Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 2,561
Reviews: 34
Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Well another custom finished.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Specs:

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.

Last edited by nickcoumbe; 05-27-2011 at 05:43 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 09:01 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Beautiful guitar! I've always thought about doing a walnut guitar of some sort as the wood is gorgeous, but wasn't sure how I would like it tonally. I'd love to see a youtube or audio demo to get an idea of the sound, if you ever get a chance to do one.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

AwESOME!! "
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

nice shocker pic. cool looking guitar too!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Beautiful guitar...

Let us know how the neck pickup works out, that's a really interesting theory about the harmonics
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaylightDies View Post
Beautiful guitar! I've always thought about doing a walnut guitar of some sort as the wood is gorgeous, but wasn't sure how I would like it tonally. I'd love to see a youtube or audio demo to get an idea of the sound, if you ever get a chance to do one.
Will try to. I am working away form home during the week so I don't really have the ability at the mo though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxpenguin View Post
AwESOME!! "
Thanks dude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottop1972 View Post
nice shocker pic. cool looking guitar too!
They are both excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oilpit View Post
Beautiful guitar...

Let us know how the neck pickup works out, that's a really interesting theory about the harmonics
Actually I am not sure about the neck pick up. I need to play with it a bit to see how the whole harmonic thing works.

The bridge is awesome though.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 03:37 PM
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

That is just stunning! I love the walnut, and agree--we want soundclips of that! I've been thinking of a walnut guitar too, but was aprehensive of the brightness. It could always be 31,d down a bit, I guess. That pink bobbin is brilliant! It gives just that subtle bit of color to a dark guitar.



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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaBat View Post
That is just stunning! I love the walnut, and agree--we want soundclips of that! I've been thinking of a walnut guitar too, but was aprehensive of the brightness. It could always be 31,d down a bit, I guess. That pink bobbin is brilliant! It gives just that subtle bit of color to a dark guitar.
Thanks!

It is bright, there is no question. For rhythm playing it is really tight and crunchy. I think for any lead work you need to tweak the amp settings to avoid being too shrill. I ran it through the JMP-1 this weekend to give it a bit more of a test. The trick seems to be to dial down some of the top and quite a bit of the mids. You have to be careful not to dial out all the brightness though as this is a really nice quality.

Clips will happen, but not for a while. I am working away from home during the week and I just don't have time to do that.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 11:20 PM
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

wow........ just simply WOW!!!!! Did you pick the positions of the knots or was that just luck. I've always found that to be the hardest part of working on natural finished bodies... how to best utilize the character of the wood to fit into an established design.

Bravo Man... A job VERY well done!!!!!!!

BTW...... Would you ever consider putting a flamed maple Pickguard on it? (asthetic only, like a UVMC)
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
wow........ just simply WOW!!!!! Did you pick the positions of the knots or was that just luck. I've always found that to be the hardest part of working on natural finished bodies... how to best utilize the character of the wood to fit into an established design.

Bravo Man... A job VERY well done!!!!!!!

BTW...... Would you ever consider putting a flamed maple Pickguard on it? (asthetic only, like a UVMC)
Thanks mate.


The knots etc were pure luck. I had them cut out in the South of France. I didn't even see them until they were done and over in the UK. To be honest there is a lesion on the back where there is a little bit of heartwood decay. Personally I don't mind it. It is a natural part of the wood (walnut can be partially hollow).

I think with unfinished bodies people accept the variations whatever they are. I don't take too much notice of them as long as the grain is going the right way.

Going to try and take some sound clips of it acoustically and also through a practice amp to give a basic feeling of what it is like.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
BTW...... Would you ever consider putting a flamed maple Pickguard on it? (asthetic only, like a UVMC)
No. I don't like pickguards at all. I am pretty much direct mounting all my pickups, mostly for aesthetic reasons and I don't want to hide that.

I also think that having two quite different woods on the same face will look a bit tacky, as if you are trying too hard to make it look cool.

The next project will be a Les Paul with flamed maple neck though, I've got nothing against that. I am thinking flamed neck, paduak back and either flame maple, walnut or koa top. Stained pink and wax finished
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Ok, some acoustic comparisons.

Alder Strat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjUNMDvhm_M

Basswood RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX9cNA0Yxkk

Walnut RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf-2BPpB6AM

All I am doing with these is just giving an idea of how they sound unplugged. All the strings are 10-42 although the white RG's are quite a bit older.

What strikes me is that the alder and basswood sound similar, and the walnut sounds very bright and clear. There are probably greater differences than you can hear on these clips, but it gives you an idea anyway.

See what you think.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Reviews: 34
Re: Custom Built Walnut RG Hardtail

Ok, some amped comparisons.

These are just done using a digital camera and a JamVox monitor/modellor through the laptop.

Just 4 short clips for each guitar with clean and overdriven, neck and humbucker playing the same tunes and using the same picks etc etc.

Just for clarity the pickups are as follows

Custom Alder Strat: Neck = Dimarzio HS3; Bridge = Paf Pro

Ibanez Basswood RG bitsa 565ish: Neck = Bare Knuckle The Sultan; Bridge = Bare Knuckle VHII

Custom Walnut RG: Neck = Bare Knuckle Irish Tour; Bridge = Bare Knuckle Holy Diver


Links to vids:

Clean Neck
Alder Strat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ3ogp5ES1I

Basswood RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nKELHU-eFA

Walnut RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ3ogp5ES1I


Overdriven Neck
Alder Strat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sozc7Xc035s

Basswood RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osA87rb-ncc

Walnut RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydsBvGl6HIY


Clean Bridge
Alder Strat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hqJfLbbJS4

Basswood RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyvMMuAKDD4

Walnut RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRZgS_DX3gw

Overdriven Bridge
Alder Strat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARvdg2p5IEo

Basswood RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0iJtA9IFo

Walnut RG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbcFUKpNfgc
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bare knuckle pickups , custom build , walnut body , walnut tonewood

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