This partscaster build I am calling the “Gretschcaster.” It is basically a Telecaster with some design ideas from my two Gretsch 6120 guitars. I have been thinking about this one for a long time. I wanted a Telecaster that had a Bigsby and I love Gretsch guitars. So it should be a great match.
I started with an order at Warmoth for a custom Telecaster Thinline body with “F” Hole and binding plus a neck with binding and Ebony fingerboard. Orange of course as you may have guessed. Ordered several bodies from Warmoth in the past. They make quality stuff. This will be my first Warmoth neck that I have ordered, however. I will be mounting a Bigsby B5 Telecaster kit and using some genuine Gretsch parts. Should have the Gretsch vibe without a fully custom build that I would have to pay a top luthier the big bucks for (as much as a good used car).
Recently I finished a fairly large pedalboard project for my home studio. I decided a smaller more portable one was next. I purchased a Pedaltrain Nano plus which measures only 18x5x1.4 inches (45.7×12.7×3.5 cm) and can hold about five or six pedals depending on their size. I think the Nano plus is just the right size. Comes with a soft case for easy transport.
I did not want to mount a power supply on the top and lose pedal space or daisy chain the power (using a One Spot). Daisy chaining is not always the best option as it can create ground loops and noise. Isolating the power is a better solution. I found that a Cioks DC5 Link 5-Outlet Effect Pedal Power Supply is one of the few that can be installed under this small Pedaltrain Nano plus (or Nano).
I found that after owning several digital “do-it-all” modeler/effects units (like Line 6, Fractal, etc)… That I spent more time programming, then playing the guitar. I own really good amps and some great guitars so the modeling side of things was not really worth my time. Usually the presets that come with these units are not so great and tweaking is needed. I was able to get some nice sounds after taking the time, but the real thing is still better. I am not knocking these fantastic devices. The plus side is they take a lot less space than a large pedalboard and are actually cheaper. Digital has its place. In my opinion however analog is still better sounding to me for most effects (not all).
After sold off several different digital multi-effect units. I have acquired many more stomp boxes (mostly analog) and found that they were literally all over the room. I needed to build a new pedalboard for my home studio. My old pedalboard was too small and was a mess of untidy wires. So decided it was time to have a go at a better approach. I decided to base the new pedalboard on a Pedaltrain Novo 24 because frankly it fit in the space I have in my home studio. I have no plans to “road” this pedalboard, but of course it will be totally travel ready. If I do need to take some pedals out of the studio, I would just take a few on a very small pedalboard. This is not my first Pedaltrain and they are great and built to last. I sold off the old one when I bought the digital multi-effects/modeler. So I have now gone full circle!
This project is a tribute to the 1963 Fender Telecaster Custom. Fender debuted the Telecaster Custom in 1959 in an effort to build a higher-end Telecaster. They added body binding, sunburst finishes and rosewood slab necks. I picked the 1963/64 style as I always admired this model and are pre-CBS when Leo Fender still was running the company. The originals are pretty hard to afford these days. Even the Fender Custom Shop Reissues run way over $3.5K. I love building these vintage vibe tribute models as I can add whatever features I like and spec out the neck shape to my liking. These are so much fun to build. Certainly, not the real thing, but close enough to get the vibe from these classic guitars. More Fender history.
If you are fans of Fender’s offset guitars like the Jazzmaster and the Jaguar like I am. You may be quite interested in correcting what many players feel are shortcomings for Leo Fender’s high-end solid body guitars.
Fender American Vintage ’65 Jazzmaster and Jaguar Guitars
I have recently completed two popular upgrades for my Fender Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars. I would recommend these to anyone that has a Fender offset guitar.
I purchased an original 1950s Kay Thin Twin K-161 “Jimmy Reed” style guitar that I am planning on restoring. Looks like most all the original parts are there, but the guitar is disassembled and will need plenty of work. I always liked the sound and look of these guitars. It has the vintage vibe and hopefully will have the sound that players like Jimmy Reed made with his.
I was thinking of getting one of the Fritz Brothers Kay Reissues that are now available. T Bone Burnett was playing one with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss a few years ago. It is hard to find an original one from the 1950s in decent condition for a price that is affordable. I came across this original one that someone started to restore, but never finished. I was up for a challenge so I picked up this box of parts to make into a decent Kay Thin Twin guitar. Continue reading…
Since I was a young kid I wanted a red Fender Stratocaster. It all started with Hank Marvin of the Shadows followed by Rick Derringer and Mark Knopfler. I remember seeing Rick Derringer’s album cover for All American Boy and was sold. Somehow the “red one” still alluded me. I ended up with many Strats over the years, but never the red one I craved as a kid. So I decided to build a very nice partscaster with all the features and appointments I dreamed about.
Rick Derringer made quite impression on me with the red Fender Stratocaster. Story is that was it given to him by the legendary Johnny Winter who claimed he liked it, but was not comfortable playing a strat. Shame Rick soon changed axes and you rarely saw him wielding the red Strat anymore.
Hank Marvin and Mark Knopfler have played red Strats their entire careers. Sure they play other guitars, but after many years still are know for those cool red Fender Stratocasters. Both Hank Marvin and Mark Knopfler have had Fender Custom Shop Signature Tributes.
’63 Sonic Blue Stratocaster Tribute – Father of Rocky!
John Lennon Fender Sonic Blue Stratocaster
This project is a tribute to the 1963 Fender Sonic Blue Stratocaster just like the Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison bought back in the day. Of course George painted his and created the iconic Rocky Stratocaster. No one is quite sure what happened to the one John had. The Beatles played their Sonic Blue Stratocasters on several albums, but rarely did we see them played live.
George Harrison “Rocky” Stratocaster Tribute project is just getting started. Ordering parts and will be getting a custom paint job to pay tribute to one of my biggest guitar heros, George Harrison. This is probably one of the most copied Stratocasters. There are some places were you can order this guitar already painted on a Squier, Fender MIM or American Stratocaster. The Fender Custom Shop has also made a version of this guitar. I even saw a company the sells a vinyl “Rocky” decal that you can apply to your Strat!