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Question for finishers #3007037 09/07/19 03:09 PM
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picker Offline OP
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I bought this neck for a partscaster. Strat neck I ordered a waterslide decal to go on the headstock, and I'm wondering what to go over it with. I'm not certain what the finish on the neck itself is, and it was made in China, so getting in touch with the maker is a bit problematic. It might be acrylic lacquer, or urethane. I suspect the latter, because its a pretty thick coating. What should I use to coat over the decal? Any ideas?



Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3007046 09/07/19 03:51 PM
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By the way, here's the rest of the guitar. I call her Goldie. The seller said it is covered in real Gold Leaf. Given the $150 price I paid for it, I have my doubts. But I did a little research on gold leaf, and it's possible he was telling the truth. In any event, I think it looks right spiffy,


[Linked Image from i162.photobucket.com]


The pickups are Artec, I think. I bought them from Musiclilly on Amazon, The whammy had to be lowered to the body, because it didn't have much travel after I put the GFS brass block on it. But I don't really use a whammy bar much these days, kinda got out of the habit. The gold hardware is pretty much all Amazon too. All told, I have about $275-$300 in parts on it. It plays pretty nice, and the low volume sound is nice too, a bit more bassy than real single coils, but still fairly stratty, and no 60 cycle hum in there. A bit more output too. I can't really crank it in my apartment, but I'm helping host a jam this weekend, so I'll get to put her through her paces.


Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3007053 09/07/19 05:41 PM
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Nice looking instrument picker, I like the gold, I have no advice on how to finish over the waterslide decal. But I hope you have many years of pickin pleasure on Goldie.


dbm
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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3007059 09/07/19 06:23 PM
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Thanks DBM!


Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3007066 09/07/19 07:50 PM
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@Picker - a site called Squier Talk is dedicated to modding Squier Guitars, and you'd probably find some advice on finishing over the decal, or removing it. Give me a moment - Squier Talk


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3007094 09/07/19 10:28 PM
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Nice looking axe Picker! I might opt for a single coil in the middle position to get more Strat sounds out of the 2nd and 3rd switch positions when combining with the rails. I think I would remove the tuning machines and the string trees on the head stock...sand all the finish off on the face only, down to the wood...put on the decal and then choose lacquer or urethane whichever you prefer and refinish the face (headstock edges too if you prefer)...thus you can avoid any mismatch, pealing etc. on the face. Then put the tuners and string trees back on...just a DIY thought. cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3007120 09/08/19 08:44 AM
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Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted by picker
I call her Goldie. The seller said it is covered in real Gold Leaf. Given the $150 price I paid for it, I have my doubts. But I did a little research on gold leaf, and it's possible he was telling the truth. In any event, I think it looks right spiffy.

Indeed she does!


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3011043 10/04/19 05:30 PM
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That is a real beautiful guitar - especially the neck. For that price I'm tempted.

To tackle the decal, I can't tell from the photo if it is high-gloss or semi - you can buy a small bottle of urethane or lacquer at a local hobby and brush
on a tiny, tiny dab to a small area behind the neck somewhere were it won't be touched by your palm while playing. If it takes it will dry normally and not leave
cracks or wrinkles - then apply to the decal with very light thin strokes - 1-2 coats will do.

Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3011580 10/09/19 01:51 AM
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Latest news about Goldie;
I found one of the EMG DG20 setups for $250 on Reverb, bought it, and now it's mounted and working. It really puts some OOOMPH! to the sound. I'm gonna be getting used to the controls for a while, because it isn't like an ordinary strat aat all. But, I think it's gonna be fun!


Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3011602 10/09/19 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by picker
Latest news about Goldie;
I found one of the EMG DG20 setups for $250 on Reverb, bought it, and now it's mounted and working. It really puts some OOOMPH! to the sound. I'm gonna be getting used to the controls for a while, because it isn't like an ordinary strat aat all. But, I think it's gonna be fun!


First of all it is very likely that your neck is finished in a water based UV cured material. The curing time is too fast to ignore so many manufacturers have gone with it. Very efficient, less chance of dust, no VOCs and the finished parts move through the factory more quickly. The safe spot to test other finishes is the base of the neck that is hidden in the neck mounting route.

Consider consulting with somebody at a paint shop (auto body). Slip them a $10 and tell them what you have.

Now, your EMG pickups. Way back in the 80's I started installing those for customers (former guitar tech here). Some of the clubs we were gigging had dangerous wiring. 2 prong or improperly grounded and/or a dimmer on the lights that made the entire sound system including all guitar and bass amps HUM.
Got my face blown off a couple of times and once I am pretty sure everybody saw my skeleton.
After I put a couple sets of EMGs in I realized that they could solve my problem of being shocked and also might reduce the hum. They do not require a ground wire to the bridge (strings) and one should not be hooked up. It is safe at all times to touch the strings, the mic won't shoot sparks when you get close.

I've got a set on one guitar that I've been using since 1988. I haven't been shocked. It didn't always help with the hum but sometimes it did.

My advice is to lower them down a bit. The SAs are sweet if you don't put them too close to the strings. The very low strength magnetic field allows the strings to vibrate consistently without a friction load (magnetic force can have the same effect as friction). The strings will ring longer, be more even in response and your guitar's intonation will be more accurate. Plus, lowering the output of the guitar allows turning the amp up a bit, usually sounds better.

Got a parts Strat and Tele, both with neck and bridge EMGs and gigged exclusively right now. Be sure to fire up that SPC control - the Mid Boost. That'll make her sing!!!!
Have fun, Kuru


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3011618 10/09/19 04:07 AM
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@ Picker, I have EMG setups on 3 of my Strats and I really like them...I think you're going to love them on Goldie! cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Question for finishers [Re: KuruPrionz] #3011625 10/09/19 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by picker
I found one of the EMG DG20 setups for $250 on Reverb, bought it, and now it's mounted and working. It really puts some OOOMPH! to the sound. I'm gonna be getting used to the controls for a while, because it isn't like an ordinary strat at all. But, I think it's gonna be fun!


Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Now, your EMG pickups... Be sure to fire up that SPC control - the Mid Boost. That'll make her sing!!!!


cool KuruPrionz speaks the truth. The EMG SPC rocks. It's a GREAT lead-boost, not only for single-coil style pickups like the EMG SA's, but also for humbuckers, including EMG's already sweet 85.

I've talked at least two other GPF Members into adding that SPC module to their guitars over the years, and they were thrilled with the results. I should add one to my Les Paul! I know I'd enjoy it. [Linked Image] Or, maybe putting one into a pedal-enclosure with a stomp-switch would more simply allow me to effectively add it to any guitar 'on the fly'; hmmm...

So, picker- does that also sport an EMG EXG "Expander"- that scoops-out mids while boosting treble and bass? Also very cool, though maybe best suited for clean tones...


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3011914 10/11/19 03:57 AM
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+1 I have the EXG and SPC on one of my Gilmour EMG 3 singles Strat setups. Very cool! cool


@ Caevan, I like the stomp box idea! cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3012922 10/19/19 12:09 PM
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Hmm, never thought about lowering them. I wonder, will that make it sound more authentically Stratocasterish? I have noticed Gilmour's EMG equipped strat sounds pretty authentic that way.

Does anybody here have experience with the DG20 setup? I'm finding possibilities with the EXG & SPC circuits, but I'm wondering if anybody who has explored the ground before can guide me a bit.


Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



Re: Question for finishers [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3012924 10/19/19 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted by picker
I found one of the EMG DG20 setups for $250 on Reverb, bought it, and now it's mounted and working. It really puts some OOOMPH! to the sound. I'm gonna be getting used to the controls for a while, because it isn't like an ordinary strat at all. But, I think it's gonna be fun!


Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Now, your EMG pickups... Be sure to fire up that SPC control - the Mid Boost. That'll make her sing!!!!


cool KuruPrionz speaks the truth. The EMG SPC rocks. It's a GREAT lead-boost, not only for single-coil style pickups like the EMG SA's, but also for humbuckers, including EMG's already sweet 85.


I'm digging that a lot! I'm curious, have you tried the SPC with ordinary single coils?

Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
I've talked at least two other GPF Members into adding that SPC module to their guitars over the years, and they were thrilled with the results. I should add one to my Les Paul! I know I'd enjoy it. [Linked Image] Or, maybe putting one into a pedal-enclosure with a stomp-switch would more simply allow me to effectively add it to any guitar 'on the fly'; hmmm....


That's a killer idea!

Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
So, picker- does that also sport an EMG EXG "Expander"- that scoops-out mids while boosting treble and bass? Also very cool, though maybe best suited for clean tones...


Yes, it does. I'm looking for guidance on using the EXG & SPC. Both of them full on is kind of odd sounding.


Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3012945 10/19/19 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by picker

I'm digging that a lot! I'm curious, have you tried the SPC with ordinary single coils?

Yes, it does. I'm looking for guidance on using the EXG & SPC. Both of them full on is kind of odd sounding.


I've never tried an SPC with anything but EMG pickups. I did install one of their booster preamps (don't recall the model) in a passive pickup guitar with no problems.

The SPC and EXG are very different. The SPC boosts a broad band of midrange. The EXG scoops the mids.
Trying to use them both at once probably does not work very well since they will tend to defeat each other's intended purpose.

SPC is great for bringing your solos out front over the band. It provides more oomph in the range of a vocalist. EXG would be useful if your guitar tone is too "midrangey", to play behind the vocalist and not compete with their frequencies.

To be honest, I have my SPC and volume cranked almost all the time. Once in a while I do volume pot swells - rarely. SPC stays up all the way all the time.
You'll have to find what works for you. If the SPC is too much cranked for your sound, just turn down until you like it.
Having control over your mids is what that system is all about.
Now you have me thinking!!! EMG also sells a double ganged pot with a center detent - intended for a two pickup bass instead of individual volumes like a Jazz Bass.
I guess you could crank both the SPC and EXG up, hide them in under the pickguard and use the double ganged pot to smoothly go from one to the other. One knob, both mid boost and cut.
I might have to try that!


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3012947 10/19/19 03:53 PM
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My Strat has been sitting the case for a long time but I went and took a peek as it's pretty much where I left it as far as settings on the tone knobs. I rolled the middle tone off down to to between 6 and 7, and the bottom tone off down to 8. Let your ear be your guide. I started out with both knobs in the middle position. Then on the top I went clockwise and then counter clock wise repeating till I found a sweet spot. Did the same on the bottom. I was a full on treble on both knobs on the stock tone pot settings...this may give you a starting point idea. Then add pedals, amp settings, etc., and do it again. I know I didn't move mine after finding my sweet spot(s). If I plugged it in now to the amp I'm using, I would start over. cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3012948 10/19/19 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by picker
I'm digging that [SPC for a lead-boost] a lot! I'm curious, have you tried the SPC with ordinary single coils?

I have not- yet- but at least two past GPF Members here have bought SPC's when I recommended 'em, and installed them with "normal" passive pickups- and enjoyed them immensely. I've even been tempted to install one in my Les Paul!

Originally Posted by picker
Yes, it does [have the SPC and EXG] . I'm looking for guidance on using the EXG & SPC. Both of them full on is kind of odd sounding.

In a nutshell, the SPC is particularly great with overdrive and distortion, but also nice and smooth and fat with clean tones; while the EXG excels at clean and clean-ish tones. They're almost like opposites of each other in what they do in sculpting your EQ and tone.

Start with BOTH the SPC and EXG rolled COMPLETELY OFF. They're bypassed when rolled off; not like normal tone-controls. Turned all the way down, you get your guitar's normal sound minus the SPC and EXG.


(Now, bear in mind that vintage and vintage-style fuzzes and octave-fuzzes and treble-boosters and the like might not work well with the SPC and/or EXG, even with them rolled all the way off. 'Depends'. crazy Trial-and-error and YOUR ears and tastes will make the final determination of that.)


Try using the SPC by itself for clean and overdriven and distorted sounds, rolled up till YOU hear and feel something that makes YOU smile. smile The SPC is very versatile for clean and dirty tones! The higher you turn it, the more it will make your single-coil pickups impersonate vintage-y P.A.F. style humbuckers- more mids and low-mids and lows, a little less treble and attack. Overall output-volume and lows and mids all go up while highs simultaneously go down just a tad.


Then turn the SPC all the way off again, and try the EXG by itself.


The EXG increases low-bass and high-treble, while simultaneously scooping-out the mids. This can sound AMAZING for really clean sounds! "Bell tones". Play SRV's "Lenny" with the EXG turned-up through a clean or clean-ish tone with reverb and you will smile SO HARD your face will hurt.

Then, with the EXG dimed, start playing low notes and chords and depress that Strat's whammy-bar to go really low in the deep-end. You'll love how the lows are really powerfully emphasized and just hang in there. rawk cool

Then, experiment with the EXG at various settings with overdrive and distortion, and also use your guitar's volume-knob, to find "sweet-spots" where a cool textural character jumps out. I used to enjoy using the EXG this way to get scooped-out overdriven and distorted tones with a sharp, spiky attack that evoked Jimmy Page's playing with his famous old Danelectro guitar with those "lipstick-tube" pickups.

Clean or dirtied-up, the EXG is UBER COOL with lots of reverb and echo.


Then, of course, you can mix 'n' match 'em to taste, blending their contributions by ear.

Enjoy! rawk



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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013066 10/20/19 08:57 PM
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How low do you have your pickups? What is the distance between them and the strings?


Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013076 10/20/19 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by picker
How low do you have your pickups? What is the distance between them and the strings?


You don't have EMG's on that "Goldie", do you?

Oh, man, it's been a LO0O0O0O0ONG time since I used EMG pickups, and I don't remember a measurement; I was also trying to balance the outputs between the single-coil sized SA's at the neck and middle, and the humbucker-style 85 at the bridge, so probably not exactly optimum.

I really loved the SPC and EXG modules, though. And also those pickups- especially that 85 humbucker.


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013078 10/21/19 12:18 AM
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I got the full-bull Gilmour rig in Goldie, the EMG DG20. 3 SAs with the EXG and SPC. I was never that interested active electronics, but I was thinking about Gilmour' has one of my favorite strat tones I had the money, and when I saw the DG20 for that price, I decided to pull the trigger.

Frankly, the whole guitar is a total expression of G.A.S. I'm not playing with a band these days, and going to jams is getting pretty stale, so I don't need for another axe. I just wanted it. Waste of money, actually.
I was thinking about trying to find a candy apple red strat with a maple neck, just to have it look more like DGs. What's really sad is, I don't really like strats all that much, and if I got the red one, I'd have 3 of them, the white Hendrix, Goldie, and the red. wacko



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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013080 10/21/19 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by picker
How low do you have your pickups? What is the distance between them and the strings?


On my gigging Frankenstrat -

Neck pickup
6th string (Low E) 3/16" 1st strng (High E) 5/32"
Bridge pickup
6th string 5/32" 1st string 3/32"

EMG installation instructions used to say fret your two outside strings (6 and 1) at the highest fret and set the pickups as close as possible without buzzing. Bear in mind the Strat/Tele pickups are a bit lower output to match the actual pickups better. The humbuckers are really hot, at least the 60, 85 and 81 are. I have an 81 in my 86 335 Studio and it's down more than that.

If they sound harsh, lower them until they don't.

On the other hand, the SPC really kicks the SA pickups in my Strat up something fierce. A friend let me plug in to his Deluxe Reverb reissue that he has dialed for his Strat with passive single coils and it scared the crap out of both of us - twice as loud!!!!! That's after the fact so it's not harsh, just very clear and a nice crisp attack.

That lets me use less gain on the amp and still make it sing. Less hum too, amp gain stages usually have some hum when they are turned up a bit.

You will see posts in various guitar forums about EMGs being harsh and cold, that was my 81 until I figured out to ignore EMG and lower the pickup.
They've definately lost some fans that way. Signal to noise ratio is better but the tone suffers.


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013081 10/21/19 12:38 AM
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Does anybody know how high or low Gilmour sets his?


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013085 10/21/19 01:03 AM
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No, I bet he doesn't either.
The luxury of having a guitar tech!!!

Gilmour stopped using the EMG Strat set up some time ago as far as I know.
He originally wanted EMGs because playing on stage with Pink Floyd and single coil pickups was causing a serious hum problem, all the lighting, massive AC lines nearby etc.

He switched and then switched back.

With stock strat pickups I would probably set the bridge pickup another 1/32" lower than I stated above for the EMG. Then I would adjust the middle and neck pickups to match the volumes. That puts them a bit lower. This is to prevent intonation problems caused by having 3 strong magnetic fields on one side of the string and no magnetic fields on the other side. If you've ever experienced it, it's just not a pretty sound.


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013086 10/21/19 01:04 AM
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Did a little research, and found this on Gilourish.com.
"While EMG recommends placing the pickups close to the strings, David preferred them as low as possible to emulate the output and tone of his passive single coils."


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013094 10/21/19 02:37 AM
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I'd say, set 'em where YOU like the sound o'f 'em!

Start with the bridge pickup; then set the middle and neck to almost match it in output.

Do all of this pickup-height adjustment with the SPC and EXG rolled completely all the way down OFF.


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013100 10/21/19 05:05 AM
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My tech mounted my DG20 pickguard and as far as I know he didn't adjust the pickup heights leaving them as set up by EMG. I did have him route out a flat spot under the spring cover plate so we could lay the battery in the back and not have to remove the pickguard in order to change the battery. This is similar to the Clapton Strat with the battery under the spring plate but his is mounted sideways with a much more sophisticated routing. All 3 of my EMG set ups are routed the same way. We did remove one of the trem springs to facilitate the battery and two springs still does the trem job quite well. The bridge is mounted flat on the body so I only go down with the trem as I like to rest my palm on the bridge and don't like it floating. Here is a vid on how Gilmour used the EXG and SPC which should give you some good ideas:



cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Question for finishers [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3013101 10/21/19 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
I'd say, set 'em where YOU like the sound o'f 'em!

Start with the bridge pickup; then set the middle and neck to almost match it in output.

Do all of this pickup-height adjustment with the SPC and EXG rolled completely all the way down OFF.



I agree with you but he did ask where I set them so there's that. They are very quiet, could be set lower.
I had them higher and the attack was a bit sharp for my tastes. I run low to medium gain, high gain might be different.


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013242 10/22/19 12:56 AM
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Anybody know how Gilmour liked his Big Muff set? The clip of the guy playing through his sound pretty tasty, and I don't usually like fuzzes.


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Re: Question for finishers [Re: picker] #3013267 10/22/19 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by picker
Anybody know how Gilmour liked his Big Muff set? The clip of the guy playing through his sound pretty tasty, and I don't usually like fuzzes.


I think it was often with the Sustain (fuzz/gain) set kinda middle-ish, not up high, and the Volume also a bit mid-way; Tone to taste, also not too high, maybe just past Noon at a "sweet-spot". I have a really cool, extremely versatile "triangle era" Big Muff-based pedal*, and that's how I got the closest to those Gilmour/Floyd tones with it. Not super fuzzy, more of a gain-stage 'bump' that's smoother and more overdrive-like.

The amp you're using will have a lot to do with it, too, as the Big Muff Pi has a big scoop out of the overall midrange (the Muff-based pedal I have has a Mid control that helps a lot here). Typical Fender amps tend to make this worse, having a somewhat scooped midrange themselves; if I understand correctly, Gilmour most often used Hiwatt amps with his Muffs (old "violet ram's head" and Russian-made Sovtek Big Muff), a LOUD, POWERFUL, CLEAN high-headroom amp, along with other pedals like a Colorsound Powerbooster or a Chandler Tube Driver after the Muff to slightly boost the volume and gain while also smoothing and warming the tone.

Try following your Muff with something like a Tube Screamer style set sorta semi clean-ish, or a Fulltone 2B or Full-Drive 3, all easier to find (and afford!) than a Powerbooster or Tube Driver.

I speak from experience with both the FD-3 and 2B, as I own both pedals, one of each, individually. The FD-3 even IS both pedals in one, including the 2B as the "Boost" side, with its own footswitch; I had that first, and liked what the FD-3's Boost side did so much that I then bought a 2B as well. They're both great by themselves, or with other pedals like a Muff, stacked before or after.

Tube Screamers and their ilk, like the FD-3, bump-up the midrange, evening-out that mid-scoop of the Muff; while the 2B, a very little pedal that does seemingly complex things with delightfully simple controls (just two!) very subtly rolls-off high-treble-

-so subtly, that it pretty much sounds like there's little or no difference when it's on, other than the boost and sustain, but that's the point, CLEAN, CLEAR and SMOOTH and WARM, NATURAL buffering and boosting, NEVER glassy or harsh-

-and smooths the tone while allowing for both boosting and limiting, acting kind of like a compressor without BEING a compressor and not messing with your arrack and tone in bad ways the way a compressor can; it's a 'clean-boost' and buffer that can easily overdrive other pedals and amps IF YOU WANT IT TO and NEVER sounds harsh. (Run a 2B on 18v for best results.) They're relatively cheap, too! (If you ever want the best deal on a brand-new, full warranty one, search up the "Blem" sales direct from Fulltone.)

Don't you have an EH Soul Food, Klon Centaur/KTR based "transparent" overdrive pedal, picker? Try that after a Muff-stylee, as well!

*My really cool, extremely versatile "triangle era" Big Muff-based pedal is a VFE Fiery Red Horse 'V1', the very last one made when he switched to V2, also a very cool pedal that I'd like to have someday; I got my FRH direct from its maker Peter Rutter for all of $99, brand-new, full warranty, no tax, free shipping. What a guy!


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
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