NGD - Carillion Polaris 6 - Koa

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Lorcan Ward, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    I forgot I didn't make a NGD post for this guitar. Pics First!

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    Specs:
    Polaris Body Shape
    Reaver Headstock
    25.5" Scale
    Set-Neck
    Standard Carillion Neck Profile

    Oil City Alnico Humbuckers with koa/blackwood bobbins
    Floyd Rose
    Hipshot Locking Machine Heads
    Stainless Steel Frets
    1 Push-Pull Volume + 3 way switch

    1 Piece Mahogany body
    Flamed Koa top
    Australian Blackwood and Rosewood neck
    African Blackwood fingerboard
    Ebony Fretboard binding
    Maple and Ebony veneers to separate layers

    Demo video playing one of my original guitar solos:


    In Short:
    Probably the best guitar I've ever laid my hands on. Absolutely effortless to play and sounds great.

    Long Version:
    Ordering -
    I wanted a high quality 6 string with a Floyd for a long time. I have to go custom for my scale length preference on 7s so I'll admit this was a luxury buy and I wanted too support Chris some more. His business has taken off now so I'm glad I got in when I could! The build took about 4 months to completion. Chris is always a joy to work with with his strict build times and excellent communication. Plenty of pictures and easy to change minor spec details when build is taking place. This was originally the specs of my Blackmachine B2 which I never got and I have to say I ended up with a nicer(and much cheaper!) guitar in the end going with Carillion.

    Playability - This is probably the best guitar I've ever played and I don't find 6 strings comfortable. The fretwork combined with the African Blackwood fretboard, ebony binding and rosewood neck make it very smooth. It's effortless to fly up and down. My preference on a 7 is for bolt-on but Chris persuaded me to try a set-neck this time. It changes the tone but I like how fat a note sounds and without the directness attack notes aren't as sharp which makes lead playing a little but nicer than on my 7s. High fret access is no problem. I forgot to order my custom profile on this neck but in the end it didn't matter, I wouldn't normally order a flat back but the round curve on this makes the smaller neck(than my 7s) more comfortable. Like my other Carillions You can see I have the pickup switch positioned so its enough out of the way that I don't hit and within in reach to quickly move back and forth while the volume knob is lined up just below the bridge so I can roll it forward and back without touching the bridge with my forearm.

    Tuning stability - Perfect, I've been recording a solo with a crazy whammy part and the guitar is still in tune after 20 mins of takes. I can see why so many players used to get floyds and block them for tuning stability live.

    Fretwork - Flawless as usual. Action is low with minimal buzz and can go lower. Fret ends are nice and rounded so you don't feel them. Its hard to tell from the pictures but they are really well done. Frets are polished super smooth and being stainless steel they will never oxidise or wear so the guitar will stay like this.

    Woodwork - Chris always picks out exceptional pieces for my builds. I tried to capture the figure as best as possible in my pictures and you can see all the extra little woodwork details like the sandwich headstock and maple/ebony binding. I picked out the mahogany based on looks which means its a little heavier than I'd like so I just need to get up and stretch my legs if I'm playing longer than 30 mins. Australian Blackwood is a great substitute for Koa, it blended really well as a neck wood.

    Pickups - I wanted koa/blackwood pickups to match the rest of the guitar. Tom Winspear cut the bobbins for me and Ash at Oil City wound the pickups. They are based on the Blackbirds used in Blackmacine guitars but with a more modern voicing. Alnico 9 in the bridge and Alnico 5 in the neck. I'm really happy how these turned out. The bridge has enough tightness for technical rhythm work and the highs are rounded off enough for bridge leads. Its like a Seymour Duncan/Dimarzio mix.

    My Carillion collection. Quilt 7 is in B, Koa 7 is in Bb and Koa 6 is in D which covers all my needs for now. Someday I'll get a 28" baritone for downturning but I honestly don't have GAS for guitars anymore. It took a lot of money and time to really figure out what I like in guitars but I'm glad I finally got there.
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  2. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Shameless Contrarian

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    Haha, I somehow knew this was going to be you as soon as I saw it was a Carillion. As always, looks like he cranked out an absolutely bitchin' guitar- that neck looks like something else! Nice choice on the bobbins, too. HNGD!
     
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  3. Frostbite

    Frostbite Periphery Shill

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    Yeah I've seen the videos you've put out with it over like the last year and every time I see it just reinforces how good it looks and how much I need it. Maybe one day haha.
     
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  4. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    Amazing woods. I love the lines created with the veneers and binding. Just excellent details all around.
     
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  5. ThePIGI King

    ThePIGI King Ibanez Enthusiast

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    HNGD! Beautiful guitar, and collection. I love the pickup bobbins on that. May I ask why only half koa bobbins? For me, the blackwood part of the pup distracts my eyes a little.

    Sorry, not knocking it, because it is stunning. Just curious as to what inspired you to do that.
     
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  6. maliciousteve

    maliciousteve Contributor

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    congratulations you won the internet today.

    Stunning stuff
     
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  7. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    Perfect guitar. 'Nuff said.
     
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  8. mlp187

    mlp187 Burrito Master Contributor

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    Holy shit dude, that is sweet. Those are some gorgeous guitars. Congrats.
     
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  9. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    Sick! Congrats those are killer!
     
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  10. Ben Pinkus

    Ben Pinkus SS.org Regular

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    Ah man Chris's work is so so so good. Love the wood combo on this build!

    I was trying to get a slot a few months ago but timelines didn't quite align, but will have to circle back and get one made at somepoint.
     
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  11. IbanezDaemon

    IbanezDaemon Raptus regaliter

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    That is truly killer looking!! Every aspect of that build works for me. Amazing trio you now have as well!!
     
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  12. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    I played a Carillion that was basically identical to this last year and it totally slayed!

    Really want to get one of these at some point because they seem just top level. HNGD!
     
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  13. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Cheers guys! It really is an amazing guitar. I haven’t touched the truss rod since I got it either which is nice. The climate isn’t to variable in Ireland but it’s nice to have guitars that don’t need any maintenance apart from string changes and the rare fretboard clean.

    Knock it all you want, I can’t be offended by some disliking something about a coffee table guitar lol. Honestly I’ve grown to dislike the look of single colour bobbins, I just love the look of zebra bobbins and how they contrast against each other.

    interesting enough I wanted to delay to this build cause I was recovering from an injury. Chris put it off as long as possible but said he really couldn’t wait any longer so we went ahead with it. Funny having a builder message me looking for updates for once haha.
     
  14. Velokki

    Velokki GAS station

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    Hahaha, well that's a first! :D
     
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  15. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Wow that is utterly stunning - attention to detail on everything is out of this world.
     
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  16. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    Amazing build! I especially like what you had done with the pickup bobbins and the natural pinstriping bordering the fingerboard.
     
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  17. D1m3b4g

    D1m3b4g SS.org Regular

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    Very nice mate. I’m glad I managed to get in on a Koa model before you took absolutely all of it. :p I should post a couple of mine sometime :)

    P
     
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  18. Millul

    Millul SS.org Regular

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    The level of awesomeness in this NGD post is breath-taking...perfect!
     
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  19. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    Also checked out the video. Extremely clean playing with a top notch tone. Well done.
     
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  20. Shawn

    Shawn ESP • Ibanez Forum MVP

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    Wow, that is beautiful! Congrats!
     
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