I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

About 11 months ago I was fed up with buying and selling guitars - looking for that 'special' one I'd keep forever. I know this guy in Florida who builds extremely high-end guitars - he builds less than 10 per year - and we spoke about doing a project for me.
This guy has a multi-year waiting list and has built guitars for some serious players.

I wanted my guitar based on a 1962 Stratocaster ~ with some custom adds tailored for me.

The '62 Strat is considered the Holy Grail of all guitars by many people, and my builder owns 2 of them - real ones - so we were able to use them as a model for mine.

We started looking for a very light one-piece body and found this one. 3.4 lbs. He chose this by "tap-testing" for tone.



I went with a Mary Kaye see-through blonde finish and he stains the grain so it pops through better.

Last edited by jemaholic; 06-08-2008 at 02:07 AM.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

He prefers a special nitro finish which is used on high-end violins. He says the finish will impregnate the wood and over time will actually meld with the wood fibers and create a different tone.

Here's the first coats on the body...


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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

I wanted a very specific neck - compound radius 10"- 16" so it would have a nice curve at the nut and flatten out by the 12th fret for faster soloing. He chose 5A birdseye maple.



I also wanted a 'V' shape like the '50's models (similar to a Clapton or a Jimmy Vaughn model) which was the first departure from a true '62.

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

I've always wanted a Brazilian fingerboard. He has some available all the time, but for this project we made special requests out of Central America.
It took him a few months to locate this one ~ it's the most highly-figured one I've seen and was worth the wait. Real Bake-lite ClayDot inlays. I chose Dunlop #6000 super-jumbo frets. He hand-tooled the neck plate with single dyes and a hammer - just like the Fender factory did in the 50's and 60's. The serial number is my birthday.




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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

So by this point he was nitro-ing the neck with a deep coffee colored stain.





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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

Notice the body getting more 'butterscotch' as more coats of blonde are sprayed. Kinda like an old tele.

Anyway, after long, hard thoughts I settled on a custom set of Lindy-Fralin Blues Specials with a 5% overwind for that smokey SRV-type sound. All cloth solid conductor leads, silver solder, oil & paper pots with Orange-Drop capacitors and a volume cap kit.

Now the body is ready for the relicing process: this is where my guy's work is the best.





On to the relicing!
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

These pix are the completed project - he asked me not to show his processes to achive this level of finish - so here it is.....



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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)







The bridge is off a 1972 strat. The nut is mammoth bone. The tuners are locking Klusons.

His aging process for the paint and hardware are astounding and better than any Fender custom shop work I've seen. I'm not saying that because it's my guitar - I own Team-Built and Master-Built Fender strats too.
The finished guitar weighs in at 6.11 lbs. and the sound jumps off this guitar- even before you plug it in.
A good fried of mine has a DeTemple strat and he told me this is very similar. Now he wishes he ordered the big frets.haha.

Was it expensive? Yup. But it's worth it if you want the ultimate guitar - made to YOUR specs and a true one-of-a-kind.

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to post the process. Hope you enjoyed it!
-jemaholic

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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 02:29 AM
 
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

LOVE that neck stain.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

Crap!!! I'm so jealous!


Congrats.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 04:42 AM
 
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

thats superb mate, a real work of art.
im not one for relics but that is very tastefully and professionally done, looks like the gibbies go with the crackled paint.

nice one
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 05:11 AM
 
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

OH man wow.
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 05:22 AM
 
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

Holy Cow that's brilliant. Personally I prefer the un-reliced look but that is superb
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 07:16 AM
 
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

beautiful mate, top notch all the way, i loved the git when it only had half the paint too. you got to pay top dollar for top class stuff, i dont know what you paid, but its quality and it a one of a kind, i doff my hat to ya.
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 07:30 AM
 
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Re: I built The Highest Quality Strat I Could (PIX)

Very, very cool!!
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