Sunday, July 25, 2010

Orange "CrudBox" Project guitar

I bought this guitar, a few years ago now, from a bric-a-brac and bonzai shop in North Fitzroy.

It's an interesting beast, as it seems to have been home-made, in a slightly rudimentary fashion, cobbled together from a mixture of assorted old parts, based loosely on the famous Fender Telecaster outline. The neck seems to be taken from an old affordable 60's Japanese made guitar, the body seems to be made from some basic building timber - perhaps pine - chiseled out roughly for the pickups and electronics, and painted a nice shade of orange, with funky pickguard shaped and fashioned to suit. The pickups were both originally taken from a German "Hofner" electric guitar from the 70's, making me think that this was probably put together some time during that decade, from whatever parts could be scrounged. I have seen one vaguely similar guitar since, which makes me wonder if the creator was messing around with a few different ideas back in the day, perhaps even with a dream of going into manufacturing his own line one day. Who knows?

One of the problems when I received the guitar, is that the bridge pickup was DOA. I took the pickup cover off and had a look inside at the wiring, but there was no obvious point I could see where the fine wires had snapped or come loose from the winding, so I'm presuming it's a break somewhere deeper down in the coil. Might need a complete rewind. I tried out the neck pickup in the bridge position, but it's got a bit of a dull sound, indicating these are pretty lo-fi pickups anyway. My hope is that, with a few strategic tweaks during the repair/remodeling process, the pickup could be rewound to give a clearer, more present tonal response too. Might be a job ideally suited to Seymour Duncan and the folks over there in Santa Barbara, if I can make it up that way when I embark on my maiden voyage to the States next month!

In the meantime, I installed a basic Tele-style bridge pickup in the guitar, which actually sounds pretty great - though it's out-of-phase with the neck pickup, and is held in place with foam and little twigs of wood to keep it in the right position!

Other tweaks I made were to move the very basic vibrato bridge back towards the base of the guitar and add a Rickenbacker-style saddle. This gave me the best of both worlds - provision for adjusting the intonation (and height) at this point, and also a good match for the narrow neck width of this guitar, which must be the same as the old smaller scale Rickenbackers.

My other homemade custom electric guitars:

Some Hofner links, and info on the Hofner pickups:

Details of the various pickups and electronics used over the years:

Here you can see that my pickup is called the TYPE 513:

and here you can see the internal construction of this style of pickup:

Some general info on Hofner products:

Collecting Hofners:

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