From the very start, I did not have much of a choice but to learn how to customize my own instruments. I have never been blessed with a large budget or with people around me that could perform up to the level that I required. Trial and error was the most effective method of learning even though it was the slowest method. All my guitars are either custom built or heavily altered from original form as nothing off the shelf pleases me. Back in the days of running a teaching program from a local music store, I had the opportunity to play a nearly endless number of stock guitars. Generally, I like double cutaway instruments with two pickups, 3 position pickup selector and maple necks with rosewood fingerboards. I prefer Warmoth necks with a compound radius. All this work requires dedication and commitment to achieve the desired results. The work can seem tedious and even exhausting. The reward FINALLY comes in the end after all the hard work is complete and you get to the point that stock guitars will never reach. I love it when perfect science and masterful art come together to create a masterpiece.
I shellac my necks. Easy application, easy maintenance, smooth feel on the hands. I also like to file the fret ends down which allows my left hand to glide up and down the neck without snagging. I use a single 500K volume pot with one tone pot and I like to move the volume pot to what would be considered the middle pot position on a Strat setup. I don't like the standard Strat position volume pot interfering with my right hand fourth finger. To maintain high fidelity at low volumes, I place a switched-circuit resistor/capacitor combo (a.k.a. RC circuit) on my volume pot across the in/out legs. I use a .001 uF (for treble) and a 100K resistor (for bass). I like to be able to snap the strings against the frets in any neck position so I am also a low action player. I also tilt my necks back ever so slightly (1-2 degrees) and keep my truss rod adjusted pretty snug (tight) to keep the fingerboard almost completely flat.
This O model is the original guitar design based on a culmination of influences. This photo is considered a prototype. The build is a double cutaway body with a stylish concaved perimeter band. It has two pickups, 3 position pickup selector, and a switched-circuit capacitor/resistor combo for high fidelity at lower volumes. It also has a rosewood fingerboard, high quality tuners, and roller string retainers. The final product will have a slightly more refined body shape and matching pickguard. The pickups will be DiMarzio in neck and bridge positions.
The neck will be shellaced with finished and polished frets (including the fret ends). It will have a single 500K volume pot with no tone pots. We will offer a push/pull pot which includes a tone circuit for anyone requesting that feature. The placement of the pots and switch will be carefully designed in order to allow the player instant access. They will be slightly different than the prototype in this photo.
At this time, the guitar is still in the final design and preparation phases.
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