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Building my 80s replica 70s strat with a Floyd Rose

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  • Building my 80s replica 70s strat with a Floyd Rose

    Hey Folks,

    I'm thinking about having KNE guitar shop build me an alder strat body (Azusa 28) and have them drill for a top mount Floyd rose using the old wood screw posts. Normally I like my Floyd rose trem recessed into the body but this is going to replicate my 1985 white Squier strat that I installed a Floyd rose on back then.

    The original guitar was a 1984 or 1985 Squier 69 strat with the CBS headstock and three bolt rosewood/ maple neck. It was one of those really good ones that folks raved about back then. I bought it from Music Emporium in early 85. It had probably a 7.25 radius which was not too good with the Floyd Rose but I didn't have the skills then to relevel and refret the fretboard to a more acceptable radius like a 12. I'm guessing the body was alder but its been so long since I owned that guitar I cannot remember what they were building the Squier strats in 85. Basswood maybe?

    I will be looking at maybe trying to keep the neck from being shimmed for the Floyd rose but I needed to ask what maybe I should tell Mitch at KNE to do to the neck pocket so I don't have to shim the neck for a top mount Floyd rose. Or maybe I can slightly routed the top just under the front of the bridge to compensate like Fender does on their FL loaded strats these days. Not the blacktop series as they are recessed for their FL trems.

    The picture below was taken in 1985 at the old Touch of New Orleans club in Galveston, yep, its haunted and that odd looking mist type stuff in the pic is something paranormal. Look closely and you can see a face in that white mist.

    Any suggestions?

    BTW, anyone seen the Wild West 1960 Fender custom shop relic strats with the Floyd rose? These sound good but at 4K ouch... too much money. I could build one under $600.00
    Attached Files

  • #2
    epic picture! Looks like a Steel Panther reunion!

    Good luck on the reproduction, alder is a much better choice than basswood unless you like body divots, basswood is too damn soft if you plan on keeping guitar IMO.


    • #3
      Hey Ted,

      Yep, it was the time of the 80s... big

      Sure would be nice if I could still be that skinny... 29 years ago and about 40 pounds heavier now...yikes.... I never realized how much 40 pounds over weight can make me look so FAT...

      I'll probably go the Alder route and do a acrylic lacquer paint job since that's the only paint I have had fairly good luck with painting guitars... doing the rest will be easy.

      I just cannot remember what the Squier body was basswood or alder though... I think it was alder, it did have a really good tone for the type of music we played back then.

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      Black tape to make it look a little more VH-ish... That was our club picture

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tedmich View Post
        epic picture! Looks like a Steel Panther reunion!

        Good luck on the reproduction, alder is a much better choice than basswood unless you like body divots, basswood is too damn soft if you plan on keeping guitar IMO.
        It is soft, but it depends on how you treat your instruments. My current main gigging bass is a 1987 Ibanez SR-885LE with a basswood body that I bought new. It has one divot on the body where I dropped something on it! It's a polyester finish, but still, it's just paint.

        But I agree, for a Floyd I'd use alder. I like alder better anyway, and basswood bodies often crack between the bridge stud and pickup cavity. I'd also go with the threaded inserts for the studs over the wood screw version for the same reason. I've fixed a few guitars that had that issue by inlaying a maple block that the studs were drilled into.
        It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein


        • #5
          its a classic trade off of a light and easy to sculpt body material (basswood) and making something you may want to keep a while. If you are a person needing a durable guitar that will look good for a decade or two you need to use a durable material, like alder ash or (gasp!) hard rock maple. But its hard to work and usually heavy.

          If you are a little guy like Satch and play nightly to pay the bills and are given guitars by sponsors, by all means use the lightest guitar possible, and basswood lasts fine for a single tour. Supposedly ZZ top had balsa guitars, which is technically a hardwood...

          american sycamore is also a fine wood for a painted guitar, as it can be a bit off color, and is light and easy to work.
          Last edited by tedmich; 05-25-2014, 11:26 PM.


          • #6
            Thanks for the info guys. I actually built a superstrat from basswood in 2007. A Warmoth basswood body and neck as seen in the picture below, homebrew paint with acrylic lacquer. Warmth strat conversion neck 24 3/4 It plays really nice and sounds darn good too. I do like alder for tone. But in writing that I like the tone of many woods for guitar, basswood seems to work well for heavy rock music. The black superstrat is an alder body KNE built me of the Azusa Frank template. Its a sweet sounding guitar too.

            In 1985 I remember drilling the Squier body for the 2 pivot posts and then routing the trem cavity a bit for the trem arm. it worked well, had that guitar for a year or so, then a buddy wanted it so I sold it off for money to buy a 1972 Marshall 50 watt with a 60s Marshall 4x12. I guess I'm getting nostalgic wanting to build another superstrat, the idea came after seeing the wild west relic strats on youtube. 4K for a relic strat is just too much money when a person can build one so much cheaper. Its funny but having a Floyd Rose on my strat in 1985 was great to have when most folks didn't have them then. Going crazy on a guitar solo back then and having the guitar stay in tune flipped people out. Now its no big

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            Last edited by Slobrain; 05-26-2014, 01:52 AM.