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Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:02 pm
by guitarchuck
I've had this idea rolling around in my head for quite some time. I put together a guitar several years ago, but I didn't like the body and the pickups that I used. I ended up keeping the neck and selling the rest of it.

I've had this idea for several years. As many of you know, I owned Chet's Peaver guitar that Paul Yandell built for him. I had the guitar for 6 or 7 years, it spent most of the time that I owned it in a display case on the wall. I liked the sound of the guitar, but the way that I play, most things sound better on a Country Gentleman. So I sold it a while back, but I was always thinking, wouldn't it be great to have a guitar that gets the Peaver sound and also the sound similar to a Country Gentleman? So I've finally decided to build one. ( Okay, before everyone jumps on me and says: It won't sound 100% like the Peaver or Country Gentleman, I know that. But, I think it will be a very versatile guitar that will get the basic sounds that I'm after in one guitar.)

Here's what I'm doing: I have a Carvin maple neck with a ebony fretboard that is 1 3/4" at the nut. ( I had "Schwickerath" inlayed on the headstock in pearl several years ago.) I bought a Fender licensed Mighty Mite Stratocaster body for it. I'm puting the "Peaver" electronics circuit in it exactly like Paul had in the Peaver. (I documented the Peaver guitar when I owned it.) It will have the EMG active pickups in the middle and bridge position. For the neck position I ordered a Supertron from T.V. Jones with the solid bars like the Country Gentleman has, only in a black "soapbar" case so it will match the EMG pickups. You run into some problems when you try to mix active electronics and passive electronics. So, I figured out by using stacked pots, one value for the active circuit and a different value for the passive circuit I can make it work with the standard Strat control layout. It will have a 3 position lever switch (3 position like the Peaver) instead of the 5 position like a Strat has. It will also have a 2 position mini toggle switch to switch between the Peaver setup and the neck Country Gentleman pickup. You won't be able to mix the two sounds, because of the "active" and "passive" circuit differences. So, you can have the basic "Peaver" sound and the basic "Country Gentleman neck pickup" sound in the same guitar. The guitar body is routed for a tremolo, but I ordered a hardtail bridge for it. (A Kahler 7330c non-tremolo bridge with fine tuners.) I plan on installing a fliptop battery box in the tremolo cavity thru the tremolo cover on the back of the guitar. This will power the active EMG-S pickups. I have most of the parts ordered.

I'm excited about building this guitar and I had to tell someone about it. If anyone is interested, I'll update you on the progress here on the Chetboard. I think this will make a very versatile guitar with the basic Peaver/Country Gentleman sounds. No, it won't replace my Country Gentleman, but I think it will be a fun guitar. :D

Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:10 pm
by craigdobbins
Sounds great. Keep us posted, Chuck.

Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:19 pm
by PhilHunt
I've always wanted a guitar that's like Breshs' duelette guitar except instead of steel string on one side and nylon on the other, have a country gent style on one side and a nylon on the other, or a double neck - one neck with a Supertron and a Filteron and the other neck that's classical with a piezo pickup. Beats switching guitars all the time.
I really wish someone would come up with a Del Vecchio clone. McGill came out with one but good lord was it expensive!!

Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:38 pm
by craigdobbins
Phil, some of those old Conrad DV clones are pretty close, especially with a little tweaking. My old Gretsch Dorado (1970's) sounded pretty good too- somewhere between a Dobro and a fairly good DV.

Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:02 am
by Hendrik
Phil, not a new clone but one from the 70's(?), a Orpheum Resonator. Read that these were made in Japan and are pretty bad...

Orpheum Resonator on eBay

Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:38 am
by Drail
One like this would be nice to have, except I'm with Phil, I would probably want a Filtertron and Supertron on the electric.


Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:39 am
by guitarchuck
Oh the possibilities Phil!

Drail, thanks for posting that YouTube link. That's really cool, the guy playing both Chet and Jerry's parts on the same double neck guitar with regular electric steel and nylon!

Hendrik, I think the Orpheum and Conrad brands were made by the same factory in Japan. I really think the key to those guitars are getting them "tweaked" right, like Craig said, to get them to sound close to the Del Vecchio.

Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:53 am
by Drail
Your welcome Chuck!!

I really like your ideas on your guitar, it sounds really cool! Please keep us posted on how it comes together.

I've wanted to build a guitar for sometime now as well, I should probably say "assemble" a guitar because it would be more out of parts than any actual building on my part. Anyway, I've basically wanted a telecaster with a filtertron and a supertron and a bigsby, maybe a strat neck, kinda like a cabronita with a bigsby. I really don't even know if I would like it, to be honest. I haven't been playing guitar that long (3 years, just getting and am just now getting a feel for what I want in a guitar. I have a G5120 electromatic (country gent wanna-be) and just a few months ago got a good Taylor steel string acoustic. I've never played a country gent but it stacks up as the perfect guitar( just my opinion) which is why I haven't splurged on building the Tele. Slowly saving my
Anyway, I digress, what I really wanted to share with you was that about the same time I had the Tele with filtertrons and bigsby idea, which I know is nothing really new, lots of people have thought and even done this before me, but like I said about that time fender custom shop "stole" my idea with there 2013 release. ( see Reverb link) Although it is very pricey, I could probably assemble one for 1/4 of that price.

Fender custom shop Tele ... dakota-red

Another guy that "stole" my idea (he had it light years before me) is Gerard Melancon. I don't know if any of you have ever heard of him. He's a luthier from south Louisiana and he has a guitar he calls the Cajun Gentleman. It is an absolute stunner. Again I've never played one, but hey it sure does look nice.

Cajun Gentleman
Or google if for more/better pics

Sorry for rambling on, you will just have to forgive this kid (22). I'm relatively new to posting although I've read this board for awhile now. I love this board and just thought I'd say thank you to every body on here who makes it what it is.
Chuck, sorry this all spilled out on your thread.


Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:13 pm
by guitarchuck
Now that you mention it, I should probably say "assemble" too! All the parts that I ordered are starting to trickle in. When I start to make some progress on the assembly I'll start posting some pictures.
Those Tele's with the Filter'trons are nice too! I'm glad that you are posting here on the Chetboard. We need young guys like you on here to keep this going for years to come. I'm 50 now and I'm pretty sure that the average age is probably older than me. Glad to see you posting!

Re: Building a new guitar

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:52 pm
by guitarchuck
Just a quick update, I have all of my parts now, except for the custom ordered pickguard, back cover plate and the TV Jones Super'tron. (Got an email from TV Jones saying it shipped today!) I did install the "Gripper Strap buttons",_parts/Electric_guitar:_Strap_buttons/Gripper_Strap_Buttons.html
Next I need to drill out a couple of small areas so the battery box will fit perfectly in the tremolo cavity. Then I'll paint the pickup & control cavities with shielding paint. I just need to find some time to get this project started soon!