The 'Prototype'

This baby is an old, cheap guitar with a small, lightweight body of indeterminate wood. The neck appears to be mahogany, with a thick slab rosewood fingerboard with 19 frets. The shape of the neck is somewhat blockish - this is really more of an acoustic guitar neck than an electric. Originally it had two, shallow single-coil pickups. The pickups are not height adjustable but did have adjustable pole pieces. The bridge, which is mounted much closer to the edge of the small body than is typical for electric guitars, is a simple piece of an indeterminate wood with notches cut into it. It is not even radiused to match that of the fingerboard.

We 'found' this guitar. Yeah, right. Seriously, we did. My brother pulled it out of a trash can in 1977. The neck had been broken off, the neck mounting screws pulled out of the body, the screw holes in the neck stripped and the body wood cracked and splintered. Somebody had been imitating Pete Townshend. We repaired the neck heel with some pastic wood and viola!, our first electric!

This has been an experimenter's guitar ever since. First, Robbie (my brother), removed and disassembled the neck pickup. Reason: to see how it was made. He also partially disassembled the bridge pickup and inverted the coil, which he hoped would increase the pickup's output but which had exactly the opposite effect.

I scalloped the fingerboard in 1986, and what a job it was! To hear the gory details, click here. Once completed the guitar proved addictively playable. For some months this was the only guitar I played. I had resolved to fully explore and understand the advantages and disadvantages of the scallop. Somewhat to my surprise I found that the guitar actually had a nice tone... very bluesy and raw. I would have like to use it for performing, but the pickup is woefully low on output and the instrument simply can not be heard in a live situation without using a line preamp or compressor, which alters the tone too much to be worthwhile.

Recently, I brought this guitar back into the shop for further work. The main motivation was to definitively repair the old neck injury, which had been reasserting itself. I decided to take the oppurtunity to make some 'improvements' at the same time, including new tuning machines, a new nut, a proper fret job and new fingerboard position dots. The guitar as pictured here is the result. To see it before, and to hear the whole sordid story of the 'upgrade', click here.

I'm very fond of this guitar. It is my 'office' guitar, which I play on during long compiles or at moments of 'brain-lock'.