I finally completed the "No-Nocaster" project. This electric guitar was inspired by the lawsuit period, where Fender had to take the name off of their flagship solid body Broadcaster in order to not infringe on Gretsch's name rights of their "Broadkaster" model drum kit. Anyway, what you see in the picture above is the way a real Broadcaster/Nocaster/Telecaster/Esquire guitar's bridge plate and saddles should be like. In my opinion, there hasn't been a better mousetrap made for these guitar's since 1949. There have been nice improvements here and there, but those improvements (compensated brass saddles) have stayed true to the original "flawed" design: a ferrous bridge plate that focuses the bridge pickup's magnetic field; string-thru body; thick, brass bars for string saddles, which share two strings each (sympathetic harmonics); and the ability to mangle your hand if you attempt a Pete Townsend "windmill" power chord.
The other thing that makes this guitar is the philosophy of KISS, and this has nothing to do with Peter Chris or Paul Stanley. My dad taught me the Army's Keep It Simple Stupid philosophy early on in life and I try to KISS everything that I come into contact with. There wasn't much to these guitars and this is evident in how simple the wiring is in them. Believe it or not, this is just a tad more complex than the original three-way switching. I prefer four-ways, myself. That goes as follows: bridge, bridge/neck (parallel), neck, bridge/neck (series). It all adds up to various forms of ballsy, American twang!
I think the grand total of this build was a little over $600. Every component is top grade. The pickups are BG custom winds. The neck is a heel adjusted, beefy, boat-shaped profile with the unforgiving, but comfortable, original vintage 7 1/4" fretboard radius. This thing has serious bite and transmits the percussiveness of your picking attack a great deal, but without picking up Mexican radio stations. My only gripe is with the vintage style tuners that I got for a supposed great deal off of Fleabay. You can buy an entry level American standard Telecaster for about this price, a Mexican made for a bit less, and a Korean Squire for hardly anything at all. The Fender Custom Shop models go for a lot more. I figure that I have a near Custom Shop quality guitar for a standard price. The real value was the knowledge and skill gained through building this project. I've been able to set my other guitars up now in ways that I would have had to pay a tech/luthier a hundred or two dollars to get done.
I guess a low quality video clip on my crappy camera phone is in order. Oh yeah, now I can finally get my room back to looking like less of a Katrina ravaged Guitar Center.
4 years ago