Dale Wilson Masterbuilt Gassage... Buy or Build?

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JEPBLEPJEPBLEP Frets: 183
edited June 11 in Guitar
TL;DR - Gas is alive and kicking - I've been stupendously pining over this Dale Wilson Masterbuilt Strat. It's got some wizardry going on with regards to its circuitry as well as a slightly unconventional SSH configuration featuring a de-lidded Seymour Duncan wide range humbucker. Combined with a push volume pot as you'd find on a Deluxe Stratocaster (I think?) as well as a a push-push pot in the first tone pot position, it's seems like a wicked combination to create some tonal variety. Short question: would you buy or build? Longer question: anyone got a wiring diagram for this particular setup?

The guitar in question - it's for sale in Tokyo at G-Club here. I'm traveling there later this month for business, so gassage is –naturally– at an all time high:



So Dale Wilson did some limited run Master Built series for what looks like a couple of dealerships - there's a couple of builds that follow the same kind of setup on his Instagram (here, here, and here). He did a (fairly incomprehensible) little video about it here as well:



Needless to say, I've convinced myself that this is by far the best thing since sliced bread, and that my life is not complete without it. Short of being single-handedly responsible for world peace, purchasing this would undoubtedly contribute to the betterment of all humankind*.

In parallel, I've been toying with the idea of building a guitar of my own, and this seems like a cool, and ever so slightly different project from your bog-standard partscaster, whilst still (famous last words) being fairly straight forward. Get an SSH-routed body, de-lid a Seymour Duncan wide range humbucker, burn some fingers on what would most likely be some MIT-alumni level soldering, and Bob could be your proverbial uncle. 

Anyway - thoughts? Tips? Am I being an idiot and should just forego the whole thing? Your two cents are incredibly welcome - other currencies accepted.

* Results proposed are purely indicative and detailed KPI's are to be discussed moving forwards. No legal claims can be made to this illustrative example.
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  • ruralfranceruralfrance Frets: 37
    Colour looks great but a little too niche and over-reliced for my tastes.  With that budget why not look for a refin, players pre-CBS?
    Good trades/sales with: Pluckbuddy, JDE, xXBADGERXx, Brize, alanchanxd, NigelP, Loobs, BusterCrabb, jimkehoe
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7295
    7800 quid?

    Jog on!!
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 18418
    I read the thread title as ‘Dale Winton Masterbuilt....’
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1634
    I read the thread title as ‘Dale Winton Masterbuilt....’
    That guitar would come in orange.

    (RIP Dale)
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 18418
    I read the thread title as ‘Dale Winton Masterbuilt....’
    That guitar would come in orange.

    (RIP Dale)
    And the Relic thing’s probably not right either - I’d imagine he’d want it to look younger than it actually is, rather than older....
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  • lonestarlonestar Frets: 1814
    That could be built  for £1000-1200 using good components.
    Owner of SC Relics Guitars 
    www.screlics.co.uk • www.facebook.com/screlics 
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  • JEPBLEPJEPBLEP Frets: 183
    So seems that the overwhelming response seems to be build! I always thought that Dale Wilson’s work was pretty popular, but there you go, what do I know eh!

    lonestar said:
    That could be built  for £1000-1200 using good components.
    I’m glad you’ve responded @lonestar - big fan of your work! Would you mind me pinging you a message for a quote on some of the work required if I would go the build route?

    Do you (or anyone else for that matter) have any thoughts on the complexity of the wiring/electronics in this? I found another video last night on the details of this particular series, which I’ll dig up in a tad.


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  • JEPBLEPJEPBLEP Frets: 183
    Here it is, for those interested:


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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9208
    I'm sure it's great. But I'd go MJT/ @lonestar ;/ GSP+@lamf68 and get someone really good to fettle it if needed. 

    Because that's a hilarious amount of money for a new strat. 
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  • lonestarlonestar Frets: 1814
    I'm sure it's great. But I'd go MJT/ @lonestar ;/ GSP+@lamf68 and get someone really good to fettle it if needed. 

    Because that's a hilarious amount of money for a new strat. 
    I love Wilson’s work. And I love fender. But some of their pricing... jeez, I dunno. It’s mental.

    @JEPBLEP thank you for the kind words, please feel free to message whenever you want chap
    Owner of SC Relics Guitars 
    www.screlics.co.uk • www.facebook.com/screlics 
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  • Just get the masterbuilt and lay the GAS demons to rest. If you've got it,who cares what it costs. When you're being lowered into the ground you'll probably not be thinking "Christ am I glad I didn't get that masterbuilt!" 
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5655
    Those Dale Winton's going to be worth a bit now probbo...
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • AdeyAdey Frets: 54
    Am I the only one who was expecting to read something about Supermarket Sweep...?
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7295
    Just get the masterbuilt and lay the GAS demons to rest. If you've got it,who cares what it costs. When you're being lowered into the ground you'll probably not be thinking "Christ am I glad I didn't get that masterbuilt!" 
    whilst I agree with that to a point (especially if you can afford it) I cant help but feel its just a guitar. 
    I mean 8k is a car, a massive chunk off the mortgage, a truly phenomenal holiday, a shit load of blow and hookers, whatever you can think of really. 

    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • JackobeanJackobean Frets: 151
    Of course there's a middle ground between an £8k master built Fender and a bitsa. Plenty of world class luthiers will build you something similar for much less.
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  • Just get the masterbuilt and lay the GAS demons to rest. If you've got it,who cares what it costs. When you're being lowered into the ground you'll probably not be thinking "Christ am I glad I didn't get that masterbuilt!" 
    whilst I agree with that to a point (especially if you can afford it) I cant help but feel its just a guitar. 
    I mean 8k is a car, a massive chunk off the mortgage, a truly phenomenal holiday, a shit load of blow and hookers, whatever you can think of really. 

    Maybe he doesn't have a mortgage,and posted his thread whilst on holiday with a hooker?
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  • Just do whatever makes you happy. I love Dale's Guitars.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17955
    Am I right in thinking that the SD Widerangers are Alnico V and not CuNiFe?
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • JEPBLEPJEPBLEP Frets: 183
    Just get the masterbuilt and lay the GAS demons to rest. If you've got it,who cares what it costs. When you're being lowered into the ground you'll probably not be thinking "Christ am I glad I didn't get that masterbuilt!" 
    whilst I agree with that to a point (especially if you can afford it) I cant help but feel its just a guitar. 
    I mean 8k is a car, a massive chunk off the mortgage, a truly phenomenal holiday, a shit load of blow and hookers, whatever you can think of really. 

    Maybe he doesn't have a mortgage,and posted his thread whilst on holiday with a hooker?
    Mum, is that you?
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7295
    JEPBLEP said:
    Just get the masterbuilt and lay the GAS demons to rest. If you've got it,who cares what it costs. When you're being lowered into the ground you'll probably not be thinking "Christ am I glad I didn't get that masterbuilt!" 
    whilst I agree with that to a point (especially if you can afford it) I cant help but feel its just a guitar. 
    I mean 8k is a car, a massive chunk off the mortgage, a truly phenomenal holiday, a shit load of blow and hookers, whatever you can think of really. 

    Maybe he doesn't have a mortgage,and posted his thread whilst on holiday with a hooker?
    Mum, is that you?
    your mum rules if she proposes you should lash 8k on hookers and blow
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • Strat54Strat54 Frets: 820
    Seriously, you'd spend £8k on a 'masterbuilt' that's not really built entirely by a 'masterbuilder' ? Those prices on the Japanese sites are largely made up. They aren't really that expensive. Don't pay over £5k for one if you really want one. Better still if only a masterbuilt Fender will do  then go find a secondhand example for £4k. Remember Dale didn't cut the body or neck, he didn't wind or wire up the picks/elecs.....he didn't spray the guitar or laquer the neck.....at best he did the final fretwork and relic wear. You could do a lot better for your money. 
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 96
    I’ve owned a dale Wilson as well as Mjt etc. His relicing work is exceptional. 8k is steep when you consider peach had a Dale last year for around 6k. However, he’s got an over 3 year waiting list
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  • clarkefanclarkefan Frets: 415
    Not being funny, isn't that HSS, and therefore a relatively straight forward build?
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  • Strat54Strat54 Frets: 820
    chris78 said:
    I’ve owned a dale Wilson as well as Mjt etc. His relicing work is exceptional. 8k is steep when you consider peach had a Dale last year for around 6k. However, he’s got an over 3 year waiting list
    Yes, he's the best Fender have these days when it comes to RELIC work.....alas with the time constraints he has per build if you compare his work to the likes of guys such as Carson Hess then his ageing looks quite superficial. Its no wonder they have such long wait list though when they spend several weeks a year out on overseas promo tours. Can't imagine bothering to wait for that length of time for....well anything to be built. 
    There you go...£4.5k....go bid four and stick in a humbucker of your choice. Sorted.

    https://reverb.com/item/11621098-fender-dale-wilson-2012-masterbuilt-relic-55-stratocaster-abby-pickups-10-56-neck-with-tweed-case
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  • vincechu89vincechu89 Frets: 17
    If you built a guitar, would you still want a Masterbuilt? I bought a Suhr thinking it would kill my GAS for a masterbuilt off... it hasn’t lol and has just pissed off the Mrs more!

    Perhaps try it and see how you get on, otherwise Guitar Guitar, Coda, Peach and Guitars4You have MB strats by various builders and from £4.4k to £6k...
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  • JEPBLEPJEPBLEP Frets: 183
    Strat54 said:
    Seriously, you'd spend £8k on a 'masterbuilt' that's not really built entirely by a 'masterbuilder' ? Those prices on the Japanese sites are largely made up. They aren't really that expensive. Don't pay over £5k for one if you really want one. Better still if only a masterbuilt Fender will do  then go find a secondhand example for £4k. Remember Dale didn't cut the body or neck, he didn't wind or wire up the picks/elecs.....he didn't spray the guitar or laquer the neck.....at best he did the final fretwork and relic wear. You could do a lot better for your money. 
    There's some interesting points there - I suppose the more important one is that the value can't be compared 1:1 to more artisanal builders that may –in one form or another– put more (traditional) work into their builds.

    For me ultimately any kind of price premium generally is justified in the creative originality, which to your point, isn't always the actual accredited Master Builder. Thanks for the thought starter!
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  • JEPBLEPJEPBLEP Frets: 183
    If you built a guitar, would you still want a Masterbuilt? I bought a Suhr thinking it would kill my GAS for a masterbuilt off... it hasn’t lol and has just pissed off the Mrs more!

    Perhaps try it and see how you get on, otherwise Guitar Guitar, Coda, Peach and Guitars4You have MB strats by various builders and from £4.4k to £6k...
    I suppose the main aspect of a potential Master-Built guitar would be the exclusivity - being able to own something that floats in the upper echalons of its respective field and is a one-off is something that (call me shallow) pushes all the right buttons for me.

    Having said that, the more I dive into the backstory of this one, that point seems moot as there's 2 of every colour-way. 
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  • dindudedindude Frets: 5306
    Whilst I’m a bit of a snob with lower end stuff, I just couldn’t justify that sort of cash, I’d just feel mugged off no matter how good it was. Say you pay 1k for the nicest Strat body you’ve ever seen. Then £1k for the nicest neck you ever seen. Then £1k for the nicest hardware and pickups known to man. Then pay £1k for a top luthier to put it all together and spend days breathing on it. It’s hard to know where the other £4K has gone. Just doesn’t make any sense on any level at that price. However if it makes you happy and you can afford it then all is good.
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1781
    @Gassage ... hookers ... blow ... top-dollar Strats ...

    It's all very familiar territory here.
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