Our DIY (Do It Yourself) Kits come with everything you need to build your very own instrument! All the most difficult work (woodworking and neck-construction) has already been done for you. You can finish the instrument any way you choose, such as paint, stain, lacquer or oil.
An extended range guitar has a more-than-normal number of strings. Combine Guitars specializes in extended range instruments, currently stocking up to 8 string guitar kits and 6 string bass kits.
Since all of our kits use bolt-on necks and have most of the holes pre-drilled, the construction steps are relatively straightforward. You will need a basic soldering kit to assemble the electronics, but the process is simple with the help of our Wiring Guides. You can also contact our support at any time to get assistance with any questions you may have.
There are a number of good reasons you might want to do a fresh setup on your guitar. Maybe it’s a new build being strung up for the first time, maybe you’re experiencing some fret buzz, or perhaps its simply just an old guitar in need of some TLC. Regardless, these are the steps to help get your guitar playable with ease.
An important thing to note, you will need to tune your guitar to pitch before each check/adjustment to ensure accuracy.
1) Before beginning, double check the neck is completely flush in the neck pocket.
2) After tuning, the first step is to set the neck relief. Press down the 1st and 24th fret (on a 24 fret guitar) on the thickest string, and examine the distance between the string and 12 fret. Using a capo can be helpful for holding the 1st fret in place. You’re aiming for somewhere between 0.25mm of relief between the string and the 12 fret for a standard guitar, and slightly more for a bass or 8 string. Do the same process but for the thinnest string, and make sure its about the same. If the gap is too large, you’ll need to tighten your truss rod. If there is no gap, you’ll need to loosen your trust rod further.
3) Once the relief is set properly, we check to make sure the bridge is correct. Tune the guitar up, then capo or press the thickest string at only the first fret, and check the height of the string over the 12th fret. You’re aiming for somewhere between 2-3mm of distance between the string and the 12th fret. Do the check again on the thinnest string, looking for about 1-2mm of distance. You will then raise or lower the bridge saddles to compensate.
4) If you have a radius gauge, the next step would be to place a radius gauge on the strings and adjust the saddles on strings 2-5 (on a standard 6 string) so the heights match the radius of the fretboard. If you don’t have a radius gauge, you can eyeball the middle strings to approximately match the curve of the fretboard.
5) The last bridge adjustment is intonation. First get the open string in tune. Once tuned, fret the 12th fret of the same string and check if it is the same note (one octave higher) and in tune. If the note is off, the bridge will need adjusting. Loosen the tension of the string and then loosen whatever fastener allows the saddle to slide back or forth. If the note is sharp, increase the string length by moving the bridge further away from the nut. If the note is flat, decrease string length by moving the bridge closer towards the nut. Tune the string back up and test again. Repeat until the string is intonated. If you make any major adjustments in this step, you may have to go back a step and check the action of string again, as it may have shifted slightly.
Once all of these steps have been taken, your guitar should be all set up and play nicely!
We are always working towards expanding our stock with more types of kits. If there's something you'd like to see in our store, get in touch with us and let us know.
The short answer is "As custom as it needs to be to achieve your vision." The long answer is we pride ourselves on overcoming the challenges associated with difficult guitar builds. We have made wood guitars, 3D printed guitars, resin guitars cast from custom silicone molds… the list goes on. No idea is too creative. Get in touch with us and let’s turn your dream guitar into a reality.
No. If your dream guitar doesn't have any decals on the headstock, then neither will your custom guitar. That being said, we take great pride in our quality work here at Combine and we hope you'll be proud enough of your Combine guitar to want our logo on it.
Nope! Get in touch with our luthiers, share your idea, and we’ll help get the ball rolling free of charge.
Ah, the age-old "Wood Tone" question... While using different materials can slightly affect the tone and sustain of the instrument, the idea that a guitar must have good wood to have good tone is a dying myth. The biggest factor in determining the tone of your guitar is the electronics used, specifically the pickups, and our custom guitars can be made to incorporate any electronics imaginable. Regardless of whether you want single coils, active humbucking pickups, or something in between, whatever tone you are looking to find we can help you achieve.
Multi-scale guitars have necks with fanned frets, which are frets that vary in angle, rather than all being perpendicular. This allows for each of the strings to have its own scale length, instead of all being the same. This means the guitar has more equal tension with better intonation. These factors result in less notes being sharp or flat, high notes are less shrill, and low notes are less muddy. They are also often considered more comfortable and more ergonomic.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to a zero fret vs the nut. When in use, the premise is the zero fret sets the height of the string (the action) over the fretboard when the string is played open/unfretted, and the nut (behind the 0 fret) simply sets the string spacing. Whether or not to make use of the zero fret is up to personal preference, so we have broken down the pros of each option below:
- Adjusting the action of a nut is easier than adjusting the zero fret.
- A zero fret wears differently than a nut over time. When the zero fret starts wearing, it can interfere with string bending. Replacing a worn zero fret is basically the same as replacing a low fret, as opposed to popping off a traditional nut and gluing a new one in its place.
Pro Zero Fret
- A properly intonated nut on a multiscale neck should be properly in tune when played open/unfretted and when fretting the 2nd-24th fret. Depending on the height of the nut, the 1st fret may be a little sharp (if nut is too high) when fretted, whereas using a 0 fret will allow the 1st fret to be perfectly in tune without risk of string buzz.
- Since the strings sit on top of the zero fret, most gauge of string can be used without recutting or replacing the nut.
- Some feel that a zero fret matches the sustain and tone of a fretted note instead of an open note.
While straight pickups are seen on most guitars, the rising popularity of multiscale guitars means we’re seeing more guitars with angled pickups. Let’s break down the differences.
Angled pickups are a great choice for multiscale guitars, especially on already finished guitars! Having the pickups slanted to match the bridge allows the bridge pickup to be placed closer to the bridge. This creates a clearer sound with less muddiness, especially on the low end of the instrument. While this sounds like a no-brainer, it does have its drawbacks, namely in availability and lack of options.
Straight pickups are a better choice for those who want to upgrade to aftermarket pickups. There are many more options for aftermarket straight pickups, as opposed to angled pickups. We didn’t want to restrict our customers into having to use the stock angled pickups that would otherwise have come with the kit, so we launched our multiscale kits using straight pickups for this reason.