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.