I kind-of been in a blogging mood lately, and I think I may write some posts about some of the previous guitars I’ve owned over the years. Anyway, I’ve had N4s on my brain for the past year so this seems appropriate.
A couple weeks ago I placed a thread on The Gear Page about how the luthier I hired to build a guitar for me basically stole my money and wasted a lot of my time. This resulted in me connecting with someone else who ordered an N4 neck & body from the same guy. He did eventually receive his order, but it was a painful process. This nice gentlemen was looking to get out of this project and sold it to me for almost nothing. I’m really looking forward to getting started on this one as there’s a lot to be done.
tl;dr Please, please, please, use caution when dealing with this guy. My 10 month stint dealing with him was quiet painful. He lied (a lot), stole from me, and then disappeared. The police know him by name and are actively looking for him. His parents are disappointed in him and say he’s “having problems”. If you are considering working with or interacting with this person, please use caution and protect yourself. Do not make the mistake I made by trusting him.
This is John Klein
As a RHEL & Fedora user of Atomic Host, I find myself using package layering on a regular basis. I typically only want a limited selection of repos enabled to keep the metadata transfers to a minimum. This is really simple with the default Fedora repos, but can be trickier with RHEL depending on the subscription that’s attached to the system. Subscription-manager can quickly disable everything and then enable the desired repos, but it’s a slower command to execute as it connects to the CDN. Anyway, I found this sed snippet handy for making this easy and quicker:
Continue reading Controlling repos with sed
First, let’s agree that push/pull pots are amazing. In most cases, it’s the perfect way to add a convenient switch without drilling into the guitar or pickguard. These can be used for many useful things such as splitting pickups, series/parallel, phase, high/low-pass switches, etc. Continue reading Improving push/pull pots with Fender-style “bell” knobs
I bought my first Amazon Fire TV in the summer of 2014, and 2.5 years later I’m still loving this device. In fact, I liked it so much that I moved my whole house over to Fire TVs: living room, bedroom, and a fire stick in the playroom (all 1st gen). These are primarily used for streaming content, e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc, mythtv front-end for over-the-air TV via Kodi, and now video games!
The following combination of strat mods is simple to install and greatly increases the tonal palette of the instrument IMO. This requires giving up the traditional 3rd position (middle pickup), but that’s a small price to pay.
- Tone knob assignment – Connect the first tone knob to the neck & middle pickups and dedicate the second one to the bridge pickup.
- Super switch – Replace the standard 5-way with a super switch or 2-pole 5-way w/ the following wiring: N, N+M, N+B, M+B, B This preserves all the “good” strat sounds and adds the “tele” middle sound.
- Strangle Switch (aka high-pass filter) – Basically just a .003 capacitor on a push pull potentiometer. This will cut out low-end frequencies and make the guitar sound so funky.
- Treble Bleed circut – Add a 560pf cap & 300k resistor to the volume pot to preserve tone while using the volume knob.
I’ve really been enjoying my fake Klein for the past year; it’s a solid guitar and incredibly comfortable to play. That said, I have this personality flaw where once I notice that something is less than ideal, it grates on me ….badly, until I fix it. Thus was the case with the bridge and factory frets.
First, Let’s replace the bridge
So the project is complete and now I’d like to walk through the following questions:
- How does the guitar play & sound?
- What was the cost?
- Where are the gaps?
- Are these Chinese kits worth the amount of work and hassle?
The guitar is almost finished. Continue reading Klein Copy: Part XI
Since I opened this kit, I’ve know that some fret work was going to be required. Historically this is an area I’ve avoided and sought professional help, but after spending some time on youtube, I decided I am capable of doing this. …….I just needed to acquire some tools first. The main videos I tried to model/emulate were this, this, and this. Most of the supplies came from Stewart MacDonald. I found a lesser expensive notched straight edge and fret rocker on Amazon, and the Meguiar’s polish and buffer wheel were from an auto parts store where I had a gift card.
Growing up I bought a lot of CDs. Even thought I’ve converted them all to MP3s, I still can’t part with my collection. Storing these in a usable manor has been a challenge over the years though. I’m at the point where I think all CD storage that exists sucks. In fact click here if you don’t believe me. The depressing state of this lead me to use an existing book case I already had a few years back.
Enter the Ikea Billy Continue reading Tweaking the Ikea Billy Bookcase for Perfect CD Storage
The finish is now complete on the Klein. Ultimately, I’m happy with it, but in the grand scheme of things I’d rate it as a C- (or if you’re a Futurama fan a C minus-minus). Continue reading Klein Copy: Part IX
My replacement JCustom headpeice arrived on Thursday from the good folks at HeadlessUSA. They were incredibly helpful with the few questions I had, and for a couple of reasons I’d recommend buying from them via phone rather than ebay like I did. While I’m not crazy about the extra length this will add to the guitar, the quality easily makes up for it. So far it’s easily been worth the money.
The whole time I’ve been working on this guitar the question in the back of my mind has been: is this cheap thing going to actually sound, play, and function like a “real” guitar? I’m at a point where I can’t make any real progress for a week or two but I this afternoon I thought maybe I should mount the bridge and neck, string it up, and see what she’s like. So I did.
I did a little wet sanding on the satin clear coat this week. …..and sure enough I went right through some of the clear coat and white stain. I was really frustrated when it happened, but honestly it’s not too bad and I’ve decided not to sand any further and re-stain the area.
Now it’s a relic!
All of my hardware has arrived with the exception of the new pickguard. I took some time to make sure everything would install as expected. The main piece of the bridge fits in it’s route beautifully, but unfortunately once it’s fully assembled it overhangs on the top of the route.
……almost perfectly blocked tremolo by mistake.
The stain is complete and now begins the long process of the satin clear coat.
After several coats of stain the neck and body are turning out exactly how I had envisioned. Each coat of stain raises the grain so it’s a slow process of stain, lightly sand, stain, lightly sand, etc. I’ve done 5 or 6 coats now and I’m getting close to moving to the next step. Hopefully tomorrow night I can start on the satin clear coat. Continue reading Klein Copy: Part III
Opps. I forgot about the contour for the strap button! Luckily this one is quite simple compared to the last ones I did.
Continue reading Klein Copy: Part II