New Guitar Build - McInturff Carolina To My Specs (IT ARRIVED)

Teleplayer

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I would love to hear some clips of that set up!!! Bet it sounds even better than it looks, which would be difficult to accomplish.

The Carolina Custom through the KTR was a joy to play and hear in-person. By engaging the variac, I can bring the amp down to about 15 watts. Thus, I can get the tubes cooking a bit - even in the house. Front it with a subtle/simple boost, and the amp gets pushed over the top. Sounds bigger/bolder without the variac engaged.

This is the first time I have had a 2-bucker Gibson-scale guitar in awhile (i.e., since about 1979). There are so many sounds this guitar throws off in the middle position, it's a treat just to experiment around. Pull back on the vol control of one of the pickups, that creates a vibe. Have them both wide open, but pull back on the tone control of one of the pickups, that creates an entirely different vibe. Etc. Etc. And at 8 Lbs. 4 Oz., it is an easy guitar to play when standing up - no fatigue at all.

My only issue is that I am still scared $hitless when I play it - it's such a beautiful looking instrument. I am still getting acclimated; I'm like a little kid when I am through playing it -- complete wipe-down ... neck, front, back, extra attention around the vol/tone controls. LOL One day I will relax, like I have come to do with my Lentz 3TSB (and I am slowly getting there with my Lentz WG).

As the Carolina opens up with age, it'll get even better - I am certain of that. It's really an impeccably made guitar, and the neck carve Terry did for me (he took numerous measurements of the neck - he liked it so much, he is building the exact neck for himself) is spectacular.

Again, kudos to Terry. Can't wait for the next journey with Terry.
 

Teleplayer

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Fred, how thick is the maple top on your Carolina ?

If you read the whole thread (as if anyone has time to do that....) - I believe it is 1/2", if I recall correctly. It started as a pretty nice slab of Eastern Red Flame Maple. And then Terry carved from there.
 

Peanut73

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Fred - Are you still diggin’ the guitar? Anything new to report now that you’ve played it for a while?
 

Teleplayer

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Fred - Are you still diggin’ the guitar? Anything new to report now that you’ve played it for a while?

David - first off, Happy Thanksgiving. Hope all is well with you.

Yes, digging the guitar more than ever. I seem to learn something new about it every time I plug into an amp - especially into different amps.

It is interesting when I play the McInturff immediately after my Lentz White Guard, which is the single best sounding/playing and most resonant/toneful Tele I've played in my 43+ years as a guitarist. The Carolina Custom sounds sorta like the White Guard - but thicker and "meatier". In other words, like a great, great Tele, yet thicker.

The Carolina has great clarity up and down the fretboard - especially in the lower register, where so many Les Pauls and Les Paul scale guitars "mud up". None of that with the Carolina. It's quite inspiring and astounding for a 24.625" scale length guitar. It's the antithesis of why I got bored with - and turned away from - Les Pauls years and years ago. Terry's work, craftsmanship and knowledge of how to make a LP scale guitar shine, has me digging the shorter scale length again. Miraculous to me.

I have come to love the middle position of the Carolina. The pickups are killer for this chassis - and Terry's aim in the 250Hz - 650Hz range. By manipulating the volume and/or tone controls, I can get almost limitless tones and sounds. It's an added attraction for me, and one I had never thought twice about when the guitar build was in-process.

Regarding fit, finish, feel, etc. - it's on another level. When I think back to the journey I went through with Terry on this build, it is evident why a truly great guitar takes time to build correctly. I recall Terry walking me through certain steps in the process - the requisite cure times for certain parts to adhere to one another (the business I am in also deals with cure times; thus, I am very familiar that certain things simply take time to do properly), the many weeks it takes to properly apply a true nitro finish - one that will withstand the test of time, etc. I recall the day he was setting the neck, and the way he pored (for hours) over hundredths of an inch/degree in setting the neck. He said, "Fred, it's the difference between a really really good guitar and a truly great guitar..." He then went onto explain the "whys and wherefores" of the importance of spending the extra few hours to make sure it was set perfectly.

This axe has the single best feeling neck I have ever felt on a set-neck. Astounding. A true 50s V carve - but without an acute spine. Rolled shoulders done by a true pro. Fits me like a well-worn glove. Just perfect. Spectacular fretwork. And it stays in tune - all the time. I can pull it out of the case after not playing it for a couple weeks, and it is perfectly in tune. I can play it for an hour - putting it through its paces - plenty of stretches, chords, etc. I'll go to tune it up, and 5 of the 5 strings are in tune; with the 6th string out by a few cents. Nutty. Terry knows his stuff.

A friend of mine was over at the house this past Sunday. It was the first time he saw the Carolina. I opened the case, took out the guitar and his jaw dropped. He's a longstanding and excellent player - gigged all over Chicago (but a different part of the City than me) and played his share of Les Pauls and Strats. He saw the Carolina and said you could "just tell" from 20 feet away that it is an apex-level instrument. Said it sounded as good as it looks - if not better.

Anyway, it is a jaw dropping guitar. As I said at various points of this thread (and the build process), there were many reasons I asked Terry to build this piece. His knowledge, skill, and maybe most of all, his expertise and dedication to the art and science of luthiery; it was a combination of reasons. He's been at it 40+ years - and when I play this piece, it really shows.

Good (and sometimes great) things come to those who wait. And, without question, great instruments take time to craft correctly and properly. Glad I waited and was able to go on the journey with Terry - watching a true craftsman with decades of experience do his thing.

By the way - this is the voice of rock n' roll; the McInturff running through my TopHat Emplexador Junior Classic (a JTM45 circuit that is loud, brash, brawny). Think of the best Les Paul you've ever played/heard, running through a great Marshall circuit, hand crafted by one of the truly great makers of British-circuit amps.

I am, indeed, digging the Carolina Custom more than ever. Thank you for asking.



 
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3,990
Thank you! Feel welcome to copy paste.

I just don't get how anyone can think any different. The damn things are suspension bridges. The anchor points just aren't static! Just grinds my gears having to explain & a certain someone keeps hindering the principles.:mad::mad:

The Carolina Custom through the KTR was a joy to play and hear in-person. By engaging the variac, I can bring the amp down to about 15 watts. Thus, I can get the tubes cooking a bit - even in the house. Front it with a subtle/simple boost, and the amp gets pushed over the top. Sounds bigger/bolder without the variac engaged.

This is the first time I have had a 2-bucker Gibson-scale guitar in awhile (i.e., since about 1979). There are so many sounds this guitar throws off in the middle position, it's a treat just to experiment around. Pull back on the vol control of one of the pickups, that creates a vibe. Have them both wide open, but pull back on the tone control of one of the pickups, that creates an entirely different vibe. Etc. Etc. And at 8 Lbs. 4 Oz., it is an easy guitar to play when standing up - no fatigue at all.

My only issue is that I am still scared $hitless when I play it - it's such a beautiful looking instrument. I am still getting acclimated; I'm like a little kid when I am through playing it -- complete wipe-down ... neck, front, back, extra attention around the vol/tone controls. LOL One day I will relax, like I have come to do with my Lentz 3TSB (and I am slowly getting there with my Lentz WG).

As the Carolina opens up with age, it'll get even better - I am certain of that. It's really an impeccably made guitar, and the neck carve Terry did for me (he took numerous measurements of the neck - he liked it so much, he is building the exact neck for himself) is spectacular.

Again, kudos to Terry. Can't wait for the next journey with Terry.

Ok enough talk. We know what you think, we know it looks insane,:eek: but we want to hear it.:cool: If you have an iPhone 5 or newer, it's all you need to record it. No micing, no pro-tools, no pro friend, just you & raw in the room sound. Place the amp a foot away from a wall. Then place the iPhone on the floor, 5 feet away & a few inches to the right or left of the cabinet. Don't cover the mic. Prop it up like a laptop screen. Play a few cords & some easy runs. Give us 3 minutes. Clean, some dirt, & high gain at a moderate volume. I hate dry amps so give it a touch of reverb. You or the guitar, do not have to be in the video. No foot shots is a plus.
:aok:aok

Sean here is going straight into his amp & an effects loop with a Helix & is using his iPhone. It's good enough. Playing starts at 2:30.:)
 

lifeson1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,294
I just don't get how anyone can think any different. The damn things are suspension bridges. The anchor points just aren't static! Just grinds my gears having to explain & a certain someone keeps hindering the principles.:mad::mad:



Ok enough talk. We know what you think, we know it looks insane,:eek: but we want to hear it.:cool: If you have an iPhone 5 or newer, it's all you need to record it. No micing, no pro-tools, no pro friend, just you & raw in the room sound. Place the amp a foot away from a wall. Then place the iPhone on the floor, 5 feet away & a few inches to the right or left of the cabinet. Don't cover the mic. Prop it up like a laptop screen. Play a few cords & some easy runs. Give us 3 minutes. Clean, some dirt, & high gain at a moderate volume. I hate dry amps so give it a touch of reverb. You or the guitar, do not have to be in the video. No foot shots is a plus.
:aok:aok

Sean here is going straight into his amp & an effects loop with a Helix & is using his iPhone. It's good enough. Playing starts at 2:30.:)



I’ve been one of the lucky ones to hear it... it’s the real deal. Unreal clarity on the low end, I’m sure the Top Hats help out a bit. But what an instrument.

Damnit... now I want one.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,849
I got to play a sunburst Carolina unplugs for a short while yesterday at Carter's Vintage in Nashville. Very nice.
 

shallbe

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Cool.

Steve, do you know the woods is was made from? Weight?

Not body wood but it had a maple top and a rosewood board with a maple headstock overlay stained charcoal. Probably weighed 8.5 lbs. The place was packed and we were just dropping in between other stuff, so not much time. Anybody in there playing could really play, which was cool.
 

Teleplayer

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Staff member
Messages
20,524
Not body wood but it had a maple top and a rosewood board with a maple headstock overlay stained charcoal. Probably weighed 8.5 lbs. The place was packed and we were just dropping in between other stuff, so not much time. Anybody in there playing could really play, which was cool.

Wish you would have had the chance to take it for a spin.
 




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