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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I didnt know where to post this thread, but since custom jems are ussualy posted in the jem/UV forum, and given that PGMs are signature (hence prestige) guitars, I think this is the right forum.

I was about to start a Jem project, but after talking with the Luthier, I finally opted for this PGM project.

The goal is simply to build the best PGM guitar to date. The project started today.

Here are the details:

Neck: 5 piece pau ferro, with 2 violet (i dont know if this is the engish name for this wood) stripes. Ebony fingerboard with splited block inlays (paduak, abalone, paduak).

Body: Salam (its a mexican dark and very hard wood, similar to wallnut) with a wallnut root burl top. Ebony binding. The f holes are going to be inlayed in paduak.

Gotoh Fixed bridge, tone and volume controls, Super 3 and Air Norton pups. Ernie Ball electronics, Sperzel Locking tuners.

I was undecided about the paduak. I was going for another root (vavona root burl), but the red paduak will probably have a better contrast against the black ebony on the freatboard and the dark brown wallnut root burl top.

Natural high gloss finish.

Opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its pretty heavy weight, but it looks much better than mahogany. And its a very resonant wood (i dont know if resonant is the right word or spelling :oops: ).

Im thinking about adding a tone control. I really use it so, I may put the tone control where the volume control is located, and add the volume control in the top of the F hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, here are the final (I hope) modifications to the project (I was with the Luthier till 2am!):

the violet stripes are purple heart stripes (I didnt know the name of the wood in english). SO the neck it a 5 piece pauferro with 2 stripes of violet.

The body is going to be made of Tzalam (not Salam). ITs also called Caribean Walnut. Its harder than black walnut (so I guess it probably has a brighter sound). The colour is more uniform than black walnut. I never seen it used for an electric guitar, but Martin has limited series acoustic guitar made of Tzalam. ITs an Eco friendly substitute of Walnut. I could ve gone with mahogany.... but Im bored of mahogany and decided to try this out. Besides, aesthetically the Tzalam back will be a better match fo the walnut root burl on the top.

All the parts that were supposed to be made in padouk are going to be made of thuya root burl instead (it looks much better). This means that the F holes and the neck inlays are going to be made of Thuya root burl. The neck inlays are going to be thuya root burl/abalone/thuya root burl splitted blocks.

The F holes are going to be binded with sicomoro (similar to maple) for better contrast between the walnut root burl and the thuya root burl.

The headstock will have a walnut root burl veneer to match the body. The truss rod cover will be made of thuya root burl.

The electronics back cover is going to be made of thuya root burl.

It will not have a tone control, and it will feature the same bridge as the fixed bridge PGMs.

Today the Luthier is going to buy most of the woods, so unless he cant find some of them at the supplier, those are the final specs.

I really hope he can find all the woods involved, and I cant wait to see the work in progress. This Luthier is an amazing guy, and a Friend. If this turns out as I expect, the next one will be modding my RBM1 (new neck and top).
8)
Well... I ll be posting as the work developes. :wink:
 

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rock on!
good thing u passed on the tone knob... :wink:

i can´t wait for the pics... :D

and i gotta ask...how much will this project cost?
8O
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, about the price, you have to get 2 things into consideration:

1) This kind of work its a lot cheaper in Mexico (compared to the US or Europe)
2) The Luthier is a friend
3) He likes to do this kind of projects, since most of the request he gets are for pretty standar jobs and repairs.

The cost of the guitar is going to be around U$S1000 + the pups, electronics and harware. So the guitar is going to cost about 1300-1400 finished. Its about all I can spend at the time to tell you the thruth.

Considering the huge amount of details and handwork, and the use of root burls and other nice woods, I think it is a very good price. May be this guitar would cost about doble the price I am paying if I order it in the US or in Europe. But then, I just couldnt afford it.

I could ve gone with a bird eye maple neck with purple heart stripes.... but I ve heard so many things about pau ferro that I decided to give it a try. There still was the option for a bird eye maple freatboard, but I prefer the feel of ebony. So I made some compromises in the cosmetic appeal of the neck in order to have a more playable and better sounding guitar. I think the pau ferro neck with the purple heart stripes will look amazing anyway. The ebony freatboard is pretty standard, but the inlays are just going to be amazing.

The body, if everything goes smooth, should be a quite a sight when its finished. I really hope he finds the thuya and the walnut root burls. You just have to see the Thuya root burl in person. Its just the most amazing wood I ever seen. I mean, the walnut root burl looks very good, but it just pales against the Thuya root burl. (I would ve loved a Thuya root burl top, but you have to use 4 pieces to make a top, and I dont think it would ve worked well).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:roll: Well, may be they were 3 things to take into consideration....

1) This kind of work its a lot cheaper in Mexico (compared to the US or Europe)
2) The Luthier is a friend
3) He likes to do this kind of projects, since most of the request he gets are for pretty standar jobs and repairs.
Today I have another one of this mental lags.....

the violet stripes are purple heart stripes (I didnt know the name of the wood in english). SO the neck it a 5 piece pauferro with 2 stripes of violet.
I really need to rest! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The scheduled delivery date is by the end of november or the first days of december, so it will take a while until I can post pictures of it. I may take some pics of the work in progress though!

Thanks for the coments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PICS of the PGM Custom in progress

http://photobucket.com/albums/v493/RCB/PGM/

Its still early but I wanted to share some picks of the work in progress

Some updates:

The body is made of mahogany and granadillo at the back. The walnut root burl veneer you see has been replaced for another one (better) because the bookmatch was not perfect.

The inlays are going to be bird eye maple, abalone, bird eye maple (the bird eye maple replace the tuya root on the freatboard inlays)

The F holes will have a maple bindin and the body will have an ebony binding.

The tuners are going to be grover (not sperzel), and the bridge pup will be a tone zone.
 

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I hate it.

I HATE IT BECAUSE IT WILL PROBABLY BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PGM EVER AND WILL NOT BE MINE!!!!

I can already see the potential at that very rough stage. It must be very exciting.

Good on you, and make sure to post pics as it progresses...
 

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looks great and bet it'll sound great too with all that quality wood.
Sorry for my ignorance but i've been wondering : what exactly is a bookmatch ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bookmatched is when the top is splitted by half so one side "mirrors" the other side. You have to glue both halfs perfectly in order to match the "draw" of the wood. When they glued the first top (the one you see in the pics) it was off by a couple of mm. The top was good, but it wasnt great. The new top is much better, though it was harder to glue (the surface was VERY irregular, so he had to be extra carefull not to tear it appart when he put it). It took more than 3 hours (I was there) to remove the other top and put the new one.

Everything is done by hand (the relief, carve or cutaway in the back of the guitar -I dont know the name of it, but I mean the part you see in the first pic where you can se both woods carved on the back) was made with an axe (I was there, and I suffered liked hell!), and the result was perfect.

They have very few machines. The neck shape was done by hand (hours of work on than neck alone), with such proficency its unbelievable. Each inlay shape (and also the electronic cover) is individually drawed and a mold is cuted in plastic. Then, when they got the absolute perfect shape they proceed to the wood.

The abalone and MOP are extracted by hand from the shells. On sunday we will go to pick up the shell from wich the inlays are going to be made of.

The only "bad thing" that happened so far is that he got a beautifull piece of wood that would ve been great for the back of the guiter (VERY, VERY figured).

I ve already chosen that piece of wood for my next project, so it doesnt matter that much :wink:

The only concerns I have are the F holes routing and inlays (the tuya root burl is not easy to work with).

The truss rod cover and the electronics covers are going to be made of tuya root burl also.

The other mods to the project were:

1) The neck is not reversed (because its a fixed bridge and I wanted the the tuners in a comfortable position). Some PGMs had regular necks in the past, so its OK.

2) I will try to buy a fixed bridge with piezos.

I will probably go the Luthier s house today. I will post new pictures soon!

Im glad you like the progress so far!
 

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WOW, that's so cool!

You should take lots of pics, and, after you finish the work, put together some sort of history-website, to document the creation of the guitar...

I think that lots of forum members will end up enamored of the project!
 
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