Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ed's Guitar

For the last few days I've been working on a guitar again, not mine for a change. My brother recently acquired a Les Paul and since then his old Hamer superstrat has been gathering dust. I was given the task of making it into a blistering funkmachine - something that the Gibson, for all its merits, quite definitely isn't - and generally bringing it up to an acceptable standard for a man with expensive tastes. Which, of course, meant only the finest parts; Switchcraft jacks, CGE pots, Sprague Capacitors, Oak Switches, and a pair of Seymour Duncan Phat Cats.

The part of this process that took longest was the waiting for the parts to arrive - Royal Mail were on strike and I can't just walk down to the road to my local Guitar Technician Supply shop. Once it arrived it all moved pretty fast though. I managed to do the whole thing without burning or cutting myself once, which is a new record - I'm getting better, at one point I couldn't do a refit without gaining some new permanent scars.

I've been sitting around playing it for the last few hours now, after troubleshooting the last of the little niggling problems that always appear, and I think it's rather awesome. I've not had to opportunity to have a go with the amp cranked up to 'Obnoxious Wanker' levels but from what I've heard so far it all seems to have worked. It is indeed a face melting funkmachine, but it also has a huge array of different sounds for its owner to play with, once you figure out what .


After it had been stripped down, the cavities extended, and the new holes drilled.

And this it what it looks like finished. I cleaned the Fretboard (despite Ed's protests) and gave it a polish to get all the masking tape marks off the body.

Oof. The modifications are much more complete and elaborate than those 'spot the difference' pictures would suggest, but they were almost entirely internal. It was quite interesting work - there weren't any frustrating setbacks that caused me to pull my hair out, or faults that I couldn't understand. Most interestingly, a circuit that I, an English Lit graduate, designed, Actually Worked!

In accordance with my witty naming scheme this guitar will be called the 'Stratobastard' until Ed gives it a better name.


Oh, and if I ever meet Floyd Rose, me and him are going to have words. Honestly, who'd design a tremolo system where you have no individual string height adjustment and you have to take the strings off to adjust the intonation? eh? A madman, that's who.