetness! A usable tone range from ~4-~8 on the knob before it gets muddy below or a little too "ice pick" above. I may try a different cap to open that range up a bit.

Keep in mind that I play only clean, a Fender Princeton late model 12", I have no idea of what it would sound like driving pedals or a cranked amp.

wotmbot, I constantly chuckle to myself about your pickup "modification" experience. You don't know how many "OH NO!!!" moments I've had like that. The latest one on this build...After completely wired and assembled, the volume knob decided to be a little difficult to press onto the pot. So I figures "Just push a little harder, who's the boss here anyway!?!" Well, the pressure pushed the guts of the dang pot against the back of the pot housing and the tiny fingers let go. This resulted in a complete disassembly of the pot while inside my "new" completed guitar!!!
Lesson learned...probably NOT!!!

I'll keep you posted!
 
Rick, It sounds like we have a consensus here. I was thinking of testing it without, but all comments considered, I won't bother with the test.
 
Just a note on the DiMarzio replacement pickup request.
They are very accommodating. Replacement is being made up and they have sent a return shipping tag along with an apology!
Nice!
 
Rick, It sounds like we have a consensus here. I was thinking of testing it without, but all comments considered, I won't bother with the test.
It sounds great without the bright cap but it’s a warm sound when rolled back. Really becomes more versatile with it. When rolled back to about 4-5 on a 500k pot it sounds kinda stratty or tele-ish. Thin in a way that’s great for cleans. I think I have a 150pf cap and no resistor and that works nice.
 
I used a .0015uf cap with 220k resistor, 500k pot. I really like the tones I'm getting and agree it's very versatiIe. I think I've finished tweaking pickup and individual pole piece heights on the neck pickup (DP103). Haven't received the replacement bridge pickup yet (DP223) which I will mount in my "middle" position. I believe I'm going to do a series/parallel switch for that one.
 
I used the 36th using the 50s wiring, which defeated the need of a treble bleed. Did you try with the 50s wiring?
 
I had heard of the ‘50s wiring scheme but never considered it. After your question I read through (too) many forums. It seams as though the modern wiring may provide a smoother overall tone but does require the treble bleed circuit if you don’t want the darker tone as volume is rolled off. If this is true, I’m probably where I want to be for my style of playing.
 
Perfect method! I've used the same method to match arch top guitar bridges to the top of the body.
 
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