"Just finished in time and with the smell of varnish still lingering - I present to you the Swift Lite Mark 2
This is the latest incarnation following my personal curiosity about 6 string electrics. That is, "do electric guitars have to be so heavy to play well and sound good?"
I'm a hobby builder and I've been modding and refinishing guitars and basses for 7-8 years. I did my first scratch build around 6 years ago. I do occasional commissions, generally for fellow band members and friends / family, but sometimes build requests that interest or intrigue me
Having gained a bit of a reputation in two or three bass and guitar forums for being a teeny bit crazy and willing to try anything (at least once), I ended up with some really interesting and unusual build commissions. And some of those have led me to question my acceptance of some of the long-standing 'conventions' your see in features of many electric guitar designs - one being that they tend to be so heavy!
I've also got to that 'certain age' And I've realised how many guitar players I know personally who have given up because of neck, back, shoulder issues and just can't stand with that weight for a full gig-length anymore.
Over a couple of builds, I have used the combination of thru-neck and slimness to reduce weight. This has given an unplanned but very welcome additional benefit of eliminating the usually abrupt encounter of the playing thumb with the heel and body when playing the upper frets. This particular build has sought to exploit that with full access up to the 24th fret, including a thumb anchor point for three or more semitone bends at the top frets.
And Mark 2? Well, the original Swift Lite - same basic construction but quite different in shape and other aspects - I built at the back end of last year for my own use. This one, the Swift Lite Mark 2, I have built for Jane, my sister-in-law. In the build I have incorporated a piece of an oak mantlepiece rescued from her late mother's recently demolished house.
Here is the spec:
- 25" Scale; 24 frets
- Amboyna top; oak back
- Maple/purpleheart laminated thru neck
- Macassar ebony fretboard
- Tonerider Alnico IV Classic humbuckers
- Master tone / master volume and three-way toggle, wired '50's style'
- Total finished weight 5lbs 4oz
- Home-made knobs (oak and macassar)
It balances beautifully both on the strap and over the knee. I'll try to post some sound clips before the entry closes but trust me - it will do anything and everything!
And here it is: