Hey, can you do a “strat” but also not, at the same time?
The t r i p l e n i n e t y is something I’ve wanted to put together for a long time. While the whole concept of the build really does revolve around the 3xP90’s that were custom built by Dave Leddin, in Brisbane Australia, the absurdity of loading them into a mahogany strat style body was what really got me excited. Call it a partscaster, call it a boutique build, call it whatever you want, I call it my favourite daft idea actualised, to date.
Hand shaped and contoured, the mahogany body has instantly recognisable lines, however working by feel with my rasp and finished with countless coats of hand rubbed gun stock oil, has given this guitar something that I believe is much more important, it feels “real”, and familiar. Strapping it on, or sitting down with it, it’s got something about it that makes you want to play, and play, and…you get where I’m going, right? All of that, is before it’s even plugged in.
I’ve loved P90’s for years and years. Not being a huge humbucker fan myself (of course they are awesome and required at times), but wanting a little more than what standard single coils can offer, P90’s have been my “go to” when I’ve been afforded the chance. After working with Dave Leddin on some previous builds and finding his work to be nothing short of world class, and seeing he was now offering soapbar style 90’s, it was a no brainer. I love it when another builder takes your enquiry, and simply says “yeah no problem”. So Dave wound a custom set for me with the neck and middle being wound to his Vintage Formvar specs of 7.5k (with middle being built RWRP for hum cancelling in positions 2 and 4) and the Bridge to his Vintage 60’s spec, measuring in at 8.4k. I don’t know what type of magic he practices, but man, these sound unbelievably good! Let’s not get into tone wood debates (ever please) but loaded into a mahogany body, they sing, man, just straight up sing.
The hardware and neck were chosen more from a place of familiarity and past quality, than anything else. I’m a firm believer that the neck is the make or break for most players and is often a point of contention, but I had to go with what works for me so in went a Mighty Mite soft V profile maple neck, a 9.5" fretboard radius, with medium fretwire (the only concession I made on the build, as I generally play jumbo’s), and a matte finish. I spent some extra time rounding the fret ends, and fretboard itself so it has that worn but not abused feel. Gotoh Machine Heads, Gotoh 250k pots, and a Gotoh big block trem start to round out the hardware, with an oak grigsby 5 way switch, Orange drop tone cap, and treble bleed on the volume control. Why so much Gotoh? Because they make some of the most reliable hardware out there pretty simply.
In between the paragraphs of this short novel I’ve written, I’ve gone back to the guitar and played it, and each time I do so, I get closer to thinking about keeping it! That said, I want other people to enjoy the things I make, to make music with them, and really at the end of the day that’s why I do this. This is anything but a “cursed object”, however will be listed SOON, on my Cursed Objects shop over on Reverb, where international shipping is available (no rosewood here). I’ll swing a heads up when it goes live.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the last photos I uploaded of one of my woodburned guitars, so here’s a photo from the same shoot of another one. This is a Fender, and was my very first guitar back in high school. Done with woodburning, watercolor, and a touch of mother of pearl :)
The Fender “Dragon” Telecaster. It was a gift from Jeff Beck to Jimmy Page when he was yet in The Yardbirds. It’s a Fender Telecaster 1958, originally white.
Page added eight reflective circles, it is said as a tribute to Syd Barrett. But in early 1967 he completely painted guitar, drawing a dragon himself on the wood.
The guitar still exists but with a different look because a friend of Jimmy Page deleted the dragon while he was on tour. Upon returning, his friend told him that he had made “a gift” but found that the new finish was not to his taste and the paint had affected the functioning of the entire circuit and the bridge pickup. Jimmy Page dismantled the mast to install it in its Fender Telecaster B-Bender brown. The Fender “Dragon” Telecaster was used for the last time May 2, 1969.