Guitar Kits/build

jfassett

Synchromatic
Dec 9, 2017
809
Tucson
Love to get some thoughts on build your own/kits and some of the best ones out there. I just finished a Jazzmaster kit from Solo and I'm not that impressed with the quality. I didn't expect much from the electronics, however, the wood quality was not great with this kit and the neck angle is really poor, needs some serious shim work. One thing that surprised me is the tuning stability, stays in tune with aggressive tremolo use, ha!
Thanks!
 

drmilktruck

I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
19,761
Plymouth, MN
I always wanted to try a kit . I think I remember our friend @drmilktruck had built a kit once , just can't remember ...... doc ??

I have done at least 10 parts builds. The highest quality are the StewMac kits. I’m working on a 335 build now. The Tele I put together I think rivals a Warmoth guitar.

The next best technically aren’t kits but Guitar Fetish has all the parts you need and they fit well together. I've lost count of how many I've done. They obviously have a wide range of choices. Right now I have a Jazzmaster going.

I made a Klein Guitar kit from PitBull that turned out well.

BYOG and Fretwire would not be on my recommendation list, especially Fretwire. Poor quality for that one. The BYOG kit was nice but the neck angle was all wrong for a set neck. I had to have it converted to a bolt on with a pocket fix.
 
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jfassett

Synchromatic
Dec 9, 2017
809
Tucson
I have done at least 10 parts builds. The highest quality are the StewMac kits. I’m working on a 335 build now. The Tele I put together I think rivals a Warmoth guitar.

The next best technically aren’t kits but Guitar Fetish has all the parts you need and they fit well together. I've lost count of how many I've done. They obviously have a wide range of choices. Right now I have a Jazzmaster going.

I made a Klein Guitar kit from PitBull that turned out well.

BYOG and Fretwire would not be on my recommendation list, especially Fretwire. Poor quality for that one. The BYOG kit was nice but the neck angle was all wrong for a set neck. I had to have it converted to a bolt on with a pocket fix.
Thanks @drmilktruck I’ll checkout stewmac...I’m looking for another jazzmaster kit for a “do over” I have a bunch of upgrades that were for this “solo” build but waited to see how it played first, glad I did, ha!
I have a Jaguar kit still in the box from “Fretwire” that appears to be good quality, however, I’ll look into others based on your recommendation, thanks again!
 

englishman

Gretschified
Apr 5, 2014
13,054
Detroit
This is a post I made on my FB group "Amateur Luthier".
https://www.facebook.com/groups/514624188886504


People frequently ask about kit guitars here, so since I'm currently bored silly, I thought I'd offer my perspective on them.
Generally speaking, the cheaper kits contain hardware and electrics that are, shall we say, not exactly top shelf components. Oftentimes, the wood is decent enough but care should always be taken that the wood fits together and everything lines up.
Assembling a cheap kit gives the total beginner the basic knowledge of what it takes to put an electric guitar together. Oftentimes though, the guitar is not satisfying to play, due to crappy tuners, cheap pickups etc.
If I'm asked, I usually recommend assembling your own kit with selected components. The easiest one is still the good old Telecaster. A decent body and neck will cost more than the kit, but if you use decent components, you're more likely to build yourself a 'keeper'. Genuine Fender components are reasonably priced when it comes to bridge plates, neck plates and even pickups. Yeah, there are cheaper, better parts but if you limit purchases to what you KNOW will fit right on, then way fewer skills will be required to 'adapt' parts to fit. You can always come here and ask if you're not sure. Always find out what diameter tuner holes are before ordering tuners. Even makers like Fender use more than one diameter.
You may disagree
1f642.png


91562544_10158003768831341_8720206847077777408_n.jpg
91787229_10158003768821341_5476020973834600448_n.jpg
 

jfassett

Synchromatic
Dec 9, 2017
809
Tucson
This is a post I made on my FB group "Amateur Luthier".
https://www.facebook.com/groups/514624188886504


People frequently ask about kit guitars here, so since I'm currently bored silly, I thought I'd offer my perspective on them.
Generally speaking, the cheaper kits contain hardware and electrics that are, shall we say, not exactly top shelf components. Oftentimes, the wood is decent enough but care should always be taken that the wood fits together and everything lines up.
Assembling a cheap kit gives the total beginner the basic knowledge of what it takes to put an electric guitar together. Oftentimes though, the guitar is not satisfying to play, due to crappy tuners, cheap pickups etc.
If I'm asked, I usually recommend assembling your own kit with selected components. The easiest one is still the good old Telecaster. A decent body and neck will cost more than the kit, but if you use decent components, you're more likely to build yourself a 'keeper'. Genuine Fender components are reasonably priced when it comes to bridge plates, neck plates and even pickups. Yeah, there are cheaper, better parts but if you limit purchases to what you KNOW will fit right on, then way fewer skills will be required to 'adapt' parts to fit. You can always come here and ask if you're not sure. Always find out what diameter tuner holes are before ordering tuners. Even makers like Fender use more than one diameter.
You may disagree
1f642.png


91562544_10158003768831341_8720206847077777408_n.jpg
91787229_10158003768821341_5476020973834600448_n.jpg
Thanks @englishman I knew all the components were going to be subpar, felt like doing some wood working and thought it would give me a chance to use up some things in the parts box, ha! I was pretty disappointed in the mahogany body I got in this kit from “solo”
Thanks for your insight!
 

jfassett

Synchromatic
Dec 9, 2017
809
Tucson
Here's a question for you guy's @englishman @drmilktruck at this point everything I do with the neck angle is experimental, that said, wondering if I should play with neck shims or do some filing to the neck pocket on the body? Thoughts?
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Feb 13, 2012
6,672
France
I never ventured in the Kit formula for guitars... Maybe I should ? o_O

In fact, I always do the job by myself on existing instruments but I'm quickly limited : if I am unable or not well-tooled for doing it properly - which is quite often the true reality :oops: - I rely on my luthier friends : main woodworking, fretting, corrections, and of course, finishing ! :cool:

Without the skillful help of those Luthier Guys, I would never have transformed this :

19101702523625019416467837.jpg


In that :

19092704483925019416427785.jpg


A+!
 
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jfassett

Synchromatic
Dec 9, 2017
809
Tucson
I never ventured in the Kit formula for guitars... Maybe I should ? o_O

In fact, I always do the job by myself on existing instruments but I'm quickly limited : if I an unable or not well-tooled for doing it properly - which is quite often the true reality :oops: - I rely on my luthier friends : main woodworking, fretting, corrections, and of course, finishing ! :cool:

Without the skillful help of those Luthier Guys, I would never have transformed this :

19101702523625019416467837.jpg


In that :

19092704483925019416427785.jpg


A+!
It is fun seeing what kind of finish you can get, so many options!
 

Sid Nitzerglobin

Country Gent
Jun 8, 2015
3,867
fROMOHIO
The only full kit I've built was a one piece body & neck mahogany LP DC Jr. w/ rosewood fretboard from BYOGuitar I put together & finished as a graduation present for my nephew. (Edit to add it was one of their US cut kits, shouldn't really matter w/ a calibrated CNC but from Dr. Milktruck's experience maybe it does?)

Pre-finish:
j0kJghp.jpg

Just before delivery to my nephew:
U1fcTdv.jpg


I only used the body, neck & plastics from the kit but the wood seemed very nice & the neck pocket was a very tight exact fit w/ just about the perfect angle. The top of the fret ends needed a bit of dressing but they were all set well & required super minimal levelling. I couldn't be happier w/ the product delivered at the pricepoint (well under $300 w/ a shipping upgrade). I'm not sure I'd want to live w/ the included hardware or electronics myself, but I'm fairly particular on those bits most of the time.

I've done a bunch of similar projects using unfinished Warmoth bodies & necks & they've got a good track record for me, but cost is generally at a point where they ought to be pretty good for what you're paying IMO.
 
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