I've been playing piano since I was this high [holds out hand at waist height], violin since a little taller and guitar a bit after that. Since then I added bass, drum machines and other stuff to the list so that I can record and play the sounds in my head.
As part of the musical journey/trip, I have built five guitars (yes, from scratch, not kits - that would be assembling, not building!) and built (again, from scratch) a number of pickups. That is, until my sanity ran out. I'm rather happy to use Axesrus pickups now.
Lately I've been rehearsing with my Boss RC-300 Loop Station and hope to get it out of the house later this year.
Music video released in 2010. Created using public-domain clips.
Hear how my guitar actually sounds.
My guitars are objects, not people, so I give them numbers instead of names. I don't think they mind. If they did I would probably have to go back to giving them names. No, that would still be silly.
No. 5 was designed to cover as many sounds as possible, from big, thick humbucker tones to Stratocaster-like single coil tones, in particular the 'in-between' sounds. I think I achieved that. I also wanted to try a 24" scale, which I've found to be very comfortable. The through-neck construction was a first for me too. I originally wanted cedar for the top, but when I saw this piece of yellowheart, I quickly changed my mind.
Lots of shooting-in-foot went into building this, and after much trial and error it will probably be my last guitar. I don't mind, as it sounds and plays beautifully.
The photos need updating, but the details are correct!
Each of my guitars was built for a purpose or sound. I didn't want to copy anyone else's work, but number 4 was my take on the Telecaster with a 25" scale.
To chamber the ash body, I used four pieces, two for the top and two for the back. The neck is maple and birdseye maple.
I handbuilt both pickups; the neck is neodymium (since replaced with an Axesrus lipstick) and the bridge AlNiCo V. The 5-way switch gives you the usual bridge/both/neck combinations, plus series (lovely warm and full) and out of phase (lovely nasal and thin) sounds.
My third design was meant to incorporate a few ideas I had been thinking about for a while. The most notable one is that it is electric and acoustic, thanks to the LR Baggs X-bridge wired to its own volume control and stereo output. I also wanted to hide the controls on the top of the body, similar to an acoustic.
The body has a hollowed alder back and bookmatched walnut top. The neck is curly maple with a cocobolo fingerboard.
I handbuilt both pickups; the neck is an AlNiCo II humbucker and the bridge an AlNiCo V mini humbucker, wired to a concentric volume tone. The 5-way switch is wired for neck/neck split/both/neck split and bridge/bridge.
This is my design for a lighter, hollow strat-style guitar.
The alder body is chambered from the back, with maple panels covering the chambers. The neck is two piece curly maple and birdseye maple. I thought I'd go with a standard 25 ½" scale.
Pickups are from Irongear - Pigirons in the neck and middle positions and a Platinum 90 in the bridge. Together they sound found fantastic. Having bought and played Seymour Duncans for years, I can highly recommend Irongears.
Controls are volume (with push/pull to wire the bridge in series), 6 way selector (the usual five plus neck and bridge) and Greasebucket tone.
Weighing about 2.5kg it is fantastically light and easy to play.
In 1993, I was a broke art student who couldn't afford a real guitar. So I made one.
The body is solid mahogany and the neck is two-piece maple. To keep things simple - at that time I never used a tone control - I went with a single volume, a capacitor switch and coil split switch. The locking tuners and floating vibrato are both Gotoh, but I replaced the original saddles with Graphtec Stringsavers.
I originally put in two Seymour Duncan pickups - Custom in the bridge and Jazz in the neck, but have since replaced the Jazz with a handbuilt P90, and swapped the ceramic magnet in the Custom for an AlNiCo 8. What a huge difference that made! The pickup now sounds fantastic! It sounds like a real single coil when split and nice and jangly when combined with the P90.
Weight is a hefty 4kg but the strategically placed strap makes it reasonably comfortable to play.
If you're in the Bury St Edmunds area, let me know and I'll buy you a coffee. I hope you like Costa.