Newest project is FINALLY done!

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by KaBudokan, Jan 9, 2006.


  1. KaBudokan

    KaBudokan Supporting Member

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    This one's taken a while to get finished. I bought the neck blank um... about 4 years ago. Had the neck carved umm... about 2 1/2 years ago. Ordered the body in ummm... August of last year. Finally completed the guitar ummmm... Last night around 1 am.

    I posted some in-process pics a while back, but it's finished now.

    I couldn't quite figure out if this post should go in "General" or "Small Company builders," but I figure since this is my 2nd guitar ever, and USA Custom is a small company, this probably qualifies for this side of the tracks.

    Specs:

    Body: USACG Hollow Carve-Top T - Honduras Mahogany 1-piece back, Wild (flamey, quilty) top

    Finish: Reranch nitro (pre-stained, etc.)

    Neck: Brazilian Rosewood (fingerboard from the same piece as the neck), tiltback headstock, Godin style inlays

    Bone nut (If you look closely, you can see Matt Artinger's trademark scallop on the nut in between the string slots)

    Tuners: Sperzel Sound-Lok (open back design)

    Bridge: Hipshot Baby Grand (had some issues with this, but sent it back to Hipshot and eventually got it all settled)

    Pickups: WCR Crossroads neck, Darkburst bridge

    Controls: 3-way, VVT (push/pull coil tap on the tone)

    The tone is pretty huge. I've heard some people describe guitars with rosewood necks as having "more of everything" in terms of frequencies. This guitar definitely seems to live up to that. It has a very full bottom end, with absolutely no loss of highs, which are in fact quite crisp - not edgy, but bright. It seems to have rounded mids that sustain for quite a while, even unplugged. (I'm no good at describing tone, but I'm trying.) The in-between setting really seems to bring out the hollow nature of the guitar, and definitely has a woody sound to it - hard to describe. The bridge seems like it can get a bit of a jangly sound, but it's still full. The split sounds definitely offer some versatility and different sounds (which I like a lot), though with this configuration (body and neck woods) I wouldn't necessarily call them traditional single coil tones.

    Here are some final pics:

    The Starship KaBudokan shot (I'm pretty sure you can see the curve of the top on THIS one... :cool: ):

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    Full-Frontal, so you can see the new truss rod cover with the body:

    [​IMG]

    The front of the headstock:

    [​IMG]

    Back of the headstock, so you can see the open-back Sperzels and the new gold buttons:

    [​IMG]

    A full back shot:

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    A shot of the neck:

    [​IMG]

    A little closer, so you can see the grain and how the neck and board blend:

    [​IMG]


    Side shot where you can see the side of the maple cap. I didn't want to do a faux-binding on this one, but I wanted it to stand out some, so I decided not to do the burst on the side, so the sides match the center.

    [​IMG]

    Another top shot:

    [​IMG]

    And finally, another magic floating guitar picture:

    [​IMG]

    Hope ya like it! I'll try to get some clips recorded sometime this week.
     
  2. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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  3. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    that is beautiful. what are the specs? scale length you did the finish yourself? Looks incredible.

    cmn
     
  4. KaBudokan

    KaBudokan Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I knew I forgot some info. 25" scale length. 12" radius. The neck carve is a fat assymetrical shape I have on a previous USACG guitar. Seems to be uncomfortable for anyone but me... lol Think SRV shape but a bit fatter.

    I did the finish myself. There are a few imperfections on it, but probabl only ones that I would see... :rolleyes:
     
  5. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    That is an absolute knockout! The only thing I'd change are the pu's...I'd prefer a pair of Lollar P-90's myself, but I'm on a P-90 kick. Otherwise it's on the money & the finish is fantastic. The neck contour sounds just what I like too as my ex-SRV Strat had nearly the perfect neck for my big ol' hands, but was just the slightest bit smaller than I'd prefer. Can't wait to hear some clips of it! :D
     
  6. Douglas Baines

    Douglas Baines Member

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    Gorgeous!

    Does the Br. Rosewood neck seem a great deal heavier than a more "standard" wood? Does it seem weight-balanced?
     
  7. lookslikemeband

    lookslikemeband Member

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    AWESOME!!! VERY well done!
     
  8. waylon

    waylon Member

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    That thing looks killer. I'm getting ready to build one very, very similar to that one. I hope mine turns out as nice.
     
  9. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    That's amazing! I'm currently in the process of building my first and it's incredible the amount of hours I've put in already and you'd barely recognize it's a guitar! GREAT JOB!
     
  10. mischultz

    mischultz Member

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    I have an asymmetrical overcarve from USACG as well. Feels perfect, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

    Fine job, there.

    Michael
     
  11. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
    I like it. Love the tuners. Heard nothing but high praise for the open back Sperzels.
     
  12. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    That looks like a very sweet guitar! Your volume knob is where you can get to it. Nice restraint on fingerboard markers. I've really been wanting a rosewood neck guitar. Very nice body, how far does the hollow area extend?

    What were the issues? I'm thinking of putting one of these on my PRS Soapbar II so I'd kind of like to know what to expect.
     
  13. Mutley

    Mutley Supporting Member

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    Wow! What a beautiful instrument. If it sounds half as good as it looks it's a killer. Great job. :AOK
     
  14. johnmfer

    johnmfer Supporting Member

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    I can't believe carved top tele bodies aren't more common. What a beautiful guitar! Congrats!

    I am also curious about rosewood being heavier or making the guitar neck heavy. Any comments on that?
     
  15. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Wonderful guitar! I like the piano bridge on yours.
     
  16. noodle_world

    noodle_world Member

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    thats an awesome top. i dig the bridge too. awesome work
     
  17. KaBudokan

    KaBudokan Supporting Member

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    As far as the weight goes, the guitar as a whole is not too heavy. Of course, it is a hollow body, that certainly impacts the weight. I don't think the guitar is neck heavy, which I was worried about. When wearing it standing up, it sits exactly where it's supposed to. When seated, it seems fairly well balanced as well. The mahogany piece is fairly heavy, and the maple cap helps.

    It is a full hollow body. To quote the USACG site, "The sides are routed, and the center is completely solid."

    The issue with the Hipshot was that the saddles were rattling on the 1st bridge I installed. They were too small - my luthier attributed it to the plating, which was probably not thick enough on the various pieces to fill the space they had left to compensate for the plating.

    I talked to Hipshot and got an RMA# to return it. They did resolve the issue (sent me a new bridge, I believe), but it took a while (about 5+ weeks from when I first contacted them). During this time they told me they were going to "fix" my bridge, which didn't make sense to me. I was a little annoyed, since they could have looked at the piece, seen it was a manufacturing error (which they confirmed), and sent a new piece out 5 minutes later.

    I never heard any negative things about Hipshot before, and they did resolve the issue for me, but it wasn't a great experience overall. FWIW, I do really like the bridge now that this one seems good.
     

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