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Sunday, October 12, 2008

November will be fun

I've had no time to do any building in my own workshop, but I'm taking a long weekend in November to head off to Walesland to the workshops of Mr Neil Morgan, where he'll guide my attempts at another self-build. I'm hoping to pick up another set of tips, tricks and techniques from Neil, as well as to come away with another guitar.

I'm planning on building a double cutaway, twin pickup guitar, along the lines of the classic Yamaha SG 2000s, similar to my first Bailey build.

The body will be mahogany, the neck will be either mahogany or maple. Fretboard may be ebony or maple.

The pickups arrived from the US. If I'd bought them a couple of months ago (£1 = $2.10) and if they'd managed to sneak into the country under the radar of customs, then they would have been a bargain. As it was, they were still cheaper than I could get them in the UK. For anyone that's not seen/heard the P-Rails before - check out Seymour Duncan's website. They're a combined P90 & single coil in a humbucker sized pickup, with all sorts of clever wiring options.

I'm now left with a choice of caps ... walnut or maple ... but the maple could be quilted, bi-colour, burr or spalted ... I'll get some pics of those posted later


Anonymous said...

Blimey, building guitars, good ones too by the looks of it. You're not all bad then ;o) A bit fancy for Rossi & Parfitt though!

How do they sound? As you'd hoped?

A (very) amateur guitar builder said...

Identify yourself "anonymous" ;-)

The guitars sound - and feel - pretty good - better than I thought I'd be able to make. The Bailey-built ones are excellent, the self-built ones are improving. Both of the self-built have used cherry bodies and reasonably high power pickups, which seems to work well as a combination, even though I've not seen many commercially made guitars using cherry.

Anonymous said...

a(very)amateur guitar player and enthusiast said...

Haha, well we had the misfortune to work together...and it had nothing to do with guitars - I'm sure that was the problem ;o)

Anyway, yes, cherry is a little unusual but why not, you don't know until you try.

Have you thought about using Swamp Ash (getting a little more traditional)? And do you have any plans or inclination to build a Strat of Super-Strat type guitar? Seems you've covered a number of the other bases in terms of shapes.

How about LEDs for fret markers - that should appeal to you techie-side ;o)

A (very) amateur guitar builder said...

OK "anonymous" - now narrowed you down to anyone from about 5,000 people - who have had the misfortunate to work with me at some point


I used cherry because I was lucky enough to buy a couple of nice planks of cherry wood at a good price. There are pics of the raw wood somewhere back in the archive. A nice wood to work with, and the colours that are revealed are very attractive. It also continues to deepen in colour through time.

I'd happily use swamp ash if I came across some (the first Bailey build guitar used standard UK ash), and I've actually got a strat template (which I based on an old Godin S-S-H body shape) ready to use, when I get to spend some time in the workshop! In fact, I've got plans to build all sorts of things when I get to spend in the workshop. Unfortunately, work keeps intruding! I've got a Roland GK2a pickup & controller which I want to embed in a custom built body one day. I'm going to be very busy on that "one day".

Anonymous said...

Well, lots of interesting stuff to come on that day!

I guess Alder is the other typical 'Strat' wood...but Swamp Ash has got that something... Horses for courses tho!

Here's an idea, don't know if this website supports it but how about (on another 'day') recording some basic sounds of each guitar and posting it. Perhaps each guitar could have a page with the info you've posted and a few playable/downloadable sounds. Of course we'd need to know what amp was being used, blah, blah.

Regarding you Roland hex pickup, if you're going to bother building it into a body, how about checking out the latest wireless midi options (not sure if it's progressed or not but maybe) as it would be great to not have a midi cable to contend with when you're playing the local arena ;o) You might as well use a GK3...better tracking I believe...

That will be a busy day!


A (very) amateur guitar builder said...

Sound clips is a good idea. Just checked and blogger supports windows media files, so should be possible. One day. For some reason, I've not yet got into PC-based recording ... which is a strange thing for me NOT to have done! Maybe my subconscious has realised that a combination of guitars + PCs would mean that I'd never, ever, get away from a PC. Which wouldn't be a good thing for normal life.