Leftovers

Every once in a while I get the idea for a guitar project, one with a look and a sound I want, and I'll jot it down somewhere.  Here are a few of these that I've had in mind over the years.  In some cases, I haven't decided on some part of the design just yet.  That's what makes this fun.


Grasshopper
I wanted to come up a good set of modifications and aesthetics that would compliment the voicings and look of a LP with a pair of P-90s.  The Lace version of these foregoes the otherwise mandatory hum of the classic single coil versions, but to boost the output to match that of humbuckers one might usually find in a LP, I added a preamp.

Body
Style: Les Paul
Wood/Finish: Green on quilted maple
Neck
Wood: Birdseye maple fretboard
Inlay: No idea yet, but with black plastic to contrast with the light color of the fretboard
Hardware
Tuners: Locking classic style
Bridge/Trem: Tune-o-matic
Pickups
Neck: AGI Lace PS-900*
Bridge: AGI Lace PS-905*
*these are Lace's P-90 equivalent.

Electronics

Switch: Standard 3-way toggle
Other controls:
Potentiometer Push-pull switch
Control #1 Master volume Varitone
Control #2 Tone on neck ???
Control #3 Preamp gain N/A
Control #4 Series/parallel knob Phase switch

Darkcaster
With the exception of a few iconoclastic players like John 5, Telecasters aren't usually found in any genre where the term "shred" might be applied.  However, many variations on the classic Tele configuration include humbuckers, and single-coil-sized mini-buckers mean there's no need even to rout the wood to make this conversion.  When Squier put out a black Tele with a mirrored pickguard a couple years ago, I thought this was the ideal guitar to reimagine this model as a post-modern Goth-rock instrument.

The stacked control pots allow consolidated access to a master volume and tone, but then there's also a phase switch and a series/parallel dial that allow an additional three combinations (parallel out of phase plus series in and out of phase) that are more suited to either metal or harsh experimental sounds.  Note that there are no coil tap options precisely because I didn't want to take this guitar back to the more traditional Telecaster realm.

The Hipshot Trilogy tuning system can be employed any number of ways to create alternate tunings.  As it was conceived for a Tele, that would probably involved open slide tunings, but as I imagine this axe, it might better be approached as a quick means of achieving drop-D or whole-step tunings, depending on the player's preference.


Body
Style: Telecaster
Wood/Finish: Black with mirrored pickguard
Neck
Wood: Ebony
Inlay: Dot or none at all
Hardware
Tuners: Locking Schallers
Bridge/Trem: Hipshot Trilogy tuning system
Pickups
Neck: Mini-humbucker (no idea about which model, probably something with blades)
Bridge: Humbucker (no idea about which model)
Electronics
Switch: Megaswitch P model 5-way switch
 1) neck
 2) inner coils, parallel
 3) outer coils, series
 4) outer coils, parallel
 5) bridge
Other controls:
Potentiometer Push-pull switch
Control #1 Master volume N/A
Control #2 Master tone (stacked w/ vol) N/A
Control #3 Series/parallel knob Phase switch

Emerald Spirit
My favorite things about the Steinberger GM series are the look and the tremolo.  The pickups?  Not so much, and the Select series even less so.  Although I do like EMG's single-coils, their active pickups collectively are somewhat dry-sounding.  I've heard the term "sterile" applied to them, and that's a good description.  Additionally, EMGs are almost always black (occasionally white though), and that didn't seem like a good complement for most of the finishes on the modern series of Steinbergers that have transparent hues instead of the solid black or white or turquoise(!) of the early '80s models.

Additionally, I've been a big fan of the sound of Gretsch's Filtertron pickups.  TV Jones makes his own suped-up "hot rod" (i.e., overwound) series of these that might be more appropriate for higher-gain applications.  The chrome cover seems like a good match both aesthetically and sonically for a Telecaster lipstick pickup in the neck position.


Body
Style: Steinberger GM
Wood/Finish: Green on flamed maple
Neck
Wood: 24-fret maple w/ reverse Jackson headstock
Inlay: None
Hardware
Tuners: Steinberger gearless
Bridge/Trem: Steinberger R-trem
Other: Replace standard black knobs with silver barrel knobs or black Strat-style knobs
Pickups
Neck: Single coil style Telecaster chrome-covered neck pickup
Mid: Junk (will not be wired)
Bridge: Chrome TV Jones Filtertron
Electronics
Switch: Megaswitch P model 5-way switch
Custom approach:
1) neck
2) neck + mid (i.e., neck-most coil of bridge pickup), parallel
3) bridge (both coils in parallel)
4) bridge (neck-most coil tapped)
5) bridge (both coils in series)
Other controls:
Potentiometer Push-pull switch
Control #1 Master volume Coil tap
Control #2 Master tone Phase switch

Greencaster
This is a more traditional Telecaster, just one that looks classy and maximizes the tonal potential of the instrument.

Body
Style: Telecaster
Wood/Finish: Green flamed maple (possibly green burst and/or black binding)
Neck
Wood: Birdseye maple fretboard
Inlay: Dot
Hardware
Tuners: Klusons
Bridge/Trem: Standard Tele bridge
Pickups
Neck: Single coil (no idea about which model)
Bridge: Single coil (no idea about which model)
Electronics
Switch: Standard 3-way toggle
Other controls:
Potentiometer Push-pull switch
Control #1 Master volume Phase switch
Control #2 Master tone Series/parallel knob

Strat from the future
There's a lot of baggage Strats have carried though to the present from their inception in the '50s.  The idea here was to move away from some of the limitations of a guitar with only single-coil pickups and reimagine it as a humbucking instrument.  First of all, looks aside, this is actually a two-humbucker guitar.  Period.  In other words, it's very much a Les Paul or, more appropriately, a classic PRS, hence the coil splitting/recombining combinations.  Additionally, there's a piezo bridge to add still more tones.

Body
Style: Strat
Wood/Finish: Quilted maple with transparent blue burst and white pearloid pickguard
Neck
Wood: Ebony or glossed birdseye maple
Inlay: None
Hardware
Tuners: Locking satin
Bridge/Trem: Fishman piezo
Knobs: Chrome barrels with blue pearl
Other: Roller nut and roller string tees
Pickups
Neck: DiMarzio virtual vintage (mini-humbucker)
Mid: Junk (unwired regardless)
Bridge: DiMarzio virtual vintage (mini-humbucker)
Electronics
Switch: Megaswitch P model 5-way switch
 1) neck
 2) inner coils, parallel
 3) outer coils, series
 4) outer coils, parallel
 5) bridge
Other controls:
Potentiometer Push-pull switch
Control #1 Master volume Phase switch
Control #2 Master TBX tone control N/A
Control #3 Fishman X-Control N/A

Dark Paul
While Pauls have been used by generic rockers, they tend to be edged out by harder instruments once you get to the transition into metal.  There's no real reason why you have to follow Zakk Wylde's narrow inroads against type either if you don't want to do the EMG route that's been done to death at this point.  Personally, I like sound and raw power of DiMarzio's Evolution (developed by Steve Vai) as a rhythm pickup, so that's the obvious choice for me.

The addition of the Floyd Rose tremolo is just me bucking the trend and reaching for something more here.  One of the drawbacks of the Les Paul is its rigid (pun?) adherence to a fixed-bridge configuration... other than the occasionally Bigsby or a few flirtations with Kahler trem systems in the '80s when everyone wanted to be Eddie Van Halen.  To date the only Floyd equipped LPs I've seen outside those exceptions were customized variants by Rush lead guitarist Alex Lifeson.  Too few attempts to explore the potential of this combination other than that, so here's a go at it.


Body
Style: Les Paul
Wood/Finish: quilted maple/deep blue
Neck
Wood: Ebony
Inlay: No idea
Hardware
Tuners: Imperials
Bridge/Trem: Floyd Rose (black)
Pickups
Neck: DiMarzio (no idea which model)
Bridge: DiMarzio Evolution
Electronics
Switch: Standard 3-way toggle
Other controls:
Potentiometer Push-pull switch
Control #1 Neck Vol Dual coil taps
Control #2 Neck Tone Phase switch
Control #3 Bridge Vol Series/parallel knob
Control #4 Tone X sweep Tone X on/off

Body
Style: Modernist jazz box (a la Eastman style)
Wood/Finish: Quilted maple with transparent green (non-burst) and black triangular pickguard
Neck
Wood: Ebony
Inlay: None
Hardware
Tuners: Imperials
Bridge/Trem: Fishman piezo
Knobs: None (controls are mounted under the pickguard)
Pickups
Neck: Black Benedetto style (no idea which model)
Electronics
Other controls:
Potentiometer
Control #1 Neck Vol
Control #2 Neck Tone
Control #3 Phase Switch
Control #4 Series/Parallel/Tap switch
Control #5 Blender (for combining with the piezo)

SRV replica with a few twists
The idea here was to build a a replica of Stevie Ray Vaughn's famous "Number One" Stratocaster, but then pack in some extras like a series/parallel knob so I could crank up the gain a bit while still keeping the electronics passive (i.e., no preamps).  Additionally, there's a phase switch and the pickup add-in switch to get a few additional sounds outside of what most folks would likely associate with SRV.  I don't know that he ever had a TBX onboard either, but those are nice for adding a tiny bit more sparkle if you already have decent low end.  Considering the huge string gauges he used, I'm guessing a true replica would probably be okay in that department.

Body
Style: Strat
Wood/Finish: Battered sunburst with black pickguard with SRV truckstop letters
Neck
Wood: Rosewood
Inlay: Dot
Hardware
Tuners: Gold Klusons
Bridge/Trem: Gold left-handed trem
Pickups
Neck: Texas Special
Mid: Texas Special
Bridge: Texas Special
Electronics
Switch: Standard 5-way Strat-style blade
Other controls:
Potentiometer Push-pull switch
Control #1 Master volume Pickup add-in
Control #2 Master TBX tone control N/A
Control #3 Series/parallel knob Phase switch


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