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  1. #26

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    Looks and sounds awesome! What was the cost of the kit if you don’t mind revealing that? I might wanna try this project for myself.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Hi Esport, Bian asked me $240 for the body and neck, including transport.

    But he made a mistake (to my advantage) with the international carrier and the guitar arrived in 4 days from China to the Netherlands and told me he ended up paying $100 for transport. He did not ask for it, but I PayPal-ed him another $50 to compensate.

    Only weeks later I got an extra bill from Dutch customs I needed to pay $30 import tax.

    So the guitar cost me $320, without the parts. You can make those as cheap or as expensive as you want. I had a great SD Antiquity P90 laying around that I bought used some years ago for around $80 I think. I easily payed $150 for the hardware, paint and other materials. The bridge PU is a cheaper Chinese one that I got for free.

    It’s cheaper to buy a used Epiphone Casino and upgrade that..... but then of course you miss out on all the fun ;-) (and personally I think I ended up with a better guitar)
    Last edited by Little Jay; 09-30-2020 at 02:35 AM.

  4. #28

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    PS: if you decide to go the Bian Xuebin route, keep in mind he can barely keep up with the orders and waiting times are increasing.

    Secondly: specify everything you want thoroughly, preferably with pictures. You can order the traditional Gibson trussrod with hexagonal nut for an upcharge (I would have liked that).

    The neck is pretty much perfect, the body has some aspects I would have liked differently:
    - neck block material to be mahogany (probably doesn’t add a lot to the sound)
    - use of kerfed rims to glue sides to back and top (although they seem solid enough)
    - knob configuration/layout to be exactly like the ES-330 or Casino (pretty minor point)
    - even narrower f-holes without binding (also a minor quibble)

    But I suspect he gets the hollow bodies elsewhere and adjusts/modifies them. All the solid bodies and necks he carves himself on the CNC it seems. So I don’t know if it’s possible to change the body specs a lot.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 11-12-2020 at 07:32 AM.

  5. #29

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    A little follow-up: I switched the Nashville bridge to a non-wire ABR-1 with nylon saddles. Needed conversion studs for that. Maybe not a night and day difference but enough to keep the nylon saddles! Less metal zzing and more pronounced, rounded off tone with more wood (ehr.... nylon?) in it. Somehow the tone feels more substantial with more ‘body’ to it as well. Nylon is definitely the way to go for the jazz tone I am after (the darker old school tone).

    Funny how the little things can make a big impact (or at least feel as a big impact).



    ABR-1 also looks a bit more correct for the model, but who really cares..... (okay, I’ll admit I do...).

  6. #30

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    Nylon saddles are a nice thing. My ES-345 came with them and I only replaced them because I eventually wore them out with my bending and shaking and whatnot. It took quite a while, however. But yeah nylon saddles do contribute to that old-school smooth tone.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Nylon saddles are a nice thing. My ES-345 came with them and I only replaced them because I eventually wore them out with my bending and shaking and whatnot. It took quite a while, however. But yeah nylon saddles do contribute to that old-school smooth tone.
    I can imagine it also depends on the guitar. The Chinese body of my kit seems to be made of lighter woods, making it sound slightly brighter is my guess. The nylon saddles tame down the brightness in good way. The more I play it, the better I like it now!

  8. #32

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    Brilliant! Congratulations on your Cooper 330 ‘lawsuit’.


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  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eck
    Brilliant! Congratulations on your Cooper 330 ‘lawsuit’.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks Eck! Haha, yes lawsuit... hadn’t even thought of that! DIY ES-330/Casino kit guitar But indeed the ‘open book’ looks very authentic. The whole neck is great, btw. But I did have to level the frets a little better and rework the fret ends, as they felt a little sharp. But that’s just a minor job and was to be expected.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 12-28-2020 at 02:20 PM.

  10. #34

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    Last and final update: I refinished the sides and back in a dark colour (called ‘Dark Brown’ by Dartfords, but it turned out more a dark red mahogany), because the natural back and sides didn’t match the brown top all too well imho.




  11. #35

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    Looks great!

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Looks great!
    Thanks!

  13. #37

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    A DIY guitar is never finished.... I added a ‘serial number’ and I ebonized the fretboard ;-)





  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    A DIY guitar is never finished.... I added a ‘serial number’ and I ebonized the fretboard ;-)




    And a hundred years from now, on the future JGO, some one will ask "What is this? I just found it at auction. What is it worth?"

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    And a hundred years from now, on the future JGO, some one will ask "What is this? I just found it at auction. What is it worth?"
    Hahaha! That would be great! DIY ES-330/Casino kit guitarDIY ES-330/Casino kit guitar

  16. #40

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    She’s a looker!!! How do you ebonize? Personally I think I’d like artificial ebony most for a fretboard. Nicely even black and save for nature (hopefully)


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  17. #41

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    I ebonized with a black leather dye. But it is wearing down to a slightly lighter tint. The rosewood was very light and the color that remains is a nice deep dark brown color.

  18. #42

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    Just a little update because I am still so much in love with this guitar. Meanwhile it has been played quite a lot, at home on rehearsals and even some gigs and I love the way it is “aging”. The ebonizing of the fretboard with leather dye did not hold up all too well (I suspect because I oiled the fretboard some time before dying it) but I actually like the looks of it. Also the way the ‘vintage-yellow-see-through’ nitro wears off the bindings looks great.

    The SD Antiquity neck P90 is superb, but actually the no-name Chinese bridge PU (a soapbar I converted to dog ear with a braided wire) is the big surprise: sounds great as well!

    Still plays like butter; after the winter months I had to file and sand the fret-edges a little more as they had protruded a tiny bit (working of the wood I guess). But otherwise it held up fine.

    And now: pics!
















  19. #43

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    Great looks. For practice at home is it possible to just play acoustic? On my semi-hollow sound is no louder than on a solid body so especially the bass E is hardly audible.


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  20. #44

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    Amazing project guitar, Jay! If I may add something: you probably should file down the nut to where only half of the strings' diameter sits in the slots...

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eck
    Great looks. For practice at home is it possible to just play acoustic? On my semi-hollow sound is no louder than on a solid body so especially the bass E is hardly audible.


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    Yes, it has a pretty loud acoustic tone, perfect for practicing unamplified!

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Amazing project guitar, Jay! If I may add something: you probably should file down the nut to where only half of the strings' diameter sits in the slots...
    Ah yes, you are probably right. Will do!

  23. #47

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    It's aging nicely and is a thing of beauty! And of course in your skilled hands sounds amazing. Keep up the good work!

  24. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    It's aging nicely and is a thing of beauty! And of course in your skilled hands sounds amazing. Keep up the good work!
    Thanks K, you make me blush..... ! DIY ES-330/Casino kit guitar

  25. #49

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    I keep coming back to this. Still planning my own custom build.


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  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eck
    I keep coming back to this. Still planning my own custom build.
    If you need any tips or help, don't hesitate to ask me!