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  • Suggestion - Build or Buy

    Wanting some opinions/suggestions. I'm currently playing through a Fender Bassbreaker 007 with a Cannabis Rex Speaker and Mad Professor Stone Grey & Silver Springs pedal–for small gigs it is powerful enough to stay in the mix and for bigger gigs I just mic it. I mainly play Teles and really like the tone I currently have. In between practices I broke my strings and needed a guitar quickly for my next jam session (fully intending on going back to the Teles once my strings came in.)

    My cousin let me borrow his old USA Hamer Special with P90s (upgraded with Fralins.) The guitar sounds phenomenal and the bandmates really liked the tone. On some of the songs, it sounds better than my Teles.

    So here is my issue–the Old Hamer DCs/Specials are $1,000+ and I don't like the color of any of them (some yellow-green or red.) Fralin P90s would add another $2-300.

    I prefer to build my own (really just to meet my specific specs...not really saving money in the grand scheme of things) but I have no experience with a set-neck.

    Thoughts on building a Warmoth 7/8 Tele using the same woods, scale, bridge, pickups, etc vs. attempting to build a set-neck without any experience building one or just buying one knowing I really don't like the looks?

    Do you think the bolt-on neck would make that big of a difference?
    Last edited by treyhaislip; 03-29-2021, 06:51 PM.

  • #2
    I would bet that most of the difference you heard btw your Tele and the Hamer could be achieved with any decent quality guitar that has the same key specs as the Hamer, i.e. set neck, 24.75" neck scale, and 2 P90 pickups. So I don't think you need to limit yourself to just that exact model of Hamer.
    Sanford: "The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware."

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    • #3
      And I wouldn't insist on finding a guitar like that, that already had P90s. Since thar limits your choices. You can easily buy something w humbuckers and replace those with P90s.
      Sanford: "The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
        I would bet that most of the difference you heard btw your Tele and the Hamer could be achieved with any decent quality guitar that has the same key specs as the Hamer, i.e. set neck, 24.75" neck scale, and 2 P90 pickups. So I don't think you need to limit yourself to just that exact model of Hamer.

        And I wouldn't insist on finding a guitar like that, that already had P90s. Since that limits your choices. You can easily buy something w humbuckers and replace those with P90s.
        Thank you for the suggestion! I've been eying some Gibson Studios with P90s (don't care for fancy binding and all.)

        I do like stuff like Phat Cats but they do not sound/respond the same a real P90 does, IMO.

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        • #5
          Have you looked at Reverend Guitars? They have several models with P90's.
          Formerly known as TheViewFromVenus.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TVFV View Post
            Have you looked at Reverend Guitars? They have several models with P90's.
            Yeah, for some reason they all look "odd" to me. I've actually never played one–never seen one available at any Big or Little guitar store around me.

            If I bought a P90 guitar, I would be swapping the pickups out for Fralins anyway–kinda where the build came in. The used market has so little supply right now, no P90s at my closest guitar store.

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            • #7
              I'd think an inexpensive LP JR 'kit' would be a good way to test the waters on that tone. I did a PGK kit (before I scratch-built a JR) and it went together fairly easily.




              Larry
              Last edited by larryguitar; 03-29-2021, 08:00 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by larryguitar View Post
                I'd think an inexpensive LP JR 'kit' would be a good way to test the waters on that tone. I did a PGK kit (before I scratch-built a JR) and it went together fairly easily.

                Larry
                Thank you for the suggestion! Those look really good!

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                • #9
                  If you were to build a Warmoth, you'd get an amazing guitar, none the less. It won't save any money, and the resale won't be good, but you'd get exactly what you want. And, if you get exactly what you want, you probably wouldn't need to resell it.
                  Another option is going for a used Hamer and having it re-finished. It would probably cost less than a Warmoth. I would suggest to first start playing guitars with similar specs to the one you really like. Some other options might open up.
                  Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                  • #10
                    Starting with one of these and refinishing might be a good base? It would be a hybrid between a Tele and the DC jr style?

                    https://glguitars.com/product/asat-junior-ii/

                    There’s the Fender Jim Adkins, but I think that’s thinline.

                    As you were talking about making a Tele-style, I figure that’s what you’re more interested in?
                    Last edited by CaptainWhizz; 03-30-2021, 03:33 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I like Mincer's idea of looking for a Hamer and refinishing it if you can't find one you like the look of.

                      I have two usa models and love them. I think they are more reliably well made than many other similarly priced brands on the 2nd hand market, but keep an eye out in any case.

                      How long would it take you to have a finished playable guitar?

                      If you give yourself the same time to keep looking at the second-hand market you may come across something that you like without even a refin.
                      On the other hand, you'll probably get a lot out of a build if you're willing to put the time in to do it really well...and will have it exactly to your specs.
                      Last edited by playas; 03-30-2021, 07:11 AM. Reason: funky phone posted before I finished typing

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                      • #12
                        I recently sold Gene/BTMN BACK his double cut Hamer. I did not like it. Sounded find. I was just not hanging with the DC factor.

                        But, based on everything, I say build. Get what you exactly what you want. The Hamer search could be long and expensive too.
                        Originally posted by Bad City
                        He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                        • #13
                          i have three hamer usa guitars and each one is great. you can get a cheap dc and put fralins in it and be probably 80% of the way there. i like mincers idea of getting a hamer and refinishing it. the ones ive played had duncan p90s stock. if you go warmoth i really dont believe youll end up with anything better than the hamer though you do get choice in neck shape

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                          • #14
                            Depends on how you want to spend your time, yeah? Building vs buying/modding are two very different processes. However if you want to get as close as possible to the experience of your friend's Hamer, you probably need to go audition guitars in person. IME the "feel" can get lost in the specs.

                            However if you're comfortable building bolt-ons, maybe that's the best way to go! Neck joints do affect the tone but not so much that you couldn't make up with other parts of your signal chain, particularly in a band mix.
                            Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                            Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                            http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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                            • #15
                              a dab of Titebond turns a bolt on into a Set neck
                              EHD
                              Just here surfing Guitar Pron
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