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Where to find thru-body necks

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by detracti, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    Okay, I haven't built anything yet, but for a year or two now, I've been doing woodworking projects, and accumulating related tools (have yet to get a bandsaw).

    I don't want to take on making a neck, as it seems to me that is where the most experience would be needed to get it right. Cutting and shaping body wings, gluing, routing, wiring etc all feel more like things I could handle.

    So what I want to do is build a Gibson Ripper clone, but as a neck-through. So it would need to be 20 frets, with 14-15 additional inches of body blank. Also, want a tilt-back headstock, ideally shaped like a Gibson.

    Does anyone on here know, other than Carvin, where I could find something like that, or someone who would build one without it costing a fortune?

  2. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    Ripper clone? good luck finding those weird pickups!
  3. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
  4. asad137


    Jan 18, 2007
    There was a guy on the Carvin forum that did something like this. He basically just made two saw cuts, one parallel to the body and one parallel to the fret tangs to make his 24-fret neck a 22-fret neck. He probably finished it off with a router or something to clean up the surfaces. Looked great.

  5. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    Thank you all for the replies here!

    Seymour Duncan makes replacement Ripper pickups. As far as how the rest of the wiring goes, with the varitone, I don't think I want to duplicate that part of it.

    I'd rather do something like individual volume for each pickup, and wire, switchable, for positions 1 and 3 only on the varitone... and/or an onboard preamp.

    Just kicking around ideas right now, but I figure since I'm not hacking up an original I could try anything. I definitely want the look and feel, but not necessarily interested in perfectly duplicating the tone.

    Thanks again.
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It wasn't a Varitone, a Varitone is a midrange notch filter. It was the pickup selector. It had four positions, both pickups, series, in phase/bridge pickup/both pickups parallel, in phase/both pickups series out of phase.
    A more useable version would have been both pickups series, neck, both pickups parallel, bridge.

    The Ripper did have a midrange cut control, and that part is exactly like a Vartitone circuit, but with just one cap, and a pot instead of a switch.
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Looks like a cap and an inductor in series, right?
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yep. The EB-2 had a similar circuit, but without the cap (though the Epiphone reissues have a cap). I rewired my EB-2 with a Varitone. Varitones switch between 5 different caps.

    Bill Lawrence designed the L-6S guitar and the L9-S Ripper, and they both had the midrange controls. A bit later he came out with his own Q and L filters, which are pretty much the same thing.

    You can fake the inductor with a small audio transformer. I've had good luck with the audio transformer from RadioShack, and Craig Anderton recommends a transformer from Mouser Electronics, part #42TM-019, which has a 100 Ohm primary.

    There's a used Ripper in a local music store here.
  9. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    So you work on Gibsons & Epiphones sometimes?
  10. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yes I do.

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