This one is a special build in a number of ways. My building has slowed down in the last couple of years and, while I still have the passion and dexterity (pesky hand arthritis) I thought I ought to get round to building some of the ones that have been on my mental list over the past 12 or so years of this crazy hobby!
This one has been built for my son in law, Alex, and I have been able to indulge my flights of fancy a little more than many of my other custom-builds. By its nature a custom build is - and should be - a representation of the future owner's needs and requirements. Over the past few years, as many of you know, I have built a number of bass guitars, acoustics and electrics - and have enjoyed doing them all. But when it's for family...well, maybe I have been allowed to let my imagination wander a little further than normal
The spec was simply that "I was going to build Alex a guitar because he's a good guy and his go-to guitar is presently an Epiphone Firebird". The plan Alex and I finally cooked up was to take the essence of the Epiphone - and the iconic Gibson Firebird it is based on - but design-in a number of things to suit specifically how Alex plays.
The main change was to shift the neck/bridge geometry rearwards to ensure that it balances well on strap and over the knee. It was then an attempt to add actual or illusionary curves to try to move away from the flat-top look of the original. Both would mean that it the shape would be tangibly different to a Firebird but, if I got it right, there would remain a hint of the icon that inspired it.
I'll leave you wise sages to decide whether that has been achieved or not
- Through neck, 25" scale, dual humbucker solid electric
- Alder back wings; figured ebony top; maple/ebony laminated neck; ebony fretboard and headstock plate
- ebony sanded and polished to shine; alder and maple tru-oil slurry and buffed; final light beeswax (Briwax) application and polish off
- Seymour Duncan P-rails wired for full humbucker or P90 split; 3 way switch; 2 tones 2 volumes including CTS push-pull for coil splits
- Steinberger gearless tuners
- EVO gold frets
- Weight 8lbs 2oz
The build diary is here:
I don't have any sound files yet but will try to get Alex to record some video when he gets this to his next band practice. With the P-rails, though, rest assured - it sounds great!
Here are some pics: