Green Strat

Green Strat

Year: 2016

Made In: Ireland

Specs: Poplar body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: DiMarzio Fred humbucker

Control: Volume

Built as a twin, this guitar is what I need from a gigging guitar boiled down to its functional essence. It’s three-piece hardtail poplar body mated with a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, in a fetching Sea Foam Green finish. Points of failure are, hopefully, few and far between, with a single DiMarzio Fred humbucker providing the fire. For a while I did consider leaving out the volume control. No frills, basic and to the point.

Strat Building, Part 2

Happily, all the parts required were received in good time. The internet age has made building instruments a breeze, certainly as far as sourcing parts goes. As ever, Warmoth’s neck is really excellent quality.  This one is a standard maple neck with a rosewood fretboard – the old neck being quartersawn maple with an ebony fretboard. I was lucky to find one with a reverse headstock in their pre-built showcase section. I had 6105 frets installed.

I went with Gotoh for the bridge and tuners, they make solid, high quality equipment. The GFS bodies and Warmoth necks went together with minimal fuss with only minor tweaks to get the necks and bridge holes lined up. I did a minor fret level and dress on the new neck, rolled the edges a little, and I used a bar rather than traditional string retainer on both necks. It makes more sense to have a consistent break angle across the nut for all the strings than stick to an old idea for the sake of it.

Once the necks were on and lined up and lightly shimmed, it was straightforward to put the rest together. A single volume control ensured soldering the wiring together wasn’t an onerous task. Both necks have a similar feel and I have set them up as close as possible to each other, from nut to neck relief. Aside from the rosewood fretboard, the only other significant difference was using a DiMarzio Fred in the green strat, my trusty JB from the black strat moved into the yellow one. Both are tuned down to A with 14-68 strings.

Job done and I’m very pleased with both. Time to put them through some live testing!

Strat Building, Part 1

For my current gig with Two Tales of Woe, I’ve been using my black strat so far. We tune down to A and I built this guitar for gigging in B, so it was the logical choice. It has never let me down, I’ve used it at every gig I’ve played since 2009.

It’s a two-guitar band, my first time ever playing with another guitarist, and I’ve no need for the Kahler bridge. Indeed, I’ve started to worry – for the first time ever – about breaking strings and going wildly out of tune as a result, though I’ve no idea why. I love the simplicity and feel of this guitar for live work so I decided to replace the strat body and build a hardtail.

After shopping around I decided to go with an XGP poplar body from GFS. Actually, I decided to build a backup too. Today, this pair arrived, Sea Foam Green and Monaco Yellow. For the money, I’m happy enough. They’re both three-piece bodies and the paintwork is decent enough.

Both will be single humbucker, single volume and I’m looking forward to receiving another reverse headstock 22 fret neck from Warmoth next week.