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It's time to get this going. As with many of my builds, it centers around the pickups. 

After years of trying to acquire some Adeson Trisonic pickups (the only real version of the Brian May Trisonic, except for now the Chris Novak versions), I've managed to get something just as good. These are Trisonics built exactly to spec using leftover parts from Greg Fryers Red Special replica builds. They were sold to a replica builder who I;ve sworn not to reveal because he doesn't want to become a pickup supplier. Also, he acquired the parts from Greg before Burns took copyright of the Trisonic name, but still wants to keep it discreet.

It will not be a Red Special replica, and my previous designs have all been scrapped. My last build started as a LP Jr double cut, and this one will be in a similar style but different. It will be blackish, but not opaque. 

25" scale
the custom Trisonic set
a scratch-built RS tremolo, not exactly the same, but very very similar.
Ebony fretboard with inlay
carved top
Woods are still being decided, but I've got a bunch of stuff in the library, much figured maples and burls. 

Cocobolo neck
Chambered with some form of holes in the top

I'm gonna go slow but steady on this one. Hopefully ready for spraying by the time it warms up.
I'll get some proposed design up soon.

image.jpeg.280a51c64f06996e4ae309d5267a2cbd.jpeg

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Listen right at the 1:00 mark. That guitar is just ferocious. The studio version of this song contains every sonic signature that I could ever hope for.

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I'm looking forward to this is well. The design sounds like it has lots of juicy bits, and a cocobolo neck, wow! That truly will not need oil. I love the way coco looks and feels.

SR

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2 hours ago, komodo said:

Listen right at the 1:00 mark. That guitar is just ferocious. The studio version of this song contains every sonic signature that I could ever hope for.

BM always sounds pretty sustainy (is that a word).  for single coils they sure bring the beef.

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OK, so here's a screenshot of my sandbox in Illustrator. As per my usual, I've got a bunch of little aesthetic trappings in there all at once. In my real job as graphic designer, I do a LOT of iterating and throwing things in the wall, then paring it back til you get to the heart of the matter, SO, I just need to plow through a bunch of options until I can focus it into a (hopefully) restrained and cohesive end.

The purpose here is to show the core of the form, which I'm really happy with. The double cut with a slight nod to the Rick 4001, to the LP Jr, and to the RS itself. With a full carve top it'll be it's own thing. Not so clear is what's going on with the woods, or the edge bevels? or binding? or WTF? I know! I'm not sure yet, but am leaning towards maybe natural flame maple binding, with burl inside? or the kind of layered thing you see on some of the Knaggs Severns or Kiesels. I've got some Mappa burl, killer tiger flame maples, crotch walnuts. etc. What I do know is the dye will be a trans black with some slight purple in there. Also, I'm planning on using a gouge / finger planes for carving the top for the first time instead of a flap sander. We'll see if old habits die hard, but I;m shopping for a #5 gouge tomorrow.

The inlay, I'm leaning towards either subtle star-like dots, or a graphic 12th fret something. Both may be to much. F-holes, I've got that same star motif, or rune-like glyphs somewhat reminiscent of Yes / Roger Dean kinda things. Certainly not both as I have it here. 

I'd LOVE to incorporate a radiused body (aka Warwick) but that just opens a can of worms I'm not sure I'm in for but the idea will not leave me easy.

All comments and ideas are more than welcome, it really helps to show fresh eyes and get different perspectives. Pinterest is a great tool for me, as I'm extremely visual in my work. Here's a small board I;m throwing together that has little elements, details or feels of where I think this may go. Let me know if you can see it:

https://pin.it/6k6yw25nkzyr43

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 7.34.21 PM.png

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11 hours ago, komodo said:

OK, so here's a screenshot of my sandbox in Illustrator. As per my usual, I've got a bunch of little aesthetic trappings in there all at once. In my real job as graphic designer, I do a LOT of iterating and throwing things in the wall, then paring it back til you get to the heart of the matter, SO, I just need to plow through a bunch of options until I can focus it into a (hopefully) restrained and cohesive end.

The purpose here is to show the core of the form, which I'm really happy with. The double cut with a slight nod to the Rick 4001, to the LP Jr, and to the RS itself. With a full carve top it'll be it's own thing. Not so clear is what's going on with the woods, or the edge bevels? or binding? or WTF? I know! I'm not sure yet, but am leaning towards maybe natural flame maple binding, with burl inside? or the kind of layered thing you see on some of the Knaggs Severns or Kiesels. I've got some Mappa burl, killer tiger flame maples, crotch walnuts. etc. What I do know is the dye will be a trans black with some slight purple in there. Also, I'm planning on using a gouge / finger planes for carving the top for the first time instead of a flap sander. We'll see if old habits die hard, but I;m shopping for a #5 gouge tomorrow.

The inlay, I'm leaning towards either subtle star-like dots, or a graphic 12th fret something. Both may be to much. F-holes, I've got that same star motif, or rune-like glyphs somewhat reminiscent of Yes / Roger Dean kinda things. Certainly not both as I have it here. 

I'd LOVE to incorporate a radiused body (aka Warwick) but that just opens a can of worms I'm not sure I'm in for but the idea will not leave me easy.

All comments and ideas are more than welcome, it really helps to show fresh eyes and get different perspectives. Pinterest is a great tool for me, as I'm extremely visual in my work. Here's a small board I;m throwing together that has little elements, details or feels of where I think this may go. Let me know if you can see it:

https://pin.it/6k6yw25nkzyr43

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 7.34.21 PM.png

wow, looks great.  I love that 12th fret inlay and would love to see more of it, but admittedly the repeat of the star motif is more practical.  I love it when something is echoed in different forms.  Personally I'd go with that. Maybe echo the 3 star cluster at the 12th?

graphic design... well that shows!  nice work.  All I know I owe to the art dept at my work: they are often too busy to get me something so I dive in and do the best I can!

afa radius: for better or worse I'm going to attempt a jig for that this weekend.  not confident I can pull it off but will be trying anyway!  Would love to hear what your ideas on the subject are.

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Will your jig build be for fretboards or bodies? I've looked into jigs for bodies, mostly router sled type affairs. Most I;ve seen are for fretboards. The trick on a body is you want the concave AND the convex which are different radii. 

I've been wanting to do a radiused body since I started building in high school. It's hard to visualize a radiused body with a carved and bound top, it just feels like it should be rounded like Warwicks, or the Ibanez Artfield. Add in the chambering and depth of the top wood, or bending involved  . . . that's getting complicated.

For the inlays here - The stars seem a little thematically overt to me. I'm not very good at subtle, and trying hard to refine that. That large 12th fret thing - I've always been drawn to inlays that seem to break the walls of the fretboard edge. Using a small crown at the 12th is "badgelike", but I may end up there. Just throwing crap on the wall to see what sticks.

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58 minutes ago, komodo said:

Will your jig build be for fretboards or bodies? I've looked into jigs for bodies, mostly router sled type affairs. Most I;ve seen are for fretboards. The trick on a body is you want the concave AND the convex which are different radii. 

I've been wanting to do a radiused body since I started building in high school. It's hard to visualize a radiused body with a carved and bound top, it just feels like it should be rounded like Warwicks, or the Ibanez Artfield. Add in the chambering and depth of the top wood, or bending involved  . . . that's getting complicated.

For the inlays here - The stars seem a little thematically overt to me. I'm not very good at subtle, and trying hard to refine that. That large 12th fret thing - I've always been drawn to inlays that seem to break the walls of the fretboard edge. Using a small crown at the 12th is "badgelike", but I may end up there. Just throwing crap on the wall to see what sticks.

 

so, my hope is to be able to use this for bodies, fretboards, cauls, and sanding blocks.  as i go smaller in radius tho... the center will go farther away from the material so it'd require quite a change... but that's for later.  first is proof of concept.  below is a pic. topside radius is 31.5, bottom is 28.5.  the router will sit on a sled on top that will position the bottom of the router 1/2" above the bottom radius which means my bit will need to be exposed by 1" to reach the final radius of 30".  the blue squares are the rails on my current router sled -1" aluminum that can raise/lower.  the tan is a 1.75" body blank that is 12.25" wide.  the orange blocks will hold the jig to those rails and will position the 28.5" radius almost touching the material when flipped.  on the bottom radius, the router will again sit 1/2" above the radius so exposing the bit 1" will also bring me back to 30".  If you were radiusing the top and bottom of a guitar you'd actually want the radius for the bottom to be smaller, but A) I'm only radiusing the top on my guitar B ) I don't think you'd notice it on a radius this big and C) if I was to make a 30" radius fretboard I'd want to be able to repeat the same radius for a sanding block... so my design is to be able to do 30" convex or concave.  enough about me!

 

 

radius.thumb.jpg.1ae34e31f7269808d6b4dec4fc0b21d2.jpg

 

afa design... I think the more you do the better you get.  I try to do 2 or 3 variants of what I think I want, then walk away for a few days to see it fresh and decide what I REALLY like.  I think you could go a lot of directions on that guitar and all of them would be cool... but it's hard to hear your own voice w/o stepping back.

 

 

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Refining. Like the idea of a small star cluster at the 12th. The crown works as a badge at the head, just not sure if it's required or is excess. This isn't a Queen tribute guitar, but I don't hate the idea.

That F-hole thing has got the vibe, but isn't the right thing yet. I'll keep poking.

Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 9.38.47 AM.png

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really love what you did with the fretboard overhang.  like the stars.  like the crown but feel like it'd be nice if it somehow incorporated a star.  perhaps for an f-hole a shooting star?  also like the simplification of the switches.  always felt the orig just had too much going on.  looks pretty good to me.

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Roughly placed, they almost correspond to a music staff, and maybe a bit of Bohemian Rhapsody melody. But I won't throw out the form for function.

Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 12.11.31 PM.png

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Today I went to the antique mall with the singular purpose of finding a gouge to do the top carving on this. My goal was around a #5 sweep gouge. I’d like to try an incannel and outcannel at some point.

I came away with these. They need some grinding, but as my Brit friends say, I’m chuffed. The Addis looks like a 1” #5 and was made in 1890, so I’d say it has some mojo. The Buck Bros. is around 3/4” and maybe a #6 and incannal. 

 

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I like this design, a nice refinement/iteration of your last one. The tamer headstock design definitely works better to my tastes.

Looking forward to seeing it take shape :D

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nice score at the antique mall. 

loving this build- curious though as to choice of scale length. any particular reason you didnt go with..,,,,,,,,say,,,,,,,,,,,something shorter? ;)

 

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Ha, yeah. It's not a Red Special!

The last three I've built have been 25" (ala PRS) and I've really grown to love the scale. My 25.5" parts strat gets a lot of love though and always has me wondering if I shouldn't bump the scale a little longer for the extra chime but the 25" just feels so good.

I'm still very unfocused on the woods for this, and am going to spend the day in my shop whispering with my wood stacks to see if we can come to some agreement. That ridiculous flamed billet in the gouge pics has been pulled and is sitting on my bench though. It's been waiting for DECADES for it's turn.

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I like the refinements you've made so far and love the antiques.

I do wonder a bit about the choice to put f-holes in the upper waist area. I get the artistic side of it, but it would be very easy to get crowded there.

SR

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Those are out now. I’ve had an epiphany this morning after seeing a guitar carve that seems to have everything my brain was trying to explain to me.

It’s quite complicated and I’ve got lot’s of geometry to sort out. The fretboard is going to be even more refined, so much that I’m boiling with excitement. 

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23 hours ago, komodo said:

Ha, yeah. It's not a Red Special!

The last three I've built have been 25" (ala PRS) and I've really grown to love the scale. My 25.5" parts strat gets a lot of love though and always has me wondering if I shouldn't bump the scale a little longer for the extra chime but the 25" just feels so good.

I'm still very unfocused on the woods for this, and am going to spend the day in my shop whispering with my wood stacks to see if we can come to some agreement. That ridiculous flamed billet in the gouge pics has been pulled and is sitting on my bench though. It's been waiting for DECADES for it's turn.

Yup - my last couple of 6 string electric builds have been 25".  Certainly suits me :)

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On 2/2/2019 at 3:14 PM, komodo said:

Refining. Like the idea of a small star cluster at the 12th. The crown works as a badge at the head, just not sure if it's required or is excess. This isn't a Queen tribute guitar, but I don't hate the idea.

That F-hole thing has got the vibe, but isn't the right thing yet. I'll keep poking.

Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 9.38.47 AM.png

Like that inlay design LOTS :)

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Yellow lines are rough chambering. Blue are potential carve areas. Ignore the other leftover stopbar posts, HB routes, etc. Fretboard is gonna be a full on starfield. I'm big into astronomy as well, so this is fun.

I'm 100% ripping the internal bevel carve from an ESP FRX. It's EXACTLY what I was trying to visualize in my head but could not see it, until I saw one of those. Might need to address the headstock shape now.

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 9.49.09 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 9.57.58 PM.png

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20 hours ago, komodo said:

Yellow lines are rough chambering. Blue are potential carve areas. Ignore the other leftover stopbar posts, HB routes, etc. Fretboard is gonna be a full on starfield. I'm big into astronomy as well, so this is fun.

I'm 100% ripping the internal bevel carve from an ESP FRX. It's EXACTLY what I was trying to visualize in my head but could not see it, until I saw one of those. Might need to address the headstock shape now.

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 9.49.09 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 9.57.58 PM.png

Right up my alley with the thin line... love it.  has really evolved into more of a cool modern thing.  right on.

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Couple of pics of the rough build of the RS tremolo. I’ve got this chrome piece I’ll mechanically attach. Proof of concept will be tested well before install.

The geometry for the body is complicated. The coco neck will be set through, under top, and since it’s not regular HB routes, the cap will go on after the neck is glued. Add in the tremolo, and the heavy top carves AND my idea of a radiused body AND chambering .....  Not to mention I was thinking flame on the outside bevel and quilt on the heavy center carve. 

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