Building the Stratocoustic Partcaster: A Fusion of GFS Parts and Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic
In 2015, I embarked on the painstaking task of assembling a genuinely distinctive Partcaster. Every part used in constructing this instrument came from GFS catalog, from the neck and body to the pickups and tremolo block.
To augment the sonic capabilities of the guitar, I integrated the Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic system. That onboard preamp allows the instrument to produce tones akin to acoustic guitar.
Although it may seem overdue, I am compelled to share my thoughts on this creation. While I have built numerous guitars from that specific era, each deserving of a thorough review, this specimen has remained unaltered since its genesis. Only the strings and battery have undergone routine maintenance. This instrument stands as one of my best accomplishments in guitar craftsmanship.
The electronic was particularly complex to wire—many wiring and elements to assemble. But it was flawless the first time due to the connections’ quality from the Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic system and the Neovin Pre-Wired TRUE BYPASS DPDT switching harness.
In this recent video, I used the bridge magnetic pickup with the booster on, balanced with the acoustic sound. The crunch sound comes from the booster. The sound is clean.
The Stratocoustic Partcaster’s body is a Red Mother of Pearl Stratocaster Style Body with Cream Binding from GFS.
To integrate the Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic system, I modified the body with a Dremel and a drill to ensure a seamless installation. Check out the slideshow gallery below. The complete step of creating a new cavity is demonstrated.
For the neck, I opted for an XGP Strat Style Neck crafted from Maple, featuring eye-catching Abalone Dot inlays, bound edges, and an angled headstock.
The angled headstock optimizes string tension and eliminates the need for string tree rollers, ensuring consistent tuning stability. The bound edges offer a comfortable playing experience, while the Abalone Dot inlays add a touch of sophistication.
In this video, I am using the neck pickup only. The EQ is the same as the video published above. I cranked up the booster a bit to get that crunch sound. I use a Ventris reverb to get the reverb/delay effect.
For once, I used prewired harness instead of making my own. I bought the Neovin Pre-Wired TRUE BYPASS DPDT switching harness.
This configuration includes a passive volume control with a DPDT Push-Pull bypass control and a master tone control. The volume/push-pull turns on/off the Booster. (2nd pot).
I opted for gold Lipstick pickups in an SSH configuration to achieve a distinct tonal palette.
The guitar features a 5-position blade selector and a 3-position switch allowing to select 3 possibles pickup system selections:
- magnetic pickups
- both simultaneously
- piezo pickup.
Additionally, a 3-position switch transforms the 5-position selector into a 9-position switch. Offering 4 extra pickup setting possibilities.
- Neck and bridge in parallel
- all 3 in parallel
- all 3 in series
- neck and bridge in series.
A Serie/Split/Parallel switch is included for the bridge humbucker gold foil pickup.
The top horn of the guitar incorporates a push-pull, serving as both a master volume control for the acoustic sound and an acoustic guitar tone selector, offering two distinct acoustic guitar EQ options.
Complete list of components
- Body: Red Mother of Pearl Stratocaster Style Body with Cream Binding from GFS
- Neck: XGP Strat Style Neck made of Maple, featuring Abalone Dot inlays, bound edges, and an angled headstock.
- Pickups: Gold Lipstick pickups in an SSH configuration.
- Neovin Pre-Wired TRUE BYPASS DPDT switching harness.
- Passive volume control with DPDT Push-Pull bypass control.
- Master tone control.
- 5-position blade selector.
- 3-position switch: Magnetic pickups, both pickups simultaneously, piezo pickup.
- 9-position switch: Allows for nine possible magnetic pickup settings.
- Serie/Split/Parallel switch for the bridge humbucker gold foil pickup.
- Push-pull at the top horn: Master volume and acoustic guitar tone selector (two different acoustic guitar EQ options).
- Volume push-pull: ON/OFF booster on the magnetic signal.
- Booster on the magnetic signal.
- Tone pot on the magnetic signal.
- Tremolo: Spaced Brass Tremolo Block & OEM locking tuners from China.
- Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic Kit for Guitar:
- Graph Tech PN8000-00 Ghost Saddle Set:
Look at the slideshow
The tremolo block adds sustain and stability to your guitar. I opted for the Spaced Brass Tremolo Block, and it was incredibly cheap compared to the other sustain blocks on sale at the time. I installed the same cheap Chinese OEM locking tuners. This combination ensures tuning stability and elevates the performance of the tremolo system.
The Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic Kit
The heart of the guitar. The Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic Kit is an acoustic preamp for electric guitar. It offers two acoustic guitars sound and transforms your strat into a bluffing acoustic guitar. The extra acoustic volume control on the top horn is also a mid/dark switch. The Ghost Saddle Set from Graph Tech is the piezo saddle made to work with the preamp. YOu have to replace the original saddles from your tremolo.
I am Hervé Senni, a pro musician and performer, Composer and arranger for quite some time. My main musical instrument is the electric guitar. I am also a bass player, mandolin, Ukulele player. I also invented string instruments.
Over the years, repairing and improving electric guitars that did not have to be upgraded converted me into a self-taught luthier.