C18Q1 Midi guitar

In a rash moment I’ve bought this collection from @TTony:



So now I need to decide what I’m going to do with it. The only rule so far is that it has to be giggable.
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  • Thereby hangs a tail.

    The Acousti-Phonic circuit board produces an audio signal. The Hexpander circuit board can not. It requires an outboard sound module capable of responding to MIDI Mode 4. The sound module requires its own stereo amplification. You will soon require the services of a roadie to shift it all.  :s
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    WezV said (in @TTony's thread):
    Roland said:
    Roland has given himself a challenge, because now he’s got to build a guitar to house the Graphtech stuff.
    I hope it’s cedar bodied.  I think I am nearly near the point of using the bit I got from your tree... I keep thinking about all all uk wood build after discussing with you, so some of your cedar for the body, Douglas for for the neck....not sure about fretboard yet
    I've got a branch of walnut that's been drying for two years. Being a branch it's probably going to warp over time, so not suitable for a solid neck. We could slice it for a body cap, fretboards, and even laminates for a neck.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385

    You will soon require the services of a roadie to shift it all.
    We'd all like a roadie. When I gigged a midi guitar with a previous band it was to supplement the sound because we didn't have keys. We only needed four sounds: string pad, vocal pad, Hammond, and synth lead. The extra gear was a GR-33 synth which sat on the floor. Synth output was mixed into the back end of the AxeFX chain, and straight into the FX Return of a 2x12 valve combo. This time I'll either do that, or keep the GR-33 in my rack box, and add a couple of buttons and a volume pedal to my floor board.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 12355
    Roland said:

    I've got a branch of walnut that's been drying for two years.
    Nice.

    I like walnut for caps - where you can see/appreciate the grain pattern and colouring of a nice piece.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    In previous build threads we've noted that the planning stage can be as interesting as the actual construction. So this is a post about planning.

    A key part of any project is deciding which risks you are going to take. In guitar building terms this means what am I going to do that I haven't tried before. As @WezV knows, I have an ambition to build a guitar from local wood. By local I mean within a mile or so of my house. I haven't found any local wood which is suitable for a neck, and once I do it will have to season. So that challenge is probably a couple of years away. The guitar will have a cedar body, but I'll buy wood for the neck.

    For some time the next objective on my personal journey has been to make my own necks. To date I've used recycled necks that I bought through the forum, plus that cheap Chinese disaster that had the frets in the wrong positions. Now is the time to make my own. I haven't decided whether to stick to 25.5", which I'm used to, or go for something shorter. I find it difficult to play Message In A Bottle on 25.5", but easy on PRS or shorter. Opinions welcome.

    MIDI and piezos are low risk. I've done it before, albeit not with a Tele bridge.

    Pickup wise my starting point is an Oil City Californian and Wapping Wharf. I do like the twin sounds that a tapped single coil bridge pickup gives. However I'm tempted to put a P90 neck in this one, believing that I can use piezos, rather than neck pickup, to drive an acoustic simulation.

    Controls will most likely be three volumes (magnetics, Piezo, and MIDI), magnetic tone, and some form of magnetic switching. There will be no MIDI switching on the guitar. I need to see the GR-33 display when I change patches so I might as well switch from the floor.



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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 12355
    Roland said:

    For some time the next objective on my personal journey has been to make my own necks. 

    Necks have always been my stumbling block.

    Shouldn't be, I've done necks.  But under the watchful eye of Mr Bailey. things never seem to go wrong, whereas when I'm in my own workshop, they have a tendency to go plenty wrong!

    Consequently, I've wimped out and have a stock of premade necks that will probably see me though all the guitar builds that I ever do ...

    What woods are you using for the neck, and how are you going to fit the frets?
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    KISS for the first attempt. All the necks you sold me were rosewood on maple, so I’ll be sticking with that.

    The decision is whether to buy a ready slotted board or a blank. I favour the blank, which I’ll slot by hand. To slot and radius I’ll need to make cutting and radiusing jigs.

    Fret jobs I've done before. Previously I’ve tapped the frets in with a plastic hammer. Now that I’ve got a pillar drill I’ll try using that to press the frets in, for which I’ll need to make a caul.

    So lots of fun Making jigs and tools.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 12355
    Roland said:

    The decision is whether to buy a ready slotted board or a blank. I favour the blank, which I’ll slot by hand. To slot and radius I’ll need to make cutting and radiusing jigs.

    If you think you'll be doing a few, then something like the StewMac jig would make sense.

    If you'll only be doing one or two, then you can mark it out by hand and cut freehand.  Both with lots of care!

    I've got a router cutter somewhere that puts a radius on a fretboard blank.  Bought it back in the days of UKGB from a guy in Vietnam IIRC!
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    For this one I’ll make a perpendicular cutting frame, and measure the fret positions manually. I have a congenital objection to paying StewMac prices for something which I can make myself.

    Last year (ie 2016) ago I re-radiused a couple of necks, during which I made a couple of radiused router sledges. They’ll do for rough radiusing, and I’ll make a concave sanding block to finish off. For this one I’ll use 12” radius. For future necks I want to try different radii, and also compound. The subtext is that, after 47 years of playing, I’m still exploring the impact of dimensional and material differences.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    OK. The new year is here, and it's time to firm up on my Q1 challenge. It's in three parts:
    1. Make a 25.5" scale neck from maple and rosewood blanks. The radius will be 12", and the thinnish profile will match the Yamaha Pacifica neck which I used in an earlier build.
    2. Make and single bind a Telecaster body. The body will have a deep forearm champfer, which makes it an interesting challenge cutting the ledge for the binding.
    3. Mount all of the controls from behind, which means the body top will be quite thin at that point, and fit all the MIDI gubbins into the guitar.
    Along the way several jigs and templates will get made:
    • Telecaster neck template.
    • Fret slotting jig. Actually I might just use a metal set square to guide the saw blade.
    • 12" radius sanding block.
    • 12" radius caul for pressing frets.

    The bits are ordered, or left over from previous builds. All I need to do now is find the time.

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    edited January 3
    The good thing about rainy days is that gardening and external maintenance tasks languish on the To Do list. Instead I made a neck template and some profile templates.

    Somewhere I read that Fender's 60's neck profile is an ellipse. That seemed the sort of shape which Yamaha would use too. If not then it would be a good starting point. Using drawing software I printed ellipses which match the width and depth of my favourite necks, stuck them on plywood, and cut them out with a scrollsaw. Plywood seemed a good idea. Metal would be more precise, and more durable, but likely to scratch the finish.



    They match the neck perfectly.



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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 12355
    Your image isn't showing.

    I don't think that we've cracked embedding from Google sources since they changed the rules on Picasa ...
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    edited January 7
    Tick tock. Parts are here, but still waiting for the neck and fretboard wood to turn up. In the mean time I’ve made a neck template, 12” radiusing jig and 12” sanding block.

    The concave sanding block was an interesting problem. I wasn’t prepared to mount my router on a swinging jig. Instead I marked out the 12” radius curve on the ends of a suitable block using an off cut from the radius jig as template. The concave section was then hollowed out by:
    - removing lines of wood with the router, using a rounded bit,
    - smoothing the ridges which this created using a bobbin sander,
    - sanding to section using abrasive paper stuck to the 12”radius off cut.
    Sanding by hand meant that I had to be careful not to create a dip in the middle of the block.

    Yesterday I was thinking about the shape of the guitar. Two things that I’m not happy with on recent builds are the 25.5” scale (because of the stretch on MIAB mentioned above), and the strap balance. On my lastest build I pushed the strap button out by 1/4”, but it’s not enough. Last night I drew the modified Telecaster outline on a Stratocaster blueprint, and then pencilled in an upper horn which is somewhere between the two. This will put the strap button roughly where it is on a PRS.


    Still thinking about the scale length.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1385
    Still waiting for wood. This afternoon I had an email to say that the neck and fretboard blanks will be shipped next week. I see that other people have already finished their challenges. There’s not a lot that I can do until the wood turns up.
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 837
    It's not a race! 
    Mine is finished, but I already had most of the parts as I was planning the build, then the challenge was announced.....and assembling a partscaster is much quicker than building from scratch
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 8870
    Cool! I shall keep an interested eye on this as my C18Q1 guitar is also going to be midi. 
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 7220
    Roland said:
    Still waiting for wood. This afternoon I had an email to say that the neck and fretboard blanks will be shipped next week. I see that other people have already finished their challenges. There’s not a lot that I can do until the wood turns up.
    You should really give it a couple of weeks to acclimatise when it does arrive 
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