If you have zero interest in guitars, you might as well stop reading; the rest of those post will serve only as a sleep aid. For those that do, at the very least you can enjoy some eye candy even if the details bore you.
In the past months, two new guitars have entered my collection. While that may make me sound like Mr. Moneybags, both of these instruments were a long time coming and the arrival of one was never supposed to coincide with the other. They are also moving guitars out as they come in, one of which has already found a new home.
The second guitar is a custom build that I began back in May. I've always wanted to build my own guitar, partly to entertain the tinkerer in me, and partly to create a guitar that was exactly what I wanted it to be. For years I owned a 1983 Squier '57 Vintage Re-issue Stratocaster. Anyone familiar with this model knows that at the time Squier were making these re-issues better and more historically accurate than their American-made Fender counterparts. As wonderful as the guitar was, I wasn't enjoying it like I once was. I have developed a taste for thicker, baseball-bat like necks, the tone of the pickups didn't speak to me like they once did, and I had a desire to get creative with the electronics. Rather than modifying the guitar and destroying the unique and coveted prize that it was, I sold it over the summer to someone who will hopefully appreciate it for exactly what it is.
And so I set to work creating a replacement that would suit me to a tee. While I won't go into the long history of where all the parts came from (mostly a mix of eBay, a guitar parts supplier called Warmoth, and three red pearl-topped knobs I bought almost 15 years ago when the music store I was working at went out of business), I'll touch on a few of the deviations from your typical Fender Stratocaster that make it special:
Rather than go with a big-name pickup manufacturer such as Seymour Duncan or Dimarzio, I wanted to go with something outside the norm; a diamond in the rough, if you will. I ended up selecting Wilde Pickup's MicroCoils, launched in March of this year. Wilde is a pickup company started by Bill Lawrence - a legend in the pickup design field - and his wife Becky (also a highly respected pickup maker). They're noise-resistant, sound killer, and are incredibly responsive.
I based the wiring on the Strat Lover's Mod found on GuitarNutz, which effectively adds 8 additional settings on top of a Stratocaster's usual 5. The one alteration I made was including a capacitor in the out-of-phase switch to create what is referred to as 'half-out-of-phase'.
The verdict? I had a lot of fun putting this guitar together, and the end result is a distinctive and unique guitar that feels and sounds exactly like what I had hoped to achieve. When all is said and done, it really wasn't that difficult or expensive, and there's some excellent resources online when in doubt.