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Thread: Lockdown project: 6 string guitar to 8 string zouk

  1. #1

    Default Lockdown project: 6 string guitar to 8 string zouk

    Thought some here might enjoy seeing my fun lockdown project - from neglected pawn shop 6 string single pickup guitar to 8 string three pickup electric guizouki!

    Working from the sharp end to the blunt end:
    - Plug middle two machine head holes, drill 4 new holes (scary part as hard to fix if it goes wrong) and fit 8 new mini machine heads.
    - Shape new nut from bone, and slot for 8 strings. Probably the hardest part, first time I'd tried making a bone nut and my files will never be the same again!
    - Rout out a new cavity for a neck pickup.
    - Fit two EMG active pickups (secondhand from eBay) and rings.
    - Design and machine new bridge from a block of brass. The longest part of the project - mainly because I burnt out the motor in my milling machine while doing this and had to fit a new one.
    - Shape saddle from bone, and fit Fishman Sonicore pickup element underneath.
    - Design and build new electronics to allow blending of all three pickups, and a tone control, while just using the original two pot positions.
    - Fit new tailpiece, drilled to take the strap pin.

    It's a really fun instrument, the piezo's a bit "lively" at the moment (there's a difference between a nice acoustic'y touch of string noise and screeching!) so I'll tone that down a bit. And I might need to put a discrete damping pad under the tail end of the strings, they're fine most of the time but when I stick it through my Tube Screamer cranked right up then all sort of extra tones start to appear - of course I could always not crank it right up (but where's the fun in that? ) But other than that I'm really pleased with it.

    The donor guitar was a DeArmond M-55 (really an Indonesian Fender), they're lovely guitars for conversion, dead simple construction, nice necks, and come up very cheaply - this is the second one I've bought for around 40GBP.



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