Given the wealth of experience and wisdom here, I thought I'd run some my current ideas past you all for feedback and thoughts. As background, I recently lost my mother after a very long illness. As a consequence, there will be an inheritance I'll just describe as 'comfortable', most of which will be labelled 'pension' and enable me to possibly rethink my career. A portion is, however, going to spent on a few things for me. Part of this will be two guitars to my own spec, to be named in honour of her mother and father - two lovely people who insisted I learn a musical instrument and learn to cook. (The two most valuable things anyone's done for me, I reckon.) Bodies and necks will most likely come from Warmoth or Guitar Mill, the other hardware can come from anywhere (within reason: I'm UK based). Guitar 1:Fred Shell pink medium-relic Strat, alder body Goncalo Alves neck, 10-16" radius, LSR nut, locking sperzels, side dots only (have very similar as a replacement neck on a US Fat Tele and love it) Super-vee Blade Runner trem Villex boost (have on several Strats and like) Pick-ups: either a) Lace Sensors: Blue (neck), Light Blue or Silver (middle), Purple/Emerald Dually (bridge) b) Harmonic Design Vintage Plus (neck and mid), Super 90 (bridge) Basic tonal thought: a smooth, warmer, fatter Strat Guitar 2ot Orchid Purple double-bound Tele, alder body Stetsbar trem (have on an old Tele Plus and fond of it: v smooth) Flame maple/Rosewood neck, 10-16" radius, LSR nut, locking sperzels, abalone dots 3 Vintage Vibe CCR Charlie Christian pick-ups, 5-way switch with toggle to add bridge pickup to other selections Basic tonal thought: see TIm Lerch's Tele + 3 CC pickup video and cross that thought with Bill Frisell Depending on experience with creating these two, and budgets, they may be joined by two more guitars, to be named after other people who've been important personal influences: Guitar 3: Jack (my uncle and godfather) Olympic white heavy relic Strat, ash or pine body (possibly chambered) Goncalo Alves neck, 10-16" radius, LSR nut, locking sperzels, side dots only American 2-point trem Pick-ups: either a) 3 TV Jones (TV Classics neck and mid, TV Classic Plus bridge) b) A more conventional bucker set-up - Seth Lovers, Gibson Classic 57s or Ibanez Super 58s (truly lovely in an Ibanez AS200 (I'm thinking Jimmy Herring - especially the Disney Overture on Lifeboat -and Steve Kimock, but with an option for a softer/lighter rhythm tone: I'm also thinking Strat-meets-335 in terms of tone: thoughts on switching appreciated) Guitar 4: Joe (my art teacher and a guru to many) Tele Cabronita style, but possible more like a Telesonic (ie 4 knobs plus selector) Body: I'm thinking pine, light-relic'd gold finish Neck: medium relic maple, black dots, 10-16" radius, locking sperzels Pickups: the Cabronitas I hear are too toppy/rockabilly for my taste. I like a touch of Gretsch, but I want a warmer sound - think Roddy Frame on his 'The North Star' album (try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjnztL3V-lM) - and jazzier. I like the idea of this guitar being powerful, but 'singing' rather than 'gritty': mix a warm, clean Gretsch sound with something like an old ES125TDC Bridge: either compensated 3-barrel brass, or a Bigsby (anything else on a Cabronita seems wrong!) I typically play clean, but think 'saturated clean': there's a Barber TP and a booster running most of the time. Very rarely engage any kind of dirt pedal, but do use chorus/delay/term/rotary effects from time to time. Clarity and good string separation important. All thoughts and inputs welcome: I've tried to give clues as best I can (there's little point suggesting anything shreadtastic), and shared wisdom appreciated. Video clips appreciated even more where relevant. Thank you.