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Thread: ST build upgrade parts question

  1. #1
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    ST build upgrade parts question

    Hi All,

    I am sure that Iím this has been answer but canít find it on the forum.

    Having just finish my first build I am considering doing an ST build. I would most likely upgrade the pickups, tuning pegs and nut, however, would also consider changing out the bridge .

    It seems there are many different bridge style (2 point, 6 point) and different string spacing e.g wide and narrow. Being very new to this can anyone let me know what is the easiest option to fit to a PBG kit? Or alternatively proís and conís to either option?

  2. #2
    Pickups and nut, good start. Tuners and bridge, not necessarily a must.

    The PBG tuners are actually quite good. Unless locking or staggered tuners are an absolute must for you; there's nothing wrong using the stock ones.
    The one difference you'll find between the PBG sealed body tuners and standard "name brand" ones, is the turn ratio. The PBG are typically 18:1 and others may be 15:1. It really is a minimal difference as far as accurate tuning IMO.
    Contrary to popular belief, tuners very rarely fail to the point that they "slip" and cause tuning problems. Most tuning issues are a result of something somewhere else.

    As for the bridge, are you considering a vibrato or hardtail? Either way, sometimes just upgrading the saddles is a good option (I prefer solid steel saddles to cast metal or bent metal, but that's just me). One common difference between a kit bridge and an aftermarket bridge will be the size & mass of the block. Does it matter? That's entirely up to what your ears tell you.

    String spacing is also a personal thing, however nut width and fretboard width are considerations to be made. In some cases 56.5mm spacing (US vintage) can put the E strings too close to the edge of the fretboard.

    2 point vs 6. Again, personal preference, and playing style is a consideration. Is vibrato an integral part of your playing? (like Jeff Beck?) Do you just go for the occasional semitone wiggle?
    Different installation process. Which one is better? Another "That's up to you" answer.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCreed View Post
    Pickups and nut, good start. Tuners and bridge, not necessarily a must.

    The PBG tuners are actually quite good. Unless locking or staggered tuners are an absolute must for you; there's nothing wrong using the stock ones.
    The one difference you'll find between the PBG sealed body tuners and standard "name brand" ones, is the turn ratio. The PBG are typically 18:1 and others may be 15:1. It really is a minimal difference as far as accurate tuning IMO.
    Contrary to popular belief, tuners very rarely fail to the point that they "slip" and cause tuning problems. Most tuning issues are a result of something somewhere else.

    As for the bridge, are you considering a vibrato or hardtail? Either way, sometimes just upgrading the saddles is a good option (I prefer solid steel saddles to cast metal or bent metal, but that's just me). One common difference between a kit bridge and an aftermarket bridge will be the size & mass of the block. Does it matter? That's entirely up to what your ears tell you.

    String spacing is also a personal thing, however nut width and fretboard width are considerations to be made. In some cases 56.5mm spacing (US vintage) can put the E strings too close to the edge of the fretboard.

    2 point vs 6. Again, personal preference, and playing style is a consideration. Is vibrato an integral part of your playing? (like Jeff Beck?) Do you just go for the occasional semitone wiggle?
    Different installation process. Which one is better? Another "That's up to you" answer.
    Thanks for the answer - in short I donít really have a playing style as I am so new to guitar. In regards to upgrading the bridge it was mainly due to the think that the metal thickness and block construction (ďbetter qualityĒ) was my thinking.

    I guess itís like everything - all a matter of preference.

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    Hi All,

    I am sure this has been answered about 100 times but I canít seem to find this info on the forum after some searching. So apologies for a repeat question.

    I will be starting a start build soon and am considering upgrading some parts. In my first build I largely left the electronics alone apart from a upgrade of pickups. I am considering trying to do a little more then this time. A couple of options that I am considering is upgrading the electronics to the upgrade kit on the webpage.

    First question is - if I do that will I need to replace any of the control knobs that come with the standard setup (in the kit)?

    Second question is - if I wanted to wire up the guitar to have a push/pull pot which brand would be the easiest replacement? I am not to fused if it is a mini pot/full sized. In short if I can use the current knobs that would be good as I will probably run with the white even if I buy new ones if need be.

    Just thoughts at the moment really.

  5. #5
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    If you use the CTS or Bourns pots you'll need to enlarge the holes, and you will probably need different knobs because the splines are a bit different. If you don't want to enlarge the holes and/or you want to use the putbull knobs, you could consider Alpha or ALPS pots. They are relatively high quality and use the same sized hole and knobs that the pots that come with your kit.

    The CTS and Bourns pots on the PitBull site use press on knobs (fine spline). Alphas and Alps use the same splines (course) as your kit. All four mfgs make a "solid" shaft pot, which uses knobs with a set screw. I like these, but if you want a push pull you may be stuck with Bourns. I think you may be able to get solid shaft push pulls from the other mfgs, but I have not found them easily.

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    Amazing - just the info I couldnít seem to find. Thanks so much!

  8. #7
    Good advice from fender3x.
    I use the alpha pots regularly and have had no problems. In fact, I've had closer tolerances (ohm rating) with alpha than some CTS.
    However, there are "good" alpha pots and there a "not so good" alpha pots. I recommend getting them from a guitar parts supplier, not from a hobby electronics shop (like Jaycar) those ones a pretty ordinary.

    Also, what are you planning for the push-pull pot?
    Depending on it's intended function, sometimes a mini toggle works better (particularly for on-the-fly switching).
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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    Hi McCreed,

    I actually came across a post of your 7 way with a mini toggle. I am considering either that option or a 9 way start option. I may actually move to the mini toggle for this.

  10. #9
    Hi McCreed,

    I actually came across a post of your 7 way with a mini toggle. I am considering either that option or a 9 way start option. I may actually move to the mini toggle for this.
    Cool! There's plenty of info online, but if you need, I can post the schematic for the 7-way. (it's easy peasy)
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCreed View Post
    Cool! There's plenty of info online, but if you need, I can post the schematic for the 7-way. (it's easy peasy)
    Did you use the factory electronics (and add the mini toggle) or did you upgrade pots and switch as well?

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