[(RE)BUILD] The Werewolf...

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by araT, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Michiel

    Michiel Friend of Fred

    Age:
    47
    Jul 29, 2009
    The Netherlands
    WOW Tara, that's a gorgeous looking guitar now.
    Just, wow! Lovely. And the look of those pickups gives it something extra!
    Great great job.

    And now... TONE, man! HOW does it SOUND! :D:D
     
  2. Quietly

    Quietly Banned

    Jul 31, 2009
    Spain
    You are too flash Tara :) I can't wait to see the finished article whoops I mean Taracaster.
     
  3. HonkyTonkMichael

    HonkyTonkMichael Synchromatic

    504
    Feb 1, 2010
    Reno
    Wow this guitar looks amazing! Very cool, somehow I missed this post until now. I wish I would have caught it towards the beginning of your build, I would have given you a smokin' deal on some Texas Specials that I have laying around somewhere from my Strat build. (Probably just shipping... I wonder how much that would be?) The alumitones look way cooler though.

    Anyway, great job and can't wait to see the finished product!

    -Michael
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  4. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany

    Thanks so so SO much for all your helps LATS, I really do appreciate you trying to help me out here, but all this theory is only serving to confuse me, really.. I think I need you to tell me exactly what I need to do, rather than the theory behind it, I keep missing something... treat me like an idiot!

    You say to solder all those ground wires to a "one true ground"... isn't that "one true ground" the ground wire on the jack that's in that heap?? or do I need ANOTHER wire running down there connected to the shell of the jack rather than it's ground lug?? I could have sworn you said I could use the ground lug earlier & so I assumed the jacks ground lead was my one true ground..

    You also say I need to get one end of the cap off the back of the tone pot - OK - but where do I connect it to then? the "one true ground? holy crap! that thing is turning into a spiders nest by now, 11 wires already & you want me to add another 3 to it with the cap, foil & jack plate? eeeeeeek!

    Now, as for grounding the foil - OK.. but why haven't I seen this done before on any of the preloaded alumitone guards? and they work just fine... in fact, I don't really see any of this fancy stull on their pre-loaded guards and they aren't noisy... I understand that their way is sloppy & your way is proper, but doesn't the fact that mine doesn't work set up like all theirs are prove that something in there isn't working right?...

    [​IMG]

    The pickup testing thing is GREAT!! thank you! thank you! : D I will definitely give that a try with that possibly-problematic middle pickup, I do have a spare old jack as I upgraded it to a switchcraft..

    Again, thank you thank you thank you for all the brain power you're dedicating to trying to get this through my thick skull! I really do appreciate it & hope I manage to sort it out with your help...

    I have to hit the shops quickly, but I'll test that pickup as soon as I'm home.

    Add a thousand smileys here, I'm out of them for this message & had to delete a bunch.. I'm sorry if I come off as anything but utterly confused & grateful for you help.

    Thanks Michiel! I think so too, I couldn't be happier with how it's turned out!! I love those AlumiTones in there too!

    I'll post better pics as soon as I chase away these wiring gremlins & get all the strings on, the schallers will be here today so we're one step closer.

    :D Thanks Gerry

    Thanks Michael, and thanks for your kind offer of Texas Specials, too! I really appreciate the thought - I'm happy with these alumitones though, now that I've got em, they look too freaking awesome to pass up - I can't wait to hear them properly!
     
  5. Sarah93003

    Sarah93003 Friend of Fred

    It's really looking awesome! I can't wait for the full review!
     
  6. LATS

    LATS Country Gent

    Jan 3, 2010
    Kanata, Ontario
    You don't want, or deserve, that! I do not 'suffer fools gladly' and you don't fit the profile. Your area of expertise lies elsewhere, is all. That tung oil finish looks delish! :)

    The jack's ground lug should also be the shell. I'm pretty sure that if you take a close look at it, you will find that this is so. With everything mounted on the pickguard, you could make that lug your 'one true ground', but with the jack stuck in a hole in the edge of the body that makes it hard to get at, you will have to declare your 'one true ground' to be located somewhere along the wire from the jack ground lug to the place where it is pinched between the control pot and the foil.

    Yes, and yes. This is why most guitar makers settle for the 'quick & dirty' way. It all goes to Hell when you play a gig at a Uni that has its own radio station, and thats all that comes out of your amp!
    They can get away with that, because thay are relying on the inherent noise-free characteristic of the Alumitone pickup. The wiring is, quite frankly, a sorry, steaming, pile of excrement!

    Good on yer! Simple is good. If all of the pickups work when wired directly to the jack, then you can assume the hum problem is caused by something in the rest of the circuit.

    You're not alone. And I am not the only one offering good advice. I just happen to be more long-winded than others are. ;)
     
  7. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    OK, so what I take from that, is that the ground lead I already have from my jack ground lug running into the spiders nest is this illusive "one true ground" we're talking about.. so no second ground wire to the jack, phew! so now I just need to run another patch wire from the foil under a cap to the nest, and also remove the tone cap/ground wire from the back of the tone pot, but keep them connected. Only one extra wire (foil ground) in the end, I can hack that!


    I just tested the possibly problematic middle pickup with your super duper troubleshooting test setup, and it's noisy with that setup - is that bad? I'm about to unsolder a "good" one to see how it "should" be.
     
  8. LATS

    LATS Country Gent

    Jan 3, 2010
    Kanata, Ontario
    OkiDoki.


    The assembled masses await the news with 'bated breath... :D
     
  9. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    OK, bridge & middle pickups behave identically.. GOOD!
    I'll just solder those back in & do this foil ground & we'll see what happens next :D

    I don't get why the pickups would be noisy when wired right to a jack? can you explain that? they should be grounded after all.. no?
     
  10. LATS

    LATS Country Gent

    Jan 3, 2010
    Kanata, Ontario
    There is no Volume pot connected across the pickup. So, instead of having a 250k Ohm or 500k Ohm load, they only 'see' the amp input. That can be several Meg Ohms. High impedance circuits tend to be noisy.

    Also, the guitar ground is connected to the outer shield of the coaxial guitar cable. The cable shield is also the return path for the guitar output signal. Remember what I said about noise problems when ground paths share?

    Shielding is most effective when it does not carry any current other than the noise that it is supposed to drain to ground. A normal guitar cable uses the outer shield for carrying the guitar signal, and for shielding. Ooops! :eek:
     
  11. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Tone cap lifted, foil grounded - Still humming :(:(:(:(
     
  12. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Oh my god...

    I think I fubared my amp... the little pathfinder 10

    I couldn't believe it's STILL humming, even after all our work.. so I plugged in the Tele custom that's hanging next to the amp, put it on the humbucker, and ITS humming too.

    Great, the orange is out of town getting fixed still, and the marshall sold weeks ago - which means that's the only amp in the house.. it's less if I turn the gain WAYYYYY down, but then I lose volume

    The alumitones are still popping slightly when I touch them - does that indicate a ground issue??
    much quieter than before, but I can still hear it. But the hum doesn't get quieter when I touch metal anymore, which indicates it's amp only.


    So where too now? maybe I should just admit defeat & take it to my friend..
     
  13. LATS

    LATS Country Gent

    Jan 3, 2010
    Kanata, Ontario
    Unless the amp got fed an ungodly huge signal, there is nothing you can plug into the input that would damage it. The alumitones can not blow up an amp. If you connected a dead short to the input, you would get silence, but no damage. WAY too much signal would produce very loud, very brief, crunchy noises.

    I suspect your success with the refinish has drawn the jealousy of the fickle Fates and they have decided to smite you with misfortune. (This is a superstitious and wordy way of describing a coincidence).
     
  14. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    It wasn't like this when I was on the phone with Lace last night, they had me test it all with different cables & guitars just to be sure...

    I'm gonna try a few different leads & guitars again & see if I can get it to behave normally... I was pushing it at full volume quite a bit trying to hear things better, but I don't think I broke it testing the strat, I think it just might have given up, lol...

    It might even just be the lead.. or bad power today! who the heck knows..

    You're right, it's like seredipity only bad.. I'd say karma, but I haven't done anything wrong lately ;)
     
  15. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    The amp is definitely fubar, buzzing away with the filter jet & my dimarzio cable - and I KNOW those are good.. either the power is messed up today (unlikely) or it's actually the amp.. oh well.. no biggie.. the Orange will be home soon.

    I'm going to call the strat done for now.. the hums there but minimal, no worse than any other single coil.. so I'll wait till I can get it to someone who knows what they're doing can check my work thoroughly in-person. Even with this crazy 'proper' wiring scheme it's still noisy, so I've messed up somewhere clearly.

    As you guys have said, I'm not doing damage (except to my ego) leaving it like this.

    When the tuners get here tonight I'll take the completed photos for everyone :D
     
  16. Sarah93003

    Sarah93003 Friend of Fred

    Hey Tara,

    since you're waiting for your amp to get back home can you take your guitar to a music store and plug into one of their amps?
     
  17. Strummerson

    Strummerson Country Gent

    Jul 15, 2010
    Ann Arbor
    Been lurking here all along. I love these luthier threads and am so impressed with the work you all are doing.

    Tara, you sound so frustrated. But from the outside, what you are doing looks so marvelous I can't help being envious of both the process and the instrument!
     
  18. bobkat

    bobkat Country Gent

    Age:
    60
    Jun 2, 2008
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Oh Grandma, I am so sorry to hear about your amp. If you were nearby I would give you an amp just to keep you going! I love this thread and I am so sad I can't play that lil gem!! I think that is going to become one of your favs. I am gassin for a 3/4 scale GRETSCH!!! I wish Joe C was listening!!! A 3/4 scale Billy Bo???? I know they made a 3/4 scale Bo Diddler, Hummmmm, didn't Juke have one??? Anybody out there with a 3/4 Diddler???
    Any who, the adoption offer still stands, Grandma!! You are such a cool kid!!:D:D
     
  19. guitarmaker

    guitarmaker Synchromatic

    622
    Mar 1, 2010
    Oley, PA
    Not to hi-jack this thread, But uh, yeah I'd be happy to put together a 3/4 scale Billy-Bo for ya!
     
  20. Manic

    Manic Country Gent

    Dec 5, 2009
    For enough money and time, you could build just about anything, I imagine.
     
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