Thinking Of Doing A Parts-caster. Where Do I Go?

Discussion in 'Gear Chat' started by chimi42, May 14, 2019.

  1. chimi42

    chimi42 Well-Known Member

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    I had bought some parts last year and had a friend of mine put together a cool superstrat for me.

    Getting that itch again... I've never bought any GFS stuff- i see they have complete neck/bodies for around $100, how bad can these be?

    Ideally i'd like to spend around $500 tops for the body and neck, the rest of the parts i can figure out.

    Edit: here’s the strat from last year

    CCC93D55-AD38-4323-83C5-ADC4E3C1C448.jpeg
     
  2. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Well, on the lower price end is Allparts which many people have good experience with and I believe they are rumored to be a supplier for Fender Japan.

    On the not so cheap end, Musikraft produces some awesome high quality slap-it-together-and-play-it stuff. I have been a repeat customer for necks and bodies.
     
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  3. rmfroyd

    rmfroyd Well-Known Member

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    Check stratosphere.
     
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  4. msc_

    msc_ Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It depends on what kind of partscaster you want. GFS is ok for bodies, but I've learned to spend the majority of a partscaster budget on the neck and pickups because they are what really matter. If a FR build, get at least a special. Whatever you do, don't cheap out on the neck.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  5. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Yeah mang. Neck first in terms of budget allocation. Best to have a guitar that feels great to play. I find this helps me play easier, and then sound better.
     
  6. STACKS

    STACKS Well-Known Member

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    It's around $200 for a nice roasted maple neck from Warmoth.
     
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  7. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    I’ve actually been looking at those very roasted maple Tele necks at Warmotn and most seem to be in the $300-400 range . Am I looking in the wrong place? 200 would be a lot nicer :)
     
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  8. uglyvw

    uglyvw Well-Known Member

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    A buddy of mine put a strat together with one of the warmoth roasted maple necks and it is pretty darn nice, not the cheapest though. If I were putting together a strat, I would probably be looking at some of the squire models, since I think you could pick up a whole guitar with a nice feeling neck and just use it for a carcass to build from. Even if you scrap all but the body and neck, still probably less expensive than building from scratch, just a thought. Have fun with the project.
     
  9. Hoser

    Hoser Well-Known Member

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    Stay away from GFS for necks and bodies, its a total crap shoot. If you are gonna lay down money on anything put it into the neck. Get a fender or fender licenced neck, you can get a MIM neck on the bay for around 200 bucks, all parts makes nice things too, I got a tele body from them awhile ago and it was perfect.
     
  10. Stig

    Stig Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I've gotten several good deals from them, but they seem to be few and far between these days.
     
  11. slowhand84

    slowhand84 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly $500 is a pretty solid budget to work with just for the neck and body, if you don't mind buying used you can get some pretty high end Warmoth parts. I'm a really big fan of Warmoth and have 2 partscasters built with their bodies and necks (didn't build 'em myself actually, they were both bought used), and they're fantastic. I would avoid GFS unless you really absolutely must do the project on the cheap. Minus their pickups (which are pretty decent for the cost) you get what you pay for when you buy from those guys.

    Here are my two Warmoths, love 'em!

    13a14d85c3885b9f44e43af050943a80.jpg

    87831af8b72e5457a4e1ed9cf4fa2870.jpg
     
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  12. Lamf77

    Lamf77 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I got the body and neck for my Telecasters from Reverb. Hardware from Reverb and eBay.
    If you are looking top shelf...Warmoth.
     
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  13. zisme

    zisme Well-Known Member

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    i got lucky with a random ebay find for the body of my partscaster...though it did require some routing for the pickups i wanted

    i would totally spend the money for a warmoth roasted maple neck. i bought one of the in stock ones for less than $200 i think. it's the best

    bridge and tuners on mine are hipshot - not the cheapest, but great stuff. i wouldn't order from them directly if you can avoid it - they were a bit slow and unresponsive..

    i used a 920D wiring harness. amazon order

    Allparts for everything else (pickguard, knobs, jack, etc.)

    then of course whatever pickups you're feeling...

    All told mine cost just under 1k
    not cheap, but i'm completely satisfied with it. i can't think of anything i would do to improve it

    good luck!
     
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  14. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    Even if you were on a shoestring budget build, I would warn you away from GFS bodies and necks. Too many bad stories about those parts and GFS in general, including one story of my own. Don't do it, unless you want to sharpen your repair skills. They can be made into nice things, but you'll find out why they are described as "rough" in the ad copy.

    Allparts necks hit in the $150 to $250 range and are a pretty sure bet. Maybe some light fretwork, but usually not bad at all. Probably the best bet, all around - in my experience.

    That same price range will also put you in used genuine brand territory. There's normally a large selection of used necks on Reverb, mostly Fender.

    Mighty Mite necks are very decent as well. Maybe not quite as nice as the Allparts stuff, but still very usable. They usually need some fretwork done to them. I don't mind this since I want the practice. They are pretty consistent in quality, maybe the best value vs. price I have found - if you don't mind doing the last 5 - 10 percent of the work to get it supremely playable. You can find them for about $110 on Amazon all day. I buy them, sand them to the finish I like (almost bare wood), do the fret work - and then feel generally pretty good about myself.

    Or, you could go the full monty and go with Warmoth. They are pricey, for sure, but they deliver. I think I need STACKS' coupon code, because I never see anything I want there for less than $350. That's where Warmoth shines over the other choices, you can have exactly what you want with no compromise. They also do well with bodies. I read up on this stuff a lot, and I very rarely see a complaint about them, save the price.

    I make my own bodies, so I can't really help there - since I don't buy them anymore. I charge in the $250-$400 range for a fully finished partscaster body (and I'm still trending towards the less expensive end for custom work).

    As for hardware, Wilkinson is my choice for best value at the price. Unless we're talking about floating trems or drop tuning mechanisms, higher end hardware than that is just for show, IMHO - not that there's anything wrong with a little bling.

    As for electronics, I don't skimp at all. I find there's a big difference in quality at various price points with electronics more so than with any other area of an (ahem) electric guitar. CTS or Bourns pots, caps from reputable brands, tried and true name brand pickups, and Switchcraft everything else are norms for my builds.

    I do still try the cheaper pups from time to time. I've got a Rondo P90 in my Skatecaster build and I can't think of any pickup more suitable for that mutt. I also have a set of Dragonfire HB's that await a build. I tried the whole 'Donlis sounds like DiMarzio' deal as well, but I didn't find that to be accurate. GFS also has decent alternatives, but I don't agree with their customer service policies, or their insistence on making me adapt their Qwikplug crap.

    In any case, keep us updated. Partscasters are the best guitars you can buy, if you ask me. Put a killswitch in it!
     
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  15. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Yea buy used squier for cheap good quality. A squier std or deluxe neck can be outstanding. Or get the whole std. I think I sold my 2nd 1 for 130 or so. It was as good feeling as there is.
    If you are interested in something nitro and aged or reliced check out mjt on Ebay
    ae6242628814f261faadd3a750e0b1b5.jpg

    1b71d96a36e61f971829a182a6a56349.jpg
    Sometimes they go for $300. Mine feels and looks great and my fender neck fit like it was fender custom shop.
     
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  16. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Those look pretty sweet.
     
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  17. chimi42

    chimi42 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for everyone's insight, i will stay away from the GFS necks -the bodies do look awful tempting.

    And agreed on squier- I’ve had a few of the Korean squiers and the necks were fantastic!
     
  18. STACKS

    STACKS Well-Known Member

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    Just check in the "In stock" section. I have a few of the roasted maple necks of various profiles, and like them very much. I prefer Hipshot tuners on roasted maple as drilling pilot holes in them can be a bit tricky.

    https://www.warmoth.com/Pages/ClassicShowcase.aspx?Body=1&Path=Spotlight&nWood=20

    In my experience the Mighty Mite necks are ok quality, but they are the ones most affected by changes in humidity/season. The maple fretboard ones always have fret sprout even after you think they are filed flush the first time.
    I have a couple of Chinese made necks that are much nicer than Mighty Mite.
    The Allparts necks are nice, but, as you say, can still need some work.
    Then there is Warmoth. Pretty much ready to go, and they are not really priced that much different than Allparts, and you get much more choices in construction.
     
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  19. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Warmoth in-stock vs Warmoth custom order are worlds apart price wise. The in-stock Strat necks are usually $200 or less which is not bad for the most important part of the build.

    Get a good neck and good pickups and everything else is minor and can be fixed later if need be.
     
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  20. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I just like to sit with it, pet it. Sniff its hair
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Can you smell it?
     
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