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Unread 06-08-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
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Hey guys. Due to high interest in having another exclusive ss.org run I thought it would be a good idea to open up another thread for everyone to weigh in on the details.

Here is a bit of relevant info that I have to keep in mind during this process.

Due to inceased volume of orders I have recently needed to organize my builds into a cycle consisting of 4 quarters. I can build about 10 guitars per quarter by myself, completely by hand. That is pushing it though. This limited edition run will be started in the Fall around the end of September or early October. This limited edition run will coincide with my fall build cycle so I've enlisted some help, namely my friend Jim, a master woodworker that specializes in marquetry, high end furniture and boat restoration. Jim is a gigging guitarist who's guitar building pedigree dates back to the early 80's and since he's worked with companies like Gibson and smaller independant luthiers like Bruce Petros.

I'd like to open up the discussion on what the players on this board want in a guitar. There are some things that I can't do but many, many more that I can. My preference for this build is to do something unique like a new body style or something like that.

I've been asked about a 7 string guitar run in the same vein as the Black Friday Run. This time I'm open to doing a multiscale. I'm also open to doing a headless.

To make a run as efficient and cost effective as possible I'd like to stick to one string layout ie. all 7's or all 8's.

If we do multiscale I'd be using ABM single string bridges.

If we do multiscale and the pickups need to be angled I'd probably end up using Lace pickups. Straight pickups could be either Lace or Dimarzio.

I'm definitely open to doing the colored finishes again too.

Here is a list of various things that I need to get feedback on from the community

1) Body shape
2) Scale length
3) Woods
4) Electronics layout
5) Number of strings
6) Other features ie. luminlays, flush mount strap locks etc
7) Price range

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Unread 06-08-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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I'm very interested. I was so annoyed I missed out on the last run, and the used one that popped up...

Tom, do you think you will be able to do headless for this run? That would be pretty different, especially for a decent price.

I would lean towards an 8 string again, but thats just because I didn't get one of the last ones. Probably see what everyone else says too.

And for the price range, as low as possible for me . But that probably dosen't apply for everyone else.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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I like what you did for the last run actually. The finishes, body shape, woods, scale etc were all pretty awesome.
I think I am wanting an 8 string, 27" scale coming up this fall.

Keep an eye on your mailbox Tom btw
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Unread 06-08-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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If people can use the format Tom posted this would go faster.

1) Body shape-Something with an ergo vibe to it. I don't need a Strandberg shape but something a little wacky would be amazing. For this, I'm open to a lot of ideas. HEADLESS!!!


2) Scale length-27" I want a regular fret guitar, would reduce the cost and isn't needed for what I tune on a seven. I won't die if it is multi-scale but a multiscale, headless guitar will definitely be out of my price range.


3) Woods-Bamboo necks, if more people like that idea. I would try. I love ebony or nice rosewood. Perhaps a special top for the run, there are some reasonable prices on some figured woods.


4) Electronics layout-H-H Volume, tone and a switch. How many positions/type doesn't matter. Coil tapping would be nice as well.


5) Number of strings-7


6) Other features ie. luminlays, flush mount strap locks etc-I don't really have anything for this.


7) Price range-Desired 1900-2200$ BUT whatever you need to charge to make a profit. ABM is 'spensive.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 05:05 PM   #5
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1) Body shape - Love the singlecut class and think it is a nice change of pace from all of the superstrats thrown our way. I also really like the idea of a superthin body, which for obvious reasons (less weight savings), you do not often see paired with a single cut shape.

2) Scale length - 27" is a very comfortable single scale option as it provides the extended range a lot of players are looking for on this forum and is less of a sacrifice on the treble side of the guitar.

3) Woods - Body: I would love to have a few standard options for body material, with some expanded options for tops and necks (even if we can supply them ourselves or work out payment through a wood supplier). Going back to the super thin body style, you could negate some of the loss in weight savings by having medium-light woods available for the body (Alder, Black Limba, Swamp Ash).

Necks: I love the feel of a natural neck, so I am a sucker for Rosewood and Wenge. Obviously these won't work for everyone, but they get my vote.

Fretboards: This is where I think you can get a lot bang for you buck in terms of a striking exotic wood. Too many to list.

4) Electronics layout - HH with coil tapping would be awesome.

5) Number of strings - I am full up on 8's, so I would opt for a 6 or 7.

6) Other features ie. luminlays, flush mount strap locks etc - Flush mounted dunlops are great touch and really add to the slick looks of a hand made guitar.

7) Price range - $1500-$2000 with options permitting. I am not wanting more for less, I just don't know the ins and outs of parts ordering and supply costs.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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I'm possibly alone in this position, but of the multi-scale guitars that have been made in any sort of "production" run recently, every single one of them except the Dean RC8 (which I'm not sure even really exists, never heard of anyone receiving one) have catered to folks wanting to tune down. If someone were to do an 8 string (possibly just 7) run that focused on the high A crowd, I'd be much more interested in picking one up.

I'm thinking along the lines of a 23-26" 8-string for AEADGCEA tuning.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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I think that a super thin body would be a problem on an 8 or longer scale 7 because of neck-dive. A (thicker) SG-style body would be neat.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Drinkwater View Post
Here is a list of various things that I need to get feedback on from the community

1) Body shape
2) Scale length
3) Woods
4) Electronics layout
5) Number of strings
6) Other features ie. luminlays, flush mount strap locks etc
7) Price range
Tom, a number of my responses are derived from the discussions you and I have had about another build; if the group run can't accommodate my options, I will probably be ordering a custom build relatively soon, so don't feel obligated to try to meet my specific needs on this one.

1. Body shape: not a superstrat. =) I quite like the OAF singlecut design, as you know. I'd also be interested in an offset SG shape (the ESP Viper style), or an offset Jaguar/Jazzmaster style, or even something in a more traditional Tele vein. Semi-hollow/chambered would be great; if you go that route, the option for an f-hole design that's specific to this run would be sweet. (We could vote on a design from a small number of options, maybe, and then everyone has a yes/no choice to have that f-hole.)

2. Scale length: 27" for a single-scale, 25-27 for a multiscale.

3. Woods: I would really like the option for some of the domestic woods that you and I have discussed previously. I could give up the hickory fretboard for maple, but I would want the option to use walnut or oak for either neck or top with an ash body, or a walnut body with a maple neck (and maybe a maple top).

4. Electronics: 1 volume, 1 tone. 3-way switch if there are two pickups. I'm still on the fence about whether I'd want this to have a single neck pickup or neck/bridge; the answer might depend on the other specs. If I go with a single neck pickup, I might want a straight pickup even if the neck is multiscale. We can talk. =)

5. Number of strings: At the moment, I'd prefer a 7. I could be interested in an 8 if it's some combination of headless, multiscale, and/or chambered; I don't feel a need for another single-scale solidbody 8-string right now.

6. Other features: I'd really like the option of flush-mount strap locks, especially if you've got the rear scoop like my first OAF. I'm not particularly interested in Luminlay. I would definitely want top markers on the fretboard; style and placement are negotiable.

7. Price range: What you determine to be a fair price. A sub-$2000 price tag would be great, but I can probably manage a little more if I'm really excited about the features. If I'm not really excited, I'll be continuing to talk with you about another custom build.

Thanks again for providing such well-built guitars for such affordable prices! I'm still totally in love with my OAF 8, and I can't wait to pair it with another of your builds.
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7 strings, played slowly.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #9
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I cant get in the run but I thought I'd just drop by the say Tom is very generous. He said warranty would still apply to my guitar even though I bought it used.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 10:44 PM   #10
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I cant get in the run but I thought I'd just
...lie in wait until some who did do the run puts it FS and then I'll stealthily (see what I did there) swoop in and snatch it up!
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Unread 06-08-2012, 11:11 PM   #11
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Thin body..headless design?? That would rule

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Unread 06-09-2012, 01:03 AM   #12
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Not a fan of fanned frets, but headless? Definitely.

Although the Agile Hessian (based on the AL body) still hasn't made it to the market, I would be very interested in seeing where this is going.



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Unread 06-09-2012, 01:04 AM   #13
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EDIT: Totally thought this was a diff thread, oops
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Unread 06-09-2012, 01:58 AM   #14
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1) Body shape - I dig your single cut shape.
2) Scale length - 26-29 multiscale
3) Woods - Whatever's clever. I'd also be into a bamboo neck.
4) Electronics layout - Tone and Volume, coil splitting would be nice. Deathbar/X-Bar combo would be my preference, but I'm pretty easy when it comes to pickups.
5) Number of strings - 8, but would maybe be in if it was a run of 7s
6) Other features ie. luminlays, flush mount strap locks etc. - flush mount strap locks?
7) Price range - I'm not gonna tell you how to price your stuff.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 06:25 AM   #15
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Great feedback so far. From what we have so far the woods will most likely be the players choice. When the rest of the specs get hashed out and locked down I can figure out a base price using the old standards ie. alder body, maple neck and maple fretboard and then figure in the substitutions as an upgrade.

If I'm not mistaken it looks like there is almost equal interest in 7's and 8's, maybe a bit more on the 7's. There appears to be interest in headless and maybe just a bit more interest in multiscale over straight fret. I'm going to contact Hipshot to see if their headless unit will be ready and available for a 7 string by this fall just in case that is the direction we end up in.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 08:04 AM   #16
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8-string, headless, multiscale!
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Unread 06-09-2012, 09:03 AM   #17
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As a relevant addition to this thread, a link to a headless seven-string build that I found recently: Sankey Guitars - Peekaboo

(Sorry, can't get the direct URL for a pic from the iPad browser. Go and take a look - it's flipping beautiful.)
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For the songs of the souls, at the time they are swaying in the high regions to drink from the well of the Almighty,
consist of tones only, dismantled of words.
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7 strings, played slowly.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 09:42 AM   #18
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8-string, headless, multiscale!
+ 1 but another 7 would be an option too.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 12:01 PM   #19
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I think I already know the answer from the rest of you guys, but Ima just throw this out there: 9 string multiscale C#1-E?
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Unread 06-09-2012, 02:18 PM   #20
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First off, since I didn't say it: 8-string, please!

And, since celticelk couldn't post those pics, here we go:





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Unread 06-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I think I already know the answer from the rest of you guys, but Ima just throw this out there: 9 string multiscale C#1-E?
I'm really not interested in anything beyond 8 at this point, and I'd prefer 7. I think my ego can tolerate being outvoted, though. =)
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For the songs of the souls, at the time they are swaying in the high regions to drink from the well of the Almighty,
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7 strings, played slowly.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #22
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Thanks, Explorer! That's a nice example of the ABM headless machinery for a single-scale; Sankey's "Rippling Brook" (Sankey Guitars - rippling brook) provides a like example of a multiscale 7. His semi-hollow designs are pretty interesting even apart from the headlessness factor.

Tom: remember that drawing of a headless multiscale singlecut 8 from your headless hardware prototype thread? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! =)
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If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
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Melody is the outpouring of the soul. Words interrupt the stream of the emotions.
For the songs of the souls, at the time they are swaying in the high regions to drink from the well of the Almighty,
consist of tones only, dismantled of words.
-Rabbi Shneur Zalman

7 strings, played slowly.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #23
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Man, I dont even want to look up the prices on the ABM headless hardware
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Unread 06-09-2012, 05:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Man, I dont even want to look up the prices on the ABM headless hardware
For the individual guitar bridges with tuners, $50 each is a reasonable (perhaps high) guesstimate. I see that their catalog says that 7- and 8-string versions of the single-scale headless system (bridge, tuners, headpiece) are available by custom order, but I have no idea if we would actually realize any hardware savings by going that route (assuming that the run is a single-scale instrument). It would probably depend on how generous ABM was feeling about discounting a multi-unit order in the 5-10 units range. I'm not holding my breath. If we want a single-scale headless, we might have better luck getting hold of Hipshot's rumored ERG headless system. Maybe. =)

Here's a question for interested parties: if the run is potentially headless OR multiscale, but not both, which is the higher priority for you? Or are you ONLY interested in an instrument that has both? I'd take multiscale over headless, personally.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
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Melody is the outpouring of the soul. Words interrupt the stream of the emotions.
For the songs of the souls, at the time they are swaying in the high regions to drink from the well of the Almighty,
consist of tones only, dismantled of words.
-Rabbi Shneur Zalman

7 strings, played slowly.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 07:51 PM   #25
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I would also vote multiscale over headless.
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