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 Post subject: Charvel Predator
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:36 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:48 pm
Posts: 5
I'm new here btw...

I always wanted a slimmer version of the San dimas, and I just found out about the Charvel predators that were made in 1990-ish. The perfect guitar! Anyone know if there's anyone who makes unfinished bodies identical to these? Does anyone on this forum do that sort of thing? Like if I wanted someone to build it for me, they'd do it?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Charvel Predator
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:53 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 865
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Code, I'm not familiar with anyone making that body or anything close to it. In theory there are any number of us here who could make a body like that IF we had either good plans of one or an actual guitar to copy. There are two big problems with this - first without an actual donor guitar it will be impossible to get all the little details right - neck pocket and shape, any curve to the top or back. It is almost impossible to build a guitar without the neck (unless you want to fit a generic Fender neck) and necks become very personal things (I can duplicate a neck if a customer brings a guitar he likes, however one review of the Predator talks about how the neck is different from Ibanez which leads me to wonder, what is the difference).

The second problem, however, is that you simply wouldn't want to pay me, or anyone else on this forum, to make a custom guitar that duplicates something like this. I can promise you that it would cost multiple times whatever a new Predator sold for in 1990. I would spend as much time making jigs and templates as I would actually making the body, and unfortunately I wouldn't be able to amortize that with several guitars. I'm also not sure you (or I) could find the pickups - there would be a good chance these would need to be custom made.

A last comment on duplicating an existing guitar - most of us have no problems cloning the shape of an established guitar, I personally will not copy a peghead. My tele clones and my Les Pauls all have heads that look sorta like the real thing, but they are enough different that nobody would confuse them. I would certainly take the same approach with cloning a Charvel.

My suggestion would be to keep looking for a nice used one and budget enough to get it brought into good playing condition (frets, pickups, structural issues, setup). If you ever find one you can borrow take it to a good luthier who can measure everything and draw some plans.

Good luck, hope I didn't throw too much water on your ideas.


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 Post subject: Re: Charvel Predator
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:48 pm
Posts: 5
Well, the only thing I wanted to do was make one with the same body just with a HH configuration. I suppose I could buy one of those guitars and just have somebody modify it to put a humbucker in the neck position. I also wanted to have a custom neck made - essentially the same neck that's on it, just with a reverse Charvel/Fender type headstock. Could this be done?


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 Post subject: Re: Charvel Predator
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 865
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
According to this, that thing that looks like a single coil at the neck is really a humbucker

https://docjgear.wordpress.com/2015/05/ ... -predator/

I've never seen or played one so I don't have a clue, but was one of the reasons I questioned what you would do for pups if you built something like this.

The simple answer to your question is that what you want is very doable, but would also be very costly as a one off. Any time you start custom building anything, particularly a neck, but everything else, it gets expensive. For a basic super strat it just doesn't make sense.

It makes a lot more sense to find one of the companies that manufacture bodies and necks and put together something close to what you want - Warmoth would be a start. Another option would be someone like Keisel guitars (the old Carvin), they apparently make their own bodies, including some super strat configurations, and will further customize them to your specification.

https://www.kieselguitars.com/customshop/

Last option, as you suggest, is to find a guitar that is close and have it modified - not at all unreasonable.


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 Post subject: Re: Charvel Predator
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:48 pm
Posts: 5
There's a company called Musikraft that makes licensed custom bodies and necks of various models. They have this https://musikraft.com/product-info.php?pid1798.html which I think is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for?

I think I'll just build the guitar I want from custom parts like this.

Also, what type of wood to I need to do a good three-tone tobacco sunburst finish? I'm pretty sure I don't want a flame top. I was just hoping to go with something simple like alder.


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 Post subject: Re: Charvel Predator
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:17 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 865
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Looks like a reasonable option since they will customize it to your specs. Buying a body and neck from the same source increases the likely hood that they will work together.

There are two ways to do a 'burst - either the stain is applied directly to the wood and clear coated over (the traditional Gibson method) or different coats of the finish are tinted (ie the color is in the finish). Each has its own look - when you stain the wood it tends to highlight grain and figure more. Most of the time a tobacco 'burst is applied over a light colored wood - either alder or ash would work, I've done them on maple and spruce. The center portion is usually an amber tint that shows the wood grain thru the color - its nice if your wood has some character. The black border helps deal with the different absorption rate of the stain into the end grain and you won't have to deal with scraping binding. You might be able to get Musikraft to furnish some cut offs from your body to practice on.

I would be interested in seeing how this comes out - how about taking some pictures of the build and publishing them here when you do it?

My take on a traditional tobacco 'burst, spruce and maple

Image


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