#167274  by PaintedMandolin
 Fri May 01, 2020 9:30 pm
My first post in a long time here.

In '19, with the skills, experience and know-how of Gary Brawer and some parts sourced from Leo Elliott at Scarlet Fire Guitars, I project managed the completion of a Jerry-ized vintage Ibanez MC-300NT with the requisite DiMarzio Super II's, OBEL and UGB - brass ring and switch plate.

This modified Ibanez kicks ass with notable articulation and a ton of great and potent tonal options.

So now in quarantine in SF me and my ambitious, guitar playing 21 yr old son have decided to have another go at this. Our budget is fairly limited, which is why we aren't throwing down for a custom replica - we have decided to get closer to what Jeff Matson usually employs in DSO - a SuperStrat with all the bells and whistles.

We will source the neck and body from Warmoth.
Most likely the OBEL and UGB from Scarlet Fire - unless any of you know of better sources? The Pups and switches seem fairly easy to source.

The real reason I've posted is to ask if anyone is aware of a repair luthier in or near the Bay Area that can do the install of the pups, obel, ugb, swtiches, ring, switch plate etc.?

I will of course default to Gary Brawer - who is excellent at this, and good to work with - but the catch is - he's so good and in demand that it takes 4-6 months to bring a projet like this to completion in his shop.

So if any of you know of a qualified luthier that is hip to this esoteric stuff and is local to SF, pleae let me know?

Thanks -
Grateful Ted
SF, CA
 #167275  by lbpesq
 Sat May 02, 2020 1:16 am
Hi, Ted. Sounds like a cool project! I’m across the Bay. My quarantine project has been building an Alligator replica. I usually do my own wiring, but if I believe something to be over my head, I bring it to Gary. He did the electronics on a Fernandes Alembic copy with Alembic pickups and RMC bridge piezos and a 13 pin out for a guitar synth. But you are right, it takes time, which has been my experience with every luthier I ever worked with.

How many luthiers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just one, but you have to wait six months!

Do you have a wiring schematic of what you want?

Bill, rgo
 #167279  by PaintedMandolin
 Sat May 02, 2020 2:09 pm
Appreciate the replies.....

We don't have a schemo on hand and may bear the wait with Gary - but we haven't even approached him with the idea as of yet. Last time around the biggest part of the delay in getting the Ibanez finished was getting parts from Leo at Scarlet Fire.....

We are not looking for a Cripes level install mostly because we think the body cavity on a Warmoth may not be big enough to accomodate the OBEL, UGB and the under the hood circuit of a peizo bridge - but I am intrigued by the piezo bridge tones ever since my first exposure to a Cripes at Autzen Stadium in /93.

I will report back once we complete the sale of a bunch of gear we've offed to finance this project (which included a Jimmy Vaughan Strat, an early Phred Languedoc copy and a passel of effects pedals we haven't been using.....

Note: I am using the pronoun we because this project is moving forward with my kid and we intend to share this guitar - as we do the Ibanez..... (I mostly play bass (Modulus Q5, Fender Jazz and Upright) but have played guitar since I was 10.

It may come down to Gary.....
 #167283  by tdcrjeff
 Sat May 02, 2020 7:19 pm
PaintedMandolin wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 2:09 pm
We are not looking for a Cripes level install mostly because we think the body cavity on a Warmoth may not be big enough to accomodate the OBEL, UGB and the under the hood circuit of a peizo bridge - but I am intrigued by the piezo bridge tones ever since my first exposure to a Cripes at Autzen Stadium in /93.
Common misconception, there was no piezo in Lightning Bolt.

Pg. 267 of Grateful Dead Gear:
"What's funny about that tone," adds Gary Brawer, "is when he played it, everyone called me an asked what kind of piezo was in the bridge! And of course there wasn't one. I did use a slightly different buffer in that guitar. I have a schematic of the original Cutler buffer, and we made a copy of the original at some point, and we changed a couple of things to make it more electrically correct, though it didn't really affect the sound. What I was told is that at the same time he played the Cripe guitar, he actually had changed the way he was buffering his pedals, and the impedance wasn't exactly right and it filtered out the bass - it was an impedance mismatch. It made everything clear and bright."
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 #167291  by Bigfoot Co.
 Mon May 04, 2020 11:44 am
If I was starting your project, I'd start by contacting Mike Wald to get a buffer and pickguard. Pretty sure based on recent instagram posts he is now prototyping Tiger style HHS pickguards for strats. They are 2 piece with a lateral cut just below the high E string. This allows direct access to the guts of the guitar without pulling the entire pickguard. For initial setup and troubleshooting, this is a godsend. You might ask him about a strat bridge as well, as I think he has started making those too.

I built my own tiger style Matsoncaster awhile back using a G&L Legacy Tribute. It was an undertaking, but was totally doable if you can solder and have some patience. The most difficult part for me was making the custom pickguard as G&L's basically have zero aftermarket parts. That wouldn't be an issue for a warmoth. I also made the jack plate, OBEL cables, breakout box, etc... Not that hard and all the info was sourced through the search function on this board.

If you are at all interested and have an adventurous streak, I'd recommend trying to build it yourself. With these types of guitars, I think it is super helpful to actually learn how all these systems correctly connect and function together.

I'm up in Petaluma and would be happy to talk with you about it further if you have any questions. Good luck!
Gr8fulCadi liked this
 #167334  by PaintedMandolin
 Fri May 08, 2020 4:07 pm
Bigfoot - many thanks for the info.
Being that you are in Petaluma it would not surprise me if we've crossed paths at TXR or Sweetwater or the Chase or Ashkenaz, and depending upon your age possibly tons of real GD or Jerry Shows....?

I am 55 and seen a fair number since my first in 1980.

Anyway - I like your advice but have no contact info for Wald. I tried the site (http://www.wald-electronics.com/) but it's all mysterious w no contact link.

If you can help me with some 411 I'd be grateful as a start.

Ted
ac4468 liked this
 #167337  by tdcrjeff
 Fri May 08, 2020 5:56 pm
PaintedMandolin wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:07 pm
Anyway - I like your advice but have no contact info for Wald. I tried the site (http://www.wald-electronics.com/) but it's all mysterious w no contact link.

If you can help me with some 411 I'd be grateful as a start.
https://reverb.com/shop/waldotronics
 #167369  by Bigfoot Co.
 Wed May 13, 2020 11:06 am
Howdy Ted I sent you a PM, but it seems to be sitting in my outbox? I hope you got it. If not, let me know and we can make other communication arrangements if you'd like.
PaintedMandolin wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:07 pm
Bigfoot - many thanks for the info.
Being that you are in Petaluma it would not surprise me if we've crossed paths at TXR or Sweetwater or the Chase or Ashkenaz, and depending upon your age possibly tons of real GD or Jerry Shows....?

I am 55 and seen a fair number since my first in 1980.

Anyway - I like your advice but have no contact info for Wald. I tried the site (http://www.wald-electronics.com/) but it's all mysterious w no contact link.

If you can help me with some 411 I'd be grateful as a start.

Ted