Introducing Killer Frost

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Raiyn, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Title-Card.jpg
    What can I say?
    A few months ago @Dave J hands me a blue partscaster, and even though I used to swear up and down I wasn't a Strat guy, she clicked.
    Oh boy did she click.
    I knew right then, she was going to become Killer Frost.

    She had a Squier neck and a Mexican trem, a full thickness body and import electronics, but she spoke to me.
    Snow-1-small.jpg Snow-2-small.jpg
    Caitlin Snow no more....

    The first thing to go was the 8 hole pickguard.
    This necessitated some surgery.
    Frost-8-to11-small.jpg Frost-8-to11-small-3.jpg
    This wasn't the final configuration of the ground screw wiring, but it illustrates the point.
    Frost-surgery-small.jpg
    I discovered that the opposite wall needed some Dremel massaging to fit the CTS Push pull I was using in the early iterations after I'd shielded it the first time. I also knew I was going to run some extra ground wires from the shield and trem so I enlarged the cavity tunnel to accommodate.
    Frost-Surgery-small-2.jpg
    You can see where I hid the visible copper under the trem with a bit of blue nail polish. She's SUPER quiet in terms of outside interference, and I later used the idea on my guitar teacher's axe.
    You can also see the dust around the tapelines I was using to guide mock out my positioning. :D

    Meanwhile, Dave was applying my custom designed waterslide decal
    Killer-Frost-Final.jpg
    Decal.jpg
    The neck has this really beautiful subtle flame that's really hard to capture in a photo.
    BetterDecal.jpg
    @Dave J is a freaking Jedi Master, and absolutely nailed the decal. It's just perfect.

    Apparently I've hit the image cap for this post...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  2. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Headstock.jpg
    She's rocking a set of Hipshot open gear lockers, TUSQ string trees, and @Dave J installed the brass nut.
    Fretpolish.jpg
    The fretboard got some Crimson Guitars Fretboard Cleaner and Restorative love along with a good Nevr-Dull polish. One thing I noticed is that the headstock is thicker than the Affinity Strat my guitar teacher had me work on.

    Admittedly, she went through a couple sets of pickups and SEVERAL wiring schemes before I landed on Carvin AP11's and the current scheme. I love the Carvin S22 Humbuckers in my G400, and I should have just save the heartaches and gone to them first, but I figured I'd experiment with other, lesser, brands. Mistake.
    zoom.jpg Killer-wiring.jpg

    It's a dual cap system with the Neck and middle tone operated by the first tone pot and the bridge running off the second. 2x .033 Mallory 150's 5% tolerance.
    CTS pots (280K V, 292K T1) and a bang on 250K Bourns Push Pull.
    I'd intended to have a 293K volume pot, but I had a tight knob rip the guts out of that pot and T1 was already in place. They were a "Hot" set of three from Art of Tone with listed values ≥280K so with the push pull in place the spare was available.
    Oak Grigsby switch
    BNTECHGO siicone insulated wires, mostly 24AWG, with 20AWG output and main ground.
    Pure Tone Jack
    Pickguard and trem cover are from Dragonfire.
    She's also rocking a treble bleed.
    Any of the "crimp" connectors are also soldered, at some later point I might heat shrink them, but it's not hurting anything as is.
    wiring.jpg
    I've got the bullet connectors in place because I figured a system of easily swappable pickguards would be cool especially since I have the bathtub rout. I may put together a HSH or SSH pickguard down the road and this modularity simplifies the process.
    Back.jpg
    She's also running a Dragonfire steel trem block and a custom engraved neckplate from FSR
    trio.jpg

    @Davis Sharp hooked her up with that beautiful Dimarzio ClipLock strap Thanks man! I switched in the blue strap ends later.

    I'd intended on doing a full build thread, but three sets of pickups, a half dozen wiring schemes and a hurricane kinda got in the way of all that.
    :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  3. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I want to further thank @Dave J for the gift of this wonderful instrument and the work he put in refinishing the headstock, as well as his patience with the constant delays and revisions. :D
    The man is my freaking Yoda, he's just that damn awesome in my (never-so) humble opinion.

    @Davis Sharp I love the strap, it's perfect for her. Thank you again!
     
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  4. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Excellent work. The theme is strong from headstock to the rear strap button. I like the chrome knobs.
     
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  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    p-k310.png
    They're actually aluminium. :D
    I wanted something other than the typical Tele knobs.
     
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  6. Dave J

    Dave J Active Member

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    Outstanding, my brother.
    Thanks for the kind words, as well.
    Great to see her playable once again, and the results are nothing short of stunning.
    Wiring is nice & tidy too.
    At first the blue on blue just didn't sound like it would work together, but it really does.
    I would have done something garish, like an aged pearl. I like your choice better.

    Now go play that sucker!:cheers:

    I have a new project to share with you on our next lunch gathering.
    You'll dig it.
     
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  7. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I'm not one to lavish undue praise Dave, you oughta know that by now. :D
    I'm just that appreciative of the project you handed me.

    I plan on bringing her along for lunch as well so you guys can see her in person.
     
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  8. Dave J

    Dave J Active Member

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    Be careful, I just may want it back now...:naughty:
     
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  9. DaveInSoCal

    DaveInSoCal Well-Known Member

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    Wow! That guitar kicks serious ass!! I have done 3 Squire upgrades myself, but that is next level sweetness!
     
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  10. CheshireFrog

    CheshireFrog Well-Known Member

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    I don't name my instruments, but that's a pretty good name.
     
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  11. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Even with the setbacks, she was a lot of fun. She's an odd duck, the body and the neck were sourced separately from what Dave me. It's a full thickness body with a Mexican trem. Either way, she's a screamer now!
    She "told" me her name as soon as Dave handed her to me, the main struggle was finding her voice!
     
  12. John

    John Well-Known Member

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    Congrats to the both of you, she is beautiful. The name is spot on and the aluminum knobs are a perfect addition. I really looks beautiful...........
     
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  13. Jeffytune

    Jeffytune Well-Known Member

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    Very nice detailed work the Mr. Raiyn.

    So....how does it sound?
    Can you post a couple sound clips for us?
     
  14. John

    John Well-Known Member

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    No doubt a sound clip would be awesome. I'm almost positive it will sound as good as she looks.....
     
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  15. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I lack the recording capabilities needed to truly due justice to her.

    The main issue I had with the previous pickup sets (besides the one set being totally gooched) was even though I had decent cleans, once I went to crunch, lead, or brown, the mids dropped completely off the map. Think high school kid playing Metallica - just nothing there.

    These Carvin AP11's are nice and articulate with a surprising, but not boomy low end and low mid range while not losing the higher end clarity. It's a fuller tone than the Strats I've been messing with lately, more bluesy and less country feeling. She definitely has that midrange punch I was lacking before when things get dirty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  16. John

    John Well-Known Member

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    Well regardless, you two did a great job on it.
     
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  17. Dun Ringill

    Dun Ringill Active Member

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    Nice work! Thanks for the pix of the process!
     
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  18. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    No worries! If there's anything I do well when it comes to my projects it's document them. :D

    That said, thank technology for digital cameras, I have to shoot at least three or four shots for every one that actually makes it to editing.

    As for tone, I found a video on YouTube that is fairly indicative of what I'm working with here.
     
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  19. MerrChan

    MerrChan Active Member

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    Seriously unreal job!
    Wonderful looking guitar
     
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  20. John

    John Well-Known Member

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    I love that guitar.... Beautiful, and the sound is awesome....
     
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