The wood choice
- Mahogany is used for both the back of the body and the neck of the guitar. Renowned for its beauty, consistency, and tonal qualities this type of wood is frequently chosen for solid body guitars.
- Bolivian Rosewood is used for the fingerboard because of its density and unique grain patterns. Due to the tremendous density, it is extremely fragile during the build process but once cut it is very stable.
- Maple has become my go to top for its tonal attributed, figured stock as well as interest grain patterns, and stability. I purchase large slabs of curly maple and book-match them myself searching out choice wood patterns.
It is my opinion that the neck is the most important part of the guitar build. While the body acts as the resonator (the driver of sound), the neck is what the player interacts with. The necks I make have two titanium support rods, one dual action truss rod, stainless steel frets, an ivory imitation nut, and mother of pearl inlay dots. Finally, I put a compound radius on my necks which allows accommodation to many playing styles. The radius goes from 16” at the 22 second fret to 12” radius at the first fret. This allows for chords to more natural in open position as well as bends to maintain full pitch farther down the neck.
I hand wind each pickup in shop which means that while a bobbin is fastened to a machine I control where the coil is being wound. The structure of a pickup is two pieces of vulcanized fiber with pole magnets holding them together. Changing the strength of the magnet, the amount of wire, gauge of wire, and type of wire are all variables in the sound of each pickup. I regularly wind with Poly coated 43/42 AWG and enamel coated wire 43/42-gauge wire. I wind RWRP, reverse wind reverse polarity, which creates a humbucking signal when the three-way selector is in the middle position. After I wind the pickup, I will check the resistance to make sure the coil is intact before finally potting the pickup in wax.
Graph Tech Radio Tuners
This is a very cool innovation made by Graphtech in which each machine turns with the same tension. Beyond that they are built solid, feel good, and hold tune excellent.
The harness: each component is chosen for its performance and quality. The potentiometers, or the dial knobs, are Dunlop enclosed extreme series pots. Advertised to be turned over 7 million times without breaking, they provide superb volume and tone control. There are two capacitors on the harness which are both from Emerson built in USA. The large red capacitor is an Emerson paper in oil cap which is built on vintage specs and provides a crisp tone control. On the volume potentiometer there is the second Emerson capacitor which is treble bleed circuit. This is a volume mod that allows the volume to be rolled down with no effect on the tone. Last is the CRL “made in the USA” three-way switch for the pickup selector- my personal favorite characteristic of the CRL switch is the powerful spring that gives a decisive confidence when switching pickups.
The Bridge: there is no debating Gotoh provides quality machining and there is nothing more important than that when it comes to the bridge.