Southern Belle Tele

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Trea, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Trea

    Trea Member

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    I’ve had this guitar a few months so it’s technically not a NGD, but I wanted to wait until the honeymoon period was over so that I could give a more objective opinion on it. I had first read about Southern Belle Guitars in a Facebook post that Laura Cox made when she had a cabronita style Tele built for her and I really liked the looks (the guitar, not just Laura) and the sounds she was getting in her demo. I’ve owned quite a few tele’s in my life but none of them ever stuck around for one reason or another. I liked them for a while but then I would get bored with them or little things would bug me and I would move on to something else.


    Fast forward a few months and I was at a bar and noticed that the guitar player in the band that was there that night was playing a Southern Belle and it really looked and sounded nice. During a set break I approached her and asked her about it. She was more than happy to let me check it out and casually mentioned that she made it and if I liked it, she would be more than happy to get with me to discuss making one for me. Over the next few months we corresponded back and forth as I made up my mind about exactly what I wanted. She was very patient as I did change my mind more than once before committing to an order. I will say that she was very flexible and willing to make whatever I asked for, no matter what oddball combination I came up with.


    I ended up going with a two piece contoured swamp ash body finished in Fiesta Red nitro, compound radius maple neck with 6100 SS frets, and D. Allen Dirty Cat humbuckers. So not exactly a traditional T style, but one I thought that I would really bond with. After placing my order and confirming with her exactly how I wanted everything I sent her a deposit. I can very happily say that throughout the build process communication was great and she was very forthcoming with updates and build pictures along the way.


    When the guitar was finished and I received it I honestly could not be more pleased with it. It was exactly what I had asked for and the build and finish quality were top notch. I have owned a lot of guitars. Well over a hundred in my 30 years of playing. So I’ve had a good bit of experience with lots of different manufacturers. Once I got the guitar set up to my particular liking it has become the one I play the most. I have several Gibsons, Fenders and a few PRS and they are all great guitars but this one just continues to check all the right boxes for me. Long story short I love this guitar and would highly recommend anyone looking for a T or S style custom build to check out Southern Belle Guitars and Morgan Mitcham. From ordering to finished product, I couldn’t find anything to complain about and I am a picky guy. Anyway here are a couple of pictures of the finished product.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    Nice guitar!! Laura Cox also turned me onto Southern Belle guitars.

    How do you like the dual humbuckers in a Tele? How does the sound compare to a LP style guitar?
     
  3. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    Very nice! Is it aged by the builder or have you put a few nicks in it?
     
  4. Surfreak

    Surfreak Member

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    I like how they are completely upfront about who makes the necks and bodies they assemble.
    This, among a horde of partscaster wannabees who conveniently skip such a key production value, as well as their reasonable prices make their offer quite interesting.
     
  5. Redbell

    Redbell Member

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  6. Trea

    Trea Member

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    I do like them in a Tele. I know that a lot of folks put Humbuckers in the neck and leave the single coil in the bridge but I wanted them in both positions. It doesn't sound like my Les Pauls but then again neither does my DGT. I would say that it is a bit brighter with more snap and articulation in the notes and less low end grunt. It doesn't have the low mid push that most LP's tend to have. Whether that's a function of scale length or something else I really don't know.
     
  7. Trea

    Trea Member

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    Honestly both. The hardware was reliced by the builder and the guitar was sanded satin. The finish is very thin and I've managed to ding it a bit. It doesn't bother me as much as some of the dings in my other guitars. I dropped the end of a cable on the top of my 10 top PRS Singlecut and put a bad chip in it and that one really bugs me still. This one not so much. I admit to being a bit clumsy.
     

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