Funky Body Style

I’ve mentioned in the past some of the cool guitar bodies I like that aren’t really mainstream. I have an Epiphone Crestwood ET-275 that I love. I have plans to build a Teisco Spectrum 2. I love smaller bodied guitars, so when I saw this on Pro Guitar Shop tone report about 12 guitars you haven’t seen, I wanted to build one right away.

Guitar_81Those severe carved sides and weird angles are just awesome!

 

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Starcaster tryout

My local guitar shop called me the other day because a cherry burst Fender Starcaster had just arrived. They lamented it had only taken 3 and a half months to arrive, but they finally had one. I was just glad to finally try one instead of only read about them and see them in youtube demos.

So at my next lunch break I headed over. They plugged me into a Fender amp (like a ProSonic or something, I don’t remember) and quickly dialed in a clean channel and a dirty channel. Both sounded pretty good. I then played the guitar.

I love the offset body. It feels great tucked up against my body when sitting down to play. My right arm felt just right as I strummed and picked out tunes.  But my main comparison guitar is my Epiphone Sheraton VSB. The Sheraton is a big bodied guitar, and while the Sheraton isn’t uncomfortable to play, my right arm knows it is having to go around something. That is not the case with the Starcaster. It feels really good. Not melt into your body like a strat, but I really liked it.

The pick ups on the Starcaster are a bit close together. I don’t know if that is because of the neck placement or the larger (wide range) pickups Fender installed on the Starcaster, but it surprised me. Also, the pickguard is pretty bland. Maybe I’m being sillly, but it looks like a cheap piece of plastic thrown on as an after thought. I would probably remove it or replace it.

The burst paint job isn’t horrible. I was afriad it would look like a cheap can of spray paint was used, but it actually has a good transition from the natural wood to the red. Not my favorite, but not a show stopper. I still like the natural, or even the black, better.

The neck is where I made my final decision not to go further with this guitar (for now). I must start off by saying the headstock is awesome and is one of the things that draws me to this guitar (almost as much as the offset body). And I need to say that I have a problem with standard Fender strat neck profiles. I find them too thick. And this neck has the standard strat profile. It isn’t a bad neck. In fact if you like almost every other Fender guitar neck out there, this one will be just fine. But I have become very picky about neck profiles and this one fit exactly what I was worried it would feel like.

So I’m not going to buy this instrument new. I’m not going to sell other guitars and gear to be able to shell out the $699 they are asking. I like it, but not for something brand new.

But, if I see one used for half off, then I will be getting one. I’ll shave down the neck profile, install a master volume, throw in some locking tuners, and get rid of the pick guard. A great guitar, but not great enough to get me out of my used buying habits. A big thanks to Fender for reissuing this guitar because I hope to eventually have one. And an even bigger thanks to my local guitar shop for their customer service and general friendly approach to my tone quest.

Strap lock buttons

How is it already the 9th of January? It seems like New Year’s was just yesterday. That was a week ago! Where does the time go?

Well this past week has gone toward work, kids, friends, more work, home repair, and all the other things that make up life. But not a lot of guitar.

So when my gold strap lock buttons arrived at my local guitar shop on Tuesday, I was pretty excited to have a reason to focus on my new 1995 Epiphone Sheraton VSB. I don’t have any straps that don’t have strap locks. Wow! Double negative. How about, “all my guitar straps (all three) have strap locks and all my guitars have strap lock buttons.” But they are all chrome and the Sheraton has gold (albeit faded and worn) hardware. And I am not going to buy an entire strap lock set just for the buttons.

My local guitar shop only had chrome strap lock buttons in stock, so I ordered some gold ones. And I’m patient…usually.

But now they are here and I have a process I go through.

First, I remove the old strap buttons and save them in a small zip lock bag with a piece of paper saying what guitar they came from.

Second, I cut out a small washer from scrap leather I got a while back and punch a hole in it.

Third, I rub the new screws in some soap so they are easier to screw into the guitar (if the old hole seems a bit worn, I will use some wood glue and a tooth pick to fill it).

Fourth, I screw the strap lock button and leather washer into place.

Finally I test it with a strap!

How do you keep your strap secure?

Pedalboard Advice Needed

I have a small budget of Christmas money and am thinking about getting a pedal board. I know, I made my last one. And I have plans to make another one out of an old crib. But now that I am looking at it, I am thinking about buying one. Something that will fit my pedals, so large (like a Pedaltrain 3). And it would be nice to have a place for my VooDoo Pedal Power 2 Plus underneath. Used isn’t a bad thing either! Any suggestions?