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Thread: PJSprog Build #1 - KH-1

  1. #21
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Of course, it occurred to me as I was laying in bed last night that I haven't yet applied any shielding to the various cavities. So, that'll likely delay finishing it this weekend.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

    Build #1) KH-1 - November 2019 GOTM

  2. #22
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    The aforementioned shielding arrived last Tuesday, courtesy of Amazon. I got that applied to the various cavities Friday evening. I was planning on getting to the soldering on Saturday, but life got in the way. Finally got to it Sunday evening. With everything soldered in place, a couple screws holding the pick guard in place, and the supplied EB Slinkys strung onto it, I plugged it into the Carvin V3M combo ... and it played!

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    However, something was seriously wonky with the tone pot. A quick check revealed pilot error on my part, soldering one of the leads to the wrong connector. Having run short on time, and needing to get some sleep, I decided to save that for this evening when I get home from work.

    I mentioned before that I wanted to give the stock bridge a chance, and so I did. As I was tuning it up for the first time, I noticed that the knobs were getting increasingly difficult to turn. A quick look revealed that the nylon (or whatever that material is) spacers between the knobs and the bridge body had torn and were in the process of destroying themselves. Looks like I'll be ordering the J-Custom bridge after all.

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    One thing I noted when mounting the bridge is that the hole in the body for the ground wire was drilled right where one of the bridge base mounting screws go. Since it was all but impossible to get the wire soldered onto the bridge base, I left it where it would pinch between the body and the base, and reassured myself that the screw would likely bite into the wire as well. There is ground continuity, so it seems to work for now.

    The action is horrible, and this doesn't look like an easy design to get set up (need to take the whole bridge assembly apart just to raise or lower the posts). I'm sure I'll be tweaking it for a little while until I can get it to play like buttuh.

    It's almost done. Finally.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

    Build #1) KH-1 - November 2019 GOTM

  3. #23
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Also of note, the wiring diagram I downloaded for H-S-S (suitable for KH-1) has the incorrect switch connections for the 5-position switch provided with this kit. I found this when metering the switch to make sure the connections would be correct.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

    Build #1) KH-1 - November 2019 GOTM

  4. #24
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    Well done, PJSprog. Itís obviously bit of an odd ball ergonomic shape, would like to know how you feel about it once youíve spent some time with it in your hands. As I tend to sit playing this appeals to me.

  5. #25
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Thanks, DM. It is definitely different. Both the looks and the ergonomics are what drew me to it. I honestly like the Strandberg body shape a little more, visually, as it still retains some elements of the traditional shape. But, this Klein design has no pointy ends to poke you while sitting.

    As I said, still a little work left with swapping the bridge and setup, but I already enjoyed it just strumming some chords ... and, of course, that satisfaction of knowing I built this.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

    Build #1) KH-1 - November 2019 GOTM

  6. #26
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    I'm intrigued by it, but i can't says i'd want to build one. Like you i think i'd prefer the strandberg shaped item, not that i'd ever fork out that much for one. It might be a fun "tribute" scratch build.
    Would be interested to get your overall impressions of playing comfort over time.
    FrankenLab Guitar Experiments.
    Where Common Sense hides under the bench and averts its eyes!

  7. #27
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Is it possible to replace the bridge washers with metal ones, or even a harder plastic type?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    Is it possible to replace the bridge washers with metal ones, or even a harder plastic type?
    Oh, I'm sure just about anything is possible. I already ordered the J-Custom bridge from HeadlessUSA last night, though. I may monkey with the Overlord bridge a bit. I believe the original Steinberger bridges had metal washers, so I'm not sure why the Chinese knockoffs went with nylon-ish material instead.

    The quality of the J-Custom replacement head piece at the top of the neck is far more superior than the stock part, so I'm hoping for the same from the bridge.
    Last edited by PJSprog; 29-10-2019 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Spelling
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

    Build #1) KH-1 - November 2019 GOTM

  9. #29
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    The J-Custom bridge arrived from HeadlessUSA in yesterday's mail. Got it too late in the evening to do anything, so I'll take off the kit bridge tonight and compare the two. There are some noticeable differences.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

    Build #1) KH-1 - November 2019 GOTM

  10. #30
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Got the OofM bridge removed last night, and snapped some pics for comparison.

    The finish is the most obvious difference, with the J-Custom being a bit flatter and smoother. This may be a result of a better powder coat process, or maybe a smoother finish to the metal, or maybe both. The corners of the Overlord bridge are angle cut, while the J-C's are radiused. Corners on the J-C tuner mechanism housing were left square. The saddles are different between the two. Not sure which is closer to the original Steinberger. The string hooks on the OofM are unfinished, while the hooks on the J-C are powder coated. Another obvious difference is the fit. The J-C is much tighter. The tuning knobs barely wiggle at all, while the OofM are all loosey-goosey. The J-C has metal washers under the knobs, where the OofM had those aforementioned nylon thingies, and a much wider gap.

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    Some differences on the backside include the J-C being sanded to expose a large area for grounding, whereas I had to scrape away finish on the OofM for the ground. The hardware seems more substantial as well. The lock mechanism on the J-C is about twice as thick as the OofM, which seemed to work just fine. The mounting holes lined up perfectly with the existing screw holes from the OofM base. The HeadlessUSA website said that the bridge does not come with mounting hardware, but it did. In fact, it looks to be of better quality than the existing Chinese stuff.

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    I dug out the stock head piece as well, and took some pics of it compared to the J-Custom part from HeadlessUSA. The stock part is a clamping style like the Floyd Rose locking nuts, and will only accommodate regular strings. The J-C part is slightly larger (maybe 50%), has a better finish, and is designed to accept either regular or double ball strings. The stock part kind of put me off in that if I have to deal with changing one string, I would have to detune the adjacent string using the same clamp. The J-C part has individual internal clamps for each string.

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    When I strung it back up, I kept having issues with the bottom E string staying in tune. I finally realized that it had started to unravel at the ball end. This was a set of Ernie Ball 9s that came with the kit. I use D'Addario on my other guitars, but didn't seem to have any 9s (had a set of 10s, and a set of 11s, though, neither of which I'll probably ever use). I'll have to make a stop at Guitar Center on the way home tonight and grab a couple sets.

    In the mean time, pending the completion of the set-up adjustments, I'ma call this one done.
    Last edited by PJSprog; 31-10-2019 at 12:26 AM.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

    Build #1) KH-1 - November 2019 GOTM

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