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Thread: Warmoth Guitars...

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    Ultimate Tone Member FrankyBoy's Avatar
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    Default Warmoth Guitars...

    Is it really worth it? I mean, i don't have the money yet, but in few years should I want a Warmoth guitar? Are the parts really that great? I guess it is cool to decide the neck and the body and everything, but does it sound as good as real big brand guitar? I guess you will tell me that it all depends on who mounts the parts up togheter...

    School me on Warmoth please.

    Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Whatever you do, remember to play in the crabcore position, it helps with the tone.

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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Yes! The Warmouth parts are worth it. I built a franken(tele)stein using a one of a kind Warmouth ziricote reverse headstock neck and mahogany body routed for humbuckers. It plays better than my 72 tele. Ziricote is a wood that does not need to be finished and the fretboard is as smooth as satin. I'm now in the process of planning the next king toby basement model but first need to finish an epi firebird project.

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    Riffologist Extraordinaire GoDrex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    I think their parts are top notch, people have had all sorts of experiences with them ranging from fantastic to very disappointing.

    remember that when you part a guitar together like this, you don't ever get to try it out until it's done - and just slapping the parts together doesn't mean it's done. most people will need a set up with some nut work and even fret dressing and/or leveling.

    it might not be worth it if you're inexperienced with working on electric guitars. And even if you are or you know someone or a good shop, you still don't know how it will turn out. If you REALLY know what you want and have the money, it can be worth it. Also the resale value on a Warmoth guitar is never going to be very good, because no one will pay a lot for a guitar that was put together by you.

    here is my warmoth:



    I love it now, but I went through a lot of grief to get it playing right and I'm still not 100% happy with it. I can't find anyone I can trust in my area to work on it. It plays good now, but the frets aren't perfect and neither is the nut. It could be better. I built it because I wanted it to be a custom gold top - not like one off the rack. I certainly got that and I'll keep it forever. But it had problems straight out of the box from Warmoth (they forgot to sand down the binding on the neck on the fretboard overhang - so when I put it on the body it bend the fretboard up and made me feel like I was going to puke or pass out hahaha). I have bad luck with guitars and it got me again on this one. So - you're taking a gamble when you go the Warmoth route. I hang out on the Warmoth forum and there are lots of happy guys there with amazing guitars. That is really the place to go for answers about doing a Warmoth project. Any question you've got, they'll answer there. http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com
    Last edited by GoDrex; 12-23-2009 at 12:08 PM.

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    Heel Whacker tone4days's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    my advice? you are too inexperienced to get the most out of a warmoth just yet ... if you are truly 16 and have probably only been playing a small number of years, you probably have not really digested all the nuances of guitars yet ... so going warmoth at this point woul dbe a huge crap shoot likely to end up with you losing a metric buttload of money on resale ... i think you would be better served to go thru a large number of existing guitars - used - to see what works best for you ... scale length, neck width, neck carve ... wood type for neck, fingerboard, body, and top ... fretwire size, shape, and material ... cosmetics (color, binding, etc) , bridge type, pickups, control configuration ... the list goes on and on

    then, when you really know what you want, you can dial in a custom or semi custom build to be right for you

    then you go to tommy at USA custom guitars instead of warmoth

    but seriously - your young and there are lots of guitars out there ... go play em all

    good luck - have fun
    t4d
    Last edited by tone4days; 12-23-2009 at 12:07 PM.
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    Mojo's Minions J Moose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoDrex View Post
    I think their parts are top notch, people have had all sorts of experiences with them ranging from fantastic to very disappointing.

    remember that when you part a guitar together like this, you don't ever get to try it out until it's done - and just slapping the parts together doesn't mean it's done.
    That's really the key right there. So it depends...

    I've put together a handful of partscasters over the years & they've all been solid instruments with great parts. The downside, as mentioned is that since you can't play it first you don't ever know what you have until its totally together.

    I'd say that if what you want is something that be easily purchased or modified, like a regular or strat or tele you should simply play a bunch until you find a good one.

    But if what you want is something that doesn't exist in an off the shelf form & you know exactly what you want, down to every last screw then its totally worth it.

    For instance, my next build is going to be a Fender/Gibson mashup with a 24 3/4 scale... taking two oddball guitars and tossing them into a blender. I've been planning it for a few months now, doing my research to make sure that every last piece actually has a good chance of working together so it doesn't end up as firewood.

    Don't expect to just buy some parts, grab a screwdriver and end up with a great instrument. Its not that simple... there IS some degree of wood working skill required and you'll need a decently stocked tool chest to make the most of it.

    T4D - When I was maybe 15 or 16 one of my friends put together a Warmoth... I helped him along the way since I had taken woodshop (and been playing guitar!) since grade school. It turned out decent & was an invaluable experience... though I ended up liking the guitar more then he did!

    So really, it all depends...
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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    There was a thread on this a year ago, and the posters said that the average cost, everything included (which is a lot more parts and labor than you realize up front), was around $1,200 to $1,400 (and that doesn't count any tools they had to buy). They're 'parts guitars' put togther by God knows who, so resale value is dismal. For that much money you could buy a used high-end guitar that was built right (by people who know what they're doing), and will hold it's value. I'm sure you can find something already built that has everything you want.

    What if you don't like how a Warmouth turns out, how it feels or how it sounds? The individual pieces of wood you end up with may have tones & sustain qualities you just don't like. It's an expensive venture for guys with modest incomes. It could be great or a financial disaster. Would you spend over $1,000 on any other guitar, knowing that the resale value would be only a fraction of what you paid, and not be able to play it before buying it? No matter what we all say up front, most guitars eventually get resold for one reason or another. For the right person, a Warmouth is great. If you have thousands of dollars in the bank, have some luthier experience, and want to indulge yourself, go for it. If not, you ought to save up for deals on existing guitars.

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    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Warmoth is great if you know exactly what you want and it doesn't already exist. The quality of the parts they make is phenomenal. For me, the resale value issue is a reasonable sacrifice for having an instrument made exactly the way I want it. I think their prices are very reasonable, the finished guitar will cost around as much as an American Fender, depending on the options you choose. Cheaper than a new Gibson by a long shot, and CUSTOM! Just make sure you know what you're doing it assembling it or take it to a luthier/repairman you trust.

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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    its absolutely not fully custom. for instance, I wanted a 25'' neck, and they didn't do that,nor an angled headstock-neck with a ziricote neck. Others, which are cheap too, do that though, but warmoth is VERY good quality. I have now 10 warmoth les pauls, and I've had over 20 gibson les pauls, but sold all but 2 of them. I am planning on 2 more by Warmoth, because the woods, tone and options are wider than gibson (and I like to 'build'/assemble the guitars). But its true, you only have a vague idea about the tone and playability the first time, the second, third and n'th time, you have a much better idea, but still not 100%, but the part of not knowing does not weigh up against Gibson guitars, cause those guitars really aren't what I think to be top notch.

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    Ultimate Tone Member FrankyBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Thanks for answering guys, it really is cool.
    I was not planning on getting a Warmoth guitar, but when I saw the 30th anniversary of Warmoth with the 20% discount, I wondered why some people were really excited about it. It seems to be a great experience to build up a guitar like this. For now, my friends trust me enough to make basic set-ups to their guitars (action, intonation, truss rod, pickups...) and I hope to be a great guitar tech someday. Lol this thread is going somewhere else.
    Frank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Whatever you do, remember to play in the crabcore position, it helps with the tone.

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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    There are a couple of issues with construction that you can decide whether they are important to you or not.

    I don't buy anything with double truss rod or double action truss rod.

    I don't like their vintage tremolo route which has overhang (that means it is too large towards the bridge posts) both to the front and the back, so I don't buy their Strat bodies either.

    I don't buy anything with sleeved on headplates, so everything with tilted headstock (LP, Explorer, V) is out, too.

    I received good and average fretwork so far, nothing bad.

    Some people bash their Strat body shape as being off, but I don't care about that.

    If you buy their finish be aware it's poly. I don't think good, thin poly sounds worse than nitro, but some do. I prefer tru-oil/wax necks anyway (like MusicMan). Nitro is certainly easier to repair but gets damaged easier in the first place.

    All the funky options on necks are expensive and usually require you to go with the double truss rod and/or other pretty random looking restrictions.

    %%

    Just buying a straight-out Tele with a couple of custom options is something I would say is their strongest point. I like Ebony board, double double binding, truoil/wax neck, custom pickup routes, must have 1-1/16" nut and the frets I want. I can have that from them, none of the above issues apply, so all is great. I can't have LPC inlays, but I'll live.

    Certainly beautiful maple tops on Strats are also a strong point, although the finishes are more "yelling" than e.g. a Gibson finish would. They need to fiddle with the Huey slider a bit, I think.

    You can get into real messes of exotic woods, heavy truss rods, uncomfortable (to you) neck shapes if you are not careful.

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    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Quote Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
    I don't buy anything with double truss rod or double action truss rod.
    Why does this bother some people? I've used necks with traditional truss rods, and I've used necks with double truss rods...I don't see what all the fuss is about. What am I missing? Is it just a weight issue?

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    Mojo's Minions J Moose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Quote Originally Posted by SabbathFan0220 View Post
    Why does this bother some people? I've used necks with traditional truss rods, and I've used necks with double truss rods...I don't see what all the fuss is about. What am I missing? Is it just a weight issue?
    I don't get it either... unless its some sort of vintage snob appeal... "That's not how Leo did it" kind of thing. I do realize that the thicker rod changes the tone & mass of the neck to some degree but I dunno, its just not a big deal to me.


    Not all Warmoth builds are going to end up at $1500 or more... maybe if you go nuts with custom finishes, exotic AAAAA woods, one piece bodies and all that sort of stuff, but if you ordered a guitar with similar options from Shur or Tom Anderson you'd be looking at $4000 so its all relative.

    IME, its entirely possible to put one together for under $1k with money left for a hard case & enough beer & munchies to fuel the build. Some of that comes down to paint... if you can DIY or go with a bottle of Tru-Oil there's a pretty tremendous savings. What's the average body finish at W? $200?

    The build I'm planning, even if I go with a Limba body ($280 w/heel cut!) will come in around $800 including pickups. That's not bad at all...
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    Mojo's Minions DrNewcenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Double-acting trussrods allow for both forward and backward adjustment. Wood will not always bend/flex in the same direction if left alone. If the tension of the strings pulls the neck forward (as is typical) you need the rod to pull the neck straight.

    However, as has happened, if the neck pulls back against the strings and the string tension is not enough to keep the neck straight, the double-acting rod will do it.

    If it adds any mass, it's negligible and I seriously doubt anyone but a dog could detect the difference in a blind test.


    I've had Warmoth stuff over the years. Avoid the Soloist body. Most uncomfortable body I ever had my hands on. Ick. Dunno which Jackson they tried to mimic with that one but someone played a horrible prank on them.

    I do like Warmoth's necks and the Star body, though. Was never a fan of the Strat body, even Fender's. Teles and me do not get along.

    However, I've never carred for Warmoth's blind allegience to the Fender Way. 24 fret necks with 3 frets hanging over the body? Is this really the best they could do?
    You get one neck heel width and one neck pocket width and that's it? No contemporary advancements? You can get vintage fretboard radii and one half-assed compound radius choice, but not on certain necks?

    For all that, I'll stick to ready-mades.

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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    Would you spend over $1,000 on any other guitar, knowing that the resale value would be only a fraction of what you paid, and not be able to play it before buying it?
    Isn't that pretty much true of any guitar? Granted it will be a bigger hit with a parts guitar but still, anything not bought used will take a significant hit on resale

    All that said, the key to a successful build is 1)Having enough experience to know what to expect from the various woods and components and how they will interact. Those exotic they offer are intriguing to be sure but there is a reason certain woods are preferred by most builders. 2) The skill to "build a guitar" not simply bolt things together. Its no simple task to make a quality nut, level frets, set intonation, do a clean electrics install etc etc. I have built around 15 instruments over the years. The first few took a long time to getright as I had to learn to make the nuts, do a fret level etc. I trashed a couple of necks learning those skills. I haven't even talked about how to do the finish work yet.

    I would take some time to play a veriety of instrument to get a feel for what seems to work for you and then invest in a quality used instrument that fits that bill. You will get a proven instrument to play and gain experience with
    Last edited by AudioWonderland; 12-24-2009 at 05:56 AM.

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    Mojo's Minions Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    I would guess that they offer a lot more options than Fender does- and it will come out a lot less than if your ordered something from most factory 'custom shops'.
    No one makes any off-the-rack guitars that I love everything about. Maybe it is the neck shape, maybe it is the pickups, or maybe the finish, but there is always something I am not happy about.
    I'd be willing to take the chance though- I have a really good idea of what I like, and if Warmoth can make it (looks like they can), then I am all for it.

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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    i had a local Guitar Maker put a Parts guitar together for me in 1994... i spent a lot on the best parts i could afford... i did use a Warmoth neck on that guitar... The guy finnished my neck in Nitro... that guitar is the best axe i own today... i think at the time it cost me $1800 for everything including finnish work and tech time to put it together...

    after it was together the tech said to me man have you got a winner... i asked him what he meant... he said he took it to a local Pro Shop to show it off to some of the other Techs he knew as it just seemed to sound extra wonderful... he said everyone was lovin it... after i got home and plugged it in i knew he was not talking trash...!!!!

    I've had many different PU's in that guitar and all of them have sounded amazing! I've experimented with different PU's and no matter what i seem to choose it always sounds great... Right now it just has some Dimarzio PAF's in it... i've had PU's by many makers in it... i do have a new set of Duncans i was going to throw in it next for fun but for now i like it as is...

    the neck i got from Warmoth was a modern strat neck, 1 11/16th nut, double truss rod, Straight 10inch radius, 6105's, and has locking tuners installed, a real bone nut...

    a huge part of the playability is the work the tech has done to it... the frets are perfect and the set up rocks!

    the only down side to such an expensive Parts Guitar is it has little re-sale value!!! but who cares... this thing rocks!!!

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    No one makes any off-the-rack guitars that I love everything about. Maybe it is the neck shape, maybe it is the pickups, or maybe the finish, but there is always something I am not happy about.
    Thousands of models of electric guitars, and you don't like any of them. The vast majority of us are much easier to please. Maybe a PU or magnet swap to tweak our tone.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Will S-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    I love the options that are on offer, particularly with bodies and the baritone neck I recently bought.
    Last two bodies were a 72 Tele bass, two piece centre joined figured alder routed for
    a Rio Grande bridge Powerbucker (two J's sise by side) and P bass middle, and a nicely flamed maple capped
    Tele routed for mini hum, strat and normal bridge, also nice two piece alder back.

    Recent necks are a Tele R/W board bass, a flamed maple and Brazilian R/W board Tele and the Baritone,
    28 5/8 scale, R/W board, compound radi, extra wide (1 3/4) nut and jumbo frets.
    I always profile the back of the necks to desired specs during the pre finish assembly to make sure
    everything comes together. Only then do I settle on finish, wiring and/or pickup changes, strings and cosmetics.

    I always do my ordering through the same salesperson (Spike) other than a few things from their recent sale.

    For me a guitar is a recipe of ideas and how the sum of it's components interact
    in achieving the goal of the the individual guitar's personality.
    No two are alike and and all my projects are designed aginst the given use of the guitar.

    For me it's Warmoth and USACG for the stuff the others just can't offer.

    Cheers, Will.
    Last edited by Will S-T; 12-23-2009 at 08:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Sometimes it's a combination of research, skill and a little luck. The JPM1 (named after my son) is a mahogany tele body, rear routed for tow humbuckers with a strat neck pocket. The luck part was finding a pre-finished body already routed (on auction site) and the reverse headstock ziricote neck froom Warmouth. My research revealed the tonal qualities of the various woods and their interactions. In this case my son, JPM, wanted a Tele shaped body, Strat shape and feel neck but with LP tone and sustain. It's a string through body so I didn't have to worry about an independent tailpiece and bridge but then I had to use a Tele style bridge.

    The cost of everything was about $1000 but it would have been 3 or 4 times more expensive going to the custom shop to get the same instrument. What's the biggest difference? My son (built the JPM1 as a high school graduation present and he's now 24) plays it as his humbucker guitar (Mex Strat with Am Std pups from my strat and Epi Casino Lennon Revolution are his other guitars) and it will be something for him to share with his kids or grandchildren in years to come. It may not be Stradivarius but with care it will last as long and will only get better with age.

    If you decide to go down the Warmouth route, plan what you want to build carefully and think it through thoroughly. Study the diffent designs and specs of the neck cause that's the make or break part of the guitar from myn standpoint. If you goof up the wiring it's pretty easy to fix but if you goof up on the neck you're probably doomed. The next Warmouth project is in the planning stages and may actually take six to twelve months just to figure out the body shape and neck type. However, I'm always looking at Warmouth necks in stock in case something strikes me right.

    Considering symmetrical double cut-away body with burstbuckers and Start neck. Probably want a reverse headstock neck so I'll have to either get lucky again or have them carve one for me but only after decisions are made as to radius, headstock angle, fret size, number of frets,scale, nut width, wood variety, etc. This is the stuff designers and luthiers do all of the time by drawing and mocking up a prototype. For us mortals, it's more difficult due to smaller resources which is where research and careful consideration comes into play.

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    Mojo's Minions Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warmoth Guitars...

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    Thousands of models of electric guitars, and you don't like any of them. The vast majority of us are much easier to please. Maybe a PU or magnet swap to tweak our tone.
    Yeah, weird huh? No one makes scalloped-neck headless synth ready guitars out of carbon fiber, under 6 lbs. I guess I am happy not being in the vast majority.
    But really, it isn't just about tone- ergonomics, weight, travel-ability (thats why I like my Steinbergers, but they aren't perfect either), balance, where the switches/knobs are, etc. Basically, the guitar has to conform to me, not the other way around.

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