Well another custom finished.
Body - Walnut
Neck - RG470L on a right handed guitar
Bridge - Black Tunomatic
Tuners - Sperzels
Finish - Danish oil and beeswax, no sealing or lacquer etc.
Bridge PU - Bare Knuckle Holy Diver
Neck PU - Bare Knuckle Irish Tour
Swithcing - 1 volume, push-push selector (with skull knob
) to give 2 choices, neck or bridge.
So this all started when my Father in Law, who lives in the South of France told me that he had this amazing carpenter in their town and he had the most amazing collection of Walnut. So we hatched a plan to send some outlines down and get some bodies cut out. One for me, and one for Steve @PJ's in Portsmouth who does all the difficult stuff on any of my projects and generally snatchs victory form the jaws of defeat.
I have been moving away from FR type guitars in the last year or so, and I have rediscovered the Tune-o-matic bridge. Not something that everyone here will agree with, but I am very happy with them probably because I spent so long with only one les paul copy to my name that they are ingrained in my playing style.
The pickups were difficult to select. Walnut can be too bright, and with a thin body (1.5") I needed to try and keep things from getting too shrill. I am a huge fan of Bare Knuckles and after a bit of research I settled for a Holy Diver in the Bridge and an Irish Tour in the neck. I positioned the neck pickup a bit further back than is normal to try and sit it under the harmonic on the 29th fret. Time will tell if this is actually worth it or not, but I have never been really happy with the tone and harmonics on 24 fret neck pickups and I partially subscribe to the theory that 22 frets allow the pickup to sit under the 24th fret harmonic, so are better. Bare Knuckle will also do any combination of bobbin colours, and since I persuaded them to start producing pink bobbins for my last project I though it was only fair to use at least some pink on this axe.
I have gone for my preferred push push, neck or bridge switching with no tone control. I have this on another guitar and it is fine for me. I prefer simplicity with guitar tones and it doesn't get much more simple than this.
Locking Sperzels handle the tuning very nicely and I have replaced the floyd nut with an ebanol replacement that slots into the gap perfectly. The corners have been rounded off though as they were pretty sharp!
The neck itself is one I have used on loads of projects over the years. It is from a left handed RG470 that we profiled years ago to fit onto a right handed body. It is scalloped from 13-24.
As ever Steve at PJ's Guitar Centre in Portsmouth has done all the difficult bits and he has done a fantastic job. The guitar plays beautifully and it looks awesome.
Intial thoughts on Walnut.
Unfinished guitars do sound louder acoustically to my ears, and I feel that lacquer, filler, primer and top coat do dampen a guitars tone somewhat. It sounds sonorous and clear, with a compressed mid and bottom end. The top end is clear and bright. I can imagine it getting pretty cutting if given to much drive.
To be honest I have only played it amped up for about 10 mins so far, through a Soldano Hot Rod 50 and it sounded awesome, but I need to spend some time and give it a proper test run.