LOL, yet another project guitar, sheesh... ;)

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Sid Nitzerglobin, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    So the universe must be eavesdropping on my brain or something... I've been successfully resisting the acquisition of a nice used Danelectro The '66 at the localest GC since I first noticed it last October, assisted by the (up until a couple weeks ago) fairly premium & immutable price & the burst finish. I started to feel that resolve falter this weekend when I more or less decided I didn't want to convert my Mach IV to host the spare Mos-Like SB setup I've got on hand.

    Sure enough, a co-worker at the day job swings by my desk today unsolicited w/ this mildly modded black one that his son was looking to move along (we'd previously had conversations about my guitar addiction & that I took consignments at the shop):
    (it came w/ the stock wraparound & strings, just didn't feel like stringing it back up for the pic :) )

    Seemed like a sign so I went ahead & bought it on the spot after a brief acoustic spin & once over. I'm not a fan of either of the current pickups (the stock pseudo HB size "P90" is quite thin sounding & weak & the bridge SD SH-16 is overly thick & woofy for my tastes) but it's got a nice acoustic sound, a fairly beefy neck profile, & I love the German carve of the top. About my only complaint w/ the bones of it so far is that it really wants to migrate down to ~1-2 degrees past parallel to the ground when the neck is unsupported, but I think that's the nature of the beast w/ the more faithful Mosrite type guitars I've encountered & seems like it should be livable as is for me on that front.

    It'll get the current bushings pulled, filled & redrilled for the posts for the Mos-Like bridge, the Mos-Like vibrato, & a rewire w/ some combo of a set of GFS Mean 90s & a PowerTron + I've had sitting idle. If I can dig up the set of 3+3 oval button Kluson Deluxes I know I have floating around somewhere, they'll likely wind up on here as well.

    Checking stuff out, I think this one will be a fairly straight forward conversion to the Mos-Like setup since when setup around 5/64" action height the stock neck angle has the saddle break point ~ 3/16"- 1/4" taller than the roller bridge while at minimum adjust & eyeballing w/ the tailpiece sitting in the neighborhood of where it will live looks like there should be plenty of break angle.

    Figured I'd share, thanks for taking a look :D
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
    Waxhead, loudnlousy, Merc and 5 others like this.
  2. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    Couldn't resist driving down to the shop & getting started on this one after I finished up some day job stuff this evening.

    I finally broke in the bushing puller studs I snagged a while back & it worked great, both came out clean w/o drama :)
    I broke out the 1/2" bit & drilled out the stock bushing holes for the cherry dowel I had:
    (my only complaint on this drill press is I haven't figured out a way to align the lasers...)

    Cut the dowels to & ~1/32 short of drilling depth & sanded the circumference down a tad:
    They went in nicely w/ the sides covered w/ a bit of Titebond but apparently I stopped a bit short on the holes as I still wound up w/ ~1/32" of dowel left above the top .

    Taped off the area @ sanded down the dowels fairly flush w/ a 120 grit pad:
    There's still a gnats eyelash of a lip, but I don't think it'll bother me much after I paint the dowels (planning to mask the body & brush on some Testor's enamel after I drill for the new bridge bushings).

    I put some clean tape down & set about getting things laid out & marked before I ran out of gas:
    I've got the bridge cheated about 1/32" long of scale on the high side & ~ 3/32" on the low & I think I've got everything pretty well lined up side to side. I'm thinking I'll double check scale w/ the bridge shimmed up to a reasonable action height first, but I'm guessing I should be all set to drill for the bridge bushings, string ground wire & tailpiece when I'm back down at the shop Wednesday :)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
    loudnlousy, Merc, section2 and 3 others like this.
  3. Sean McILwaine

    Sean McILwaine Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2012
    London UK
    Fast work. Looking good.
    section2 and Sid Nitzerglobin like this.
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    section2 likes this.
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    That looks great
    Sid Nitzerglobin and section2 like this.
  6. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Looking great! Let us know how you like the Mos-Like vibrato and bridge. I have a set waiting to go onto the guitar I'm planning to build this summer.
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  7. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Gretschie

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Congratulations Sid, always enjoy seeing your new ventures.
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  8. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    You're crazy Sid,congrats!;)
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  9. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Cool Build. But really is your day job being a guitar tech for yourself?
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  10. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    Hehe, I wish...

    I help design & implement infrastructure that keeps track of the ones & zeros involved in the sale & delivery of premium Chinese made crap that people don't need to enable my guitar tinkering habit ;)
    Henry likes this.
  11. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    It was a somewhat off evening at the shop for me apparently, but I managed to get the bushings installed & tailpiece mounted up, a new ground wire run, & get it strung back up to see how it was looking.

    Despite reminding myself 10 minutes before not to forget to get my ground wire under the high side bushing before I installed it, I spaced it & wound up spending about 45 minutes trying to get something conductive through the connecting shafts I had to drill from fairly high in the front high side tailpiece screw hole to the control cavity. Eventually w/ my luthier friend working the end of a wound string through the top & me trying to coax it into the control cavity shaft w/ another, we found success :)
    I somehow managed to drill my tailpiece holes I'm guessing ~0.5mm to the low side of where I wanted them, but everything seems to work well & it's not bugging me too bad visually. I couldn't locate my paint & brushes for the dowels, so a quick Sharpie-ing had to suffice until I can pick some up.

    At first look I think I'll probably want another 0.5 degree or so of neck angle more for flexibility in action height than break angle, but it's really nicely playable just slapping the bridge on at minimum height & cobbling together a set of burner strings from the 2nd-6th strings of a set of ancient DR Tite Fit .010-.052 I had in the bottom of my toolbox & an old .010 I dug out of my bag of old take offs:
    I've only spent ~15 minutes w/ it through the Micro Terror so far, but so far the bridge & tailpiece seem to be working great & it was surprisingly stable in tuning w/ vibrato use considering I'd just strung it back up w/ some suspect strings. I hope to drop the Mean 90s in tomorrow but I was actually really enjoying the SH-16 in the bridge w/ the coil cut through the Micro Terror & it's kind of got me thinking I might need to play w/ it in a "dial-a-coil" blend type setup in the next project:cool:.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
    rob batz likes this.
  12. O Riley

    O Riley Gretschie

    Dude, my head hurts. :confused:
  13. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    If (when?) you get bored of this one, and if you could be arsed to ship to the UK, very much keep me in mind. Please.
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  14. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    Took this one apart again tonight & roughly modded a StewMac .5 degree shaped shim for the neck pocket. Turned out to be just about the same angle as the fiberboard bit they had shimmed it from the factory w/ so for the time being I stacked it on top of the full length & will plan to do a nicer job fitting one of the 1 degree unshaped/undrilled shims to replace the stack:
    I think the 1 degree should be just about right, I didn't get very empirical w/ the setup yet but it's low as I probably want to go w/ the low side stud ~5 turns up from decked & the high side up ~4 turns. I haven't taken the time to actually dial in the intonation yet either, but checking the wounds were all pretty much spot on w/ the saddles as pictured & the unwounds all within ~1-1.5 cent sharp so I think the bridge placement worked out well :) Really nice acoustic tone & resonance too:
    I dropped the Mean 90s in hooked up to the stock wiring & replaced the pickup mounting accoutrements while I was at it:
    I wound up needing to do some dremeling of the bridge pickup cavity (& will likely need a bit more) to fit & I'll probably fill the existing holes for the rings & redrill as the new black metal one were pretty seriously off from the previous rings.

    I could probably stand to clip the pickup springs a bit & spend some more time tweaking the body & pole heights, but I'm pretty surprised how big, smooth, sweet & moderate output these sound in here. It's a great classic jazzy P90 sound neck or bridge and their dynamics seem great, but I think I want some more bite & attitude to the bridge. I was expecting if anything they might be a little too much towards the overwound and/or raucous side the spectrum but it's fairly close to too far on the opposite side for what I think I want in this guitar. I'm planning to do my standard issue blower switch on a tone pot push pull & am considering maybe using a 1M pot for the volume when I rewire it.

    Managed to find the set of 3+3 Klusons, should be putting them on & doing a rewire over the next few days. This set of Kurokomo Mosrite knobs is set to arrive tomorrow as well:
    I think I'd have preferred the stock repro V & T knobs but haven't been able to locate any yet.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  15. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I hooked up the new neck shim for this one this evening:
    Spent a fair bit of time fitting up the Klusons:[​IMG]
    The interior diameter of the stock bushings wouldn't let the posts through & the exterior diameter left the Kluson ones awfully loose w/o out a bit of super glue-fu from my luthier friend to tighten the fit. The spacing for the top mounting screws was ~.33mm too far towards the nut for the new machines as well so I had to ovalize them a bit. They went on nicely after the trouble though & seem to have a good advantage over the stock ones for me in solidity & smoothness of feel & aesthetics.
    Next I got into the pickup mounting situation: clipped ~1/3" off of the springs, pulled the angled riser under the bridge ring, did a fair bit of additional dremeling of the bridge cavity for a more comfortable fit, & mounted them back up w/ some new black mounting screws. The ring mounting screw holes are still a bit off but they went on a good bit better tonight.
    I dropped a thin washer under the tailpiece spring & strung it up w/ a new set of Paradigm .011-.048 & got it tuned up. In my 20 minute test spin at the shop it seemed to be feeling pretty nice & I think the 11s will actually work out well for me on here.

    I plan to get serious about the setup, intonation, & pickup dialing &, if I'm lucky w/ time, the rewire tomorrow.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    new6659 likes this.
  16. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Great guitar, Sid.
    I really wonder whether there is still room enough in your house to live in. There must be guitars everywhere.
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  17. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    Thanks man! There's certainly alot of them, but they wouldn't take up more than half of a spare bedroom if I could manage to get myself to organize them better :oops:

    I managed to get the rewire completed today:
    It turned out I couldn't put my hands on a knurled shaft 1M pot for the volume so I used the 500K for it & the tone w/ a .033uF mylar cap w/ the push pull wired as a blower when in the pull position. The vol/tone bypass makes a more subtle difference in this set up (& more in EQ of the lower mids) than I'm accustomed to but seems useful here nonetheless.

    I also got the new knobs mounted up w/ the help of some heat & a bit of super glue for the tone & went w/ a chrome switch knob to match & swapped the strap buttons for some Schaller compatible ones I got from Rockinger using the upper hole for the rear one (seems to have made a small but positive difference in balance point on a strap, now it self levels about 1-2 degree above parallel rather than below it). It wound up intonating spot on as pictured:
    My luthier friend wound up w/ time to spend about 20 minutes w/ it after I finished up the wiring & dialed in a bit more relief for a bit more liveliness & the action at ~4/64th" @ the 12th on the low side & ~3.5/64th on the high. He also took a few of the keeper/nut slots down a bit to give a healthy bit of break behind the zero fret. It's feeling pretty darn great, it's very smooth & low effort but w/ enough fight & bounce to be inspiring for more aggressive playing, there's not a buzz or annoying overtone to be found, & tuning stability seems excellent so far. I think the full combo of the Mos-Like bridge & tailpiece worked out great on here.

    It's turned out to be one of the least noisy single coil guitars I've had & the Mean 90s, while not what I was expecting in attitude, seem pretty excellent in there. I haven't run it through too awfully much but while so far tonally it's a good bit more Duane Eddy than Johnny Ramone it seems to cover my bases very well & is an absolute treat to appreciate it for what it is for me :D

    I'll likely drop a flat, thin riser under the bridge pickup ring & paint the plugs from the stock bushings, but I'm calling this one feature complete & well optimized for my purposes :)
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    loudnlousy, Waxhead and Ricochet like this.
  18. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    I've got a Combo and I really like it a lot, but as always with any valuable guitar I'm wary about playing it live because I'm such a clumsy klutz.

    So you've really got me interested in getting one of these.

    What's the neck like? Is it anything like Mosrite-ish?
  19. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I've only handled a couple of actual Mosrites (a '68 Joe Maphis I had on consignment at the shop and a Ventures model) so I don't have the broadest frame of reference but the neck on this one feels like a significantly chunkier C (which is good thing for me). I think my Mach IV is probably closer to the real thing in that department, although still a bit more depth to the profile.
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