#155204  by milobender
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:54 pm
Hi All,
I've finished a project I started, intending to make a Strat in the tradition of Alligator, but with the construction quality that equals the style. Leo Fender used bolt on necks, because it was cheap, bless his heart, he kept the prices low enough for practically anyone to afford... the body was barely shaped, again saving money... I wanted to make an Alligator that Jerry might have kept "o)
She's got a one piece Alder body with Wenge layer and Mango cap, (the body is basically the standard Strat shape, but I've changed some proportions to make it more comfortable, rounded things a bit more, and made the belly cut more comfortable...) Walnut Burl/Maple/Wenge solid wood pickguard (trying to get the same sort of vibrational qualities as the stock plastic pickguard but the warmth and beauty of wood), brass cavity plate, brass nut, Sperzel locking tuners, 5 piece maple neck (absolutely stunning) with pronounced volute for tone and sustain, Io custom hand wound single coil pups, Io custom brass bridge with locking studs, Io custom brass tail piece, period correct Blaster clone with J230 and Allen Bradley resistors, Booster, and standard Strat electronics configuration. She's for sale now, contact me at brian@iocustomguitars.com if you are interested. This is a very special guitar... Sounds really great, plays great... I'm so tempted to keep it! "o)
And for all you folks into the whole 'light-weight' thing, she's not quite there at 8 pounds 2 ounces...
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 #155206  by milobender
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:57 pm
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If there is anyone in Northern Colorado, with a Jerry setup and likes the Alligator period, I'd sure love to have you give her a review.
 #155207  by lovetoboogie
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:38 pm
Jeeeee-sus! The grain is just wet and popping. The quilting on the neck is absolutely amazing. Really nice...
 #155211  by TI4-1009
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:01 pm
Beautiful work--- again....- Brian. Beautiful wood, I love the volute.

Didn't Jerry keep Alligator? I don't think he ever sold it or gave it away.

Is that the "southern" usage of "bless his heart", as in "He made the cheapest guitars ever, bless his heart."?
 #155212  by milobender
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:28 pm
TI4-1009 wrote:Beautiful work--- again....- Brian. Beautiful wood, I love the volute.

Didn't Jerry keep Alligator? I don't think he ever sold it or gave it away.

Is that the "southern" usage of "bless his heart", as in "He made the cheapest guitars ever, bless his heart."?
Thanks for the kind words "o) He may have physically kept it, I don't really know, but he certainly moved on, looking for some other sound... Even though, in my mind, it never got any better than Europe '72 and the surrounding period... different, but not better. It's all subjective of course.

I didn't mean any disrespect to Leo at all! I think Fender made some really great guitars. "Bless his heart" for his efforts and successes... He built my favorite platform, as well as Jerry's, as has been discussed here many times. I just meant that the bolt on neck was structurally a butt joint, just like a set neck, but didn't take the time or care, or expense of actually gluing it on and making it pretty. It's still a butt joint, screws instead of glue. The heel, behind the neck on Fender's bolt on necks SUCKS! "o) I forgot to mention in the description, I also gave the peg-head a slight angle, not enough to change the tonal qualities very much, just enough to eliminate the need for string trees. The slab approach to the head was also a cost saving measure.

This guitar is my tribute to a great platform, making it the way it was meant to be... in my imagination of course :smile: :smile: :smile:
 #155213  by shadowboxer
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:05 pm
Great looking guitar. And you build your own bridges? Are they a direct replacement for the harmonica bridges on most Tiger tributes?
 #155214  by strumminsix
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:40 pm
Over the years I've read a few things about bolt on necks:
1) Leo designed it that way to ensure the guitars were maintainable in case of problems
2) bolt ons provide more snap and twang

I'm still curious about both claims :)
 #155215  by milobender
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:00 pm
shadowboxer wrote:Great looking guitar. And you build your own bridges? Are they a direct replacement for the harmonica bridges on most Tiger tributes?
No, not really, I don't build my own bridges as a rule. I mainly use Kluson Harmonica bridges. On this particular model I wanted to build my own to emulate Alligator's in a reasonable way.
I wouldn't really know what 'most' Tiger tributes uses "o)
 #155216  by milobender
 Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:07 pm
strumminsix wrote:Over the years I've read a few things about bolt on necks:
1) Leo designed it that way to ensure the guitars were maintainable in case of problems
2) bolt ons provide more snap and twang

I'm still curious about both claims :)
I certainly don't know for sure, but I'd say there's truth to statement 1), it is a plus that there is a failsafe to compensate for a neck failure, but in truth, as a person that is involved in pragmatic engineering all the time, I think it's a plus that adds value to the cheaper tact. It is possible to use good wood, carefully, as Gibson did, and avoid most 'problems'

As to number 2)... I don't buy that a bit. A butt joint is a butt joint. A good screw butt joint is the same as a good glue butt joint. This guitar has plenty of snap and twang.

But it's just my .02 I'm sure there are plenty of Fender lovers that would swear the entire design was planned for a specific sound. I think it was an attempt to compete with Gibson and turned out to be a very happy combination of thrift and unique/great sound.
 #155221  by kurt eye
 Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:15 am
Incredible job as always!

I think there is a market for that bridge and tail piece for people looking to do hardtail strat builds. What is the string spacing?

As far as the bolt on neck debate, the modular nature of strats is really what endears me to them.
 #155224  by strumminsix
 Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:39 am
milobender wrote:
strumminsix wrote:Over the years I've read a few things about bolt on necks:
1) Leo designed it that way to ensure the guitars were maintainable in case of problems
2) bolt ons provide more snap and twang

I'm still curious about both claims :)
I certainly don't know for sure, but I'd say there's truth to statement 1), it is a plus that there is a failsafe to compensate for a neck failure, but in truth, as a person that is involved in pragmatic engineering all the time, I think it's a plus that adds value to the cheaper tact. It is possible to use good wood, carefully, as Gibson did, and avoid most 'problems'

As to number 2)... I don't buy that a bit. A butt joint is a butt joint. A good screw butt joint is the same as a good glue butt joint. This guitar has plenty of snap and twang.

But it's just my .02 I'm sure there are plenty of Fender lovers that would swear the entire design was planned for a specific sound. I think it was an attempt to compete with Gibson and turned out to be a very happy combination of thrift and unique/great sound.
Thanks bro! Love the education. I'm just a player and did a Tele partscaster that maxed out my knowledge :)

Your build is beautiful. It really shows how that guitar style should be done.