Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default Two New Custom Guitars: Red Sparkle Ash Strat & Sunburst Alder Strat

    The AT Custom Red Sparkle Ash Strat (for Jeremy)!

    April has been a productive month for custom guitars. After a relatively uneventful winter, I saw to completing two longstanding projects plus a couple others. One of those extended projects was this, Jeremy's Red Sparkle Ash Strat.

    Built for my very good friend and former business partner Jeremy Ylvisaker, this guitar also served a practical role as the final buyout on our once jointly owned recording studio. Jeremy and I collaborated on many studio recordings over the years, and for about ten years we occupied two spaces and co-owned a large collective of gear together. In 1995, both of us in our early 20s, we combined our respective home-based studios and took a loan to buy a wealth of new equipment. We set up shop in Jeremy's place in St. Louis Park and adopted his existing name Greenhouse Studios. We stayed there until late 1999 when we moved into a new space in Bloomington, called Soliton. The new studio stayed operational until 2008, though Jeremy officially left the business and space for good in 2006. I'd always wished to maintain some sort of project studio whereby I could keep recording my own music and the music of others, so it was agreed I would buy Jeremy out. About a year ago Jer suggested we not even worry about the remaining amount I owed him--a relatively small but still significant amount. I told him that wasn't agreeable on my end, and he in turn suggested a custom AT guitar as the means of final buyout. I'd built several custom guitars at that point and had started to think about other players whose hands I'd like to put a guitar in; ironically enough, Jeremy was the first person I'd thought of just a short time earlier. If there was ever someone who would appreciate a custom guitar it was him. So needless to say it was a very easy agreement to make.

    Jeremy had been impressed with my Blue Sparkle Ash Strat and asked for a similar guitar only in red. When discussing pickguard options he suggested tortoise shell, which at first seemed like an odd combination. We talked about other details a bit--the tremolo was to float so as to allow bends up as well as down, and the neck would be all maple--but otherwise Jer asked that I simply make it how I would like it. One thing I pride myself on considerably with regard to my custom guitars is the playability factor; the guitars I make are assembled with extremely careful attention paid to comfort, feel, tone, and durability. I like guitars that present ease of play and that don't carry any unnecessary functionality issues. I'm also incredibly picky about tuning stability, thus I consider very carefully the bridge, tuners, nut (a bone nut in this case, carved by my very trusted tech friend Ted Vig), and string trees, and ultimately the guitar has to be able to withstand hard playing but always find its way back to "zero." And so Jeremy's guitar is a combination of high quality parts and many of my favorite things--an oil finished maple neck, double humbuckers (absolutely my favorite combination of pickups) with a coil tap option for single coil sounds, and Schaller tuners.

    This guitar was essentially completed in September last year, but a few issues, mostly related to the pickguard, kept me from declaring it officially done until they were finally resolved recently. In the end I opted to simply replace the pickguard with a new one rather than fight with all the issues the other one presented. The accompanying funny story is that while removing the pickups and controls to swap to the new pickguard, I heard a metallic "clink" as something fell into the guitar body control cavity route. The fallen item was in fact my favorite Dremel tool bit which had gone missing right about the same time I first assembled this guitar last fall. It had magnetically attached itself to the bottom of the neck pickup, and had I not opted to switch out the pickguard who knows what kind of ventures it would have eventually gone on.

    Twin Cities musicians know Jeremy well for the countless bands he's played in over the years (you'd run out of fingers and toes if you attempted to count them all). He's currently involved in two of his most successful projects to date--as guitarist with Andrew Bird (http://www.andrewbird.net) and as vocalist/guitarist/leader of Alpha Consumer (http://www.myspace.com/alphaconsumer). Whether this guitar will find its way onto work with either of those bands (or any others) remains to be seen; nonetheless, I'm damn proud to present this axe to one of my oldest friends and one of the best musicians I've ever known.

    Pictures of this guitar in progress, along with my other guitar projects, can be found in the photos section of my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/andrewthomassolomusic.

    The parts list and photos are below!

    Mighty Mite Solid Ash Body--Red Sparkle Finish
    AllParts SRO Maple Neck--22 Frets, 1 5/8" Bone Nut, C-Shape Profile, 12" Radius, Jumbo Frets, Black Inlays, Tru-Oil/Wax Finish
    GFS Crunchy Pat Humbucker Bridge & Neck Pickups w/ Chrome Covers
    Chrome Tremolo Bridge
    500K Volume Potentiometer w/ Black Knob
    500K Push-Pull (Coil Split) Tone Potentiometer w/ Black Knob
    3-Way Pickup Selector Switch w/ Black Tip
    4-Ply Tortoise Shell Pickguard
    3-Ply Tortoise Shell Tremolo Cover
    Switchcraft Jack w/ Chrome Jack Plate
    Schaller M6La Mini Chrome Tuners w/ Pearloid Buttons
    Graph-Tech String Trees
    Chrome Neck Plate
    Chrome Strap Buttons









    --

    The AT Custom Sunburst Alder Strat (for Scott)!

    In 2003 my good friend Scott Lindberg, a graphic artist by trade, designed and built my website, www.andrewthomas.net. Initially we agreed on a barter deal; Scott wanted some soundtrack work done for a redux of an old short film project of his. Over time the revamped film never happened, nor did any of the other possible projects we discussed. A few months ago I started to wonder if Scott would be interested in a custom guitar since he was a former player. Recognizing I almost had an entire guitar in parts sitting around (probably more than one, actually), I bought an alder sunburst Strat body off eBay, sent a picture of it to Scott, and asked him: "Does this look like the body for your new guitar?" He responded even more enthusiastically than I could have expected, so I went to work on the thing right away. A few weeks later it was done, and Scott was in town to take delivery of it on April 28, 2009.

    Pictures of this guitar in progress, along with my other guitar projects, can be found in the photos section of my MySpace page: http://myspace.com/andrewthomassolomusic.

    The parts list and photos are below!

    Solid Alder Body--Translucent Sunburst Finish
    Eden Maple Neck--22 Frets, 1 5/8" Graphite Nut, C-Shape Profile, 12" Radius, Vintage Size Frets, Black Inlays
    Zebra Humbucker Bridge & Neck Pickups
    Chrome Tremolo Bridge
    500K Volume & Tone Potentiometers w/ Black Knobs
    3-Way Pickup Selector Switch w/ Black Tip
    Warmoth 3-Ply White Pearloid Pickguard
    Black Tremolo Cover
    Alpha Jack w/ Chrome Jack Plate
    Ping Mini Chrome Tuners
    Chrome String Trees
    Chrome Neck Plate
    Chrome Strap Buttons






  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.10.05
    Age
    47
    Location
    Kate Upton's Closet
    Posts
    37,924
    Favorite VH Album

    Alex, Dave, Ed and Mike
    Favorite VH Song

    The songs with Ed on them
    Last Online

    12.16.17 @ 06:36 AM
    Likes
    3,510
    Liked 18,161 Times in 8,975 Posts

    Default

    Love the Sunburst, that is one beautiful piece of equipment.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

    DONATE TO THE LINKS YA CHEAP BASTARDS!!!!

  3. #3
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    03.23.05
    Posts
    1,780
    Last Online

    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Nice job Andrew!

    Are those Wilkinson trems?

  4. #4
    On Fire Warmoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.23.03
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    353
    Favorite VH Album

    5150
    Favorite VH Song

    Humans Being
    Last Online

    12.20.12 @ 08:26 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Freaking killer. Nice sparkle and burst. Beautiful hardware. I love sparkle finishes, they look so cool on stage. I have a couple sparkle finished guitars at the house and the other day one of my red neck buddies said it looked like a bass boat. I took it as a compliment.
    As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
    - John Lennon

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post
    Nice job Andrew!

    Are those Wilkinson trems?
    Thanks for the good words, everyone.

    Dino--I don't know the maker of the trems. They were an eBay purchase from about a year ago, and I wish I could remember who I bought them from. I wanted hardened steel and a good, solid steel trem block. They strongly resemble the Wilkinsons, and they may very be them, only with no brand markings.

  6. #6
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    08.04.08
    Age
    45
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    669
    Favorite VH Album

    Most
    Favorite VH Song

    Jamie's Crying
    Last Online

    11.06.14 @ 04:06 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Nice 'burst, and the matallic Strat is cool, as well!
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
    Join Date
    06.15.06
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    13,741
    Favorite VH Album

    VHIII/WACF/OU51BALUCK
    Last Online

    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    dems some purty geetars son!!
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
    Join Date
    02.19.07
    Posts
    4,976
    Last Online

    10.01.15 @ 06:45 PM
    Likes
    99
    Liked 180 Times in 57 Posts

    Default

    Beautiful guitars!! I'm a huge fan of the Strat!

    I'm curious. Tell me, why did you go with two pickups and a 3 way selector? Putting a single coil between and adding a 5
    way selector gives more options. 5 way has been pretty standard in strats for
    a long while. Ibanez Jem's are kinda like that, two humbuckers a single coil and 5 way. It's not a negative you didn't(Woflies
    and Lp's are two humbuckers and 3 way.. Just curious why you chose that config on a Strat?

    Either way...Sweet guitars! Cool to see.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    Beautiful guitars!! I'm a huge fan of the Strat!

    I'm curious. Tell me, why did you go with two pickups and a 3 way selector? Putting a single coil between and adding a 5
    way selector gives more options. 5 way has been pretty standard in strats for
    a long while. Ibanez Jem's are kinda like that, two humbuckers a single coil and 5 way. It's not a negative you didn't(Woflies
    and Lp's are two humbuckers and 3 way.. Just curious why you chose that config on a Strat?

    Either way...Sweet guitars! Cool to see.
    Simply put, two humbuckers is my favorite combination of pickups, and I prefer a Strat style guitar to an LP style guitar (referring specifically to weight and feel, not necessarily looks). I've owned MANY guitars over the years with many combinations of pickups--for me the single coil in the middle is too much, and something like an H-S-S configuration doesn't offer the neck pickup warmth I like so much. So I've really just found that most of the tones I seek are in the double-hum configuration. I have other guitars if I want something different (which typically happens in the recording studio), and I've occasionally done coil taps on my double-hum guitars to expand single coil tone options (like the red sparkle Strat posted above).

    Edit Addition: I've found it really interesting how some still box up the Strat and LP. Not saying that's what you were doing, AP, but I'm recalling a guy who once came into the music store I teach at and was practically yelling at me for putting two humbuckers in a Strat. "That's just wrong!! A Strat isn't supposed to have humbuckers!!" I"m kinda looking at this guy like, who the fuck ever decided that? Yeah, the Strat was first designed and built with three single coils, and the Les Paul kind of ruled the rock guitar world with double humbuckers. But the shape of the guitar is supposed to determine the configuration of pickups simply because we need to adhere to an initial design tradition? By that standard we should also never change the engine design in a specific car model once it comes out, and this whole flat screen television craze is just simply wrong because a television is supposed to be all about a tube and projection!
    Last edited by AT; 04.30.09 at 02:45 AM.

  10. #10
    Baluchitherium
    Join Date
    02.19.07
    Posts
    4,976
    Last Online

    10.01.15 @ 06:45 PM
    Likes
    99
    Liked 180 Times in 57 Posts

    Default

    I respect that you dig that config and wasn't criticizing it. I love Pauls and it's similar to it. Was just curious why you went that way.

    I really like the 3 pickup 5 way. I play some Jems, LP and, a strat. I'm really loving the Strat anymore and eventually want to get a custom American made one with a Jem pickup setup...2 humbuckers and a single in the middle and 5 way..on the Jems position 4 really gets a cool strat jangle twangy sound but position 1 is full blown and position 5 really has that warm tuby round tone especially on solos etc. Position 2-4 is nice on some cleaner/ less over driven stuff imo. Strats are routed and ready for 3 pickups so thats why I was curious why you just went with 2.

    No need to have to stay in the box though. I admire people who mix it up and keep things how they like them. That's basically what Ed did in the day with his Frankie. A Strat with 1 pickup! In the Gear Pics section someone posted a guitar long ago with like 8 pickups on it. lol

    Well they are beautiful guitars. Grats on 2 more great creations.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  11. #11
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
    Join Date
    09.02.99
    Age
    46
    Location
    Somewhere Near LA
    Posts
    68,728
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Unchained
    Last Online

    12.16.17 @ 02:48 PM
    Likes
    1,265
    Liked 11,592 Times in 4,941 Posts

    Default

    I love the Strat body, hate single coils. Andrew does EXACTLY what I would do and has the same thought process as well.

    Sorry AT.
    Webmaster
    VHLinks.com - Your Van Halen Internet Resource Guide
    http://www.vhlinks.com

    JamToThis.com
    Audio/Video Trading Community
    Tons of Van Halen!

  12. #12
    Future's in the past....
    Join Date
    03.03.08
    Age
    51
    Location
    Somewhere between here and there
    Posts
    13,090
    Favorite VH Album

    WACF, FW, DD
    Favorite VH Song

    At the moment, Little Guitars
    Last Online

    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Very cool geetars there, love the burst and that metallic is just sick!
    11/05/78 Hollywood Sportatorium
    12/10/82 Hollywood Sportatorium
    01/20/84 Hollywood Sportatorium
    01/21/84 Hollywood Sportatorium
    02/16/08 Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    I've got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I'm blue.

  13. #13
    Eruption bjk's Avatar
    Join Date
    04.18.05
    Posts
    745
    Last Online

    12.16.17 @ 01:22 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 23 Times in 16 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    I love the Strat body, hate single coils. Andrew does EXACTLY what I would do and has the same thought process as well.

    Sorry AT.
    Same here. I've got 2 Strats and both have Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 / SH-2 humbuckers and Floyd Roses. They're my favorite axes by far. I love the Strat look and feel, but when I play a stock single coil Stat it has no balls. It's thin and twangy. Don't get me wrong. In the right hands, a standard Strat sounds magical (see Beck, SRV, Gilmour, Knopfler, Clapton) but I can't get a decent rock tone to save my life.

  14. #14
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    I love the Strat body, hate single coils. Andrew does EXACTLY what I would do and has the same thought process as well.

    Sorry AT.
    This just in: Brett and I share the same thought process.

    It's the beginning of the end.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. The AT Custom Walnut/Alder Strat!
    By AT in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04.10.09, 10:33 PM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04.11.08, 02:01 PM
  3. Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02.10.08, 04:21 PM
  4. New Custom AT Blue Sparkle Ash Strat!
    By AT in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 12.30.07, 10:36 PM
  5. Current Guitar Project: Alder Strat
    By AT in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09.15.07, 02:44 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •