Sunday, 27 April 2014

Long play.

I recently received back SB2.7L for some modifications, it was interesting to see how it was wearing and get some further feedback on it.
New wiring with the Orange Drop tone pot
I admit, I forgot how heavy it was.
Well, at least compared with my other guitars! Andy, however, still claims it is lighter than his Les Paul.
Fault lines in the finish
The first thing to strike me was the fault lines trailing around the guitar. I'm will freely admit, lacquered finishing is one of my weakest guitar building skills, though I had thought that I had done quite a good job (by about my fifteenth coat) of this guitar, considering it was my first lacquered guitar. I'm not sure if this is down to my inexperience or the quality of my chosen lacquer. Answers on a postcard, please!
Originally, this guitar had  dedicated volumes, the neck volume had a DPDT toggle for coil switching and a toggle switch for series/parallel switching on the bridge. Andy wasn't a fan of the series switching, so we redesigned the wiring, fitting dedicated volumes with DPDT coil switching and with the spare hole in the control panel we fitted a tone pot, using a spare Orange Drop capacitor Andy had. Simply put - it sounds f***ing sweet.
With some adjustment to the nut, the job is done, for now...

As an update, Andy seemed pretty happy with the new wiring!

Junior's a noisy little sod.

The prototype junior blank
If Scatter-Brain ever gets off the ground, I have no delusions about the fact that at some point, I will have to start charging a lot more for custom guitars, as sadly, it is very hard to turn a profit charging £400 - £800 for customs. But I don't want to loose the £400 guitars, especially while I'm still establishing myself. My idea is to start producing a simpler guitar with great playability.
I'm currently deciding on a spec for a constant production line of lower priced SB3 guitars. Based on my second SB3, it will be essentially a single pickup 'Junior' style arrangement, featuring: 24 frets of Dunlop jumbo fret wire, 25" scale, near-flat fretboard profile and my new Flat back neck shape for an effortlessly playable neck, supported by a slimline dual trussrod.
A common comment I got regarding my previous SB3 was that the bridge pickup was so versatile, it left the neck surplus to requirements. On future models, I plan on pairing it with a higher output P90, but for the junior, we are going bridge only. Don't worry though, there will still be plenty of knobs and switches to play with; I plan to kit this guitar out with either coil splitter or series parallel, treble bleed volume pot and tone with isolating switch.
The pickup itself will be something like the Simon k 65 Special I used in my previous SB3 or something like Seymour Duncan's P-rail (at cost). I've fitted a few of the 65 Special's in to a few guitars now, they are a highly versatile pickup with a vintage-hot PAF sound, flip the coil splitter and the single coil will do anything from soft blues and acoustic tones to garage punk with the right adjustments, but don't just take my word for it, have a listen!.
I'm going to have two base pricings for these guitars depending on construction. With an option of a one piece neck (at the time of writing I am thinking £389) and three piece (£439) through body necks.
Three piece necks, apart from being more figured -these will be a sandwich of different woods- should also offer greater stability against warping and general movement, where as one piece are generally easier to produce.
If anyone reads this and has any thoughts on this, please do get in touch.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Been away a while

So yes, it has been a while since my last post! And why? Well, in the last three months I've completed two guitars, had my first happy customer and traded my second SB3 for for an awesome little amp! I'm also close to finishing my second custom, a Klein inspired headless, and I have started another SB3. My in between time has been eaten by a multituse of mostly awesome but time sapping afares such as; my real job (dull), my social life (I may have been drunk), computer games (these are the devils work) and (of course) playing guitar (I have been jamming with another guitarist and a drummer, it's a rare treat!).
Outside of guitar building I have been trying to promote myself, initially I have just been using Facebook, this has gone really well, and resulted in the sale (exchange) of SB3 and put my in touch with some really cool people who have been very encouraging, many noting that they are keen to see where Scatter-brain is going!
I have also been thinking about training, but that may be a subject for another post...
In production, SB3H is now coming close to conclusion and I have another SB3 in the pipeline. I have only made the rough shaped blank so far, but already this is very different I've used a three-piece maple/sapele sandwich and book-matched some reclaimed mahogany for the top.
For the neck, I'm going to do a 25.5" scale, to be a little different, I have also been thinking about adding another string, for good measure! Although, I would probably prefer to have a longer scale should I decide to do this.
To get around a persistent issue of top heavy necks previous guitars have experienced I have found some light weight scheller tuners. I'm thinking of using a classic two humbucker set up (though I'm tempted to go P90 humbucker), something hot on the bridge and a bit more vintage on the neck. And I'm sure there will be some sexy switching options as well!
That's all for now, hopefully I will be starting to get some video blogs up of guitars in action as well soon!