Saturday, October 29, 2005

My Warmoth Custom Guitar

Well this is it, my custom axe built from Warmoth parts.

Of the guitars I've owned over the years, this is my all time favorite. I knew what I wanted, collected the pieces over time and put it all together. I'm sure I've listed all the specifics previously but here it is again, FWIW...

Soloist-style body (alder or ash? I can't remember!); Compound radius (10" - 16" radius, 22 6105 Nickel/Silver frets) Maple/Ebony Explorer-style bolt-on neck. (You will note that the double expanding truss rod is not accessible from the top, this is really unfortunate. Newer Warmoth necks in this style have truss rod accessibility from the headstock); D'Addario XL110 (10 - 46) strings. All three pickups (Neck; Middle; Bridge) are Seymour Duncan humbuckers. A Carvin Five-way toggle pickup selector; a mini-toggle phase switch for the mid pickup; Push/Pull volume control for coil splitting the bridge pickup. A single tone control for all three pickups, I don't recall the capacitors I used at the moment, but I opted for one on the volume control (in addition to the one on the tone pot) so the high-end would not roll off when the volume was turned down, somewhat of a standard procedure for guitars with humbuckers. This wiring configuration gives me all kinds of versatility in tone--which is exactly what I wanted. A quiet guitar (hence the three humbuckers) with lots of tonal options. The electronics cavity is copper shielded. (My first electric being a Squier Strat, I wanted no signs of single coil hum on this custom monster whatsoever!). Warmoth will route your neck & body to fit your needs. I opted for a floating route for the Schaller Licensed Floyd Rose tremolo. This makes for a real pain when you break a string but regardless, the bridge works flawlessly. Very well made. My hands can sweat up a storm at times when I am playing and yet after all these years, the Schaller bridge shows no signs of corrosion (something I cannot say for my Strat bridge). The headstock is equipped with the matching locking nut and non-locking Schaller tuning machines (Mini's if I am not mistaken, with a 14:1 gear ratio). Dunlop Straploks are a must on all my electrics. Dropping guitars is not allowed in this house! Continuing, the neck has a clear satin finish on the back & a clear glossy finish on the peg head (I was considering going with blue on the headstock to match the body but I think the clear glossy looks great). The ebony fingerboard is all natural, no dyes were used on it. The body/neck finish & bridge installation were done by Erlewine Guitars in Austin, TX. I pieced together the rest. A hard shell case that works with the Explorer style headstock was purchased (along with other miscellaneous parts) from Stewart-MacDonald but it appears they no longer carry it. I think this is the right model but I'm not positive.

This guitar is now over ten years old, maybe upwards of fifteen (I will have to see if I can find out when it was completed). It still plays and sounds wonderfully. If I had one complaint about it, it would be that the neck & mid pickups do not match the output of the JB bridge pickup. That thing is hot!! I don't know that their are any stacked humbuckers out there that could match outputs with the JB. I'm not even going to bother checking because I'm not replacing any of these pickups. If I need the two stack pickups louder, that's what I have a foot pedal volume control for, right?

Well, there you have it (again?). Probably a very boring post for most, but guitar nuts love to talk about their gear. And, I've always wanted to post a picture of this baby since I started this blog...

[Updated 30 Oct. 2005: Replaced "artsy" image with the one you see above. You can find the initial image I posted here. The flash on the camera makes the blue appear brighter then it is but I thought the picture came out well enough. I attempted to make it look a bit 'artsy' with the GIMP. Don't know that I succeeded...]

[Updated 31 Oct. 2005: Added link. Corrected grammar. Corrected spelling.]

1 comment:

f3nd3rstr@t said...

It's about time. Having all the specs is nice for me. I don't know if I'll do custom through Warmoth, unless there is some kind of factory direct retail discount kinda thing, ya know what I mean. It's a nice guitar!! No complaints. It sounds nice and yes, Seymour Duncan's appear to be the way to go. I wonder if the Gibson X-plorer uses Seymours. Since I can't check it out. . . due to internet restrictions, can you let me know. I know Gibson uses a 500 and a 496 (I'm not sure which is the bridge; I believe the 496 and the 500 is the neck). Anywho!
Rock on and enjoy!!