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Thread: GST-1 'Hexacaster' build

  1. #1
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    GST-1 'Hexacaster' build

    This build is of a GST-1 which I'm building for a friend, and is going to need a bit of modification to suit his requirements.

    It was back-ordered back in January, then finally arrived at Pit Bull last week, was posted out on Monday 12th April 2021 in Australia and arrived in my hands in the UK on Friday 16th April 2021. Record breaking time!

    Pics of the basic guitar body and neck:









    All looking fine. Body grain is very obvious. Also very straight, which should work well with this guitar, as it's going to have a transparent green lacquer finish.

    The neck fits tightly into the pocket. There are a couple of areas around the dot inlays that will need some slight filling, but nothing major. The tuner holes are very slightly off all being in a straight line, but they are a lot better than on most of the kits, and nothing you'd notice from further than 6" away.

    I'll need to do some routing to it because it is going to be an HSS. The more obvious GSH-1 kit had disappeared from the kit list when I ordered this back in Jan, but a) this GST-1 kit has the vintage-style pickup routs which I like and also b) because I'm fitting a Roland GK kit to it. My mate Steve is a guitar synth wizard and wants a versatile guitar with the GK3 pickup built in. The GK3 has six individual pickups in it, one for each string, hence the 'Hexacaster' working title for the guitar. He's already got some Patrick Eggles with GKs fitted, but they are all humbucker equipped (even if one has coil taps, it's not that single-coil sounding). He also wants a guitar that will contrast with the humbucker-equipped virtuoso antics of Max, the other guitarist in his band.

    Pickups are two new Bare Knuckle Boot Camp True Grit single coils for middle and neck, and a Gibson 500T (taken from my Jimmy Page model Les Paul) for the neck which will be coil split. We've got a Wilkinson 2-point trem for it, so it's a benefit that there are no pre-drilled holes for a six-screw trem.

    The weather here in the UK is still on the cold side (we had snow on the ground a few days ago), and I have to work outside, so it will be a few weeks before work commences in earnest; but in the meantime I'll be working out where to fit things so there's no physical clashes when it's all put together and maybe doing some headstock shaping.

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Interesting project Simon.
    I'm not into the synth-guitar thing, nor have I ever worked on one so watching to see what I can learn!
    Cheers
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  3. #3
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Look at the body on that! Phwooar!
    FrankenLab
    Where “What if?” meets “Why the hell not?!”.


  4. #4
    Member Groovyman32's Avatar
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    This is going to be interesting!
    Build #1 TL1-HA
    Build #2

  5. #5
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    My word, 4 days to your door is incredible - they can't even do that here in the land of Oz!
    Nice looking board, and the grain is great on this!
    I have thought about adding synth add-ons to guitars before, but the Roland technology is a little outdated now I think - Fishman are leading the field with their Triple Play setup I reckon. If your mate already has the Roland gear, it makes sense to use it, but it will be limited somewhat with it's tracking ability.
    Also, if you haven't heard of Fishman's Fluence pickup technology, it's another game-changer - noise free, tonal emulation of all manner of historic "holy grail" pickups, with at least two voicings per pickup (typically, a classic voicing, as well as a more modern variant), as well as a boost switch. And no, it's not digital - I used Line 6 variax for several years, (I owned 3 of the legacy models), and like computers, they've all become problematic, and I can't fix them, due to only having limited electrical skills. I am able to cobble together 1 working guitar from 3, due to the modular method of production - they have 3 components, all with pcbs. Fantastically versatile, but sadly old tech, which is no longer supported....

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    This is a minimal budget build, and whilst some of the piezo hex pickups are slightly quicker than the GK3 stuff, as Steve’s main guitar synth is a Boss SY-1000, so it’s generally processing the direct sound from the pickup and not converting it to MIDI first and then playing a sound from that. He’ll generally layer sounds so that if there is a MIDI-driven sound, it will be mixed with a processed sound to hide any triggering latency.

    The Fishman Fluence pickups would push the build way over budget, despite their attractions. Another reason for using the GK3 over the Triple Play. The BKs are the budget ones, and replaced the original choice of some Iron Gears whn he got some extra birthday money. The Gibson 500T ceramic humbucker is one I’ve had lying around for years and is too rocky for me, being a more bluesy person, but suits Steve’s taste and I’m happy to donate it.

  7. Liked by: HarmonIser

  8. #7
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    To show what can be done on a guitar synth if you've got a mind to do it, here's a track Steve submitted a couple of years ago for a Sound on Sound 'one synth challenge'; all done on a GK3-equipped Patrick Eggle and a Roland VG99.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zwtgyoajq...iew=1.cars.mp3

  9. Liked by: HarmonIser

  10. #8
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    To show what can be done on a guitar synth if you've got a mind to do it, here's a track Steve submitted a couple of years ago for a Sound on Sound 'one synth challenge'; all done on a GK3-equipped Patrick Eggle and a Roland VG99.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zwtgyoajq...iew=1.cars.mp3
    That is fantastic...even without the tambourine!
    I was very happy to hear this after recently discovering(/rediscovering) the early work of Gary Numan. In fact my copy of Tubeway Army’s Replicas arrived in the post last month.

    Following this with increased interest.

  11. #9
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    This will be fun to watch, and hear ;-)

    The Gary Numan took me way, way back.

  12. #10
    Mentor robin's Avatar
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    Nice looking kit and an interesting project. Going to be following this build with interest, and I reckon I might learn a bit on the way.

    Good luck with the build Simon.

    rob

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