Technically, I did not make a proper NGD, and the pictures that my nephew took weren’t the best, so I took some new photos because it seems a lot of people like to see, share, and get ideas from other guitarists. For example, I couldn’t satisfactorily spec a custom 8 string for myself, and that is largely in part because of the Stef B8. I may have said this before but Stefan Carpenter has had a lot of different signatures with ESP for over 20 years, and I always had my eye on them because to me, ESP is the premier luthiers in the world. Of course, that is a personal opinion, and it bears no weight whatsoever on anything past my own taste and purchase. Since the B7, the 7 string neck through with EMG 707, came out back in like 2000 or so? If someone has more historical knowledge on Stef’s models, please chime in, but I can remember for ALMOST 20 years, definitely at least 15, I have been eyeing and eyeing the ESP signature page. Something else I may have said is I’m not a Deftones listener. I have now started to like them, but I wasn't familiar with their work before getting this guitar, so at least I also learned about an awesome band as well. However, I am an SSO listener; so I read and read and after so many threads, the Fishman Fluence thread sealed the deal for me in terms of a quest. First, I bought an SRC Fluence set just to see if the reviews are right or wrong, and who to listen to and who not to listen to. Most reviews tend to be nonsense, but I found two that are great examples of a good review disguised as something average and a terrible review that appears to be awesome Now this guys isnt the best player or technician, but he doesnt pretend like he is either, and most importantly, his verbal description is very accurate, whether he plays well or not, he definitely hears well, but some may say its a “meh” review because hes not playing like Tosin Now these two schmoes sound and look like they know what they are talking about, but besides the chubby one having some chops, their review is absolute nonsense and I also think their “EQometer” is a load of horse shyte...what’s funny is the player doesn’t have much to say but the skinny dude who doesn’t play at all is so descriptive, but this is a great example of a nonsensical review that sounds/looks good because the player is alright, but don’t listen to a word of this [almost Tosin Abasi propaganda, like he’s the only thing worth trying in the entire fishman fluence line?] I was really wary of the set, but I got a brand new 7 string and installed it into my Ibanez. It sounds amazing. Like, until I got this 8 string CS, my favorite pickups on earth were the Fluence SRC set. Now I love all kinds of pickups: Dimarzio Tone Zone/Air Norton or Piaf Pro, Lundgren M7/m8, EMG 81/85, LAce Deathbucker/humbucker, Dimarzio Blaze, SD SH4/JB , to give you an idea. For me, the Modern Fluence set sounded amazing, but the SRC set is more scooped like the 81 profile, so I was very very happy with the bright scooped clarity of the pickup....so I then really started to have GAS for the 2016 updated B8 as they replaced EMGs with Fluence Finally, it was a day of celebration, my “name day” really, which is kind of like a birthday but more important in my culture, to some. I was given a choice of whether to order a custom shop or to buy an already made production guitar, price was the limit, more so than anything else. For the life of me, I could not come up with anything to spec a custom for myself that I didnt already see in the B8. Actually, what made it slightly difficult to decide was the price, because the B8 street price is $4k usually. In any case, I noticed Nick @ the Axe Palace had the B8 (2016 version) in stock, and I contacted him. Maybe more importantly than anything else, let me say Nick (@zimbloth) and Victor at the Axe Palace are the best shop I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I have to partially thank SSO for that too, but again, BIG shout out to Victor and Nick, as they got the guitar to me overnight! I wouldnt and wont buy a guitar from anywhere else in the world now. In fact, after reading the boutique NAMM thread, if I don’t order from one of those small shop luthiers in the other side of the world, I am going to order another ESP Custom Shop through the Axe Palace, because not only do they work quickly and have good Customer service, they are one of the few, authorized, real-deal dealers. This is important to me, muy importante- and it should be to you as well. Ebay and reverb have been getting a lot of scammers selling very, very good Chinese knock off counterfeits. With the Axe Palace, you know you are paying for an authentic, certified ESP Custom shop. (So please remember that when I make my next order Nick lol) I have been scammed (and actually harassed by said scammer Adam Howard and his people who work a lot on reverb and SSO) who’ve called my 75 year old mother and my wife in the middle of the night) too many times in the recent past that I couldn’t live with myself if I bought a fake ESP Custom, or if I sent my money to a luthier in Australia and in 12 months, nothing shows up and the email bounces back, or worse - a monstrosity shows up (which is worse as I ordered a custom neck once and I was so shocked at the wood they sent me that I had a panic attack upon opening the box) and in these covid-19 times with money being tighter I wasnt going to take a risk. So it is the Axe Palace for me from now on..... I couldn’t spec a better guitar, mock up a better design, or out create the wonderful creation and development that has become the 2016 revised B8. While it is not a personally designed custom shop, it feels like every bit as one to me, and I wound’t change a THING about it, and I really mean that in all truth, otherwise I probably could’ve waited for another axe.... For all those who’ve wondered as I did - the Middle Hum sounds just like a lead pickup, but barely, barely noticeably different from the neck, in fact, i would say theres no difference except that it allows/encourages you to pick past the pickup, like the bridge - which adds a little attack obviously but nothing to sully a clean lead, and I think these are the best pickups Ive ever heard, to me. CONSTRUCTION Neck-Thru SCALE 27" Baritone BODY Alder NECK 3Pc Maple FINGERBOARD Ebony FINGERBOARD RADIUS 305mm FINISH BLACK NUT WIDTH 55mm NUT TYPE Graphite NECK CONTOUR Thin U FRETS/TYPE 24 XJ HARDWARE COLOR Black STRAP BUTTON Standard TUNERS Sperzel Locking BRIDGE Hipshot Fixed MIDDLE PU Fishman Fluence SRC Signature BRIDGE PU Fishman Fluence SRC Signature ELECTRONICS Active ELECTRONICS LAYOUT Vol(P/P)/Tone/3-Way Switch A lot of you have congratulated me but you deserved some real pics!