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  #1  
Old 02-25-2019, 03:04 PM
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Chickee Chickee is offline
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Default frankenstrat build

IMG_3443.jpg

I have been on the hunt for a CBS era headstock Stratocaster to use as the platform for a personalized build. Looking on Reverb I came across an AmericanSpecial with a 'make an offer' opportunity. So I made an offer, the folks accepted, and today I received an unopened boxed NOS 2016 black on black strat with a maple neck. The advent of Fender discontinuing the American Special line in favor of the American Performer series had made these a terrific bargain if you are in the market for an American made strat. This is exactly the color combo I was looking for.
My parts list of Fender locking tuners, Graph Tech nut and saddles and Shaller strap locks is in at Sweetwater and should be delivered some time next week. The hard shell Fender case is on back order two weeks.
I'll post pictures when the build is done.
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Last edited by Chickee; 02-26-2019 at 07:37 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:22 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Looks great, congratulations! That should cover a lot of ground with the humbucker in the bridge position and I assume Texas Specials single coil pickups.

I tried to get all excited about acquiring a Strat to replace the Classic Vibe 50s I once owned but ended up buying another vintage spec telecaster, a ‘50s roadworn with Tex-Mex pickups, maybe similar to the single coils in your new guitar.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:26 AM
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Hey Jaden. That’s right, Texas specials in neck and middle slots and what they call an atomic humbucker in the bridge. The fret ends need to be dressed but the maple neck edges are beautifully rolled.
The guys near me at BayShore Guitar Repair in Freehold NJ will handle dressing the fret and doing the final set up.
Ultimately this will be my weekend player. I can’t wait for the parts to arrive so I can get started!
Also, I agree with you about those Classic Vibe series guitars. They are a secret value you must play to appreciate. Maybe a telecaster build is in my future! Bahahaha
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:29 AM
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nice!- should be a keeper for you, i have a partscaster not near that quality, but its the guitar i like the best
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:35 AM
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harpspitfire I see by your signature line you have been down this road with tweaking guitars to taste. Iím looking forward to this oneís completion.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:46 PM
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Parts? Check

Big headstock strat? Check
Hard shell case? Check
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Last edited by Chickee; 03-07-2019 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:10 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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That's going to be a sweet Special when you've upgraded the hardware. When are you expecting to be done?
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:43 PM
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Hey Dru, Iím hoping to be all dialed in before next Friday. I want to have it ready to take to a local blues jam in Rumson. A lot of cool cats from the Jersey shore music scene filter in and out and offer up a terrific variety of blues rock guitar ideas.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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Itís back!
Tonight we play.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:07 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Looks great! How's it feel and sound?
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Looks great! How's it feel and sound?
Thank you Dru for the compliment and following along during this build.
Lets start with feel.
With the fret ends filed and buffed to beautiful little rounded hot dogs, the factory rolled neck edges really get the opportunity to show off that old, well used broken in feel these modern C shaped necks are known for. A touch of neck relief with the imitation hardtail trem on the deck and five spring setup, the action is so low I was waiting for it to buzz or at the very least fret out with the slightest bend. I was wrong! It’s dialed in. I have no other word for the set up but “perfect”. In fact, it’s so easy to play I may go to 11’s just to put some fight into the guitar. I can’t say if the locking tuners, Teflon nut, string trees and saddles will be beneficial to tuning stability seeing I don’t use a trem arm, but I do bend and use a lot of finger vibrato when playing. We’ll see when the strings settle into their new home how these parts pan out.

Sound as we all know is subjective. Tonight I was using a Super Champ X2 w/greenback speaker, touch of reverb and an 808 tube screamer more for a thick clean boost than grind, dialed into a fender twin mode with the gain at 9 o’clock(barely cooking). The atomic humbucker is relatively quiet and offers a warm/thick alternative to the ubiquitous strat ice picky bridge single coil. The neck single coil sounds rich and full for either rhythm or single note lines. Didn’t use the middle p/u so no comment on that.
I must say, and mean this with all senserity, that the total investment made on this Frankenstein build has netted a guitar that in measurable performance, playability and what I am hoping to be an all around reliable stage guitar plays, feels and sounds easily like an instrument at twice the invested cost. I may just begin another build��
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Last edited by Chickee; 03-16-2019 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:27 AM
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I’ve been playing and tweaking the black on black strat to my taste since it’s return from the shop. What a party this guitar is to play. I can’t say enough about the boys & girls at Raritan Bay Guitar Repair in Freehold, NJ. My Jazzmaster came home yesterday with all new noiseless Lindy Fralin pickups and an absolute killer set up. I start a new job Monday and will be off to Cincinnati, Ohio for a few weeks so I am playing every moment I have free right now. I’ve never considered myself spoiled, but at this point in my life when I look into the music room I feel truly blessed and lucky!
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Last edited by Chickee; 03-21-2019 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:16 PM
Sasquatchman Sasquatchman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
I must say, and mean this with all senserity, that the total investment made on this Frankenstein build has netted a guitar that in measurable performance, playability and what I am hoping to be an all around reliable stage guitar plays, feels and sounds easily like an instrument at twice the invested cost. I may just begin another build��
Exactly the reason to build/rebuild/tweak. You got a good neck, just about everything else on an electric can be changed to meet your desires. I have a Custom Shop strat and it's great, but I play my partscaster Tele far more, and especially live, because it just does everything I want, and I trust every single component.
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