I haven’t started doing anything yet, but regarding the How, I got a rather good idea. From measurements, it was already clear that two additional Burns Tri-Sonic pickups would fit into the Mini May’s body. Here‘s a layout that should work quite nicely; the red lines are the additional routings that have to be done to the body. Still missing depth information, but otherwise complete.
Billy Nvlay’s sonic capabilities should match Brian Mays “Red Special” relatively closely. But the Red Special has 24 frets and a 24″ scale length, whereas the Stratocaster kit has 21 frets and a 25.5″ scale length. Maybe I’m overcomplicating things, but I think that the pickups should be in similar positions below the strings to produce a similar result. So how might that work?
If you ever searched for “Brian May Guitar” on Aliexpress, you might have noticed the strange text “Bill Nvlay” that’s part of most descriptions. It meant quite a lot of head scratching until I found out what that’s supposed to mean: on the head of the guitars, there’s a faked “Brian May” signature. For the first copyist, the signature must have looked like “bill nvlay”, and since then it’s used that way 🙂
Since I just acquired a Stratocaster DIY kit without any hardware, I’ll outfit it with the circuit of Brian May’s Red Special – three Burns Tri-Sonic pickups in series, each of which can be switched in or out of phase. And since the Chinese text amuses me endlessly, I’ll call it “Billy Nvlay”. But I won’t apply Dr. May’s faked signature 🙂
Since desaster stroke, I got to cut a new nut.Well, bone nuts are on their way, some post partner will surely deliver them when I am not at home, and I’ll have to fetch them from some obscure and remote place again … until then I can think about how the nut should look.
The neck is straight. The frets are set properly. What now? Level them!
The guitar kit came with a fretted neck – but a completely unleveled one. A fret job needs to be done!
As already written, I have to modify the pickguard a bit. OK, so how do the holes in an original Fender pickguard look? … ah. The potentiometer holes would, in theory, have to be widened to 9.525 mm, as Fender thinks imperialistic and uses inch units. 3/8 ” naturally sounds more natural than 9.525 mm, but drills in inch formats are hard to get in Austria; in most areas of normal life, the metric system is the norm here.
I had planned to replace the electronics in my guitar kit with those from a Stratocaster. It looks like this is not going to be as easy as planned…