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Q&A, discussion, and information for the labels covered by The Guitar Gallery (Specifically and exclusively guitars made by Matsumoku up to 1987)
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan 2016 04:12 AM 
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Location: Mount Hunter, NSW, Australia.
I'm just going to open this thread up in preparation for moving forward with the Avenger job; I have stripped it back and and starting to fill all of the nicks and cracks with a polyester filler.

My goodness, that paint just did not want to come off; I had to use my little burner for the major areas until it stopped working; it was an $8 butane burner so it did very well, I think! I went all medieval on the poor bloody thing around the inside of the horns and tore the paint off with a rasp!! Worked a treat but I recommend care is taken if anyone chooses to do this!

Everything sanded down beautifully, though and I'm now browsing the online shops for all of the hardware I'm going to need!

Oh, and I'm leaning towards a purple blackburst for body and headstock... any other ideas, fellas?? Toying with the idea of putting a veneer on the front, but there's not the sort I want in Australia that I've found so far. Whaddya reckon?

Does anyone have a chrome, string through bridge for one of these? Mine is gold and in rag order; the size is orphan - 70mm x 38mm with 10.5mm string spacing. I've also managed to wreck one of the machine heads while servicing them - they were all jammed solid and needed some TLC - so if someone has a spare, I'm all ears!

I'll post a pic or two tomorrow...

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan 2016 10:45 AM 
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Glad to hear that the local fire department was not needed and that the house is still standing! :lol:
Man, the horror stories in here and elsewhere about the effort to remove an Uncle Mats' finish would fill a book eh?

Hey, I had an idea (yes I know, you thought you smelled more burning wood).
BTW I think the purple burst is gonna be great looking, and if you can lay a veneer on it, it'll be fantastic!

How about turning this baby into something a little bit different (tonally)? The 45's are great to have, but you've already got a bunch o' geetars that'll do that. Here's my thinking.

1) About your search for a bridge, I replaced the bridge on one of my Danelectros with a GE Smith Tele Bridge (that's the half size one) and it's terrific. The Avenger is a Tele'sh guitar so I thought...hmm. It comes in around 54 mm string spacing which is close enough, but the overall footprint is smaller. That might present other fitting problems for you, but since you're rebuilding anyway...?

2) That bridge then suggested another idea to me. How about converting this Avenger into a pseudo Cabronita? (rough translation, little bastard) In other words, replace the 45's with Filtertron type pups.

We had a used Fender Cabronita Tele once at the shop and it was an interesting/different sound. Sold almost the same day it came in too!

Could be an adventure matey. :hyper:

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan 2016 03:54 PM 
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Funny you should mention pickup changes, Barry....

.... P90s!!

Whaddya reckon?!

Cabronita. Hmmmmmm.... I'll have to Google that as I know bugger-all about them. Open to anything, really! Filtertrons... that's the Gretsch jobbies, yes?

The veneer is a maybe; I've got to find the right type of flame firstly!

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of changing things about without changing the looks or feel of the guitar as I really like 'em!

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan 2016 10:11 PM 
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P90's, the bacon of the pickup world? Hell yeah! :D

Yeah, the Filtertron is a Gretsch thing. Supremely silly name, should be a vacuum cleaner, but they sound terrific...on a Gretsch...and not so bad on the Tele either. Likely overkill on the price though.
Have look at this review for starters if you haven't seen it already:
http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Fender_Cabronita_Telecaster_Electric_Guitar_Review

Hey another option in a similar vein are gold foil pups. GFS offers 'em in a variety of flavours:
http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS-Gold-Foil-Pickups_c_525.html

All you need is money eh? :rofl:

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2016 02:29 AM 
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Location: Mount Hunter, NSW, Australia.
Barry wrote:
All you need is money eh? :rofl:


Which is a problem when your discretionary funding is not great!!
We're underway...

Image

Image

... lots of filling the small nicks and scratches.

Image

Work area; on my wee zoomie stool with a B&D Workmate...

Image

Hideous bridge..

Image

Nut's ready to be re-fitted!! :hyper:

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2016 10:30 AM 
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That bridge is a fugly mess alright, but looks like it's salvageable?
If you go with a veneer top, that relief section below the pups could be a right PITA to deal with. Maybe the black edging would hide the edge a bit eh?

Go, go, go Johnny, go! Johnny B. Goode.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2016 11:26 AM 
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I could never find a string through bridge to match the string spacing exactly on the CS. I ended up plugging the holes in the back of the Cheesecake Deluxe and installing a rear loading Schaller roller bridge. Very nice bridge. A bit pricey but you get what you pay for. Get it installed right and you can install anything from 8s to 13s and still set the intonation. The saddles have a really long throw. Avoid cheap. Cheap is cheap because it IS cheap. Avoid sheet metal saddles too. They rust at the saddle height screws. The beefier the saddles the better the sustain and vibration transmission to the body.

http://www.therathole.org/guitar/gone/i ... /pics.html

http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par ... ridge.html

In comparison the economy model rear loading bridge may look nice and shiny those pot metal saddles break easily and seize up prematurely, especially if you sweat a lot while playing. That was the only design flaw with the CS series. The strings bend at an odd angle under the saddles also.

http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par ... ridge.html

Another option would be an adjustable wrap around.

http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par ... ridge.html

As far as P-90s go I had a set of GFS Mean 90s in one of mine and they were quite ballsy for a single coil. They could get pretty rude if you wanted them to but were still more articulate than humbuckers. They fit perfectly in a humbucker rout and use standard humbucker rings. Not bad at all for about $35 a pop. Not quite Duncans but to my ear not as 90-ish as the GFS either.

As with ANY pickup you'll want to dip them yourself. Even pickups touting they hare dipped could only be loosely referred to as dipped. I use a 30-70 ratio of bee's wax and paraffin. Too much bee's and the dipping is sticky, too much paraffin and the dipping can crack in cooler weather as paraffin tends to expand and contract more with temperature. Cracked dipping can easily break a hair thin winding.

Dip em at about 140F for about 20-40 minutes at a time with the pole pieced pointed down so the back plate is up. This allows air to escape easily and eliminates air pockets under the cover. Some people use rubber bands wrapped around the winding but I never have. Don't use a pot directly on the stove. Double boiler and keep a close eye on the temp, or a small crock pot works better which is what I use. Get the temp right before hand and no worries. Several times I will pull them out carefullyby the wires and let them hang there while most of the wax drips off. Don't use metal tongs as you can damage the outside windings. Set them back in but hold them at an angle a bit as you'll see bubbles coming out.

Then set them face up leaning at an angle on the screw tabs. This lets excess wax drain out the lower edge. With real P-90s and other flush mount pickups use a couple of pencils to prop one side of the pickup up. IMPORTANT! Let them cool on their own. The wax has to settle into the windings on it's own. Too fast and the outside cools much faster than the inside, contracts faster, and could cause a winding to break. :yipes: Don't ask me how I know, I don't want to talk about it. Losing an MMK is a painful experience. Once cool you can clean the wax off the top and sides of the cover. Now you can stand right in front of the amp and your pickups will just laugh at it. :D

I bought the matched set. You might even find them cheaper on eBay but beware of fakes. The Ch***se are notorious for this. Pick auctions that display the box also. A little less chance you'd be getting fakes.

https://reverb.com/item/1014697-gfs-mea ... set-nickel

I use Ping or Shcaller (standard and mini) tuners almost exclusively but have on occasion used Grover Rotomatic Minis to get the screw holes lined up properly. I never go with the cheaper generics. One twist on the knobs and you can tell. They're sloppy, some grind, and some won't hold the string tension. Some you can't even get the tension right no matter how tight the screw is. That and the threads on the hardware and mounting screws are junk. Some ferrules refuse to seat or even thread on properly and the mounting screws sometimes snap. PITA. Save the grief, skip the cheap.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2016 05:28 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Crusty wrote:
...Another option would be an adjustable wrap around...
I like that idea.
Quote:
...As far as P-90s go I had a set of GFS Mean 90s in one of mine and they were quite ballsy for a single coil. They could get pretty rude if you wanted them to but were still more articulate than humbuckers.
Second that. Put 'em in my MIK APII TA60. Sound great.
Quote:
...Save the grief, skip the cheap.
Good advice...if you're rich! :D

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2016 05:55 PM 
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Yeah, some parts can be a bit spendy like the Schaller flush mount bridge. The PE-150 had a Leo Quann Badass wraparound bridge on it. A LOT better than the non-adjustable Gibson wraparound.

I've had bottom dollar parts bite me in the rear too many times. About the only time I used the cheapest components were for my cheapest customers with the disclaimer they get what they pay for. With mine if I didn't have the money I set the project aside and paid attention to the ones I could play until I had built up the funds. My keepers are worth the wait.

With the flood of junk chinese parts it gets worse as time goes on.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2016 06:12 PM 
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If I replace the bridge, it'll be with a Gotoh GTC102, which is just slightly bigger physically, but I am looking into getting the OEM bridge & saddles re-plated, which is my preference! Yeah; orphan size bridge plate, just a hair smaller than modern standard, or just a hair bigger than a Tele sized one... I may even go the whole hog here and put Tusq saddles in... dunno; once Lucy sees the budget blow out, there may be wailing and gnashing of teeth... my teeth!!

Oh, hell... I've been seduced by the cheap parts before now, believe you me, and then down the track a ways, had to replace those parts with quality pieces; you get what you pay for!!

Tuners will be Gotoh lockers; I've used them twice and love them and they're readily available down here for less than a kings ransom! You certainly can tell cheap from proper locking tuners, eh!! I know this because I have a set of cheap tuners on my strat, and while they're actually pretty good - not a lot of slop with no tension and pretty positive feeling - the Gotohs I've put on the LC440 and Bougainville Avenger are just light years better!!

String trees will be Kluson modern style Fender simply because I think they look nicer than Chinese roller trees and work wa-a-ay better than the OEM trees.

Yeah; the veneer thing may not fly because of the Avenger's body styling; there's three of those relieved sections at the waist and I'm unsure about affixing the veneer there; it certainly would mean a join and I don't know if said join could be camouflaged enough. I shall hie me forth with the body to a cabinet maker and have a yarn as I want a narrow black or very dark pearl purple band around the outside.

Whilst all of the guitars I've done are players, I think I shall have a crack at making this my "go-to" guitar just for sh1ts-and-giggles which means that I've got to make it as good as a Vantage VA900. It won't happen, but that's the general sort-of theme! I may even have a go at mildly re-shaping the neck though it isn't the baseball bat neck of my other Avengers but is, in fact quite sleek, with a 12" radius. I found that with the Bougainville Avenger, the effect of sanding the neck back to 2000grit and leaving it bare wood left it feeling absolutely marvellous in the hand; not too much of an issue with a primarily display piece, but I'd love to get that feeling with a working guitar. Ideas on a finish?

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