Mcinturff fans please advise(new guitar)

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by shesky, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. shesky

    shesky Member

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    Hello,

    I recently took a Mcinturff empress in for trade that I'm trying not to get too excited about.(Not sure if my finances can handle it right now:() Amazing guitar in very good condition. Is there anyway to tell what options were used via serial # or database? If I am correct, I have the 7th production empress in 1997 which was also the first year for these.
    I think this makes it the 7th production empress........ever. :crazyguy
    I believe the color is tangerine, the maple headstock is an upgrade, the inlays are brass with abalone and the pickups are also a custom option(t90's?) Anybody have anymore insight on any of this? Am I correct on my theory's so far? I can't post at the tcm forum or I would have started there first.

    thanks,

    shesky
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  2. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    Nice looking guitar! Email Terry or PM him here - that's what I did when I got my used Taurus and he was very helpful, as much as he could remember anyway. If my understanding is correct, all the serial # means is that your guitar was the 7th TCM completed/sprayed in 11/97. There is no database or anything. Congrats on a fine guitar - love my Taurus!
     
  3. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    Great guitars I have a Glory Standard that's one of my favorites. I also recommend contacting Terry if you want more info, he's a great guy and very helpful to the extent that he can be.
     
  4. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    terry's guitars are incredible. if you like it, do what you can to keep it. i have 2 polaris guitars and they are sick.
     
  5. Florida Joe

    Florida Joe Member

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    I'd go over to the TCM forum (http://www.thetcmforum.org/) and speak with the members there. I know there are links regarding Terry's numbering scheme and someone may know info about your guitar. I tried to go Terry's website but some of the features have been shutdown.
     
  6. Balance

    Balance Member

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    mprvise is right about the number scheme. That was the 7th guitar out of the spray booth in November of 1997. I believe you are correct about everything else. I believe the standard pickup scheme for Empresses was s/s/t90 or s/s/t900. So how does it sound and play? It's a beauty, and I love the brass ring inlays, my second favorite TCM inlay after the Zodiacs.
     
  7. shesky

    shesky Member

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    Yeah, My email is banned for probably being a free account so I can't comment on the forums. I've contacted the administrator twice and am still awaiting a response. I got my serial # info from here:
    http://www.thetcmforum.org/html/rpt_empress_1.html

    It might be off by a tick or 2 either way but it looks to be in the first 10 production empress's ever made. It's a wonderful guitar, I love it. The problem is that I exchanged services for goods by doing a buddy some favors. I'd like to hold on to it but I'm not sure if I can afford too. Thanks for the help so far!

    shesky
     
  8. mlongano

    mlongano Member

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    Why not just call Terry and ask him?
     
  9. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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    +1

    Terry is a real gentleman, one of the nicest cats in the industry. Give him a ring; he will most likely be very gracious and helpful.
     
  10. Jake

    Jake Member

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    Having been a former admin & moderatorover at the forum the free emails were banned because of spam and other abuse issues we were experiencing (same banned member generating several ID's under various freebie emails and continuing abuse). Sorry for the hassle. Contacting one of the currently moderators should allow them to set something up for you.

    As for your guitar, it's definitely not the 7th prodution Empress. The Empress went into production in March '97. I owned the 2nd production Empress which was produced in 3/97, and I know the 4th production guitar was the first guitar out in 4/97, and with the orders Terry got coming out of his first NAMM show I suspect #7 was out by April or May.

    Now, while you don't have the 7th Empress, you still have a very cool one. Here's what I can tell you about it. It's a Tangerine Empress that was the 7th McInturff guitar into the spray booth in November 1997 (as was stated previously). The maple headstock overlay is an upgrade, and actually very unusual on an Empress (most folks would have upgraded to the Glory as the difference in price of the Empress with the upgrades and the Glory wasn't that large). The inlays were standard at the time. On the Empress and Monarch models the original inlays were dots with brass surrounds that were hand cut on a bandsaw from a brass pipe and sucked into a vacuum so they did not escape into the shop. According to an email I got a long time ago from Tracy McInturff, "What a nightmare that used to be. Trying to rig up the bandsaw with the shop vac so that when I sliced the brass rod it would suck the little rings off the table. I spent most of my time on the floor of the shop looking for every stray ring I could find." These surrounds were only on about 50 guitars, according to information I got from Tracy, and were replaced by just regular dot inlays on the Monarch and "rope" inlays on the Empress. Yours is likely one of, if not the only TCM with dot inlays with surrounds and a maple headstock overlay.

    Pickup combinations were pretty much roll-yer-own in those days, with a standard combination being offered, but just about any combination made available for a $100 list price upgrade. What you have are a pair of Narrowfield minibuckers with a single coil in the center. A very nice combination as the Narrowfields are probably the only minibuckers I've heard that actually sound decent when the coils are split. I suspect positions 1 & 5 are full humbucking with the buckers split when combined with the single coil. According to Tracy the P900 pickups, which were also minibuckers but with more of a single coil voice, were available in late 1997, so there is a small chance you have them. But if this was a custom order, which it likely was given the headstock overlay, it's probable that only the Narrowfields were available at the time it was ordered. You'd have to look at the number on the back of the pickups to be sure. If the tone reminds you of a P-90 with more mids instead of a LP Deluxe era minibucker then it may be a P900.

    I will tell you this, that guitar looks very familiar. Then again, I've probably owned a couple dozen early TCM's over time. The one thing that amazes me about Terry's guitars is how many of them develop a ding in that exact same spot on the edge of the body by the controls. It has to have something to do with the way the guitar is extracted from the case and the center latch on the top. I'd say at least 10-15% of the TCM's I've seen have some form of a nick there even if the rest of it is pristine.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Member

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    Shesky, contact me via my email (shaw.ca) and I'll make sure you get into the TCM Forum. Sorry you've been unable to get in so far.
     
  12. PinoyBoy

    PinoyBoy Member

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    Shesky -- By any chance, did you get this from someone/some store (GC?) in Des Moines?
     
  13. Kalalau Hiker

    Kalalau Hiker Supporting Member

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    that's a beauty - congrats

    hope you post a tone report
     
  14. Kalalau Hiker

    Kalalau Hiker Supporting Member

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    what exactly are these Narrowfield pups? are they Terry's proprietary pups or a pup maker model? looking for the best split mini hum sound, and also an alternate to the new PRS Narrowfields that are not sold separately.
    thanks
    Bob
     
  15. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Jake, you are SO HIRED! :) Your knowledge of my earlier work exceeds my own in some ways. Many thanks for that spot-on reply!!! :)

    Thats an early one, as has been stated. It is great to see my old kids again.

    Shesky, I hope that guitar remains a friend for life. Many thanks for your kind support. If you have a tech who is capable of touching up that ding, have him contact me and I will send him the colorant that will make a great match.

    EDIT: Very unfortunately, many of the records of my older work were destroyed in a flooded storage area!
    Also, years later I fugured out the very simple solution to cutting those rings :) This is how I was able to bring that "bound dot" inlay back for the Carolina Custom
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  16. tms13pin

    tms13pin Supporting Member

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    Shesky, do you still have that axe? I see this is a resurrected thread....

    One of my best buds plays an Empress from that era... he bought it new
    back in the late 90's and it's still his main axe:

    http://uptown-rb.com/mark_wyeth.html

    Terry... do your hums for those guitars bolt into a P90 slot? I have a
    three P-90 axe that I'd love to have a hum in the bridge, and I've always
    liked the tone Mark (above) gets out of his.

    --Tom
     
  17. tejastubes

    tejastubes Member

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    Wow, I never noticed the dots were bound on my Carolina Custom!
     
  18. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Tom, the pickups fit into a P90 rout, but unlike a P90 the mounting screws are at each end of the pickup.
     

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