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Designing an 80s throwback superstrat?

 
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ElectricPhase



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:57 pm    Post subject: Designing an 80s throwback superstrat? Reply with quote

I'm looking for input on specing out a custom guitar. I want an 80s style superstrat that will cover a range from traditional strat sounds to Van Halen with lots of squeal harmonics. Not cool in 2005, but I'm just an old shred guy reliving his past.

I don't know which wood/pickup combos would get the sounds I want. Some possibilities I've been kicking around:
- Non recessed Floyd Rose with factory installed block (down travel only) and heavy springs
- Solid pau ferro neck (Can this have an oil finish? Could it safely stay unfinished?)
or
Oil finish maple neck with pau ferro board
- Even taper C slim profile, which was described to me as the closest to a San Dimas Charvel feel
- Is a 12-16" compound radius possible? Is 10-14" flat enough?
- Swamp ash body with thick quilt maple top to add a bit of extra brightness
- V60s in the neck and middle
- 5 way switch with a push/pull coil tap on the tone knob
- The description of the DSH+ sounds good, but would it work the above wood combination? Would it blend with the V60s?

Would this work for what I want?

Thanks for listening....
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ElectricPhase



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit more background...

Right now, the first guitar I reach for is my Hamer Vintage S with a Floyd Rose. The floyd has been blocked as described above. It has a solid flame maple body and a maple neck with a pau ferro board. The 14" radius is comfortable to me. The pickups are Duncans: a Vintage Staggered in the neck, a Vintage Flat in the middle, and a JB in the bridge. With the JB tapped, it provides convincing strat tones in all positions. It also grinds and squeals nicely.

The only guitar I like better is a Charvel mutt with a (heavy...maybe maple?) body and a maple strathead neck that was assembled and set up by GMW. The neck is a bit thicker than the Hamer, and extremely comfortable. With only a JB bridge pickup, the thing shrieks(...in a good wayy). The drawback is that you really can't use it for anything but hair metal.
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Pete Lacis



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 372
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I ask why you would choose an ash body? For the tones you describe, I think that a basswood with maple top or alder with maple top would serve you much, much better.

As for the pau ferro neck, on my Suhr Koa Standard I have a pau ferro neck and board and it is seemingly unfinished.....likely just an oil finish to seal it, but it plays a feels like you're right on the wood. Great combo, IMHO.
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ElectricPhase



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! That's exactly why I asked. I don't have any alder or swamp ash bodied guitars. Having owned a couple of Ibanez basswood guitars and watched them get bashed into oblivion, I think I'd rather avoid soft wood.

I was considering Ash because the Suhr site has a couple of Floyded guitars speced with a maple topped Ash body. So Alder would work better. Cool.

As for the pau ferro neck, I have a koa/pau ferro Reb Beach copy similar to yours, but built by Anderson back in '89. The neck on it doesn't seem to have any finish on it, but I was never really sure. That neck is thinner than an Ibanez wizard--I wonder why they did that. Anyway...
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Pete Lacis



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 372
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on how much low-end (i.e. bass) you like in your sound should help determine the wood type. Alder is much more mid-focused and very "rock" sounding. Basswood has the same mids but with much more low end. My first custom ordered Suhr was the koa. My second was an alder standard with maple neck. My third was basswood with maple top and maple neck. The basswood is my favorite by far.

That said, before I played my basswood Suhr, I never played a basswood guitar that I ever liked. In fact, I was ready to try just about anything other than basswood. However, John would constantly mention how he thought it was the ultimate wood combo. I've learned that the man really does know what he's talking about and if he thinks a certain wood combination works, there's a real reason for it.
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dookie



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 148
Location: 15 minutes South of Suhrland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Pete... Basswood sounds great with the maple top but I like it better with Brazilian RW board over Pau Ferro... But Pau Ferro sounds good with that combo...

I played an alder bodied Pau Ferro board Suhr Standard with Floyd and two HB's that just smoked... Nice tight articulate tones coming off that thing... Total metal shred machine... Not my style but I really dug it anyway... It was kind of like jumping into a Ferrari, test driving it, and loving it even though you're not into sports cars...
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