ok i wonna enter my guitar, which took me over 8 months to make..... well i do have other things in life
anyway here's the story.
ok, my first guitar, the Yamaha EG112. H-S-S. Indonesian made. crap hardware. awful pickups. boring, yet another fat strat. boring colours. all boring. complete with a crap 15 watt amp.
but on the plus side, there was the really comfy neck and loads of sentimental value.... my first ever guitar! having tried out a whole lot of axes, and having decided my was better; i decided to well..... improve it (bear in mind my teenage mind was amazed and infected with the customizing fairy idea, having read the whole of projectguitar.com inside out)
that was march this year, and lots have happened since then.
here is the list of mutilations and harm done to my axe (some might refer to this as "list of jobs done" - strange people ):
-removed finish by hand
-cut headstock into Ibanez like shape
-removed all yamaha logos (not a great pic, looks weird without tuners)
-shaped and fitted a graphite nut - vital since i decided to run a FR without a locking nut, as neck was to thin to have one installed
-installed schaller locking tuners
-cut the body neck joint shorter to enhance access....... didnt do AANJ as IMO that kills off sustain pretty badly and makes tone much 'weaker'...
-deep scalloped the whole fingerboard, purposefully removing the mother of the toilet seat inlays - it was an indonesian yamaha :s also i love uninlayed look
-cut a new pickguard from see-through plastic, by hand; a refreshing change
-filled in extra holes for screws from previous pickguard
-hand routed the FR cavity - armed with a hammer and a chisel!! well a few cans of beer too then tidied up with wood filler
-shielded the control cavity
-wired up a new circuit with 5 way rotary PRS-like switching; was a bitch to do
so the final guitar specs are:
-scalloped rosewood fingerboard
-unfinished maple neck
-'worn' agathis body
-a 42mm sustain block 1986-made OFR
-smaller enhacing playability heel
-schaller locking tuners
-3 fender 80's brass knobs
-DiMarzio Evolution humbuckers, with 5 way rotary switch, tone pot (500k), volume pot (500k)
nice before/after pic
the guitar actually sounds amazing, with the evolutions... i went with the neck series/inside parallel/inside series/outside series/bridge series wiring.... tone change isnt as big as if you had say a dimebucker and a '59, its rather subtle, but perfect for getting the desired tone 'just' right. can get a whole lot of classic strat sound, hendrix, tele tone, even funk works great........ but of course this is the for shredding \m/ i can swear i can sweep upto 20bmp faster on this guitar than on my otehr ones, just due to the scalloping (checked with a metronome)
the OFR sustains really well, and the scalloping allows freedom i have never experienced before....... oh and did i mention this is a dream for divebombs? btw the graphite nut/locking tuners dont go out of tune one bit.. in fact i'll go as far as to say this is a more versatile system than the traditional locking nut
now the body issue. as soon as i took off the paint i knew this wasnt maple or alder, emailed yamaha and they confirmed my suspicions and told me this is in fact agathis. i was quite disappointed, knowing the importance of wood in the tone, but decided to try it out, and in case it disappointed me, just make a new body for the project. and well, i can say this now; from first hand experience, agathis isnt muddy tone wood at all; its in fact rather bright and it sustains better than my basswood Washburn CP2003. how much of that is really to the hardware, is anyone's guess, though i am sure that agathis is being severely underrated, because its not as in-demand = cheaper = ending up on crap guitar *ahem*pre-project yamah* = having crappest hardware + p-ups possible = rubbish tone = gets branded a rubbish wood in comparison with alder made USA fenders complete with hardware worth over $500. hmm; i wonder.....
actually this axe has somewhat turned out to be a fusion of my heroes' sig axes, subconciously; i only chose Evo's coz they are my dream shred p-ups, and did the rest as i went along: - vai's pickups, yngwie style scalloped fingerboard fretboard, with vintage (small) frets and medium high action (how i play), and sort of satch look because the body edges are fairly rounded.
ah yes, before i finish, i'll address the finish, or therelackof. when i was sanidn away the paint; i sanded too hard on some areas, mostly the corners/edges, so went through the orange sealer to reveal the bare wood.... i thought it looked quite cool, so did it a bit more round edges, emphasizing this beat up look. combined with the see-though pick-guard - minimalistic, bare styling; sort of having the essentials only. it looks unusual, and i love it so.......
(not the case of being lazy i actually prepared a AAAA bookmatching maple top, but liked this better)
so it turned in a custom dream shred machine from a crap yamaha. phhhhhh cinderella....
8 months of hard work.... so what do you think guys?
[for some reason i could not get the pickguard to come out how its in life in any of the photos :s )
btw the other two entries are stunning... so i dont think i'm with much of a chance..... but had great time doing this, so just glad to share it with everyone