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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I decided a little while ago that I want to reward myself with a custom guitar when I graduate with my PhD in about 2 years.

The issue is, I can't really nail down all of the specs, mostly due to my inexperience. Every guitar I have owned has either been basswood or mahogany. I will say that I vastly prefer mahogany though.


So far, I am pretty sure about the following specs.

7 string
26" scale (or close to it)
H-H direct mount with 5 way switch
Ebony fretboard with side markers only
RG style body with additional carves to the horns
Either quilted or flamed maple top, thinking purple for the color :fr00t:
Thin (ibanez like) neck with flat radius
Reversed headstock :metal:
Jumbo SS fret wire
Custom control layout (sometimes ibby controls impede my picking motion, and I have to take the volume knob off to get a little more room)
Preferably an EDGE pro7 trem, but could do OFR7 too (sometimes the fine tuners impede my picking motion as well)
Neck through construction


I still cannot figure out what to get for the body woods. I think I am going to try to play a bunch of guitars, but it is hard to find shred guitars that are ash or walnut and such. Any suggestions?

Also, for luthiers, here are my top choices:

1) Mike Sherman
2) Bernie Rico
3) KxK
4) Roter :)rofl:)

Does anybody have any suggestions for this guitar? I am thinking my budget is probably going to be around $4k, and I realize that I will probably have to start this build 8 months to a year in front of my graduation date, with half of the money down.


I would really like your feedback on experiences with these builders (Roter was a joke), and also what production guitars I should play to get a better feel of how the wood combo will affect the tone and feel of the guitar.

Rep to those with good input! :p
 

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Black Limba? Rob has a blank sitting around, looking for a home.
 

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NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
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Blackmachine? :lol:

Try out a couple of Suhr's if you get the chance, you can hear just what an alder or ash body with maple can do - epitome of those sort of guitars. You haven't mentioned neck joints; I would urge you to get a bolt on. Sounds better than anything else IMO, and if you EVER get any problems later down the line they are so much easier to work on. (Even replace, I dread to say, if the tragic day ever comes).

Personally, particularly with something as dense as maple for the top, I really rate lighter woods. Something that gives the bass a chance to sort of build up momentum, if that makes sense, inside the guitar body. Mahogany and high-quality alder are two of my favourite body woods, because they make the bass so fucking huge, while retaining tightness. Maple on the top would make your midrange and highs punchy and tight too; the thing'd be a tone monster.

:.2c:
 

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Dream Crusher
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ESP has a couple of ash-bodied shredders to try. Mahogany/maple is my favorite combo, but I like a balanced, classic "roar."

Ash looks fantastic and sounds pretty good too; the swamp ash is lightweight and resonant and a little scooped, while the hard ash is bright and heavy as hell.

I want to spend some time with an all-maple guitar to see if I'd like it.
 
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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Stitch I can't rep you any more:( E-cookie?

That is some great info, exactly what I wanted to hear. I was thinking Mahogany wings or body maple neck with mahogany stipes, maple top. I love bolt ons so I will probably go that way, I just want really good fret access as well.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find A SINGLE SUHR in Colorado. Sad days:(
 

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Well, I don't agree with Stitch, since I prefer neckthru. I'll never run into a problem with the neck, either, since Rob makes them out of three parallel pieces of maple with opposing grain patterns, and then puts two carbon fiber beams in next to the truss rod. I could probably use the guitar as a baseball bat with no problems.

Limba is very similar to mahogany as a tonewood. Maybe a touch brighter. Play a korina Gibson V, and you'll know. The ebony will significantly brighten it up, too. However, I was just throwing it out there because you mentioned it. Maple neck with mahogany wings is what all three of my sevens are.
 
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Dream Crusher
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I like bolt-on and setneck myself. But that's just me.
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I don't agree with Stitch, since I prefer neckthru. I'll never run into a problem with the neck, either, since Rob makes them out of three parallel pieces of maple with opposing grain patterns, and then puts two carbon fiber beams in next to the truss rod. I could probably use the guitar as a baseball bat with no problems.

Limba is very similar to mahogany as a tonewood. Maybe a touch brighter. Play a korina Gibson V, and you'll know. The ebony will significantly brighten it up, too. However, I was just throwing it out there because you mentioned it. Maple neck with mahogany wings is what all three of my sevens are.
Yeah, this is what i have been considering. Maple neck, mahogany wings, figured maple top, ebony fretboard.

I want the guitar to cut, so the maple and ebony should do that, but I want it to roar in the low end, and mahogany should help that.

At least that is what I understand. Is that correct?
 

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Yeah, this is what i have been considering. Maple neck, mahogany wings, figured maple top, ebony fretboard.

I want the guitar to cut, so the maple and ebony should do that, but I want it to roar in the low end, and mahogany should help that.

At least that is what I understand. Is that correct?
Mahogany with Maple top, just like my RGA121, plus the ebony fretboard! But, yes you are right. All of the woods you chose have sustain attached to them as a tonewood. Now it just depends if you need more sustain, which I thought was the point if neck-thru.
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Next question is, when should I solicit these builders for a quote? I am sure a bunch of 15 year old SS.argh fiends pump quotes out to these builders like mad, so I want to make sure that I give them a legitimate reason to spend their time pricing this out.
 

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NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
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Yeah, this is what i have been considering. Maple neck, mahogany wings, figured maple top, ebony fretboard.

I want the guitar to cut, so the maple and ebony should do that, but I want it to roar in the low end, and mahogany should help that.

At least that is what I understand. Is that correct?
I'd agree with assessment. Me and noodles rarely agree on anything, so take mine with a pinch of salt. :lol:

The other thing I'd say is when trying out guitars, always play them unplugged. I know I harp on about it, but the reason I went for my RGA is because it sounded fucking amazing unplugged. The Duncans that it came with weren't bad, but I could tell straight away the 'wood tone' (how I hate that word, tone) was totally there. LTD's look amazing on paper, but I've played very few that actually sounded good unplugged. It's part of the reason I rate Suhr's and Blackmachine's so highly - they sound fucking amazing unplugged, which means that with the right pickups they can only sound better. If a guitar sounds good unplugged, you can tell immediately it's a good 'un, and it'll only be the pickups that can let it down. Case in point; RGA121's come stock with V7 and V8 pickups - alright in mahogany, but you can do so much better. With BKP's in it it absolutely screams, it's amazing.

I'm sure noodles would back me up on this - a properly built guitar will sound good with and without an amp. The KxK I've played (Shikaru's S-7) sounded phenomenal before I ever plugged it into my 6505 - and it only got better.
 

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NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
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Next question is, when should I solicit these builders for a quote? I am sure a bunch of 15 year old SS.argh fiends pump quotes out to these builders like mad, so I want to make sure that I give them a legitimate reason to spend their time pricing this out.
Man, with your budget and the fact that you're in the states, you'd be mad not to talk to Sherman. I'd kill for one of his guitars.
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I totally agree with you Stitch. My 2027 is TWICE as loud and bell-like than my 1527 is unplugged.

I would love a blackmachine B7 with ebony top, but the wait list is ridiculous, and I think US builders would be better so I don't have to worry about imports.


Also, I think I should save up some more money before I talk to Sherman. The dude is busy, and demands respect. If I ask for a quote with a few hundo in the bank, it just aint gonna do it. If I ask for a quote and have a thou or 2 in the bank, we'd be talking with the real chance of business.

Dave, how does Rob feel about quotes?

Anybody have BRJ experience?
 

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Premium Member
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Yeah, this is what i have been considering. Maple neck, mahogany wings, figured maple top, ebony fretboard.

I want the guitar to cut, so the maple and ebony should do that, but I want it to roar in the low end, and mahogany should help that.

At least that is what I understand. Is that correct?
Rob uses ridiculously wide neck blanks, so I've got no problem whatsoever getting cut. The mahogany is just thickening it up in the lower mids. On a neckthru, the body wood is far less important.
 

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NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
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I totally agree with you Stitch. My 2027 is TWICE as loud and bell-like than my 1527 is unplugged.

I would love a blackmachine B7 with ebony top, but the wait list is ridiculous, and I think US builders would be better so I don't have to worry about imports.
Yeah, it was a semi joke. You've got Sherman, and he'll build you something amazing. The cost and wait of a BM is prohibitive for national buyers, IMO. Nevertheless, still amazing guitars.
 

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I'd agree with assessment. Me and noodles rarely agree on anything, so take mine with a pinch of salt. :lol:

The other thing I'd say is when trying out guitars, always play them unplugged. I know I harp on about it, but the reason I went for my RGA is because it sounded fucking amazing unplugged. The Duncans that it came with weren't bad, but I could tell straight away the 'wood tone' (how I hate that word, tone) was totally there. LTD's look amazing on paper, but I've played very few that actually sounded good unplugged. It's part of the reason I rate Suhr's and Blackmachine's so highly - they sound fucking amazing unplugged, which means that with the right pickups they can only sound better. If a guitar sounds good unplugged, you can tell immediately it's a good 'un, and it'll only be the pickups that can let it down. Case in point; RGA121's come stock with V7 and V8 pickups - alright in mahogany, but you can do so much better. With BKP's in it it absolutely screams, it's amazing.

I'm sure noodles would back me up on this - a properly built guitar will sound good with and without an amp. The KxK I've played (Shikaru's S-7) sounded phenomenal before I ever plugged it into my 6505 - and it only got better.
Hey, I like bolt-ons, too. I just happen to prefer neckthru. Hoenstly, when you start heaping on the gain, it becomes less about the sound of the guitar and more about the sound of the preamp. As long as you have a good sounding guitar, you'll be fine.

I have bought guitars before without ever having plugged them in. Like you said, if it sounds good acoustically, it is going to sound just as good plugged in.
 

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I totally agree with you Stitch. My 2027 is TWICE as loud and bell-like than my 1527 is unplugged.

I would love a blackmachine B7 with ebony top, but the wait list is ridiculous, and I think US builders would be better so I don't have to worry about imports.

Also, I think I should save up some more money before I talk to Sherman. The dude is busy, and demands respect. If I ask for a quote with a few hundo in the bank, it just aint gonna do it. If I ask for a quote and have a thou or 2 in the bank, we'd be talking with the real chance of business.

Dave, how does Rob feel about quotes?

Anybody have BRJ experience?
I played Nick's BRJ at The Axe Palace and it was a solid feeling guitar. I really like the looks of his slim line too. I'd probably order one but one of these days I'm going to have a KxK to pay off :lol:
 

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NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
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7,276 Posts
I totally agree with you Stitch. My 2027 is TWICE as loud and bell-like than my 1527 is unplugged.

I would love a blackmachine B7 with ebony top, but the wait list is ridiculous, and I think US builders would be better so I don't have to worry about imports.

Also, I think I should save up some more money before I talk to Sherman. The dude is busy, and demands respect. If I ask for a quote with a few hundo in the bank, it just aint gonna do it. If I ask for a quote and have a thou or 2 in the bank, we'd be talking with the real chance of business.

Dave, how does Rob feel about quotes?

Anybody have BRJ experience?
Ah, I missed the second bit; I thought you had the money lined up. Glad you've said what you did, complettely agree. Tyre kickers are luthier's worst enemy. :lol:
 
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