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Thread: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

  1. #26
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Thx, all. re: "contrast between silver and pickguard"... yeah, the body color looks kind of silvery in that pic. It's really a greenish putty color.

    Thanks for sharing the vid of Jason Anick.

    My favorite vid of this little solidbody is this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWKNeWR-MSY

  2. #27
    Registered User Mercury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Quote Originally Posted by terzinator View Post
    well, I went in a different direction... Sanded off the stain, and went with a putty color... Montana spraypaint. Color is called "Ice Bear." It seems to have a tiny hint of green to it, and it looks really cool on the body.



    Just need to add a second coat, and we'll move on to assembly!
    Hi Chris,

    Wondering if you used a clear-coat lacquer after painting the body, to seal it? Also, did you sand between coats, or is this (or the clear-coating) unnecessary using this product?
    Last edited by Mercury; Jan-18-2012 at 7:56am.

  3. #28
    Registered User Ronny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Nicely done, Chris.
    Déjà Vu 5s 'Clockwork Orange 2' Emando - 'Clockwork Orange 3' Octave Emando - Goodtime Tenor Banjo - Former Framus mandocello
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  4. #29
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    I didn't use a clear-coat afterwards, but probably could have.

    If I were to do it again, I would do a more thorough job sanding between coats, then probably use a finishing compound on it to give it a more professional finish.

    So, the finish isn't glassy smooth by any stretch. Some places are smoother than others, but it looks good for a first effort. My plan is to do one of the Moongazer 5-stringers next, and I'll pay closer attention to the finish. I'll probably do it in the spring when I can paint outside in the garage where it's better ventilated. It's cold here in Minnesota (duh!), so doors are closed and it's pretty easy to stink up the house with paint fumes.

    I started setting it up last night; I have a little bit more work to go on the nut, but it sounds pretty good!

    I did fill the pickup cavity with copper tape from Stew-Mac, and I got a sheet of metallic adhesive to put on the pickguard itself. So it's fairly interference-free. (I also splurged on one of the electrosocket jack mounts below and added a switchcraft jack, each of which I think is a big improvement over stock.)


  5. #30
    Registered User Mercury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Quote Originally Posted by terzinator View Post
    I didn't use a clear-coat afterwards, but probably could have.

    If I were to do it again, I would do a more thorough job sanding between coats, then probably use a finishing compound on it to give it a more professional finish.

    So, the finish isn't glassy smooth by any stretch. Some places are smoother than others, but it looks good for a first effort.
    Still, it looks awesome! Must build me a kit too someday...

    Best regards.

  6. #31
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Finished with filing the nut down, and the darned thing plays pretty good!

    Fun as all get out. I only have an acoustic amp at this point, but I plugged it in, added a touch of reverb, and the thing puts out some respectable tone. I might just have to bring it to a gig!

  7. #32

    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Nice job Chris. Enjoy it!!!!!
    Chinn BluesBird Emando #1
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  8. #33
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Went to a jam this afternoon, and I didn't even think of bringing the telemando, dangit. Turned out lots of folks were plugged in, and it would have been perfect. Shoot.

    Just snagged a 70's Pignose 7-100 off ebay to play this thing through. (One of those little portable ones.) I love using these as a pre-amp into a bigger amp. Super fun tone.

    Should have it by the end of the week.

  9. #34
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    I just ordered one from Amazon: $125 including tax, free shipping (I'm an Amazon Prime member). I built the Saga Les Paul kit a number of years ago and was pretty pleased with the results.
    Somewhere on You Tube I saw one of these mandolins that the builder had painted black and it looked sharp as all getout so I think I'll go with that. Maybe black metalflake if I can find some auto paint that color.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
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  10. #35
    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Pignose are awesome little amps. I went to a rock jam and used a rockman running stereo into a couple piggy's. the looks I got setting those up was funny. never forget Bob, holy crap those little things are loud, battery power? haha

  11. #36

    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Paul, make sure to put up a thread and show some pics of the build!
    Chinn BluesBird Emando #1
    Aria M-300BG 2 Point
    Michael Kelly Legacy O
    Kay Model 68
    Stoneman Travel Mando

  12. #37
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    That Saga looks good in that color. Nice job.

  13. #38
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    yes I built one and it came out very nice.I didn't like the supplied bridge and tailpiece so I got a Tele style($30 Allparts)and had to cut the bottom of the neck to lower it to the body.put it all together with Fender strings,plugged it in and no sound.I looked at wiring diagrams but I can't find one that shows the positive and negative from the pickup or the ground to the bridge.does anybody know the correct wiring?

  14. #39
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    You could try a process of elimination......
    If you have a multimeter, set it in the 20k range, test the two output wires of the pickup to see if you have a reading that`s not 1!
    If not, forget the rest of the wiring - bypass the pots and wire the pickup direct to the socket (+ and - don`t matter) see if you get some sound....
    If not, then the pickup is dodgy, if yes..........
    http://www.almuse.co.uk/Tech_Book.pdf may help!

  15. #40
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    yes I built one and it came out very nice.I didn't like the supplied bridge and tailpiece so I got a Tele style($30 Allparts)and had to cut the bottom of the neck to lower it to the body
    Would love to see this! Post a pic!

  16. #41
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    thanks for the diagram,pots jack and pickup are all wired correctly.wired pickup direct to jack and nothing.took pickup apart and can see that it is not assembled correctly and will never work.am ordering new pots, knobs and Almuse pickup.after reading about them I think that would be the best thing to do even if the supplied pickup did work (or buzzzzzzz)will post photo when finished.

  17. #42
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Are the Saga pickups standard Telecaster neck type?

  18. #43
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    yep,the Saga pickup is Tele style neck w/six poles

  19. #44
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Hmmm....might be worth developing a replacement then.......4 poles!
    Any chance of a measurement of the string spacing over the pickup please? - 1st to 4th is easiest (in metric then divide by 3). My guess would be around 10mm.
    Cheers
    Pete.

  20. #45
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    The spacing on my vintage Kentucky solid body that the kit appears to emulate is 11mm.

  21. #46
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    I added new bridge and Almuse pickup that sounds fabulous.
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  22. #47
    Always learning something Mo Soar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Just finished this - meet Hank!

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    Pretty much what everyone else says. Fun, inexpensive, a couple problems here and there. Biggest problems - bridge is in the wrong place, it'll take completely resetting the bridge to fix. Two of the tuners were drilled off center and weren't usable. Pickup isn't grounded, there are shielding issues - I happen to be married to a pickup maker/electronic engineer, so I suspect I can talk my way into a custom rewind and better components.

    Based the headstock on an old Tele we have, but smoothed it out a little.

    Played it through the spouse's 1962 Fender Princeton and it sounds pretty good, with a new pickup, it could sound great! Inaugural tune? Cold Cold Heart!
    1918 Gibson A, "Lillian";
    1940s (?) Kay A style f hole - currently down for a refret and fretboard re-profile, my first attempts (with guidance) at lutherie.
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    2011 Eastman 504, "Belle";
    2012 Lafferty mahogany octave mandolin;
    2012 Emando (Saga), "Hank"

    1 husband, 2 dogs, 4 chickens.

  23. #48
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Mo; that's a great looking e-mando - Congratulations!
    I'm sorry you have to deal with so many issues with it.
    Hoping everything gets squared away as painlessly as possible.
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
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  24. #49
    Always learning something Mo Soar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Thanks, Ed! You know, for $115 for the entire kit, that isn't really that many issues. I'm certainly not unhappy with it, it just needs a bit more work.

    The paint came from ReRanch, btw, "ReRanch Custom Gorilla Vanilla" - a nice warm white/cream, kinda what Fender Olympic White fades to after about 30 years. "Fender Vintage Cream" was just too yellow. The spouse has a complicated and "don't try this at home" method of getting paint out of a spray can and into his sprayer with the high-quality nozzle (involving a Mason jar, a nail, a wooden jig, a hammer and eye protection). He used a white primer, the ReRanch paint and 3 coats of clear and then buffed and polished it.
    1918 Gibson A, "Lillian";
    1940s (?) Kay A style f hole - currently down for a refret and fretboard re-profile, my first attempts (with guidance) at lutherie.
    1981 Washburn M7SN (2 point);
    2011 Eastman 504, "Belle";
    2012 Lafferty mahogany octave mandolin;
    2012 Emando (Saga), "Hank"

    1 husband, 2 dogs, 4 chickens.

  25. #50
    Always learning something Mo Soar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saga solidbody e-mando kit... anyone build one?

    Oh, and the "vintage" finish on the headstock and neck is Mohawk tinted lacquer (he thinks the color was Ranch Oak) and it took about 4 coats to get the right color.
    1918 Gibson A, "Lillian";
    1940s (?) Kay A style f hole - currently down for a refret and fretboard re-profile, my first attempts (with guidance) at lutherie.
    1981 Washburn M7SN (2 point);
    2011 Eastman 504, "Belle";
    2012 Lafferty mahogany octave mandolin;
    2012 Emando (Saga), "Hank"

    1 husband, 2 dogs, 4 chickens.

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