Thursday, August 30, 2012

S907_7 Resurrection

So last we left our S907_7 tragedy had struck. The evil CNC had created a fissure in the top using the old X-Axis motor fail trick.

Today the project lives again. Behold the new bridge system... straight from Italy care of Alberto of fame.

Yes it is as awesome as it looks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

T-Shirt Orders

I am putting together T-shirt orders. If anyone wants a t-shirt email me and I will get pricing info to you (warning: they are expensive). All orders must be in by Sept 1st for this batch.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Horseman discussion...

As it relates to  Introducing the Horseman

Problems to solve:

Trussrod Access - With the Hipshot headpiece this shouldn't be hard. However I am worried about the depth of the trussrod adjustment as it relates to the bottom of the headpiece and retaining proper downforce on the nut.  One way to combat this is to sink the trussrod... however I want an S9 neck profile on this and that means the trussrod has to be shallow. More to come.

Nut - Hate the zero fret. I am currently trying to plan out a way to use a regular bone nut without this thing looking stupid.

String spacing - The Hipshot headless unit is for a 42mm neck and I want  to use my standard 44.5mm width. So with a 42mm nut you can just mount the headpiece close to the zero fret and everything is great. I have to spread the strings somehow while retaining the tight feel I like in the 1st position.

Body contour - This is going to be tricky with the ziricote top. The top is thick so I can get away with a good bit of carving but it still might not be enough.  Also back contouring is going to be interesting.

Strap button placement -  I really can't just keep moving the strap button until I get it right... This is my fault for using nice wood.  However I think I have a solution using a pine mock-up.

Spirit issues...

The Spirit GT-Pro deluxe is an awesome value. I would say it is one of the better built affordable guitars out there. I still have a few issues with it but do not take them as anything more than constructive criticism. This guitar with a set of good pickups and a fret dress would be a great working guitar.

Let me review my issues with the Spirit.

Weight - The thing outweighs an S9. I haven't actually weighed it but all the S9s I have built weigh less.

Thick - The thing is thick... too thick.  Feels like a club when you put it on.

Shape - The thing is square. This in itself is not a problem. However couple this with the thick body and it kills the ergos. The guitar feels abrupt when you first put your arm against it.  The angle of your wrist is correct in corelation to the top of the body but the edge cuts into the forearm.

Strap - The neck strap button is centered on the heel. This causes the guitar to pivot on the upper strap button when you are playing it, allowing the body to twist as you pick. This is annoying. When playing heavy syncopated riffs or head down bonecrushing riffs the guitar moves... this causes you to miss a beat every once and a while.

Fret Access - Believe it or not it is still hard to get to the 24th fret on it.

Control Placement - This is something I always have issues with on all Strat style guitars not built by me.  The volume knob always seems to be right in the path of a good downstroke... also putting a switch in between knobs is annoying. I will resolve this with one push/pull volume knob.

Zero fret - 1st position string bends grind against the zero fret and make noise...

Fret job - typical second rate... could easily be fixed with a fret dress.

There are other little things but these are what I will set out to correct.

Headless Intentions

I wasn't clear enough on my intensions.

Ergonomics and Innovation.

Personal -
I own a Steinberger Spirit (basically a wood GL) and it drives me nuts. I can't afford a vintage all carbon Steinberger so I am building my own.  This is just phase one... I am building out a wood guitar using my style. Later I will look into new construction techniques, alternate materials and other silliness. The idea with this is to solve some issues I have with the Spirit and do some more innovative things.

Guitar Logistics  -

The primary reason for a headless is to build innovative 7 and 8 string ergonomic headless guitars that work for prog and metal.

Why use such high end woods on a prototype?

I have a growing pile of wood that was awesome but not big enough for the S9. That means the pieces were really small as the S9 is engineered to use less wood.

The Ziricote top is a two fold solution. I had a scrap of Peruvian Walnut for a body... Peruvian Walnut is the lightest wood in my shop. Amazingly strong and light... but building guitars with it has been challenging because if you use anything else for the neck balance is an issue. Since my neck is maple I wanted to make sure I had enough weight in the body to balance the guitar. The Ziricote solved this easy. Plus it has been haunting me since the HOD and I don't have another SG planned for a long time.

When I get the actual shapes right then I will move to next stage.

The headless guitar is as a challenge to break free of being a slave to the voodoo of archaic traditions by creating a desirable piece that is ergonomic, progressive and innovative yet still visually stunning.

So my plan is to start with evil wood.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Introducing the Horseman


Maple neck attached to a Ziricote top on a one piece Peruvian Walnut body with hipshot parts and custom pickups.

Neck : Flame-Birdseye Maple/Walnut strips
Fretboard : Bloodwood
Scale : 25.5
Frets : 24
Trussrod : ALLPARTS

Body : Peruvian Walnut w/ Ziricote Top
Tuners : Hipshot Headless
Pickups : Custom Wound Guitar Logistics Humbuckers
Bridge : Hipshot Headless
Electronics : Vol Push/Pull + Mini Switch

Changed things from my Steinberger to improve ergos. Using the new Headless System from Hipshot for this build. Not sure about a zero fret as I prefer the string to be stiff at the 1st fret... not a fan of the string moving across the zero fret and making noise.

I have been waiting for a project to use this ziricote on. From the same batch as the Hand of Doom.

Top joined and cracks filled with West Systems epoxy. Then attached to a solid piece of Peruvian Walnut.

Body blank done.

Neck and body have a good contrast.

Neck blank finished up.

CNC cutting the body out.

Body routes and cut done.

Neck on the CNC.

Neck blank and body together.

Last look.