Sunday, February 27, 2011

Destruction for Eardrums

Aug. 1, 2008

Current mood:indescribable

Warning!!!!!  This post is written in the langauge known as musicanese.  It uses words not known by most non-musicans.

So this morning I somewhat finished work on the SG guitar.  I got the hole for the 3 way switch filled just fine.  I redrilled the hole, and used a Rhythm/ Treble cover to cover up the work.  It's completely unnoticeable.

I started to get the electronics put in, and run into the stupid stuff that normally comes with putting a guitar together.  My super special 1 Meg Pots (versus the usual 500K) that I was going to use for the tone pots had a couple of issues.  First, they were very short.  I could barely get them put on.  Then came the great news.  I couldn't put my special knobs on the top of the pots.  The posts were too big, which is kind of riduculous seeing as how the knobs are oversized and you have to screw them down to size.  I've never seen a pot that one of those type of knobs couldn't fit.  So eventually I am going to have to replace them.  I mean, what's the point of having a tone control, if you can't put a knob on them to turn them?

So electronics screw-up number 2 was that I couldn't get any sound out of the bridge pickup.  After working on it for 30 minutes, I kept tracing the sound back to the bridge volume pot.  (Note: For the volume pots I used high quality American made 500K pots.)  I kept double checking my wiring, and couldn't find the problem.  Then, after thinking about it, I thought if the wiring is not the problem, then it must be the pot itself.  I replaced my high quality, very expensive, American made pot with a crappy 10 year old POS pot, and my problem was solved.  The electronics were working fine. 

Next, I cut the slots for the bone nut.  I knocked that out in no time.  I strung up the guitar, and started to set up the guitar.  I noticed that the strings were high, so I lowered the bridge....  a lot.  I put the bridge on as far down as it would go.  I thought, well no problem, I'll just straighten out the truss rod, and it will straighten out the neck, and lower the strings.  I go to turn the truss rod, and nothing.  It won't budge.  It's turned as far as it will go. 

I say to heck with it, and move on.  I screwed down the pickups to the body.  At least that didn't involve a crisis, or major screw-up.  I got the pole pieces of the pickups right under the strings.  So that went ok. 
I got the guitar set-up as best I could.  The idiot "artist" who built the guitar didn't build an angle into the neck.  So the neck angle was far too flat.  That combined with the non action truss rod made the strings a bit high.  It was still playable, but I don't know how it will act over the years.  The neck might end up getting worse.

So I tuned up the guitar, and started to rock out with my cock out.  The 1 Meg Tone Pots really opened up the sound of the pickups.  The Alnico 2 magnet really gave the neck pickup that low growl.  I really liked the sound of the bridge pickup as well.  I think the 1 Meg Tone Pot just made it sound like it was on fire.  So, it may not be the best playing guitar, but it does sound pretty good.

So down the road I will have to end up changing the tone pots to something that will be able to fit a knob.  If I change out the pots, I may change out the capasitors.  I may also put lighter gauge strings on it to help with the action.  But at least for the most part, the guitar build is finished.

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