Sunday, April 5, 2009

Red Quilted Strat Build - Part 6

This blog post did not transfer from my old blog at so here it is:

Finished the Strat today - my customer Elliot just collected it and he was very happy. Here are the final steps in the build:Setting the bridge saddles to the same radius as the fretboard and pre set the saddles for intonation (just a guess at this point):

Pickups arrived - really impressed with the quality and service from Bare Knuckles - Tim Mills hand wound these pickups specifically for this guitar. On his advice I went with just a zinc base plate on the bridge pickup. The base plate gives the pickup more high frequency response and because it is grounded, it helps to shield the pickup from unwanted signals. On a side note - when CBS Musical Instruments owned Fender, the reflector plates were omitted. Bridge pickups from this period without the base plates tend not to cut through a mixture of instruments well, but they still sound the part i.e. Hendrix etc.

Here are the pickups installed into the pick guard - nice cloth wire on the Bare Knuckles.

Installed the Pickguard - now its time to do the final setup & adjustments. Here I am taking a reading of the action at the 12th fret - looks a bit high..

Tweak the truss rod to allow very slight relief - in this case 0.006" that's 0.15mm - it seemed to be the ideal setting (after much testing and adjustment):

After setting the action at 0.065" (1.65mm) for the Bass E and around 0.050 (1.27mm) at the treble E I was happy. Here I am setting the final intonation:

Tested the guitar and it plays great - I am really happy with the build. It went quite smoothly and the guitar is a real pleasure to play and hear. I find the Bare Knuckle pickups to be of excellent quality, superb sound and excellent value - better than any other big name pickup I have used. If you are interested in a Strat build, please give me a call - the price is less than a USA Standard Strat. Here is a close up of the finished guitar - click on the picture for a bigger version:

Thanks for Elliot & his Family for allowing me to use his build on my blog - take care of the Guitar and if you have any questions or concerns just give me a call.

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