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Building Electric Guitars: How to Make Solid-Body, Hollow-Body and Semi-Acoustic Electric Guitars and Bass Guitars Paperback – September 1, 2001
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"Kochuses the bare basics as a jumping off point, going on to describe electricguitarconstruction in a thorough and orderly manner" -- Book review in issue number 63 of American Lutherie, the quartely journal of The Guild of American Luthiers
From the Author
There are many different methods of designing and building an instrument. In this book, I am going to describe my personal approach and experiences. If work is carried out with great care and precision, everybody will in the end have a good-quality and nice-looking instrument to call their own. I would even go so far as to claim that a home-made electric guitar can well compete with expensive, industrially-manufactured makes; after all you can afford to select the best wood available and to buy highquality hardware as well as to tailor the instrument to fit your personal requirements. And, what's more, you can afford to invest a lot of time. I should also like to mention the special relationship with your guitar that you are going to enjoy, a feeling which you will hardly ever experience with a bought instrument.
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Negatives are, as mentioned in some of the other reviews, all photos are in black & white, relatively poor quality and small (because they've tried to include too many photos - do we really need seven photos showing how to get your solid body blank cut out of a log plank). Other than that, this is an excellent book and one you could use by itself to make yourself a very nice guitar that wouldn't look like any other guitar! That's the reason to get this book! If you're just going to make another Telecaster/Stratocaster/Les Paul clone, you might as well just look for a good used model of one of those and buy it. However, if you've seriously wanted to "make your own" and do all the exotic electronic wiring options you've heard people talk about, while making it out of some exotic wood you couldn't afford any other way, with a wild transparent "burst" finish - this is the book for you! Enjoy the ride!
This is an in depth book with details I never would have discovered. It's going to take longer; however, upon completion
I believe I will have a great guitar that I am proud of and will enjoy for years. Costly and time consuming mistakes can
be eliminated if you follow the instructions in this book.
A lot of people have complained that the photos are not high quality. While they are not the quality that one might expect for a modern publication, they clearly communicate what is going on.
This book is very detailed and comprehensive. There are many practical suggestions and the writing is clear. There are no actual detailed plans. You are required to develop your own design. There are many guitar plans available from the internet so this is no problem. You must have some minimum wood working skills.
I give the book a 4 star rating because the small black and white photos are difficult to see. For any future edition, please use better quality photos to illustrate the work done. Also for any future edition, it would be interesting to include design ideas for pickup coil auto-winding devices, custom bridges, custom tailpieces and custom designed headless tuning systems.
1. Incredibly, the book lacks an INDEX, so you'll have to read the whole thing to find whatever information you might be searching for. This is unacceptable for a reference book.
2. As other reviews have said, the photos leave a lot to be desired. (Black-and-white photos don't bother me; however, most are simply too small to pick up on the important details...)
3. If I were the author, I'd hire a different proofreader -- I found at least one chapter with multiple paragraphs repeated. If I were the author, I'd hire a different proofreader -- I found at least one chapter with multiple paragraphs repeated. Repeated. Repeated.
The author certainly knows his subject and, content-wise, this is a great book. But its simply not in the same class as the other classic electric and acoustic guitar-building books. And without an index, my copy will most likely stay in excellent shape, sitting on the bookshelf unattended.