low budget.” Ha, Ha. Boy the joke is on that guy. Have you tried to build a guitar from scratch? I don’t mean a kit that requires assembly. What I mean is to: choose the body wood, then what type of neck wood and all the choices and options in guitar necks (22 or 24 frets), the electrics, the hardware and the finish. Man, I just ejaculated a mouth full.
Soon after claiming to make a guitar on a budget we find that number one it is not cheap but expensive to very expensive and number two it is a daunting overwhelming task to make all the choices in woods, electrics, hardware and other assorted items needed. It is real easy to get stuck in the thick of thin things. What do I mean? Well I can spend forever micro debating body and neck woods, neck shapes, frets, tuners and hardware to a fault. Basically after you are finally done rationalizing why you should buy this and do that to your project, the cost starts to rise. Not only that you can spend so much time deciding what components to use, it can actually be a deterrent. Oh, you have to go through all the time consuming, precision woodworking techniques and labor, and have the tools to build it.
I’m not denying how much fun this process is, but don’t fool yourself into thinking this will be easy and fast. You want easy and fast, buy a coordinated kit with all of the components. That is a good vibe for a beginner, but won’t do for a more experienced person who has the special woodworking tools. It is all about personalization and getting the sound and playability you want.
Realistically speaking I don’t have enough space (or knowledge) to write a full article about all the various wood options available. USA Custom Guitars website is the most thorough website I have ever seen in terms of explaining every detail concerning body and neck woods and the different merits and varieties available to you in terms you understand. I really like a website that explains things so we really understand. Another deep and detailed site is Warmouth Direct, more options for you, but the verbiage is more for experienced guitar makers.
You can bet your bottom dollar I will purchase my wood and neck from one of them. I’m going to start a guitar project soon with the help of my good friend Allan. Allan has built about a dozen guitars and the ones he has kept play great and really are cosmetically attractive. Heck, once I get them set-up perfectly for him they will play like one is supposed to. If you have not had your guitar set-up by a professional luthier, it is well worth the 50-100 bucks it may cost. I won’t even play a guitar I buy before it gets set-up.
One of my issues is how many frets to have. Since it will be a Stratocaster I can realistically only have 22 frets. More frets on a Strat messes up the placement of the neck pickup, therefore throwing off the tone. While 24 frets sounds super cool, it is not mandatory to have 24 frets, as many folks play Fender Stratocasters with 22 frets and have the results to prove that it is not that big of an issue.
The pickups are what is really causing me a lot of thought. I have several recommendations to consider, Allan is pushing the soapbar P-90’s but the Strat pickups made by the Lindey Fralin Pickup company really interest me, Fralin also makes P-90’s and all sorts of other neat stuff.
Guitar Players Center always welcomes and needs input, especially on the pickups, any input would be appreciated.
How many readers have the balls to make a guitar? Tell us about your adventure, the time it took and the end results in terms of looks and sound. Please share your experiences and results. Enjoy