Alright, I've been waiting to post about this thing so I could have a nice build story to show you guys!
Alright, so the story goes that way back in the old days, Myself and another member of ss.org had baritone conversion necks made for our Schecter Omen 7 Extreme s. I had one made by Mike Sherman, he had one made by Roter. His turned out all mangled and messed up, mine turned out great. As one would, in retrospect, expect.
Then there's a long story where I never get my neck or guitar body back for a few years. So let's kinda skip that part.
Anyway, I managed to finally get the neck and body back like last year or something, and I assembled it:
The neck is 5 piece maple/purpleheart with a brown ebony fretboard (with visible sapwood). I got the idea to veneer the fretboard wood onto the headstock as well, so it's just one continuous wave, and it came out great!
It has offset abalone dot inlays, and it's made to extend the 26.5" scale of the Schecter so it becomes a 28.625" scale guitar. It also has stainless steel frets.
After playing it for a while, I noticed my knowledge and judgment has changed while I waited to get it back. The long scale length combined with the regular bridge placement meant the neck extended way far out from the body, and while my right hand was still in the regular spot, my left hand was stretched way further out than I would like. It sounded fantastic, but it kinda hurt my wrist. It was also neck heavy.
So I began thinking of getting a new body made for this neck, so I could reassemble the original Schecter and have two 7 strings. Talking to Mehtab about his OAF 8 string led me to contact Tom Drinkwater of OAF about the project. He was intrigued, and agreed to take it on!
So here's where the fun starts:
I am a HUGE fan of the Ibanez Boutique Bass (BTB) series. I made this mockup of a BTB 8 string, because I loved the idea of a BTB shaped guitar:
Now, I figured it would be a great starting point for a replacement body as well, because it would help fulfill my ergonomic needs by providing great balance, with a strap button at the 12th fret or even further down the neck, and I could have the bridge far towards the butt edge of the body where I like it!
I also wanted to introduce a whole bunch of my own tweaks and changes to the shape of it, taking inspiration from the Vik Domineer, the Agile Intrepid, Bulb's jackson CS guitars, ibanez UV/Jem, and many others.
So I made this rough mockup:
In the mockup, I've resized the body so it's smaller, because I figured the full-sized body would be too big.
Tom loved the idea, and had an actual BTB traced for reference:
Immediately, I noticed that the BTB's regular size looked GREAT.
So then the modifications started to make something matching my mockup:
I loved how this looked, but I wanted more high fret access. We did some talking about how we could shift things here and there to modify the shape further, allowing the higher access.
This is what we got:
I was super happy! It worked!
So now it's time for the actual build:
Hard ash! (with a black stain on top to try out a finish for my next OAF)
Rough shape cut out!
then some carving and routing later:
I asked him if he could carve the lower horn on the back, and he totally delivered:
He originally told me he wasn't quite tooled up to do a UV-style jack socket, but then he surprised me with this:
Tom made this awesome brass string catch for the back of the instrument:
black stain?! Yeah! It's for the grain! It's going to be sanded back.
And here it is after the sanding:
Alright, so this is where things suddenly speed up... I almost shat myself upon seeing these pictures!
It has my own selection of mixed gold and black Hipshot hardware, and the gold straplocks will be placed so the butt-end strap button is placed higher up, off-centre. This shifts the guitar so it's naturally more angled up when played with a strap. It'll put more of the guitar's weight "behind" the strap, so it'll balance a bit nicer, and it'll make the guitar stay in playing position better, rather than shifting along the centre axis.
The pickups are cream zebra bobbin DiMarzio D Activator 7 pickups.
So basically, to sum it up, HOLY CRAP!
Tom is going to put on gold straplocks next, and that'll be it!
So yeah, this is amazing, and I'm SUPER EXCITED now! Can't wait to play it!
It looks great! A right, proper frankenguitar. Hopefully it'll get you closer to the feel you're after.