The Mini Partcaster Guide : making your guitar could improve your guitar knowledge and playing


Active Member
Jun 2, 2022
Reaction score

ten years ago, i always went to stores and tried different guitars within the 1k-2k price range. The MIM strats wouldn't stay in tune and that was annoying. Unless you reached the 2k price tag, guitars had those main issues : Weight, terrible necks, frets were not so good, bad pickups, tremolo stability sucked. Nowadays things have improved quite a lot with the prs se, the new superstrats, evh guitars, and the mim strats are way better. a good way to deal with cost issues was to build a partcaster.

We will go threw some of my builds. Here is my first partcaster :

At the time EVH didn't exist yet and i wanted a kramer 5150 replica badly.

IMG_2804 (2)-min.jpg

IMG_2813 (2)-min.jpg

IMG_2824 (1)-min.JPG

This was my first partcaster and costed me around 800$ :

My next build was a VH1 frankenstrat (it's actually in a rather bad state compared to those picture when it was new) :



This one was built for around 700$

I became interested in george lynch tiger superstrat : I got some infos about his guitar and here was the result :

C7429EE9-2E35-4A53-B96D-AF96EF8954C6-min (1) (1).jpg

Next build was the build i was looking the most. As any VH fan i wanted to get an accurate replica of the frankenstrat but i hadn't 20k bucks in my pocket :

here is a picture of it (not totally finished relicing wasn't complete yet), the neck was extremely dark but i liked it that way.


So you might think that chinese stuff from aliexpress is bad ? THINK again. Many chinese builders who make necks and bodies already worked for big names companies you just have to find them. if you have the right adress you can even send them precious woods and turn them into well built guitar bodies :


IMG_4341-min (1).jpg

After having a look a what you can get here is my guide for the partcaster :

Step one : Instruct yourself about (depending on how much you spend many of those aren't required specially if you order from us part builders) :

- Scale lenght you neck scale lenght needs to match your body scale lenght.
- Intonation.
- Nut building.
- Fret dessing and leveling.
- Painting/finishing

Step two have an idea of what you want to build :

- A replica
- A crazy custom build.
- Something comfy.
- Tonewise Bright dark ? Hot, creamy or edgy ?
- Something you can abuse live
- Something for recording
- Your second wife

Step 3 selection of components :

- Decide your budget and play with it. if you are low on budget you will have to chose your priorities. for example some of you will favor tuning stability and invest more into a tremolo and less into pickups and electronics... it is always a choice base on what you prefer.

- The allparts site offers a variety of parts at different budget, for the lazy ones there is the stratosphere boutique on ebay which sells official gibson and fender bodies for your projects.

- Tremolos : for low budget i recommend to you wilkinson trems or the made in korea floyds roses, the floyd rose special is not great but if you can find the floyd rose 1000 on aliexpress buy one it is a good unit. for the 6 screw tremolos i would just buy a fender one. For mid buget i'd invest into gotoh trems or non fine tuners floyd. For high budget made in us floyd roses or schaller floyd for the 6 screw tremolos i would buy a prs spec tremolo with normal spacing on Knife edge tremolos will always perform better. If you want the 6 screw look then go for a prs tremolo they are 6 scews with knive edges. There is prs se trem for low budget too.

- Tuners : if you use a locking nut spend cheap on the tuners. for low mid budget : My advice is to go for gotoh tuners as those are relatively not very expensive and good quality tuners. If you are building a vintage strat but you really dig the tuning stability there are those vintage locking tuners from gotoh which are insanely good and easy to use. Kluson tuners are nice too but i still think that gotoh and wilkinson are a better price quality ratio. If you want hight quality tuners schallers are the way to go or mann modified locking tuners :

- Nuts : depending on your tastes there are premade nuts made out of bone which are pretty good, there are some brass nuts too which are harder to find. If you want to have maximum tuning stability i encourage you to use a graphtec nut. They are life changing plus they don't impact too much your tone. The bonus is that they are really easy to install and replace.

- Necks : Low budget aliexpress (look for what other people say about one seller on forums and choose wisely sometimes you'll be lucky other times you'll be like hum, it is a matter of search and luck), reverb has also sometimes low prices. Mid budget my way to go is byo guitar or warmoth entry level necks. For high budget i'd recommend musikraft or usacustomguitars. Musikraft are neck specialists and they make pieces of art. They even got the back profiles of various famous artists and that's one reason they are the way to got for replica builds. They even have srv back profile. My favorite neck profile if you are into comfy neck is the EVH 81 91, it's supposed to be the profile of the neck which eddie used on his kramer 5150 guitar. When dimarzio and music man got their hands on the neck they were impressed by how comfortable it was for every kind of playing.

- Bodies : low budget i'd tell you to go for aliexpress, mid budget byo guitars, reverb and knee guitars. Knee guitars offer a variety of options for body building and various shapes, i think they are the best overall body builders. For the high budget you have USACUSTOM, Warmoth and finally you could buy your woods and find a luthier or build it yourself. The issue with wood sellers for particulars is that there are shops that open and sell their beautifull tops for a certain amount of time and then you'll rarely find something nice so you have to be up to date with new sellers or having an online shop which always have a good amound of beautifull woods. I'd avoid ebay for high grade woods. The good sellers inspect with lights the grain and can "predict" if the figure will be strong after the carve of it will disappear. Many think that if they buy a highly figured maple it will be highly figured after the carve : wrong it depends on what's inside the wood so before buying look for a company that inspects the wood carefully and that is honest.

- Humbuckers : my opinion is that there is nothing comparable to seymour duncan for replicas. Why ? he knew too many guitar heroes we all know just ask the custom shop they'll probably have it... , for low budget i'll recommend cali guitars pickups they are cheap and very good, for mid budget i'd recommend dimarzio and the custom shop fender single coils, for high budget if you want the perfect paf or single coils replica there is throbak, bareknuckle are nice pickup builders, fralin pickups, if you are into the strat vintage sound the duncan surf single coils are amazing at this.

in my many years i've known many people which weren't impressed by duncan pickups and were full emg... They play jcm800 and try to replicate their heros sound but they don't understand why they can't get it... the reason was that they just didn't try the right pickups. Duncan is mostly known for his JB and his 59 and paf reproductions. If you never gave a JB a try it's that you've missed one of the main 80's pickup the other one being the dimarzio super distortion. Almost every guitarist in the LA scene had once a jb in his bridge pickup even if it was a hot rod JB. Ratt, Van Halen, Dokken, motley crue it is all about the JB at some point of their carreer... If you are more into the crunchy classic bluesy rock then you want a paf.

Electronics : have a good quality jack, for the pots it depends my way to go is cts emerson pots because those have a 8% tolerance and are extremely smooth and high quality, personnaly i wont use alphas on guitars, CTS and bourns are the way to go.

Shielding : Use conductive shielding paint of the humbucker cavities electronic cavities and trem cavity. You can add some aluminum or copper foil to the electronic cavity. However the paint should be enough.

Paint : For nitro i will recommend mainly rothko and frost. their selection is large and they offer every color in spray can. For a clear gloss to apply over stained figured maple i'll recommend thecrystalacstore. for the stains keda stains are probably the best for the beginners.

Tools :

- Small Files
- Respiratory mask for sanding particules and paint toxines.
- Sandpaper 200 to 10'000
- polishing compound
- sandblock
- Power drill
- drill bits for tuner screws, tremolo screws, pickguard, electronics cavities.
- microfiber cloth
- screwdrivers
- Hex wrenches
- wrench screwdriver
- Tape.
- Masking tape.
- Polishing pads for powerdrill
- soldering station.
- Solder with rosin
- A piece of wood to screw and hang your guitar threw the painting process.
- a kind of carpet / support to work on without damaging the guitar.

at the beginning it will seem like a huge investment but when you'll build many over the years it will pay off. Many of those tools can be bought from aliexpress for a cheap price. they even sell some awesome sandpaper kits for cars which are very good for guitar finish.

If you want to build yourself a guitar know this :

- You'll have to sand a lot and a lot and a lot...
- You'll need to be patient.
- You'll make mistakes but you will learn threw them and improve yourself. Many mistakes you will be able to repair.


  • thumbnail_1090FE44-B4D1-406F-8D17-194BBECE832F.jpg
    246.8 KB · Views: 3


Active Member
Jun 2, 2022
Reaction score
the follow up of the post : But the rewards are there. with enough time :

- you'll be able to build an amazing instrument which is based on your personnal needs.
- with enough expertise you'll be able to create something at brand level but much more cheaper.
- you'll understand how a guitar works and you'll rarely need to go to a guitar tech.
- you'll be able to create the guitar you want but can't purchase because it is too rare or expensive.
- Your playing might be improved because you'll be able to setup the guitar to your own needs and specs (action and set-up).

specs for the guitars posted :

800$ build sold on reverb for 1300$

Kramer 5150 :

- basswood Byo guitar body
- nitro spray can paints.
- JB replaced then by a 78 model
- floyd rose special replaced by a 1000 model.
- aliexpress neck profiled threw sanding finished with tung oil. frets always need ton of work with aliexpress necks...
- cts pot.
- gotoh tuners.

White frankie : 600$ build

- Gotoh tremolo
- Gotoh tuners
- acrylic paint
- graphtec nut.
- 78 model
- basswood body from aliexpress
- aliexpress neck finished with tung oil.

this guitar is my main. i mean its the guitar i sweat on to learn songs. It is pretty beated up but still works. it's the training guitar if you prefer the one you can beat and always have with you everywhere.

lynch tiger :

Here are the specs : build for aound 1k including shipments sold on reverb for 1400$

- Nitrocellulose finish
- Knee guitars ash body.
- Musikraft neck with van halen back profile from 84 (probably the kramer 5150 neck profile), vintage frets. Oil finished.
- Tusk nut.
- A Jb modified with a rough cast alnico magnet from a t top
- Gotoh vintage locking tuners
- Floyd rose non fine tuners.
- CTS emerson pot.
- Fender jack.
- vintage cloth solid core wire.

This guitar was awesome. It was extremely comfy to play. It was as good at staying in tune as a guitar with a locking nut. The floyd rose with non fine tuners is very comfy and i understand the choice of guthrie govan using it. However the modifications done to the pickup made it sound too fat. I sold it on reverb two years ago for 1400$, the guy who bought it said it was the best neck he had ever tried in his life despite having a big collection of guitars. I got to admit that musikraft necks depending on the profile you chose can be something out of a custom shop level quality.

red Frankenstrat :
Here are the specs : for this build i think we are around 1k7 the actual frankie is at 1k2 but we got here many of the custom shop specs on it, specially the neck, the pickups and the floyd rose.

- Kne guitars swamp ash frankie body
- Musikraft exact spec replica of the frankenstrat neck, steel jumbo frets.
- Limited 300 run of evh frankenstein humbucker made by seymour duncan and signed by eddie himself.
- floyd rose 1984 limited edition with a big brass block
- Schaller mini tuners.
- EMERSON cts pot 500k
- 1971 quarter
- Phenolic working single coil no wired
- vintage 5 way switch.
- accurate back relectors
- nitrocellulose paint.

This guitar is my second favorite one. It plays well however the neck is pretty large. It is clearly a ferrari for shreeding but it is heavy. When you finish this kind of guitar you want to avoid to damage it so you prefer not playing it too much.
Last edited: