Do You DIY?
Our August feature, “Lazy, Cheap and Snooty: Building an Esquire Clone on the Cheap,” split our readers
right down the middle. Some were compelled to point out the good guitars you can buy for less than the
$1000 allotted for the build, while the other half seemed ready to roll up their sleeves and start building their
own dream guitar. With this month’s feature on Build Your Own Clone, we don’t see the DIY vs. Stock camps
coming together any time soon. Leaning one way or the other? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and
plead your case.
$1000 For Your Thoughts
Let the pros do it and buy a USA Fender
Butterscotch ’ 52 Tele Reissue. They play great
and increase in value every year. I picked up a
sweet 1989 for under $700; you just have to
look around—they are out there!
I am building an EVH copy right now and it’s
going to end up costing me around $500. It’s
a fun project, but you can get a great guitar
(MIM Fender, Epiphone, ESP, Ibanez, etc.)
for way under $1000 nowadays, and they are
great. When you look at the cost of doing
your own, including the body, neck, paint,
pickups and hardware, it’s hard to justify if
your goal is to simply save money.
You could’ve bought an actual Esquire for less.
Thanks! I really enjoyed this article! I’ve always
thought about building my own guitar but
haven’t yet worked up the courage to try.
Ironically, I probably had enough courage
when I was a kid and couldn’t afford to.
Gruhn isn’t alone in misunderstanding the
market for the “new vintage” instrument [“An
Eighties Golden Era]. I just hate it when I run
across all of these dealers who spent 20 years
telling everyone how worthless the seventies
Fenders and Gibsons were. Now they smile
and mark them up another grand or two and
call them vintage.
Strat Mod Let Down
First off, I love the magazine. I was intrigued
by Dirk Wacker’s tips for Strat mods
[“Stratocaster Insight”]. I am a pro, full-time
guitarist and composer who’s worked as a
mastering engineer for a while, so I consider
my ears to be pretty good. I was thrilled when
I picked up my original 1960 Strat (
unmodifiable, in my opinion) and, as Dirk suggested,
removed the tremolo cover and (not plugged
in) immediately heard a huge difference—a
huge positive difference! I put it back on and
took it back off and sat thrilled. Then I realized the springs are acting like acoustic amplifiers, vibrating the guitar’s strings and acting
as an acoustic transducer and the cover plate
is muffling that effect when it’s in place.
So I plugged in the guitar to the hi-end DI
input of a Drawmer 1960 and played clean
right through my studio monitors, and,
since I was hearing the strings vibrating
regardless of the cover being on or off, the
initial change did not translate to what the
pickups were hearing, thus after many A/Bs,
I must conclude that taking the trem cover
off has no apparent effect on the tone of an
Ray De Tone
Thank you to Premier Guitar for spreading the word about Dimebag’s Dean From
Hell [“Dimebag’s Dean of Destiny,” Web
Exclusive]. I can go on all day about the things
we as fans all loved about Darrell. In turn, I’m
a huge fan of Buddy Blaze. I thank you for
acknowledging and honoring Buddy Blaze.
Buddy’s modifications solely contributed to
the look, playability and sound of the
Dean From Hell and it is played on many of
Pantera’s recordings. This is the tone of my
youth, growing up on Pantera records as a
kid, and most importantly, it is the tone of
today. This tone is forever in our hearts—from
everyone who was ever fortunate enough to
be captivated by Dime’s presence and those
who witnessed him playing The Dean From
Hell on stage, to those who were just blown
away by Dimebag Darrell, who inspired us to
In the October edition of Stomp School [“The
Truth About Bypass”]. We mentioned that
some pedals, like Fuzzfaces and Rangemaster
boosters, will not work well with a buffer
before them. There are not many of these
types of pedals, so if you don’t have an old
1960s-style fuzz or booster on your board, a
buffer or buffered pedal will work fine. And
while some buffers may have tone colorations—like bumps at 700Hz—well-designed
buffers, even more than one, are very transparent and free of tone shifts. A good buffer
early on will help keep your signal strong
throughout the chain, all the way to your amp.
– Analog Mike Piera
Correction: In our special George Lynch insert
with October’s issue, Randall’s Lynch Box
Brahma module was incorrectly identified as
the Bravo module.
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