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project guitar ?


(@mordeth)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

hi guys

i have a black and white 95 mexican fender strat. currently it sits in the house all week and only gets played when im home for the weekend. its in pretty bad nick, the body is badly scraped and dinged, it sounds bad and plays worse.
i'd really love to turn this guitar into something a bit special (it was my first guitar, so ive got kind of a soft spot for it :) )

basically what id like to go is:
sand the paint off and leave it as a natural finish
repaint the scratchplate black
replace nut
replace tone/vol knobs
replace switch (possibly)
and the big one - move the middle pickup (never used) to a new position beside the bridge pup (annoyingly buzzy) to create a homemade humbucker.
fix string height, intonation, pickup height.

i think it could be really really cool, what do'y'all think ?any input/hints/tips into this project greatly appreciated

cheers
mord

This is my signature. Fear it.


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(@evilspudboy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 57
 

I think moving the pickups together to create a humbucker won't work.

The way I think a humbucker works is that the two coils are wired out of phase electrically. So they both receive hum, but since they are out of phase, the hum cancels.

Also, the pole pieces, which are just permanent magnets are out of phase magnetically. (So one coil has the north pole sticking up and the other has the south pole sticking up).

The hum doesn't have anything to do with the pole pieces, it just gets picked up by the coils acting like antenaes, so the hum induced in both coils is the same polarity. But by connecting them out of phase they cancel each other out.

The signal induced by the vibrating string is dependent on the orientation of the pole pieces though, by reversing the pole pieces it generates an opposite signal in one coil then the other. But since the are connected out of phase, the signals are actually in phase.

So the signals reinforce each other, and the hum cancels out. I don't think just moving your pick up will acheive this.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1165
 

The only part that scares me is the repainting (or sanding down) of the guitar, especially if you really care about it. I've never done repainting or sanding down or anything but i would imagine it's alot tougher then it sounds. I don't think that sanding down the finish would give it a "natural" look, it'll probably just look bad (i don't know alot about finishing guitars but i'm pretty sure that generally 'natural' finishes aren't natural, they have many coats of gloss and such, so if you were to sand the guitar down, i think you'd need to do some reglossing and stuff).

I'm not saying, "don't do it", i'm just saying be careful and learn as much as you can before doing it. It actually sounds like a cool idea, and i hope it turns out well.

Steve-0


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(@mordeth)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

hi guys,
thanks for the replies!

firstly, evilspudboy, if i understand you correctly then no, just putting the two pickups side by side wont make a humbucker. im talking about using position 2 and running both pickups together to get a sound like the bridge one alone but without the hum, instead of the sound you get with bridge + middle. also i think in position 4 it would give me bridge + neck, rather than bridge + middle, which is what i want.

steve-o, im not real worried about the actually sanding (got a few years on woodwork behind me from school), and i was planning on putting 3 or 4 layers of varnish or laquer on afterwards, but i am a little concerned about how the guitar will look underneath, but i guess i could always paint it back again :)

does anyone have any good instruction sites for this kind of work ?
i've found a few, but if anyone has a list that would be good.

also, when it comes to buying a new nut, can i just walk into a guitar shop and buy one or do they have to be custom made ?

This is my signature. Fear it.


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

I think moving the pickups together to create a humbucker won't work.

The way I think a humbucker works is that the two coils are wired out of phase electrically. So they both receive hum, but since they are out of phase, the hum cancels.

Also, the pole pieces, which are just permanent magnets are out of phase magnetically. (So one coil has the north pole sticking up and the other has the south pole sticking up).

Evilspudboy: Many center pups on Strats and Strat clones are reverse wound and reverse magnetic field so that Strat positions 2 and 4 do cancel hum. If mordeth's guitar happens to be one of those, he could indeed create a sort of humbucker.

Mordeth: As it is now, does your guitar hum less in switch positions 2 and 4? If so, you can build your 'bucker.

-=tension & release=-


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(@mordeth)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

Mordeth: As it is now, does your guitar hum less in switch positions 2 and 4? If so, you can build your 'bucker.

yes it does hum less in 2 and 4, thats what my thinking was based on, thanks for the conformation gnease :)

This is my signature. Fear it.


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(@hueseph)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1553
 

Personally I would put a stacked bucker in that bridge position with a coil tap and keep the center as it is. I like the tone from the 2nd position. As far as the pickguard is concerned, you should be able to buy one for about $15.00 in whatever colour you like.

https://soundcloud.com/hue-nery/hue-audio-sampler


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(@evilspudboy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 57
 

Thanks for that info, gnease. I never owned a single coil guitar so I didn't realize that. Thanks for the clarification.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@steveobouttorock)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 87
 

projectguitar.com

be good at what you can do-


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(@mordeth)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

hueseph: my other guitar has a hss setup, so i wanna try something a bit different, plus i really dont have alot of money to spend on guitars at the minute so im trying to keep it out of a shop and as DIY as possible, and i know nothing about soldering so i wanna keep the origional pickups and wiring.
i will however invest in a new pickguard, but only if i mess up cutting the one i have.

steveo, cheers for the site, exactly what i was looking for :)

hoping to make a start on this on tuesday of next week depending on how long it takes me to read all this stuff and gather tools. hopefully ill post some pics and soundbites and soon as i get finished up.
thanks for the replies.
mord

This is my signature. Fear it.


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(@stevedabear)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 117
 

So what do you actually want your Mexican Strat to sound like ? an Ibanez ? + you're lucky to have a Mexican Strat as your first guitar :P , Wish i was so lucky.

Moving them together is going to create some real problems, how are you going to do it ? with a cheap shite guitar like mine, the pickups are on the finger board, but i imagine a mexican strat has routed holes, etc.. I dont know its your choice.. but i'm just not sure whether its worth it in the end.


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(@mordeth)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 127
Topic starter  

+ you're lucky to have a Mexican Strat as your first guitar :P , Wish i was so lucky.

heh, i basically walked into a guitar shop one morning and asked for the cheapest 2nd hand lefty guitar they had, and thats what i got :)

im actually not certain about moving the pickups, the more i ask people the more i change my mind. but i guess ill wait until i have the scratchplate off and have a look around and decide how much work would be required

This is my signature. Fear it.


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(@stsneon)
New Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2
 

Surprised, and not in a good way. Can't imagine the wood being that good looking on a Mexistrat. Sand and repaint is likely a better option.

Racer, guitar owner


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 Mike
(@mike)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2931
 

You are probably gonna have to re-router your axe to fit your DIY bucker in it. If you do decide to move the two pups together, you will not be able to use your old pickguard or a new one. You will need an "un-cut" pickguard and cut the two pickup holes (S/DIY H) plus drill the 6 new screw holes for the pups yourself.

Which I don't think would be an issue if you have a backround in woodworking already. Sanding shouldn't be a problem. If the exposed wood doesn't look appealing i.e worm holes or dark spots, just re-paint it.

Nut, just go in and tell them what guitar you have and what type of nut you want and they should give you the right one.

You can easily find replacement knobs for volume, tones and switch on a strat.

I say, go for it!


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(@97reb)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1223
 

I've already done some stuff to my Fender Toro and will be doing more thru the next week. My pickguard was one of those crappy tortoise shell looking things. I took it off and sanded it with really fine grit paper and repainted it a flat black. It ain't pretty, but it sure beats how it did look. I am into a more "metal" look, though. So, my guitar is getting a "metal" makeover and sometimes metal has just got to be ugly to work right!

It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!


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