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Author Topic: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
Maurice

Posts: 9
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Post Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: September 29, 2013, 18:35
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Greetings--I was visiting more seven or so months ago, and now I'm carving out the time to read more Tonefiend...and do projects. I've had the pieces for this particular project for a while, and it's time to get back to it. I kind of lost momentum when I was trying to work out the wiring scheme, so this is just thinking out loud, and I'd be interested in hearing recommendations or suggestions.

The ingredients:

White Belmont guitarkitsusa body.
Eastwood Saturn neck (new, just happened to pop up on ebay, and I won it for $55)
Two Lace Alumitone P-90s.
Various hardware.

Undecided: hollowbody tailpiece or Bigsby B-5? If I'm honest with myself, I think I have to go Bigsby.

Wiring scheme: I thought I'd settled on one, but I'm still waffling. The tentative scheme was to be something like individual pickup volumes, master volume, master tone. Thinking five-way switch, for bridge only, both, neck only, with intermediates for both-out-of-phase and both-in-series. But I'm not entirely sure on that.

Also, I've been considering using those NS Jackpots that apparently have a switch at the top of the range, to take the pot out of the circuit entirely, for no inherent treble loss. Seems great...but I'm seeing that Lace recommends using 250K pots with Alumitones to keep them from becoming too trebly. I'm inclined to maybe go higher than that--maybe I could pull off some biting Rowland S. Howard tones, if I went with 500K or even 1M. But I could still have a master tone in there to pull it back.

Anyone work with Alumitones? What works best? Suggestions? (I'm wondering if I shouldn't go TBX.)

smgear

Posts: 170
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Post Re: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: October 7, 2013, 06:03
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I've never used the alumitones, though they've been on my radar for awhile. I have been eyeing those bodies though. So I can't give you any advice other than your goal sounds awesome and I'd love to hear the final results! ) Oh- and wire it up with a 500 and then adjust it to the top range that sounds best to you and then add some resistors to fix the top at that point.

Maurice

Posts: 9
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Post Re: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: October 12, 2013, 07:44
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That's a really good idea, and goes well with the whole Res-O ethos of "open it up and do whatever you want." Thanks!

I think right after I posted that, I learned about the Fender No-Load pots, which are basically the same as those NS Jackpots, but without a clickable switch--just a straight contact at the top of the range, at the end of the resistive material. And they're a few bucks cheaper. (Lots of complaints about those from Strat players--I guess the Strat bridge pickup's already trebly enough. But it sounds like what I'm looking for.)

Just to be ridiculous, I'd also bought a K&K piezo pickup set to go under the bridge, kind of like the original Belmonts, but I think the levels might not work with the Alumitones. Also, the control layout would start to get like knobmageddon.

bear

Posts: 153
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Post Re: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: October 12, 2013, 09:47
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Hmm. Easier idea on controls would be to give the piezo a separate output and do controls there. The output could just be from a single stereo jack with shared ground. I don't know how well that would work with an on-board preamp, but maybe not so bad to do a short run to an outboard preamp.

Maurice

Posts: 9
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Post Re: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: October 12, 2013, 13:59
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Good point. I'm still undecided on the piezo.

In other news, I did epoxy the center block on today, and it's good to make some progress. On the other hand, that two-part epoxy hardener is some nasty stuff, so I'm glad had a nice enough day to do that gluing outside. Image

mwseniff

Posts: 149
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Post Re: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: October 13, 2013, 05:35
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Quote from bear on October 12, 2013, 09:47
Hmm. Easier idea on controls would be to give the piezo a separate output and do controls there. The output could just be from a single stereo jack with shared ground. I don't know how well that would work with an on-board preamp, but maybe not so bad to do a short run to an outboard preamp.

I think the outboard preamp is a great idea as it would leave as little stuff inside the body to interfere with natural tone as possible. This assumes that it would not compromise the piezo sound (I am not a big piezo fan). There are some pedal type units on the market from many mfrs that have gain and EQ as well as a footswitch to turn it on and off. Not to dofficult to build yourself but you need a very high input impedance to get the most out of the piezos. My electric cello piezos suffered no problems with an external box but it is now mounted on the cello's "backbone" (a perforated 1" square sign post which sounds worse than it is but that's what my buddy built it with originally and it works great).

Maurice

Posts: 9
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Post Re: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: February 15, 2015, 21:22
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It's been a while, but after a long not-building, I've resumed construction on the Res-O, getting it this far:

Image

Current wiring plan: toggle between pickups, output goes to 250K Fender no-load for volume, that goes to another no-load for the tone...which leads to a GFS varitone board. No piezo. I'll admit to being inspired by Joe's varitone posts!

Not wired yet, but it's playable, even with the back off. The neck feels great. I'm considering two-sided tape under the old-school bridge feet to keep it from sliding when I use the Bigsby.

Maurice

Posts: 9
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Post Re: Res-O-Glas with Lace Alumitones
on: March 22, 2015, 17:22
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Progress: 1/2" hole drilled for the pickup switch (needed to buy a larger chuck for the drill), holes for the controls drilled and controls put in (though not wired yet--this week!). You'll see the varitone board in there. Oddly, the Gretsch knobs were fractionally tighter than the Fender potentiometer shafts, so I went at them with a half-round needle file (took forever) and finished up with a 455 Dremel grinding stone.

Image
Image

Next up, wiring, putting the back on, and doing the double-sided adhesive under the bridge. I might just string up the Bigsby "wrong" so I can get a shallower angle over the bridge.

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