Note from GuitarAttack:  Here is the kind of story we like to hear.  Pretty ingenious build!!

From Mike Simpson:

Dear Guitar Attack -

I finally got a picture of my Saga S-Style! I've mentioned this build in the forum before, and can finally brief you on it! I did this build back in February/March of this year, and it went surprisingly well, even shooting Duplicolor outside during our unpredictable Buffalo weather.

Since I didn't have to tools, time, and desire to replicate every last inch of the original, I took a few shortcuts, especially in regard to the neck and bridge. Here's the dirt:

1. Stock Saga neck - It has a pretty flat radius, and plays well, although it sits a little high in the pocket. The frets were finished, which was a good thing. Even though the instructions say the neck is pre-adjusted, this one wasn't, and required some truss rod adjustment and shimming. I'll swap it out for a maple/maple neck eventually. I had to replace the nut, which was cut high and held in with CA glue. The stock tuners are actually very stable, and I can divebomb without the need for a locking nut!

2. Bridge - I took a Licensed Floyd Rose II from another guitar to use on this build. Because the neck is a little high as I mentioned, I can't get the bridge to sit flush with the top. However, I found a 1971 quarter that I'm going to use in the same way as the original to remedy the problem. Using 3 springs, it's easy to dive, and comes back in tune perfectly every time, like I noted above. This was completely unexpected, and saved me the aggravation of routing out a shelf for a locking nut!

3. Pickups - The pickups came from the same guitar I took the Floyd from. The neck pickup is a dummy like in the original. For the bridge pickup, I built a shelf to mount it on, similar to the black/white version built by Guitar Attack. They're both no-name pickups, and I have no idea as to impedance, etc. The bridge pickup only had two leads, which made wiring easy. I made sure to use the Tone knob from the kit, and cut the pickguard to size using the January Guitar World article about the Fender replica as a guide.

4. Body - Some of the biggest hack jobs I've seen have been done with a chisel, but for lack of a router I used a combination of chisel and a Dremel to enlarge the pickup routs. If you're careful, it works really well. Came out fine for me. I fit the neck and strung up both E strings to line up the bridge, and gave myself a little extra scale length to ensure good intonation. I had to enlarge the tremolo rout in order to do so.

5. Finish - Testor's black enamel for the formerly white pickguard, Duplicolor red, white, and black for the body. I used the same Guitar World article as a guide for the striping. Standard masking tape was used, I cut it into 1/8" strips for the narrower stripes. Because the body is not the exact same shape and size, I had to fudge a little on the sides and back...ok, I had to fudge a lot, but I was more concerned with the look of the front. :) I painted right over the foot-thick sanding sealer on the body, which I may regret as the paint wears.

Overall, it went together very well. It plays well and sounds good. The overdrive fades to a decent clean sound when you back off the volume, and I can't say enough how surprised I am with the tuning stability! I recently switched to a very light string guage, which resulted in having to do a complete setup. I think it's lost some tone, and sounds a lot thinner as a result. I'll be switching back to either regular or Hybrid Slinkies, which should improve the sound greatly.

After the project, I found myself with some Saga pickups and a bridge left over, as well as a guitar missing some pickups and a bridge....which resulted in another build. I'll send a picture and the details soon!


Great job, Mike -- ROCK ON!

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