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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Harley Benton SG Kit Building Diary 3/3 (Harley Benton SG Kit VS Epiphone Les Paul VIDEO)



Thanks to our friend Daniel for playing in our video shootout!

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1/3

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2/3

Welcome to the third and last part of our building diary!
After taking care of the body and of the electronic part of the guitar it was time to mount the bridge.
The Tune o'matic bridge is composed by 2 parts: the Tune o'matic itself, which is the part with the saddles, and the tailpiece. Both these parts are anchored to the body with two big pieces of metal that needs to be literally hammered into the body, using the pre-created holes. be careful when hammering these pieces because any mistake is not revertible, so make sure they go down straight (and without damaging the body).




Once they are all the way in we can mount the Tune o'matic and the stop tail.


Meanwhile I have also screwed in the strap buttons, those parts in which you attach the strap. In this guitar one of the two buttons is set actually in the neck, to balance it a bit better.


Now it was time to make the fretboard nice and smooth, and for this task I have used the Dunlop Deep conditioner oil. This oil makes the fingerboard of a nice dark colour and the wood smooth and shiny, very pleasant to play. 



After applying the oil, letting it be absorbed and removing the excess part with a paper cloth I have mounted the strings.



Now it was time to set the action, I have adjusted the Tune o'matic bridge until I have found the right height of each string, which for me is the lowest one before hearing fret buzz when picking a string.


Once the strings were in place I have made sure the neck was straight, by playing all the strings in all the frets, looking for parts in which there was some "dead note", or in which some bending was muted. Luckily everything was playing fine, sign that the fretwork was impeccable and that the neck was perfectly straight.
Then I proceed with the perfect intonation of the guitar, adjusting the saddles according to the technique explained in this article until everything was perfectly in tune.


Finally, I have set the right pickup height using the two screws on the sides of each pickup: I have raised them until I heard the perfect ringing tail of the note, which is the sign the pickup is at the optimal distance from the strings and ready to rock.


Here is with the strap attached (and yes, I haven't yet removed the protective plastic foil from the electronics chamber cover).


There is still some work to do: as you can see the pickguard is attached to the body only with one screw because the holes for the other screws were not perfectly aligned (anyway this way is already very stable), and the pickup selector is not perfectly vertical but slightly horizontal. I still need to tighten some bolt and adjust it here and there, and maybe someday I will try a new bridge pickup too, but for the moment I am quite happy with this guitar: it is surprisingly playable, the neck is comfortable, it is in tune and the tone is pleasant, although as you can hear from the video quite treble-oriented. Maybe with a darker sounding pickup I can balance the thing a bit, but the wood is very light, so obviously I am not expecting any miracle.
All in all it was extremely fun and pleasant to build, and it is also quite fun to play!
Another sample played with this guitar can be heard in this article.

I hope this was helpful!


CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1/3

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2/3



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