*** Preface - I like to name the guitars I own and use. The following is a post
about one of them, presented with a classic b/w slideshow portfolio.
Photographs by yours truly. ***
This is the oldest guitar I own. In 2014 it will turn 20 years old! At the time I purchased it I never imagined I would still have this thing around today; Let alone, that it would become one of my favorite guitars of all time. I've previously posted a whole blog regarding this guitar. So, please refer to the following for its story: Hello, Old Friend . . .
It seems this guitar is always in a perpetual state of being modified / reworked. It's like a beloved classic McLaren® or Ferrari® that one keeps tweaking for ultimate performance. The only thing I have left untouched from the original manufacture is the body itself. Here is a list of its specs as of this writing:
Neck: maple with a modified headstock.
Body: Top Secret - All I will say is it is made of wood with a very interesting design concept internally and, NO, I'm not talking about body chambers. It doesn't have any of those. A different technology was used with results that have a similar effect to chambers though. This is the way the guitar came stock. I did not "mod" this myself. I honestly think the guitar body was built the way it was to cut down on costs. I'm not sure the original manufacture realized the benefits their approach would produce sonically by using the wood the way they did. Then again, maybe they understood and were clever like foxes. I'm still not sure how they managed to put a proper finish on the guitar with the design method they used. The finish is, indeed, beautiful and robust. I'd like to try to "back-engineer" the body finish one day to see if I can learn how they pulled it off. *** Hint - it's not the finish used as much as how they prepared the guitar for the finish. ***
Bridge: Floyd Rose® Original™ - double Locking - satin chrome finish
Neck and middle pickups: These are the original stock pickups. I've modified the pickup covers a bit and have noodled around with how they are connected into the signal path of the guitar. The design of these pickups, like the body, is unusual and also, in my opinion, made with the original manufactures' desire to cut costs. I'm hesitant to give specifics because I want to spend more time "back-engineering" them first. However, the benefits of the sound are obvious, at least to me. Especially when incorporating the craft of "tone-stacking" effects pedals. Ever wonder how David Gilmour produces the cool sounds he does from his three (3) single coil Strat? Wether the original manufacture understood the benefits I'm referencing is anyones guess. The design of these pickups seems counterintuitive. When you get "under-the-hood" of these things though you realize there is more than a bit of brilliance here. So, again, clever like foxes? Perhaps.
Bridge pickup: Dimarzio® Evolution®
Pickup switch: 5-way Strat type.
Volume and tone pots: CTS with Orange Drop polyester .047uF cap.
Other internal electronics: Top Secret and I'm not sayin' nothin'!
Tuning gears: Japanese copy of Schaller® that I hand buffed with a Dremel® and a Scotch-Brite™ attachment to produce a "brushed chrome" finish.
Headstock: I re-cut / re-shaped the original headstock with a band saw and then re-finishied it ('Cuase I'm just crazy that way). Please refer to my blog: Hello, Old Friend . . .
Why the name "Engedi 1"? Because, a long time ago, I seriously considered entering the lutherie trade and "Engedi" was going to be the brand name of my hand built guitars. As with most budding luthiers I started out by modifying other maker’s instruments. The headstock of this guitar originally had the same black finish as the body. It sported the manufacture label, "Shane" and the model "Targa" printed on the stock. When I re-shaped the headstock I cut right through the labeling and the only visible lettering left was the "ane" from the word "Shane". The style of the font used, in any case, tricked the eye into thinking it read "One". Hence, the inevitable retitling to "Engedi" (my guitar brand name idea) and "One" . . . "Engedi 1".
I often refer to this guitar as the "magic guitar" because of its pleasing aesthetic characteristic, playability, and sound. Notwithstanding, to this day, I still can't decide wether the original design concept from the manufacture was a serendipitous fluke or intentional. To me, it only adds to its mystic and mystery . . . and I love it!